Servicing stop: McEwen Yard. The crew of W.H. Eccles Lumber Company Heisler #3 executes a wood and water stop at the water tank in the McEwen Yard. Servicing a wood-burning locomotive is a painstaking operation, because unlike coal or oil, there is just no quick way of putting a load of fuel on the tender. The usual method is to establish a "wood-line", in which multiple crew members pass the logs from one to another, with the last person in the line neatly stacking them in the bunker in a manner that permits the maximum load to be carried, and which also allows the Fireman to easily go through the pile without destablizing it during the run. Not only is it harder to load a wood-burner, but the operation has to be done more often, because the BTU value of wood is so much lower than coal or oil.
The folks at Sumpter Valley haven't found any magic alternatives to the good, old-fashioned wood-line, but they have found that building custom steel racks that hold one complete tender-load does make it easier to stack the wood in advance and deliver it trackside for the crews. You can see one such rack up on the platform, in the process of being unloaded by the crew. Another such rack, which is already empty, is partially visible in the foreground. Old Number 3 went through at least 3 racks per day during my visit.