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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Norfolk Southern adds Monongahela Railway to heritage locomotive roster

(Source: Norfolk Southern press release, May 3, 2012)

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern added the Monongahela Railway to the legacy railroads that the company is honoring with its 30th anniversary heritage paint schemes, bringing to 20 the number of predecessor roads to be so recognized.

The Monongahela Railway was created in 1901 as a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad to haul coal out of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with its base of operations in Brownsville, Penn. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad acquired a one-third stake in it in 1927. It was merged into Conrail in 1993. The lines of the former Monongahela continue to serve a vital coal-producing region today.

The locomotive will be a GE ES44AC equipped with electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes and dual mode distributed power, important features for hauling unit coal trains.

Nine locomotives have been painted in predecessor livery thus far: Central of Georgia Railway, Conrail, Interstate Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Nickel Plate Road, old Norfolk Southern Railway, Norfolk and Western Railway, Pennsylvania Railroad, and Southern Railway. All 20 are expected to be delivered by the end of June, Norfolk Southern Corporation’s 30th anniversary month. These locomotives are now roaming the Norfolk Southern system in revenue freight service.

More information on the heritage locomotive program, including photographs of completed units, can be found on the NS website.

Friday, May 04, 2012

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Green Bay locomotive returning to England


Mark Hoffman

A visiting school group makes like a train while passing by a locomotive named for Dwight D. Eisenhower at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay on Wednesday. The locomotive will be lent to a museum in York, England.

 

Green Bay - The mighty steam engine named after Dwight Eisenhower is about to get its passport stamped again.

Almost half a century ago, the locomotive and coal tender traveled from England via rail and sea to Green Bay, where it has attracted thousands of train fans and World War II history buffs to the National Railroad Museum.

Soon it will head back across the pond for the 75th anniversary celebration of the world speed record for steam locomotives. The record wasn't set by the London and North Eastern Railway A4 locomotive housed in a climate-controlled building in Green Bay. But since there are only six surviving A4 steam engines in the world, the Eisenhower is highly sought after.

The dark green locomotive and tender are attached to two rail cars used by Eisenhower as a mobile command headquarters in England during the planning for the D-Day invasion in 1944.

Aside from the Green Bay museum's A4, there's one at a Montreal museum and four in England.

Officials from Britain's National Railway Museum in York, England, contacted the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay last year to see if the Wisconsinites would part with the historic locomotive for two years.

"It's one of the pieces we love," said Jacqueline Frank, executive director of the Green Bay museum. "We definitely are sad to see it leave, but it's an opportunity for us because it will spur us to change our exhibits and do some preservation projects" while the locomotive and tender are overseas.

It's common for museums to lend artifacts to each other. Most museum pieces don't weigh 122 tons, though. And moving a steam locomotive and tender is not like shipping a Van Gogh.

Since the Green Bay museum's A4 hasn't chugged along tracks in decades, it will be jacked up and moved to the other side of the museum building to train tracks that connect with an old Wisconsin Central Railroad spur. One or two large cranes will place the locomotive on a flatbed rail car - the tender will be moved the same way a day later - and then transported by Canadian National Railway to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it will be joined by the A4 at the Montreal museum.

Both locomotives and tenders will then travel by sea to England, still on the same flatbed rail cars, where they'll be transported by train to the museum in York. The flatbed cars are lower than American flatbeds because many old rail bridges in England are lower than their counterparts in America, explained Frank.

England's National Railway Museum houses the country's collection of historically significant railway vehicles - either built in Britain or operated on British railways - and is considered one of the premier rail museums in the world.

Transportation costs will be paid by the British museum for the exhibit celebrating the steam engine speed record of 126 mph set in 1938 by an A4 called Mallard. Organizers are discussing using one of the A4s in an attempt to break the old record.

Meanwhile, Eisenhower's staff cars, which are outfitted with a conference room, sleeping cabins and beds adorned with green Army blankets, will remain in Green Bay. When Ike traveled, the cars sported bulletproof plates on the roof and sides.

