Saturday, December 20, 2014

An end of a journey and the beginning of a new phase

The 5057 is now at the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad shop in Usk, WA!

Many contributed to get the locomotive there from Portola,CA and we are very thankful for their participation.
  • The volunteers at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum showed that the spirit of the "Willing People" is very much alive today.  They made every effort to help us launch this project successfully, including loaning us parts and contributing time that could have otherwise been focused on their own projects.
  • BNSF not only donated the transportation costs for their part of the movement, but the people there were also very responsive and helpful throughout the process.
  • And of course, the many Friends of the 5057 who have contributed their time and money to get the project to this point. 

With this phase of the project complete, we are moving on to the next.  Over the coming weeks, we will be working with the staff at the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad to scope out the work that will be done to cosmetically restore the 5057.  We'll be looking for ways to break the work up into smaller sub-projects so we can make progress as funds are raised. 

We have enough funds on hand to make a good start on the work that needs to get done for the cosmetic restoration, but we will need more funds to finish this phase of the project.  Make a contribution today to propel the restoration of the 5057 forward!

Monday, December 15, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/15/2014 update

The journey to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad shop in Usk, WA is almost complete!  BNSF delivered  the 5057 to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad in Sandpoint, ID last night at 9:36 p.m.  Yes it left Washington, but we expect it back very soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/11/2014 update

The 5057 left Pasco last night and was in Spokane this morning.  It may be leaving Spokane tonight on the Sandpoint local, for delivery to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad in Sandpoint.

UPDATE: We've heard that it is scheduled to leave Spokane on the 14th at about 4 p.m.  In that case, it should be in Sandpoint on Monday.

Richard Olson was able to take some photos of the 5057 while it was in Pasco and shared them with us.  You can see them below.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/9/2014 update

The 5057 is back in Washington!   It crossed the Columbia River and arrived at Wishram, WA last night, probably very early this morning.  A new crew will take the train it is on to Pasco, WA.

Monday, December 8, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/8/2014 update - Part 2

The 5057 is continuing northward.  It was seen in Bend, OR tonight at 6 p.m.  Tomorrow, it could make it to Pasco, WA. 

Thank you to Rob Jacox, Aaron Jacox, and Warren Root for venturing out to greet the 5057 at Bend. And thank you to Rob for letting us share the photo below with everyone.

POVA (MILW) 5057 at Bend, OR.  Rob Jacox photo, used with permission.

5057 to Washington - 12/8/2014 update

We have received a report that the 5057 arrived in Klamath Falls, OR at 4:30 a.m. this morning.  A crew has been called for 7:00 a.m. to take the train north from there, but that could change.

Here is a photo taken yesterday by Wayne Monger that shows the 5057 waiting in Oroville, CA.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/7/2014 update

Well, the plans have changed once again.  The 5057 is evidently moving now!

We received a report last night that the 5057 has been put on a train at Riverbank, CA and moved to a siding at Duffy, 15 miles north of Riverbank.  At last report, a crew was on the train but it had not departed yet.  It is likely heading north now. 

The weather should be decent today, so we hope people are able to get out and take photos and/or video of the 5057 as it heads north.

UPDATE:  The 5057 sat at Oroville, CA all day because the Union Pacific was doing track work.  It is on the move again this evening.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/6/2014 update

The train that was to take the 5057 from Riverbank, CA to Pasco,WA last night did not operate.  We understand that it is now due to leave tonight.

UPDATE: The 5057 is now scheduled to leave Riverbank, CA at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, December 9.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thank you BNSF!

BNSF Railway is donating their part of the transportation cost of moving the 5057 from California to Washington!  

BNSF is our only 'hometown' railroad today, still operating trains through the Cle Elum area on their line over Stampede Pass.  Between this donation and matching funds for employee donations, BNSF is making a significant investment in the 5057 Project.  Their latest donation gives a big boost to upcoming the restoration phase of the project by allowing us to reallocate funds budgeted for moving the locomotive to the restoration work.

We are very pleased to have BNSF as a Friend of the 5057!

5057 to Washington - 12/5/2014 update

Yesterday, the 5057 was moved south to the BNSF yard in Riverbank, CA.  It will be picked up by a northbound train there.  The 5057 is finally ready to come north!  It is planned to depart today on a train bound for Pasco, WA.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/3/2014 update

The 5057 has made it to the BNSF yard in Stockton, CA.  Thanks for the safe trip to Stockton, Union Pacific! 

It arrived this afternoon on a Union Pacific train with 47 cars at 13:20 local time.  Now it gets to head back north in the care of BNSF.

Thank you to Ryan Clark for letting us use his photo!

