FRRS Sponsors!

The Feather River Rail Society has started a corporate sponsorship program and we have our first two sponsors!

Huge thank you to Portola Village Pharmacy for signing on as our first sponsor under this program.  They have joined as a SILVER level sponsor.

Just a few days later, Feather River Food Co-op also joined as a SILVER level.

You can see our sponsor page at: http://www.wplives.org/sponsors.html

For a description of the sponsorship levels or to become a sponsor, please visit: http://www.wplives.org/sponsors_how_to_become.html

We ask everyone to patronize our sponsors and let them know you appreciate their support of the FRRS and preservation of the Western Pacific!

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WP 917-D Start-up

Western Pacific F7A 917-D has been receiving a lot of work recently, including mechanical repair and body prep.  She was recently fired up after being down for service over the winter.

Being over 60 years old, this long-serving freight locomotive has a lot of body work needed.  Small areas are being tackled now with larger panels to be replaced soon.  The goal is to complete the work with a full repainting into one of the WP paint schemes the engine wore, either a version of orange and silver, or the later green and orange from the “Fab 4” days.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have been working so hard on 917, in particular the Elems Family.

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2016 WP – PCR / NMRA Convention Report

Over 190 visitors attended the joint NMRA – PCR / FRRS – WP 2016 Convention in Modesto. Many expressed that they enjoyed the varied format and presentations and felt it was a very smoothly run convention.

Presentations included the debut of an updated film on the First 50 Years of the Western Pacific from Cantenary Video, a look at the history of and techniques for modeling several WP related pieces, including the shorty steel gondolas by Bill Gilbert and Tidewater Southern steeplecab electric 100 by Chris Allan. Jim Providenza shared information and techniques on modeling WP F-units, while Mark Williams gave presentations on the California and Pioneer Zephyrs. WP branchlines were also featured, with Ken Middlebrook discussing the San Jose Branch and Wayne Monger giving a look at the relatively unknown Terminous Branch. Special thanks to Stan Jennings who came out from Salt Lake City to share his knowledge of the Salt Lake, Garfield and Western Railway. Eugene Vicknair did a show on 6 ex-Rio Grande steam locomotives that came into the WP family, while CSRM’s Kyle Wyatt presented research on WP’s second generation of heavyweight passenger cars. Newly scanned films from the Virgil Staff collection were shown and Evan Werkema closed out the presentations on Saturday with a great show on WP’s steam powered railfan excursions. Other presentations focused on details of modeling and model railroad operations. Attendees also got to enjoy the NMRA model contests.

Three tours were also part of the event. On Thursday a bus took 40 attendees to the Port of Stockton for a close up look at the Central California Traction Company’s operations at the port as well as the recently opened welded rail plant. Friday afternoon was a special excursion and photo run-bys on the Sierra Northern’s Sierra Railroad division out of Oakdale. And on Saturday morning a group got to tour the shops of the Modesto and Empire Traction Company, which included a roll-out of newly restored General Electric 70 tonner 600. Thanks to Scott Inman for coordinating the tours and special thanks to the CCT, Sierra and M&ET for their assistance and cooperation.

The Saturday banquet featured a talk by retired Sacramento Northern trainman Norm Lucas, sharing his experiences with the SN in the 1970s and some of the interesting people he worked with on trains like the Chico Local and the SN Detour. Norm’s presentation was very well received and generated more than a few laughs at some of the colorful stories. Thank you again for sharing it all with us, Mr. Lucas!

The banquet also featured an announcement that the Union Pacific Foundation had awarded the FRRS a $3,000 grant to being work on an Archives Research Facility. More details on that will be coming soon.

The archives raffle had over 30 sets of prizes ranging from models and model railroad supplies to archive prints. Special thanks to our raffle gift donors for their generous assistance:

Cantenary Video
Richard Brennan
Brad Lomazzi – Railroad Americana
Walt Schedler – Walt’s Trains & Electronics
Bowser Model Trains
Peter Arnold
Kadee Quality Products
Woodland Scenics
Marc Desobeau
Kalmbach Publishing
FRRS Museum Store
FRRS Archives
Pacific Coast Region – NMRA
Broadway Limited

And thanks to Eric McKay for getting the raffle tickets for us when we really needed them!

Huge thanks to Scott McAllister, 2016 Co-Chair and lead on the PCR-NMRA side, as well as the convention committee and our convention volunteers:

Al Rowe
Jim Dieckman
Richard Klammer
Steve Wesolowski
Jim Collins
Mary Moore-Campagna
Bob Schott
Scott Inman
Nancy Stokely
Tom Campbell
Rod Smith
Bob Cable
Dan Evans
Giuseppe Aymar
Ray deBlieck
Greg Elems
David Elems
Eric McKay

I would like to propose that the 2017 Convention be held in one of the following locations:
• Marysville
• Reno
• Lodi

After discussion in the May Board Meeting, the 2017 WP Convention will be held in Reno, Nevada!

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Early Bird Convention Registration Ends Today!