Visitors to the Green Bay museum have until mid-July to see the A4 locomotive before it leaves. The engine will be gated off for the move, although spectators will be able to see it prepped for the journey. The actual lifting will be done after the museum has closed for the day.

While the locomotive and tender are on their British sojourn, Green Bay museum officials plan to spruce up the two Eisenhower staff cars by painting interiors and exteriors, replacing furniture and installing new interactive features.

The National Railroad Museum gets about 75,000 visitors each year. Eisenhower visited Green Bay for the train's dedication at the museum in 1964.

Though it was named after Eisenhower, the locomotive actually never pulled the supreme allied commander's heavily armored rail cars during World War II. After the war, it continued to be used for passenger service and was dubbed the Dwight D. Eisenhower in honor of his service. In 1959, Harold Fuller, the Green Bay museum's board chairman, asked the British Railway Board if it could be purchased.

The British Railway Board rebuffed attempts to acquire the Eisenhower because it still had many years "of sterling service in front of it," according to museum archives. Two years later, Fuller tried again and, after hundreds of letters and telegrams, the National Railroad Museum managed to buy the locomotive and tender.

It traveled under its own steam to the Southampton docks in England, sailed to New York and then chugged to Green Bay in May 1964. The two staff cars used by Ike followed four years later.

Railway Museum

For more information about Green Bay's National Railroad Museum, go to nationalrrmuseum.org

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

KUDOS to chefs with big ideas, both in food and in bricks and mortar. These visionaries have repurposed all manner of neglected buildings, turning river piers, churches, warehouses and factories into handsome dining spots. In Westchester County, one of the most recent and brilliant of these renovations is Club Car, carved into the handsome 19th-century Mamaroneck train station. The careful renewal of this jewel is the work of Brian MacMenamin, the executive chef, and the resulting restaurant is a beauty.

Enlarge This Image



Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Filet mignon and shrimp, with leeks and mashed potatoes.

Enlarge This Image

Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The Club Car has a retro-European-yet-modern aura.

The dark polished wainscoting and unobtrusive attention from well-trained gray-vested servers give Club Car the feel of a men’s club. But its masculinity is countered by soft lighting, patches of original stained glass, many gleaming crystal chandeliers, bronze-colored ceiling tiles, long windows and a towering silken spray of branches in seasonal bloom. There is a retro-European-yet-modern aura to the place, complex harmonies that the short, eclectic menu picks up, with a few dishes so old-fashioned that they seem brand new. Even the steakhouse offerings have range and flair, as do the raw bar, the echoes of haute cuisine and, especially, the appetizers that venture into other ethnicities.

Escargots, which seemed to have vanished from menus in the past few decades, reappear here, six of them doused with a mouthwatering garlic butter enhanced by pesto, a sauce wanting sops heftier than thin slices of toasted table bread. Montaditos, crisped chips topped with chopped shrimp, were delicious. And despite the hint that they are only a small indulgence, two empanadas Pecadillo were light, hearty and plump with a filling of tasty, finely ground beef. A savory black bean and avocado salad shared the platter.

The Gorgonzola chopped salad, easily big enough for two, came as an attractive mix of tomato, cucumber, romaine and croutons under a slightly sweet vinaigrette that offset the creamy pungency of the cheese.

A raw bar menu listed all the usual players: clams; shrimp; lobster; crab legs; and oysters, of which we chose six cold, perfect Nantuckets, still in season.

Entrees ranged from pasta and simple chicken Milanese to heady excesses of haute cuisine. Foie gras abounds, and its richness topped a tender roast loin pork chop Rossini, the cut almost three inches high and lavished with truffled Madeira sauce. Only pale, tough string beans lessened the pure pleasure of this grand old recipe. A special of braised pork shank was simpler but still had the dense flavor that long, slow cooking with aromatic vegetables and tomatoes imparts.

