N.P. Ry.

Auburn, 1929

Railroad News of 1929

From the Thursday issues of the Auburn, Washington, Globe-Republican
in the collection of the White River Valley Museum, Auburn, Washington





March 14, 1929
[NP Agent] J.W. McKee beats [NP Conductor] O.P. Bertsch with Better Auburn ticket, 793 to 384. pp. 1 Exam car is sent from Auburn to Ellensburg "Where men on the eastern end of the division will have the opportunity to brush up on transportation rules." pp. 4

Shopmen have gone on seven hour day on Saturday two weeks ago. pp. 4

The engineer's and firemen's extra list was increased three again this week but indications were that it might be cut before the week was over. pp. 4

Ditcher work train is still on but indications are that it will be pulled off the last of the week. This makes three work trains now working out of the yard. pp. 4

March 21, 1929
Wage increase at shops--$12,000 a year to 110 men. Those making .74 cents an hour get .05 cent increase, .69 cents an hour gets a .04 cent increase, helpers and helper apprentices get .03 cents an hour, regular apprentices get .02 cents an hour. pp. 1

Due to a heavy rush of business on the North Bend Branch, a second 923 and 924 was added Tuesday morning. The local will run Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with a Monday layover in Seattle. The job runs between Seattle and North Bend. pp. 12

Fireman Jack Denise returned to work this week after being off for the past two months. He has been in Olympia attending the session of the legislature, where he was lobbying in the interests of the railroad men. pp. 12

March 28, 1929
For the first time in many years the NP had to route one of its passenger trains over the Milwaukee from Easton to Black River Tuesday morning when a derailed car in Stampede Tunnel tied up traffic on the mountain for several hours.

Rather than hold No. 1, the North Coast Limited, the train as routed down the mountain over the Milwaukee, arriving in Seattle several hours earlier than had they waited for the derailment to be cleared. Number 333 was held at Easton and arrived at East Auburn about 10:45 A.M. pp. 3

More trouble on the North End kept the wrecker over the weekend. They were called Friday to a point on the North Bend Branch, where it is said 14 cars of logs went into the ditch and turned over. While going up the branch the wrecker was derailed but without serious results. While the wrecker was engaged in cleaning up the North Bend Branch accident, a freight drifted around a curve at Woodinville and crashed into the rear of another freight. The engine plowed through the caboose and up onto a flatcar. Luckily, no one was in the caboose at the time of the accident. The engine was badly damaged and both the caboose and the flat car were demolished. pp. 3

Another six-car silk special was handled over the NP Monday night out of Seattle. This is the second special this month. pp. 3

Market Train Starts In May -- Will Make 42 Stops In State; To Visit Kent, Puyallup and Enumclaw

Operation under the direction of the extension service in Agriculture and Home Economics of the State College of Washington in cooperation with the Northern Pacific Railway, a farm marketing special will leave Pullman on May 6 and tour the state, visiting 42 cities and towns.

"Quality for Profit," is the slogan adopted for the special and every exhibit on the train will emphasize the importance of placing on the market a product of superior quality, economically produced.

The train will carry two cars of live stock exhibits and four cars of produce exhibits, including poultry, dairy and life stock products and such crops as hay, grain, potatoes and fruits. The train will proceed from eastern to western Washington and make two stops a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon . . . . the train will make a morning visit to Enumclaw on May 16 and stop at Puyallup the same afternoon. But the special will not arrive in Kent until May 23, going into the southern part of the state after leaving Puyallup.

Morning programs will start at 10 A.M. with a free lunch following and a meeting at 1:30 after the train has gone. In the cities where afternoon stops will be made there will be a noon lunch at 12:30 followed by the marketing program at 1:30 and the exhibition at the train at 2:30. pp. 7

April 4, 1929
Work began Monday morning on installing of the latest type of ABS signals on the double track Point Defiance route of the Northern Pacific Railway between Tacoma and Tenino, a distance of about 43 miles at a cost of $150,000.

