The Rusty Dusty is a new hard cover book of nearly 400 pages, 70 maps, and 98 photographs that presents a comprehensive look at the Great Northern's Wenatchee-Oroville branch in Washington State. The book is intended for general readers, historians, and rail fans interested in exploring the fascinating history of how GN's westward expansion substantially influenced the history and economy of the Pacific Northwest. For readers interested in the W-O line specifically, it includes construction and operational detail, with numerous maps and photographs that capture the history of this significant line, which enabled and supported the success of the tree fruit industry that literally feeds the nation. ...
The Rusty Dusty: Two veteran railroaders begin their history with a review of the coming of railroad service to the Pacific Northwest, but quickly move into details of the construction, operation and economic impact of the former Great Northern Railway’s “W-O” (Wenatchee – Oroville) branch line, a line that became one of its highest revenue branches.
Unlike many books on railroading, this book does not consist only of photos of trains and railroad station buildings. Instead, it is a serious study of what was required to support the movement of thousands of cars of apples, lumber, grain and minerals to market centers to the east.
Readers will be impressed by the authors’ focus on the strong ties the railroad company developed with the parties who had a stake in building the economy on this part of the GN’s system.
Senior Vice President – Maintenance and Transportation - Burlington Northern Railroad
The Rusty Dusty is a new hard cover book of nearly 400 pages, 70 maps, and 98 photographs that presents a comprehensive look at the Great Northern's Wenatchee-Oroville branch in Washington State. The book is intended for general readers, historians, and rail fans interested in exploring the fascinating history of how GN's westward expansion substantially influenced the history and economy of the Pacific Northwest. For readers interested in the W-O line specifically, it includes construction and operational detail, with numerous maps and photographs that capture the history of this significant line, which enabled and supported the success of the tree fruit industry that literally feeds the nation.
The geographic scope extends from the Canadian Continental Divide and Whitefish, Montana, on the east, to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC, on the west, with emphasis on the territory between Wenatchee and Oroville. The book explores the relationship of the W–O to subjects and issues seldom included in railroad books such as: the geography and geology of the territory it serves, irrigation to support fruit orchards, refrigerator cars and the Western Fruit Express, freight rates and economic regulation, and the local economy of the area served by the railroad. The local economy is crucial. Any railroad can haul only what people consume or what they produce in such volume that they must sell it beyond the local market.
The Rusty Dusty lays the historical and geographical groundwork for the W-O line beginning with a summary of James J. Hill’s expansion strategy west of Devils Lake, ND. It then describes the construction of the W-O line and the economy of the territory it served. The bulk of the book examines traffic and operations of the W-O under the ownership of the Great Northern, including Wenatchee, Appleyard, ice supply, and the threatened construction of the Wenatchee Southern Railway. Chapter 12 discusses the 1960’s line relocations due to the construction of Rocky Reach and Wells dams, while chapter 13 brings the history of the line up to date.
Authors John Langlot and Mac McCulloch, who combined have more than 50 years of service with Great Northern and its successors, are uniquely qualified to examine and interpret the Great Northern's remarkable history in Eastern Washington. They describe what it was like to work on the Wenatchee–Oroville branch. They tell the working railroad man’s story using materials from long time W–O conductor Orval Dungan and the living memories of co-author John Langlot, who worked the W–O as a brakeman in the 1960s. The authors illustrate the effort and determination of the men who made the Great Northern function, and hope to stand approved by those remaining few who experienced and understand its operations.
The Rusty Dusty's three appendices include special interest details that make this book suitable for the general reader without burdening those with a more extensive railroad background with excessive detail in the running text. The first clearly and in careful detail describes early twentieth-century railroad technology, operational issues, and business practices that underlay W-O operations. The second discusses the refrigerator car fleet of the Great Northern Railway and Western Fruit Express which was crucial to moving the fruit traffic. The final appendix summarizes the physical changes to the line as documented by Authority for Expenditure documents. An extensive bibliography and index are included.
