Around the Museum, 8/14/12

Isn’t it time for an update?

Portola Railroad Days is this weekend, Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19. Admission to the museum will be free during this event! We will be running trains all three days, and tickets must still be purchased for rides ($4 per person or $10 for a family of 4). Aside from the museum, there will be events going on all over town, so it will be a great weekend to visit Portola!

You may have heard that we have two large fires burning in the nearby forests. The smoke has not gotten bad here in Portola, however, it has been VERY thick in the lower portions of the Feather River Canyon along Highway 70 for the past two days.  Just something to keep in mind if you are travelling this way.

Around the museum, many of our volunteers have been working hard in these days leading up to the Railroad Days event, tidying the museum up in preparation for the expected influx of visitors this weekend. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing to mention is that WP 1503 (currently disguised as UPY 1042) was used to perform some switching chores around our yard – great news to hear that this locomotive is functional! In the same realm is that Master Mechanics Dave McClain and Dwight Whetstone were here today installing new rings in WP 501, moving toward getting this locomotive closer to being back in operation. This was the very first diesel electric locomotive purchased by the Western Pacific, so seeing it back in working order will be a fantastic accomplishment!

Other volunteers including Gail McClure, Matt Elems, David Elems, Rod McClure, Jerry Richardson, Charlie Spikes, Steve Habeck, and Loren Ross have been attending to our day-to-day business and seeing to general duties around the museum. Today, the large wooden table that came out of the dining car from the relief train with the Portola derrick was moved into the board room. Track 1 in the shop has been cleared off, and Matt Elems went to work with the Hotsy and a squeegee, cleaning the shop floor in this area. Matt Parker cleaned the shower car in preparation for all of the volunteers who will be joining us for this weekend. Thanks to all those folks as well as any others not mentioned here for their efforts in preparing us for what we expect to be a great weekend!

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