Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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Samoa Roundhouse

The Hammond Lumber Company had a logging railroad that connected with the NWP at Samoa, California. The track ran about 40 miles north to Crannell and I was given a ride on Aug. 20, 1959, again with my Kodak Brownie.

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Comment by Linda Nesbitt on June 11, 2013 at 9:13am

Love it!  Just posted it on our Facebook page (The Timber Heritage Association)...hope that's alright.

Comment by Carl Casale on June 11, 2013 at 7:08am

By the way July 27 is speeder rides at Samoa day.

Comment by Carl Casale on June 11, 2013 at 7:05am

Real nice historic photos. THA would love to see you in Eureka. Someone could show you the shops complex as it exists today.

Comment by james L. Shaw on June 10, 2013 at 10:34pm

Sean - Your note is fortuitous as I have a small 8mm movie of the ride that I made with an old Kodak camera which I would like to donate to the THA. I should be coming through Eureka this summer, around the 26th or 27th of July, so possibly you can recommend who the film should be passed on to.  I had planned to have it digitalized but this should be done in a professional manner and I’m not sure how this should be best accomplished. Per the ride up to Crannell I was only 15 at the time so my photographic skills were limited - as was my supply of film. My mother had been secretary to the chief accountant at Hammond, Mr. Telvola, up until 1955 and it was through his efforts that the ride was arranged. I rode in the caboose (No. 47) going up to Crannell and in the locomotive coming back. We took two strings of empties up. The railroad ran along the beach until it swung inland just after the airport. The roadbed was a little “rocky” as we swayed. I don’t remember the layout of the yard at Crannell but it seems to me that the caboose was uncoupled on a slight upward grade and the brake applied (freight was unloaded from the caboose onto a truck here). The train then continuing on up the track until all the empty log cars could be backed onto a long siding that also held the loaded cars we would be picking up. The engine then reverse out of the siding and came back past us using a passing track, after which it went down and reversed into the long siding to connect to the loaded cars. These were drawn out of the siding onto the main. After the switch was closed our brake was let off and we started rolling down to the end of the train, gaining speed until we made a pretty loud “clunk” coupling. The little Alco diesel then head back to the mill, the slight down grade giving it a running start. Once back at Samoa I got off the locomotive and walked over to the log pond (actually part of Humboldt Bay) to watch the log unloading. I believe the locomotive uncoupled near the roundhouse and ran back around the train to couple up to the caboose, after which the train was pulled in reverse for a short distance, then fed into the unloading siding. This siding (pictured in my sequence on the Hammond operation) had one rail about 14 inches higher than the other, thus “tipping” the cars on the log pond side. As the cars moved along the siding the train crew used mounted wooden poles to “push” the logs off the bunks. The log pond siding was rather short so I think they had to unload half the train, then pull the empties out and feed in the remaining loaded cars. That about finished a full day’s work. I went back over to Eureka on the little Madaket that same afternoon.

Comment by Sean Mitchell on June 7, 2013 at 3:33pm

I volunteer at these shops now for THA... Can you describe the ride to Crannell? Must have been amazing. 

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