Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Flying Fast in Pomona

The picture on the front of this post card is of a steam-powered trolley car, "The North Pomona Flier". It was in service in Southern California providing transportation to Pomona, Chino, and Ontario, Calfornia in or about the year 1897, when this picture was taken. The following information was gleaned from this website: The thriving city of Pomona was founded in 1875, and soon grew large enough to support street railways The first four lines were operated by horses, but the last was spectacular; on it operated by "North Pomona Flier", a steam Dummy Line combining passenger car and locomotive in one vehicle—it went huffing and puffing down the street, billowing clouds of smoke and steam, visual evidence to the awe inspired citizenry that the machine age had arrived. The "North Pomona Flier" operated from Garey Avenue & Bertie Street, Pomona, north along Garey Avenue, Orange Grove Avenue, Hiwasse Street, Laurel Street to Railroad Street, then went west to a point opposite the Santa Fe Station in North Pomona. It operated continuously from November or December, 1887 to November, 1907. During 1895 the SP acquired control and operated it until operation ceased. SP then sold the line to Pacific Electric (PE) giving PE its first entry into Pomona. PE tore up the old rail on Garey Avenue and put down an electric railway constructed of 70-lb. steel rails. PE did retain enough Pomona Street Railway real estate to furnish a site for its substation at Garey & Bertie streets. PE at once began the development of its Pomona city lines, doing the work through the PE Land Company. This work was performed from 1 October 1907 to 15 September 1911. When completed, the Pomona city lines aggregated to 10.43 miles of equivalent single track, 0.06 mile spurs and sidings.
This post cards was published and distributed by the Olde Tyme Photo Cards Bicentennial Station in Los Angeles, California. I have five post cards from Olde Tyme Photo Cards in my collection. The post card was first printed in 1976.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Cahuenga - Little Hills

The railroad that is featured in these two post cards is a "Dummy Line" that ran between Los Angeles and Hollywood in the late 19th and early 20th centures. A Dummy Line is a term used in railroading to describe railroad tracks that did not connect communities nor seem have any serious direction to them. This Dummy Line was named the Cahuenga Valley Railroad. Cahuenga is the Spanish word for the community of Indigenous Peoples (Tongva and Tataviam) that lived in the area. It means "Little Hills". With the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885 Southern California experienced the fastest growth that had been know up to that time. In about 1883 Harvey Henderson Wilcox moved to Los Angeles from Topeka, Kansas; ultimately founding Hollywood in 1888. Mr. Wilcox made considerable money opening subdivisions but he sold little land in Hollywood to the newcomers. He moved one of his farm houses to Cahuenga Avenue, gave up his ornate Los Angeles home and made the move to Hollywood permanently. Mr. Wilcox was not frightened by the bursting of the boom in 1889. He cut up his 160 acre ranch with avenues and lined his streets with pepper trees.
Wilcox persuaded the Cahuenga Valley Railroad to extend its steam dummy line up Western Avenue and out Prospect Avenue (now Hollywood Boulevard) to Wilcox Avenue. The Cahuenda Valley Railroad was a dummy line that was built to a narrow gauge. Its sole purpose was to move people across the Cahuenga Pass into the Hollywood area. The train shown on the front of this post card belonged to that Railroad. Tourists began to come, and some bought ranches, but not enough to keep the line running. Then E.C. Hurd, a wealthy Colorado miner arrived. He bought acreage at the corner of Wilcox and Prospect and put in an immense lemon orchard, spending $50,000 for water. Hurd bought out the Cahuenga Valley Railroad and extended it to Laurel Canyon.
The train on the front of this post card is shown sitting in front of Mr. Hurd's home. Hurd's purchase and extension of the line was somewhat of a help, but Hollywood was only a fair success. In 1892 Wilcox had died, land poor. Hurd followed him a few years later. In the meantime, the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway bought the Cahuenga Valley Railroad, standardized the gauge (1908) and electrified it. Up to 1900 there were not more than 500 people in Hollywood and most of them came only after the electric cars began running through to Santa Monica from Los Angeles. The cars brought tourists, and at Cahuenga Avenue delivered them to C.M. Pierce (later to be the operator and chief tour guide of the Balloon Route Trolley Trip), who drove them around the valley in a tallyho hand gave them a chicken dinner at the Glen-Holl Hotel, all for 75¢. This hotel, a rambling frame structure stood at Ivar and Yucca. After dinner the tourists retook the car on to the beach. The railroad line was abandoned and removed in 1915.
