Logging Railroads of the West By Kramer Adams DJ LIMITED EDITION SIGNED

Logging Railroads of the West By Kramer Adams DJ LIMITED EDITION SIGNED

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Logging Railroads of the West By Kramer Adams DJ LIMITED EDITION SIGNED
Logging Railroads of the West By Kramer Adams 160 Pages Hard CoverWITH DUST JACKET Copyright 1961 LIMITED EDITION #243 SIGNED
Table of contents:
Whistle in the woods, the uncommon carrier, the scenery inspectors, pushing steel, the up and down railroads, tracks to the timber, hogs and iron oxen, joining the birds, the slow bell, whistle signals, the last of the steam locomotives, glossary and English loggers dictionary, listing of logging railroads in the west, more.  
The highball signal was two blasts of the steam locomotive whistle. For half a century, it was the most important sound in the West.
Assaulting the stillness of the noblest forests on earth, it gave its name to an entire era of frenzied activity in the lumber industry. The whistle signalled the progress of Man's battle against America's last timbered wilderness. The fortunes of men and cities were based on its vaporous promise, and it heralded the course of empire.
The falsetto of the whistle was part of a deafening chorus made up of clanging machinery, restless steam and groaning wheels. The log-hauling locomotive which carried these improbable noises to the forest was usually a smoky, dangerous and unkempt collection of steel and wood parts which should have been left on the rip track long ago.
She was a lovable woods tramp called something like "Betsy," "The Amazon" or "The Coffee Grinder." Any other civilities directed her way were inspired solely by log-hauling ability, not speed or appearance. Often, she was scorned as a caricature of the coldly efficient engines on the nearby passenger lines. Yet without her, the development of the West would have been delayed and the story of the timber industry a little less colorful.
In daring attacks on the slopes of the Sierras, Bitterroots, Cascades and Rockies, the steam pot chugged into history's most difficult logging terrain. Where railroads had been unthinkable, she ventured boldly on slippery, third-hand rails. If the track wasn't level, it was shimmed up with wood slabs from the lumber mill.
Across creaking wooden trestles and up grades no mainline engineer would attempt, she brought loaded log cars down to the mill day and night, the red hot glow of their screeching wheels visible a mile away in the dark.
Curves were so sharp that the factories of Baldwin, Heisler, Davenport and a dozen others were hard put to produce powerful engines that would stay on the logger's tracks. Lumber, logs, iron and steel were used for rails and the gauge was somewhere between 21 inches and 9 feet.
In her nine decades, the logging locomotive proved that there was no place too remote--no terrain unconquerable-no virgin forest safe.
Across desert and swamp, water, snow and ice, she pursued the timber.
The logger properly called her a locomotive instead of an engine, to avoid confusion with other machinery used in the business of getting logs. To him, the locomotive was the center of life. She bore him to work in the woods and brought out the hot mid-day meal. At times the homeward-bound crew car was a refuge from the bitter weather by which Nature fought back at the bold men who presumed to hack away at the biggest plants on earth.
The logger ate and slept on the rails in camp cars that were shuttled from place to place. The downhill tracks beckoned on payday and took him closer to the city skid road where the rigors of woods life could be drowned out in an orgy as lasting as his hard-earned wages.
The tracks of the logging road led from the timber cutting site to the nearest mill. log pond or booming grounds. The railroad operator's mission was to deliver the logs down the hill as quickly and cheaply as possible.
In the attempt, an unbelievable assortment of obstacles was placed in the way by Man and Nature. Slides, floods, earthquakes, storms, fire, snow and rain dealt terrible blows to the logger's flimsy efforts to span the forest. Derailments, wrecks and explosions made railroad logging one of the most dangerous of all occupations. Among other hazards were wandering bears, deer, elk and cattle on the right of way. Indians fired on the log trains and dynamite on the tracks was used by unfriendly strikers to drive home a point.
More often it was disaster of a financial nature which stalked the railroad show. Anyone with a few hundred dollars and access to timber could make a down payment on a used locomotive and start his chance. Some succeeded in the gamble, but many more lost, and the locomotive was destined to change hands again. Smarter operators ran their trains across the county line to avoid the sheriff. On other occasions, the transfer of ownership was accomplished in a poker game.
There were 3,000 locomotives used on as many railroads which came and went in the tumultuous first century of Western logging. Most of them were ugly, noisy and certainly not the ladies they were built to be. She might once have been the pampered queen of a mainline, but now she snorted through the forest on a diet of wood, coke, coal, kerosene, oil, briquettes, electricity, gasoline or borrowed steam-whichever was cheapest. Water for her boiler often came from the handiest creek.
In form, the locomotive was as varied as her duties. She was a sleek new product of the Baldwin Works, a converted gasoline truck or a remodeled threshing machine. In the early days, she might have been a homemade rig, constructed mainly of logger's ingenuity and kept together by baling wire. In no other type of service was there such a variety of motive power.
Only superlatives can be employed to describe the 90-year pageant that was Western railroad logging. There was the shortest railroad in the world, and the steepest one. Logging roads claimed the most expensive mile in history, the highest wooden trestle and the broadest track gauge. There was the longest and steepest incline railroad, the curviest right of way and the oldest regularly operating locomotive.
Amidst the most beautiful scenery in the Nation, the western logging railroads wound over stumps and through the trees on the most dangerous steel pathways that ever existed.
Train schedules were set by the sun, the tide, the barometer or smoke signals from another locomotive on the track. Trains ran a reputed 30 hours each day in and out of such mill towns as Six Bit Gulch, Calif., Remote, Ore., Pysht, Wash. and Big Blackfoot, Mont.
Many of the log-haulers were common carriers, whose passenger trains never sold a ticket; indeed, did not have tickets to sell. Others carried presidents and kings, movie stars and tramps into the grandest forests on earth.
The loggers called them by such titles as the "Stump Dodger," "Knothole Central," "Old Slow and Easy" and "The Skunk Line." Like most nicknames, the unflattering terms were born of familiarity and used with affection.
Few remain to mourn the highball days. The wasteful cut-out and get-out logging which the railroad made possible has been replaced by reason in the handling of America's forests. Sentimentalists alone will care that the steam locomotive has already made her last spur run and exists today as a curiosity on a dwindling few main line hauls.
For those who prefer to remember, and for the curious of the future, these notes on the steam-powered railroads which hauled logs for a living were gathered in the hope that it wasn't too late. The story is restricted to the 11 Western states, where a combination of awesome terrain and forests of magnificent proportions challenged the railroad logger, and where his ingenious, heroic and sometimes comic methods of overcoming Nature are most worthy of record.

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