The weather man was once again no where near close to the actual weather for the 5th annual New Years Day run held at the Fairfield Railroad at the home of Wayne and Barbara Lass. By all reports, January 1, 2002 was to be a cool and cloudy with a chance of rain. Instead it turned out to be sunny and warm (in the 40’s). Family and friends from church and neighborhood, as well as friends from the North Georgia Live Steamers club, stopped by to visit and see the trains.
We had two guest locomotives at the track this year. The first, Colorado Midland’s Atlantic, is owned and operated by Richard Dean. He also brought a variety of rolling stock. The Atlantic is a coal-burner that Rich frequently takes to meets all over the southeast. The other locomotive, the as yet incomplete, Shay #2 was brought by Dave Levy. It was unloaded onto a display stand and demo’s of it running on compressed air were made throughout the day.
The primary Fairfield Railroad locomotive, a Pacific 4-6-2 locomotive named “Lady Barbara”, owned and operated by Wayne and Barb was making is second appearance at a New Years Day run. It made its public debut at last year’s New Years Day run. Wayne has taken it to several tracks and clubs over the past year and it has performed nearly flawlessly every time.
Lady Barbara was the first of the locomotives to be unloaded onto the Fairfield Railroad track. Most of the rolling stock that would make up it’s consist for the day was already on the track and stored in the engine house. After a little switching activity, Lady Barbara was ready to be fired. While steam was building in Lady Barbara, Shay #2 was unloaded and readied on its stand.
A short time later, Rich arrived with his Atlantic. It was unloaded and moved to the yard and readied to have a fire lit in it. While Richard was building a head of steam in the Atlantic, Lady Barbara began to cruise around the track loop and stretch her legs.
Later in the day, the Atlantic and Lady Barbara were hooked up and double-headed a full train of 9 cars and passengers. As many as 18 people were towed around the track by the double-headed locomotives. It was very impressive and much video tape was captured of the event. The cold weather made for beautiful displays of water vapor with the trains running long after dark.
Here are some pictures of the day’s activities. Lots of fun and fellowship was enjoyed by everyone. Make plans to attend the 6th annual New Years Day run to be held (duh!) on 1/1/2003.