|BNSF Railway's 10th
Interbay Roundhouse, Seattle, Washington
Saturday, September 17, 2005
by Lindsay Korst
"10 Years and Rolling"
Saturday was another beautiful, fall day in Seattle.
Courtesy of BNSF's Jim Lee, Bill Sornsin and I attended
as representatives of GNRHS. This event was not open to
the general public, but meant as a picnic and celebration
for BNSF Employees and their families.
I arrived about 0935 and began setting up our display in
Building 1. The NPRHA was there also represented by Gary
Tarbox and Jack Christensen. BNSF's Waste Water Management
Team and Diversity Team also had tables to round out the
In an adjacent room was a large, modular N-scale layout
set up and operated by two groups: Great North End N-scale
and United North West Model Railroad Club.
Although he was unable to attend, Scott Tanner loaned
us some GN-related items to exhibit as well as his
large Empire Builder/GNRHS display board as seen above.
To complement the display, I had made some photocopies of
Reference Sheets, color membership brochures and business
cards with the GNRHS website address which Bill and I
distributed as hand outs.
Once I was finished setting up, our Building Coordinator,
Dan Olah brought everyone outside for a brief safety
meeting and explained what we were to do if an emergency
Bill arrived about 10:30 and completed our display set up
bringing along some binders of GN memorabilia and photos
as well as his large Seattle-Vancouver, BC dispatcher
train log books. The dispatcher log was actually donated
to the GNRHS by Dave Sprau who rescued thousands of fascinating
records from King Street Station years ago. Another
crowd-pleaser Bill brought along was a photo album from
the 1970's of BN employees at a reunion.
Bill and I took turns manning the display tables and
visiting the nearby roundhouse. On my first "shift",
I registered at the main entrance where we were
presented with a brochure and BNSF fan (see picture at top).
As it was still morning, things were still being set up
including huge tents with picnic tables underneath.
The picnic was catered hot dogs and hamburgers with
pasta or potato salad and pop or water to drink. As
things weren't quite ready yet, I visited the roundhouse
and had a look around.
After an hour or so, I returned to man the tables
and Bill took off for lunch and some pictures. We had
quite a few people stopping by.
I met Joe Gaynor (see above), the son
of a former GN official who supervised
from Skykomish to Wenatchee. Also stopping by
and photographer Tim Repp. Before I knew it, Bill was back
and it was time to get some lunch and more pictures in
the roundhouse and outside at the turntable.
<-- from left to right, that's Gary Tarbox, Dan Olah and Lindsay Korst
Back at our exhibit, I had a nice chat with Dan Olah of BNSF
about his years on BN and BNSF. I complemented him on how
CLEAN the entire area was - turntable, roundhouse, etc. -
everything neatly stowed and he said they had spent quite a
bit of time making it look good for the guests. He also said
they had a HECK of a time getting the BNSF 6132 (an old SD9)
out of the dead line and over to the roundhouse for display.
The unit hadn't been touched for a while and was "rusted to
the rails". It still looks good, though, with its high nose and
My next "tour" of the facility was the room next door containing
the wonderful N scale layout displayed by two clubs. My pictures
are a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.
The afternoon was rapidly dissolving away and there were still
plenty of people to meet and chat with. Jack Christensen and
I talked about semaphores and Gary Tarbox discussed how things
were being handled over on the NPRHA website. Towards the end
of the day, Jim Lee who had invited GNRHS to attend stopped by
to say hello. Jim was enthusiastic about the day's events
as well as the GNRHS presence and suggested "we might do it again"
in a future year.
By 1630, it was time to pack things up and head home. I had a
great time meeting folks, showing them what GNRHS has to offer,
and a chance to nose around the Interbay roundhouse. A big
Rocky, "Thank You!" to BNSF for allowing us on the property
and being such good hosts.