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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Chehalis - Centralia Railroad

The photos (except where noted) and story below are courtesy of Dave Hewitt, who enjoyed his rain soaked holidays around Seattle.

The Chehalis - Centralia is a tourist railroad based in Washington State, NW USA.   It was rebuilt on 10 miles of a branch line of the Milwaukee Road, starting in the mid 1980s, driven by residents of the small town of Chehalis who wanted to have an attraction based on the area's logging railways.
This is Harold Borovec in his early 80s in 2008, the engineer on No.15.    Now 93, he is still involved with the railway which he was instrumental in starting.
No.15 was plinthed in the mid 1950s after 40 years as a logging loco at Chehalis.   It was bought in 1985, restored, & has worked trains since 1989.
Oil-fired No.15 (Baldwin 44106 of 1916) on the line in 2008
(Photo D Hewitt after O Winston Link)
The line features wooden trestle bridges over several river crossings
Cowlitz, Chehalis & Cascade Railway was the former operator.
(photo Drew Sacksich)

In 2011, No.15 heading away from Chehalis
Perhaps typical logging country - the Pacific NW has a high rainfall
The stock has been collected & refurbished by the townsfolk
Approaching Ruth, now the end of the line
Photos taken in 2008 & 2011 courtesy of Dave Hewitt 

The Cowlitz, Chehalis & Cascade Railway was incorporated in 1916 as successor to the Washington Electric Railway.   The first 18 miles were opened from Chehalis to Onalaska in 1918 and the final 14 miles to Cowlitz was finished in 1928.   The total projected line was 170 miles, but it never got beyond the 32 miles.   It was abandoned without ever owning a diesel.   The first locomotive on the CC&C was a 2-8-2 (mikado).    This locomotive was built by Baldwin in 1916 for the Clear Lake Lumber Co. at Clear Lake, in Skagit County, WA and was lettered for the Puget Sound and Cascade Railway with the road number 200.   As No.200, it was put to work hauling logs on Clear Lake's mainline until Clear Lake Lumber went bankrupt.   Number 200 was repossessed by Baldwin in 1926 and resold to the Cowlitz, Chehalis & Cascade Railway which renumbered it to 15.   It was donated to the city of Chehalis about 1955 and around 1988 was restored to operating condition in the Mt. Rainier's Mineral Shops for use on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association line in Chehalis, WA.   (steamlocomotive.com)

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