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Saturday, Oct. 8. Former Railroad Employee’s Luncheon.

A gathering of former Milwaukee Road employees with a luncheon at the depot.  This is a good time to reunite with your former Milwaukee Road friends. An opportunity for oral history interviews and recording will be made to preserve railroad history. Watch this website at www.milwelectric.org for more information and updates.

The Cascade Rail Foundation gets together with volunteers and the public from the surrounding community every year to enjoy a potluck picnic, conversation, and name the year’s recipient for the “Volunteer of the Year” Award. And you are invited to attend!

Watch for upcoming details, but mark your calendar now.

Turn-Key Restaurant Opportunity

The Cascade Rail Foundation is seeking a qualified concessionaire to operate the Depot Cafe. Includes established restaurant (since 2006), fully equipped kitchen & dining areas, cookware, dishes, and more. Contact us with your interest for more information.

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Depot News

The museum area of the depot reopened the weekend of July 4.  The refinished floors look great and the new interpretive panels are hanging on the walls.  See this previous blog post for more about the new interpretive panels.

The depot will be open to the public on Saturdays between noon and 4 p.m. and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Labor Day (September 5).   We also open the depot during special public events.  Please come by and visit us!

 

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust 20th Anniversary Trek

Over the 4th of July weekend, we worked with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to host a community event during their 20th Anniversary Trek from Ellensburg across the Greenway to the shores of Puget Sound.  About 60-80 people joined the trek participants for music and food at the rail yard.  Trek participants camped in the rail yard before continuing their journey west on July 4th.  More about the event has been posted on our blog here.

 

2011 Rails to Ales Brewfest

Our 4th annual Rails to Ales Brewfest was a success.  You can see pictures here.  Attendance was down a little from last year, likely due to the difficulty in obtaining hotel rooms because of a softball tournament in town the same weekend.  2011 Rails to Ales Brewfest t-shirts are still available.

Mark your calendars for the 2012 Brewfest on the second Saturday in July!

 

Concrete Progress in the Rail Yard

In June, volunteers poured concrete for a new dumpster pad enclosure.  When complete, this will make the depot parking lot look nicer.  They also put a concrete floor in the caboose shack, which brings the reconstruction of that structure closer to completion.

Above – Doug Pittis and Brian Lee smooth the freshly poured concrete for the dumpster pad.

 

Washington State Parks Discover Pass

Beginning July 1, visitors to Washington’s state parks will be required to purchase and display a Discover Pass. http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/ Revenue from the Discover Pass will fill budget gaps created by the loss of state General Fund (tax-revenue) support for parks and state recreation lands.  The annual Discover Pass fee is $30, and a one-day pass is $10.

Vehicles parked at the depot and all of the other parking lots operated by Washington State Parks along the trail in Iron Horse Park will be required to display the Discover Pass in the front windshield.  There is a $99 penalty for failing to display the pass as required.

Volunteers can earn a free Discover Pass with 24 documented hours of volunteer time on approved projects.

 

Snoqualmie Tunnel Reopens – More Tunnels to Be Repaired

The Snoqualmie Tunnel is now open again after repairs to stabilize the tunnel.  This year, the Washington State Legislature approved $1.8 million in state capital bond funds to repair additional tunnels along the trail for public access.

Now that the Snoqualmie Tunnel is open, shuttle bus service (Bus-Up 90) between the Cedar Falls and Hyak trailheads has started.

 

Archive

Our volunteers have been making steady progress on a general inventory of our collections.  So far they have documented the contents of 60 boxes!  The group typically meets on the third Thursday night of each month at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive building in Burien, WA.  Contact Paul Krueger if you’d like to help.

 

2011 Events

August 20 – South Cle Elum Centennial

We are working with the Town of South Cle Elum to celebrate the incorporation of the town in 1911.  The depot will be open for visitors.  Food and entertainment will be available.  It should be a great family event.  Read more about the event here.