All the beef classics deserved high marks, as well. A thick, succulent center T-bone and a filet mignon with frizzed leeks and three jumbo shrimp came with mashed potatoes and creamed (not puréed) fresh spinach, a little salty on one of the evenings we tried it. We regretted not choosing a hamburger (yes, they have one) with its choice of caramelized onions, cheeses, bacon or foie gras.

To add variety to the menu of hunky red meats, the kitchen offers fish. Cedar-planked salmon and fillet of sole Meuniere, an almost campy special, tempted, but we decided upon Arctic sea bass, the fillets cooked perfectly, set over sizable buttery chunks of lobster and Yukon Golds.

Hoping for old chestnuts like peach Melba or mousse au chocolat, we found the dessert menu disappointing. We skipped the ubiquitous tiramisù and flourless chocolate cake and should have done the same for a few others. The unidentifiable undercrust of Key lime crème brûlée was soggy, the carrot cake bread pudding was flavorless, and the peach tart was out of season and doughy. If you must have something sweet to end your meal, try the hazelnut gelato.

Many diners would be content to bask in the golden glow of Club Car’s setting, regardless of the quality of its cooking, but with the exception of the desserts, the food here is as impressive as the décor.

Club Car

1 Station Plaza
Mamaroneck
(914) 777-9300
http://www.clubcarny.com

DON’T MISS

THE SPACE Large, beautifully repurposed late-19th-century railroad station. Stark bricks and dark clubby wainscoting softened by bronze-colored ceiling tiles, sparkling crystal chandeliers, warm golden lighting and a lavish bouquet. Noise level notably moderate.

THE CROWD Mostly neatly attired adults. Excellent, well-trained service. Late-night entertainment in the lounge, Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

THE BAR Long, winding bar. Moderately priced international wine list. Wines by the bottle, $30 to $250; by the glass, $9 to $18; cocktails, $9 to $12.

THE BILL Lunch and brunch entrees, $15 to $22. Dinner entrees, $19 to $38; burgers start at $16.

WHAT WE LIKED Empanadas, escargots, Gorgonzola chopped salad, Arctic sea bass, filet mignon with shrimp, center cut T-bone steak, braised pork shank (a special), loin pork chop Rossini.

IF YOU GO Lunch: Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner: Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to midnight with a special late-night menu served until 2 a.m.; Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Brunch: Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on Monday. Difficult entry from Mamaroneck Avenue into the station’s lower parking lot. A bright tunnel connects the restaurant to the train platforms.

RATINGS Don’t Miss, Worth It, O.K., Don’t Bother.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


The sprawling, historical Union Station train station in downtown Phoenix is idle now.

For 73 years, it was a place that connected people, where soldiers once kissed their girls before going off to war.

It was a stop on the Sunset Limited between Los Angeles and New Orleans, until Amtrak suspended passenger service in 1996.

The station still has penny-tile bathrooms and two-story ceilings and a carved oak refreshment booth in the corner with an authentic icebox still intact.

The old chandeliers and ticket booth are still there. So are the train tracks and the circa-1923 luggage carts.

And so is a ghost named Fred.

"When you're up in the attic of the station, and you feel a tap on your shoulder, and you turn around and no one's there _ that's Fred," said Dudley Weldon, who has worked at Union Station since 2002.

It's a privately owned place of business now and visitors aren't encouraged, according to The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/Jv6w5W).

The fences and gates went up shortly after the passengers moved out, and the Sprint communications company that owns the building moved more of its equipment in _ wires and switch boxes and fiber-optic cables and the backbone of its network from Los Angeles to Fort Worth.

Union Station also houses connections for Verizon, American Express, Cox Communications and others _ a mass of voices and Google searches and video feeds that speed silently through cables in dark rooms on the second floor.

Weldon, 60, is in charge of building maintenance and security _ which means that he keeps tabs on the old place and all of its creaks and quirks.

Once, Weldon had a pair of installers up in the cable room during the evening hours, working on maintenance, side by side. Each, at different times, noticed a shadow of something _ or someone _ at the other end of the room.