Both of these post cards are published and distributed by the Olde Tyme Photo Cards Bicentennial Station in Los Angeles, California. These two post cards represent 40% of the total of post cards from Olde Tyme Photo Cards. Both were printed between 1963 and 1983. 1963 is when Zip Codes were introduced and 1983 is when the 5-digit zip code had four more digits added to make it a 9-digit zip code.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Prairie Dog Central Railway

The Prairie Dog Central Railway is a heritage railway northwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. The picture on the front of this post card
is a train being pulled by City of Winnipeg Hydro No. 3. It is a 4-4-0 (Ammerican) in the Whyte nomenclature of classification of locomotives. It was built by Dubs & Company in Glasgow, Scotland. The Vintage Locomotive Society, Inc. operates excursions June through September. This is their webiste: The Prairie Dog Central Railway is a short line railway owned and operated by The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc. a Registered Charity, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and operation of a vintage steam locomotive and train. Events generally depart at 11:00 AM and we travel directly to Grosse Isle, approximately a 50 to 60-minute train ride. The stopover is approximately 75 to 90 minutes depending on the entertainment. Our arrival time back at Inkster Junction Station is approximately 2:45 PM. Initiated in 1970 by The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc., the first operations were in July, 1970. From 1970–1974, the train operated out of Charleswood on the now-abandoned Canadian National Cabot Subdivision. From 1975 to 1996 the train operated out of St. James, immediately west of Polo Park on a now abandoned Canadian National Railways line. Locomotive No. 3 is a 4-4-0 built in 1882 by Dübs and Company in Glasgow, Scotland, for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later for the City of Winnipeg Hydro. From 2001 to 2009, it underwent a complete frame-off overhaul, including the manufacture of a new boiler. No. 3 is the oldest operating steam locomotive in Canada. They also own a diesel locomotive; 4138 is a classic EMD GP9 which was built in November 1958 by Electro-Motive Division of General Motors at La Grange, Illinois for the Grand Trunk Western. A GP9 model, it has 1,750 horsepower (1,300 kW).
The photo on the front was taken by D. Shores. The post card was published by The Vintage Locomotive Society, Inc. P.O. Box 33021 L155 - 1485 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3G 0W4. They did not operate in 2020 because of the Covid virus. You may want to ride the train later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Going Up and Over in New Mexico

The front of this post card shows two steam locomotives very close to each other, but not one attached to the other. This is because these engines
are going up Raton Pass on the Santa Fe Railroad line.
Raton Pass is a 2,388 meter high (7,835 ft) mountain pass between New Mexico and Colorado. It stretches from Raton, New Mexico and Trinidad, Colorado. It is northeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico and straight south of Puebl0, Colorado, but not close to either of them; it is approximately 290 km northeast of Santa Fe on the border between the two states. Captain William Becknell discovered the pass while he was surveying for the Santa Fe Trail in 1821. This pass was part of the route between Kansas City and Santa Fe when the pioneers were out to settle the West. Today you can travel on Interstate 25 through the pass.
During the 1800s, the pass was the main route into New Mexico for the Santa Fe Railroad as it's primary route through the mountains. Unfortunately, the route over the pass included gradients of up to 3.5%. That is why you see two engines on the front of this post card. There was always a locomotive around to help the scheduled trains get up and over the pass. Finally having enough of this, the Santa Fe began work on the "Belen Cutoff" in October of 1902. It's completion in 1908 meant that the trains no longer had to negotiate the steep grades of the Raton Pass. They could glide (in comparison) over a maximum grade of 1.25%. Having said that, Amtrak still used the pass twice a day for its passenger service.
