My Northern Pacific Butte Montana Layout.

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
I believe that Jack's layout was DC powered with some PFM sound units installed in his locomotives. If you do a search for Jack Parker's Northern Pacific HO Layout. there are some other videos available.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
There is also more to view at Central Valley's website. Simply Google <central valley model works> to get there. I have built several of CVMW's stock cars and flat cars. They are wonderful additions to my Northern Pacific Layout!
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
If there is a layout that has influenced what I've done with my layout, besides John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid, it is Jack Parker's Logan Montana layout. Not that I have come close in any way, shape; or, form, to either of these two magnificent layouts; but, these are the two that gave me a boot in the but to get started. Jack's layout was featured in the 1995 Great Model Railroads Magazine. At the time this layout was featured in this magazine I had been building my layout for eight years. The configuration of the track plan was complete and I was working on scenery at 8 years into the project. At the time I had seen this feature in GMR, I came to understand the importance of larger radius curves which would have allowed my being able to use N.P. Yellowstone 2-8-8-4, Challenger 4-6-6-4 and even 4-8-4 Northerns. All three of these locomotives would have had to have been Brass Imports at the time and I would not have been able to afford them. If anything made me keep on with my layout and it's too small 24 inch curves, it was the fact that these locomotives where out of my price range. Jack Parker's N.P. layout remains my all time favorite!
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
So, I've determined that even though the Northern Pacific was signed into being in 1864, The actual building of the line began in 1870, 6 years later. The first construction efforts where near Carlton, Minnesota, not to far from Duluth. The next year, 1871 saw construction begin on the western end building a line from Kalama to Tacoma, Washington Territory. Then, after 13 years, from that auspicious beginning, Northern Pacific had years filled with Indian Wars, political and financial crises, long winters and unforeseen construction difficulties the two ends where joined at Gold Creek Montana on September 8th, 1883. Washington became a state on November 11th, 1889. Tacoma Washington became the western terminus of the Northern Pacific.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
I read at bedtime and my latest issue of Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette came a day or so ago and I am reading that now; however, as more information unfolds from the book I will continue to post it here.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
Iron Horseman,

"Robber Baron", a definition: The following definition fairly defines what I've heard and read about James J Hill. For my part, I would include him in the definition. Some "Robber Barons" may have even gone on to become President(s)!

rob·ber bar·on
noun

plural noun: robber barons
  1. a person who has become rich through ruthless and unscrupulous business practices (originally with reference to prominent US businessmen in the late 19th century).
Even if Hill could somehow be shown to have not been a "Robber Baron", what difference does this really make? In 1901 while the country was going through a depression which started in the mid 1890s, Hill ended up with control of the Northern Pacific, which had gone bankrupt, with his buddy J.P. Morgan.

So, in the end, James J Hill did start, complete and ran the successful Great Northern which never went belly up and made minimal use of Land Grants, he also ended up owning the Northern Pacific, too.

It would seem to me like we're splitting hairs for the sake of "having" split hairs, here. In the end what do we do with all the "Split hairs"?
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
So, in the end, James J Hill did start, complete and ran the successful Great Northern which never went belly up and made minimal use of Land Grants, he also ended up owning the Northern Pacific, too.
And the Milwalkee, the Colorado Southern, the Colorado Midland, the Burlington, the Spokane Portland & Seattle. Unlike most of the others (other notable exceptions being Harriman and Strong), he just loved railroading. So if loving railroading is splitting hairs with other folks who just treated them like any other business they could buy and cash out of, then yes we are splitting hairs. I see it as a huge ideological difference.
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
Iron Horseman, I thought the question was: Was James J Hi;ll a Robber Barron? The fact that he loved railroading; or. at least owning and making money from Railroads would certainly be very obvious to me.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Iron Horseman, I thought the question was: Was James J Hi;ll a Robber Barron? The fact that he loved railroading; or. at least owning and making money from Railroads would certainly be very obvious to me.
Yeah, OK. I was just being much more specific in what unscrupulous business practices meant in this case.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
By what you seem to be saying, I take it that you feel James J Hill was not a Robber Baron. By what I have seen written about him, I can't separate Mr. Hill from any of the other Robber Barons! Since this appears to be a difference of opinion between us and the fact that being able to Prove/Disprove what a Robber Baron was/is; or, that James J Hill wasn't/was one, I would prefer to let this topic lie and go back to reading my book on the history of the Northern Pacific and discuss what the book states in this thread. As I've stated earlier, what real difference does this make? If he was, I don't much care, if he wasn't I still don't care!
 
