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Rail Ballast Car, Simpson Timber Company #6

Year Built:
Type of Equipment:
Rail Car
Ballast Car
Rail Trucks
In Service:
Simpson Timber Company
Roots of Motive Power
With the prospect looming of having to spread ballast by hand on the planned 3/4 mile loop track, Chris Baldo approached Simpson Timber Company in Shelton, Washington in an effort to acquire one of their historically accurate and very functional ballast cars. With the reduction from 32 miles to 6 miles of track in Simpson’s railroad operation at Shelton, Simpson agreed to sell one of the ballast cars. Working with Railroad Superintendent Don Sandridge, Ballast Car #6 was selected. A big bonus in the deal was Simpson Timber Company donating two 55-gallon drums filled with 5″ x 9″ and 5 1/2″ x 10″ friction bearings brasses which were salvaged from the scrapping operation of their old skeleton log cars. Simpson’s crew at the Dry Sort Yard at Matlock loaded the ballast car, its trucks and the barrels of brasses on a Sherman Brothers truck and the load arrived in Willits in April 2004. Simpson rebuilt the current steel ballast car from an original wooden ballast car in the late 1960s. The company just recently completed a refurbishment of the draft gear followed by a complete sand blasting and painting to the current handsome red and black color scheme. Our track gang has already used the car to spread ballast, using the Arcata and Mad River Railroad #104 diesel electric locomotive for power. from the Roots of Motive Power Newsletter, August 2004