HOBO GETS HIS OWN RAILROAD

Russel 1/3 scale steam traction engine

Courtesy of Houston L. Herndon, Box 5363, Sarasota, Florida 33579 Russel 1/3 scale steam traction engine with coal tender and water wagon. Built and displayed by Philip Laudon, Orlando, Florida at the fall meeting 5 Nov 66 of the Florida Gas and Steam Eng

Houston L. Herndon

Content Tools

Box 448, Moses Lake, Washington 98837

Thought you might like to hear about my railroad and so here goes -the reason I bought it was because when I was a young boy during the depression in the 1930's. I was a Hobo for six years and being kicked off of so many trains, I always dreamed of having my own Railroad that I could get on anytime and not have to worry about staying on it although now I am getting so old I nearly have to be lifted on the train, but once on I can stay.

Also, I enjoy giving rides to children. I steamed it up about six times this year and all I have to do is blow the whistle and children come from everywhere. All get a free ride.

I also have two steam tractors, one a Case and the other a Nichols and Shephard.

As for the locomotive, I bought it in the spring of 1965 from the railroad that operates between Seward and Fairbanks, Alaska. I had it brought to Vancouver, B.C. on a steamship, then taken to Everett where a Great Northern crew put it in first class condition and brought it up to Interstate Commerce Commission standards. The engine even has new iron tires on it.

With a regular locomotive engineer in the cab, the 100-foot long engine was dead headed to Moses Lake over various railroads and finally parked on the 900 foot siding at Holm's place of business. I later added a Great Northern caboose to the rolling stock.

During the Grant County Fair last August, with a railroad engineer in charge, I gave free rides up and down the siding to more than 3,500 children. 'The older kids up to 80' helped to handle the crowd.

Recently a contest was held whereby names were submitted to name my railroad. There were about 300 entries from several states and many from outside the U.S. were received. The name submitted that won the contest was 'Mon-Road'. The name was submitted by Carla Burress of Westlake. She won a $50. savings bond as first prize. Carla is a sixth grader at Pennisula Elementary school.

The Mon-Road letterhead lists 60 vice presidents, including major generals, ministers and bank presidents and scattered from Denver and Salt Lake City to Seattle. Each vice president is in charge of 'plumbing, tunnels, hog production' or some other important phase of railroad operation.