On the morning of February 14th, the Alaska with Prez was found to be guarded by a military guard. It was later determined that he was in a conference with General Don Sherwood who the Prez was giving instructions on the finer arts of handling Monicas. On the following day, the Alaska and Prez were checking out one of the new Alaska Railroad SD70MAC's, 4002. On Wednesday, the Prez met with Alaska Railroad President, Bill Sheffield to discuss the operations of their railroads. On Friday, February 18th, 2000, after a hard week of Rondy operation, a tired Prez and Alaska returned to home rails for some much needed rest. Later that evening, after the CSWRR crews had spotted the Alaska in it's roundhouse stall, the Prez was seen heading for Dr. Cookoo's.
On February 21, 2000 the Alaska and Prez departed for Juneau arriving there on Friday the 25th. The Prez got to enjoy a couple of days of sight seeing in beautiful weather, before being captured by the dastardly kidnapper and held for ransom. At first the kidnapper demanded 100 dollars for his release, but due to the tireless efforts of Gradley Bore, State Railroad Inspector Guy negotiations were made with the kidnapper and his release was gained for a fee of 5 cents. Upon his release, the Alaska was given a personally escorted tour by Gradley Bore of the Alaska State Capital. Visiting the Senate President's and House Speakers Podiums and later discussed his capture with Christopher Clark from KTUU, Channel 2 in Anchorage. The prez also had a delightful talk with Windy Lindskoog representing the Alaska Railroad and Larry Wiggitt from the Anchorage School District. The Prez then visited with Speaker Brian Porter, Representives Scott Ogan, Vic Koring, Romona Barnes, Gail Phillips, Richard Foster, Carl Morgan, Ethan Berkowitz, Lisa Murkowski and Senator Lyda Green. The CSWRR wishes to thank Jerry Ritter for hosting this visit to Juneau.
Speaker of trhe Alaska State House, Brian Porter
On February 12th and 13th, 2000 the Alaska and Prez were the guests of the Northern Lights Model Railroad Club's Alaska Northern RR where it participated in the Fur Rondy operations. As so often happens, the Prez embarrassed the CSWRR with his antics. Later on the 13th, the Alaska was interchanged to the Military Society of Model Railroad Engineers, North Star Railroad operation at the Alaska Railroad Depot, Fur Rondy display.
The Side Story of the Prez's antics starting on February 15th and continuing into March. These stories are impromptu and carried on by e-mail by usually a hand full of participants with vivid imaginations. Someone starts the ball rolling and others jump in and simply add to it. Then around and around it goes. These Stories are great fun and I would like to share this one with you.
The Alaska and a tired Prez arrived back home on Friday evening, March 11th. Awaiting the Alaska's arrival was a large crowd on the Party Car for a dedication ceremony of a statue in honor of the Prez. The Statue is located next to the San Bernardino Depot for all to admire.
On March 18, 2000 the Alaska and Prez were present for the North Star Railroad open house on Elmendorf AFB. The highlight of this open house was the dedication of the Ken Brovald Yard. After touring the yard and the North Star Railroad, the Alaska was loaded on the barge for another trip to the lower 48.
On March 19, the Alaska and Prez accompanied Mr. Bob Sanchez for another tour of the South Western United States. Upon their arrival in the Los Angeles Basin, the Prez was introduced to some of the areas local charm at Venice Beach.
On April 19th, the Alaska and Prez visited the Santa Susana Pacific (SSP) (club), where the Prez got a grand tour of the Railroad. The Alaska made a whistle stop tour, pulled behind Larry Elredge's Consolidation and a string of beautiful DRG&W Passenger cars. Later a State Dinner was held for the Prez, at the local Carls Jr.