The post card comes from early in the Divided Back Era (March 31, 1907 - 1915); it was mailed on April 20, 1907. Williamson-Haffner Company was a publisher of lithographic souvenir books and view-cards of the American West. While their views were largely based on photographic reproduction, many scenes were artist drawn. They also produced comic postcards. They were based in Denver, Colorado and only existed from 1905 to 1910. The author of this post card was lucky to find one made by this publisher.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Way, Way Up There!!!

The train on the front of this post card is crossing the Pecos River near where it meets the Rio Grande River in Texas. The train and railroad was originally owned by the Texas & New Orleans Railroad. This railroad, along with many of its own subidiaries, eventually became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad System. The following information was gleaned from a couple of sites on Wikipedia. The Texas and New Orleans Railroad
was chartered as the Sabine and Galveston Bay Railroad and Lumber Company in 1856, and was formed to build a railroad from Madison (now Orange) in Orange County to tidewater at Galveston Bay. Ground breaking was on August 27, 1857 outside Houston and real construction work began in April, 1858. In late 1876 the railroad’ gauge was converted from 5 ft 6 in to standard gauge. In 1878 the Texas and New Orleans, Charles Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad and Steamship Company, and the Louisiana Western Railroad Company reached an agreement and the line was finished from Orange to New Orleans. The Louisiana Western Extension Railroad Company was chartered in Texas to build from Orange to the Louisiana boundary and the first through train ran from Houston to New Orleans on August 30, 1880. 1881 C. P. Huntington, acting for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, bought the Texas and New Orleans as well as many other railroads in the southern United States. As a result of this acquiring of railroads by Southern Pacific, The Texas and New Orleans Railroad found itself as part of a major transcontinental route. In 1882, The T&NO made over $1,500,000 and owned 36 locomotives as well as over 1000 pieces of rolling stock. Also in 1882 the T&NO acquired the 103-mile (166 km) Sabine and East Texas Railway Company. Many more companies were merged into T&NO from 1880 to 1900. In 1934 all of the railroads that the T&NO was leasing were merged into T&NO, making it the largest Texas railroad with 3,713 miles (5,975 km) of road (not all in Texas). On November 1, 1961 the remaining 3,385 miles (5,448 km) merged into the Southern Pacific and the T&NO ceased to exist. Trains on the Sunset Route of the Southern Pacific lines have crossed the Pecos River on three different bridges, completed in 1883, 1892, and 1944. The most famous was the 1892 Pecos High Bridge, for many years the highest railroad bridge in North America. On the original Sunset Route, completed in 1883, a low bridge was located at the mouth of the Pecos River, where it joins the Rio Grande. To reach this crossing, trains between Comstock and Langtry had to follow a winding route called the Loop Line, which descended southward down steep grades into the canyons of the Rio Grande, passed through two tunnels and deep cuts, and ran along ledges where the danger of rock slides was constant. In 1892 the Pecos crossing was moved northward five miles upstream from the junction with the Rio Grande, in order to eliminate the Loop Line and shorten the rail distance between San Antonio and El Paso by eleven miles. The new line reached the Pecos at a point where the river flows through a deep gorge. The Pecos High Bridge was built there in only eighty-seven working days, between November 3, 1891, and February 20, 1892. Some colorful legends of Judge Roy Bean date from these days, when he served as coroner after construction accidents. The first train to cross the bridge was a special carrying C. P. Huntington, president of the Southern Pacific, on March 30, 1892. The 1892 high bridge was built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and was of the metal viaduct style with cantilever center sections. It was supported by twenty-four towers and had a total length of 2,180 feet. The rails stood 321 feet above the river. The bridge was thus the highest railroad bridge in North America and the third highest in the world (exceeded only by the 401-foot Garabit Viaduct in France, built in 1884, and the 336-foot Loa Viaduct in Bolivia, built in 1889). For many years it was a tradition for trains to pause near the bridge and proceed slowly so that passengers could view the canyon, the landmark bridge, and the river below. In 1909 and 1910 the structure was significantly reinforced, the original four-leg central towers were converted to six-leg towers, and the length was reduced to 1,516 feet by a filled embankment at the west end. Additional reinforcement was added in 1929. Finally, with the increased rail traffic during World War II, it became clear that a new, heavier structure was needed. Construction was begun in August 1943 at a site 440 feet downstream from the 1892 bridge. The 1892 bridge was dismantled in 1949, with sections sold to highway departments and local governments in several states. The back of the post card tells us that part of the bridge is used to cross the Wabash River in the state of Indiana.
