home > stories > Train Journal - 1991

 

DUNSMUIR - KLAMATH FALLS

Jan. 4, 1991 - Caught out of Dunsmuir around 10:00 p.m. on the LABRF - rode a pig, naturally. Fell asleep just after Cantara and even after waiting for Amtrak at Mt. Hebron I got into Klamath at 1:30 am. That is fast time! For a change it was just above zero with fog so I crashed in the yard, got up early for coffee, missed an early train cuz no rides and now (almost noon) I'm waiting to go south. It was 19 degrees this morning at 9 am. Finally caught out at 2:00 p.m. on a pig train. Had great ride and got off when he stopped at Deetz. Called Shelley and she picked me up.

 

DUNSMUIR - EUGENE

Jan. 12, 1991 - Caught out of Dunsmuir in late afternoon - got into Eugene around 3:00 am - caught out at 5:00 am and had usual ride back. Got off in Dunsmuir.

 

BLACK BUTTE - MEDFORD

Jan. 25, 1991 - Left Black Butte at 3:00 p.m. on fairly short train - 17 cars and 5 engines. Had nice ride but fell asleep after Yreka so didn't see the mountains. Got into Medford at 8:00 p.m., hit Taco Bell and went back to the yard and slept in boxcar until 4:00 am. I thought the crew went on duty at 5:00 am but it's now almost 8:00 and no sign of them yet. It's 23 degrees. We finally left town at 9:00 am and had great ride over the Siskiyous on top of a loaded lumber flat. Got back to Black Butte at 2:00 pm.

 

BLACK BUTTE - MEDFORD

Feb. 5, 1991 - Got here at 1:30 p.m. on a nice sunny day after a storm. Power got here at 2:15 p.m. and we're now waiting for an air test. Beautiful day - quite warm - no shirt on in sun. Out of town at 4:00 pm. Should be in Medford at 9:00 pm.

 

DUNSMUIR - KLAMATH

Mar. 29, 1991 - Shelley dropped me off in the yard this morning and I'm at the Hobo camp waiting for a pig train (OAPTT and RVPTF). Amtrak has been late because of washouts in Santa Barbara and as soon as the "cushions" go by I should get out of town. The weather is beautiful but a tad windy. It's warm in the sun but there are snow plumes coming off of Shasta. It's a Friday at 10:00 am and I might finally get to Klamath in time to eat at the Hobo Junction Cafe. Left town at 10:01 am behind #9404 (OAPTT?) and we're now adding helpers just north of the bridge. Had a great ride to the south end of the Klamath yard where I hopped off my train and onto one headed back south. Had another great ride on the "observation deck" all the way to Deetz, where he stopped and I got off.

 

DUNSMUIR - ?

Sun. Apr. 21, 1991 - Hanging out behind the shack in the yard, waiting for a northbound. It's 9:30 am and there should be a couple of Portland pig trains and a boxcar train in the next hour or so. The weather is overcast with occasional light rain, but it's warm and not windy. This is a mellow place to hang out. After being "greeted" by the bull I left town at 10:10 am on the last car of a very short pig train (OAPTT) in a wooden-floored boxcar. Slept until Klamath, got out, stumbled around and got on a southbound. Slept until Hotlum then got off and walked and hitched home.

 

DUNSMUIR - SACTO

Wed. May 8, 1991 - Caught out of Dunsmuir at 9:15 p.m. on gondola. Quick crew change. Fell asleep at Sims and didn't wake up until Roseville at 3:45 am. Fast 6 ½ hour ride. Crashed in another gondola on Oakland train and left town at 7:00 am. Got off in Sac and waited for Bruce at RR museum. Checked out Railfair and now we're camping at Colfax. Plan to fish tomorrow on Bear River. We never got around to fishing but drove up to Portola on Hwy. 49, camped near the yard at night then drove down the canyon to Roseville, where I caught the WCEUM to Dunsmuir and the RVKFM to Black Butte (4:30 am). Great trip!

 

GRENADA - BLACK BUTTE

Thur. May 23, 1991 - Shelley dropped me off in Grenada at noon. Waiting for the southbound. Train came by at 12:30 pm. Alerted when he whistled for road crossing at north end of town. He came by at a walk (at the scales) and I got the top of a loaded center-beam bulkhead and had a great ride up to Black Butte. Walked to McDonalds where my truck was and drove home.

 

DUNSMUIR - ?

Thur. May 30, 1991 - Shelley took me to Dunsmuir where the WCEUM was supposed to get in at 8:00 p.m. but we're finally leaving town at 10:00 pm. Should be in Klamath at 2:00 am and Eugene at 9:00 am. Decided to get off in Klamath. Slept in weeds, met Bill the bull, got grub and now I'm waiting for a southbound at 9:45 am. Out of town at 11:00 am on the PTLAF.

