Volume Two is titled
Cab Ride to the High Country.
For most of the first half of the 20th century, the Olympic Peninsula was a spider-web of logging rail lines.
In 1994, there was just one left that went deep into the woods. The Simpson Timber Company Raiload was still holding on,.. and that’s what volume two is all about.
Volume Two includes:
- An extended cab ride no one will ever take again
- An active logging site
- replanting a forest
- Camp Grisdale, a year-round residential logging camp
- Action at the reload site (“Cook’s Reload”)
- The view of the log train from the caboose
- A visit with the train crew
- Repairing a switch after a derailment on the dock
Below are a few screen shots from OUR LAST LOG HAULER, volumes One and Two.
Announcing the release of Volume 2 of OUR LAST LOG HAULER.
Join us as we explore The Simpson Timber Company Railroad using rare and detailed footage from 1994.
Volume One is titled Long Days on a Short Line.
It introduces you to the 130-year legacy of the Simpson Timber Company Railroad with historic photos, plus
- daily railroad activities,
- switching the yard,
- the dry sort yard
- the interchange with the old Burlington Northern,
- a tour of the roundhouse
- a tour of Mill 5.
Simpson had a small fleet of first generation diesels.
Three SW1200’s, an SW900, and an ALCO S9 (#600) as a reserve engine.
All in immaculate condition.
And Simpson Engineer Pete Replinger made sure we got great footage of each one.
Back in 1994, almost every train had a caboose. (Talk about picture perfect.)
Here are some select scenes from the Simpson Timber Company Railroad series,
OUR LAST LOG HAULER.
Our Last Log Hauler: The Inside Story
It was very sad to learn that the Simpson Timber Company finally ceased railroad operations in June of 2015.
Sure….with a 130 year history, the Simpson Railroad was only a shadow of its former self.
Still, I always thought they’d keep it going awhile longer.
Maybe it was because of my last name (Simpson), but for some reason in the Spring of 1994, Simpson’s upper management finally approved my going behind the scenes and documenting everything about their railroad …and their mills …and their logging sites …and the interchange with the “Burlington Northern” …the whole works.
Simpson operations took place on private land holdings. Rail fans knew about it, but most were quickly escorted off the properties.
I was younger at that time, and didn’t realize what a rare opportunity this was. (I was too busy having the time of my life to fully appreciate it!)
It was June of 1994, when I arrived for a full week of shooting.
I just knew I was getting some great footage…and great stereo sounds. On the Simpson, the whistles echo off the trees and mountains like a natural cathedral.
The proposed film was intended to be a joint release with another company. But, that relationship fell apart when they didn’t “get” how fascinating the railroad was…and the footage fell unseen into a vault….(their vault)
A few years ago, I finally regained possession of my raw footage (thanks in no small part to legal advice from railfan/Shay fireman Martin Hansen). But, being pulled in different directions, I was never sure if people would be truly interested in this production enough to justify the effort required to produce it properly.
But, in the Spring of 2017, ….I finally decided to just do it.
Before my eyes, the footage had become “historic”.
There were no more rails to the high country…up to Cook’s Reload where we had gone in ’94. (I had cab footage of that journey. And that was from just one day of shooting.)
If logging railroads are of interest to you at all, you will love this 3-part series.
So, be sure to sign up for our mailing list (see bottom of our Home Page).
(We don’t send any email, unless we have something new to say.)
We’ll let you know as soon as volume three is ready.
In the meantime, here is Pete Replinger’s “Peninsula Railway #16” deep in the woods on the Simpson line for a log train photo opportunity. (This footage will end up in Volume 3.)
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