The post card as rounded corners; not very many of the post cards in my collection do. It was published by Kustom Quality out of El Paso, Texas. I know it was published after 1963 because there is a zip code included in the company's address. It is still in existence today, although they don't have a website.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Logs!! Lots of Logs!!!!!!

This black and white picture is on the front of a "Real Photo" postcard.
You can see on the right-hand side of the card that the locomotive belongs to the "Columbia and N..." Scratched onto the picture, in the top, is are the words, "Columbia and Nehalem R.R. yard B. Goe. and J.T. Labbe collecton" I have written the narrative below about the Columbia and Nehalem Railroad. I have taken content from these two websites, which I encourage to visit: On March 7, 1902, the partners by the surnames of Goodsell, Giltner, and Sewell of Portland form a company. They plan a train terminal at Columbia City and another at Pittsburg. Columbia City is north of Portland Oregon on the Columbia River, just after the river turns north, and Pittsburg is west of that about 25 miles. On April 25, 1902, The Columbia City Railroad (to be renamed to the Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad) is designed to be 10-12 miles long and will run from Columbia city westward to the waters of Oak Ranch Creek. It will use 6 logging engines. Four years later, on June 29, 1906, a large timber land deal was made. 5,000 acres were sold by Giltner and Sewell to Peninsular Lumber Co. for $200,000. The deal includes a logging railroad five miles long with dockage on the Columbia River front near Columbia City. The sales price is based on stumpage of $1.25 per thousand. The Peninsular Lumber Company operates a sawmill near St. Johns and will raft logs up river (another 25 miles) to the mill. Enter Albert S. Kerry. Albert S Kerry’s venture into the logging and lumber industry dates as far back as the 1890s and spanned the state of Washington and the Canadian Yukon Territory. Kerry’s Oregon venture, the subject of this article, dates as far back as 1912, when Albert S. Kerry apparently united with the Wright Blodgett Company, the Blodgett Company, Limited and the Oregon-Washington Timber Company to build a new railroad from the Columbia River into the Nehalem Valley. Significant building of the railroad towards the Nehalem valley began in approximately 1912, when some 6000 acres of A.S. Kerry timber holdings had burned. To salvage the dead trees, they have to be logged within three years. Construction of the railroad began on February 17, 1913 at a point near the Columbia River, called Kerry Island, a little more than 1 mile east of the town of Westport, Oregon. By June, 1914, 8 miles had been completed. A year later, the mileage was 14. By July 1, 1915, the first train ran over the line. By July 16, 1916, the initial mainline of the new Columbia & Nehalem River railroad was completed with 24 miles of track laid. By the end of the year, the line would reach 27 miles. This route would take the line from nearly sea level to straight up the North Oregon Coast Mountain Range, an elevation over 1100 feet, and into the Nehalem River Valley. It was nearly all completed by labor using hand-made carts, pulled by mules over 20lb steel rails. At the summit, the line passed through one of the few logging railroad tunnels ever to be built. The line begins at the log boom at Kerry Island, which consisted of about three miles of water frontage along the Columbia River slough. A log dump trestle approximately 1 mile long was built, with as many as 6 separate log dumps. A separate spur left the log dump and connected with the Spokane Portland & Seattle RR, (I have blogged about this railroad and its shrewd owner on March 23, 2022) which ran past the Kerry log dump. The Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad, most commonly known as the Kerry Line, was one of the most famous early 20th century logging railroads in the Northwest. What distinguishes the Kerry line from most of the hundreds of other logging railroads that operated from the late 1800s through the 1930s in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, was the sheer number of logs that were hauled from the woods between 1915 and 1938…over 3 billion, 104 million board feet of timber. It began by pulling out all of the timber that had burned in the forest fire and just kept on continuing. Another thing that distinguishes the Kerry line from most other logging railroads was its 1875 foot long tunnel. It was one of the longest of the few logging railroad tunnels that ever existed in the Western U.S. and Canada. And one of only three logging railroad tunnels in Northwest Oregon.
