NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/26/21 12:45 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NickD :

That's some awesome family history!

I found my great grandfather's death certificate & obituary last year. I knew he'd worked for the C&EI(I think as a signal man), but his obit mentioned that he got injured at work causing him to retire early. It also sounded like his death was at least somewhat related to his injuries. 

I asked my aunt if she could make a copy of the Certificate of Service for me. I'd like to get one framed and put on the wall.

I remember my father saying that someone in his family, might have been one of his mother's uncles, was an engineer, I would guess for the New York Central. While making a reverse move in a yard, he backed over a young girl who was cutting through the rail yard and killed her. Shortly afterwards, he was put on an assignment headed west. He arrived at his destination, but the next morning he never showed up for the run back east, and he was never found or heard from again. General assumption is that he committed suicide out of grief, but no one really knows.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
11/26/21 2:30 p.m.

I was researching the Western Pacific railroad in the '20s and came across a tidbit about "Silk Specials". A silk train was 7-8 Baggage cars and a coach in place of a caboose. That led to the rabbit hole of researching the raw silk trade from the 1880s to the 1930s. Fascinating stuff, and trains that were worth millions had priority over everything else on the line. For some thought- A 10 million dollar silk train in 1927 would be worth $158,959,195.40 in today's money. 



https://albertarailwaymuseum.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/silktrainsna.pdf

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/26/21 2:39 p.m.

A Youtube channel I subscribe to just put out a video of a recent photo charter that Everrett Railroad did with their charming little Mogul, #11. They had it towing two PRR boxcars and their B&LE combine to simulate a typical branch line mixed train. I have to say, the Everrett is an underrated gem of a railroad. It gets overshadowed by its neighbors like Strasburg and Reading & Northern but I came away highly impressed after riding along in that combine this summer.

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
11/26/21 4:14 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

The silk trade played a significant role in the entry of the US into the Second World War. Japan relied heavily on the US market for silk sales, which in turn funded purchases of commodities required for heavy industry and the military. When nylon was introduced by DuPont in 1939, the bottom fell out of the silk market, undermining Japan's export economy and making its leadership increasingly desperate for economic self-sufficiency. That in turn pushed the decision to invade the Dutch East Indies, and concurrently to eliminate the US presence in the Western Pacific. Edward Miller's Bankrupting the Enemy has an excellent discussion of this.

Not railroad-related, I know, but a fascinating and little-known piece of history.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
11/26/21 10:15 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

The stock market crash and ensuing depression also had a drastic effect on the demand for high-end silk products. As a result, prices tanked. In 1929, raw silk was $5.11/lb.  In 1934, just a few years later, it was $1.27/lb.  By 1939, silk imports had dropped drastically from the highs of the mid '20s. Of course, in 1941, we quit importing anything Japanese at all. By the end of the war in 1945, synthetic fabrics had gained a firm foothold, and silk was no longer king.

Absolutely fascinating stuff... 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/27/21 7:14 p.m.

Caught Adirondack Railroad's Christmas train headed north at Holland Patent with MA&N C424 #2453 leading 3 passenger cars. Word on social media is that the Adirondack's new engine, M420W #3753, arrived in Utica today, and their F7A #1508 has been returned to service for the first time since 2018

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/27/21 10:01 p.m.

There were a couple interesting pics posted in the Illinois Terminal group today. Apparently in thei later years they fully switched to diesel power. I really like the color scheme on these. 
 

 

 

 

The post also said that #725 was an 800hp ex-EMD demonstrator. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/28/21 9:15 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

When Illinois Terminal was jointly purchased by 9 different Class 1s in '56, they didn't want to deal with the money-losing interurban passenger service or the upgrading and maintaining the electric infrastructure, so they dumped passenger service and yanked down the catenary.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UltraDork
11/28/21 9:30 a.m.

Model train enthusiasts might want to check out this guy's recent series of videos about a storage locker full of model trains - hundreds of thousands of dollars worth.

