Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coyote Mt Frazier Slide Roundup

It seems as though major reconstruction of the Coyote Mountain Frazier Slide area has been completed, but a lot remains to be done to secure that unstable mountainside.

The Executive Vice President of Operations for the
Union Pacific Railroad delivers a complimentary address to his employees and contractors on the unprecedented recovery of the Willamette Pass Coyote Mountain – Frazier Slide, formerly known under Espee ownership as the Natron Cutoff. There are two video clips on that page as well.

Continued instability of the mountain interrupted recovery efforts several times. You may want to turn your sound down, vulgar language, but certainly
demonstrates the absolute instability of the slide area – very liquid, and why it all had to be scoured out between the upper and lower level tracks!

Unstable slide material was loaded into side dump cars, and “dumped” at Abernethy in creating a giant landfill!

As the line was rebuilt, so was the roadbed. Here is a clip of a
ballast train heading out from Eugene up to the mountain. Notice the second engine on the rear, to pilot the train back to Eugene.

Here be photos taken from a northbound
“Coast Starlight” - scroll down the page to see the photos.

Meghan Kalkstein of
KVAL-TV in Eugene Oregon gives an interesting review of the entire operation, and an insight into what it took to reopen the line.

Remember, “buffering” may cause some video clips to run herky-jerky; let the clip herky-jerk download, then hit “repeat” for a smooth playback.

For those of you just joining us, here is the complete coverage of this event on this blog:

“Big Time Trouble”
“Espee’s Natron Cutoff”
“Great Big Rollin’ Railroad”
“Amtrak Update”
“Coyote / Frazier”

I shot a few frames whilst away at WSU in Pullman, a few frames whilst stationed at Hamilton AFB, and after a brief hiatus, a lot of shooting whilst working at KATR AM in Eugene. My apartment was just across the Mill Race from the Espee, at the beginning of the Natron Cutoff.

I spent a lot of time up at Cruzatte, Fields, Salt Creek Trestle, and Beamer Ranch Road shooting mountain railroading, even making hours of stereo audiotapes. They’ve gone missing over the years, which is a true loss.

That was the last of my regular involvement in railroad photography, and so my intense interest in what was going on up on the mountain that I knew so well …

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