WURR Information (from the Altamont Press 11-28-12)

Ironhorseman Nov 28, 2012

  1. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member

    Just got this off of the Northwest Rails Yahoo group. Can anyone say they are actually surprised? I'm not...



    Train's manager scrambles for financing

    [From the Wallowa County Chieftain, Enterprise OR, blog Nov. 2, 2012]

    The Wallowa-Union Railroad Authority hasn't been hearing much lately from Court ammond, whose Sierra Nevada & Pacific Railroad Company (SNAP) is the contracted manager of the Wallowa-Union Railroad.

    SNAP, which proposed in December 2011 to significantly ramp up the number of trains run on WURA's 63-mile line between Elgin and Joseph [OR], fell far short during 2012 of implementing the ambitious new schedule. For starters, that schedule called for 48 steelhead fish trains from Minam to Rondowa during the year's first four months, followed by 48 "multipurpose trains" running between the same two points during May and June to additionally service rafters.

    Highlights of SNAP's first year managing the line included running round-trip excursion trains several weekends this summer between Enterprise and Joseph – a segment that hadn't had train service for several years – and transporting SNAP's 1905 caboose here from Yreka, Calif.

    This excursion season's most remarkable lowlight: non-arrival of the eagerly awaited 1915 Baldwin steam locomotive, Engine #19.

    In a September interview, Hammond told the Chieftain that he estimated it would cost $40,000 to $50,000 to transport the engine to Northeast Oregon.

    Hammond has been having trouble lining up the financing he seems to need for that move, however, according to WURA board member Mike Hayward, who told the newspaper Oct. 19 that one such potential arrangement had already fallen through for SNAP. At the time, Hayward said fellow WURA board member Mark Davidson was waiting to hear from Hammond concerning Hammond's next attempt to raise needed funds.

    On Monday, Oct. 29, Hayward said there was nothing new to report on this front. "Haven't heard a word from him," he said of Hammond.

    "Probably the next step is, we need to schedule a board meeting and have the board brought up to speed," Hayward said. WURA, which rotates the location of its board meetings, should hold its next meeting in Wallowa.

    Hayward said WURA has already taken it upon itself to winterize the line's rolling equipment, a task accomplished by two employees in one day. "I wasn't going to wait for that equipment to freeze and bust," Hayward said.
  2. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Bill, I notice they did not report on how many of the 48 steelhead and 48 multipurpose trains were actually run. Do you know? I thought I read that the entire line was shut down for some time due to fire danger. And of course we know that your favorite locomotive, YW 19, is still in the shop at Yreka.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have a feeling we'll see this ending up in another court battle. Result= No trains at all.
  4. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member

    Jim ... I have no information on that. Any info I receive about the WURR or even the YWRR are always at least 'second-hand' and I would not rely on any of it. Under the circumstances, there's no way to expect a straight answer from Court. It's just his way of doing business I guess.

    Ken ... you are probably right.

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