Under manual blocks only seven trains could be handled simultaneously.

New signals will allow 40 trains simultaneously.

Spaced from a half mile to a mile and a half apart.

Automatic indicators will be placed in Tacoma Union Station which will indicate a burned out bulb in any signal light. pp. 7

April 11, 1929
$6 Million Grays Harbor Line Planned By Northern Pacific-Union Pacific Roads

Construction of a 60-mile rail line at an estimated cost of $6 million in the northwestern corner of Washington serving the Olympic forests will be started at once if the Interstate Commerce Commission approves an application filed jointly by the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific railroads.

It would extend from Aloha near Moclips to the south bank of the Hoh River, the greatest part in the Quinalt Indian Reservation and National Forest lands. It is expected to take two years to complete because of the rugged character of the country.

It is estimated that 28 billion feet of fine marketable timber lies tributary to the proposed construction.

Opening Olympic Peninsula forests would add many years to the lives of the mills now operated in the Grays Harbor territory. pp. 7

Yard operators are given a .01 cent raise. "Jimmie Warren is busy figuring a way to spend all the surplus wealth he may get soon." pp. 7

Bulletins awarded at the roundhouse this week: J.H. Sullivan, William Morgan, and P.D. Gupton were successful bidders for hostler next year; Engineer Ned Connolly was awarded the job on 450; J.W. McBride was given the 3 P.M. switch job and Art Westborg got the 11:45 P.M. job. pp. 7

The Oso Turn, a log run between Everett and Oso, was put on Monday night. The crew leaves Everett nightly and makes the run to Oso, pricking up surplus log cars on the return. pp.7

E.H. Friberg, for years Chief Dispatcher of the Seattle Division, has been appointed to Assistant to the General Superintendent. pp. 7

Workmen on the rip track have been busy the early part of the week reconditioning several flat cars into woodracks for the transportation of planer ends. pp. 7

The NP was given another shipment of silk to rush east Monday night. pp. 7

April 18, 1929
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers asks support of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce against the "Fess Bill" which would permit large corporations to merger. The lodge has contacted Senator C.C. Dill who said he will oppose because "If the merger of the NP and GN is allowed, that the terminal will be practically eliminated from Auburn." pp. 5

Gust Frank, 59, died in the office of Dr. W.H. Brandt last Friday afternoon. The section man was found in his care by timekeeper Floyd I. Green. pp. 5

The roundhouse and rip track foremen are getting a raise from $5 to $15 a month. Covered are the roundhouse foreman, night roundhouse foreman, assistant roundhouse foreman, boilermaker foreman, assistant boilermaker foreman, rip track foreman, assistant rip track foreman. pp. 5

April 25, 1929
Total operating revenues of the Northern Pacific increased 5.96 percent or $5,697,908 in 1928. Transportation expenses increased only 2.89 percent or $923,222, according to the 32nd Annual Report. Freight revenue increased $6,262,022 as compared with the preceding year, or 8.30 percent. Payroll increased 2.91 percent from $44,952,702 to $46,261,766. Tons of revenue freight carried was 24,089,259, an increase of 986,940, or 4.27 percent. Revenue freight carried one mile was 7,052,601,971, an increase of 480,587,173, or 7.31 percent. Revenue per trainload increased from 670.22 to 695.87 tons, or 3.83 percent. Total train load increased from 772.53 to 807.43 tons. Mail revenue increased $101,769, or 5.99 percent. Express revenue increased $132,059 or 7.37 percent. Total passenger and special train revenue was $15,429,101, a decrease of 5.62 percent. Passengers carried were 2,203,569, a decrease of 477,152, or 17.80 percent. Average mileage operated was 6,729.85. Total mileage added was 144.46, total reduction was 40.662, for a net addition of 103.84 miles. pp. 5

Narco log job is starting about May 1. Logs from the Northwestern Lumber Co. at Kerriston are picked up Kangley, then taken to Narco on Lake Washington and dumped. pp 5

