CWR (California Western Railroad) Skunk Train Railbus M80

We were recently given an exquisite O scale model of CWR’s M80 – see pic below.

 

I thought I had a bunch of colour photos of M80 but can’t find ’em. You can read about M80 in our main website here. There’s also an “addendum” in this blog.  I do have a couple of new to me photos of M80 taken quite a while back.

M80 at the Fort Bragg Depot

M80 at the Fort Bragg Depot

M80 at Fort Bragg

M80 at Fort Bragg

M80 crossing the Noyo

M80 crossing the Noyo

No colour photos sadly.

 

A video entitled The Redwood Route (AKA The Skunk Train in the 1940’s)

This is the text that our computer guru, Roger Thornburn,  inserted at the beginning of this lengthy (44 minutes) video:

Redwood Route is a 1940’s video made by the Union Lumber Company of Fort Bragg, Mendocino, CA. The video was made to promote the railroad as a tourist attraction, and the redwood tree logging business as a modern sustainable resource. It shows both the operation and maintenance of the railroad. The video was originally shot on 16 mm film and then transferred to VHS in the 1980’s and to digital format around 2005, hence some of the quality issues.

As historian of the club I found it interesting to see how the CWR (California Western Railroad) operated up over Summit – the last big hill before you get to Willits. I also enjoyed watching how useful the Skunk train was to those who lived along the line from Fort Bragg to Willits.

PS – Roger also added the sound.

Railbus M200 which used to belong to the Califiornia Western Railroad running at Niles Canyon

The California Western Railroad (aka The Skunk Train) used to have four railbuses – M80, M100, M200 and M300. One of them, M-200, still exists and is still running but not on the Skunk Line. She has been completely restored and she runs on the Niles Canyon Railroad (out of Sunol not too far from San Francisco).

M200  was built bythe Skagit Steel & Iron Works, MAC Division, in January 1926.  Only her rear truck is powered by a diesel-hydraulic engine. She weighs 21 tons.  Her history: She was built new for the  Longview, Portland and Northern Railway  as their #20. She became the Trona Railway #22, Trona.  She was cquired by the California Western Railroad in 1941 as  #M200. She was acquired unserviceable by the Niles Canyon Railroad in July 1975. Completely restored she returned to service in 1985.  Her inaugural passenger service was in May 21, 1988.  She is still in service as this vid shows:

Thanks to our Chief Operating Officer, Frank Davis, for the heads up on this one.

Photos of the CWR (California Western Railroad) buildings and equipment by Stephanie Perdue

I received this e-mail from Stephanie Perdue a day or so ago:

“…….. Thank You…. and to Chuck for giving us the “VIP” experience. We had a great time and my father-in-law was thrilled to see everything. You guys are amazing and have done great work with your museum, we are honored to have met you and learned of your experiences.

Look forward to seeing you again, next time.
Thank You again”
Her pics of the layout were stunning – you can see them here. Here are her CWR photos. They are brilliant.  Double click on one photos and you’ll see the pics full size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

CWR’s (California Western Railroad) M100 Railbus when she was yellow

CWR’s (California Western Railroad) M100 Railbus wasn’t always the colour she is now – maroon. For many years she was yellow. Here’s a gallery of her in her canary finery:

New/Rebuilt Engine installed in CWR’s (California Western Railroad) Skunk Train M100 MotorCar

The CWR enginehouse crew in Fort Bragg have been doing a great job and M100’s new/rebuilt engine was installed this week. Still more work to be done but 90 year old M100 is expected to take to the rails with a new lease on life in the near future. Webmaster Roger Thornburn took these pics:

You can see the bogie with the new engine in place under M100

You can see the bogie with the new engine in place under M100

M100 awaiting final parts before she hits the road

M100 awaiting final parts before she hits the road

New engine peeking out on left

New engine peeking out on left

Work in progress on M100

Work in progress on M100

New Engine for the Skunk’s (California Western Railroad) 90 year old M100 Railbus

If you check out the website  you can see that we have been chronicling the renovation of the Skunks M100 Railbus. The Enginehouse geniuses did a super job renovating her from top to bottom and end to end including giving her a new yellow coat of paint so that she looked as she did in her prime. She was back running and then the original diesel engine, notwithstanding the love and care lavished on her gave up the ghost.

Not to worry. A new, well rebuilt, engine has been acquired from Nevada and it is in the process of being installed. Check out the photos taken by webmaster Roger Thornburn below. We’ll let you know when she returns to work.

M100 with her empty engine compartment

M100 with her empty engine compartment

View of M100's empty engine compartment

View of M100’s empty engine compartment

New diesel engine for M100 - M100 in the background with the engine compartment empty

New diesel engine for M100 – M100 in the background with the engine compartment empty

Rebuilt diesel engine for the 90 year old CWR M100 Railbus

Rebuilt diesel engine for the 90 year old CWR M100 Railbus