Photo of the 5057 in the BNSF Stockton, CA yard by Ryan Clark, used with permission.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5057 to Washington - 12/2/2014 update

We received a report that the 5057 was seen in west end of the Union Pacific yard at Stockton, CA on Saturday, November 29.  The Union Pacific train that delivers cars to the BNSF in Stockton does not operate on Sunday, but may have taken the 5057 to BNSF on Monday.

Please let us know if you see the 5057 and take a photo (or video) if you can!

Source image from LPS.1 on Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, November 27, 2014

5057 to Washington - 11-27-2014 update

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We're very happy to report that the 5057 was seen heading southbound through Elk Grove, CA at 11:19 PM last night, en route to the Union Pacific yard in Stockton, CA.  Transfer to the BNSF should happen within the next 48 hours.  Thanks to Phillip Brahms for passing along this information.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5057 to Washington - 11-25-2014 update

We have not received any reports of 5057 sightings since Sunday.  Evidently the computer system says that it is in Oroville, CA this morning.  We don't know if that is old information (it went through Oroville last week to get to Roseville) or if it is actually heading the opposite direction from Stockton.  We do not think BNSF currently has it.  Please let us know if you see the 5057!

A westbound Union Pacific grain train derailed in the Feather River Canyon this morning, so it won't be going through there anytime soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

5057 to Washington - 11-23-2014 update

We have received reports today that the 5057 is currently in the east bowl of the Union Pacific yard in Roseville, CA. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Where's the 5057???

Have you seen our U-boat? 

If you see the 5057 during it's journey to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad shop in Usk, WA, please let us know. 

Better yet, send us a photo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5057 to Washington - 11/19/2014 update

As we reported earlier, the 5057 left Portola, CA this morning at 6:30 a.m. on its way back to Washington.  Wayne Monger chased the train with the 5057 from Pulga, in the Feather River Canyon, to Roseville Yard near Sacramento.  Below are a few photos that Wayne sent us.

10:05 AM - East Switch of Pulga

10:45 AM - On lower level of horseshoe curve west of Tunnel #4 at James

11:05 AM - Middle of Kramm siding with Table Mountain in background

1:45 PM - 5057 has come to a stop after arriving in Union Pacific's Roseville Yard

5057 on the move - 35 years ago today

Thirty-five years ago today, on November 19, 1979, our Milwaukee Road 5057 was helping haul a train from Tacoma, WA to Bellingham, WA.

From the Cascade Rail Foundation Berntsen Collection

If you'd like to see more wheel reports like this, visit the Cascade Rail Foundation Archive web site.


We received a report this morning that the 5057 has departed Portola!  It is en route to Roseville Yard near Sacramento right now on the first leg of its trip.  Please photograph it if you can and share it with us!

UPDATE:  The 5057 passed through Oroville, CA shortly after 11 AM this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2014

5057 to Washington - 11/17/2014 update

We received a report this morning that the Union Pacific  local train that serves Portola went through today without picking up the 5057.

The next opportunity for the 5057 to leave Portola is expected on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cleared to move!

This week the Union Pacific inspected the 5057 and cleared it to be moved!  The 5057 will be returning to Washington for the first time in nearly 35 years.  It left Washington on one of the last Milwaukee Road trains out of the state in March 1980.

We do not know yet when it will move, but it could leave the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA as early as Monday, November 17.  The Union Pacific train that serves Portola typically operates on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

After it leaves Portola, the Union Pacific will take the 5057 to its large Roseville Yard near Sacramento, CA.  From there it will go on a train to Stockton, CA and be interchanged to the BNSF.  BNSF will then haul it north via the Inside Gateway route through eastern Oregon, Pasco, WA and Spokane, WA, to be interchanged with the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad at Sandpoint, ID.  The destination for this trip is the POVA shop on 'home' rails in Usk, WA.  POVA operates the former Milwaukee Road branch to Metaline Falls, WA.

If you're able to see the 5057 traveling north, please take photos and send them to us if you can!  Contact us through the Cascade Rail Foundation web site if you have photos you'd like to send us and we'll get in touch with you by email.


Your support is needed!
Once the 5057 arrives at the POVA shop in Usk, WA, the restoration phase of the 5057 begins.  A lot of work needs to be done before it gets a fresh coat of paint!  Parts borrowed to prepare it to move need to be returned and/or replaced.  Most significantly, extensive work needs to be done to the metal exterior of the locomotive.  Rusted out metal needs to be patched or replaced.  Many of the hood doors are warped and need to be straightened.  We also plan to replace the bad traction motor on the locomotive with one we purchased with the 5057.  Fundraising for this work is ongoing, so please donate if you can.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ready to go?