“Taking It to the Streets”
Western Pacific / Pacific Coast Region Joint Convention
April 20 – 24, 2016, Wednesday through Sunday – Modesto, California
Early Bird Registration ends today!
Discount hotel rooms are now available!
This year the FRRS is holding a joint convention with the NMRA Pacific Coast Region at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto, California, home of the Modesto and Empire Traction Company and Western Pacific subsidiary Tidewater Southern.
For information and to register, visit the convention website at http://www.pcrnmra.org/conv2016/
A discount hotel reservation of $109.00 per night for King or double Queen bed rooms is available.  This includes wifi access.  Cut off for discount rooms is March 31, 2016.  Visit this page http://www.pcrnmra.org/conv2016/hotel.html for more information and contact for the hotel.  A link for reservations is now available.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be one clinic room devoted to Western Pacific related presentations.  NMRA presentations will be occurring Wednesday through Saturday in two other rooms.  Registration gives you access to all clinics!  Information on clinics and presentations will be posted soon.
There will be layout tours, a vendor and exhibit room and special prototype tours, including a bus tour to the Sierra Railroad on Friday afternoon (extra fare), a tour of the Modesto and Empire Traction on Saturday (extra fare) and a tour of the Central California Traction Company at Port of Stockton on Thursday (extra fare).  Details will be posted to the website as they are finalized.
Early Bird registration ends today so register now!  See the website and the registration form for more details.
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Western Pacific 2016 Convention!

“Taking It to the Streets”

Western Pacific / Pacific Coast Region Joint Convention

April 20 – 24, 2016, Wednesday through Sunday – Modesto, California

  • Early Bird Registration is NOW OPEN!
  • Discount rooms are now available!

 

This year the FRRS is holding a joint convention with the NMRA Pacific Coast Region at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto, California, home of the Modesto and Empire Traction Company and Western Pacific subsidiary Tidewater Southern.

For information and to register, visit the convention website at http://www.pcrnmra.org/conv2016/

A discount hotel reservation of $109.00 per night for King or double Queen bed rooms is available.  This includes parking and wifi access.  Cut off for discount rooms is March 31, 2016.  Visit this page http://www.pcrnmra.org/conv2016/hotel.html for more information and contact for the hotel.  A link for reservations will be available by Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be one clinic room devoted to Western Pacific related presentations.  NMRA presentations will be occurring Wednesday through Saturday in two other rooms.  Registration gives you access to all clinics!  Information on clinics and presentations will be posted soon.

There are also layout tours, a vendor and exhibit room and special prototype tours, including a bus tour to the Sierra Railroad on Friday afternoon (extra fare).  Details will be posted to the website as they are finalized.

Early Bird registration ends February 1, 2016.  See the website and the registration form for more details.

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Santa Trains postscript

Four words:  Best.  Santa Trains.  Ever.

Our team at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum has been working to grow and improve this event, and this effort was most certainly evident this year.  We broke records across the board, from attendance to gift shop sales, admissions, and donations.  Why?  Because we have a STRONG LEADERSHIP TEAM and the BEST VOLUNTEERS in the Heritage Tourism/Historic Railroad business.

At the center of this event is Vice President Steve Habeck and his family, for whom this event is truly both a labor of love and a family affair.  They take care of decorating the baggage and dining cars as well as other interior areas of the shop.  You will see them all there every night of the event:  Steve, his wife Mary, daughters Kathy and Jennifer (and, now, their husbands), sister-in-law Vickie and her boyfriend Eddie, with the ladies handling the distribution of the hot beverages and baked goods to the visitors.

Other families include Director Greg Elems and his son, David (son Matt has been a big help in years past – he recently relocated to Southern Nevada, but we hope eventually that circumstances will return him to us), Bart Hansen along with his father and brother, Burr and Alex Wilson, Ethan Doty and Ali – all are great assets to us as volunteers, along with the many other volunteers in our “core group” who work to make this and all museum events a success.

Since the WP entered the 21st Century in its current incarnation in Portola, our core group of volunteers has been of ONE HEART and ONE MIND in pursuing ONE PURPOSE:  raising the bar every year in regard to the performance of our organization and museum while overcoming the challenges faced in doing so.  Culminating in the Santa Train event, 2015 has again been a year of success in accomplishing this, again, because of a STRONG LEADERSHIP TEAM and the BEST VOLUNTEERS in the business.

Many, many thanks to all of the volunteers whose efforts contributed in making this event an unprecedented success, and the year 2015 a success as well.  Thanks as well to those members who attended the Santa Trains this year – make sure to put us on your calendars for December 2016, especially if you couldn’t make it this year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and here’s to looking forward to an even more successful year in 2016!

Matt Parker

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Santa Trains in Portola!

The 2015 Santa Trains are fast approaching!  We are running three Saturdays this year: December 5, 12 and 19.

Gates open at 3 PM and trains start running at 5 PM.
There is no cost for a ticket.  Admission is $10 per carload, or $5 per carload with the donation of 3 cans of food for the local food bank.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there for the kids.  Come enjoy complimentary cookies and hot beverages.
Also don’t forget to visit our Museum Store!  We will have our 2016 Western Pacific Historic Photo calendars on sale and Plan B Run A Locomotive Gift Certificates will also be on sale, just in time for Christmas shopping.  And don’t forget that FRRS members get a discount on all Store merchandise.
If you would like to volunteer, we are looking for docents / guides and gate attendants for all three weekends.  Please contact Steve Habeck (chooch@gotsky.com) or Eugene Vicknair (eugene.vicknair@gmail.com) to sign up.
Come up to Portola and bring the whole family!  Like this event on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1718742498358788/SantaTrain_15_Banner
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