Final Steam Freight on the McCloud River Railway, October 10, 11, 12, 2008

This was another Martin Hansen photographer's special on the McCloud River Railway, featuring 1925 Alco Prairie No.25 hauling freight. The weather turned out to be perfect, with cold mornings making for great steam, new snowfall on Mt. Shasta for background, a lot of very interesting railfans and a few problems, but that's what it's all about.

I drove to McCloud on Friday and found the 25 steaming at the McCloud RR yard. Martin had been working with the crew all day to get the engine tested. She ran light out to the east and returned to the yard. It was a great relief to see that the hideous red paint and other modifications made for "the movie" had been corrected. The locomotive looked great.

Sitting pretty in the yard.

Malen Johnson, engineer, Martin Hansen.

Getting ready to be put to bed for the night.

Saturday morning dawned COLD, so the steam was spectacular. We left the yard and proceeded out to the wye, and later would go to the west on the dinner train route toward Shasta City.

Larry and Malen getting the engine ready.

Did I mention STEAM?

A glint shot at first light. We railfans live for this stuff.

More steam in the forest.

At Milepost 4, and the mountain, Shasta, was "out."

Water stop. Martin took this "hero" shot of me.

After refilling the tender with water, we went out east to Nebraska curve. These tracks will be pulled up in the near future.

When we arrived Sunday, we found that the engine had run out of oil, so had to fuel up and fire up from cold. It was a long process. The mountain got sun long before the engine did. Spectacular scenery again.

Sunday's running was confined to the wye, but the scenery made the photos worth it.

End of the day. What a background, what a weekend.

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