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Portola RR Days 2008 Page 3

Portola Railroad Days

August 24, 2008

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network Writer

A wander down Commercial Street yielded interesting artwork and inviting places to visit.
The below artwork was on the old Masonic Temple, now the Feather River Community Arts Center.  Items such as old film cameras, paintings and housewares were for sale inside.
Across the street was kenneth Roller, Train Artist.  He produced the above artwork too.

On a visit a few months ago, I had lunch at the Station Cafe.  For RR Days, there was supposed to be wine and beer tasting on the front lawn of the Pullman Inn, but none was noticed.  I entered the house to inquire about that but was taken in by the interior decoration which is completely in train oriented.  I would definitely consider staying at this bed and breakfast.

Western Pacific Railroad Museum

No visit to Portola would be complete without a visit to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.  Even though I had done a whirlwind visit in May, I had some urgent business there.  First was the presence of UP 6936, the world's only working DD-40.  A museum volunteer was in the locomotive cab.  Second was to procure a nice WP shirt for the California Zephyr private car ride through Western Nevada, Portola and the Feather River Canyon for tomorrow.

Click here for Western Pacific RR Museum photos from this trip.

The DD40, two locomotives on one frame.  Imagine that, 547,000 pounds of machine rides on 8 axles.
Another visitor was on hand.  The UP 1983 is a Western Pacific heritage paint scheme engine.
I happened upon the old rotary snowplow which was spinning her blades and tooting her horn.  I got some shots of gauges, round windshield wiper, and its innerds.
Below, a different view of UP 6936 from Silver Hostel, a CZ dome car whichis undergoing restoration  The project manager, Eugene Vicknair (above right), a design engineer, was giving a tour of Silver Hostel to a Porsche  club.  Mr. Vicknair gave our group the museum tour on the prior trip in May 2008.
A speeder was taking visitors on rides.  The blue sky in Plumas County was perfect.
Below is a view of museum equipment set out for display.  The photo was taken the next day from the moving California Zephyr train on its westbound reroute through the Feather River Canyon.  There will be a complete report of this journey .

Interested in visiting Portola?  There is a wealth of information online and in print with many maps and brochures describing Plumas County's various offerings ranging from nature and camping to gofing, mountain and road biking, snowmachining, downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, angling and hunting.  There are many lakes in the area for fishing, canoeing, boating and waterskiing.  Two major lakes, Lake Davis and Frenchman Reservoir can be driven to.  History buffs can visit a number of museums other than the Western Pacific RR Museum.  As far as flora and fauna, Plumas Counaty offers many species of birds to view and seasonally, there are spring flowers and fall tree colors. Depending where you are in Plumas County, summer can be warm to hot  while winter can bring snow, therefore, four seasons.  There are fun and interesting events year round with ski racing, Portola RR Days, arts and crafts fairs, Cowboy Poetry, July 4th celebrations and fireworks, and just plain old railfanning.  Services such as accomodations, dining, entertainment, and shopping are available in most Plumas County communities and towns.

Useful Links:

Trains Unlimited, Tours

Plumas County Visitors Bureau

City of Portola

Western Pacific Railroad Museum

Richard Elgenson RailNews Site