Author Topic: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!  (Read 4065 times)

Kevin Madore

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White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« on: May 16, 2011, 04:11:37 AM »
Folks,

During the last week of April, I traveled to the remote town of Skagway, Alaska to witness something that's become pretty rare these days: a steam-powered, rotary plow train.   The White Pass & Yukon folks brought out all of their steam equipment for the dual purposes of clearing their line for the 2011 tourist season, and documenting the procedures so that the next generation of WP&YR crews can do it again in the future.   The railroad offered a chartered chase train for people like myself who wanted to document this event, and a total of 17 photographers, including our friend, Matthew Malkiewicz made the trip to Alaska to do just that.

This was a high-risk trip for all of us, as poor snow conditions and/or mechanical issues could have easily spoiled the fun....but no such problems were encountered.   The event ran four days, during which we saw all kinds of weather conditions, ranging from snow, to bright sun.   Snow depths at White Pass were in the 10-20 ft. range, making for a hard struggle....and requiring some assistance from Caterpillar Bulldozers.   The WP&YR crews ran the 100-year-old equipment as hard as it ever did back in the day, and to their credit and the credit of the shop crews, absolutely no mechanical problems were encountered.   The railroad even brought back several retired guys, including 75-year-old, Rotary Pilot, Alvin Gordon to ensure that all possible expertise was on hand to conduct the operation and "write the book" for future events.

Without exception, all of the folks who attended the 2011 Rotary Event were delighted with the experience.  The folks at the White Pass & Yukon Route treated us extraordinarily well, making every possible effort to ensure that we had a good time.   In fact, we all demanded first right of refusal if they ever do it again!   ;D

Here are a few of my shots from the event.   I will be adding more as time goes on.   Hope you enjoy seeing this operation as much as I enjoyed photographing it!


http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?offset=0&where=search|-2|-2|-2||-2|White%20Pass|5|3||||||||-2|-2||-2|-2|||5|-2|25775||||||7||1||||&newdisplay=2

/Kevin

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 05:14:51 PM »
Kevin, those are some great photos of rotary snowplows in action.
Duncan

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 03:27:05 AM »
Gorgeous,...     


...as always! ;)

Stephen Hussar

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 02:44:08 PM »
Terrific series of images, Kevin! Looks like you guys had a great time up there!

Stephen

Kevin Madore

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 05:17:07 PM »
We surely did, Stephen.   When I rolled into Skagway on Easter Sunday and found the town almost completely closed down, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.   When it was time to head north to Whitehorse on Friday afternoon, I really didn't want to leave.   It was a long trip getting there....4 hops on Air Canada for me....but it was well worth it.   I would go back again in a heartbeat.

/Kevin

Wayne Laepple

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 01:28:41 AM »
If you want to know what it was really like on the White Pass back in the day, take a look at this report found among Googledocs:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=1300068eb96fb6bb&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D7f80e16265%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1300068eb96fb6bb%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbQ0QkpSJLiT7dW5I2v2UXfGHvcmCg

And you thought railroading was tough on the two-footers!

Sunday 5-24. Well, gee. I wish someone had told me that the link didn't work! And now I can't find it again. Sorry.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 07:33:55 PM by Wayne Laepple »

Matthew Malkiewicz

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 02:52:10 PM »
http://mfmalk.zenfolio.com/p1017320714

All,

Follow the above link to my images from the WP&YR rotary event, featuring the men who operate and maintain the equipment.
A venture in itself just to get up there and back; my third time to Alaska but first to the railroad – I now have the need to see it without snow.

Now if the WW&F only had a rotary…

Click on “Slideshow” at the top right of the screen.

Matthew

Win Nowell

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Re: White Pass Rotary Run - The photos!
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 12:07:17 AM »
WOW! those photos are amazing!!  I rode it in the summer and that was amazing too but altogether different. You have got to be a real winter person to do that. I appreciate your sharing those amazing photos with us. I would never be capable of making that trip in the winter. That is Raw country up there - beautiful beyond belief!!

Thank you!  Win Nowell