Re: Correction to Yreka Western flashback post on "The Other"
Author: Jeff Moore
Date: 11-08-2019 - 16:30
David, et al, my understanding all along always has been that this paint scheme did originate with Brian Whipple. Note the similarities between this paint scheme and the one Whipple used on the Eureka Southern. Whipple and Doug Morgan were joined at the hip in a lot of ventures, so there's no surprise that he was involved in the locomotive.
I don't know what involvement Morgan had in the Northern Nevada Railroad project, but Whipple was the principle of that company, and what SP5103 wrote jives with what I remember of the project's early years except that my memory is Whipple bought two MRS-1s, but only the 244 got painted and neither got delivered. In the end they did buy five ex-SP SD-9Es, what I don't remember now is if that happened before or after Broken Hills Properties bought out Magma Copper and decided to run the railroad themselves as BHP Nevada Rail instead of carrying on with Whipple's contract. BHP Nevada Rail did use the two 70-tonners and also brought north from Arizona a former San Manuel Arizona/Magma Copper RS-3, though I don't know how much actual service that one saw in Nevada. BHP handled two 60-80 car unit trains each week, which they just delivered to UP at Shafter for forwarding on to the smelter in San Manuel, Arizona. In the last years BHP was planning to shut their railroad down and instead install a truck scale at the mines and truck the ore from Ely to a reload on the UP over in Utah, but elected to shut down the entire operations before that came to pass.
The Nevada Northern Railway Museum inherited all that equipment as settlement when BHP pulled the plug on the Ely mines in 1999, the museum subsequently sold three of the SDs to a shortline in Colorado and the 70-tonners to the M&ET and probably scrapped one of the other SD-9s, but kept and still makes extensive use of the fifth today. NN SD-7 #401 is indeed at the power plant in Delta, Utah, which is scheduled to close on or before 2025. The NN museum did acquire two MRS-1s, I think bringing them to Ely was the last time anything traveled the length of the mainline. That happened around 2002 or so. The current operator of the Ely mines would love to have direct rail service but only if it doesn't cost them anything to patch the railroad back together, so they've settled for trucking ore to a reload in Wendover, Utah. The ore now goes to export through one of the northwest ports (Vancouver or Portland) on account of no smelters left in the US with the capacity to process the ore.