Roaring Camp and the "Chiggen"

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Andrew Brandon
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Grass Valley, Ca

Roaring Camp and the "Chiggen"

Post by Andrew Brandon » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:58 pm

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to get down to Roaring Camp to ride one of the steam specials behind the “Chiggen” ( Santa Cruz Portland Cement #2 ). Originally the plan was to run to Davenport, but a burned trestle prevented us from getting much further than the western edge of Santa Cruz. The weather was wonderful and the smell of steam among the redwoods memorable. The trip lasted 3 hours roundtrip, I would have gladly paid more for a longer trip. Next year the “Chiggen” will return to Roaring Camp and hopefully make the trip all the way to Davenport. I plan to be on that trip too.
The West Coast Railroaders Group brought their speeder setup along to provide a fire crew following the train. This pop-car is fantastically restored inside and out.
Roaring Camp was busier than usual but I did manage to get some time to work on walkarounds photo series for the equipment. West Side #7 was outside the engine house, under steam but idle. With permission from an employee my companions and I endured the heat of the day to shoot as many detail photographs as possible. Only a few have made it to the Image Gallery so far, there are another 20 to come.

In the afternoon we travelled back to the East Bay, stopping by Ardenwood for a SPCRR meeting. This was the first time I visited the storage building since the tracks were first being laid. It was nice to see many of the pieces of equipment now under cover. Progress on NWP caboose #5591 continues, the car is now under cover and slowly taking on a more prototypical appearance over the previous restoration. Due to a shortage of time to get photographs, I was only able to get a few detail and general photographs of the stored equipment. These images will be added to the image gallery in the next few days.
On Sunday we began our trip home, but took our time along the way. It has become tradition on my trip home from the bay to briefly stop by the Niles Canyon Railway if I can catch steam at the station in Sunol. This trip was no exception and we caught Robert Dollar Lumber #3 handling the passenger train that day.
An hour and a half later we made it to the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction, just in time to ride the last interurban train of the day. With other events going on in the bay, the ridership was low: two motormen and 7 passengers. The trip was relaxing and we had a great time talking with the staff. Our car on the trip was Pennisular Railway (of San Jose) #52, built as a narrow gauge car for a Detroit line but never delivered. It was then sold to the San Jose - Los Gatos Railway (on SG trucks) as their #4 “Granger”(named after a financial backer of the line).
We finished our journey with a hearty drive-in burger at “Burgerlicious” in Rio Vista, a decent burger if you're in the area. Afterward we finishing the trip north, ending an enjoyable but tiring weekend on the road. I am still playing catch up from the days away from home, but it was worth it.
Andrew Brandon - PacificNG Webmaster
An End To Red Domes In Our Lifetime!

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