Dennis and I continued to attend Park Board meeting, working with them to establish an area. Once any area was mutually agreed upon, I began to try and find resources to get the area cleared. I talked with a local construction company, RV and Associates who agreed to come and clear a compound area and right of way of stumps.
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They brought in an excavator that had a thumb and within three hours, including lunch had the compound cleared, a large burn pile of stumps going and the right away cleared of all the stumps. In August of team of members went out to the park and marked the right of way of the first feet. On a Friday a group from the prison came and cleared the brush. This was very amazing, I had walked with the superior that morning and I had to wear boots but that afternoon I walk the same area in sandals. All the brush was bundled and stacked to the side of the right-of-way.
This was amazing to see how fast and efferent this group of women was. The Organization's membership continued to grow. On March 23 a red letter day for the organization. This was the day the organization actually started construction of the railroad. The membership was now up to 26 hardworking individuals.
They began with attempting to rough out the road bed by hand; men with shovels and rakes leveling out the right of way. This was not very successful. In April, Kitsap County road department sent over a rubber-tired loader and they leveled the compound area and roughed out the entire track route. Seth Posey and his volunteer crew from the county and the loaned loader saved the membership many hours of work and most likely several backs as well. In researching the cost of a chain link fence, it was determined to be out of the budget. The idea of obtaining the fencing hit us both at the same time.
The next day Dennis called the phone number on the sigh and was told that the fencing could not be sold separately, but the woman did eventually provide Dennis with a list of companies that had bought other Puget Sound Substation land. We contacted the four names we were given and three stated no, but the fourth Crest Builders asked us to come and talk with him. Crest was a contractor who built specialty type homes. He had us go look at the property where the fence was to see if it was going to meet our needs.
The fencing dynamotor was just what was needed. Crest Builders provided the fencing for our compound. Teams again went to Tacoma with cutting torches and trailers; bring back a commercial grade fence that was erected in the compound area. In August track lying commenced with two groups setting the first abutment for the trestle while one of the groups laid approximately seventy feet of track.
The first loop of the track was to be feet through what is now the yard area. The station was setup more to the North than it is now. All efforts eventually to came together just north of the trestle and crossing. Also, in July the concerns for the South Kitsap Community Park Districts lack of funds brought to raise the subject of county taking over the park. An amendment to the original agreement with the Community Park District was done.
This amendment provided KLS with a perpetual renewal of the agreement with the Park every five years as long as the organization maintains the ride schedule that is advertised to the community. In the fall and winter on and early spring of , all efforts were targeted on laying rail with the exception of the running of the Promo Train in Western Washington Community Festivals; to keep the funds available.
Work crews were set up with the county juvenile courts; with the high school for community service projects and any other entity that could be encouraged to help. The compound area had conduit laid however, the area still did not have water or power only the piping and wiring laid in the conduit. The Organization worked with the Park Board to obtain electricity and water. Other resources that were needed were obtained by donations were very helpful. The Kitsap County business community responded wonderfully with whatever was needed. Port Orchard Gravel provided the ballast, along with Kitsap Quarry, Morrison Sand and Gravel hauled the ballast to the park, Tacoma Screw provided screws, McLendon Hardware provided wood and other items and the Organization continued to use what was obtained from Waldo.
In the first part of June the track was connected at the crossing with Dennis Weaver, Don Deffley and I putting the last section in place. Pole fencing had been set to keep the public from walking out on the track at the station. Once again setup continued to be tedious but the word spread in the community that we were up and running.
Donations were small but coming, the Promo Train continued to bringing in most of the funding for operations. Throughout the organization continued to have private barbecues to allow those members who had locomotives, especially steam to run. KLS could not haul the public but members had fun with what equipment was available, profiting from all the hard work! On August 15 , the theatre Group showed up with five women and a three foot long dummies dressed as a Nun to be used it a video.
They set up a scene of the Great Train Robbery and then used it as if the Nuns were at the Movies in their performance of Nunsence. This play was hilarious and hysterical, held in mid-November, this production provided more PR for the organization and upped our ridership the follow spring. During the winter of a decision was made to add track on the backside of the compound, across the organization's assess road, and additional track in the loading area.
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This provided more room for locomotive and trains in the yard as the mainline was shifted out of the yard area to the track alongside of the compound. This extension added feet of rail to the mainline. I started working on getting the Organization set up as a c 3. Many different drafts were sent in to the IRS but they came back unapproved. One afternoon the phone rang and it was a man from the IRS who had another draft in front of him. His name was Mr. Gonzales; he wanted to know what was being attempted with this application for nonprofit status.
I explained the concept and amazingly he understood because he was a member of The Los Angeles Live Steamers. Gonzales corrected the application and sent it back for me to rewrite it according to his correction and to be sent back to him. This was done and the Organization obtained its c 3 status.
That was retroactive to February There was another big issue that the Organization was facing; with Washington State, so that there could be Live Steam hauling the public in the park. Washington State boiler laws did not allow for small hobby boilers, all boilers had to be built to SME code, which was way over the needed limits for the locomotive boilers. Dennis and I, along with several members attended the boiler board meeting in an attempt to get approval for live steam in the park.
It became very clear that it was going to take a Legislative bill to get approval to have steam in the park. At one of the meeting the boiler board argued with a group that a hot water heater was a high pressure boiler! Bob Oke, who had now become Senator Oke, helped it getting a bill written. I worked with the boiler board chairman about the limits on the testing of the boilers. A second bill was started in the House of Representatives as well as the Senate, just to be safe that somehow another bill could be attached to the boiler bill.
That is just what happened; another antique boiler group attempted to get approval for old boilers for steam tractor through by attaching it to the hobby Senate bill had to be dropped and the Senate bill passed. This bill allow boilers manufactured before January 1, used for non-commercial purposes that do not exceed 16 inches in diameter, 5 cubic feet of volume, 20 square feet of heating surface, and PSIG pressure.
On March 27, the passing of the House Bill was set to the governor for his signature, this was only the start. Over the course of the next few weeks the boiler committee had to iron out what the law meant in reality; how it would need to be implemented. The long skirmish was a success so that steam could run in the park. However, the organization had to work with the boiler board inspectors to get the engines checked out and approved.
This turned out to be quite an adventure. The law as it was written directed the State boiler inspectors to show that our engines were safe, certify them as such with the support of the paper work that corresponded to each of the engines. This was easy to say, however when it came down to practicalities; with the locomotives being hydrostatic pressurized to 1.
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It became clear the plumbing, other same valves and parts leaked which made sustaining the higher pressure a problem. It turned out that by adding a spot for a temporary plug in the line of the cylinder solved the problem, thus the clearing and certification of the first boilers were able to be completed. This company does a reasonably good job of taking care of all your needs. Good homemade food at fair prices, and good friendly service. Small place, so hard to seat more I've used these people for years. Their service is going downhill!! They can't even answer the phone in a timely manner??
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