Engineer Carl Tedstrom has been assigned to the 11:45 P.M. switch job. pp. 5

Promotions: R.G. Knight, Roadmaster at Tacoma to Division Roadmaster on an eastern division.
M.L Hare, Roadmaster at Lester to Division Roadmaster at Tacoma.
W.W. Judson, Special Assistant to the Superintendent to Trainmaster.
A.H. Smith, Roadmaster at Kootenai, Ida., to Roadmaster at Lester. pp. 5
C.V. Lemon, trainmaster's clerk, was kept busy Monday looking for men that could be sent to the Tacoma Division where a scarcity on the extra board occurred. pp. 5

May 2, 1929
Spokane Paper Declares Definite Information Is Available On Proposed Plans -- Equal Fast Time of Great Northern and Union Pacific Between Northwest and Chicago -- 61 Hours and 15 Minutes
[Article states Northern Pacific will:]
Shorten Seattle to St. Paul line by 400 miles
Construct a 12 mile tunnel under the Cascades with an east portal near Easton
Build a new main line Ellensburg to Lind
Establish a new main line between Pasco and Lewiston via Lolo Pass
"If the above programs becomes a reality the move will simply substantiate prophecies of railroad men here for some time . . . . Northern Pacific would not consider such additions if they were going to merge with the Great Northern, railroad men point out." pp. 1
A large number of special trains are promised for the Northern Pacific during the next few months, with two already handled this week. Monday a special train with 300 Filipinos passed through, bound for Sydney, Mont. Tuesday morning members of the show troupe "Desert Song" were carried from Tacoma to Walla Walla via the NP.

Trainmaster's clerk C.V. Lemmon reports that on May 4 the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra will be handled from Tacoma to Seattle. On May 6 the same group will be handled from Seattle to Spokane.

On May 30 the Nile Temple of Seattle will be handled from Seattle to Portland. The return trip will be made June 9.

An eight-car special bearing the Duluth A.D.D. Temple will be handled from Seattle to Sumas on June 11 . . . . the party is making a trip from Los Angeles to Seattle by boat.

July 1 a 14-car special carrying the All New England Elks is scheduled from St. Paul to Seattle. They will be handled over the NP also to Portland. pp. 3

Fire did approximately $2,000 damage to King Street Station in Seattle Sunday morning. The blaze broke out in a small store room at the base of the tower and gave Seattle firemen a hard battle for more than an hour. The room was used for the storage of stationery, a small printing press also occupying it. pp. 3

The telegraph office at Bristol was opened on the day shift starting Monday. The new hours are from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. This office has been open from Midnight to 8 A.M. in the past. pp. 3

An extra gang numbering approximately 100 men has been busy all week ballasting the double track at the depot. The work required taking up the platform which is being laid down again with new planks. With the completion of the ballasting at the depot this month the double track will be practically complete between Seattle and Tacoma, the Seattle end of the track being done last year. "A number of local people became so engrossed in the work that they spent most of their time watching the men work." pp. 3

Conductor Tom Collins returned to work Monday after having been in charge of the examination car for several months. pp. 3

May 9, 1929
Large numbers of empty boxcars are being sent to South Tacoma from the east where they are being repaired and made suitable for high class lumber loading, according to rip track officials. The shipment of doors and sashes and other similar material is gradually growing and becoming an important item it is said. pp. 3

