Ballard Railroad gets a new caboose today

A new caboose is on its way to the Ballard Railroad today.

Jim Rutabaga posted about the delivery today in the My Ballard Group, saying they loaded it up yesterday from Lake Whatcom Railway, and will deliver it to Ballard today.

A little background: the Ballard Terminal Railroad Company is a one-engine railroad that transports materials from the tracks near Shilshole Bay Marina, where it connects with the BNSF mainline, to Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel on Shilshole Ave. It’s been operating for 110 years, and it consists of just one locomotive numbered 98 and named “Li’l Beaver” after the Ballard High School Beavers. It only usually runs early in the morning, so you have to be up early to see it in motion.

We’re looking into what time they’ll deliver it today, in case you’re keen to watch.

Photos courtesy Jim Rutabaga


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Lindy West
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Lindy West

Yep. The beavers in Seattle are usually full of sand and gravel.

I C What U did There
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I C What U did There

LOL Maybe best post ever???

Ballard By Boat
Member
Ballard By Boat

Yup

Rick
Guest
Rick

That’s going to hurt!

David of Ballard
Guest
David of Ballard

The Spokane, Portland, and Seattle railroad – whose logo is on this caboose – never made it to Seattle. It ran along the Columbia and south to Eugene (Wikipedia). I hope they keep the logo, and let the SP&S finally run in Seattle!

Lindy West
Guest
Lindy West

Yep, let it run in Seattle and fill that caboose with sand and gravel.

It's noon and I see the train
Guest
It's noon and I see the train

The train does not run “only” early mornings. I’ve often seen it mid-day. Accuracy counts.

Kevin in Ballard
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Kevin in Ballard

Well, it hasn’t really been running for 110 years…there was that nearly 2 yr gap in 1996-98 when Burlington Northern shut down the spur line, only to have the owner of Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel realize that without a railroad, the citizens’ long-held dream/goal of completing the Burke-Gilman Trail might be realized. So he started a railroad, a no cost 30 year franchise (zero dollars to the city for use of 20-45 feet of right of way), then used an interest -free $150000 loan to do some fixing up. One interesting other fact about this little railroad operation and it’s franchise agreement: – though he signed the Operating Agreement which encoded the City’s right and authority to move tracks, remove tracks, or otherwise do what it wants with the land on which the RR operates, the Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel owner has since spent millions of $$ on attorneys, lobbyists, studies to thwart efforts to complete the trail. It’s great to celebrate cool stuff and who doesn’t love a caboose. But Ballardites should understand that the whole point of this local RR from it’s inception has been to throw a monkey wrench into citizens’ and government efforts to… Read more »

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

PREACH. This exactly the only reason this railroad exists. I wish the myballard owners would realize this instead of trying to make it some quirky neighborhood feature. It was started for the sole intention of thwarting the burke gilman trail.

Gus
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Gus

Don’t be hating. The railroad existed for ~100 years from Puget Sound up to Kenmore and south to Redmond. The bike trail is a recent thing Andrew Daisuke.

Cyclists' Dilemma
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Cyclists' Dilemma

Cool story, Bro. Sadly, the cyclists (I am one, btw) continue to vote for scumbags like O’Brien and Sawant who, while ostensibly “advocating for bicycles”, have turned our parks, trails, and green spaces into campsites and crime areas for our new thieving junkie neighbors. The stretch of Burke Gilman Trail from Fred Meyer to Fremont Canal Park, which was once a nice clean section, is now full of trash, addict campers, and stolen bikes. In the past 3 years I have seen overdoses, shrieking hobo fights/assaults, public defecation, and all sorts of ugly behavior, as well as having been followed at night by weirdos wielding pieces of scrap metal while walking thru Frelard.

For cyclists with functioning brains, our “friends” on the City Council are as bad or worse than our “enemies” at Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel.

Hey Andrew, you ride much prior to 2015? Once upon a time our trails weren’t junkie criminal corridors.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

I have no argument with you (i run on the trail) that it must be cleaned up to a far higher cleanliness standard than it is in right now, but a fake railroad masquerading as some neighborhood attraction isn’t helping anyone, certainly not in the least Ballard.

Irrelevant Elephant
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Irrelevant Elephant

Hello.

This article is on a short line railroad getting a new caboose.
Your comment is on your (incorrect) opinion that our trails are conduits for crime.

🐘 Therefore irrelevant! 🐘

RALph M HAMMERSBORG
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RALph M HAMMERSBORG

I look forward to the caboose offering rides to tourists to the Nordic museum and the locks…..that will be cool!!!

Josh
Guest
Josh

Not all of the “citizens” are on your side, just the bicycle lobby. Some of us support blue collar jobs around here. I’ll bet most of the developers are pretty happy too to use all of the concrete SBS&G can churn out. These things are more important than a bicycle trail that a small percentage of people use. The money, belligerence and persistence of special interests is slowly eliminating the people in Ballard who work with people who do not.

Cyclists' Dilemma
Guest
Cyclists' Dilemma

Those developers who “use all of the concrete SBS&G can churn out” are all too happy to see the working class go. So I would say it’s a bit ironic to hold up the gravel company as some sort of bastion of blue collar values. I work for a living, and I am also sad to see Ballard turn into Crapitol Hill.

Josh b'Gosh
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Josh b'Gosh

Yeah those developers must be thrilled they have a hard time finding blue collar workers to complete their buildings.

Kevin in Ballard
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Kevin in Ballard

No qualms or issues with SBS & G churning out concrete product at all. The issue is spending millions to derail this project, starting with the RR in 1998. The owner was part of a group that finally agreed on the South Shilshole route, then turned around and said he never agreed.

