Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Red Electric powers up, throws off "sparks"

I'm learning how to power up the Red Electric by letting others know about it. I recently informed a list of folks who helped with our "Hillsdale Votes!"registration campaign in 2004.Of the several who have visited the site, some want to link with organizations they are involved with. So you should look to the right for additions to the links list. You'll find that I have, enthusiastically, added Neighborhood House, at the request of Rick Nitti, its irrepressible executive director. You will also find a link to the site for Southern Pacific 4449, at the request of Carl Petterson. Rick and Carl live in Hillsdale.

Neighborhood House, located in Multnomah Village, is, of course, a treasure, serving many folks in need in our community. The link to old 4449 is, well, "family" for The Red Electric because "Red" was a Southern Pacific train.

Here is what Carl wrote me: "The historical writeup on the Red Electric link was of great interest to me. I volunteer one day a week in the SE Portland Brooklyn Roundhouse where we maintain the Southern Pacific 4449 steam locomotive (see photo. ed). Currently we are getting it ready for the Holiday Express, a short series of excursions from Oaks Park to near OMSI."

To find out more about the Holiday Express, visit its web site.

Hey, Carl, what's the chance of restoring and running a Red Electric?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Carl Petterson said...

Rick,

Many of the train enthusists I work with prefer steam locomotives but we have restored two 1950s diesels. The current project is an Alco PA passenger locomotive. The old Lionel trains with the Santa Fe logo were this model. It was more attractive than the General Electric or Electro Motive Diesel models.

Many don't realize that the first streetcars to be used after the 1870s hose cars were steam dummies. This was the only choice of power prior to the development of electric motor. An idle thought I have is to recreate a steam dummy, complete with period street car woodwork, and run it on Tri-Met tracks for special occasions. These historically predate the Council Crest replicas that are used now.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Carl Petterson said...

Rick,

In viewing my comments I saw I didn't answer your original question. An operating Red Electric car could be constructed. Modern safety features would be required which might change the undercarriage appearance. It could look like the Council Crest street car replicas. These look like delicate dancers with piano mover legs because the wheel trucks appear to be too heavy duty. Of course, many people wouldn't notice or care. With enough money most things are possible. But electricity hasn't changed much since 1914.

4:48 PM  

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