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Introduction – The Northern Pacific Charter – Selecting a Puget Sound Terminal – The Panic of 1873 – Reorganization of the Northern Pacific – The Northern Pacific Near Spokane – The Oregon Steam Navigation Company – Henry Villard – The Oregon Railway & Navigation Company – Oregon Railway & Navigation Expansion – Seattle – The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway – The Cascade Branch and the OR&N Lease – To the Okanogan Mines – Weakness of the Northern Pacific – Summary
Chapter 2 COMES THE GREAT NORTHERN
Introduction – James J. Hill and the “Manitoba” – Butte, Montana Territory – The Pacific Extension – Finding the Way West –The Head of The Rake – Spokane Before the Great Northern – The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern in the Spokane Area – The Spokane Falls and Northern Railway – Great Northern Construction from Montana – The Great Northern comes to Spokane – The Challenge of Stevens Pass – Hill Gains Control of the Northern Pacific – Summary
Chapter 3 BOUNDARY MINING DISTRICT
Introduction – The Kaslo & Slocan – Year of Consolidation – Grand Forks and the Boundary District – The Crows Nest Southern – The Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern to the Coast – The Washington and Great Northern – Summary
Chapter 4 WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON
Introduction – The Development of Wenatchee – A New Transportation Center on the Columbia – Wenatchee Apples – The Eastern Washington Economy in 1905 – Further Irrigation and Development Projects – The Early Refrigerator Car Fleet – The Mansfield Branch – Summary
Chapter 5 PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE WENATCHEE – OROVILLE LINE
Construction of the W-O Begins – The Right-of-Way Troubles of 1911 – The Transportation Convention – Right-of-Way Troubles Continue – Construction Resumes – The W-O is Completed – Why did James J. Hill Build to Oroville from Curlew Rather than up the Rivers from Wenatchee? – Why build Between Wenatchee and Oroville? – Summary
Chapter 6 PLACES, STATIONS, PRODUCTS, AND CUSTOMERS
Introduction – Regional Geology and Geography – Wenatchee – Entiat – Chelan – Pateros – Brewster and Bridgeport – Okanogan Valley – Malott – Okanogan – Omak – Riverside – Tonasket – Oroville – Early Railway Facilities at Oroville – Subsequent Changes Prior to Completion of the W-O Line – Developing Traffic by Assisting Customers – Livestock – Dairying – Mining – Wheat – Tree Fruit – Lumber – Canadian Traffic – Inbound Coal – Summary
Chapter 7 EARLY TRAFFIC 1914-1929
Introduction – Freight Traffic – Biles-Coleman Lumber Company – Fruit Traffic – Protective Services – Post-War Fruit Rate Issues – The Western Fruit Express – The WFE’s Hillyard Shops – The Wenatchee Southern Railway – Canadian Traffic – Disposition of Wenatchee Area Development Projects – Summary
Chapter 8 EARLY OPERATIONS 1914-1929
Introduction – The Wenatchee Yard – Appleyard – Train and Engine Crew Assignment – Stations – Water, Fuel and Trackage – Engines – Passenger Service – Freight Service – Track Maintenance Sections, Bridges, and Siding Extensions –Train Service for Perishable Traffic – Summary
Chapter 9 THE GREAT DEPRESSION 1930-1941
Introduction – Passenger Service – Sources of Freight Traffic – Fruit Traffic – Canadian Traffic – Freight Service – Employee Fatalities – Track and Facility Changes – Changes and Expansions at the Wenatchee Terminal – Summary
Chapter 10 STEAM TO DIESEL AND THE END OF PASSENGER SERVICE 1942-1953
Introduction – The Labor Intensive Nature of Railroad Operations – Passenger Service – Sources of Freight Traffic – Fruit Traffic – Canadian Traffic – Freight Service – Freight Engines – The Change from Steam to Diesel – Track and Facility Changes – Changes and Expansions of the Wenatchee Terminal – Summary
Chapter 11 FREIGHT ONLY ERA TRAFFIC AND OPERATION 1953-1970
Introduction – Freight Traffic – Decline of Fruit Traffic – Canadian Traffic and the W-O – Freight Service – Summary
Chapter 12 DAM LINE RELOCATIONS
Introduction – Columbia River Hydroelectric Power – Rocky Reach – Wells – Summary
Chapter 13 A TOUR OF THE WENATCHEE-OROVILLE LINE
Introduction – Operating Plan – A Tour of the W-O – Summary
Chapter 14 POST GREAT NORTHERN TRAFFIC AND OPERATION 1970-2010
Freight Traffic – Fruit Traffic – Canadian Traffic – Freight Service – RailAmerica – Current Freight Traffic – RailAmerica Freight Service – Summary
Appendix 1 – Fundamentals of Railroad Operation in the Early Twentieth Century
Appendix 2 – The Refrigerator Car Fleet
Appendix 3 – W-O Authorities for Expenditure (AFE) by Stations
Mac McCulloch grew up in Wenatchee, Washington, where he worked his first day as a Great Northern clerk in June of 1967; the first of four summer clerking stints as a clerk at Wenatchee. He continued with the Burlington Northern at Seattle in the fall of 1970 and graduated from the University of Washington in the summer of 1971. Mac joined the Association of American Railroads Bureau of Explosives on October 1, 1974 working as Inspector at Portland, Oregon, and Manager Field Operations at Washington, DC. He joined Southern Pacific’s Hazardous Material Control department at San Francisco in 1979, later becoming Superintendent of that Department. While working for SP he earned a MBA in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He also worked for the Chicago, Missouri and Western, the AAR’s Transportation Test Center, the Washington Central Railroad at Yakima, and the Portland and Western at Albany Oregon. Mac is now retired and lives in northern Mississippi.
John Langlot, the son of a Great Northern trainman, grew up in Hillyard, Washington. John worked his first day as a Great Northern trainman on August 6, 1960. For most of the 1960’s he worked as a brakeman on the Wenatchee-Oroville locals at Wenatchee because they were the only bid-in jobs he could hold. Over the course of his career John worked every trainman job available at Hillyard; all the locals, Chain Gang to Troy, Montana, and later to Whitefish, Chain Gang to Wenatchee, and passenger trips as a brakeman to Seattle and Whitefish. John was promoted to conductor in March of 1968. With the BN merger John could also work former Northern Pacific routes from Yardley to Paradise, Montana, Pasco, Washington, and Lewiston, Idaho. John’s favorite job was the bid-in work trains on which in 1997 and 1998 he participated in the two main track construction projects between Spokane and Sandpoint, and between Sandpoint and Troy, Montana. John retired from BNSF on December 31, 2004 and has served as a Director of the Great Northern Railway Historical Society since 2008 and Vice President since July of 2009.