North Coast Limited Will Be All-Pullman After June 9
Will leave Seattle at 6:15 P.M. and arrive at 10 A.M. -- Comet Will run to coast from East -- Number 4 will leave in A.M. instead of P.M.
On Sunday, June 9m inaugurate all-Pullman service . . . operating on a 63-hour schedule westbound and at 61 1/4 hour eastbound transcontinental schedule.
E.E. Neslon, Passenger Traffic Manager . . . announced plans affecting the railway company's passenger service which will result from reducing the present 68-hour schedule five hours westbound and six hours and 45 minutes eastbound.
The North Coast Limited, which gave to the northwest its first limited train service 29 years ago will carry no tourist cars and no coaches under the new schedule.
The North Coast Limited will leave Chicago at 9 P.M. Daily, St. Paul at 8:15 A.M., Minneapolis at 8:50 A.M., and will arrive at Spokane at 9:45 P.M., leaving at 10 P.<. and arriving at Seattle at 10 A.M. Eastbound it will leave Seattle at 6:15 P.M., Spokane at 7 A.M., Minneapolis at 10:15 P.M., St. Paul at 11 P.M., arriving at Chicago at 9:30 A.M.
The Comet, which heretofore operated in the summer park season between Chicago and Yellowstone National Park will become a through Chicago-Pacific Coast train. Leaving Chicago at 19:45 A.M. this train will be operated as two trains west of St. Paul, the Comet continuing to the Pacific Coast and the Yellowstone Comet running only to Yellowstone National Park. The Pacific Express westbound will continue to operate between St. Paul-Minneapolis and the north Pacific cities, leaving St. Paul at 10:30 A.M., leaving Spokane at 8:40 A.M., arriving at Seattle at 10 P.M. eastbound the Comet will leave Pacific Northwest cities at 7 PM, leave Spokane at 8 AM, Minneapolis at 8:20 AM, St. Paul at 9 AM, and arrive in Chicago at 8 PM. The Atlantic Express will continue to operate from the Pacific Northwest . . . leaving at 9 AM, Spokane at 10 PM, and terminate at St. Paul at 9:40 PM.
Twenty-nine years ago on April 29 the NP's North Coast Limited began its maiden trip. Its inauguration, which brought into the Northwest for the first time a substitute for kerosene lamps in sleeping cars, was an epoch in the history of the Northwest. For the first time in the Northwest this train gave electric lights and electrically operated fans in coaches, sleeping and dining cars. The train was studded with innovations such as bath tubs, valet and barber service, library, writing facilities and through dining cars. Since that time this famous train has introduced many new departures in passenger train operation and has popularized its slogan "One of America's finest trains," among transcontinental limited trains in its provision of luxuries and comforts for long distance travel. Another advanced step will be taken June 9 when this famous train inaugurates all-Pullman service.

May 16, 1929
Just 17 years ago Friday 113 men were put to work at the transfer sheds and another big addition to the NP's Auburn terminal was put in operation. Several years later, 1926 to be exact, due to the change in time and different methods of moving freight, the sheds were abolished and later torn down until today what was once a busy section of the local terminal is now a thing of the past. It remained for Charlie Garthwell at the freight office to recall the opening date 17 years ago. pp. 12

A touch of brightness is being added to the general appearance of the yard this week with the activities of the paint gang. Switch stands and other signaling equipment are being given new coats of yellow or red as the occasion demands. It aids materially in improving the appearance of the yards. pp. 12

June 20, 1929
Up until a late hour yesterday, the Milwaukee and Union Pacific had moved about 80 cars out of Auburn this month. The NP had sent out 20 cars. The Milwaukee and UP are moving four to five cars daily from the Sawdey and Hunt and Sound Produce Co. packing sheds near the Milwaukee tracks in the west part of town. The only shipping station on the NP here is the White River Produce Co. in Terminal Park. They average about a car of the leafy produce each day. If all shippers maintain the rate of shipment above noted, this year's export crop from auburn will by far exceed that of last year, which was only about 150 cars on July 14. pp. 1

Railroad people of Auburn will be among those present at Spanaway Park in Tacoma Sunday when the four brotherhoods railway club holds its third annual picnic and get together.
The festivities will open at 10 A.M. and last until Midnight. All manner of races and sports will be indulged in in the morning and early afternoon. Tug of war men are urged to be on hand promptly at 11 A.M. or they may miss the big pull.
The ball game, the most important part of every Big 4 picnic will begin at 1:30. NP men will be McOmber, Herzog, Hewitt, R.E. Ittner, Cupshaw, Tracey, Draper and Hodges. Milwaukee lineup: Devercax, Mitchell, Drager, Krandold, Grabel, Borcherdt, La Mar, Palmer and Boyer. pp. 2

