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THE RUSTY DUSTY- GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY'S WENATCHEE-OROVILLE BRANCH
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Mac McCulloch and John Langlot hardcover

The Rusty Dusty is a new hard cover book of nearly 400 pages, 70 maps, and 98 photographs that presents a comprehensive look at the Great Northern's Wenatchee-Oroville branch in Washington State. The book is intended for general readers, historians, and rail fans interested in exploring the fascinating history of how GN's westward expansion substantially influenced the history and economy of the Pacific Northwest. For readers interested in the W-O line specifically, it includes construction and operational detail, with numerous maps and photographs that capture the history of this significant line, which enabled and supported the success of the tree fruit industry that literally feeds the nation. The geographic scope extends from the Canadian Continental Divide and Whitefish, Montana, on the east, to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC, on the west, with emphasis on the territory between Wenatchee and Oroville. The book explores the relationship of the W_O to subjects and issues seldom included in railroad books such as: the geography and geology of the territory it serves, irrigation to support fruit orchards, refrigerator cars and the Western Fruit Express, freight rates and economic regulation, and the local economy of the area served by the railroad. The local economy is crucial. Any railroad can haul only what people consume or what they produce in such volume that they must sell it beyond the local market.The Rusty Dusty lays the historical and geographical groundwork for the W-O line beginning with a summary of James J. Hill's expansion strategy west of Devils Lake, ND. It then describes the construction of the W-O line and the economy of the territory it served. The bulk of the book examines traffic and operations of the W-O under the ownership of the Great Northern, including Wenatchee, Appleyard, ice supply, and the threatened construction of the Wenatchee Southern Railway. Chapter 12 discusses the 1960's line relocations due to the construction of Rocky Reach and Wells dams, while chapter 13 brings the history of the line up to date. Authors John Langlot and Mac McCulloch, who combined have more than 50 years of service with Great Northern and its successors, are uniquely qualified to examine and interpret the Great Northern's remarkable history in Eastern Washington. They describe what it was like to work on the Wenatchee-Oroville branch. They tell the working railroad man's story using materials from long time W-O conductor Orval Dungan and the living memories of co-author John Langlot, who worked the W-O as a brakeman in the 1960s. The authors illustrate the effort and determination of the men who made the Great Northern function, and hope to stand approved by those remaining few who experienced and understand its operations. The Rusty Dusty's three appendices include special interest details that make this book suitable for the general reader without burdening those with a more extensive railroad background with excessive detail in the running text. The first clearly and in careful detail describes early twentieth-century railroad technology, operational issues, and business practices that underlay W-O operations. The second discusses the refrigerator car fleet of the Great Northern Railway and Western Fruit Express which was crucial to moving the fruit traffic. The final appendix summarizes the physical changes to the line as documented by Authority for Expenditure documents. An extensive bibliography and index are included. Tango1

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