The Real Santa Cruz Lumber Co. - con'd

Originally, the train consisted of three cars, with the Shay pushing the loaded cars to the mill. Later, Edward Paulsen, both engineer and master mechanic, switched things around so the locomotive pulled the loaded cars to the mill. Since loaded cars when pushed tend to cause excessive wear on wheel flanges, and on the outside rail on a curve, not to mention buckling if derailed, this was an improvement in operations.

A train of loaded flats being pushed to the mill.
William Dessert photo August 1943

Loaded flats being pulled to the mill.
Jack Gibson photo about 1947

When the train arrived at the mill, the locomotive was uncoupled and run around the cars through the engine house. The cars were then pushed the remaining few hundred feet to the mill pond. The empties were pulled back to the woods, where the locomotive was again run around to the front in order to pull the loaded cars back to the mill again. Occasionally, a fourth car was added if required.

A four-car train at the woods landing.
Company photo 1943

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