The back of the post card shows that it was published by The L. L. Cook Co. of Milwaukee. All rights are reserved. I have 5 post cards in my collection from this publisher. The L.L. Cook Company was founded in 1921 and was one of the two largest postcard publishing companies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin up to the 1960s, producing thousands of postcards with scenes from different cities and states across the country. In 1969 the L.L. Cook Company was sold to the General Aniline & Film (GAF) Corporation and shifted focus from producing postcards to maintaining a photofinishing business. It formally dissolved in 1980.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

On the Turntable, Ready to Go

The train tracks that this locomotive used to run on are still in place. However, they are no longer owned by the Chicago & North Western Railroad. This article, found on the website of the current owner is worth a read: What is now the Union Pacific (UP) West line started as the Galena & Chicago Union in 1848, the first railroad in Chicago. The two other UP lines had different origins in the 1850s. Chicago & North Western (C&NW) owned all three for most of their existence. These lines passed to UP ownership when the C&NW merged with UP in 1995. UP West timetables are “Kate Shelley Rose,” named for a girl from Iowa who saved a train from disaster in 1881. The three Chicago area commuter lines that are now owned by Union Pacific spent much of their existence as part of the Chicago & North Western. Each began independently before becoming part of the C&NW: • The Northwest Line, which started as the Illinois & Wisconsin in 1854, became part of the C&NW when that system was formed in 1859. • The West Line, which began as the Galena & Chicago Union in 1848, became part of the C&NW system in 1864. • The North Line, which started as the Chicago & Milwaukee in 1854, was leased by the C&NW starting in 1866 and was bought by the C&NW in 1883. Commuter service on all three lines developed gradually, particularly in the years following the Civil War and the Chicago fire of 1871. The fire especially made living in the suburbs, away from the congestion and noise of the city, more appealing, and the railroad promoted and benefitted from the trend. By the end of the century, the railroad’s passenger terminal at Kinzie and Wells had become too small for the number of commuters and intercity passengers using it. The railroad spared no expense on a new $23 million facility, which opened on June 4, 1911, on a site bounded by Madison, Lake, Clinton and Canal. It featured a three-story, 202-by-117-foot main waiting room, a dining room, women’s rooms with writing desks and hairdressing services, smoking rooms for men, a barber shop, hospital rooms and a variety of other features. In the 1920s, the railroad improved several suburban depots and introduced some new aluminum-alloy commuter cars. It also leased a private car, the Deerpath, to wealthy businessmen on its North line in 1929. But during that same decade, the company was noticing a severe drop in local train passengers due to the growing popularity of the automobile. Like the rest of the country, the railroad was battered by the Depression in the 1930s, leading to a nine-year bankruptcy starting in 1935. The C&NW’s introduction of its famed “400” intercity trains that decade was one of the few bright spots. In the 1940s and 1950s, passenger trains continued to lose riders to the automobile and airplane. Commuter trains fared better than intercity trains but still were generally losing money. The C&NW sought to reverse that trend under new leader Ben Heineman, who came aboard in 1956. The Heineman era included catching up on deferred maintenance, modernizing ticketing and collection methods, revising schedules and adjusting fares. The railroad also replaced the commuter fleet with new bi-level coaches and shuttered about 20 close-in stations so it could concentrate on suburban service. And it rehabbed several locomotives and instituted a push-pull operation into and out of Chicago. Like other railroads in the 1960s and 1970s, the C&NW sought to deal with losses by diversifying, and by 1970 the railroad was a money-losing component of a much larger corporation. In 1972, Heineman sold the C&NW to an employee-led investment group. Two years later, the RTA was formed and it began to subsidize the region’s commuter trains. The C&NW entered a purchase-of-service agreement with the RTA, an arrangement that continues for the three lines, although the agreement is now between Metra, which started in 1984, and UP, which bought the C&NW in 1995. The post card was published by the Audio Visual Designs Company. They included the logo of the railroad in the bottom-left corner of this post card.
You can see that it matches the logo on the tender of the locomotive in the picture above. That is it below here and to the right.