Saturday, January 12, 2019

Oil-Electric 2019 Calendar

Following graduation from high school in 1962, my next adventure in higher learning took place at Washington State University over in Pullman, Washington.

I was delighted to see the vibrant college town was served by not one but two class 1's.

Propelled by the emerging need for support the explosive agricultural growth of the Palouse, Northern Pacific (NP) and Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation (OWR&N) began aggressive campaigns to reach the Palouse.

See my articles "From Rails to Trails."

OR&N (Oregon Railway & Navigation,) later, Union Pacific, arrived in Pullman in 1885; Northern Pacific (NP) arrived in 1887.

OR&N continued east, terminating in Moscow, Idaho. NP also made its way to Moscow, yet another vibrant college town, then continued south joining up with the OWR&N connecting to Clarkson, Washington on the Columbia River.

By one account, the name "Pullman" is attributed to Bolin Farr, who in 1875, homesteaded in the area, creating the Three Forks Ranch. As the area attracted more settlers, Farr set aside a tract of land and platted it to town lots.

As this account continues, Farr was friends of George Pullman, industrialist and owner of the Pullman Railcar Company.  Thus, to honor his friends accomplishments, the town-site was renamed Pullman, and the name "Three Forks" faded into history.

As railroads became sensitive to "the bottom line" of operating expenses, the introduction of self powered rail cars became an interesting concept. The concept offered basic consists, resulting in lower maintenance, and most notably, reduced train crew manning and wage savings.

Northern Pacific purchased one McKeen Car
Several companies tried their hand at responding to the single self powered rail, including McKeen, Brill, ENC and others — including "home brews" like Canadian National.

Only the Budd Company rose to dominate the market. In 1930, the Budd Company opened the rail-car division. In 1934, Budd produced the first streamlined stainless steel passenger diesel powered rail car, the Pioneer Zephyr, now a National Historic Mechanical Landmark.

In 1949, introduced the Budd RDC, or “Rail Diesel Car,” a self propelled passenger train that became widely popular due to its reliability. Between 1949 and 1962, 398 RDC's were built and many remain in revenue service.

Quintessential RDC "Bible."
The RDC was offered in four configurations, allowing roads to purchase units for various service needs:

• RDC 1.  90 passengers.
• RDC-2. 71 passengers plus a 17' baggage-express compartment.
• RDC-3. 49 passengers, plus baggage-express and Rail Post Office (RPO) mail compartment.
• RDC-4. No passengers; baggage-express and RPO only.

Then two additional permutations came into existence:

• RDC-9. 94 passengers, 1 pancake 300 hp Detroit Diesel motor, no control stands. All functions manipulated by "standard" RDC. Boston & Maine ordered 30 units to replace nine locomotives and 102 passenger cars for other service.

• RDC-5:
           • Canadian Pacific for eight RDC-2's converted to full-coach.
           • The Canadian National purchased the 30 RDC-9's built for Boston& Maine.

RDC's 1 through 4 were powered by two Detroit Diesel 300 hp pancake engines mounted under the floor. The RDC-9 had one motor, but without control stands, had to be in the company of a "regular" RDC.

An RDC requires but one operator with three simple controls:

1. A self-lapping straight air brake valve.
2. A four position throttle lever.
3. A reversing lever.

Northern Pacific owned six RDC's; 3 each RDC-2-3:

Units in 1963 were assigned to two schedules, 29 and 11.

NP B-40 was an RDC-3, thought by many to be the "nifty" unit, with passenger, baggage and Rail Postal compartments.

Crew had to crawl on hands and knees under sorting table through a "creep door" to make their way from the RPO compartment to he baggage compartment!

• NP B-40
• Built March, 1955.
• SN 6017.
• 1970. To Burlington Northern as part of the "Big Merger", retaining #B-40.
• 1973. To Amtrak, renumbered 40.
• 1975. Sold to BC government (Pacific Great Eastern) in North Vancouver BC, inoperable, cannibalized for parts.
• 1979. Carcass to VIA for parts.
• 1987. Stricken from roster.

Featured on the front cover of "The Mainstreeter," Jim Fredrickson captured RDC-2, B-30, escaping "Vandal Country" (University of Idaho) into "Cougar Country," Washington State University!

Creating The Calendar

The 2019 Oil-Electric Calendar was produced and optimized for 300 dpi printing. Printed on ink jet Ultra photo paper yields a photo that represents the zenith of my many years of messing around with computers. (My first computer was a Commodore 64!)

Production began by seeking out a calendar template in a large .tiff format that would allow me to "down size" to the 8½" by 11" medium.

• Scan 620 negative of NP B-40 on Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner, using SilverFast 8 capture software.

(Edit Note. SilverFast is a bitch to learn. I've been struggling to use it for several years.

But it was only last year when I upgraded my hardware to a Dell Precision T3500 Workstation with fast processor, BIG memory, that I have begun to tame the monster. And to their credit, the engineers at LaserSoft Imaging have winnowed down the massive list of SilverFast crash issues, to where I can capture a descent frame to process.

Hamrick's VueScan is my "fall back" capture software. He's made excellent progress in making VueScan a decent competitor, at a significantly lower price!)

• Output from SilverFast 8 → Corel PaintShop Pro Ultra 2019 64-bit.
• Process within PS 2019 with Nik Dx0 filter suite.
• Save photo as 300 dpi .tif file.
• Compose calendar template with photo output plus captioning with Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 (PSE 10).
• Create output from PSE 10 → Epson 610XP inkjet printer.
• Convert calendar final output from .tif  → .pdf with Acrobat X, set to version 8 or better.
• Post final portable document file, .pdf → Google Docs.
• Make file accessible to the public.
• Create link → Oil-Electric.

• Create thumb nail (225 px wide) for Blog, right margin.
• Create script in Blogger for my Blog.
• Post and test.
• Yippee! ready for "roll out."

Piece of cake for a creaking septuagenarian!

Always enjoy your comments. Have a happy and safe New Year! And don't forget to get your "Trump Anti-Venom," It's gonna get wilder now that Nancy is in the House!

0 Comments - Click here:

Post a Comment

"Comment" is for sharing information related to this article. "Anonymous" comments are not published.