Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Boxcar for the Steam Department Arrives


Eventual appearance of boxcar 62962, as an O-scale model from the Mullet River Model Works website.

After two years of fundraising, planning, and even a couple false starts, our 1909-built D&RGW house car 62962 arrived in Portola Tuesday, October 5th, 2010. The move from the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista, California to WPRM Portola took all day, and the carbody was placed back on its trucks Wednesday morning. Thanks to the professionals: Steve, Chris and Rick at Mongomery Contractors the move was made safely and efficiently.

The Sunday prior I was joined by Eugene Vicnair, Chris Kaprielian, Nathan Osborn, James Cowdery, Craig Ferguson, and Friend (sorry I’m not great with names!). Paul Zaborsky with WRM operated the forklift for us. The underbody was stripped of brake gear to get it as low as possible on the flatbed. Items being donated to us by WRM, including the WP's train scheduling stringboard, and parts not necessary for their period restoration of SN caboose 1632 were secured inside the car by Eugene and Chris. Rod McClure's Oakland yard office sign was also included and will be hung in the WPRM Gift Shop after a couple of decades adorning the wall of the shop at Rio Vista.


The crew arrives at Rio Vista Junction to prep the car.


Eugene and Chris securing the contents.

So much was accomplished on Sunday thanks to the great turnout, I was able to take Monday off, and travel with my dad up to Woodland to visit steam team member Roger Stabler. After a quick tour of his railcar, P/V Two Rivers we had a nice BBQ lunch at Ludys downtown. Returning back to the Sierra Northern shop we met up with Dave Magaw, President of the SNRR. He and Roger surprised us with the donation of two Sharon couplers for the 165. These couplers were originally from an 0-4-0 they owned together. Our current tender coupler is badly cracked; we can now replace it and still have a spare. Thanks again to Dave and Roger for their continued support.


James Cowdery before bravely climbing up on the roof to nail down battens.


Tuesday morning Mongomery Contractors arrived promptly at 07:30. They worked fast to jack the carbody off the trucks, and we were loaded and on the road by 11:00. By 16:00 the car was inside the gate at Portola.


Carefully backing the trailer under the carbody on jacks.



D&RGW 62962 back on its wheels in Portola, safe and sound.

The roof on the 62962 is not in the best shape, so the car will spend it’s first winter at Portola in the diesel shop. Come spring we will attend to the roof and put the brake rigging back up. Then we can stabilize the exterior and start moving tools and supplies in.

Thanks to the guys at WRM: David Johnson, Al Stangenberger and Paul Zaborsky for their assistance and patience. Thanks also to FRRS Treasurer James Mason for handling the financials, and to Rod McClure, Steve Habeck, Cody Wilson, Charlie Spikes, and David Epling for the assistance unloading and getting the car put away when it got home to Portola. And last but not least to Nathan Osborn and James Cowdery for their generous donations that made this move possible.

I will update everyone from time to time as we make strides in getting this car back in the “useful” category. - JCA