An early apple employee who recently died had his heirs allow the locker to go at auction (for a dollar)  

Storage locker full of Trains videos

The Merchandise coming up on eBay

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/28/21 9:55 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

That doesn't sound like a messy acquisition at all...

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/28/21 10:15 a.m.
NickD said:

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

When Illinois Terminal was jointly purchased by 9 different Class 1s in '56, they didn't want to deal with the money-losing interurban passenger service or the upgrading and maintaining the electric infrastructure, so they dumped passenger service and yanked down the catenary.

So, yeah, medium-distance passenger service in the US has been losing money for almost 70 years and still people think that multi-billion-dollar passenger rail projects will save the world.  California, I'm looking at you.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/28/21 3:29 p.m.

I hit a deer with the Yaris on Friday and repaired it with junkyard parts. After I was done, I realized that I accidentally made an Amtrak Phase 1 Yaris. Almost considering just adding the Amtrak "pointless arrow" to the door.

 

TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
11/28/21 4:23 p.m.

Hope you're okay. Looks like the car fared well. I won't ask about the deer.

Lou Manglass

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/28/21 4:52 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Man, I would totally do that!

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
11/28/21 5:21 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Yes, do that AND put train horns on the roof!   devil

Do it!  Get some vinyl graphics made up and black out the roof...

And you might as well make a LED light fit where the Toyota emblem went.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
11/28/21 7:51 p.m.

We all love trains, right?!?!

And cars, right?!?!

Well, courtesy of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, we can have both!!!!

Motorcar 23

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/28/21 9:12 p.m.

This vid of Western Maryland 1309 just popped up in my feed. She's a glorious beast. 
 

 

jh36
jh36 Dork
11/28/21 9:17 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Gorgeous!!!

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/28/21 9:36 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

That looks fun!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/29/21 7:18 a.m.
TheMagicRatchet said:

Hope you're okay. Looks like the car fared well. I won't ask about the deer.

Lou Manglass

I'm okay. It cracked the front bumper, busted all the tabs on one headlight, snapped the neck off the coolant reservoir, tweaked the hood and hinges, and bent the core support and radiator. Fortunately the core support is bolt-in, so I didn't have to get into straightening that, and the junkyard had 2 Yarises (Yarii?) that had the combination of parts. $261 and an afternoon of work and it was back together.

As for the deer? No clue. I don't think it has come out of orbit yet. I hit it at 40mph and it just launched into the air. I stopped to check the car and gave a look around for the deer and it was nowhere to be found, not even a spot where it might have landed, got up and run away.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/29/21 8:26 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I'm surprised at how mellow the exhaust sounds. I would have expected it to be louder. Then again, sound doesn't necessarily correlate with sound, as evidenced by R&N #425. The whistle, which is off a Western Maryland 4-8-4 "Potomac" sounds great though. And its good to finally see things coming together for WMSR. Far too many years of bad luck, bad decisions and bad news coming out of there. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/29/21 10:48 a.m.
Duke said:
NickD said:

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

When Illinois Terminal was jointly purchased by 9 different Class 1s in '56, they didn't want to deal with the money-losing interurban passenger service or the upgrading and maintaining the electric infrastructure, so they dumped passenger service and yanked down the catenary.

So, yeah, medium-distance passenger service in the US has been losing money for almost 70 years and still people think that multi-billion-dollar passenger rail projects will save the world.  California, I'm looking at you.

Illinois Terminal is a bit of a unique case, in the fact that it went everywhere already existing railroads went, so it really didn't bring anything to the table in terms of interurban service that anybody else wasn't serving.

