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Edition #200  June 15, 2013

Helpers

Photographer: Mike Baynes

                                                                       Photo by Mike Baynes

Helpers

 

For many years, a group of railfan friends and I have attended Union Pacific Historical Society conventions.  We don't make it every year, but when they are held within driving distance of our home town of Portland, Oregon, we try to schedule extra time on either side of the meet for a few days of railfanning along the UP mainline.

 

One memorable trip in 1988 was to attend the UPHS convention in Salt Lake City.   As I recall it was an excellent event which included a visit to Promontory and the Golden Spike National Monument.  On our way home, we of course took every opportunity to shoot photos along the mainline between Salt Lake and Portland.  As we reached Eastern Oregon it began to get dark.  We decided on one more photo stop before making an after-dark dash the final 300 miles home.  This photo of helper power  at sunset awaiting a signal at Encina, OR, was particularly memorable.  It was the final exposure (#37, actually) on the last roll of film I had with me.  Encina is the summit of a grade that begins at the UP's crossing of the Snake River at Huntington, OR, 35 miles to the East.  It regularly saw manned helper service up until the advent of DPUs.  This shot was a fitting end to the trip and a reminder of all those good times with good friends.

 Mike Baynes

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