Large Railroad's
A Little Bit O' Bend...
just after the merger, June 1970

( note: this is one of Wx4's original pages from 2003, which accounts for its goofy layout)

Rob Jacox, this is for you! Rob is a San Jose native now living in Bend, Oregon, and his fine Web site, Western Rails is an absolute must-see.

The following aren't exactly the pinnacle of the photographic art, but hopefully they're interesting nevertheless. They all were photographed in June, 1970, just after Spokane Portland & Seattle became a merger partner in Burlington Northern.

Somehow, the newly-ex SP&S enginehouse in Bend (above) reminds me of the B-52's song Love Shack:

Funky little shack! Funky Little shack!
...You're WHAT? Tin roof, rusted!

This tarpaper-sided affair out-funked anything that Wx4 staff ever saw on the Milwaukee Road, which is saying allot.

I'd judge that SP&S didn't win any Good Housekeeping Seal of Approvals for "Apple Pie Order Landscaping".

Here we see two Alco RS-3's, SP&S #75 and BN #4075 (ex SP&S #95) lazing away the afternoon amid the clutter. These two units were some of the earlier class members to depart the BN roster.

The discovery that this photo contained a prominently displayed Willys Jeep Station Wagon caused quite a stir around Wx4 offices, and resulted in immediate display of a cropped version, along with appropriate commentary, in Wx4's interdimensional Harmonic Convergence of Geeps and Jeeps.
You foamers probably haven't noticed that half of Wx4 is devoted to said Wagons.

New 10-21-03
That's the #917, the last Alco RS-11 built for Northern Pacific, in the above two photos. To get a perspective of the first photo, note that the tank car also appears at extreme right on the photo at the top of the page.

new 10-21-03
Here's the whole bunch together. The unusual-looking Northern Pacific outside-braced hopper car with the inward-tapered side sheets is a Hart Selctive Service ballast car.
After the merger, Burlington Northern immediately leased a quantity of Alco C628's and C630's from a very-happy-to-oblige Southern Pacific. If memory serves correct, SP C630 ownership was the result of a Federal "suggestion", born of EMD-related antitrust concerns, to the nation's large railroads that they buy Alcos. At any rate, the big Alco six motors never caught-on with The Friendly. The combination of electrical complexity and small numbers conspired to give them a ill-maintained, orphan status early-on.

Above, we see C630 #7808 and C628 #7116 pulling through the yard, trailed by a still-pristine SP&S caboose, at left.

SP&S snowplow #X-28, a modeler's dream - check out the archbar trucks.

Bend's depot was a cut stone beauty, the terminous of SP&S/BN mixed trains that worked down the old Oregon Trunk from Wishram. Combine #273, depicted in these photos, was one of two bay window combines used in this service, which lasted until Amtrak. Afterward, the combines were used as cabooses for a short time.

The Alco C-415 seen below, already re-numbered as BN 4070, was a rare bird, which only sold to three class one railroads. SP&S's pair, like Rock Island's units, featured a low cab height, which made them slightly more gainly looking than Southern Pacific's high cab examples.

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