Monday, December 20, 2010

Old project, new project

Fall 2010 was an eventful season inside the Museum’s Conservation and Restoration Center. The center of attention has been a first generation diesel-electric locomotive with ties to the local forest industry and the results are spectacular! Funded with a grant from the National Railroad Historical Society, private donors and a Boeing Company matching grant, the project is wrapping up this month.

Earlier this year, the Museum began rehabilitation work in earnest on locomotive 1, a Fairbanks-Morse model H12-44 from Enumclaw’s White River Lumber division of Weyerhaeuser. Built in 1951, the locomotive has an opposed piston diesel common in the marine sector, but unique in the railroad industry. When built, the locomotive was remarkable for delivering an incredible 1,200 horsepower with just a six cylinder/twelve piston diesel.

Rehabilitation work has included car body repairs, new piston rings, new electric traction motor brushes, auxiliary generator repairs, surface preparation, new windows as required, and painting. Over 1,800 hours of effort has been invested in the project and the locomotive was moved out of the CRC last week. The lettering has not yet been applied; warmer weather will facilitate that final visual aspect of the project. Some of the work has been highlighted in Museum blog posts here and here.

Substantial completion of locomotive 1 also leads to a new beginning: chapel car 5 “Messenger of Peace” was moved into the CRC to begin an extensive rehabilitation. Earlier this year, many museum supporters participating in the Partners in Preservation initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express by voting for their favorite project. Those efforts resulted in a $50,000 award in support of chapel car 5. Other support includes the Save America’s Treasures award, the Capital Projects Fund for Washington’s Heritage, 4Culture and individual and corporate donors.

Chapel car 5 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places under National criteria acknowledging it as one of the most historically significant artifacts in the Museum’s collection. Rehabilitation work will include repairs to the car’s frame, especially to deteriorated sections of side sill. Work will also include rehabilitation of the exterior cladding, reconstruction of the interior living quarters, restoration of the sanctuary, and restoration of the end platforms. Project completion is expected in two years.

So the end of one project is the beginning of another.


Top - Locomotive 1 on the CRC lead after repainting.

Second - Locomotive 1 and just a few of the dozens of people involved in its rehabilitation. Top, left to right, Allan W., Bob M., Clark Mc., Hugh H., Jon B., Roger S., & Russ S.

Third - Pettibone Speedswing moves the chapel car into the CRC.

Bottom - Project manager Clark Mc. begins assessing chapel car 5 shortly after it arrived in the CRC.

Video - images of the locomotive 1 moving out of the CRC and the chapel car moving in.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rock photographer Jini Dellaccio does photo shoot at the Museum

It’s not often that rock photographers show up on the other side of the camera. But breaking with tradition is nothing new for Jini Dellaccio.

A pioneering rock photographer in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s, Jini Dellaccio and her remarkable life and work are the subject of an upcoming documentary, now in the final stages of production, by Karen J. Whitehead, Producer/Director, Five Star Films, Inc.

Jini DellaccioDellaccio’s adventurous, varied, unplanned career took her from Indiana to Chicago to California to Washington State – from musician to graphic designer to fashion photographer to rock photographer. Her images have received international acclaim. Neil Young, The Who and Jim Valley of Paul Revere and the Raiders are among the musicians she has captured on film. Or maybe “freed” on film is what really happened to musicians when Dellaccio got behind a camera. She once told Neil Young to climb up on the roof of a garage and “fly like a bird.”

Jini Dellaccio photographs the Moondoggies at the Snoqualmie DepotDellaccio’s art and life story captivated Whitehead, who contacted the Northwest Railway Museum earlier this year for permission to film some scenes here for her documentary. “As part of the filming,” wrote Whitehead, “Jini, who still always has a camera in her hand, wants to do a photo shoot with an up and coming Seattle band. We were interested in having the wonderful scenery around your railroad and a train ride as a backdrop for this.”

In turn, Hasselblad became fascinated with Dellaccio’s story when Whitehead approached them in hopes of providing Dellaccio with the experience of shooting with Hasselblad’s new H4D-40. Hasselblad brought their new model to the photo shoot at the Museum.

Five Star Films Inc films Jini Dellaccio for a documentaryAnd the band lucky enough to be photographed by Jini Dellaccio in her 93rd year? That was the Moondoggies, who recently returned to Seattle from a California tour. The Snoqualmie Depot, the interior of Coach 213 and the corridor between the train set and the Silver Bullet all gave Dellaccio rich material to work with. How much do you recognize in this brief video, filmed during last April’s photo shoot?

Moondoggies on the Snoqualmie Depot platformThe non-profit Northwest Film Forum is providing a fiscal sponsorship for the Jini Dellaccio documentary, which allows supporters to make tax-free donations to the independent film through the Forum. For information about this and other opportunities to get involved, or for more information about the documentary, please contact filmmaker Karen Whitehead.

All photos copyright Five Star Films Inc 2010

(My thanks to Butch Leitz for providing helpful perspective for this post.)