Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/4/22 6:40 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

In some of those shots the rails have nearly sunken completely into the ground. I'm guessing this line was abandoned sometime in the 80's and the rails ripped up shortly afterward?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/4/22 9:31 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

By that point, the Milwaukee Road was pretty much a shambling corpse. Management had pretty much checked out of running a railroad in '57 and had become focused on finding a merger partner. They had allowed the Burlington Northern merger to go through without asking the ICC for any concessions, they chased mergers with pretty much any company interested, and they began a number of financial shell games to make their finances look better in the short term at the expense of long-term health. They sold a their cars off and then leased them back, they deferred maintenance on locomotives and physical plant, they tore down the electrification of the Pacific Coast Extension right before the fuel crisis hit rather than perform the upgrade that GE was willing to do for pennies on the dollar.

For a lot of branch lines, rather than repair the roadbed, they instead came up with workarounds with locomotives. Lashing together 3-5 EMD SW1s was one method. They also had Alco RSC-2ms, which were the old A1A-truck RSC-2s but with 251 engine swaps and RS-36-style noses.

They also had EMD cook up the SDL39, with the L standing for Lightweight. It was a GP38 frame with a GP39's 2250hp turbocharged V12 645E3 and unusual C trucks that were designed for export usage. The 3-axle trucks under the shorter frame meant they had a smaller fuel tank, because they had less space. That gave them a weird stubby look.

Milwaukee Road also ordered all of their early 6-axle road switchers (SD7s, SD9s, H-16-66s) with smaller fuel tanks yo reduce weight and allow them to run on their really decrepit branches.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/5/22 6:49 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

The line I got to ride speeders on as kid was former Milwaukee Road(KB&S), and even as a kid it was obviously in pretty rough shape compared to the SCL line through town. However, compared to those pics it was like a modern Class-I in comparison! The roadbed was nicely graded, at least a few feet above the surrounding area, and there were several long fills along the route. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 12:12 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Milwaukee Road probably had the hardest fall from grace. They were a transcontinental railroad (the last built), they had 120mph Hiawathas tearing up the tracks between Chicago and the Twin Cities with some cats and Skytop Lounges, they had the largest mainline electrification in the US, they commanded 75% of all freight traffic in and out of Seattle. And then it was all gone. They deelectrified at the worst time imaginable, then gave up their transcontinental status (the only one to do so), passenger was largely relegated to getting UP trains in and out of Chicago and scruffy local runs, 25% of their fleet out of service and daily derailments in the double digits.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:12 p.m.

Those SkyTop Lounge observation cars that Milwaukee Road had were just the absolute coolest.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:16 p.m.

Ailing Milwaukee Road E-units lead Amtrak train #9, North Coast Hiawatha, out of Chicago. To add insult to injury, this formerly Milwaukee Road train appears to be using cars entirely from the archrival Hill Lines. I see stainless-steel CB&Q cars, some Northern Pacific two-tone green, some Great Northern "Big Sky Blue", and the rare Burlington Northern Cascade Green and white.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:21 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:22 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:24 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:25 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:25 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:27 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:28 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 2:59 p.m.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
5/5/22 3:19 p.m.
NickD said:

Those tracks look like they are waiting for someone to wave back!

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/22 5:00 p.m.

Taken out on Lines West, on the Pacific Coast Extension, I love this profile shot of the front of a Little Joe electric with a dirtbike on the front porch.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 10:31 a.m.

The same Little Joe with the motorcycle on the pilot at Drexel, Montana. Looks like there is Ford Mavericks on those auto-racks, maybe some Lincolns too.

TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
5/6/22 11:49 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

That's a good photo. I enlarged it (a lot) and I can see lots of Mavericks. On the top row a Maverick, maybe a Torino, two Rancheros, and the pole is in the way of the last car. At the far right of the picture it looks like a Chevy Monte Carlo. All from around the 1970-1972 time frame. 

Lou Manglass

P.S. Thanks for all the work you are putting into this. I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying all the knowledge you are passing along.  

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:29 p.m.

A photo of the same train from across the Regis River. Definitely looks like a Maverick, two Rancheros, and maybe a Torino or LTD at the back. Definitely a Monte Carlo on the front of the next autorack, and a whole bunch of GM trucks. Photo was from July of 1973, which was 1 year before they ceased electric operations between Avery, Idaho and Harlowton, Montana. They had already deelectrified the Coast Division between Seattle and Othello two years prior. It also demonstrates an operating procedure unique to the Milwaukee Road: they ran diesels in multiple unit with electrics. Running multiple electric locomotives on the same train risked overloading the electrical system, so they would put a single electric on the front and then back it up with multiple diesels, all controlled from the Little Joe electric. EMD actually had a proposed dual-mode SD40-2 for the MILW, which would have been like an FL9, where it operated as a diesel in non-electrified territory and then they could raise a pantograph and power the traction motors off the catenary in electric territory.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:29 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:30 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:37 p.m.

A GP9, an older EF-1 box cab electric, and a Little Joe, all laying over at Avery, Idaho. Between Avery and Othello, Washington was a 200 mile gap in the electrification that was never filled by the Milwaukee Road

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:37 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 12:38 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 1:55 p.m.

Less than nine days after electric freight service ceased entirely, EMD diesels head east at Beverly, Washington under lines that hadn't seen a pantograph in 2 years.

And that is officially post #5000 in this thread. Funny enough, this thread actually is on the leaderboard of most active topics.

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