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 Post subject: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:22 am
Posts: 4
Spokane has a rich railroad history but unfortunately not much opportunity to ride a train anymore. There was a Lions Club sponsored run on the northern end of the Pend oreille Valley shortline but it was discontinued at the end of 2016.

There is a new Inland NW Rail Museum opening in Reardon, WA, they may have a short track operating out there.

We do have the Empire Builder daily but both directions stop in Spokane at 2AM so not too convenient for most people.

There is a suitable run from the Spokane Valley south to Worley on the UP line, this is still an active track but only sees 3 trains a week, all on weekdays.

If anyone is interested in promoting this possibility please contact me.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 446
I'm guessing you are very familiar with the Cheney Depot Society. I learned about them a few months ago from this article...
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/d ... ved-saved/
Spokesman-Review wrote:
Because the location sits next to the state-owned tracks, the depot could eventually be brought back to life with an excursion run from Cheney to Reardan and back.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:45 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 48
Why doesn't the 4449 or 700 groups do regular excursions on the commuter network? Imagine being able to ride behind one of them once a week on their way to work or shopping! Great publicity for everyone and a chance to make some green for the upkeep.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:16 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 85
Location: Elko, NV
Mike Williams Group moved McCloud Railway's fleet of heavyweight dining cars to the St. Maries River with the explicit intentions of setting up a tourist railroad operation on that road, but it never got off the ground. The cars are still there...

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:16 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 789
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
Interesting to know about the St. Maries equipment, almost looks like a museum at the back of the shops if you look around.
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.3186494,-116.5653385,3a,75y,256.69h,94.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0eFYDUkAr3TPrJ6ky8MHgw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

In the near term, it would seem that helping the operations get started at Reardon would be the best use of local energy to create a Spokane area train ride.
http://inlandnwrailmuseum.com/

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:09 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
JDLX wrote:
Mike Williams Group moved McCloud Railway's fleet of heavyweight dining cars to the St. Maries River with the explicit intentions of setting up a tourist railroad operation on that road, but it never got off the ground. The cars are still there...

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


So that's where those cars went! Good to know! Thanks, Jeff! Most, if not all, of those are modified ex-IC heavyweight chairs and coaches. Heritage info later today.

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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
In the last year or so, I was told that the St. Maries was still considering a dinner train. How reliable my source was remains to be seen. That would be a great line for it, though a bit remote.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
As for excursions in the Spokane area, you've overlooked one. They run daily all summer long with a gorgeous 3 foot gauge 2-6-0.

http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/ride ... engine.php

Yes, I know, it's an amusement park ::shudder:: (with a train robbery, just to make it worse!). But it's also a real steam train, 3 foot gauge, well maintained, publicized far better than any excursion operator could hope for, and for most folks, it probably allows them to check off the "Take the kids on a steam train" box just fine.

Keep in mind, that's your competition.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:22 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reminder about Silverwood, I did neglect to consider that.

I read the PDV RR meeting minutes, there is some talk of operating the Lions Club cars from Newport to Dalkena, also a mention of rail bikes from Ione to Blueslide.

There were 3 or 4 Budd dome cars in private ownership stored in Spokane and needing refurbishment but the owner died last year. Not sure about their disposition.

Newport to Sandpoint would be another nice tourist route.


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Looking for rolling stock but you haven't built a business plan and sold it yet? Maybe that's where you need to start......... if you can make a good case and get investment, heavy things on wheels is just another line item.

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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
NW railfan wrote:
There were 3 or 4 Budd dome cars in private ownership stored in Spokane and needing refurbishment but the owner died last year. Not sure about their disposition.