September 10 – Annual Volunteer/Community Picnic

Our volunteers and friends from the surrounding community gather every year to enjoy a potluck picnic and conversation.  You are invited to attend!  The picnic will be held at the depot from noon to 2 p.m.

September 24 & 25 – Milwaukee Modeler’s Meet

Our fourth annual fall meet features a display of Milwaukee Road models on Saturday morning as well as presentations on model, prototype and historic Milwaukee Road topics. We’ll be at the Cedar River Watershed Center near North Bend again, just a short walk from the foundation of the Milwaukee Road Cedar Falls substation.

Saturday the 24th: Modelers are invited to show their Milwaukee Road models from 9:30 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. Clinics will be presented in the afternoon unitl 5:00 p.m.

Sunday the 25th: Clincs about Milwaukee Road history will be presented from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

More details will be posted soon.

October 8 – Milwaukee Road Employees Luncheon

We’ll be holding a luncheon this fall to honor former Milwaukee Road employees and thank them for their service.  This is a free event and space is limited – only two people per RSVP and one must have been a railroad employee.  Please RSVP to Joe Bohannon.

 

Posted by Paul Krueger

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Come join us on Saturday, August 20 as we celebrate the centennial of South Cle Elum! The town was incorporated in August 1911, two years after the Milwaukee Road opened their extension through South Cle Elum to Puget Sound.

 

Milwaukee Road depot in South Cle Elum, c. 1912 [Central Washington University, Brooks Library]

 

Cascade Rail Foundation will have the depot museum open, with volunteers on hand to talk about the history of the Milwaukee Road. There will be a 5-piece Dixieland band at the depot and we hope to have costumed reenactors dressed in period clothing from the early 20th century there as well. Cascade Rail Foundation will also host a barbecue lunch at the depot from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Costumed reenactors at Depot Days in 2009 [click to enlarge]

 

The centennial celebration will continue at the Town Park, located a block north of the depot. Dessert will be served in the park from noon to 4 p.m. The U.S. Coast Guard will be sending an Honor Guard to the event out of respect for one of South Cle Elum’s favorite sons, Congressional Medal of Honor winner Douglas Munro. (Douglas Munro was the son of substation operator James Munro and grew up in Bungalow #1 next to the substation.) The Honor Guard will start the formal ceremonies in the park at 1:00 p.m. by presenting the colors and playing a recording of the national anthem. At the park, children will be able to play on bouncy toys brought by the Cle Elum-Roslyn Police and the South Cle Elum Fire Department will host tours of the town’s engine.

 

If you need another reason to come to the Cle Elum area, the 15th Annual Cruise Cle Elum Car and Motorcycle Show will also be happening in downtown Cle Elum the same day.

 

Posted by Paul Krueger

 

 

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Cascade Rail Foundation was pleased to host the participants in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust 20th Anniversary Trek.  Trekkers started arriving at South Cle Elum early in the afternoon on Sunday, July 3 after spending the night in the Ellensburg area.


CRF Food Booth [click to enlarge]


A gathering of roughly 120 trekkers and 60-80 others from the community were at the site for music and food. Music for the evening was performed by two local bands, The Blast Ended Skrewts and Mr. E Band. Food was available from both Glondo’s Sausage and Cascade Rail Foundation.


After camping overnight in the rail yard the trekkers were up early, starting breakfast at 6:30 AM on July 4th with complimentary coffee for all provided by CRF.


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The museum area of the depot now features new interpretive panels on the walls.  The panels provide visitors with a brief history of the Milwaukee Road in Washington, with a focus on the crews that moved the trains and kept the line open.

 

New displays in the depot museum

 [click to enlarge]

Another view of the new interpretive panels in the depot museum

[click to enlarge]

 

These panels were funded and developed by Washington State Parks with assistance from Cascade Rail Foundation.  Allen Miller also helped with information and photos.  Thanks Allen!

