Friday, January 1, 2010

Auspicious Beginnings!

A hearty “Happy New Year” to our readers and new friendships our Blog has generated. As of today, more than 39,500 readers have perused our site, averaging 75 visitors per day, with an astounding 100,000 individual page views.

We appreciate you taking time to read our articles and offer constructive feed back! I hope you enjoy rummaging through my photo collection and if, perchance, my recollections strike a familiar chord with you, then the Blog has met my expectations!

Looking back at highlights of the past year is a customary ritual we all indulge in. Two projects tie for Best of Show - 2009. The "Tacheeda, Bullmoose & Quintette" story, and the "Alaska Railbelt Marine" story.

The three-part “Tacheeda, Bullmoose, Quintette” was problematic to research and write simply because the construction of the Tumbler Ridge Project was never thoroughly documented like the construction of major railroads. It was tough to find information!

I spent hours reading engineering studies and government documents to gather my facts. As far as I was able to discern, only one book, “The Right Time” by Helen Patterson, chronicled the achievement. And it is written in the style of a photographic "coffee table" presentation document.

Technically speaking, the line was little more than a 100 mile long spur off the BC Rail (Pacific Great Eastern) mainline to a couple of coal mines, named in the Employee Timetable Tumbler Ridge Subdivision. It never carried passenger traffic.

I spent the better part of three months researching, writing and re-writing the final series. Several times, when faced with no other way to verify information, I picked up the phone and contacted residents of Tumbler Ridge, who helped immensely solidify the final presentation.

The two-part Alaska Railbelt Marine was the high point of the year for me because of my relationship with Pacific Northwest tugs and tows. Riding around from the Lake Washington Ship Canal, through the Hiram Chittenden Locks, and down Elliott Bay to Harbor Island on the “M/V Alaska Titan” was evocative on several levels.

ABC Tug Comet with ABC 24 Rail Barge, Prince Rupert, July 1958

This project revived memories as a young man riding with my Dad on the “M/V Comet” to the rail car loading bridge in Prince Rupert. And the "boom-boom --- boom-boom" of the rail cars being loaded on the F/B Anchorage Provider sounded exactly the same as the "boom-boom --- boom-boom" of the rail cars being loaded on the rail barge ABC 24!

Finally, I appreciate the new friendships that have evolved through this blog. Most special to me are the contacts from Prince Rupert and Terrace BC, where the seeds of this blog were sown more than 50 years ago!

Railroad Stuff: Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Limited #14. Shot by me on at Union Bay BC. The occasion was to prepare her and other rolling stock for shipment to the Puget Sound Railway Historical Society tracks at Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. You can read all about her on this link.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

3 Comments - Click here:

Rangachari Anand said...

Keep up the good work. I really enjoy your blog.

BC Mary said...

A beautiful, informative blog ... Happy New Year, and many more of them!

I'd love it if you'd drop in on my blog which is focused on BC Rail,

BC Mary
The Legislature Raids

Eric said...

Happy new year Robert, thanks for that behind-the-scenes look at post creation at Oil-Electric. It is definitely not another "hmmm can't think of anything new to say today"-blog! The new header and other photos are great. Keep those in-depth posts coming,

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