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The Bloggery.

March 30, 2015

PacificNG in Washington D.C.

By: Andrew Brandon

Randy and I are over in Washington D.C. this week in search of information at the National Archives, Smithsonian and the Post Office archives. Among the items we’ve seen are countless trade catalogs relating to locomotives, industrial railroad equipment and details down to car springs. It will take some time to process this material, for now enjoy this sheet of postal rules for narrow gauge RPO cars.

Postal Mail Rules For Narrow Gauge RPO Cars

From the Smithsonian National Postal Museum library.

November 19, 2014

Oahu’s Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail, a book review

By: Randy Hees

I recently received a copy of a new book, Oahu’s Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail, authored by Jeff Livingston. This is one of the Arcadia Publishing “Images or Rail” books. Like other Arcadia books it is primarily a book of photographs. Unlike many other Arcadia books this is a very well researched and written work.

Jeff has divided the work into four chapters: Building a Shipyard; 1908-1920, Expansion; 1921-1940, World War II; 1941-1945, and The Postwar Period and the End; 1946-1970.

The work includes the construction and operation of the railroad system at the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, as well as the associated shipyard and dry docks, coaling station, submarine base, as well as munitions facilities at Kuahua Island, West Loch and Laullualei. With the abandonment of the Oahu Railroad and Land Companies mainline in 1947, the Navy assumed ownership and operation of the line between Pearl Harbor, West Loch and Laulllualei, eventually reduced to just the 12 miles between West Loch and Laullualei. The Navy suspended railroad operations in 1972, with much of the remaining track, and some rolling stock being transferred to the Hawaiian Railroad Society, who continue to operate a museum and train ride in part using historic US Navy equipment from Ewa today.

Of particular interest is the significant if strange mix of rolling stock purchased by the Navy during the war. Cars from East Broad Top, The Pacific Coast, Nevada County Narrow Gauge, Colorado Southern ( via the RGS) and D&RGW all found their way to Hawaii.

Jeff Livingston, Oahu’s Narrow-Gauge Navy Rail, (Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2014) ISBN987-1-4671-3197-1

Jeff is a retired Naval Officer, and the Historian for the Hawaiian Railroad Society where is the author of many of the Historian’s Pages, and the author of the pages on the Pearl Harbor’s railroads, Oahu Railroad & Land Company and the Koolau Railway on this site.

October 3, 2014

Site layout change this weekend.

By: Andrew Brandon

There will be a slight adjustment to our site styling (template) this weekend. This is a long overdue revision and will be the first stage of several upgrades coming to the site over the next few months. You may have noticed the navigation menu to the left has changed color and style, this was the first change made due to the scripting involved. The entire site template will be changed in the next 48 hours. During this time some components of the site like the forum, image gallery and this blog may still appear with the old styling. The complete changeover may take a few days to take effect depending on your web browser settings.

Stay tuned…

September 17, 2014

Mich-Cal country is burning

By: Andrew Brandon

California has been battling a serious drought since the beginning of 2014. With the forests and grass lands bone dry, we’ve been fortunate to only have smaller fires until recently. On September 13th, a fire started near Pollock Pines and quickly spread through the American River canyon, crossing the river and burning its way up the ridge. Camp 7 of the Michigan-California Lumber Co was engulfed two days ago and the fire has spread even further, up nearly into “Old Pino”. Presently the fire is only 5% contained and spreading northeast near Stumpy Meadows Reservoir.

Local news aggregator, YubaNet, has been keeping track of the fire in photographs and consolidating fire maps into one place. They now have a Google map available showing the current extent of the fire and is well worth a visit if you’re interested in the progress.

While the loss of potential remains in the wood is unfortunate, the fire will ultimately clear the undergrowth and reveal ROW which has previously been inaccessible for mapping purposes. In the past few wooden remains (beyond remaining ties) have been located in this country, owing to the early date operations ended at these camps. Next year when the fire area opens exploration of these areas will begin with our good friend John Barnhill.
As the idiom goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.”