I honestly think that short- and medium-distance passenger service is where they have the most chance of success these days. Long-distance, in my mind, is a losing proposition. Part of that is how US passenger service is configured, Amtrak is the unwelcome house guest of the Class Is. They don't want to run passenger service, so they allow Amtrak to run over their rails, but that doesn't mean they have to make Amtrak train a priority. I remember reading where a guy rode the Southwest Chief and they were something like 30 hours behind schedule because BNSF kept them in a siding pretty much for an entire day to let their trains by. This is made worse thanks to Precision Scheduled Railroading, which has encouraged Class Is to cut down on additional track capacity, knocking 4-track lines down to 2 and 2-track lines down to singles with a bunch of passing sidings. But let's say you were able to scrounge up the trillions to construct an entirely separate electrified high-speed passenger line for long-haul service from New York to Miami. Even if your trains ran direct service at 250mph, they're still going to get their ass kicked by that direct flight 747 doing twice the speed, and your ticket prices are going to be way higher to offset construction costs, unless subsidized by governments. 

But your shorter trips have the time advantage over long-haul. Look at the North East Corridor. The actual travel time of the plane between say Philly and Washington is faster than the train, but then you add in the 1-2 hours ahead of time that you have to show up for the plane and going through security and boarding and taxiing and unloading, and the train has the advantage. You show up at the station 10-15 minutes before arrival, hop on board and get seated immediately and then hop off at your station. And the closer those cities get, the more that time advantage improves. And if you are connecting major cities, like Los Angeles or San Francisco, you can skip all that nasty gridlock where it takes 2.5 hours to go 11 miles despite 6- and 8-lane highways.

The thing that Joe Boardman (former head of Amtrak), and myself, think your Amtrak service is doing wrong is trying to beat planes on price, rather than accommodations. It's tough to beat them on time on longer trips, but what is the big gripe about airplanes? They're cramped, they're uncomfortable, the food is garbage. So people are willing to deal with a little longer travel time if the accommodations are a little nicer and you get a good cooked meal and a place to sleep. And that was Joe Boardman's big push. He had the dining car menu extensively reworked to provide good meals like lobster mac'n'cheese and roast beef that were cooked in the dining car. And Amtrak saw record growth in ridership under him. And then he left and the new guy dumped the dining kitchens for microwaved TV dinners because he tried to get ticket prices down instead. Well, now you have a service that has the same accommodations as an airplane but a fair bit slower. Boardman was pretty vocal about his displeasure at the new hands on the reins after he left and thought he was sending Amtrak down a dangerous path.

A few other points: there have been promising light-rail short- and medium-range passenger rail projects that could have been successful but they have been undermined by politicians, who inflate the price tag through graft. The one in North Carolina comes to mind, where they spent years and years doing all these studies through different favored groups and kept cranking the price tag up to an absurd level and then it withered on the vine when at the eleventh hour one of the participants backed out protesting a concern that they had to have had the whole time but curiously never mentioned. Or how the Lackawanna Cutoff, arguably the finest section of rail built in the US, has sat dormant for 40 years while they have run study after study on reactivating it. Also, I think the future of commuter rail might have taken a blow with the pandemic, now that a lot of jobs have gone to work from home. Again bringing up the reactivation of the Lackawanna Cutoff, there is now a lot of doubt that it's purpose of easing commutes from Scranton to NYC might be lost now that a lot of those people have permanently gone to working from home.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/29/21 11:12 a.m.

Trains posted their list of operational steam locomotives in the US, with the conditions of 1) Locomotives of 2-foot gauge and up 2) Must run in a public venue at least 1 day per year or be capable of doing so. 3) Must have had some sort of prior life in regular freight or passenger service before preservation or be a replica of national significance.

https://www.trains.com/trn/railroads/locomotives/rosters/2022-steam-locomotive-list/

It really hurts to see that New York has a whopping 1, which is Scott Symans' American Viscose 0-4-0T, which tours around and runs event here and there at places like Catskill Mountain Railroad

NickD
NickD MegaDork
11/29/21 11:40 a.m.

Tennessee Central Railway Museum just this weekend unveiled their freshly-painted A-B-B set of ex-B&LE F7s in the Louisville & Nashville blue, red and cream passenger scheme. They have a second F7A that they will be restoring eventually to give a full A-B-B-A set. They're something to behold, just missing the lettering.

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