Large Scale Central

Said news for STMA rail fans

So Craig T made a comment to me that if I want to get pictures of the STMA MOW and other cars they have in their yard I had better hurry because they were scrapping it all.

I drove down today to take some pictures of the rib side caboose brake gear because I can’t find where I saved any photos of it. And much to my surprise their yard is virtually empty. They indeed are scrapping all the iron they had on side tracks. Fortunately one of the two rib sides was still there, and it is the right one with older brake gear. So I got good pictures of that.

Also still there was the unusual plow that looks like a shop build plow made from either a rib side caboose or a rib side box car ( I am thinking the later). Other than their locos and log cars, the three pieces I want to model are the rib side caboose, that weird plow, and their old school Jordan spreader. But gone is the Jordan spreader.

After talking to one of the workers there, I got there in the nick of time. The caboose is sold and will be gone in short order to another railroad for restoration ( I am guessing in their colors, or back to the original Milwaukee colors but who knows). Fortunately last year I was allowed to climb all over it with a tape measure, paper, and a camera. So I have that one pretty well covered. The weird plow is likely the next in line for the torch. Now I have no desire to even come close to modeling it exactly. They cobbled it together and so will I . But I got more pictures today just in case. And the I have decent pictures of the spreader from previous trips, but best of all I have an unassembled HO kit of the exact style that I can copy and scale up.

So for my purposes I was not all that heart broken. But as a rail fan in general they had some pretty neat and unusual stuff right beside the road for years that you could admire. It was an ad hock museum. But no longer. I understand why, its an eye sore to most, a pile of rust to the crew, and scrap iron which is money to the owner. It was never going to be used again and like the employee told me most of it was so old and so far gone that it couldn’t have been moved to a rail museum if one even wanted it.

I get it, railroads are in the business of making money and useless scrap iron is only worth what the scrapper will give you. I can’t blame them one bit. But it does break my heart a little more than a bit to see it all go.

The MILW is fading further and further into history. If I ever wanted to model a different railroad then the BN ( probably cause I grew up seeing BN SD40-2 fly by at track speed in Sandpoint ID), then the MILW would be it. They had such unusual equipment and style of railroading even in the last days. Not sure if there are many ex MILW railroaders still working either.

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They did have unusual stuff thats for sure. Ots one of the reasons I love that rib side caboose. Its just odd.

The Milwaukee Road has a bit of a spot in my heart. I love the St Joe River, fishing it, camping there, working there, the railroad history is just so intertwined with St Joe history that the two can not be separated.

I chose to model another obscure N Idaho railroad but I could have easily been satisfied modeling a whimsical version of the MILW from Avery to St Maries.

But that section isn’t the best of its history in N idaho. They absorbed a shortline that ran between Rathdrum, Idaho to Metaline Falls, WA. If I wasn’t modeling what I am, then I would model that shortline and latter Milwaukee Road section.

Uh oh! I am hearing a disturbance in the force, sounds like the railroad in Post Falls is pivoting once again to a newer short line railroad! Those eclairs, scones or whatever the Townsend clan has fed you is giving you a case of Prototypis Scaleacus exactus!!!

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Ooh, nice one, Pete!

Devon, that is sad. Do you or Craig have any further report on the scrapping?

Not since I posted but my conversation with the crew there said they were getting rid of just about everything that isn’t used.

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Are there any museums or RR societies conserving any of it?

They did give a couple of their old log cars to a couple rail museums. They sold the only rib side caboose they had left to some place in Washington that was supposedly restoring it to Milwaukee condition. The rest I was told was so far gone they couldn’t legally roll it down the tracks. So they cut it all up.