MNRR: First Train to Lakeview

 

March 17, 2006

 

Finally, the first Modoc Northern train is heading to Lakeview, Oregon.  Having received an email the previous morning from Don Blansett letting me know the plan, I arrived in Alturas early in the morning to capture the occasion in photographs.

 

 3 17 06 1202Both ends of the train wait patiently in the early morning sunshine in Alturas yard.
Map location

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 3 17 06 1214Once the train is assembled and inspected, itbegins its journey to Lakeview at Lakeview Junction (Alturas wye)
Map location

Within just a couple of minutes, it passes the former N-C-O depot in Alturas. Within just a couple of minutes, it passes the former N-C-O depot in Alturas.
Map location

Crossing US 395 (N. Main St.) in Alturas, with the original former N-C-O depot visible to the right of the photo.Crossing US 395 (N. Main St.) in Alturas, with the original former N-C-O depot visible on the right side of the photo.
Map location

Moments later, it crosses Hwy 299.Moments later, it crosses Hwy 299 (W. 12th St.).
Map location

Leaving AlturasLeaving Alturas
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Warner Mountains in the distanceWarner Mountains in the distance as the train parallels Hwy 395 north of Alturas.

We are entering the Pit River Canyon.We are entering the Pit River Canyon.
Map location

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Crossing the North Fork of the Pit River at BIA Road.Crossing the North Fork of the Pit River at BIA Route 76.
Map location

Then passing the California Agricultural Inspection Station at BIA Road.Then passing the California Agricultural Inspection Station at BIA Route 76.
Map location

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Clearly not the smoothest track you'll ever see.Clearly not the smoothest track you'll ever see.

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Starting to climb a bit.Starting to climb a bit.
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Crossing the North Fork of the Pit RiverCrossing the North Fork of the Pit River
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The Pit River Canyon has seen a lot of track work and more than its share of derailments.  The roadbed here is quite soft.  Lake County Railroad is FRA Excepted and has a speed limit of 10mph.The Pit River Canyon has seen a lot of track work and more than its share of derailments. The road bed here is quite soft. Lake County Railroad is FRA Excepted and has a speed limit of 10mph.

See the evidence of a recent derailment here?See the evidence of a recent derailment here?

Climbing through the canyon.

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On the plateau near County Road 133BOn the plateau near County Road 133B
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Approaching Westside Rd.Approaching Westside Rd.

Westside Road at Davis CreekWestside Road at Davis Creek
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Goose Lake in the backgroundGoose Lake in the background
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Crossing the California/Oregon border at New Pine CreekCrossing the California/Oregon border at New Pine Creek
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Crossing Pine Creek.Crossing Pine Creek
Map location

Waiting for the train at Lake County Rd. 1-16/ Old Wells Rd.Waiting for the train at Lake County Rd. 1-16/ Old Wells Rd.
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Looking south from Kadrmas Rd.Looking south from Kadrmas Rd.
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Crossing Kadrmas Road

Entering Lakeview at sunsetEntering Lakeview at sunset

At South 9th St. in LakeviewAt South 9th St. in Lakeview
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In Lakeview YardIn Lakeview Yard
Map location

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Passing alongside the former Lakeview N-C-O depot, now a private residence.Passing alongside the former Lakeview N-C-O depot, now a private residence.
Map location

Last shot of the day, looking south from N. 2nd Street.Last shot of the day, looking south from N. 2nd Street. 
It's been a long day; about 60 miles in 7 hours.

To quote Modoc Nothern's Don Blansett from a 2007-2008 newsletter on their former website: "After taking over the LCR on 1 November last year, MNR has been dealing with a severely out of shape plant. As is well known, 5 derailments occurred within the first six months. All on the branch. However, service has been consistent throughout the last six months, with no derailments occurring.

"The engineering department has done amazing feats with limited resources throughout the system. Evidence of their level of accomplishment can be seen in the lack of derailments and improved infrastructure.

" MNR does have a dedicated group of people, and if you're out exploring our service area, feel free to stop and visit with any of our folks. I'm sure they would enjoy the chance to talk about their MNR. And don't forget to thank them, for without the efforts of the above folks, there would be no MNR.

"In 2008, look for the branch to continue to receive tender care. Plans call for approx. one-third to be removed from excepted status. Look for the new main line power and a new switch engine at Lakeview. Service levels are also increasing, should be making a daily, yes daily, except weekends, from Klamath Falls to Lakeview. Servce to commence 1 June 08."

 

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