Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
My father was a Maintenance of Way employee from about 1955 until the late 1970's. My brother was a Maintenance of Way employee in the 1960's. My father started in Santa Rosa and in 1961 moved to Eureka.
In the summer of 1961 his "outfit car" was parked in Bell Springs and I spent the summer swimming and tanning myself in the Eel River listening to my transistor radio. The Budd car stopped on it's way South and got a list of groceries and someone in Willits bought them and dropped them off the next day on it's way North.
I was always comfortable being alone and that was my most memorable and enjoyable summer as a teenager. When I needed company, there was an old lady that worked as Post Mistress at the Bell Springs Post Office. For a short time, my brother and sister-in-law were in walking distance at something or other Rock.
I do have a few photos, most of them around the yard in Eureka. I have a copy of the Times Standard Special Edition from the early 1960s flood that has a few photos of rail washout near Scotia.
My own career was in Radio and TV in Eureka, Medford, Sacramento, and Hollywood.
My brother and I were watching an old movie that brought up the subject of NWPRR. In our discussion of my father's time on the NWP, it came up that he spent a lot of time along the Eel River around Bell Springs "daylighting" tunnels, which is cutting the top off a mountain so that it's no longer a tunnel. This was in the late 1950's and early 1960's.
On one of those jobs he had a Cat DC6 on a mountain that was so high and so steep the DC6 could not make it up to the top on it's…Continue
Posted on June 9, 2018 at 6:00pm — 5 Comments
Does anyone have information about a derailment that happened in Willits, sometime between 1958-1960?
According to my brother, someone left a switch unlocked and two ten year old kids threw the switch while a train was going over it at about 50 MPH. It was a huge wreck that took out a massive amount of track and communication wires, and it came close to taking out the depot as well. I have been unable to unearth any trace of this on the internet. (But, I did learn that you can buy…Continue
Posted on June 17, 2016 at 8:54pm — 4 Comments
My brother, now nearing age 76, worked for NWP in 1958 & 1959 and probably part of 1960. We were watching a 1930's movie about a runaway train that had been sabotaged and it reminded him of an incident at the Island Mountain Tunnel and the trestle at the South entrance. Perhaps another old timer will recall the incident.
It was another case of the Eel River raging out of control and Charlie Neal was on the scene. He feared the river was going to wash out the trestle and he…Continue
Posted on June 15, 2016 at 10:11am — 8 Comments
My brother as well as my father worked for NWP and we recently had a discussion about his time with NWP. He was Maintenance of Way in the Electrical Department. He did some work on crossings, but the majority of the time he worked on phone and teletype lines.
He said that he was at Fort Seward during most of 1958 and 1959 and worked as far South as Bell Springs.
I asked him about the Island Mountain Tunnel, but most of what he talked about was the trestle on the South…Continue
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 6:19pm — 2 Comments