2015 Western Pacific Historic Convention update

The Convention in Elko, NV is coming up April 24-26, 2015

We have extended the pre-registration deadline for the convention, and the deadline for the banquet and the Nevada Northern extra fare trip.

The new deadline is Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Please visit http://convention.wplives.org for on-line registration or to download registration forms.  (note the forms currently have the old deadline on them, but the website has been changed)  Mailed registration postmarked by April 17, 2015 will still be accepted.

Also, we are finalizing details for the Elko Yard tours and should be posting those soon.

See you in Elko!

Eugene Vicknair

2015 Convention Chair

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The 2015 Board of Directors Elections have been postponed.  This is due to a legal action taken against the FRRS by FRRS members, James Mason, Robert Reininger, Bill Meeker, and Debra Baer.  Once this issue is settled, a new date for the election will be posted.  Please check our regular website http://www.wplives.org for more details and explanations.

I will post more facts regarding this as soon as I can.

On better news, the WP Convention is coming together for Elko.  Please attend if possible.

Crew Training will be this weekend (5/11).  If you are interested in becoming a member of our operating department, this is the time to attend and begin the qualification process.  We always welcome new and returning members to this vital part of the Museum.

You should have received the latest version of the Train Sheet in the mail or by e-mail.  It has new information regarding the archives and other interesting articles.

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New Addition to WP Convention events

It looks like we may have the opportunity to have small groups receive a guided tour of the Elko Yard and get history on the line change around Elko.

We are still finalizing details, but if you are interested and will be attending the convention and would like to be updated on the tours, please email me at eugene.vicknair@gmail.com.

And we are still taking registrations!  Come join us in Elko on April 24-25 for the shows and the banquet, then April 26 in Ely on the Nevada Northern!  (Nevada Northern is an extra fare event)

For more details and registration information, please visit http://convention.wplives.org.

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More Convention Information!

And now some updates on the 2015 Convention in Elko, NV.

Our guest speaker will be Mike Kessler, retired WP engineer.  Mr. Kessler grew up in Carlin, NV and hired out in Stockton in 1972.  He spent a lot of time working the Highline and the East End of the WP.  He has some great stories and details to share about working the railroad and is also looking to bring some other WP friends along to share their stories.  Should be a great banquet!

We have seats still available for the Nevada Northern excursion and tour!  As mentioned, this will feature a 90 minute STEAM POWERED excursion to Ruth with a photo run-by, plus catered lunch (chicken and beef philly style sandwiches, salad, extras and beverages, plus dessert) and the yard / shop tour.

The following shows / clinics are scheduled for the Convention:

. Nevada Northern and the Western Pacific – by Mark Bassett, NNRy Museum Executive Director

. Western Pacific East End and California Zephyr films from the Virgil Staff collection

. Last Days of the Sacramento Northern Electrics – by Matthew Vurek

. The Feather and the Bear, the Western Pacific and the McCloud River Railroad – by Jeff Moore

. Flowery Lakes Pass – Tunnel Construction and Shoo-Fly – by Wayne Monger

. The Loneliest Line, Western Pacific’s Deep Creek Railroad – by Eugene Vicknair

. Whether to Weather, model railroad weathering clinic – by Bill Meeker

plus we will have a presentation by a retired WP conductor currently volunteering with the Nevada Northern museum on East End operations, and we have a couple more special presentations in the works….

The raffle has received some great prizes from various vendors including Pentrex, Kalmbach, Broadway Limited, Kadee and others.  With the positive response we received from last year’s “Vote by Raffle Ticket” for next year’s convention location, we will be doing it again this year.  The candidates will be Lodi (Central California Traction territory) and San Jose (WP branchline).

We want you to be there with us in Elko!  If you still need to register, go to http://convention.wplives.org and either register on-line or download the mail in form.  If you have questions, please contact 2015 Convention Chair Eugene Vicknair at eugene.vicknair@gmail.com.

Thank you and see you in Elko on April 24-25!

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FRRS Spring Fundraiser

The FRRS’ Spring Fundraising Campaign is now in progress.  Members have received their donation letters recently and I have heard we are already seeing returns from it.