"Out of the corner of the eye, it appeared that somebody was running across the floor," Weldon said. "And it occurred to them, `Who else is here?'"

That would have been Fred.

Fred is the heavy side gate that opens and closes, and opens and closes, solidly, steadily, back and forth, without enough wind to explain its doing so.

Fred is the presence that the air-conditioning guy felt in the attic, looking over his shoulder, complete with a chill.

Fred is the reason that some employees flat-out refuse to go into the attic, where the ghost is rumored to hold court.

For the record: Weldon says he is a skeptic but he has also felt the particular eek of Fred now and then, like "if somebody comes up on you from the rear, and you notice the change in the atmosphere right around you -- a brief rustling, an airflow."

Sometimes Weldon turns to greet the whoosh he feels approaching and finds emptiness instead.

James Kelly of Arizona Paranormal Investigations has been looking into the supernatural for 35 years and said he would love to get inside Union Station.

"Paranormal theories are just theories, no one can prove them," said Kelly. "And we try to look for natural explanations first before we go to paranormal explanations."

To confirm a ghost, Kelly and his teams use recorders to try to capture voices and sounds in empty rooms. They ask questions and can hear answers only when they play back the recordings.

Kelly said there are many reasons that a ghost would choose an old train station.

"Older places tend to be more paranormally active than new places. An older building can hold memory, or it can hold what we call residual energy _ basically things that happened in the past replaying themselves over and over," he said. "Another big theory is that emotions are somehow imprinted into the environment. Most haunted places are places where people gather: bars, brothels... Maybe they worked at the train station. Maybe they liked being there.

But Weldon won't allow the paranormal testing at Union Station.

"You can't come in here and set up your sensors looking for ghosts. It takes time out of my day to satisfy someone's curiosity," he said.

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The only north-south railroad line proposed to run from the Mexican border to Canada began and ended in North Dakota.

When construction of the Midland Continental Railroad began just outside of Edgeley, N.D., in August 1909, the intention was to run the line 1,800 miles from Galveston, Texas, to Winnipeg.

Largely because North Dakota had an abundance of coal/lignite and the land was relatively flat, construction began here. Although the railroad was only built to Wimbledon, 78 miles to the north, it turned a profit for most of the half-century it was in existence.

Frank K. Bull, president of the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co. in Racine, Wis., convinced investors in Chicago and other Upper Midwest cities to form the Midland Construction Co. It was formally organized in March 1906 and was incorporated in South Dakota with Bull as president and Herbert S. Duncombe, a Chicago corporate lawyer, as general counsel.

By running north-south, the railroad would intersect another line about every 50 miles.

During the summer of 1907, MCRR surveyors mapped a railroad route from the South Dakota border to Pembina, N.D. They continued their survey to Winnipeg in 1908. MCRR officials estimated the cost for building the railroad from Edgeley to Pembina would be

$2.5 million.

In 1909, as construction of the line began near Edgeley, Bull tried to raise additional revenue by selling stocks for $100 a share. He didn’t have much luck, so construction was limited.

At the end of the 1910 season, rumors began to circulate that the project would be abandoned. Bull denied these reports and emphasized that his plans remained to build the railroad to Pembina.

On Nov. 1, 1912, the section of tracks from Edgeley to Jamestown was completed, providing a link between the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, at Edgeley, and the Northern Pacific, at Jamestown.

The next goal was to run tracks north to Wimbledon, where it would intersect with the Soo Line. Grading operations began in April 1913 and the laying of the tracks was completed by May 1. During the first year of operation, the 77-mile MCRR line showed a profit of more than $20,000. With a bonded debt of

$1.75 million, more money was needed.

To have more time to solicit funds, Bull turned over construction and operation duties to James M. Hall, his assistant. In summer 1914, Bull and two other investors sailed to England, taking the entire $1.98 million in bond notes with them.

