Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dave Cooley's Wonderful Maps!

Port Townsend, January 29th. Just got off the phone with Dave Cooley over in Auburn. As you may recall, Dave is the author of a fantastic series of map books, perfect for train chasing. Well since I last reported on Dave’s Railroad Maps, he hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet!

His latest work, “Stampede Pass” has received rave reviews from The Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association. Now the ubiquitous BNSF, Dave’s tome explores the route as we wish to remember it, as the Northern Pacific Railway, over a pass named for not a cattle stampede, but when the workers stampeded out of camp to escape a particularly "driven" foreman!

This is an invaluable guide for those of you who love to hunt down unique photo opportunities. Dave shares it all, where to go and how to get there. And he has an affinity for attention to detail. Here’s a sample page from another of his publications, showing the exquisitely detailed map features:

Before Stampede tunnel was completed, a series of switchbacks moved trains over the mountain. I managed to fine a few rare and dramatic photos of these alignments at “Yakima Memory.”

Urban legend relates that it took two 2-10-0’s to move a five-car train over the hump, battling gradient approaching 5.6%. The Decapods (named in honor of creatures like shrimp with 10 feet) featured blind drivers - no flanges on certain wheels - for operation on sharp curves.

Finally, Dave has expanded his site to include photos, videos (mercifully shot on a tripod!), and a blog link.

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