Mt. Rainier Scenic Photographers Special

May 4, 5, 2012

Martin Hansen put on another photographers special, this year at the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, one of my favorite places. Martin had advertised two locomotives in steam, Rayonier Willamette No. 2 and Polson Logging 2-8-2 No. 70. I drove to the Mineral shops on Friday, May 4, hoping to see the trains assembled, and encountered not just two, but FOUR steamers fired up.

Willamette 2, West Fork Logging Heisler 91, Rayonier 70 and Hillcrest Lumber Climax 10. They had a whistling contest, then coupled all together and ran by for those of us there.

Could it get any better? Yes, it could. Saturday morning the steam crews, who are outstanding at Mt. Rainier, were working on the air pump on 70.

The early morning cold made for some impressive steam as John headed to throw the switch for 70.

Awaiting the festivities, Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains magazine, Steve Hauff of the PNWC-NRHS, Jim Gertz, who bought and saved the Rayonier Willamette in Port Angeles, WA, and sent her to MRSR to operate, talk with Martin Hansen, who organized the event.

The photographers set up a photo line in the rain at our first location.

.....Where the Willamette with log train ran past 70 in the siding.

Brian Wise, CEO of MRSR, backing the Willy for another runby.

70's crew poses for a Kinsey-type shot.

2's crew does likewise. Thanks to all of you for a great day!

70 took the photographers to the next location, the "racetrack." It started raining.

Willamette 2 posed back at the shop for lunch, servicing.

Then 2 made a runby just outside the yard.

Not to be outdone, 70 made a spectacular stack talking runby.

Nice view of 70 running past.

Then we hiked under the trestle and down along the riverbed to get some super trestle shots. 70 running by with cylinder cocks open and whistle blowing.

2 hauled her log train across the trestle.

More trestle shots, a great location.

The photographers in action.

70 and her train, late in the day.

70 passing 2 on the three-track location.

A shot of 70 and train from the caboose at the end of the day.

Many thanks to the operating crews, all of the maintenance gang, and especially to Brian Wise, Stathi Pappas, Bob Harbison, Jim Gertz and Tom Murray. Thanks also to all of you photographers for the pleasant conversation and comeraderie in the caboose while riding between photo locations. It was a great trip.

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