And ‘citizens’ have voted multiple times to endorse this trail and this route (the most recent Parks Levy included funding for the rail/trail missing link, as did the prior Bridging the Gap and Move Seattle levies) Explicit funding earmarked for this project, as designed. Through the EIS process, overwhelming sentiment of respondents was for the rail/trail route. Four mayoral administrations and City Council groupings over the past 15 yrs have promoted and endorsed the route. The ‘bicycle lobby’ you speak of exists, but they didn’t start this effort – it was started during the neighborhood planning process, and continued by Ballard trail activists, many of whom didn’t and don’t ride bicycles. I have great trust in those ‘blue collar’ Teamsters and their ability to safely navigate crossing a trail then pulling on to a roadway. No jobs are going away (except the attorneys and lobbyists…. )

RALph M HAMMERSBORG
Guest
RALph M HAMMERSBORG

“Citizens have voted multiple time to endorse the link”???????

Kevin in Ballard
Guest
Kevin in Ballard

endorse this trail and this route (the most recent Parks Levy included funding for the rail/trail missing link, as did the prior Bridging the Gap and Move Seattle levies) Explicit funding earmarked for this project, as designed. Through the EIS process, overwhelming sentiment of respondents was for the rail/trail route

Truth
Guest
Truth

Not all of the “citizens” are on your side, just the bicycle lobby. Some of us support blue collar jobs around here.

And then there’s the 99.99% of Ballardites that know firsthand that industrial businesses and bike trails can coexist, mainly because they do, about a mile or so east of Ballard. The people of Ballard want their damn trail after 20+ years and they’re frustrated with the Obstructionists tired, old argument.

The money, belligerence and persistence of special interests is slowly eliminating the people in Ballard who work with people who do not.

What are even talking about? Are you claiming that the “bicycle lobby and special interests” are driving away Ballard jobs?

The Obstructionists have wasted millions of their own money (instead of investing in their workers and businesses) and wasted millions of Seattle taxpayer money on lawsuits. If anything drives them out of business, it will be their own incompetence.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

They seem very picky about which blue collar jobs they want to protect. Construction jobs they don’t care for, especially apartment buildings. Especially here. They like construction, consuming cement from the cement plant, as long it’s not here. Build it somewhere else. Oh, what’s the phrase? NIMBY? Yes. Blue collar park construction work (here) is a non-starter. I guess it’s a matter of new vs old. Blue collar jobs that were already here are sacred and must stay. Hiring anybody new to do any new thing that wasn’t here before is a no, no, no, no. They want everything to stay exactly the same. Forever.

Mary Beth
Guest
Mary Beth

They always run on Sunday night, tooting their horn until well after 10:00pm, maybe 11:00. No big deal for me but get your facts straight.

Merriam Webster
Guest
Merriam Webster

They may “always” run on Sunday night, but they do not “only” run on Sunday night. Words have meaning. I suggest you consult your dictionary for further guidance.

John Smith
Guest
John Smith

Can we house the junkies inside this? Seems like it’d at least be big enough to fit the crowd at commons park.

rufus
Guest
rufus

the people at sand and gravel, and various other buisnesses that have been fighting this dumb bike trail never agreed to shilshole trail. that was bs from mayor murray an Scott kubly! Go to Ballard cycle track and sign the petition for the Leary street bike path.

Kevin in Ballard
Guest
Kevin in Ballard

Hey Rufus – the meeting was February 22nd, 2017 at Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel. Ask Warren Aakervik about it.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

Yup. Rufus, Warren works at Ballard Oil. Just to make it easy for you.

R Burnett
Guest
R Burnett

I rode by around 2 pm today. Looked cool. I heard rumors it might become a passenger train between Fremont and Ballard. Possible?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Farmers market by train would be nice

Toad (of Toad Hall)
Member
Toad (of Toad Hall)

Hey Ballard, you might actually get light rail!

BorninBallard
Guest
BorninBallard

I am so excited! I keep hearing about passenger rail coming to Ballard!

Philip McCann
Guest
Philip McCann

Oh wow! Passengers? I’d pay for a ride! If I could park at Fred Meyers and ride the caboose to the Ballard Farmers Market, that would be so great! Good job Ballard Railroad people!

Ballard By Boat
Member
Ballard By Boat

I think this is a great idea! The Fresh Branzino approves of Philip’s message!

John Knuntzen
Guest
John Knuntzen

To the bike path folks that think the railroad is only there to keep the bike path from happening, let me debunk.

Please visit https://www.seattle.gov/transportation/projects-and-programs/programs/bike-program/burke-gilman-trail-missing-link-project

Within this website, you will find the latest plans for how the path will be place. Look for the Sept 13 2018 meeting for the latest. You will see a bike path and a railroad coexisting.

Also, to note, the railroad and bike path already successfully coexists from 40th to the Ballard Bridge.

I’m excited for the railroads new caboose, congratulations guys! I want a ride on it!

Old Fart
Guest
Old Fart

This does not debunk anything. It just shows how the path construction has attempted to work around the obstructionism.

If the railroad had not been there, the path would have been completed quickly and simply along the rail corridor, as it is elsewhere from Fremont through Kenmore. Instead, there are a myriad of gyrations to make it work to where it is today, including the two rail crossings at 8th and near the bridge (the latter being downright criminal). That little section took years. Those ‘current plans’ for the remainder of the missing link involve moving the path partly to Market Street to avoid a small section of the railroad that goes by Ballard Oil. It’s a patch, not a solution.

Dick
Guest
Dick

Hope the spandex cycles. Don’t ruin it.