 

These panels are the first step in redeveloping the museum exhibits in the depot.  Next we will be working with State Parks to improve the display of artifacts and possibly add some interactive displays.

 

Those of you who remember the diorama of the Renslow trestle will notice it is no longer in the current museum area of the depot.  A new exhibit area in the freight room of the depot is in development that will feature the diorama.   We are exploring the viability of making the diorama an operating exhibit, so people can see trains moving over the trestle.  Wouldn’t that be great?

 

Drop by and see us in South Cle Elum.  You can see the depot museum exhibit during our regular summer hours (Saturday noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and during special events.  A Discover Pass is now needed to park in the depot parking lot and other Washington State Parks facilities.

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Depot Museum – Closed in June

Changes are underway in the museum area of the depot.

In June, Washington State Parks will be refinishing the floor of the depot museum.  Everything on the floor has been temporarily moved to the cafe.

Also, we are in the process of installing a new exhibit with interpretive panels produced by Washington State Parks.  The first visible changes have happened this month.  The Renslow trestle diorama was carefully relocated to the freight room where it eventually will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit there.  Soon the remaining display cases will be moved and the new panels will be hung.

After the new exhibit panels are up we’ll start working on new displays to be placed under them that will have artifacts and information that relate to the exhibit panels.  We’re excited by this opportunity to tell the story of the Milwaukee Road with rejuvenated and expanded exhibits in the depot.

We plan to reopen the depot museum for the 4th of July weekend.

 

Archive

Our volunteers have been making steady progress on a general inventory of our collections.  The group typically meets on the third Thursday night of each month at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive building in Burien, WA.  Contact Paul Krueger if you’d like to help.

 

Rail Yard Work Party

A group of volunteers including several people from Mountains to Sound Greenway spent a day working in the rail yard this month.  They cleared a considerable amount of brush blocking the site lines to the roundhouse foundations.

 


View of the rail yard from the turntable pit


 

John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders

On May 21st we again hosted the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders on their annual cross state ride from Easton to Tekoa.  This was their 30th anniversary ride.  About 100 people camped at the west end of the rail yard and had the opportunity to enjoy a barbeque at the depot. The following morning CRF provided coffee, juice and donuts from the Cle Elum Bakery.



The John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders hold a meeting outside the depot.



 

2011 Events

July 3 & 4 –  Mountains to Sound Greenway Anniversary March

CRF will be hosting the Mountains to Sound Greenway 20th anniversary march participants on their way from Ellensburg to Seattle. Participants will camp in the South Cle Elum rail yard the night of July 3rd.  There will be a community event at the depot that evening with live music. We plan to have the depot open for everyone to enjoy the exhibits.  If you’d like to be part of the march, contact Mountains to Sound Greenway to register.

July 9 – Rails to Ales Brewfest

Our major fundraising event is just around the corner.  More details have been posted to the Brewfest web site.  Make plans to join us or, if you can’t make it, send a friend!

August 20 – South Cle Elum Centennial

We will be working with the Town of South Cle Elum to celebrate the incorporation of the town.  Activities will be held in the rail yard and nearby the town park.  To contribute historic town photos, etc. contact Mary Pittis at 509/674-5939 or maryp@ironhorseinnbb.com.

September 13 – Annual Potluck Picnic

Our annual potluck picnic for CRF volunteers and friends is scheduled for the afternoon of September 13.  Please join us as we celebrate our accomplishments of the past year.

September 24 & 25 – Milwaukee Modeler’s Meet

Our fourth annual fall meet features a display of Milwaukee Road models on Saturday morning as well as presentations on model, prototype and historic Milwaukee Road topics. We’ll be at the Cedar River Watershed Center near North Bend again, just a short walk from the foundation of the Milwaukee Road Cedar Falls substation.  More details will follow as we get closer to the event.

