In 1942, the first full year of the U. S. involvement World War II…

In 1942, the first full year of the U. S. involvement World War II,  there were few sites as important to the war effort than a large copper mine in Bingham Canyon in Utah.    The Office of War Information sent a young photographer named Andreas Feininger to document the mine pictorially and show how the ore was extracted.    To be included was the role played by in-mine railroads.

More than a hundred miles of rail line spiraled downward into the mine’s ever-widening amphitheater.  More tracks connected the mine with other important sites such as waste dumps and a smelter and refinery several miles away. 

During WW2, Bingham’s production spiked as miners strove to meet the war material needs.   A single tank for example, required 800 pounds of copper,  a large bomber a full ton.  A battleship required 1,000 tons.   Bingham produced one-third of all the copper used by the U. S. and its allies during the war.

Feininger stood on Bridge G and snapped our picture above.   Having lived in Butte, Montana where the Anaconda Company’s Berkeley Pit continues to gobble up the town I found this picture fascinating.  1) How many more bridges crossing the canyon are behind the photographer?  There are at least four visible up the canyon.  Is Bridge A out of sight up the canyon, or way down and behind the lens?  2) The boarding houses in the foreground are classic. 3)The company houses up the draw are typical, very basic and minimal.  

I don’t know about you, but I would get no sleep in the house directly under the closest bridge. Overloaded gondolas undoubtedly arrive at their destination, wherever and whatever, with a few less rocks in the hopper. 4) The snow covered walkway up the hill to the left is no doubt the route to the workplace.   Looks like a long trek. 5) What a collection of vintage cars on the street.

The Berkeley Pit is a truck operation.    They are BIG trucks,  and today’s are probably triple the size of what I witnessed in 1969-73.   A follow-up seems in order.

Submitted by Gary Ostlund. 

Credits:   Photo & story from the Summer 2014 Railroad Heritage published by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.  


October 2017 Ricky’s Replies!

Ricky Bivins, Chapter President

Greetings fellow NRHS members, and here we find ourselves at the beginning of October! September was a good month for our group, we had an excellent September meeting at Bill and Angela Thomas’ home with hotdogs on the grill, Gauge One trains in the garden and a good time had by all. September also saw our annual outing to Crofton Kentucky trackside at the Veterans Park with a good day of train watching, food on the grill thanks to Bill Ferrall, fellowship and more trains. What could be better?

As I commented a month prior,  October is our annual call for officers. In November we will hold elections for the upcoming 2018 calendar year. If you have an officer candidate in mind or if you would like to hold an office yourself, speak up at this meeting and get your name on the “official ballot”!

I look forward to a report from our Christmas show committee this meeting. We need to get the ball rolling on this. Last year we had an enjoyable time at the Parkway Plaza Mall with the modular layout as well as the other events we had. As I understand Bill and his gang have a bang up event planned for the 2017 Christmas season!

It has been discussed at several previous meetings that our group go on some sort of outing. Fall is a great time for this although a busy time for many. If you have a trip in mind be it long distance, short distance or what ever, by all means speak up. We need to become more vocal about this.

We should have several other items of business this month that we will touch on quickly in the business meeting. If you have other thoughts or ideas bring them forward, we will discuss them of course. Meanwhile, make plans to be at the meeting on Monday, October 16, 2017 and bring a guest, bring a show-n-tell item and bring a raffle item.  I hope to see you there.

What’s In A Number? – Photo by Chris Dees

What’s In A Number?  3985… 765… 611… while simple numbers have a different meaning to different people, for railfans a number can be magical. Although not living the fabulous life of some of her sisters in the realm of railroad history, former Canadian National 1395 is seen on October 8, 2017 at Coopersville, MI awaiting one of two fates… rust & scrapping, or perhaps restoration one of these days. The locomotive is part of the Coopersville & Marne Railway’s museum collection. Both photos by Chris Dees.


Go North Young Man – Photo by Chris Dees

Go North Young Man – Great Lakes Central GP38-2 number 395 prepares to depart on the advertised with The Northern Arrow excursion train between Kalkaska and Petoskey, Michigan on October 8, 2017. Sister GP38-2 390 is on the other end to facilitate the return trip. Although rainy and overcast, passengers enjoyed the beautiful fall colors of the northern Lower Peninsula on the day long event. Photo by Chris Dees


Blazing New Trails – Photos by Chris Dees

Blazing New Trails – Marquette Rail GP38-2 2040 and sister 2044 get ready to depart Ludington, MI on October 8, 2017 with the Baldwin Blazer. Enroute, they will pick up cars from Manistee at Walhalla, MI before proceeding east. At Baldwin, it will meet with the Sparta-Baldwin road freight powered by SD40-2 3389. Marquette Rail is now a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming’s Orange Empire. Photo by Chris Dees


2018 NRHS convention to be headquartered in Cumberland, MD

The 2018 NRHS convention will be held Tuesday-Sunday, Aug. 7-12, with headquarters in Cumberland, Md. The tentative schedule includes scenic rail trips through the countryside of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, plus the annual meetings of the Society. The registration room for the convention will open in mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The board meeting for the NRHS Fund Inc., will be held that evening.

The first trip is scheduled for Wednesday with an all-day outing to Cass, W.Va. to ride the Cass Scenic Railroad up to Spruce, W.Va. At that point, there will be a “cross platform transfer” from the Cass steam train to the Salamander diesel train to Elkins, W.Va. Lunch will be served on the Salamander. Once in Elkins, NRHS members will re-board the buses for the return trip to the hotel in Cumberland.

The tentative schedule for Thursday includes a charter train ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad from the depot on Cumberland (three blocks from the hotel) to Frostburg, Md., behind the newly rebuilt steam engine No. 1309. Photo run-bys are scheduled for this trip. Cab rides will be offered in both directions with proceeds benefitting the NRHS.

To read more from the NRHS News, go to

August 2017 Photo Contest Winners

Below are the winning entries from our August 2017 Chapter Photo Contest from a field of nine entries. Our next and last contest of the year will run from November 1-31, 2017 with a Submission Deadline of December 7, 2017

1st Place, August 2017 – CSX Q504 is headed Northbound on the street running at LaGrange, KY on August 5th 2017. The folks in their cars seem like they don’t care, but they know it is coming. Photograph by Bill Grady

2nd Place, August 2017 – A surprise on CSX Train Q647 today as it comes through the work zone, as UP #6815 sports fresh paint leading the way at Nortonville, KY on 8-12-2017. Photograph by Bill Grady

3rd Place, August 2017 – CSX sets out track ties with a “Freightliner” locomotive! South bound at Mortons Gap KY. August 7, 2017. – Photograph by Rick Bivins


More Alco In the Empire State

Not to be outdone by other Alco outposts in the Empire State, tourist railroad and shortline Arcade and Attica Railroad operates this ninety-seven year old Alco 2-8-0 on weekend excursions. Number 18 is the only regularly operating steam locomotive in the state of New York. Seen here during the mid-point layover at Curriers, New York, Photo by Chris Dees taken August 27, 2017.