Saturday, March 8, 2008

Shoebox #2, Rayonier #70

Rayonier #70, 2-8-2, Puget Sound & Snoqualmie Valley Railroad, date unknown. Years ago I bought a shoebox full of locomotive photographs at a bookstore at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. For the most part it was a boondoggle – a lot of out of focus or poorly exposed photos – with little or no information on the backs of the photos.

Recently I re-visited the shoebox, and took a closer look at its contents. Low and behold, I found another gem, taken by god-knows-who at the Puget Sound Railway Historical Association’s Puget Sound & Snoqualmie Valley Railroad at Snoqualmie Washington.

Originally built for the Polson Brothers Logging Co. of Hoquiam, Washington. Polson Brothers Logging Company began business in 1895 in Hoquiam. In 1903, the name was changed to Polson Logging Company. Judging from the size of this home Mr. Robert Polson built for his nephew; he must have been very successful!

While the company owned Shays and Climaxes for frontline woods works, rod engines were needed for faster mainline runs to the mill. In 1922 Baldwin Locomotive Works was contracted to build 2-8-2 Polson #70.

In 1948 the Polson Logging Company was sold to Rayonier, Incorporated, who had extensive lines running throughout the Olympic Peninsula. Rayonier expanded railroad operations into new cutting areas even further from the log dump and to look for even larger locomotives to haul the longer trains on the mainline.

When she could no longer keep up with main line demands, #70 was assigned to work trains and eventually Rayonier sold her in 1963.

Rail fan Maynard Laing of Seattle bought #70 in 1963 and placed her in service for Puget Sound Railway Historical Association on the Puget Sound & Snoqualmie Valley Railroad.

Upon Mr. Laing’s passing, Number 70 was sold to the
Mount Rainer Scenic Railroad in Mineral, Washington.

Mr. Laing is well known for his 16mm films capturing steams twilight years of Rayonier, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, teaming up with Elwin Purington, who did his tape recorder magic. And I remember fondly the hours we all spent both at the PSRHA monthly meetings in a business car on a siding behind Owens-Illinois Glass on Marginal Way in Seattle, viewing some good - and some bad, 35mm slide shows, and 8 and 16 mm films.

Railroad Stuff: Rayonier #70, nee Polson Brothers Logging #70, Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-2, built April 1922, builder number 55355. 1948 to Rayonier of Hoquiam, 1963 to Maynard Laing of Seattle, and finally 1992 to Mount Rainier Scenic.

1 Comments - Click here:

Unknown said...

Great site! The staff and volunteers of Mt. Rainier Scenic RR. have returned the Polson/Rayonier #70 to operation this year. The boiler rebuild is complete and test runs began last week! It should be ready for the easter trains and used for the regular excursions this summer.


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