NEW DATE October 8 – Milwaukee Road Employees Luncheon

We’ll be holding a luncheon this fall to honor former Milwaukee Road employees and thank them for their service.  This is a free event and space is limited – only two people per RSVP and one must have been a railroad employee.  Please RSVP to Joe Bohannon at jbohannon@atcolease.com.

 

Other News

Washington State Parks is reopening Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel on July 5.  There will be a community event at the tunnel as part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Anniversary March.

 

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Cascade Rail Foundation is looking for hardware to restore
the interior of former Milwaukee Road rib side caboose number 01988.


Our caboose was gutted, so we need to replace everything.


In particular, we’re looking for the hardware needed
to replace the pair of reversible seats.

If anyone knows a source for these or other hardware
components (like door hardware, a sink, a stove, etc.)
please contact us through our web site.


Ideally, we’d like to find components out of
another Milwaukee rib side caboose.


The picture at right was taken inside a Milwaukee rib side
caboose in Prairie du Chien, WI five years ago.

[click the pictures to enlarge them]


Our goal is to have the interior represent the way it looked
when it was built in 1946.


The picture to the right shows the restored interior of
caboose 01984 at the Illinois Railway Museum. It was also
built by the Milwaukee Road in 1946.

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These photos are from the Gary Parson collection.  They are slides he took at South Cle Elum in the late 1970s.  We are hoping someone can identify the people in the photos.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

UPDATE: The man in the depot has been identified as agent Jack V. Carter.  (Thank you to Allen Miller and Dan Steinhoff for identifying Mr. Carter.)

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New Board Member

We welcome Joseph Farnik to the CRF board of directors.  Joseph lives in the Cle Elum area and has a background in carpentry and as a general contractor.

 

Depot Displays

We’ve been working with Washington State Parks to develop some new displays for the museum area of the depot in South Cle Elum.  This project has been going on for awhile, with various twists, turns, ups, and downs.  While earlier iterations of the panels broadly covered the full history of the Milwaukee Road as a transcontinental railroad, they are being revised to focus more on South Cle Elum and the depot.  If all goes according to plan, the new displays should be installed by July.

Some of the displays currently in the depot will be relocated to a new exhibit space that will be established in the former freight room of the depot.

 

Archive

Our first archive work party in Burien was very productive.  Thank you to Fred High, Gary Pember, Mark Borleske, and Rick Beaber for diving into the inventory work.  We are meeting the third Thursday of each month.  The next work party will be April 21.  Contact Paul Krueger at kruegerp@nwlink if you’d like to help out.

The remodeling of the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive building is continuing.  Most of the preliminary building modifications should be complete by the end of May.

 

2011 Events

July 3 & 4 –  Mountains to Sound Greenway Anniversary March

CRF will be hosting the Mountains to Sound Greenway 20th anniversary march participants on their way from Ellensburg to Seattle. Participants will camp in the South Cle Elum rail yard the night of July 3rd.  We plan to have the depot open so they can enjoy the exhibits during their stay.  If you’d like to be part of the march, contact Mountains to Sound Greenway to register.

July 9 – Rails to Ales Brewfest

As mentioned in previous updates, the annual Rails to Ales Brewfest will be held at the South Cle Elum rail yard on July 9.  The bands and some of the brewers have been announced. Tickets are $20 in advance. Check out the Brewfest web site for more information.  We need both guests and volunteers for the event.

September 13 – Annual Potluck Picnic & Milwaukee Road Employees Dinner

Our annual potluck picnic for CRF volunteers and friends is scheduled for the afternoon of September 13. After the picnic, we are planning our first Milwaukee Road employees dinner to honor the men and women who made the history of the railroad happen.  We are hoping that attendees will let us record their memories of working on the railroad.  Stay tuned for more details.

September 24 & 25 – Milwaukee Modeler’s Meet

Our annual fall meet features a display of Milwaukee Road models on Saturday morning as well as presentations on model, prototype and historic Milwaukee Road topics. The location has not been finalized yet, but it will be in western Washington again.

