Camp 6, the early years video 1968-71 is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

Steve Thompson

New Member
I was involved in Camp 6, along with Jack Anderson, starting about 1966. As young teens, we did all the "grunt" work, along with contacting companies and getting some amazing donations!

Dad and I both shot 8mm movies and took a lot of stills during this time. They show Norm Elsner, the former engineer on this engine, as he prepares and operates Shay #7, along with the rest of us that worked there. The first day of operations, the crowd was immense!

Camp 6 1968-71

The sound is dubbed from various recordings I made here and there, along with royalty free music, as the originals are silent.</p>



Forum Host
Staff member
Great video, I really enjoyed viewing that!

I'm curious about a couple of things. Was she really running as fast as it appears in a few of those shots? Kind of quick for those tight curves.

Also, I have to wonder what the reaction would be like today if the engine sent up that huge plume of black smoke seen in the early part of the video. The tree huggers would be up in arms for sure, LOL!

Steve Thompson

New Member
Shay and speed

Well, normally, Norm ran her about 7-10mph on the loop. On the long straight, sometimes he'd take her up to something like 13.

Part of the speed is the 8mm to video conversion. The film was shot at the standard 18 frames per second of 8mm movies. Camcorders, at least older ones, like my Digital8, shoot at about 30 fps. If you do it that way, the film goes light dark light dark, as the shutter speeds get into and out of sync, just like a double header or simple articulated.

So, you monitor the projection as it appears through the camcorder on a video monitor, and adjust the projection speed until the problem dissappears. This means projecting the film 1/3 faster than it was shot. So, if it looks like the Shay is going 9mph, it is probably closer to 6.

Smoke...yeah, I really wanted Vance Collier (the regular fireman) to just give me a hint of black, not the oily black mess he made. I feel sorry for the poor folks back on the flat car!



New Member
What a neat film. Thanks.

Is that track original logging grade? Or was the loop graded and built just for the museum?

Steve Thompson

New Member
Camp 6 Loop

It was built on a 14 acre site in Pt. Defiance Park, just for the museum. It was a roughly 140' radius circle, with a wye attached, using the circle as on leg of the wye. Wow, did we ever get dizzy running around in circles all day!


Tacoma Tom

New Member
Excellent video! Camp 6 is small but offers a great train ride and one I always took every time I passed the museum. Glad to see you had some video when steam ruled the rails. Thanks for posting it.

Steve Thompson

New Member
Camp 6 Construction Photos

Here are a couple photos I took during tracklaying at Camp 6. If I remember correctly, these were shot in 1966, possibly 67.

This first one is looking towards the parking lot, from near the Lidgerwood skidder display.
The trestle is behind the camera position a couple hundred feet.


This is the Lidgerwood skidder, shortly after she was installed, still in great condition. Jack and I scrambled all over this fascinating machine, even took a few photos from the top of the tower! I'll admit, they weren't worth the effort, but it was exciting!




Marty, it runs on steam!
This is the old Klicitat Shay that Ron Ziel sang the praises of in "Twilight of Steam Locomotives." The Shay has been cold all the time I've lived in the area. I've only ever been there once, took my niece and new bride there in 2000, haven't been back since. Looks like I missed the prime years by a bit, though. Thanks for posting that! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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