Jim Norwood Passes Away - 9-27-2016
It was with great sadness that my newsfeed this week alerted me to the passing of fellow railfan and model railroader Jim Norwood.
I have known Jim for a very long time. Both he and my father were active members of the KCSHS. My family made many summer trips to KCSHS conventions in the '80's and '90's. These conventions are where we met Jim. He was always very pleasant, exuding "southern hospitality" to those he interacted with.
In 1998 I left New Orleans, moving to Fort Worth to begin my career with the BNSF. Jim Norwood quickly welcomed me to his home and introduced me to his operating group. Over the many years since then I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of operating sessions on his large HO scale railroad.
Jim's railroad is quite impressive, a bit overwhelming in scope (the entire KCS in theory), with a number of very detailed scenes. Not having my own railroad, I asked him if he would mind allowing me to do a photo-shoot of my proto-freelanced equipment on his railroad. Jim graciously agreed and on March 19, 2009 I spent several hours photographing the green-and-white locomotives of my T&GN and NT&O on his railroad, yielding many of the stock images I use throughout this website.
Time does fly--that photo-shoot seems like yesterday. In 2011 I moved to Lincoln, NE and remained there until 2014.
Upon moving back to Fort Worth my time has been consumed with work and family. In fact it was not until last month that I came across his name and realized that I had not reached out to him since I returned to Fort Worth. One simple e-mail later and I had an invite to an operating session to be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. He encouraged me to invite some friends and so Ronald Jones and Rick Simpson came along for their first visit to Jim's railroad.
The usual cast was there. In some ways the five years that had elapsed since my last visit seemed to vanish. Jim assigned me to train No. 423, handed me the paperwork, and directed me towards the room that contained Heavener Yard.
KCS 638 and KCS 642, a pair of Athearn RTR SD40-2s, were my power and I would build the train with the noted cars on the paperwork. One train with three more KCS SD40-2s passed through Heavener while I was switching.
Jim played the role of dispatcher. Once I had my train built, I contacted the dispatcher and was given an excellent run across the railroad which can best be described as a labyrinth of tracks that occupy all of the second floor of his house.
Though it was late when my train reached its destination of Deramus Yard (Shreveport), Jim coaxed me into accepting a second assignment. "It'll be a quick run," Jim said.
There was a new third-level on this layout that was not there when I last visited. This assignment was a Rock Island local that operated from Winnfield to Baton Rouge in his world. A pair of maroon Rock Island geeps did indeed make quick work of this task!
My alarm clock would be going off very early in the morning, ensuring that I made it on time to my real job dispatching the BNSF Ravenna Subdivision. It was time to put up my radio and my throttle and say goodnight. On my way home I contemplated how I almost did not accept this invitation. I never stay out late on work nights. I made the right choice I thought satisfied. It was good to see my friends again. It did not occur to me that this would be my last run on his KCS.
R.I.P. Jim Norwood. You will be missed. Thank you for the memories!
BN and CR Magor 4750's Delivered Today
Five ExactRail Magor 4750 cuft covered hopper cars arrived on the property today:
BN 439547 BN 439562
CR 888697 CR 888738 CR 888743
These are the first examples of this model I purchased. It is nice to have some variety to spie up a fleet of P-S 4750 covered hoppers!
Last Run on Matthew Sugerman's HO Railroad
One of a handful of operating model railroads in the Fort Worth area which I have operated on is Matthew Sugerman's HO scale "Lewiston Terminal". The setting is 1965 and the focus of the railroad is the Potlatch paper mill which is switched by the Northern Pacific.
Mr. Sugerman has decided to move into a new house so one last crew call went out for a final operating session on this railroad. Lance Lassen, Ryan Harris, and myself accepted the call and we would man the final operating session at this location - held on the evening of Wednesday, September 14, 2016.
There are plans to rebuild this railroad in a larger space in the new house, so there is the hope of more Lewiston Terminal operating sessions in the future!
In the current layout environment there are two jobs during the operating sessions. One is the mill switcher which calls for a two-man crew. Lance Lassen and Ryan Harris worked this job. The second is a local that brings inbound traffic from staging into Lewiston and then gathers outbound traffic from Lewiston and takes it to staging. This job blocks the cars into two NP blocks and a UP block before departing Lewiston. I worked this job.
The railroad features many hand-laid switches, all of which work extremely well! The mill switcher is a very labor intensive job. Quite a few cars are handled and some thought has to go into the moves. Because there was so much outbound traffic, sawing the two jobs by each other at Lewiston was tricky.
As always, operating with this group was a pleasure. I eagerly await the reincarnation of the Lewiston Terminal!
Lewiston Terminal Pages
The buttons below will take you to pages with more information about this HO Scale Lewiston Terminal model railroad:
The text in this section has been provided by Matthew Sugerman as an introduction to his Lewiston Terminal concept!
The Camas Prairie Railroad
During the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, arch rival railroad companies, the Northern Pacific Railway and The Union Pacific Railroad, built duplicate rail lines to many small towns in Eastern Washington. These lines were mostly “granger” lines, serving the vast farming communities of the Palouse Prairie. Consequently, both railroad companies struggled to pay for the lines, as the traffic was seasonal and divided between the two railroads.
A similar pattern of duplicate construction in central Idaho seemed to be developing also. By 1908, both railroads had reached Lewiston, Idaho and had their sights set on the rich farming communities of the Camas prairie in north central Idaho. Both rivals realized that duplicate rail lines, in conjunction with the expensive construction from Lewiston to the prairie would not be profitable.
The two railroad companies came to an agreement, in which they would build one rail line and establish an operating company that would handle the traffic for both railroads. The Camas Prairie Railroad was the result of the agreement. Starting in late 1909, the Camas Prairie Railroad took over operating and maintaining the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific lines between Riparia, Washington, Lewiston, Idaho and Grangeville, Idaho. Two additional lines were also placed under control of the Camas Prairie Railroad in the late 1920’s.
The original intent of the agreement was to manage agricultural traffic from the camas prairie region, primarily wheat, to ports and millers in the region. As the 20th century unfolded, after the Second World War, lumber and paper business developed in the region near Lewiston, becoming the primary source of traffic for the railroad.
Potlatch Forests built a massive lumber and paper mill on the east side of Lewiston, which accounted for approximately 50% of the traffic that originated on the Camas Prairie Railroad. Additionally, many small lumber mills were built along the railroad adding to the overall forest products traffic the railroad hauled.
The Lewiston Terminal
The railroad modeled represents approximately 3 miles of railroad through Lewiston, in August of 1965. The line modeled includes the Potlatch Forests lumber, pulp, paper and plywood mill, as well as many smaller industries serving the community.
The era of operations is August of 1965. August is the beginning of the wheat harvest on the camas prairie. Passenger service in the form of a Rail Diesel Car was still in service from Spokane, Washington to Lewiston.
Additional Items of interest:
New ExactRail Delivery - P-S 5344 Box Cars
This year I have not purchased many ExactRail cars. Last year, the monthly specials were appealing and quite a few were added to the fleet. The monthly specials this year really did not fit into my plan. Locomotive purchases have taken priority.
The August ExactRail monthly special however was a must grab. The P-S 5344 box cars were on sale for $28.95! The following eight cars showed up today via UPS (free shipping):
BAR 5548 - D&H 27284
NOPB 3556 - NOPB 3571 - NOPB 3597
TASD 78013 - TASD 78037 - TASD 78052