Walter Strong


image 91. Foreign cars arriving in Whittier on rail barges
Illinois Central IC 15548 MainLine of MID-AMERICA Box car
image 92. Westinghouse/GE power plant components arriving in Alaska at Whittier. Pennsylvania RR Flat
image 93. New York Central mill gon loaded with power plant components on barge apron at Whittier.
image 94. Pennsylvania flat with Power plant components coming off the barge in Whittier.
image 95. The tide is high and the loading angle is getting more critical as the barge is unloaded at Whittier.
image 96. New York Central flat 499401 loaded with a second boiler for the power plant.
image 97. High value freight in Whittier headed North. Is that a steam turbine reduction gear set on the second flat?
image 98. Disregard the outline of the chemical tank car behind this load aboard Prennsylvania flat 4?4046. There is a lot of cribbing supporting the device and the sign on the crate carries the Westinghouse logo.
image 99. Pennsylvania flat 469367 is a great demonstration of cribbing and packaging. There is enough knotty pine in that box covering whatever it is, to finish the basement. Westinghouse tagged this load as well.
image 100. Unloading a barge is just like Christmas morning. Following the CN box car is Alaska Railroad's first and only GP30 number 2000. All the fan and screen openings had been covered to keep out ocean spray.
image 101. ARR GP30 number 3000 moved dead in tow to Anchorage where she was unveiled and placed in service.

102. From the deck of the ARR dock you can see the floating fenders used to hold the barge in line with the ramp. The barge will be winched from side to side to line the tracks. Notice the cribbing under the Northwest rock shovel and the overhang on the car deck.

Northern Pacific box car NP 6631 sets on the near rail of the barge waiting it's turn.

image 103. Alaska Railroad Idler flats reach across the ramp here to pull out a Northern Pacific double door box car followed by an Alaska Railroad box car converted from a troop sleeper. These ARR cars were always conspicuous among foreign cars because of their 51 foot length and low roof line.
image 104. An altercation of some sort took place right at mile post marker 92. Fairmont speeder 67026? appears to be out of commission with parts scattered along the ditch. The South bound train was probably going to Whittier before this delay. The Seward Highway guard rail is seen at the top left.
image 105. Canadian National CN 555394 is an unusual double door with both a plug door and sliding door. A little snow was falling as she brought ARR GP30 2000 ashore in Whittier.
image 106. The barge has been moved away from the fenders to unload the last middle track. Notice the barge is only drawing 6 ft. of water now and in earlier photos was drawing 9 ft. Are those Cat two motor scrapers on the last three cars?
image 107. Just looking at that sun kink will not fix it. Crushed angular ballast rock will fix it.
image 108. GI s-160 consolidation #551 and an unidentified crew. That is not an oil tank in the tender. Those are steel sideboard extensions for the coal bunker and the hinges are doors were for doors added in the winter when this locomotive was used in rotary snow plow service. There was also a hump extension in the cab overhang roof to allow a crewman access to the top of the tender over the extended bunker.
image 109. This train of ballast hoppers is being shoved around the curve at the north end of the Nenana Yard past the section house and fuel tank farm. Tanana River is imediately to the right of this image. and the Nenana river mouth is 300 yards behind the locomotive.
image 110. There was NO Parks Highway to Fairbanks in the early 50's. If there were the footings and fill for the approach to the highway bridge over the Tanana River would be just this side of the fuel tanks where there is an overpass across the tracks today.
image 111. The Mears Memorial bridge looms in the distance here on the dock siding at Nenana. The main line and Depot are just behind and to the right of the image. The yard switcher was 0-6-0 #318. The Alaska Railroad operated river steamers such as the Alice and Nenana from this port on the Tanana River, down to the town of Tanana and then up and down the Yukon River.

112. Loaded ballast train moving North from the pit into Nenana Yard.

image 113. Central heating plant for railroad facilities and the community power plant were operated by the Alaska Railroad. The water tower provided the community with clean water even during flooding of the Tanana River.
image 114. At the RR South end of the Nenana Yard, this gravel operation provided the fill for the long curving approach to the Mears Memorial Bridge and ballast for miles beyond. Takes a good operator to load hoppers and side dumps with a drag line bucket.

As you drive into Nenana, the Parks Highway is located right where the tracks are in this view. The pond left behind by the gravel extraction is a float plane basin next to the highway and the Nenana Airport extends to the left of this image.

image 115. The water tower and another view of the power plant on the right. The large structure to the left was the Railroad Hospital at one time. Notice some structures were built up on gravel pads in anticipation of the nearly annual flood of the Tanana River.
image 116 G.I. Consolidation s-160 Nubmer 556 is wading through flood waters past the tank farm with a load ballast in a gon and a Hart covertiable gon. 556 regularly performed ferry service taking freights and passenger equipment through the flood zones to meet waiting diesel power on each end.
image 117. Receding waters reveal trash collected on the right of way. Also notice the super elevation in the curve past the fuel farm. Loco 318 is on the stub track next to the stiff leg crane where she usually parked. The boiler house provided steam for heating the tanks, keeping 318 warm when the fire was banked and running the steam engines on the stiff leg crane. The crane used a clamshell bucket to unload coal from gons into the open coal bunker. Locomotive tenders were then topped off as needed from the bunker using the same clam shell bucket. Better than shovels.
image 118. A G.I consolidation has been topped of here at the stiff leg. Probably 556 since we know she was working the flood. Nenana ridge is seen across the Tanana River in the back ground. Interesting how the bunker is wedge shaped to fit between the main line and the spur.
image 119. The Tanana River has invaded the Nenana townsite and a considerable current is evident in the water flowing over the rails here. The main line is running off to the right while dock siding runs along the warehouse. The shovel provides a third leg in the current and a probe to make sure the points have closed on the switch.
image 120. The Alaska Railroad Riverboat Nenana and barges are moored in the slough across the river on the lee side of Nenana Ridge out of the main current. If they broke loose during the flood when tied up on the town side they could have caused major damage. The railroad line ran just above the first row of trees along the hill side with the Mears Memorial Bridge about 1/2 mile to the right.
Today the Parks Highway bridge and overpass cross the river just to the left of where the boat is moored.

Special thanks goes to the Walter Strong family for providing these images!
Thanks also to Pat Durand for the extended commentaries.

Page created 3/24/11 and last updated 3/28/11
© 2011 Walter Strong collection unless otherwise noted

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