By what you seem to be saying, I take it that you feel James J Hill was not a Robber Baron. By what I have seen written about him, I can't separate Mr. Hill from any of the other Robber Barons! Since this appears to be a difference of opinion between us and the fact that being able to Prove/Disprove what a Robber Baron was/is; or, that James J Hill wasn't/was one, I would prefer to let this topic lie and go back to reading my book on the history of the Northern Pacific and discuss what the book states in this thread. As I've stated earlier, what real difference does this make? If he was, I don't much care, if he wasn't I still don't care!
Thank You. Looking forward to more book summaries and history.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
Well, the Northern Pacific did have difficulty getting started. The idea for the line passed the two houses and was signed into being by President Lincoln in 1864; but, no construction was started until 1870! There was a lot of opposition from the people involved in and the states and territories that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific crossed, as they thought that the Northern Pacific would cut into the money making capabilities of the U.P. C.P. I guess that the 500 plus miles separating the two lines at their closest proximity to each other, between San Francisco and Portland Oregon, was simply to close! They thought it would have been better for someone going to Portland; or, Seattle to travel there from San Francisco by what ever means the could find at that time. Anyway, the Northern Pacific did get it's start on February 15th, 1870 at what is now Carlton, Minnesota. They began building out west sometime in 1871 at Kalama, Washington.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
The Northern Pacific did have it's fair share of troubles, the first was the big crunch which happened in 1873! I don't think the fact that the N.P had troubles makes them any less of a railroad than any other line. In fact the building portion of many of the great railroads that started in the 1800s was a rough time for many of them. Think about it, a company that has mostly out go, instead of income is going to struggle!
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
It's possible for me the fact that the N.P. had a difficult time during it's lifetime, is an attraction for me. I think it mirrors life for many of us. I was self-employed for a 31 year period of my working life. During that time, I had a plenty of rough times!

Another of my interests in prototype railroads is the Rio Grande Southern Narrow Gauge line that ran between Ridgeway Colorado to Durango. It had a few boom years after start-up and the crash in 1893 hit the RGS very hard and all through it's life from that point forward, it struggled to keep it's head above water! It's inability to make a good profit, is one of the reasons that I have such strong interest in the line! Lack of money kept the RGS using older power and rolling stock. In fact most of the RGS's life it was owned by the D&RGW.

The Northern Pacific, on the other hand, was profitable at times and did not have a difficult time keeping up with the changing technology of the times. In fact, the N.P. was an industry leader, as the first user of the 4-8-4 Northern and 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone designs.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
The start of the N.P. in Minnesota, took advantage of a line already built between St. Paul and Duluth/Superior and that was the Lake Superior and Mississippi, so the Northern Pacific simply joined into that line at what is now the Carlton, Minnesota area. As far as out in Washington, Kalama was fairly close to Portland Oregon and they built back to Portland and north to Tacoma. They must of thought that an interconnect between Portland Oregon and the Seattle Washington area was more important than building East. However, they started building east shortly thereafter.
 
So, that's where the 4-8-4 originated. Even in NZ their K, Ka and Kb classes were referred to as Northerns.
Yes, the original Northern was Alco built Timken 1111 known as 4 Aces. It was called Timken because it was also the promo unit for Timken roller bearings. It is the loco that had such easy rolling resistance they would tie a rope to the front of and have 3 people pull it down the track. In Chicago they had 3 women pull it.

It was sold to the NP because while it was being demonstrated on that road it developed a crack in the ??? crown sheet ??? and NP refused to repair it. After some legal dickering instead of paying for the repairs they purchased it outright and the 4-8-4 became a Northern. After it , NP was sold on the 4-8-4 design and the rolller bearing concept. They retrofitted much of their fleet with the new bearings. For such an iconic locomotive, it unfortunately went to scrap instead of being preserved.
 



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