We think we're finally ready to move the 5057 from Portola, CA to the Pend Oreille Valley (POVA) Railroad (POVA) shop in Usk, WA.  But the opinion that really matters is that of the Union Pacific inspector.  If the inspector says we're ready to go, we'll be on our way soon.

POVA (MILW) 5057 being set out for pick up in Portola, CA by the Union Pacific.  Bob Sims photo.

If all goes well, the 5057 will be heading west to Roseville Yard near Sacramento on the Union Pacific Canyon Local.  From Roseville, it will go to the BNSF at Stockton.  BNSF will bring it north through Bend and Pasco to Spokane, then on to the interchange with POVA.  The locomotive is listed in Umler as POVA 5057, so those of you who can track the movement of railroad equipment can follow the progress once it is underway.

The 5057 has a new set of shoes, black composite brake shoes borrowed for this trip from our friends at the Feather River Rail Society (FRRS).  The brake shoes and a number of other borrowed parts will need to be removed, returned, and replaced after the 5057 arrives at the POVA shop.  We are very grateful for the assistance that the "Willing People" at FRRS have provided to get the 5057 ready to move.  They have deferred working on their own important projects to help us.

New brake shoe on the 5057.  Wayne Monger photo.

We will let everyone know once we are on the move.  In the meantime, think positive thoughts about the 5057!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Report: June 2014 work session in Portola, CA

We've added a report to the project web site describing what was done at the June 2014 work session at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA.  You can read it here.

Volunteers David Elems and Wayne Monger with the 5057

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lots of news coming...

We're too busy making news to post it right now, but we'll catch up when things settle down.  In the meantime, enjoy this photo of our favorite U25B.  This was taken in August 1971, back when the 5057 was the 5007, and we think it was at Othello, WA.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Adopt-a-Mile: $150 from Wishram, WA!

With the recent matching donation challenge, we've made a big jump north. Donors have sponsored 507 miles of the 890 mile trip from Portola, CA to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad.

We're now approximately at Sinamox, OR, only about 30 miles from Wishram, WA along the Columbia River.  Another $150 will get us across the state line into Washington!

Please pitch in to keep us moving toward the interchange with the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad by making a contribution today!

Oregon Trunk Rail Bridge at Wishram, WA.  Photo by Cacophony, Wikimedia Commons

Matching Challenge Donation Report: $850 X 3!

We raised $850 to meet the recent matching challenge donation.  This was a little short of the $1,000 challenge, but still a big boost to the project.  Even better, the donor decided at the end to do a full match on their own.  This will be submitted for a employer matching donation, effectively tripling the amount raised! 

The donor has already made their matching donation, so we have another $1,700 on hand to help cover the cost of moving the 5057 to Washington and starting the cosmetic restoration and more on the way.  Thank you to all the Friends of the 5057, old and new, who made this a successful campaign!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Adopt-a-Mile: So long, Klamath Falls!

We've blown past Klamath Falls, OR and now we're less than 40 miles from Chemult, OR.  We've now covered 276 miles of the 890 mile trip from Portola, CA to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad.

It's still a great time to make a donation to adopt-a-mile of the trip!  Through the end of this month (about a week away), you have the opportunity to double the impact of your donation with our current matching challenge.  So far we've met about $600 of the $1,000 challenge.  Help us collect all of the matching challenge by making a donation today.

Contribute today!

 The 5057 breezes past the Klamath Falls, OR Amtrak station.
(Original photo of the station by Steve Wilson)

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Photobombing" the 5056

While the subject of this photo is obviously Milwaukee Road U25B 5056, as far as we're concerned it's upstaged by the locomotive on the far right.  Yes, that's the 5057 sneaking into this picture of the 5056.

What makes this photograph particularly notable is that it shows the only two surviving, intact Milwaukee Road General Electric locomotives.  The 5056 is part of the collection at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.

The two locomotives were photographed in Portland, OR on September 29, 1979 by an unidentified photographer.

MILW 5056 and 5057 at Portland, OR
MILW 5056 and 5057 at Portland, OR on 9/29/1979

Adopt-a-Mile: We've made it past Bieber, CA!

Since our last update, we've raised another $356.  That's 71 more miles out of the 890 miles from Portola, to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad.  We've now covered 176 miles of the trip, which puts us about 25 miles past Bieber, CA.  Our next milestone is Klamath Falls, OR -- 66 miles away.

Now is a great time to make a donation to adopt-a-mile of the trip!  Through the end of May, you have the opportunity to double the impact of your donation with our current matching challenge

Contribute today!

BN depot
Photo by S.L. Dixon, Railroad Pictures Archive

Monday, April 14, 2014

Volunteers needed in Portola, CA (June 9 to 14)

We need a few volunteers to participate in a work party at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA during the week of June 9-14.