On April 22, 2000, the Alaska and the Prez visited the Pasadena Model Railroad Club's, Sierra Pacific Lines in Alhambra. This was a fantastic trip where the Alaska was placed on the rear of a 1938 Super Chief for a grand tour of the railroad. To appease the Prez, the train was put into the hole at Quartz Hill to visit the nudist camp. The Prez was on his best behavior through out the visit and even participated in a game of volleyball. Later that day, the Alaska and a sunburned Prez dined at the Souplation restaurant.
On the evening of April 25th, 2000, the Alaska and Prez visited the Oak Park & Agoura Railroad (OPAX), headquarted in Oak Park, Ca. The CEO Ken Josing and his staff provided a great tour of the OPAX, featuring many fabulous bridges that span the arroyos on the railroad. The Alaska was pulled by modern C44-9's and a complete RoadRailer train.
On April 27th, the Alaska with the Prez aboard departed with Peter Ely, for a quick trip to Quebec and Ontario Canada for a five day state visit. The following is the Prez's report of the trip.
May 1st, 2000, the Alaska with the Prez aboard, spent the evening in active tour service, on both a number of freights and the crack signature passenger train throughout an operating session on Michael Bouche's, Adirondack Branch of the Delaware & Hudson Railway in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada.
On May 2, 2000. The Alaska made quite an extensive and whirl wind tour of four model railroads in southern and eastern Ontario. The Alaska was interchanged with Ottawa based John Mitchell's, New York Central who in turn brought it through the Detroit River Tunnel into Windsor, Ontario. Having traversed the Canadian mainline of this great road, and stopped for a brief tour of the Elgin County Railway Museum in St Thomas, Ontario.
The Alaska then continued east for a visit on Bill Meek's, Ontario L'Orignal, an ex-CN branch line now operated as a short line in Eastern Ontario. aside from a little congestion from the national passenger service, VIA, the transfer was smooth sailing. The Alaska then briefly visited Marty Phillips', Maine Central (a work-in-progress layout) as it passed through St. Johnsbury, Vt on its' way to the final destination on this tour, Dover, Mass on Mike Hamer's, Boston and Maine. It was a fun trip.
On May 3, 2000 the business car Alaska was spotted in New England traversing the Boston and Maine's Western Route near the town of N. Dover, New Hampshire on Mike Hamer's, B&M/MEC Railroad located in Ottawa, Canada. Travelling on Train #11, the East Wind, the Prez enjoyed the north-eastern pastoral landscape from his perch on the Alaska. Crossing the New England River Bridge offered the Prez a wonderful vista of this lovely region. From the Howard Street overpass, the East Wind entered N. Dover, which is a bustling New England town in the late 1950's being served by the railroad. Industries include a large furniture factory, an impressive distillery and a host of smaller businesses. After a short station stop, the East Wind departed N. Dover through the Meek Tunnel bored under the main street of town. .
On May 20th, the Prez aboard the Alaska and escorted by Bob Sanchez, attended get-together on Cajon Pass. The Prez got an opportunity to meet Chard Walker and Don Sims. The Prez also had an opportunity to talk with Ted York, who's Cajon Pass railroad he had visited back in July of 98. The Prez was really impressed with seeing what the prototype for his railroad looked like.
On May 22, 2000 the Alaska and Prez, made an emergency trip to Alaska to attend a Memorial Service for their good friend Jeff Childs who had passed away. The Alaska and Prez, along with Santa Fe engine 5050 and the Party Car with Jeff on-board, were on display in front of Jeff's picture for the service. Jeff's last act before departing this world was to dispatch the May CSWRR Operating Session.
On May 27, 2000 the Alaska took part in the Jeff Childs Memorial Run on the Military Society of Model Railroad Engineers, North Star Railroad. The Prez rode on the Alaska, while the figures representing all other guests as well as a figure representing Jeff road on the Party car. The Special was pulled by Santa Fe engine 3671 and viewed by Jeff's father and sister.
On May 29, 2000 the Alaska returned with Bob Sanchez to Southern California so the Prez could continue searching for the love of his life, Monica. After a short time of readjustment, we continued our travels.