 

DUNSMUIR - ?

Sun. Aug. 25, 1991 - It's almost 3:00 p.m. and I'm waiting for the WCEUM, due at 2:00 p.m. (natch!). I've got a week off from work and I plan to go to Klamath or Eugene, then on Tue. night Bruce should be here and we plan to go to Medford or Wishram. Weather is clear and warm with a gentle breeze. I'd love to take a nap on a day like this. Caught out at 5:20 p.m. on the tail end of a medium length pig train with Boeing cars on the rear - the LAPTF, I think. It got here 2 hours earlier than lineup said it would (a first, I'm sure). Had great ride to Klamath - coming into yard now at 8:15 pm. Quick crew change and fast, smooth ride to Eugene. Got in at 2:00 am - leaving town at 4:00 am on a Modoc man. Nice boxcar. Have to switch trains in Klamath. Got into Klamath at 10:30 am after a great ride! Had breakfast at Hobo Junction Cafe and now I'm on the EUWSM at 1:00 pm. Had mellow ride down and got off east of Black Butte where I walked to town and Shelley picked me up. Hung out at home for a day and now (10:00 am Wed. the 28th) I'm waiting at Black Butte. Medford track has only 4 loaded boxcars but the RVKFM should be here soon and maybe it'll drop off some cars. Not sure where I'll go yet.

 

BLACK BUTTE - KLAMATH

Nov. 10, 1991 - Got to Black Butte at 6:30 p.m. to wait for an RVKFM that was supposed to be there at about that time. Got tired of waiting in dark (foggy with no moon) so I crashed in trees near tracks. Train came in a little after 9:00 p.m. and I went back to sleep in a boxcar. Got to Klamath after midnight and stayed asleep until train was pulled over to BN. Bailed out, walked to Vallier's to call lineup and went back to sleep in same boxcar that Debbie and I slept in last week. Our cardboard was still there. Walked back to Vallier's for breakfast (mediocre) and now (9:50 am) I'm waiting for either the PTLAF or the PTOAT. Caught the OAT to Black Butte and walked home.

 

BLACK BUTTE - KLAMATH

Dec. 8, 1991 - This is becoming a milk run. Shelley dropped me off at Black Butte at 5:30 p.m. and a half hour later the RVPTF came by on the siding with almost all stacks and some pigs. Rode a pig to Mt. Hebron where I switched to a stack when we went in the hole. Got to Klamath at 9:00 pm. Ate, then slept on ground in yard - it was 22 degrees in morning with frost all over everything. Had usual breakfast and now I'm waiting at the "pallets" for the EUFRM. It's 10:00 am.

 

CHRISTMAS '91 TRAIN TRIP

Sat. Dec. 21, 1991 - Hanging out just north of depot near the "trailers". Cold and overcast morning. It's now 8:15 am and the EUWCM should be here anytime. Out of town at 8:30 am on a very clean hopper. Had fast, smooth ride down the Valley. Got into Roseville at 3:30 p.m. after sitting in the hole at Grey Rocks for a half hour. On track 9 waiting for crew change. It's now 5:00 pm. Moving through Antelope at 6:00 pm. Had smooth, quick ride down the Valley. Got into Fresno at 11:30 p.m. and finally Bakersfield at 3:00 am. Sat in the yard while lots of trains went by and left at 6:00 am. Slept until we stopped for helpers at Sand Cut. Had great ride over Tehachapis - clear and warm, and got into Colton at 2:30 pm. Waiting at Colton Tower for my brother to pick me up. Had a nice Xmas with the family and Gary drove me to Bruce's Mom's house in Riverside, where I had a great dinner, then Bruce drove me to Colton. Hung around until 3:30 am waiting for train and finally crashed on ground near wye. Woke up early, got rousted by the bull at the "signal box", and now (8:15 am) I'm waiting on the "Mexican" side of the bridge for a train. Well, it's now 2:45 p.m. and I'm still waiting for a train. At one time there were 9 of us under the bridge waiting to catch out. Now it's just me and another guy. The "other guy" finally gave up (I don't blame him) and it was just me waiting until 1:30 am the next morning when they finally ran a Bakersfield train! It was the WCBRM. I got to Bakersfield at 8:00 am and slept just about all the way to Roseville, where I am now at 4:30 pm. Light fog and overcast. After only about 15 minutes at the west end of Antelope we flew down the main and on up north without even stopping - my kind of train! Got into Dunsmuir at 1:00 am. Shelley came and got me. Phew!

 

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