This evening, as another Pacific Storm barrels in to the Oregon Coast Range with it’s wind and rain showers, I can not help but remember the years the Southern Pacific Tillamook Branch steam crews had to endure such weather to wrestle their long trains of logs and timber products over the line with the help of multiple steam helpers.
Fortunately for all of us, the man in this photo did more to preserve the history and spirit of this line than anyone else ever has or ever could again. Posed by his helper engine, SP 2-8-0 #2595, is the famous railroad photographer H.L. Arey. Mr Arey was an accomplished engineer for the SP and was based for many years out of Timber, OR on the Tillamook Branch. He would often take his camera to work with him and in the process would capture some of the most enduring railroad images ever captured in the West.
This is yet one of many such H.L. Arey photo classics. Here we see that he has stopped his helper engine (carefully posing her with her rods down) at Salmonberry deep in the Salmonberry River Canyon in 1933 and has set up his camera on a tripod for the shot. He has asked his fireman to click the shutter to capture this “self-portrait”.
Thank you Mr. Arey for taking your camera to work and mastering the art of both steam railroading but also photography so that we all can see what it was like to do your job day and night, summer and winter, in the Oregon Coast Range.