H.C. Verter, shop supervisor of the Southern Pacific, and B.M. Brown, assistant supervisor of motive power of the SP, were in Auburn Friday visiting the local yards. They were here in connection with committee work for the convention of the Mechanical Division of the American Railway Association, to be held in Los Angeles this summer. pp. 2

June 29, 1929
Total of 113 Cars Sent Out To Date From City--Continued Good Weather Help's Products Quality. pp. 1

July 4, 1929
Adolph Gustav Neufang, born April 30, 1863 in Wayland, New York, was hit by eastbound No. 338 out of East Auburn, with Engineer Tom Bevan and Conductor Larry Holbrook. He was hit in his truck, and died while the train was bringing him back to the East Auburn station. pp. 1

July 11, 1929
The Northern Pacific filed application with the Interstate Commerce Commission Monday for authority to construct a 24-mile branch line in eastern Montana. The line will extend from a connection with a new NP branch line near Woodrow, Montana, northern, in the direction of Bloomfield. The proposed construction lies in Dawson County. According to Charles Donnelly, president, the proposal involves an expenditure of $750,000. Work, it is said, would begin immediately after the application is granted.
In June of 1928 the NP completed a 62-,mile branch line in the Redwater Valley of eastern Montana, extending from Glendive, through Circle to Brockway. This construction, which cost $2,500,000 opened to transportation one million acres of fertile agricultural lands. The construction now proposed is a further step in the same territory. pp. 9

A nine-car special handling the Texas delegation of the Supreme Woodsmen's Forest Circle was handled over the Seattle Division form Ellensburg to Seattle Tuesday morning. The train was scheduled to leave the eastern terminal at 4 A.M. and passed through ere about 8 o'clock. pp. 9

July 18, 1929
Berry Trains Run Heavy
Special run in two sections instead of single train to Ellensburg. In the past, when there has been a sufficient number of cars to require a special train, they have all been consolidated into one train,
But starting the berry season this year orders came through from officials higher up to run the special as far east Ellensburg in two sections instead of one as in the past. Consequently during the past two weeks berry specials of three and four cars have been common.
The new system is proving out satisfactory. According to information learned in the yards the trains are run east about an hour apart and yardmen at Ellensburg can have the first train completely iced by the time the second one arrives. The trains are consolidated at the eastern terminal.
It is an expensive practice, from the outlook, but seems to prove advantageous. pp. 2

T.H. Lantry come back as General Manager, appointed to succeed A.V. Brown as General Manager west of Paradise. Mr. Brown retires after 45 years in the service. W.C. Sloan, assistant to the Vice President, takes Mr. Lantry's place and B.O. Johnson takes Sloan's. pp. 5

A silk special consisting of seven cars, six passenger refrigerators and one coach was handled out of Seattle Monday evening, following the docking of the President Madison from the Orient. The train had a fast schedule, three hours and 30 minutes from Interbay to Ellensburg. They passed through here about 6:30 P.M. train crews were changed at Auburn depot. pp. 6

July 25, 1929
181 Cars Of Lettuce, 53 Cars of Peas Shipped, Berries Being Canned
Up to yesterday afternoon there had been 138 cars of lettuce shipped from the Sewday and Hunt and Sound Produce shipping centers on the Milwaukee and 43 carloads over the NP from the White River Produce Company's headquarters in Terminal Park.
Forty-seven cars of peas have been shipped over the Milwaukee, mostly by the newly organized Auburn Pea Grower's Association through the Sound Produce Company. The White River Produce Company has sent out six cars.
Although the NP is shipping about 300 crates of berries a day by express, and the Milwaukee is handling over 200, this line of distribution has fallen far below last year.
Up to this time last year there had been about 40 cars of berries shipped over the NP to the east, but up until yesterday this season has not seen a complete car sent out. The small amount going east is sent by express. pp. 8

