Friday, January 2, 2009

Death Row #4 Stacey Street Yard

Northern Pacific 1053, Stacy Street Yard, Seattle, July 1958. The family had driven down to Seattle from Prince Rupert for a two-week vacation.

I had a great time visiting old friends. At this time, being a mere lad of 15 and a novice ferroequinologist, I had no idea were to look for rail activity. But from the Seattle bus, I knew of a rail yard behind the landmark Sears-Roebuck down onto 1st Avenue South at Lander Street.

In terms of square feet under one roof, the Sears Building, now owned by Starbucks, is the second largest building in Washington State, next to Boeing's assembly structure in Everett!

And I can attest to the fact that a lot of school clothes were purchased at that store!

So, I called a buddy of mine to coordinate meeting on a particular bus, and grabbed my camera. It wasn’t long before we spotted an entire line of Northern Pacific steam locomotives, off on a sidetrack, dead cold.

We happened across an employee who simply stated “Get your pictures while you can – they are going to make razor blades out of them real soon!” He was right! I got this shot in the nick of time – scrapped in Tacoma two months later!

So I cranked off a shot of each of them; 8 or 10 as I recall. I am uncovering the negatives slowly but surely. They’ve languished in a box for many years!

Still learning the nuisances of railroad photography, I did not pay attention to the noonday sun being such a bitch to shoot in! However, thanks to my semi-pro scanner, and world class scanning software SilverFast AI, and some tweaking on my part, I’ve been able to make a decent print to share with you!

The two weeks went super-fast, and soon we were on the 1,013-mile trek back to Prince Rupert!

Railroad Stuff: Northern Pacific 1053, 0-6-0 switcher, road class L-9 (15 engines in group 1050 through 1064.) Built as a coal burning Baldwin, built 1907, builder’s number 29861. Converted to oil burner, date unknown. Main rod drives number three driver. Scrapped at South Tacoma, September 1958.

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