Day 1, Thursday, 09/07/00
Gassed up in Draper, "What do you mean you want most of a C-note for 60 gallons", and headed for Helper. Thought I may get lucky and catch the #6 or the "Z" train. Got to Soldier Summit at 0800 and the scanner went off. Both trains were in a drag race at Wash. "O"Well, so much for that.
There were three A/C units parked on top. Didn't think much about it until Sunday while talking to a BNSF engineer friend of mine. They were the three units that went on the ground at Scofield. They were in the process of digging out the mud and getting them ready to move. Needless to say, they were long gone when I returned Monday.
Pulled into Helper Yard to look around. Not much going on. They were in the process of making up the Dirt train. The regular T-2's except SP 5412. Declined to follow it.
Headed out of town south on Utah 10 to check out Wattis, Hiawatha and Mohrland. The only coal coming from Wattis is by truck now. Got a picture of the loadout.
Hiawatha is in the process of being reclamed and locked up tight. Can not even cross the tracks. Mohrland still has the tracks in place but very rusty. Picture follows.
Went on up the canyon and found a few pieces of junk here and there. Got a picture of King Mine #2 portal.
There is the remains of one building. In a couple of spots there are still rails in some of the concrete slabs.
Decided I had better head back to Helper and see what kind of action was going on. On the way back, I decided to get a picture of a lone pumpjack for the Oil page in the Mining section.
These bring back memories of the days in 1961 when I was working NE of Cisco as a roughneck on a small wildcat rig. One of my jobs twice a week was to service a pumpjack on a nearby well. The engine was a one lunger that ran on the residual gas in the well. You had to stop the engine, check it out, and restart it. There was a trick to it. You had to stop the pump at the top of it's stroke. That made it easy to restart as it had all the weight of the pump shaft to help. How do you restart?? Hand crank of course. Direct drive, no clutch. If it did not restart, it would stop at the bottom of the stroke. Unless you were a three hundred pound gorilla, you had your work cutout.
Most all of them today are run by an electric computer controlled motor. I made a run out to the old drill site where I once worked just for the memory of it. They have power now, but one of the wells is still pumped the old way.
While I was taking the pumpjack picture, the scanner went off. I heard a Utah coal call for help. Back in truck and full speed ahead. Did not stop in Helper but headed to Martin. They were in the process of adding help so headed to Utah RY Junction to wait them out. A short time later I heard it coming. To my suprise, there were four Utah RY units on the point. Normally they use UP power.
I than made a quick trip up to Nolan Tunnel. Only one shot came out half way good. Some times you do not win. I caught this one of the units coming out the west end of the tunnel. A little bit of smoke.
Back in the truck again and off to Kyune. Went to get a shot facing east and got that dreaded digital sign, "FULL DISK". Mad scramble to change out the disk. Got lucky and got this shot looking west from the bridge.
Next it was the dash for Colton. I took three shots, but the light was wrong. Headed back Nolan to catch more action. Only had to wait about five minutes and here came an east bound BNSF "M" train.
Next in line was a UP coal with six T-2's cut in. Not very much smoke.
The next two in line are the Utah RY help running light back to Martin and the Rio Grande help heading to Helper.
You probably wonder why I spent so much time at Nolan. First off, it was a busy afternoon and I was talking to a Gentleman from VT. This was his second trip to the Helper area. Why do I call him a Gentleman? He was twenty years older than me for starters.
I got back to Helper at 1900 and headed for the yard. There was a west bound CWR train tied down. All the flats were gray DRGW. I grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the yard. About that time a UP coal from the CV Spur pulled into town. I had seen it earlier in the day on the way back from Mhorland. They had been having trouble all day. Normally there are three units on the point and they cut in help in the middle. This one was running 2+1 DPU. After cutting in six T-2's in the middle and everything hooked up, they cut in the air. A big BOOM. Ooops!! Lets try that again. Finally got out of town at 2000.
Headed back to the Price River Inn and put in a 0530 wake up call. Not too bad of a day.
Last Update 01/28/01
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