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  • April 8, 2022 Harvey Laner Presents: Pacific Northwest Traction

April 8, 2022 Harvey Laner Presents: Pacific Northwest Traction

  • Friday, April 08, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Via Zoom: tinyurl.com/CERAonZoom

Watch us on ZOOM

Join us on Friday, April 8 for the world premiere of Harvey Laner's “Pacific Northwest Traction.”

All are welcome for this fascinating evening. We'll begin at 7 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, April 8. Follow the links below.




Meeting ID: 853 6086 0063
Passcode: 58106

Run Time: 1h31m41s

This program covers a lot of geographic territory in the US Northwest, beginning in Montana and working its way to Idaho, Oregon and Washington states. It also covers a lot of traction territory as well. The makeup of traction properties in the American Northwest was a mix of traditional local and regional transit providers to properties that served very specific, dedicated needs.

With few exceptions, the movie clips in this program are from Harvey Laner’s collection. Several scenes in his collection are from the camera of noted Chicagoan George Krambles. In 1939, George and fellow railfans Bill Jannsen and Jim Shuman travelled west to explore electric railroading in the American northwest. George’s nephew Art Peterson has been able to identify and date the images in Harvey’s collection that were taken by George Krambles during the 1939 trip.

The program begins with the Anaconda Street Railway. A single purpose property, transporting employees to and from the Anaconda smelter.

The Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway, also with a defined purpose, transporting copper ore from Butte to the smelter in Anaconda.

The Milwaukee Road, a main line railroad trying to save itself from its competitors, was influenced by the BA&P when it came to electrifying portions it’s Puget Sound Extension.

The Spokane Coeur D’Alene and Palouse segment showcases an all too brief 37 second movie clip of this road’s impressive interurban cars, the only known moving picture record of this railroad.

The Yakima Valley Transportation Company is featured covering its early streetcar operations, then freight operations under Union Pacific ownership and finally the City of Yakima’s acquisition and transition to an operating heritage tourist line.

The program then moves to another single mission traction property. Skagit River Railway was built by the utility company, Seattle City Light to transport personnel and supplies to power generation construction projects in the Skagit River Valley.

We visit the 30-inch gauge Portland Zoo Railroad. Though not a traction property, it is included as a railroad of interest because of its unique diesel powered Zooliner engine that was modeled after the GM Aerotrain.

The program then moves to a very detailed look at Portland’s interurbans and streetcars. The history of the public transit operations in and around Portland is a complex story of corporately intertwined city streetcar lines, interurban lines, real estate promotion and public utility development. This program untangles the web showcasing a wonderful collection of movies covering the Portland Traction interurban lines and the final three streetcar lines: 23rd Avenue, Willamette Heights and Council Crest, in considerable detail.

The video concludes with an overview of the Stone and Webster properties in the Puget Sound region: Puget Sound Electric Railway, Pacific Northwest Traction Co, aka Seattle-Everett Interurban and Seattle Municipal Street Railway.

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