Running wind sprints. Doing photo run-bys with Spokane, Portland & Seattle #700 in the Portland Yard is a bit like taking an Indy Car to the drag races. We've got a machine that was built for sustained high speeds, but we have perhaps a half mile of track in which to simulate a high speed run. It sounds like a difficult proposition, but on this day, Engineer Jim Abney and Fireman Jeff Honeyman make it look easy. With a consist of just 3 heavyweight passenger coaches, the mighty 700 goes from a standing start to an undisclosed but impressive top speed in just a few hundred yards, and shutting down almost as quickly after the last car has passed the photo line. After spending an afternoon and evening watching this gal run these "wind sprints", just about everyone on this 2014 Lerro Productions Charter was hungry for a mainline charter with this beauty, where she could truly stretch her legs. Alas, we will all have to wait a while for that. The 700's FRA Form 4 recently expired and she needs a 1,472-day inspection to get recertified for another 15 years. That inspection has been started, and the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association has the manpower and expertise to do it, but they need some help financially to make it happen.
If you'd like to see this big gal back out on the iron, you can go to their website at www.sps700.org and follow the group's progress. You can also throw a few greenbacks in the kitty to help them get it done.