View single post by jtrain
 Posted: Wed Aug 19th, 2015 02:36 am
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Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana USA
Posts: 1000

These first couple of photos comes from the Fort/Museum in Missoula.  The museum has amassed a collection of railroad artifacts, equipment, and structures.  Most impressive (to me) is the collection of logging equipment.  This first photo is of a rare, Willamette Shay Locomotive.  These locomotives were built near the end of the logging railroad era in the Northwest and were primarily used in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Montana and Idaho.  The design was supposed to be improved over the original shay design and could pull marginally better loads and use less fuel.  Most of these locomotives were oil-burning, including the one in Missoula.  What's nice about this museum is that you can get up-close and personal with this locomotive.  I have detailed pictures of the drive system, suspension, frame, cab interior, and pilots for anyone interested.

Behind the Willamette shay, there is a log loader and a couple types of log cars which I do not know the names to.  This loader, from what I can tell, would be transported via a flatcar and then unloaded to the ground or mounted onto a platform that would allow log cars to be loaded.  I think this would make a great model.

As seen from the front.

The site contains a few buildings and railroad artifacts plus, obviously, a short piece of track.  Behind the depot quite a distance is a trolley barn that houses a couple of restored trollies and a lot of other info.  The barn was closed last time I was there, so alas, no photos yet.

The depot (and I'm guessing surrounding structures) came from Drummond, Montana.  The depot also houses many smaller depot artifacts and a model train display.

For someone wanting a very interesting subject to model, here it is.  This is a crew transport and equipment car.  Rather than use a very expensive locomotive to haul a few people into the woods, lumber companies often had these cars built, mostly from scratch, in their own tool shops.  Kind of like a Galloping Goose, this car had a small gas engine mounted inside or underneath (not quite sure about that part) and would have a chain drive to one of the axles.  This car could haul an additional trailer car as well as about 20 men plus equipment for a day's worth of logging.  While practices varied company to company, many logging companies in Montana seemed to prefer building temporary settlements (or the occasional rail-based log camp in steep terrain) and would branch out from there, with the tracs varying season to season.  It's important to note that many logging companies, and their employees, came from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan before the White Pine timber stands were used up and thus, many logging practices in the Great Lakes region crossed over into Montana and the Northwest region.


Last edited on Wed Aug 19th, 2015 02:58 am by jtrain

James W.

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