actual 1876 Baldwin steam locomotive operating today
September 2009 Edition 53 Jerrems Family Newsletter
Linking our Connections with the Past
Dear Donald,
All aboard the Jerrems Express! Enjoy.


Ray's article about railways in the previous edition of the Jerrems Journal has resulted in enthusiastic emails from readers Sue Jerrems and Tom Haley. The following article consists of the email from Sue to Ray, part of Ray's reply, some further comments from Ray, and Tom's email to me.

Sue's Email to Ray
Ray Jerrems, Our Genealogist, Historian   Jerry with the owner, Dan (in the cab) at a Rail Fair, in Sacramento, CA, Jerry with the owner, Dan (in the cab) at a Rail Fair, in Sacramento, CA,
(Sue has contributed articles to the Journal about her trip to Lincolnshire,in the June 2006 Journal, and the full size railway carriage and caboose (guard's van) and model railway in her garden, in the July 2007 Journal. Jerry, Sue's late husband referred to in the email, was the father and grandfather of some of our readers. They will no doubt be interested in his enthusiasm for railways and the photo which includes him standing on the right.)

Hi Ray

Good to hear from you again. I still play with trains.

I recently came close to finishing the big Pullman (the silver passenger car) as a library. It was either find a place for my books or find a place for myself but we were getting a bit crowded sharing space. I have to finish the bathroom, but as it is only a short walk from my house to the car, I put that off for now. The great majority of my books are on the railroads, with American history a close second. Now, medieval history is where I have landed, particularly England, and so the collection grows.

The story of the transcontinental railroad (that was its common name here) was good. it must have been hard to consolidate that story so briefly but you did a great job. If you ever come across pictures of the old Zig Zag in use, I would love to see them. The only two pictures that I seemed to have gotten were the locomotives. That Zig Zag would have been an interesting ride I would think, however it must have been tediously slow. Of course by the alternatives, it was probably thought of as a godsend at the time.

I have included two pictures of a locomotive. This is an actual 1876 Baldwin steam locomotive operating today. It ran to that Central Pacific line you spoke about at Palisades, Nevada from a mining town called Eureka. It was a narrow gauge train, only 3 foot instead of the typical 4'8" of what we call standard gauge in the U.S.

This is the locomotive's significance rather just being a contemporary of engine #119 that you showed in your article: It belongs to a friend of Jerry's and mine. He bought it in deplorable shape, and then with the help of a few friends, over about eight years, he turned it into this magnificent beauty.

Both Jerry and I lent our assistance to the project from the beginning, much to our pride. Of course the genius behind the effort is attributed to the owner, who restored it to the exact condition it was in when it was delivered from the factory, down to the true gold leafing decoration, the spun silver reflector in the headlight, and rebuilding the American maple cab from the original plans. Jerry and I went out to some of the places where we ran it for special events after it was completed. The one picture is of Jerry with the owner, Dan (in the cab) at a Rail Fair, in Sacramento, CA, the west coast terminus of the continental railroad. At least once a year, I still help him haul it out for running somewhere.


Ray's Reply
Ray Jerrems, Family Genealogist   Dog, caboose and Pullman in Sue's garden.
(Here is part of Ray's reply to Sue, regarding the time taken by trains to use the Zig Zag section of the railway, which only had a single track):

"It would have taken a while for a train to go down or up the Zig Zag due to the time taken for changing of points at the end of each level and for the engine to change ends, but at busy times trains would also have had to wait their turn at the bottom or about 3 miles back from the top because there were no means provided for trains to pass each other.

After the zig zags were taken out (there was a small one at the Sydney end of the Blue Mountains also) the travelling time of over five hours was more than halved. Faster engines played a part in this also. On the other hand, the journey of five hours was a vast improvement on the previous situation for travellers, who endured four day coach trips over rough roads and the cost of overnight stays merely to cross the Blue Mountains from Sydney.

Even more significantly, upon completion of the Zig Zags a network of railway lines was soon constructed throughout western New South Wales , enabling goods to be taken to or from the fertile western areas to Sydney in a day or two, replacing the bullock wagons which could take weeks.

Editor's Notes: Pictured dog, caboose and Pullman in Sue's garden.

Ray's Additional Comments

Here are some more comments on the Trans Continental Railway:

The photo of the tunnel shown in my previous article shows the very hard granite rock which slowed down the construction of the railway over Donner Pass. I referred to the railway taking 60 miles (100 kilometres) to climb from Sacramento to Donner Pass. Although this may seem to be a long distance, the railway climbed almost 7000 feet and needed a long distance to ascend that height.

My calculation is that the average gradient was 1:46, which was quite steep for passenger trains in those days. It also shows how ingenious the engineers were in finding a route for such a long ascent.

Tom's Email to Me
Donald Jerrems, All-purpose Editor and More.   Tom, one of our most avid readers, is 87 years of age

Ray did a marvelous job on early rail transportation, like the horse it's a large part of history during that period. Today we don't appreciate what the train does for us in material handling for our every day of life. I would enjoy taking a long train ride again if I could, it's on the bucket list......

Again, the monthly journal is interesting and reminds us of days gone by. Thank you.........

Your Buddy,

Tom Haley
Facebook Relations
Ray Jerrems,   We Search for Jerrems Everywhere
Several years ago my daughter Anita signed me up for Facebook. At that stage there were about 5 other members of the Jerrems family who had enlisted.

Recently Donald asked me about some of the Jerrems people on Facebook, so I looked them up and was amazed to find 41 entries under "Jerrems". Donald asked me whether there was a story in the offing, so I sat down and tried to work out what I could say about such a large number of entries 41.

The most obvious answer seemed to be that I should say where the people fitted into the Jerrems family tree, but I quickly realised that this would be a huge task from the viewpoint that I would need to display about 6 spreadsheets.

So I decided to take the easy way out by simply listing them as descendants of the four brothers who migrated to Australia in the 1850s (William George Jerrems later migrated to the United States, the other brothers stayed in Australia:
(1) Arthur Reginald Jerrems Rhianna, Russell, Des, Christoph, Nelson, Kathy, Heather, Jesse, Hilary (McArtney).
(2) William George Jerrems Stephanie, Jerry V, Jacki, Steve, Cassandra, Cathy, Nick, Olivia, Sue, Mia, Shawn, Jenny, Cris (Becker).
(3) Charles Jerrems Roger, me, Miriam, Rohan, Ari, Shelly.
(4) Robert Cane Jerrems Sacha, Tate, Ben, Anna, Carol, Ken, Simon, Emma (Risvanis).

Then I wondered if I could find some trivia. Here is the result:
(a) Russell Jerrems is the most enthusiastic person, with 3 separate entries.
(b) Olivia has the most friends (455), closely followed by her sister Jacki with 454 (I wonder if they are holding a competition?)
(c) Next is Ari, who is also the first in the "male" stakes, with an impressive 363 friends, but his sister Shelly (330) and 4th cousin Heather (325) are not too far behind.
(d) Stephanie is doing well in the US with 224 friends, but Tate is ahead of her with 249. Tate's brother Sacha has ground to make up on his brother with 111.

Some of these people have been referred to in previous Jerrems Journals. It should be noted that Sacha and Tate were referred to in the Journal of June 2007, however the reference to their mother was incorrect. Their mother was Tamara (nee Koenig), Lance's first wife. I apologise for this error.

Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

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