2012. A Year In Review
by, December 24th, 2012 at 09:03 PM (789 Views)
Whew! 2012 has been a busy railfanning year. I havn't even gotten to blog much except a few news articles.
Well lets see what I've been up to. First, most of the year was taken up with the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Mountain Quarries Railroad here in Auburn,CA. I was very fortunate to be asked to join the committee planning out events for this celebration as well as keep track of the schedule and post updates for my Foothill Rails site.
During this planning, I got to take a trip down to Clarksburg to meet the owner of the last surviving MQRR locomotive and explore his own railroad, Silver Bend Farms. Through this trip, we were able to secure a loan of the locomotive for future displays during our events. These included the Confluence Festival at the American River Overlook in Auburn, display on the Mountain Quarries (No Hands) Bridge, and display again at Colfax RR Days. In addition to this, the committee were invited on a guided tour of the Mountain Quarries mine (Hawver Cavern), which the railroad had served. This was absolutely spectacular to finally get to enter the underground maze and see the old remnants of the mining days.
Even with this all going on, I was able to get in two trips down to Cajon Pass for some mainline railfanning, stopping along the way in many places to shoot pics of several shortline and industrial units. This included capturing the final Modesto & Empire Traction genset I needed to complete my collection. Cajon itself proved to be beautiful but fairly uneventful on either trip.
A map I found online spurred a huge exploration of nearby Rocklin,CA and its myriad of spurs to the granite quarries. Of course this in turn caused me to add a whole new section to my Rocklin page on the site. Check it out! I had no idea rails ever crossed to the opposite side of where I-80 runs. I even found a piece of rail and ties on that far flung spur.
Several small trips around Roseville yard and up to Colfax or to Newcastle for photos were also undertaken, bagging me several Union Pacific locomotives that were new to my collection.
With a new love in my life, I thought I might not get out much anymore. Wow has this proved to be wrong. She even encourages me and so far in the last couple months, we've made several trips. First up was a hike along one of the northern spurs of the Michigan-California Lumber Co railroad. This was followed by a trip exploring the Swayne Lumber and Feather River Railway out of Oroville,CA. Included in our explorations was also a trip to Jackson upon which I got to check out the Amador Central remnants, discovering the depot in Martell had been torn down, and a short hike along what I think is the old right of way of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge near Rollins Lake.
As a result, many new images, maps, and updates have been added to Foothill Rails and many more are going to come. Keep an eye out and a huge thanks to those who continue to support and follow my efforts to document whats left of the railroads that once were in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
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