Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mysterious Little Red Engine -- 7/7pm/2014

From Stimson Marina in Ballard WA you can walk to anywhere in the world.  Miles and miles of walking.

But you have to cross the railroad tracks to go anywhere.  The rails run parallel to Shilshole Ave and follow the shore of Salmon Bay.  There are several street and walking path exits from Salmon Bay Center -- all involve crossing the tracks.

That is not a problem, as when you look at the rails, you can clearly see they are never used, and I wonder what the commerce was in the old days, and why they are not used now.

And I digress.

However, recently David kayaked over to Willie's Tug for a visit, when we heard a very loud train whistle -- we never hear the one across the ship canal from us -- we only see the train and hear its rumble.

"What is that?"  we said.  David says it is the little red train engine on the tracks by Shilshole Ave.  

"No way," we say.  Those tracks don't look used.  The soil is piled up on both sides of a rail, and they are very dull and dirty looking.  Cross-ties are rotting.

David says, "Occasionally, a little red engine will pull one or two rail cars a short distance, and because it is close to us, the whistle is loud."

Today I hear the whistle, grab my camera and run to see the little red engine.  It pulls three cars and creeps along at a speed of almost zero.

There are two men on the ground telling the engineer where to stop and flagging auto and pedestrian traffic.  I learn the rail cars are loaded with cement composite to be transferred to the concrete plant in the lot next to the south side of Stimson Marina.

What a thrill to finally see the mysterious little red engine.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday PM, July 7, 2014

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