The Pacific Northwest Tour,2003

Camas Prairie Railnet -Cottonwood


This Railway is also known as the Second Subdivision,and the "Railroad on Stilts".

Like many others on the tour, it is anagricultural line, but has been mothballed for two years. We werelucky to have been able to access the line, as it was scheduled to bepulled up, but the scrappers sold it to another operator, who ishopeful of returning the line to service. Date for this line was June30, 2003.

It is known as the "Railroad on Stilts" as it uses27 timber trestle bridges and seven tunnels to wind its way up afairly constant 3% grade from river level (Clearwater River) atLewiston to the top of the Prairie some 3775 feet above sealevel.  

I rode up the hill with Chris Baldo, the meetcoordinator, on his ST2AA,, and assisted with some clearing andcrossing activities. he kindly allowed me to operate it almost allthe way home. As some people needed to head back to Lewiston by road,I also got the chance to take one of the Vanderspek A cars from CulDe Sac to Lewiston- very nice. Although for some reason, Molson theCanadian Wonder Dog did not seem too happy - had I displaced him fromhis limousine?

Apart from the valleys and bridges, one of thehightlights for this trip was the arrival of the ice-cream van at CulDe Sac, just after the fleet pulled in. I think the lady was a littleshocked to have sold so much to so few in such a short space oftime.

I was able to rescue my hat just out of Lewiston.Thanks to Jan and Gill, and Dan and his crew for spotting it andgrabbing it for me!

I was somewhat saddened to learn that parts ofthis line were washed away during February, 2004. The ownership haschanged hands, and it now seems unlikely that this line will hostspeeder event again.


Approaching what I recall as being Lapwai.

The Frosts MT14 pauses as we clear away two years worth ofgrowth.

And again as we dig out a crossing.

Janet Dominguez and a colleague discuss the running so far.

Chris' ST2 starts to barks its way up out of Cul de Sac, as weface another patch of weeds.

Looking back down the Valley from Chris' ST2, we can see some ofthe cars still coming. This pic shows the line on the other side ofthe valley, just beyond the bridge crossing the road.

Chuck Lee rolls across the Half Moon Trestle, with John Blackbehind.

Chris Baldo looks like he is about to jump just as George Hope andMolson stroll up. He is watching the other cars come up thevalley.

Jim Spicer watches John Blacks' A car, and the car of Malcom andNancy Frost, roll accross the Half Moon Trestle.

John and I at the Half Moon Trestle!

Nice ASSCO shirt, John.

Almost to the end. This is Craigmont, where we stopped for lunch.The group also picked up the local historian, and we were given fullrun down on the line.

Craigmont was originally two towns, Ilo and Vollmer. The two townshad an ongoing spat, with two train stations. The train stopping atone, then pulling forward to the next, set up so the other towncouldn't see what was going on.

They both wanted the country seat, and lost it when a vote wasput. The larger town of Nezperce won the vote. Ilo and Vollmer laterjoined up, but if they had back when the vote was up, things couldhave been different.

Nym, Bob and John, and Johns Speeder.

Just a nice shot of the Valley

Chris poses for me at the Half Moon trestle on the way down. Hisloyal companion, Mallett, is sitting ion the speeder. I had anabsolute ball bringing this car down from Cottonwood. It was also alot of fun to assist Chris on the way out, clearing weeds andcrossings, and setting shunts to allow the group to procede.Congratulations on a great run, Chris, and thanks for the ride.

Looking down the Valley from the Half Moon Trestle. Chris and Iran at the end of the group. Bonny and Clyde Andrews car, the "JohnHenry" can just be seen crossing the bridge!

A wider shot of the picture above - What a sight!!!

Crossing the road in the bottom of the valley on the way back toLewiston.

Tod Hill enjoys a break at Cul De Sac , whilst everyone elseempties out the ice cream van!


CamasPrairie Railnet -Kooskia |PNWHome |BlueMountain Railroad -Dayton
Page Uploaded July 19,2003, Updated March 1, 2004

Site and contents © NicDoncaster and John Black, 2003