In addition to these planned events, we are in the early stages of talking to the Town of South Cle Elum about participating in a centennial celebration of South Cle Elum.  If this event takes place, it would likely happen in August.  Stay tuned for more information about that.

 

Planned projects

At the March board meeting, the board identified the following projects we will work on implementing this year:

Rib side caboose restoration – The first phase of this project will include fabricating new windows and doors and repainting the exterior.

Milwaukee Road rib side caboose at South Cle Elum

Line side signals – These signals are currently installed next to the trail.  This year, we plan to run wires from the signals located on the trail to the depot so they can be lighted.

Foster Park – The area just west of the depot was once landscaped and informally named Foster Park.  Historic photos suggest this landscaping may have been removed when the substation was built, but it was a lawn area afterwards.  We plan to clean up this area and restore it to look the way it did after the substation was completed.  We are also discussing with State Parks the possibility of making the fenced area around the substation smaller.

Foster Park next to depot in South Cle Elum, October 1913View of Foster Park in 1913




Looking west from the depot towards the area once known as Foster Park, March 2011View towards the former location
of Foster Park in 2011

Gateway at Milwaukee Avenue and 6th Street – The intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and 6th Street is the main entry for people driving to the South Cle Elum Rail Yard.  This project would clean up the corner and install a sign welcoming people to the historic district and to Iron Horse State Park.

Bungalow No. 1 (Douglas Munro home) – We are developing a plan to acquire Bungalow No.1.  The bungalow would be rehabilitated to provide as additional exhibit space.  It would likely also become home to the CRF reference library and also be used for artifact storage.  Bungalow No. 1, in addition to having significance as a historic railroad structure, is also historically significant as the boyhood home of Douglas Munro.

Douglas Munro, son of substation operator James Munro, joined the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.  He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942.  Munro took charge of the dozen craft which helped evacuate the surrounded elements of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.  Shortly after the last marine got on board, Munro was shot and killed by enemy fire.  He is the only Coast Guardsman to have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

If we are successful in acquiring the bungalow, the primary Douglas Munro exhibit at the rail yard would be moved there from the depot and improved.  We would also develop an exhibit at the bungalow about Milwaukee Road employees and their families.

We will need volunteers to help us complete these projects.  If you have skills or information you’d like to contribute, please contact us.

 

January was a slow news month so here is a combined January/February update. We’ll start with the bad news.

 

Depot Café

The group that was poised to lease the cafe has withdrawn their proposal.  In the meantime, CRF board member Brian Lee and local chef Frank Shuchman plan to continue to open the café on selected weekends for limited food service.  You can check the Depot Café web site for the current hours and menu or follow the Depot Café on Facebook.

If you know someone who may be interested in operating the café, please send them our way.  The café can also be rented for events.

 

Collections

We are pleased to announce that CRF has received a large collection of Milwaukee Road records from Doug Nighswonger.  The collection includes about 80 cubic feet of accounting and traffic records from the late 1920s into the 1940s.  Most of the records are from the lines south of Tacoma. Thanks Doug!

Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive received their building permits from the City of Burien and has started work on building improvements.  New walls are being built, a new bathroom is being installed, and electrical upgrades are being done.  We plan to move the rest of our archival collections to the Burien facility early this spring.

Our first collections work party at the archive in Burien is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 from 7:00-10:00 p.m.  Going forward, we plan to have regular work parties there on the third Thursday of the month.  Our initial focus will be inventorying some incoming collections. Contact Paul Krueger if you’d like to help out.

 

Brewfest

The Rails to Ales Brewfest is our major annual fundraising event.  We’ve held three of these events now and they keep getting better every year.  Brewfest is held at the rail yard in South Cle Elum on the second Saturday of July (July 9 this year).  Tickets are on sale now for $20 each at the Brewfest web site.  Tell your friends!

