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Railfair 1999

Railfair 1999 was held in Sacramento, California between June 18th and June 27, 1999. The 5623 traveled to Sacramento along with the PLA's pacific SP2467 and a Santa Fe caboose turned tool car. While the 2467 did all the work, the 5623 served as a potential helper. On this trip, there were no Yellow diesel helpers anywhere in sight.

My original plan was to hang my Southern Pacific passenger drumhead on the back of the caboose but unfortunately, there was not enough time to secure it properly. Don Buchholtz photo.

Here is our little, very overpowered train departing the yard behind the OTR's GP7, #97, enroute to the U.P interchange at 7th street. Don Buchholtz photo.

At the OTR's Seventh street interchange with the U.P., the OTR 97 cuts the train loose and for the first time in 43 years, the 2467 is on her own, on main line trackage. Don Buchholtz photo.

And, here we are under the 7th street Navy viaduct where the 5623 had passed many times back in the 50's, while in service on the "Senator". Don Buchholz photo.

The number boards in the 2467 look pretty strange in this great view by Michael Johannessen. We thought that the U.P. would call our train UP Extra 5623 East and numbered it so. When the actual orders were picked up at the West Oakland Tower, surprise! There in black and white was "UP 2467 East". So, X5623 only lasted for about an hour and then became X2467 for the rest of our adventure.

The train backs toward the West Oakland tower amid the typical rail yard clutter. Don Buchholz photo.

Finally, at about 12:00, the train is underway up the east leg of the Oakland Wye and on to Sacramento. Note the FRED on the rear of the caboose. Don Buchholz photo.

A bit further east, Mike Pechner caught the train clicking along at about 30 miles per hour. Last minute work on the 2467 had been so frantic that there was no time to install a speedometer. So, the Barco in the 5623 served both locomotives via radio. Recent changes in FRA regulations will require a speedometer on the 2467, so work on that item is in progress.

Evan Werkema provides the following 4 photographs of the trip. He recorded the train west of Pinole, coming and going through Elmira and then just west of Davis.

Michael Johannessen caught the train crossing the Martinez bridge and then again in the tule grasses west of Suisun.

I don't have any other photos of the trip to Sacramento as I was too busy with my video camera. If anyone has any that they would like to contribute to this effort, I would be appreciative.

Waiting in Sacramento for the UP to install the "sheep jump" rails. Getting into the museum was sure easier when there was a diamond.  While waiting, the CSRM switcher took the Santa Fe caboose to its storage location next to the old unit shop and then a SP switcher came along and coupled several U.P. private cars to our short hood end.  Once the rails were in place, I was given the signal and the short but official laden train made its way into the museum.  Right photo by Michael Johannessen.

Once in the yard, we were initially positioned on the track with the "Talgo" trainset. What an interesting lashup this made.

The following group of photos are presented without comment. I was particularly interested in the colors of the 5623, 4449, 402 and 2001 and tried to capture scenes which could not have been recorded in any other place or time.


This photo by Jim Ley captures a span of over 75 years of passenger train power.

And then there was the day that Harry Marnell caught me wiping 844 barf of the paint. I like steam locomotives just as well as most folks but there sure was a lot of 5623 to clean with 409 and rags. Portola's WP2001 got it a lot worse than the 5623 as they were a lot closer to the 844 when it broke. Luckily, I had lots of cleaner handy and we both managed to shine for the night photo shoot.

Steve Barry was kind enough to contribute these two shots. On Thursday night, Railroad Railfan magazine organized a photo shoot of a number of locomotives, including the 5263 and 2001. The 5623 had to be turned around on the museum's turntable in order to point the right way for the event. I must confess that I love running the locomotive out on that table.

On the turntable from a different angle. This is a balancing table which means that you run the locomotive on until you feel it tip and then the load is balanced and can be turned. The table is powered by a 2 cylinder, air powered motor located under one end and is controlled by a simple valve arrangement. The motor powers a pair of wheels which ride on a ring of track around the outer diameter of the pit.

The highlight of Railfair 1999 had to be the 5623 towing Thomas The Tank Engine when he had a tummy ache.. Well, okay, it was a big deal for my grandson.

And, she made a pretty good camera platform whenever the big steam came by.

On the way home to Oakland, the 2467 and 5623 pause for a red signal for a westbound Capitol to pass. The 5623 would have been found in this same Oakland to Sacramento run, 44 years before.

The pedestrian crossing between the Emeryville Market and the namesake station frames the train as it rolls into Oakland at the end of a very successful journey.

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