Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Pure Adrenalin Rush!

Northern Pacific 5409D, Covington Washington, April 3, 1965. My sound recording buddy El Purington and I had just shot the “North Coast Limited” varnish departing East Auburn, jumped into his vehicle, and ran eastward up to Covington. The first runs were done in El’s rear engine Corvair. A few years later, in his bright yellow Corvette, followed by an XKE! I asked him once about his insurance, his reply – “You don’t want to know!”

Welcome to Covington and a pure adrenalin rush! That’s the only way to describe the assault on the senses, as a squadron of V-16’s – five covered wagons and a geep all in
Run 8 - roaring me by less than 30 feet away! I could feel the motors pounding in my chest! Pure Raw Horsepower!

Following the “North Coast Limited,” this freighter had departed
Auburn and immediately leaned into a steady eastbound climb from East Auburn, a bump of 1.3%, and past us here, .51% up to the Green River Reservoir, where the profile leveled out along the reservoir, allowing her and her sisters to catch their breath. Then “Boom” into a grinding winding climb, with a maximum of 2.2% up to Stampede Pass, heading toward St. Paul.

This was railroading! I am truly blest to have experienced this generation of motive power!

Railroad Stuff: Northern Pacific Railway 5409D, FT-A, 1350 hp, built EMD 1945, serial number 2842, traded by Burlington Northern to EMD for an SD45 in June, 1970.

2 Comments - Click here:

SDP45 said...

Whatever happened to his recordings after El passed away? A couple of us are wondering?

Robert in Port Townsend said...

I really don't know. When his roomate called me to let me know of his passing, it would have been rather ghoulish of me to inquire. I did spend a lot of time trying to convince him to commit the best of the best to CD-ROM, but I think it was too overwhelming for him to confront. There were thousands and thousands of feet of reel-to-reel recordings!

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