 

State Parks Budget

No real news yet on the State Parks budget and what it may mean for Iron Horse State Park and the John Wayne Trail.  The Legislature is in session and various ideas for funding State Parks operations are being discussed.  Stay tuned.

 

March Auburn (used to be Kent) Milwaukee Road Meet

The March Meet will be on March 26 at the Auburn King County Library branch. CRF is not sponsoring this event, but we plan to be there and encourage anyone else who can attend to go as well.  See our blog post for more information.

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(formerly known as the “Milwaukee Road Kent Meet”)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Auburn Library Meeting Room
(King County Library System)
1102 Auburn Way South
Auburn, WA 98002

 

You are invited to presentation of slides, movies and discussion and socializing, the topic being The Milwaukee Road. All are welcome. As in the past, this is a free event. Bring your photos, artifacts, models memorabilia and other items for display. Sorry, King County Library prevents sales or an exchange of money at their venue. (No sales or swap meet items, please).

 

This is your chance to get together and see photos and presentations by some of the renowned Milwaukee Road photographers and historians in the Pacific Northwest.

 

This event is independent of any formal organization.  Cascade Rail Foundation is not the sponsor.

 

For more information:

Contact Mark Borleske    Markseawa@msn.com

or     Mike Faletti         mfaletti@owt.com

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Here is our news update for December.

 

Depot Café

CRF has negotiated a lease agreement with a new operator for the Depot Café.  The lease is being reviewed by State Parks.  We hope to have the lease approved and the new operator in the café early next year.  They plan to operate the café all year, with regular hours on the weekends (Thursday night through Sunday) and special events scheduled during the rest of the week.

In the meantime, CRF board member Brian Lee and local chef Frank Shuchman have continued to open the café on weekends for limited food service.  You can check the Depot Café web site for the current hours and menu or follow the Depot Café on Facebook.

CRF has also made the café kitchen available to Frank for cooking classes provided as part of the Kittitas County WIC program.  WIC provides assistance with supplementing household food supplies and providing nutrition education that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy.

 

Collections

Pacific Northwest Railway Archive expects to obtain building permits from the City of Burien very soon.  The initial review of their building permit submittal resulted in a few minor design changes.  CRF plans to start moving collections over to the PNRA facility in Burien once some of the initial building improvements are complete.

We recently obtained a few photos taken in the rail yard at Cle Elum that we think are photos of the August Weber family.  August Weber was a car foreman for the Milwaukee Road who also worked at Othello and Cedar Falls.  We’ve included one of these photos below. Based on the ages written on the back of the photo and the ages listed in the 1920 census, this photo was probably taken in 1916.  If anyone has information about August Weber’s career, please drop us a note.

 

[Click the photo for a larger version]

 

Brewfest

Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Rails to Ales Brewfest, to be held at the rail yard in South Cle Elum on Saturday, July 9.  For a limited time, you can get them for $15.  After the holiday sale, the price goes up to $20.

State Parks Budget

The Governor is proposing to eliminate general fund support for State Parks operations (a $47 million dollar budget cut) in her budget for the next biennium.  Operations will need to be funded by user fees, with parks closed as needed to match the revenue they receive from fees.  It is too soon to tell how this would affect Iron Horse State Park and CRF activities at the South Cle Elum Rail Yard Historic District.  We’ll see what the Legislature does.

The good news is the Governor’s capital projects budget includes almost $2 million for tunnel repairs on the trail (Tunnels No. 48 and No. 49) and also explicitly mentions Iron Horse State Park in the land acquisition budget.

Trail conditions

There is snow on the trail, so bring your skis or snowshoes over and enjoy the winter wonderland out on the former right of way in Iron Horse State Park.

2011

Have a happy new year!  Check out our holiday greeting card if you haven’t seen it yet.

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Happy holidays from Cascade Rail Foundation

[click the photo for a larger version]

 

All of us at Cascade Rail Foundation hope you have a great holiday season and a happy new year!  Thank you for your support.

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