Thursday, May 6, 2021

SP Jawbone Branch (Part 26) - Engine Spot & Water Track Detailing

Currently, layout construction progress has slowed slightly, but I've been working on researching some other details on the wye.  

Owenyo transfer decks with coaches looking north, circa 1940. - owensvalleyhistory,com - ebay35_owenyo_sml

The Owenyo Local would lay over at Owenyo for the day while the crew rested across the NG in the 'boxcar' hotel, visible beyond the Owenyo station's TO boards.  The mixed train's RPO and coach are resting at left, in the siding.

Owenyo Engine Spot - Cropped from high angle shot from transfer dock pole around 1940 - owensvalleyhistory,com - owenyo dennis burke_sml_r

Zooming in on the above photo shows more carbodies inside the wye, and fairly under exposed oil tanks, a profile of the oil pump house and an under exposed 2-8-0 simmering away "on-spot".  The passenger carbody appears to be either SPNG 7 or 8, a combine with two windows on the short end of the car.  SPNG No.7 became No.17 before she was retired, but it looks like this probably was her final resting place inside the Owenyo Wye.  I may see if I have the space for this little cluster of carbodies around the flagpole.

Engine Spot

A basic boiler watchman would be set or the fire would be cut and hold pressure until the crews went back on duty.  Most photos taken during the day time when the engines aren't switching, show the engine spotted next to the oil tank on the eastern curved section of the wye. 

Owenyo engine spot with SP 2758, oddly with Train 792, I'm not sure the year this could be. - Eddie Sims collection

Notice in the photo, that there appears to be metal plates under the firebox area of the engine.  There was a story in SP Trainline of a new-ish fireman trying to get two 2900-class 4-8-0s refired on an Oregon branchline after the engine watchman wandered off overnight, allowing the engines to go cold by morning.  His inexperience lead him to over fuel the relight of one of the engines... causing oil to spill onto the ground and when the firebox caught the light from his fuzee, the fire spread down onto the ties, into the previously spilled oil and ended up gutting the engine!  The metal under the firebox area here is probably to help prevent damage to the track in case of a fire "dropping" in the firebox down to the track.

The dark dirt/ballast under the front of the engine and leading tender wheel probably from the daily lubrication of the engine before going back to Mojave.  The white area around the 4th driver is probably blow-down scale deposits from the water/mud in the boilers.  Also notice that the ties are rather exposed from the 2nd driver back under the metal plating.  I'm not sure if this is from years of boiler blowdowns right there, or if there is another reason that the dirt/ballast has been left out of this area.  Still it is an interesting thing to model, which I intend to do.

More detail of the engine spot, with spacing for a 2-8-0 to be spotted.

The compression factors on the curved areas of the wye will mean that I can't really have all the space that the prototype photo shows... I'm going to model the features in the photo, mapped out to the size of a C-class 2-8-0, and positioned so that the big 3266 and Mk-2/4s can fit between the small dirt road and as far from the fouling point of the siding as possible.

SPNG 8 Owenyo with oil tanks - Mark Van Klaveren - - mark_van_klaveren03_sml

This photo shows some lighter color weathering on the SG oil tank.  There's also some smaller pipe connections on both sides of the 'engine spot'.  I'm not exactly sure what those would be for.  It seems strange that they are back behind the tender, based on where the engines are usually spotted.  Perhaps compressed air.  I don't know why they'd have engine washing stands there.  Perhaps they were compressed air connections to apply forced lubrication into the rods for the return trip.

I guess I also need to figure out where the various power poles need to be mounted, which will make switching some of the areas and navigating my hands into joints a challenge.

Tail Track and Derails?

Of note here is that there doesn't appear to be any derails on the engine spot, where the local engine layed over.  A derail is required on the SP at both ends of any track where an engine is to be left.  Perhaps the SP figured that the placement of the engine spot at Owenyo was different because an engine rolling away would push through the switches at the east end of town and stop against the tank car fuel ramp, and if it rolled towards the tail of the wye, then the tender would go off the end first.

Completed wye tail flex track and wye switch roughed in.

If the wye tail track failed at Owenyo, the engine better be able to pull itself out of the problem.  The nearest relief engine was at Mojave, 143 miles away!  So better to put the tender out on the 'bad track' than the engine.

East Wye Tail

Owenyo SG-NG transfer ramp foreground & "NG Pit" and SG ramp in the background. - Rich McCutchan  - owensvalleyhistory - slim rails63_sml

The east tail of the wye also doubled as the tank car transfer and extended up onto an elevated track, so I doubt that track was "bad", plus there was room for the engine to move out onto that tail farther there.

East wye tail shimmed up with extra tie.

I've been considering showing the start of the ramp to the 'fuel ramp' along side the NG's 'fuel pit' track at the north end (seen in the back of the model photo above).  The main challenge here is that the prototype had, I believe at least one engine length before it started to ramp up.  My model's been compressed a bit more.  The NG track's already dropping down into the bit.  The main concern here is not making too fast of a vertical curve which would cause problems with the pilots of the steam engines planned to be used on the branch.

Water Tank & Track

SP Water cars at Owenyo - Sept 19, 1950 - Chard Walker photo - Mike Massee collection (cropped)

Just east of the road grade crossing to the station, two water cars are spotted in front of the water pump house.  This photo is about four years before the black water tank was moved to Owenyo.

SP Water Tank & Loading Docks - much thanks to Alden Armstrong for permission to use these shots!

In 1954 the water tank at Diaz was removed from the Employe Timetable (ETT).  At the same time a engine service water tank is added to the ETT at Owenyo.

Owenyo SG water Tank - after SG was being razed 1960 - Alden Armstrong

The standard gauge was being torn up back to Lone Pine, but the water tank still stands for a few a little longer.

I'll be looking into contacting the CSRM again about getting the Val Maps for Owenyo, Bartlett and Little Lake this week, so maybe I'll be able to get more information on the size of the structures around Owenyo.

In Closing

I'm hoping to start construction of west Owenyo in the next week or so.  Also the 00-90 screws I need for the switch point bars should be showing up soon, so I can return to working on the track switches.  I've picked up a bit more 14 AWG wire to make the bus wires.  I still need to pick up some plugs to join the track power and lighting strips under Owenyo, between the modules.  Several things to keep working on.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

SP "Jawbone" Branch Index Page - Links to all my blog posts on my new Jawbone Branch layout.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good Jason. The detail and research you're putting into this will make it very rewarding. Enjoy.


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