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Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Coast Railroad’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 10, 1977

Retired train dispatcher Don Vernor of Maple Valley was honored by friends and co-workers at a recent reception. He has been “on the job” here since 1945 and prior to that worked as a dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada. — Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

Retired train dispatcher Don Vernor of Maple Valley was honored by friends and co-workers at a recent reception. He has been “on the job” here since 1945 and prior to that worked as a dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada. — Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

A number of friends, co-workers, and their spouses brought refreshments and gifts on Saturday afternoon, July 30, to the Maple Valley railroad station to wish Don Vernor well upon his retirement as dispatcher and telegrapher after nearly 33 years at that post.

He had been “on the job” in Maple Valley since January 1945. For three years prior to that he worked as dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada.

“A train dispatcher’s job,” Vernor explains, “is to keep track at all times of the trains in his area. We always have telephone contact station to station.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 23, 2016

By Bill Kombol

Maple Valley’s third depot dates to 1953, shortly after it was built.

Maple Valley’s third depot dates to 1953, shortly after it was built.

Over the near century from 1885 to 1982, Maple Valley hosted three different railroad stations, all located in old Maple Valley just north of where Highway 18 overpasses SR-169. This photo of the third Maple Valley depot dates to 1953 shortly after it was built.

The Maple Valley station was an important cog for directing rail traffic as trains could be switched to Black Diamond, Taylor, or up the Cedar River through Landsburg into the watershed. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 16, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This photo of the Maple Valley railway depot was taken in 1948 as viewed looking northbound along the Maple Valley highway (aka SR-169). The depot was also used as the dispatcher’s office.

It was the second railroad station in Maple Valley, replacing the first constructed in 1885, when the original rail line was built to access coal from the newly developed town of Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 9, 2016

By Bill Kombol

No piece of railroad equipment has inspired more slang terms than the caboose. It is the cage, hack, crummy, parlor, or hut – it is the zoo, the coop or the brain wagon.

No piece of railroad equipment has inspired more slang terms than the caboose. It is the cage, hack, crummy, parlor, or hut – it is the zoo, the coop, or the brain wagon.

According to the 1948 Rotogravure magazine article about the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR), “Railroading has produced as distinctive a lexicon as it is possible for forthright and uninhibited men to dream up.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 2, 2016

By Bill Kombol

Our glimpse into the world of Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR) continues with a photo of Conductor J.F. Bow, shown here in his office inside the caboose. The conductor was the crew member on a train responsible for operational and safety duties which did not involve actual moving of the train.

Conductors typically helped trains run on time, completed en-route paperwork, collected tickets from passengers, and coupled and uncoupled cars when drop-offs or hook-ups were made. When trains needed to move in reverse, the conductor controlled backing movement while from his perch in the caboose, traditionally the last car on a train. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 26, 2016

By Bill Kombol

The old callboard of the C&PS can be seen slightly above the new board installed in the PCRR terminals at South Alaskan Way near Dearborn on the Seattle waterfront – just west of CenturyLink stadium.

The old callboard of the C&PS can be seen slightly above the new board installed in the PCRR terminals at South Alaskan Way near Dearborn on the Seattle waterfront – just west of CenturyLink stadium.

This is the second of a series, which details the workings of the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR) late in its corporate life. Founding as the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad (C&PS), from the ashes of the Seattle & Walla Walla, PCRR was profiled in a 1948 Rotogravure magazine, which included this photo of the engine dispatcher’s board. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 19, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This January 20, 1948 photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This January 20, 1948, photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This column’s focus over the next several weeks will be the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR), previously known as the Columbia & Puget Sound (C&PS). Perhaps no other single venture was more important to the development of the Maple Valley–Black Diamond area than the railroad. (more…)

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