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Transformers and Runner to Skagit River Railway Powerhouse


Richard Wilkens
 

Here is a sequence of views of transformers and runner being delivered on the Seattle City Light Skagit River Railway in early 1950's.

View 01 - Here we have Skagit River Railway center cab diesel No. 7 with covered hopper of cement for Ross Powerhouse construction, GN gondola, two General Electric drop center flats with transformers and Pennsylvania well car PRR 470031. Train is travelling from Rockport, WA which was the connection with the Great Northern to Newhalem which is the base of operations for the Skagit Power project.

View 02 - At Newhalem the cars were turned over to electric locomotives for the trip to Diablo Dam. Here is General Electric 40001 at Diablo and it will be transferred to the incline railway up Sourdough Mountain.

View 03 - All materials to build Diablo Dam as well as Ross Dam and powerhouse had to travel up this incline railway at Diablo. The platform travels a 68 degree slope and gains 313 feet in vertical distance and is raised and lowered by an electric winch. Only one accident occurred on the incline when a gear tooth broke causing the platform to crash to the bottom. At the time the platform had a hopper car of gravel and it flipped over killing a man who was hitching a ride. After this no one was allowed to ride the platform if a rail car was being transported at the same time.

View 04 - After passing the top of Diablo Dam an electric locomotive would spot the car to be loaded on a two car capacity barge for the trip up Diablo Lake. A winch lowered the car on to the barge and a tugboat moved the barge to Ross Dam which is upstream.

View 05 - Nice view of the barge being moved by the tugboat Ruby 2.

View 06 - Barge docked at the barge slip at Ross powerhouse.

View 07 - Finally the transformer at the Ross Powerhouse site. The winch can be seen and their was also a small gas locomotive for spotting cars.

Rich Wilkens


Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jul 31, 2020, at 16:04, Richard Wilkens <railsnw123@...> wrote:

Here is a sequence of views of transformers and runner being delivered on the Seattle City Light Skagit River Railway in early 1950's.

View 01 - Here we have Skagit River Railway center cab diesel No. 7 with covered hopper of cement for Ross Powerhouse construction, GN gondola, two General Electric drop center flats with transformers and Pennsylvania well car PRR 470031. Train is travelling from Rockport, WA which was the connection with the Great Northern to Newhalem which is the base of operations for the Skagit Power project.
In the foreground is what looks like a Dodge/Plymouth/De Soto..

View 05 - Nice view of the barge being moved by the tugboat Ruby 2.
That arrangement is called a hip tow - the tug has almost perfect control of the barge.


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Richard,
 
Thanks for the great images.
 
The one depressed center flat car road number GE 40001, shown broadside on one of the photos, was a 90-ton car. I don't know the year it was built, but it is listed in my Dec 1930 ORER, so it dates back AT LEAST that far.
 
Claus Schlund
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 7:04 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Transformers and Runner to Skagit River Railway Powerhouse

Here is a sequence of views of transformers and runner being delivered on the Seattle City Light Skagit River Railway in early 1950's.

View 01 - Here we have Skagit River Railway center cab diesel No. 7 with covered hopper of cement for Ross Powerhouse construction, GN gondola, two General Electric drop center flats with transformers and Pennsylvania well car PRR 470031. Train is travelling from Rockport, WA which was the connection with the Great Northern to Newhalem which is the base of operations for the Skagit Power project.

View 02 - At Newhalem the cars were turned over to electric locomotives for the trip to Diablo Dam. Here is General Electric 40001 at Diablo and it will be transferred to the incline railway up Sourdough Mountain.

View 03 - All materials to build Diablo Dam as well as Ross Dam and powerhouse had to travel up this incline railway at Diablo. The platform travels a 68 degree slope and gains 313 feet in vertical distance and is raised and lowered by an electric winch. Only one accident occurred on the incline when a gear tooth broke causing the platform to crash to the bottom. At the time the platform had a hopper car of gravel and it flipped over killing a man who was hitching a ride. After this no one was allowed to ride the platform if a rail car was being transported at the same time.

View 04 - After passing the top of Diablo Dam an electric locomotive would spot the car to be loaded on a two car capacity barge for the trip up Diablo Lake. A winch lowered the car on to the barge and a tugboat moved the barge to Ross Dam which is upstream.

View 05 - Nice view of the barge being moved by the tugboat Ruby 2.

View 06 - Barge docked at the barge slip at Ross powerhouse.

View 07 - Finally the transformer at the Ross Powerhouse site. The winch can be seen and their was also a small gas locomotive for spotting cars.

Rich Wilkens


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Richard and List Members,
 
I forwarded Richard's original email to a model railroader friend of mine - this friend worked for GE in the power transformer product area (in a number of locations but most notably in Pittsfield MA) for many years, and he is very knowlegable regarding both the transformer end of things and the rail transport end of things.
 
I'm tacking on his private reply to me since I think it might be of interest to folks on the list and will provide additional insights...
 
"Thanks for the photos and information about them.The paint color for the transformers was dark blue-grey, ANSI #24 and the bushings would be a chocolate brown color.  More recent transformers were painted light grey, ANSI #70 and the bushings were the same color.  These transformers look like single phase units, so there was a third one arriving, too.  I did not have any info on these units, but they were probably 230kV output to the BPA transmission lines.  Generator input was probably 13.8kV.  BPA transmitted the power to Seattle.  The GE logo on the side of the transformer was made of cast aluminum (I have one)".
 
Enjoy!
 
 
Claus Schlund
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2020 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Transformers and Runner to Skagit River Railway Powerhouse

Hi Richard,
 
Thanks for the great images.
 
The one depressed center flat car road number GE 40001, shown broadside on one of the photos, was a 90-ton car. I don't know the year it was built, but it is listed in my Dec 1930 ORER, so it dates back AT LEAST that far.
 
Claus Schlund
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 7:04 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Transformers and Runner to Skagit River Railway Powerhouse

Here is a sequence of views of transformers and runner being delivered on the Seattle City Light Skagit River Railway in early 1950's.

View 01 - Here we have Skagit River Railway center cab diesel No. 7 with covered hopper of cement for Ross Powerhouse construction, GN gondola, two General Electric drop center flats with transformers and Pennsylvania well car PRR 470031. Train is travelling from Rockport, WA which was the connection with the Great Northern to Newhalem which is the base of operations for the Skagit Power project.

View 02 - At Newhalem the cars were turned over to electric locomotives for the trip to Diablo Dam. Here is General Electric 40001 at Diablo and it will be transferred to the incline railway up Sourdough Mountain.

View 03 - All materials to build Diablo Dam as well as Ross Dam and powerhouse had to travel up this incline railway at Diablo. The platform travels a 68 degree slope and gains 313 feet in vertical distance and is raised and lowered by an electric winch. Only one accident occurred on the incline when a gear tooth broke causing the platform to crash to the bottom. At the time the platform had a hopper car of gravel and it flipped over killing a man who was hitching a ride. After this no one was allowed to ride the platform if a rail car was being transported at the same time.

View 04 - After passing the top of Diablo Dam an electric locomotive would spot the car to be loaded on a two car capacity barge for the trip up Diablo Lake. A winch lowered the car on to the barge and a tugboat moved the barge to Ross Dam which is upstream.

View 05 - Nice view of the barge being moved by the tugboat Ruby 2.

View 06 - Barge docked at the barge slip at Ross powerhouse.

View 07 - Finally the transformer at the Ross Powerhouse site. The winch can be seen and their was also a small gas locomotive for spotting cars.

Rich Wilkens