The 2011 NRHS Convention, Tacoma, Washington

Subtitle: 4449 Runs Stampede Pass and Other Rail Adventures



The Tacoma Chapter NRHS put on a fine show from June 20 through June 26, 2011. This event took years of planning and organization, and the Portland, PNWC chapter provided a lot of help and experience gained from their 2005 convention.

Headquarters for the convention was the Hotel Murano, a very impressive abode for visitors. Attendees came from all over the country and elsewhere. This is a summary of my experiences at the convention.

The first scheduled event was a trip behind Baldwin 2-8-2 No. 15 at the Chehalis-Centralia railway on Monday afternoon, June 20. I planned to drive to Chehalis Monday and participate in this trip, stay overnight there and try to chase 4449 on Tuesday. This worked out well. Harold Borovec and his crew put on a great show for a sellout crowd.

Caught Ted Curphey at work on 15

Andy and Robert installing classification lights

Harold oiling around, a classic pose

The crew put on a great switching show before and after the trip

Photo runby and the photo line

Harold reversing past the operational wig-wag


On Tuesday, Southern Pacific Daylight 4449 ran from Portland to Tacoma hauling the passenger cars for the Stampede Pass trip. I had scoped out a spot to photograph the train at Winlock, WA, with a grain elevator in the background. The train left Portland about an hour late, but made up the time enroute, arriving in Tacoma on the scheduled time.

Two sequential shots passing through Winlock, egg capitol of Washington

I arrived at Tacoma just after the passengers were unloaded, and caught the train leaving the station for its overnight parking spot

Who else but Doyle McCormack would be running?


On Wednesday I took the trip to Snoqulamie, never having been there before

The depot at Snoqualmie and our diesel hauler for the trip

Visitors enjoying the barbecue lunch at the museum shops, restored boxcars in the distance


The Thursday main event was at the Mt. Rainier Scenic, which I had visited a month before, see the link below, so I opted to go to aviation and visit the Boeing Museum of Flight in Seattle. What an impressive museum it is. I think they have more Lockheed airplanes than Lockheed has.

An F-104, the first airplane I worked on at Lockheed

The very rare A-12/M-21 mother ship and drone combination excellently displayed

A model 1049G Super Constellation

I just couldn't resist this, sorry


On Friday I attended two interesting seminars, Steve Hauff's logging railroad presento and Doyle McCormack's Alco PA restoration story. I then volunteered for some desk duty exchanging vouchers for boarding passes for the main event to occur on Saturday. The banquet took place as well, in the evening.


Saturday provided the big draw item, the 4449 running over Stampede Pass to Easton, WA and return. 565 passengers rode this sold-out train, and it was an impressive display of sight and sound as 4449 conquered the 2.2% grade and ran through the tunnels on the way up the mountain. The locomotive was wyed there and a nice runby took place before we headed back down the hill.

My only decent "from the train" shot going up the hill

Pulling into the siding at Easton

The Silver Solarium all decorated for the Zephyr

4449 poses for portraits

The photo runby, very nice

Entering the 9700 foot long tunnel, waterfall on the right


The show wasn't over after the Stampede run. 4449 returned to Portland on Sunday, and I caught her at Steilacoom, WA at the ferry terminal

Pretty plume

Got lucky and caught her at Vader, then it was over



Bonus Stuff from July 3 Wishram trip

Just north of Union Station, heading out

Early morning steam, leaving Portland

At Rowland Lake on Washington side of the Columbia, Eastbound

And Mount Hood was "out" at Rowland Lake

At Avery, Westbound

At Avery after lunch at Wishram

And a fitting END of the tale.

Continue to Mt. Rainier Scenic tripleheader
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