||OC&E Main Page|
|... a few color photos, plus a short motive power history:|
|OC&E MOTIVE POWER DURING THE WEYERHAEUSER YEARS, 1975-90: brief history
On January 1, 1975, Weyerhaeuser purchased the OC&E from SP/BN and set forth to operate the railroad on its own. According to one source (Gray: see references, below) the new owners purchased five SD-9's from SP, which upon arrival turned out to be non-operable junk and the deal fell through. Apparently not having learned their lesson, Weyerhaeuser management then opted for four SP Alco RSD-12's and a lone RS-11, which arrived in much the same condition as the previous SD-9's. Sycan Shop managed to get two RSD-12's running, but one soon destroyed itself by fire. Weyerhaeuser gave up and shipped the other three back to the Friendly. It's unclear to Wx4 if the RS-11 ever ran; what its disposition was.
While the SD-9/RSD-12 soap opera played out, Weyerhaeuser was forced to lease power, and again turned to SP. Initially, Number One Market again got the best of the deal, by leasing-out five SD9E/GP9E locos for a princely sum, $375/day each, but by late 1975, Weyerhaeuser had returned them in favor of BN units: an NW-2 and four ex NP/GN F7's, a virtual repeat of the late 1960's when SP F's ran on the line.
Below you'll find a few photos of the lease units taken by Wx4 at Klamath in 1975. Note that the line also purchased a pair of SP cupola cabooses. The wooden log bunks seen here were near the end of their career, as Weyerhaeuser began to replace them with second-hand flatcars and cut-down boxcars in 1976.
In mid-1976, OC&E finally solved most of their power problems with the delivery of five Morrison-Knudsen 567-powered TE53-1-4E's and two S3-3BE slugs, all rebuilt from U-25B's and numbered for their year of purchase (ala M&StL), 7601-05 and 7606-07.
The photo at page bottom shows the 7604, plus an ex-SP caboose both in their second color schemes (the M-K's were delivered in the olive green seen on the cabooses), at Klamath Falls in 1982.
By this time, OC&E shops had also constructed three 30' shorty wide vision cabooses, from measurements taken of McCloud River Railroad's two 1962 International Car hacks. In 1979, about the time that OC&E turned out the cabooses, it also picked up four ex-Seaboard Coast Line Baldwin RS-12's, 7908-7911, which shared time between running on the main line and augmenting the existing Baldwin S-8's and DS-4-4-750's on Weyerhaeuser's "Woods Line" logging operations north of Sycan. The next year, Weyerhaeuser transferred yet another M-K U-25B rebuild to the Woods Line, and it occasionally filled in on the OC&E proper, as well.
Prior to the RS-12's arrival, OC&E occasionally leased BN GP9's, and in one instance, a UP "Omaha" GP-20. The railroad's traffic declined dramatically in the mid-1980's, making the RS-12's surplus, and they were shipped off to the Escabana & Lake Superior in 1984. Up on the Woods line, Weyerhaeuser also replaced their Balwin switchers during this period with three ex-BN GP9's, which occasionally would be seen on OC&E main line trains.
This basically is how things remained until the OC&E's last run on April 29, 1990. The railroad is now a bike path.
Weyerhaeuser-era OC&E diesel roster (not including the Woods locos) @ Western Shortline Rosters: http://www.trainweb.org/rosters/OCE.html
references: Our thanks to Jeff Moore, and his encyclopedic knowledge, for providing the imputus, and much of the information, for the above.
Wx4 gleaned further info from Tough Times in Timber Country, by Gregg Brown (Pacific Rail News; November, 1990)
A fascinating read, Twilight for the OC&E, by Donovan Michael Gray (CTC Board Magazine: June, 1990) briefly covers the OC&E's early history and thoroughly documents the line's last years.
Rob Jacox's Western Rails contains a must-see OC&E page, with a thorough roster, several links, and better pictures than Wx4's. There's also a copy of the full text of Twilight for the OC&E (see previous listing) available for download.