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 an agricultural line, but has been mothballed for two years. We were lucky to have been able to access the line, as it was scheduled to be pulled up, but the scrappers sold it to another operator, who is hopeful of returning the line to service. Date for this line was June 30, 2003.

It is known as the "Railroad on Stilts" as it uses 27 timber trestle bridges and seven tunnels to wind its way up a fairly constant 3% grade from river level (Clearwater River) at Lewiston to the top of the Prairie some 3775 feet above sea level.  

I rode up the hill with Chris Baldo, the meet coordinator, on his ST2AA,, and assisted with some clearing and crossing activities. he kindly allowed me to operate it almost all the 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 Cul De Sac to Lewiston- very nice. Although for some reason, Molson the Canadian Wonder Dog did not seem too happy - had I displaced him from his limousine?

Apart from the valleys and bridges, one of the hightlights for this trip was the arrival of the ice-cream van at Cul De Sac, just after the fleet pulled in. I think the lady was a little shocked to have sold so much to so few in such a short space of time.

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

I was somewhat saddened to learn that parts of this line were washed away during February, 2004. The ownership has changed hands, and it now seems unlikely that this line will host speeder event again.

Approaching what I recall as being Lapwai.

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

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 we face another patch of weeds.

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

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

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

Jim Spicer watches John Blacks' A car, and the car of Malcom and Nancy 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 full run down on the line.

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

They both wanted the country seat, and lost it when a vote was put. The larger town of Nezperce won the vote. Ilo and Vollmer later joined up, but if they had back when the vote was up, things could have 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. His loyal companion, Mallett, is sitting ion the speeder. I had an absolute ball bringing this car down from Cottonwood. It was also a lot of fun to assist Chris on the way out, clearing weeds and crossings, 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 I ran at the end of the group. Bonny and Clyde Andrews car, the "John Henry" 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 to Lewiston.

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

Camas Prairie Railnet - Kooskia | PNW Home | Blue Mountain Railroad - Dayton
Page Uploaded July 19, 2003, Updated March 1, 2004

Site and contents © Nic Doncaster and John Black, 2003