This work party will finish preparing the 5057 for movement to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad shop in Usk, WA this summer.   The primary focus will be on the air brake system.  The brake beams and hangers for the #3 axle need to be reassembled so the air brake system can be tested and any problems can be resolved.  Also, more work needs to be done to secure the locomotive for the trip (welding temporary steel bars across the hood access doors).  We will be working hard to get the work done earlier than June 14, but we're allowing extra time in case things don't go as planned.

Volunteer accommodations are available in a sleeping car at the museum at least to June 12.

All participants will be Feather River Rail Society members.  If you are not a member, we will ensure you become a member.

Hard hats and safety glasses will be provided or you can bring your own if you have them.

If you're interested in joining this volunteer crew or have questions, please contact Paul Krueger at

Join our crew for the June 2014 work party!

We're seeing double! Matching challenge donation

An anonymous donor has stepped forward with a matching challenge donation.  The donor will match the the next $1,000 dollars we raise with a $500 matching donation.  The donor's donation is eligible for an employer matching donation, effectively making this a $1,000 matching donation.  In other words, if you donate now the impact of your donation will be doubled!

All donations contributed toward this challenge will count toward our  Adopt-a-Mile campaign.  If we're successful in meeting this challenge, it will be the equivalent of 400 miles out of the 890 miles to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad.  Added to current Adopt-a-Mile donations, this would put us across the Columbia River into Washington!

This offer is good until June 1, so act soon.  You can donate using PayPal through our website or by mail.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Details, details, details...

If you're interested in the mechanical details of the 5057, here is the page from the Milwaukee Road diesel diagram book that describes the U25B locomotives on the railroad.  Click the image to see the full size version.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Adopt-a-Mile: We're more than half the way to Bieber from Keddie

We've raised a bit more than $275 (55 miles) since our last update, which puts us near Lodgepole, CA.  This is more than half of the $500 needed to get us 100 miles to Bieber, CA.  From there, our next goal will be Klamath Falls, OR.

Looking at the big picture, people have sponsored 105 miles of the 890 mile trip between Portola and the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad.

Please pitch in to keep us moving toward the interchange with the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad by making a contribution today!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adopt-a-Mile: We're past Keddie, CA... now on to Bieber, CA!

Since we've started the Adopt-a-Mile campaign, we've raised a little more than $250.  This puts us about 10 miles past Keddie, CA, home of the famous Keddie Wye (seen below).

Photo by Adrian Studer, Wikimedia Commons
Our next intermediate goal is for people to adopt the remaining miles to Bieber, CA.  It's 150 miles from Portola, CA so we need to raise another $500 to get there.  Contribute today!

Adopt-a-Mile (or More)!

We are planning to move the 5057 from Portola, CA to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad in Usk, WA later this year, where we will have the locomotive cosmetically restored in their shop.

We’ll be asking the UP and BNSF to donate all or part of the transportation costs ($8,000-$12,000, depending on where the railroads are willing to interchange the locomotive).   While we hope for the best from our requests to UP and BNSF, we want to ensure we can pay for the trip even if we need to pay the full amount.   Help us make sure we can cover the cost of moving the 5057 by sponsoring part of the trip at $5.00/mile.  

$5.00 =1 mile

Our goal is to have the 890 rail miles between Portola and POVA sponsored by July 1, 2014.  All donations made between February 1 and July 1 will be applied toward this goal.  Any funds not needed for the move will be applied to the restoration work.

Go to the project web site to make a donation today!

First trip to Washington?

We've been trying to determine when the 5057 made its first trip to Washington by looking through dispatcher train sheets in our archival collections.  These documents were the official 'diary' of what happened within the train dispatcher's territory during a particular day.

Cascade Rail Foundation has an extensive collection of these documents for the Pacific Coast Railroad (later part of the Burlington Northern), which the Milwaukee Road used as part of its transcontinental mainline between Maple Valley, WA and Black River (south of Seattle).

Knowing that the 5057 was originally number 388 when it was built and delivered to the Milwaukee Road during the summer of 1965, we went through the dispatcher train sheets for that period.  The earliest sheet we've found that shows the 388 on a train was from July 31, 1965.  An excerpt can be seen below, with the entry for the 388 highlighted in orange.

Click to enlarge.
According to this train sheet, the 388 passed Maple Valley, WA at 12:23 a.m. pulling 2,915 tons (25 loads and 58 empty cars) with three other U25B locomotives.  It then passed Black River at 12:50 a.m. on the way to Tacoma. It would have passed through Cle Elum sometime on July 30.

Unless new information becomes available, we consider this to be the first trip of the 5057 to Washington.


Welcome to the 5057 Project blog!

We've started this blog as a way to provide you additional news and information about the 5057 Project.