Thursday, September 11, 2008

Annual Roots of Motive Power Steam-Up Weekend


Starting as a handful of volunteers helping the County Museum repair and operate old machines, Roots of Motive Power has flourished into an independent non-profit of enthusiastic men and women with a vast collection of antique steam, diesel, and gas powered machinery of every description. Most of it, however, is directly related to the railroading and logging industries of the local area. Years of planning and hard work resulted in a fine restoration shed and work yard, along with a completed loop track for testing and demonstrating the restored railcars and locomotives they work so hard on. The weekend after Labor Day always sees the greatest participation and variety of all their events through the year. In the photo above, volunteers prepare a diesel locomotive for a day of pulling industrial flat cars, and a caboose full of eager riders, around the loop.

I have loads of photos from this event, and will intermittently post some as a series, along with liberal use of my Overflow blog. You can also see plenty of photos on the Roots website linked above.

8 comments:

Laurie said...

Elaine, I'm so glad you included mroe shots on your overflow blog. What a picturesque event -- and how cool.

I love that shot on the overflow with the word ROOTS blazing up top. Gorgeous.

Bibi said...

What an interesting event and group of people!

Virginia said...

I think that's a great idea. Most kiddos today haven't had the pleasure of riding on a train. It evoked memories of many train trips to Little Rock to see my grandparents in the summer.

Knoxville Girl said...

I'm glad there are people dedicated to preserving our history. I like the man reaching down from the engine cab.

Kym said...

I went a couple years ago on the Casey train that came up. What a wonderful time we had. I'm glad Willits has such a great group.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Do they have smudge pots? If you grow stone fruit, would there ever be a need for smudge pots/ Just curious.

Jules said...

Hi Elaine - this is so cool. What an amazing group of people to be organizing this. Would love to see it.

My Granddad used to to be an engine driver before WWI but his injuries were so bad in the war he could only return to the rail as a signal man which broke his heart.

USelaine said...

Laurie - Thanks; I have plenty more. I should have thought about this before starting a series on the Miracle Mile, but I'll mix them in.

Bibi - They really have a good time, and some of their volunteers come from many miles away to "play".

Virginia - I didn't ride a "real" train until I was in college, and I traveled from Santa Barbara to Sacramento. Those were great trips.

KG - Me too. And me too. 8^)

Kym - Well let me know next time you're in town!

PA - Roots didn't have any, but I think smudge pots were used down in the Ukiah Valley for the vineyards. Now, if the nights get too freezing before harvest, the grape growers use sprinklers to cover the fruit with ice. It actually helps protect them from getting very much below 32 degrees.

Jules - That's sad to hear. Roots offers a short "engineers school" in April, which primarily teaches new volunteers about safety, and the basic mechanics of steam power. I think with railroads so much in decline here, that many of them find even learning the signals is a great pleasure.

Thank you all for making this whistle stop. I'll be posting more from this event pretty soon.