July 25, 1929, pp. 7
NP gross operating earnings for the past year were seven times as large as those reported 30 years ago when the railroad was rescued from receivership which lasted during most of the panic of the early 1890s announced Col. T.H. Lantry, who arrived in Seattle Saturday to take up his duties as General Manger of the Lines West of Paradise, Mont.
For the period reported in 1897 gross revenue from operations were $14,941,818, while for the past year they are shown to be $101,272,723. Freight earnings increased from $11 million to $81,700,000 and passenger earnings from $2,850,000 to $10,700,000, the balance in both instances being made up by mail, express and miscellaneous receipts.
Progress by the road is also illustrated in the increase of equipment; the number of locomotives going from 582 to 1,220; passenger cars from 439 to 989 and freight cars from 18,216 to 49,566. The average number of freight cars in a train increased from 24.78 to 48.53. The NP now has capacity for 433,368 passengers and 2,008,025 tons of freight in its equipment.
Railroad mileage gained from 4,522.68 to 6,270.87 miles, a significant gain being reported for the state of Washington. Thirty years ago, after receivership, the road had only 538.5 miles of main line in Washington, as compared with 793 at present, and 364 miles on 16 branches, as compared with 1,138.87 miles on 45 branches now, and an interest either through joint ownership or trackage rights in 30 other branches.
J.M. Hannaford, who was General Freight Agent of the railroad 30 years ago, is now Vice Chairman of the board of directors, the only familiar name left in the roll of officers. However, J.P. Morgan and Co. are now, as then, fiscal agents for the NP.

August 1, 1929, pp. 7
New Powerful Engines To Be Built for NP
Eleven locomotives of greatly increased load capacity are under construction, officials say
Eleven new freight locomotives of the type tested on the run between Mandan, N.D., to Glendive, Montana, and to be the largest and most powerful steam locomotives, will be built for the Northern Pacific, the Baldwin Locomotive Works announced this week.
The mammoth locomotive tried out on the 225 miles of saw-tooth grades having a maximum of 1.4 percent has fulfilled every promise, President Charles Donnelly and every engineering and operation official of the Northern Pacific agreed before it was decided to build 11 more at a cost of $170,000 apiece. The cost of each of the new locomotives, which will pull 90 to 100 cars at a speed of 40 miles per hour, is greater than the cost of an entire train, locomotive and 100 cars of the type used on the railroad when it emerged from a receivership 30 years ago as the Northern Pacific Railway Company.
Without actual inspection, the magnitude of the new locomotive is hard to grasp. The powerful engine is 22 1/2 feet wide and 119 feet in length, as large as a town lot. Ten special stalls must be built in the roundhouses at Glendive and Mandan 136 feet in length to give the mechanics a chance to work on the new motive power.
The locomotive fire boxes will be 22 1/4 feet long. Automatic stokers will feed coal over the Rosebud grate adopted on all Northern Pacific locomotives. The tender, having no rivets in its sides, will carry 27 tons of coal and 21,200 gallons of water weighing 107 tons, or sufficient to run the locomotive five hours at capacity load.
The engine's throttle connection is handled by air and the cab is filled with remarkable new developments in mechanical engineering. For instance, in addition to the gauge which indicates the amount of water in the boiler, another connection blows a whistle constantly until more water is given, guarding against boiler explosion.
The new motive power will be operated between Glendive and Mandan, where adverse grades on the eastbound run, which carries the enormous Pacific Coast and local freight traffic, have been gradually congesting movements. The maximum load pulled by the Mallets now in use is 2,225 tons, the new locomotives will pull 4,000 tons, and at Mandan eastbound freights will take a load of 5,000 tons for the water level run into Minnesota Transfer. The effect will be to practically double the capacity of freight trains on a section of line that has threatened to delay operations. When that division is speeded up the whole system will be on a 4,000-ton basis or better.



Author: J.A. Phillips, III. Title: Auburn, 1929 URL: pw2.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/auburn1929.html.

© December 22, 2004

BACK