This campaign is very special as we are kicking off our first capital campaign aimed at a building.  In February, a steel building company approached us with an amazing deal on a 100′ X 200′ building that had been cancelled by another customer.  We were given a chance to acquire it at less than half of retail value, plus 10 years to pay with no interest and no storage fees.  And they even made modifications to the plans and building kit to suit our needs at no charge!  This is a tremendous opportunity that will give us not only storage for a good number of rolling stock items, but also space for displays showcasing materials from our archives.

In addition, we have two painting projects in the pipeline for this years: Central California Traction caboose 24 and Western Pacific SW1500 1503, the last switcher acquired by the WP.  Assisting us in these projects are retired members of the Union Pacific Steam Crew who bring a lot of experience and historic knowledge to ensure these pieces get the best of care.

We’re also moving ahead with the property fencing project started last year.  While not a project that gets many people excited, this critical improvement to our property will help protect all our collections as well as our members, volunteers and guests.  (And maybe ensure that Steve Habeck doesn’t get any more lunches stolen by bears!)

WP 0-6-0 165 has also been seeing a lot a specialized work as she moves closer to operation.  We’re in the details part of that project and your support is needed.  Steam locomotives run on three things: fuel, water and funds.  Help return WP steam to life!

To help support the FRRS and the preservation of the archives, facilities, rolling stock and artifacts, please consider a gift today.  Donations received in this campaign will be split between the building fund and general funds / projects.

You can donate via mail at FRRS 2015 Spring Fundraiser, P O Box 608, Portola, CA  96122, or via PayPal donation at http://donate.wplives.org.

Thank you for supporting the Western Pacific!

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2015 WP Convention Update

April 24-26, 2015 at the Red Lion Inn in Elko, Nevada!

We have some updates and new info for folks coming to the Elko Convention and those considering attending!

We can now announce we have a guest speaker! I will have more info shortly, but our speaker is a former Western Pacific engineer who spent many years working the Highline and the East End. He has a lot of great stories to share. Plus, I understand he may be bringing some friends along to share their WP experiences.

The itinerary for the Nevada Northern tour and excursion has been finalized. Lunch will be served at the East Ely Depot soon after the bus arrives, then after a little time to freely look around, we will be boarding our charter steam excursion bound for Ruth! There will be a photo run-by with two different set ups during the 90 minute trip. On returning to East Ely, we will off load near the shops and be given a guided tour of the enginehouse, the shop building, the Repair In Place building and other structures before returning to the depot. The state museum upstairs in the depot should also be open for us. Looks like we have a few seats left for this special fare event.

Plans have changed for the Northeastern Nevada Museum. There will not be formal tour, but convention registrants will get a special discount admission to the museum during the convention time. Admission for WP Convention attendees will be $2. Just present your convention badge or email me for a convention receipt.

I just got back new scans of some Virgil Staff films. These were scanned beyond blu-ray quality and had a lot of post production work done to them. They look awesome and we will be sharing this footage at the convention!

There are some rumors around that quite a few WP folks from the East End are planning to join us. I hope everyone makes them feel welcome as we celebrate the history of the Western Pacific.

I will be posting more information, including the current show listing, tomorrow!

For more info or to register, go to convention.wplives.org
Eugene Vicknair
2015 WP Convention Chair

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Waking a Tired Workhorse: Bringing WP917D into service for 2015

Originally posted on Feather River Rail Society Blog:

Following the troubles with getting 917 to turn over on March 4, Poindexter (Matt Elems) and I decided to put the batteries on a charger for a couple of days.  I returned two days later on the sixth and found the voltage of the batteries had come up and that the charger was putting out the expected amperage.

Hopeful that I’d finally get the prime mover to turn over I started watering up the locomotive, leaving the charger hooked up as long as possible.  While waiting for the cooling system to fill, I opened all the cylinder relief valves and barred the engine over to clear the cylinders.

Eventually the cooling system was filled; at 200 gal, it takes some time.  Once the charger was disconnected and all the cords and the hose pulled, I gave it another go.  Giving the layshaft a couple of inches I pushed the start…

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