Posts Tagged ‘wye’

Prepared for the membership of the PNR-NMRA, September 13, 1958

By H.A. Durfy

Coal—black diamonds—a source of heat, light, power, medicines, and many more products too numerous to mention here. This was the beginning of the Pacific Coast R.R. Co., upon which you are riding today. Of course, like other railroads, the Pacific Coast R.R. Co. was not always known by the present title, and we want to lead you through the background and the beginnings of the railroad. (more…)

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Maple Valley Historical Society, March 1987

Here’s where me and the railroad got together.

My brother went up to Maple Valley for some reason or other and saw this gang of railroad men working to save the track that was being washed out. Being nosy, he went up to the foreman and asked if they were hiring anybody and he said yes, and get anyone else you can.

He came home and got me and we started work filling gunny sacks with sand at 4:00 p.m. and didn’t stop til 4:00 p.m. the next day. The rain never let up and gunny sacks got hard to get because everyone else needed them too for the same reason we did. We wound up using sacks that had been filled with rock salt and the salt cut our hands making them very sore. We didn’t have the little bags they use nowadays but the 100-pound size which we about two-thirds filled. (more…)

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By JoAnne Matsumura

This unidentified youngster is standing on one of the three “frogs,” or switches, that make up the Franklin Wye.

This unidentified youngster is standing on one of the three “frogs,” or switches, that make up the Franklin Wye.

Jack Willan (Brady) spent two of his high school years at Black Diamond High, 1920-1921. “Most of it was hiking back and forth from Franklin,” he said.

“We did have tickets on the train. Missed the train and you were late. They punched your ticket. They were good for 30 rides or something like that,” Jack said. “Ten cents a ride.”

There was always something going on at the high school, and he’d often walk back to Black Diamond again. “Oh, we had all kinds of activities,” he said.

Jack and his friends would get together in Black Diamond and “sometimes some kids had to go home to Claymine or to Kummer. Walk them kids all the way over there.”

Jack once talked about the railroad track stating, “there was a track that went over to what we called the ‘Y.’ That was half way between Black Diamond and Franklin. We’d follow the track all the way up to Franklin and we’d let the girls off at their homes and just keep on going having fun and singing.”

Jack Newton Willan (Brady) was born in Franklin on September 19, 1903, and passed away on April 19, 1990. He is interned in the Black Diamond Cemetery.

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Vice Pres’t and Gen’l Mngr.

At San Francisco, 10th Nov.

H.W. Cannon, Esq.,
Chairman of the Board
10 Wall St. New York City

Pacific Coast Coal Co. Logo 1922Dear Sir, –

Am advised that Engine 8 pulling Train No.2 on Columbia and Puget Sound RR November 8th left track at south wye switch between Franklin and Black Diamond and turned over on its side.

Fireman Parker and Brakeman Dixon both jumped off and were killed by the engine falling upon them. Engineer Hicks who remained on the engine, escaped with slight bruises.

Two coal dumps were also derailed at the time. Accident is supposed to have been caused by connecting rod at switch working loose.

Track was cleared on the afternoon of 8th and engine picked up the following day. Damage not serious except the killing of two men.

Yours truly,
J.C. Ford


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