Re: Utah Coal Route steel gons in log service

Tim O'Connor

They look like Lodgepole pine logs. The Lodgepole grows like a weed in the northwestern
states and forms dense stands. It's not a Douglas Fir or one of the mighty Spruce trees
from the Olympic Peninsula (that grew well over 300 feet tall) or even Ponderosa pine,
but not all lumber needs to be high quality. :-)

Iron ore, coal, copper ore all came from Utah, and Rio Grande GS gondolas were often seen
in the PNW.

Also, logs and even wood chips can be economically moved from Wyoming to Portand and
Seattle. Lots of Lodgepole forest in Wyoming.

On 4/11/2020 8:06 PM, David Soderblom wrote:
A lovely image with so much going on:

- Such skinny logs for that long ago; not old-growth at all, and with tangled branches.  Not worth harvesting for many outfits at that time.
- A recently constructed mill: the paint and roof lines are so tidy.  What’s the long diagonal building extension going to in the background?  It looks like a factory building with its windows on lower storeys, so many uses for the sawdust or scrap?
- Note how the top logs in the foreground car extend over the car end, coupler, and to the next car.  Not kosher, unless the cars were intended to be a single shipment unit.
- The steam crane at the far end: for unloading the cars?  Most sawmills had better means than that, although those were specifically for log cars, as opposed to gons, where the logs have ti lifted over the sides.  Was this a highly unusual movement, justifying the photo?
- Steam everywhere.  Talk about the steam era.  1930s, to judge by the cars to the right.

And the obvious question:  Why UCR cars?  Logs from Utah?!

David Soderblom

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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