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Putting the brakes on the Great Northern’s electric history

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When the Great Northern Railway opened its big tunnel through Stevens Pass in 1929, it electrified the whole line from Wenatchee to Skykomish. The Appleyard in south Wenatchee became the maintenance center for the electrics, and Joe Gaynor became head of it.

Joe used to send me information about how long it took to stop a loaded train compared to an auto.

He wrote to me in early 1950 about railroading: “Mountain railroading has developed a distinct class of men…

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