That's Horatio Davidson visiting what I believe is the dam for Hood River's first hydroelectric plant of 1905. We saw a few images of the power building for this dam before, here and here. You can read all about it in the Glacier.
Nice picture....how about an additional tag Arthur. Mount Hood RR....note the no ballasted rails.....
Arlen Sheldrake on 21st September 2015 @ 7:12am
A recently laid railroad, no ballast in place. There are also no tie plates but these often came later due to cost.
Kenn on 21st September 2015 @ 7:40am
What are no ballasted rails?
Buzz on 21st September 2015 @ 7:45am
Looks like there is a smallish amount of ballast. This was common for local lines with slow moving trains.
Longshot on 21st September 2015 @ 7:49am
Did I mention there is a hydroelectric dam in this picture?
Arthur on 21st September 2015 @ 9:33am
Well, Arthur, you shouldn't have hid it underwater and not provided us with anything to be able to express our expertise.
Buzz on 21st September 2015 @ 9:51am
Can we assume that the "log" to the right side of the picture is actually a wooden pipe carrying water to a turbine downstream somewhere?
Longshot on 21st September 2015 @ 10:59am
We is the location? With the tracks right beside the river, and the steep hill across it, it looks to me like it may be just down stream from the pipeline bridge?
AndyB on 21st September 2015 @ 11:14am
Yes, that's the wooden pipeline on the right side of the image. There was a bridge to bring the pipeline to the other side of the river on its way to the turbines. The Glacier article says the pipeline was 5 feet in diameter and 3000 feet long. The same article gives a few hints about the location-- for example, it is 1300 feet above a sharp point in the river bank where the suspension bridge crossed.
Arthur on 21st September 2015 @ 2:24pm
Buzz, ballast is crushed rock under and between the ties. Beneath it cushions, levels and keeps the ties out of dirt and water. Between the ties, usually near the top edge, it helps keep the ties from creeping or moving away from their normal 22" spacing.
Kenn on 21st September 2015 @ 5:42pm
That is what I thought Kenn. But I saw some ballast under these ties so I didn't understand Arlen's comment.
Buzz on 21st September 2015 @ 7:41pm
The ballast is what its name implies, it is the added weight that holds the entire track in place. Without ballast a fast moving train will push the track outward on the curves and will cause the track to meander on the straights. A lot of small rail lines did not bother with putting ballast under the ties to start with, but just put a minimum amount between the ties to keep the track assembly from moving too much.
In the days before modern quarrying and crushing techniques, ballast was quite expensive and often used sparingly.
I have heard tell that the Goldendale Branch out of Lyle was never well ballasted and had a 15 mph speed limit as a result.
Longshot on 21st September 2015 @ 8:19pm