Our Last Log Hauler

Last Log Hauler_vol 1_cover

Join us as we explore The Simpson Timber Company Railroad using rare insider-footage from 1994.

Our Last Log Hauler

It was very sad to learn that Simpson finally ceased railroad opertions in June of 2015.

Sure….with a 130 year history, the RR was only a shadow of its former self.

Still, I always thought they’d keep it going.

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.

It was June of 1994, when I arrived for a full week of shooting.

Simpson Timber graciously allowed me access throughout their private land holdings.

(I was younger at that time, and didn’t realize what a rare opportunity this was. Most railfans were quickly escorted off. I was too busy having the time of my younger life to fully appreciate it!

But, I knew I was getting some great footage…and great stereo sounds. On the Simpson, the whistles echo beautifully off the trees and mountains.)

The finished 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 the 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, last Sping, ….I finally decided to just do it.

Why? 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.. (We had cab footage of that journey. And that was just from one day’s shooting.)

Simpson had a small fleet of first generation diesels then. Three SW1200 …plus an ALCOSwitching the yard 600…and an EMD SW9. 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.

If logging railroads are of interest to you at all, you will love this show. And be sure to sign up for our (very infrequent) mailing list.

(We don’t send emails, unless we have something new to say.)

We’ll let you know as soon as volume two 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.

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