NOTE: DO NOT
ATTEMPT TO VISIT THE BROOKLYN ROUNDHOUSE UNLESS YOU ARE INVITED.
IT IS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITH LOTS OF MOVING EQUIPMENT.
TESPASSING IS ILLEGAL ON RAILROAD PROPERTY.
The host for my first visit to
Brooklyn Roundhouse was Chris Fussell, the owner of the former Amtrak
F40phr 231 which we will see later. My second visit was courtesy
of Jim Abney, retired Amtrak engineer, and Spokane, Portland &
Seattle Railway 700 steam locomotive engineer, and Pacific Northwest
historian. The SP&S 700 does run on occasion, so plan to be
in the Portland area in late June 2008, when she will be running on the
Oregon Pacific Railroad. Go to the SP&S 700 site
The SP&S 700 is a 4-8-4 'Northern' built by Baldwin in 1938, now
owned by the City of Portland. According to the
SP&S.org web site, "she was restored after thirty years in the
weather in Oaks Park by the volunteers of the Pacific Railroad
Preservation Association (PRPA). The PRPA today maintains and
operates this grand old lady of the rails."
On Altamont Press discussion pages, a
person asked what do the numbers below 700 mean? Another person,
mjswans, on the same board, answered that "E1 (easily mistaken for EL)
is the SP&S designation for the this locomotive type. The 269
is for the weight on the drivers in thousand's of pounds
(269,000). 28/31 refers to bore and stroke of the pistons, 28
diameter bore and 31 inch stroke.
The 69 refers to tractive effort, again in thousand's of pounds
My second visit to Brooklyn
Roundhouse was courtesy of Jim Abney. In the below right
photo, the black box was built by Mr. Abney to control the diesel
locomotive behind the 700. He shared so many stories with me it
was astonishing. When running the 700, Jim has the railfan in
mind, giving you guys the great sights and sounds of the steam
locomotive while keeping the diesel sound to a minimum. I tried
for a moment to encourage Jim to write a book about his railroading
Jim opened the firebox door and
explained how the atomizer works and the path the fire takes through
the firebox and the combustion chamber
Jim provided the two photographs
below and gave permission to use them on this page. Here is an
excerpt from the email that accompanied the photos. "The (lower
left) photo was taken by Joel King when I was running the SP&S 700
in Montana and I'm standing on the engineer's side of the engine.
On the fireman's side is my fellow 700 hogger Greg Kamholz. This
4th of July we'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our
volunteering together on steam." "We both hired out on the Spokane,
Portland & Seattle Railway and I represent the third generation in
my family to do so. It's a special treat to be a hogger on the
SP&S 700 as my father ran it in the early 1950s when it was in
regular service. I believe I was born with steam instead of blood
in my arteries and veins as I have always been attracted to it."
Regarding the lower right photo, "Your fellow Californian Tom Moungovan
from Sebastopol took the picture of me as an SP&S fireman
firing the ex-Oregon-American Lumber Company #105 running as
the Vernonia, South Park & Sunset #105 on the SP&S
Vernonia branch in about 1967."
Above left photo by Joel King. Above right photo by Tom Moungovan.
Thank you to Chris Fussell and Jim
Abney for each of their fine tours of Brooklyn Roundhouse and
associated railroad equipment.