The 4 domes you mention were discussed in the Dome Passenger Cars thread. They were owned by Mike Gelhaus/Inland Pacific Rail (INPX), and were from the North Coast Limited: 2 dome sleepers and 2 dome chairs (coaches). Mike also owned a NP Loch-series Slumbercoach, a NP Lewis & Clark Traveller's Rest*, a NP chair (coach), and one of the SP&S sleeper buffet lounges built for the Portland section of the Empire Builder, the Mount St. Helens (the other car, the Mount Hood, is in Portland). The cars have been dispersed as follows, as posted by Topfuel in the linked thread: the Mount St. Helens was donated to the Inland Empire Chapter NRHS-Inland Empire RY HS-Inland Northwest Rail Museum, one party acquired the Slumbercoach and 1 each of the dome sleepers and dome chairs, and four other parties each acquired one car: the other 2 domes, the chair, and the Traveller's Rest*.

*Traveler in this case is spelled with 2 l's like it was in the journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

NW railfan wrote:
There is some talk of operating the Lions Club cars from Newport to Dalkena


In case you're curious, 2 of the Lions Club cars are ex-GN heavyweight 78 seat coaches built by Barney & Smith in 1914: GN #960 (ex-#4510) and GN #971 (ex-#4521). Both are on lease from the Inland Empire Chapter. In looking at photos of these cars, I also just noticed that the third heavyweight car in the Lions Club consist is a former Pullman heavyweight 12 section-1 drawing room (12S-1DR) sleeper. I hadn't realized before that this car was there. Hmmm...Guess I know which thread I'll be posting in next.

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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:03 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 709
Would this discussion be more appropriate for the foam section?


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:24 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:22 am
Posts: 4
Ted - thanks for the info, all I have is questions.

Anyone have an estimate on what it would cost to bring one of those dome cars up to Amtrak standards, including new dome glass?


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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:34 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
NW railfan wrote:
Ted - thanks for the info, all I have is questions.

Anyone have an estimate on what it would cost to bring one of those dome cars up to Amtrak standards, including new dome glass?


A phrase that gets used often is a modified version of the definition of a boat, which is a hole in the water you pour money into. Amtrak-certified cars are very much the same. Between glazing (windows), 40 year truck inspections/rebuilds, electrical and cabling (HEP, COMM, etc.), HVAC, and everything in between, it adds up quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Excursion train in Spokane area is needed
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:40 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 85
Location: Elko, NV
Ted- Correct, all of the old McCloud cars are 1916 Pullman paired window coaches originally constructed for Illinois Central. All went on to be part of the Purple Martin Train in Missouri and then Iowa. McCloud Railway bought the first two at the initial PM auction in 1995, the next two from the Northern Nevada Railroad when it shut down in 1996 (not to be confused with Nevada Northern!), and then the last three from some other source in 1998. They kept what I assume to be their old IC numbers, 2801-2819-2838-2840-2900-2901-2903. All of these save for the 2840 and 2903 are in St. Maries, the other two are in McCloud.

From what I've been told by several people, when the Williams Group bought STMA from Potlatch, they had a certain amount of time to get some sort of operations established on what's left of the old Bovill/Elk River branch south from St. Maries until they are contractually bound to scrap the line out, the best idea involved a dinner train, hence the movement of the cars out of McCloud. I've been hearing more recently the economics of such an operation really did not pencil out, i.e. whatever they could make from a dinner train would not come close to justifying the cost of rehabilitating and then maintaining the line for just that business, which is in the end one of the major reasons why the Shasta Sunset Dinner Train shut down. I understand whatever time limit they had to resurrect the line to Bovill is about up. I honestly don't know what comes next for those cars, if they are going to try setting something up on STMA or somewhere else- they do have two "Tours" operations established as corporate identifies (at least on their website) in conjunction with their freight railroads, one each of St. Maries River and Bountiful Grain & Craig Mountain. It is interesting to note that McCloud Railway's three SD38s were for a long time destined to go to St. Maries as well, at the moment they are now heading for the Dakota Southern for service there, one of them is in Roseville yard awaiting shipment east and the other two are said to be following as soon as they can make at least one of them operational in the McCloud shop.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


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