Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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From the YouTube information:

"Sonoma County is the place for a little digging into the early history of California. One, the location for the short lived Sonoma Prismoid railroad, two the town of Wingo (population 1) built for the purposes of the steamboat landing, three the remnants of a Southern Pacific Railroad swing bridge during their short venture into Sonoma county in the 19th century. In situations where one is looking in these out of the way locations, be very careful that you don't trespass. Some property owners don't appreciate strangers."

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Comment by Tommy Tommy on March 11, 2014 at 5:04pm

Dave, Cool pictures. On the bottom side of the concrete counterweight there are two bits of graffiti that say "opened". I read the modeling instructions and it's cool to see the  hollow part of the counterweight with the concrete weights that finetune the bridge's balance. 

Good video Andrew! What a cool little ghosttown. 

Comment by Dave S. on November 26, 2010 at 9:38am
In the 1970's and 1980's I was very interested in the NWP as I lived in southern Marin. I noticed the Wingo bridge on the maps, but never actually explored the bridge until recently (November 2010). I've attached a few images which might help answer some questions below. First of all, I was surprised that, unlike other minor bridges on the NWP, this one looks like it will still open. Under the counterweight, shielded from the weather somewhat, there is an informal record of bridge openings. The most recent date is from 2007! However, the bridge currently lacks the mitre-cut rails you would normally find on movable spans. To raise this bridge you would first need to unbolt the rails on both the east and west approaches. My informal inspection reveals that this bridge was lifted and lowered using a pull chain (which is currently padlocked), like a roll-up door. There are many gear reductions that make this possible, but I imagine that it would take several minutes pulling, if not longer, to rock this bridge up or down. I say "rock" because this is a very unique (to me) design, called a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge. (See excellent article cited by Thomas Beutel below )

Someone below states that a handle (near the east approach) was used to control a motor to drive this bridge up and down. I doubt that for two reasons: the gear reductions and pull-chain mechanism are all overhead. If there was a motor it seems that it would need to be up there with the rest of the drive mechanics. Also, in the article just cited, the author (in 1969) mentions quite clearly that this was a hand-operated bridge. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the hand leaver was used to move the mitre cut rails in and out of position. The only way to know for sure would be to inspect the bridge from below, which I'm not going to do.

Comment by Joseph Muller on July 17, 2010 at 12:53pm
You might want to check out a program called handbrake for ripping video off of a DVD. Works on PC and Mac, so you should be able to generate something like a mp4 for upload.

Also, has anyone verified whether or not the Wingo Bridge still can be raised and lowered?
Comment by Bob Burns on July 17, 2010 at 8:05am
Hopefully it will all come together someday, I wouldn't know where to start. Great to have Andrew here now, I'd still like to get a copy of his video to send to my older brothers that I'm sure remember more about Schellville than I do. Bob B.
Comment by Mark Drury on July 16, 2010 at 11:08pm
Indeed, Bob, I'm still trying to figure out how to rip the DVD you sent me so that I can share the video on the network, but haven't had any luck thus far. Will keep trying, and thanks again for sending! Regards,

Mark D.
Comment by Bob Burns on July 16, 2010 at 7:21pm
Welcome to the forum and agreat job on the Wingo video! Mark has a copy of a DVD I obtained from the Depot Museum in Sonoma. There is a segment in it about Wingo, the drawbridge and a brief interview of a fellow that was a bridge tender in Wingo for the NWP. He tells how the bridge operated. That person was my cousin Anto Werner, who owned the Blacksmith Shop across the tracks from the Schellville RR Depot. Good to have you aboard! Regards, Bob Burns
Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on July 16, 2010 at 4:22pm
Hello all. I'm the one who made this video. The problems I had making this thing would make a good video itself. Any questions you have, please ask. In any case, is there anyone who could help me finish my Wingo project?
Comment by Bob Burns on May 17, 2010 at 8:06pm
Great info on how the Wingo Bridge operated!
Thanks, Bob B.
Comment by Thomas Beutel on May 17, 2010 at 8:45am
Nice video! Here's a 1967 article on the bridge at Wingo explaining how to build the bridge in HO scale.
Comment by Bob Burns on March 5, 2010 at 6:31pm
Hi Mark,
The news report was about the snow in Colfax while watching it I notice the reporter was standing in front of what looked like the side of a Caboose THEN I focused in on the NWP in the backround. I haven't been into Colfax in years they must have some kind of static display there somewhere. Regards, Bob B.
To save time and my slow typing here is a cut & paste of a reply to Jim Harville this will answer some of the questions you asked:
"Hi Jim,
Thanks for the nice comments, I know a little about the Sonoma-Schellville-Petaluma areas (good bad and the ugly) due to being born and raised there most of my life. My grandfather bought the property from Mr. Schell in the early 1910-18 era I think, I'd have to dig out the deed. That property would become "Neumans" Auto Court. After my mothers death when I was about 2.5 years old I lived with my grandparents, they had already sold out and retired in 1948, until of school age. So due to that I got to meet the old timers from their era and hear some of their stories. Neuman's was a mecca for those wanting to "get away", my grandfather had been in the merchant marine before settling down in Schellville so there were a number of Mare Island, Barbary Coast, and local folk that frequented the place. Across the the street, Millerick Road, was the Millerick Circle M Ranch which became the home of the Sonoma Rodeo for years. I understand it was rated one of the top rodeos of the time. That kept my grandmother busy as she ran the bar, deli store, auto court, while my grandfather ran the service station, garage and towing service. Their first tow truck? A converted Hupmobile car! Thank you for your interest in my memories, there's more, and pictures too! Regards, Bob B."
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