Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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This is my first ever blog. So, here it goes.

Eureka Yard Remains

When I visited Eureka in Nov.09, I tried to find as many remnants of the NWP as I could. However I was limited at the time because my wife was on board and let's just say that she is not a railfan and leave it at that. I found the display at Scotia and the roundhouse at Samoa and the trestle at South Fork. But what I really wanted to do was find what's left of the Eureka Yard. This I wasn't able to do . There is an excellent air plane reconnaissance photo of the yard facility in the NWPRRNetwork photos which showns a round house, loop track ,storage tracks and a four track mainline. How much of this is still around?

Pipe Dream

If you've seen the photos that I took at the Niles Canyon Railway Steam Fest 2010, you can imagine what a similar operation would be like in the Eureka area. One of my favorite daydreams,lately, is a steam locomotive pulling a mixed consist from Samoa to South Fork. When the NCRY had to move out of Castro Point in 1980, and when they arrived in Niles Canyon there was nothing there but the ROW. Since then, they have slowly grown into the first Class Railway they are now. The community has warmed up to the idea over time to the point that the City of Niles moved the original station back to Niles (see station photo) to augment NCRY's operation. Sunol's old station was also found, donated and returned to the site. The point I'm trying to make is, slow and steady wins the race and rebuilds the railroad. The more the public can see what you are doing, the more they will participate with volunteers, donations of funds and materials,etc. I doubt if the Eel River division will be restored for a long time. I hope it eventually is,but this delay might give the railfans of Eureka the time to establish itself as a first class railway in its own right.

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Comment by Cyrus Gillespie on July 10, 2010 at 12:43pm
Paul, I too just was up around the upper part of the Eureka yards on July 4th, 2010. Everything railyard related is fenced off. The stranded engines are up by the prefab metal yard office. I too was pressed for time as I was heading back home to Roseville. I also saw three heavily rusted side dump cars on the other side of Commercial across from where the stranded engines are. Yesterday I looked thru the Shuster aerial photos and didn't realize how large a terminal Eureka was in the steam days. Unfortunately the marine air has really started to take its toll on the equipment stranded up there along with the local youth.
Comment by Jim Harville on April 8, 2010 at 7:34pm
Paul, check out my album 'NWP08' for some shots of the balloon track property I took about a year before your trip. Coincidentally, it was also November when I took the pictures. The entire area is fenced off, but you can still see the turntable, as well as the foundation of the fuel oil bunker. All of the track inside the loop was removed years ago, along with most of the classification tracks and supporting spurs in the area.

I got a few shots of the stranded locomotives and some of the remaining industrial spurs while I was up there, and pics of the balloon track property from several different angles. I had told Mark that I would add descriptions to those pictures, I better quit procrastinating!

Along with the aerial photos from the Schuster collection, you should also take a look at the NWP SPINS docs that Mark has scanned in. I believe it is right next to the Schuster album on Marks album page. These show the trackage from San Rafael to Samoa circa the '70s, and also lists the industries served! An EXCELLENT resource, I printed it out and keep it on my desk!

I grew up in that area in the '60s and '70s, so if you have any questions feel free to ask. :)

JMH

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