J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of White Star Lines, which built the Titanic, offered to purchase all of the bonds on Aug. 3. But war had been declared between Germany and Russia two days earlier, and Ismay, worried England would be drawn into the conflict, soon withdrew his offer.

The looming war made it impossible to find bond buyers in Europe, and Bull had exhausted all potential investors in the U.S.

Late in 1914, Hall was elected president of MCRR and, the next year, moved the home office from Chicago to Jamestown. He couldn’t put the rail line on a sound financial footing.

According to Standard & Poor’s, a nationally recognized financial services company, MCRR showed a net profit of only $3,000 in 1915, far short of what was needed to pay off interest on the investments.

Worrying that he might lose his whole investment, Seiberling purchased the MCRR bonds on Jan. 16, 1916, and took over control as president. He hired veteran railroad man Henry S. Stebbins as vice-president and general manager. Seiberling believed the next goal should be to extend the line to Grand Forks, where it could connect with the Great Northern.

Before any construction could begin, the U.S. entered World War I. On Dec. 26, 1917, President Wilson announced the nationalization of a large majority of the country’s railroads, including the MCRR.

According to a letter to Congress written by Stebbins, the MCRR lost $54,000 while it was under government control. When Seiberling regained control of his railroad in March 1920, he gave up on extending the MCRR to Grand Forks.

Instead, he focused on making the railroad as efficient as possible. Through the management of Stebbins in Jamestown, the MCRR made a profit every year until Seiberling retired in 1948. In 1966, the Soo and Northern Pacific jointly purchased the MCRR. In 1969, a flood caused extensive damage to the track, and railroad traffic on the line was discontinued.

Next week we will look at a young girl who frequently filled in as a depot agent for the MCRR – Norma Egstrom, who later gained fame as Peggy Lee.

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

NATIONAL TRAIN DAY - Saturday May 12, 2012 - 10am to 2pm
Dallas Union Station and Fort Worth's Intermodal Transportation Center

Hosted by Texas Rail Advocates 
http://www.texasrailadvocates.org

It's part of a National Celebration of America's railways and train services, from freight trains to terminal railroads to passenger trains of all types.

Bring the family and celebrate National Train Day with local events at Dallas Union Station and the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. Each station will have special events including track-side operating railroad equipment like locomotives and passenger cars so you can get up close. Entertainment is planned for both cities and Amtrak will hold a drawing for free travel. 


Below is a listing of activities. Additional information will be posted as available.
Updated 4/18/2012

Make a day of it with the family and take the train! Trinity Railway Express operates Saturday service between the Fort Worth ITC and Dallas Union Station so you can catch the action at both stations and ride the TRE to both events. Check their Saturday schedule here: 
Fort Worth and Tarrant County to Dallas Union Station
http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/eastboundsaturday.html 
Dallas Union Station to the Fort Worth ITC
http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/westboundsaturday.html 

Dallas Union Station - 400 S. Houston Street 75202 10am-2pm
[View Map]

  • Park your car and ride DART Light Rail or the Trinity Railway Express to Union Station. Both the Red and Blue lines stop at Union Station. If you're on the Green Line, change trains at the West End Station - Union Station is the next stop on the Red or Blue.
  • Tour through a special events train furnished by the Trinity Railway Express and talk with them about how regional rail service works well between two major cities.http://trinityrailwayexpress.org
  • See a  Union Pacific Heritage locomotive up close and personal on the station platform.
  • See two ex-Amtrak bi-level passenger cars that were originally built and used on the Santa Fe railroad - now owned by Dallas Terminal Railway (#39918 & 39949).
  • Take the "A" train! Visit with DCTA personnel and learn about the new "Denton to Dallas" rail link.
  • Visit the DART display and learn about new  Light Rail services and all that Dallas Area Rapid Transit has to offer. http://dart.org/
  • Talk with Texas Rail Advocates and see how you can get involved in bringing more trains to Texas.
  • Watch how DART light rail, the TREAmtrakUnion Pacific and other trains keep Union Station and the mainline tracks a busy hub.
  • North Texas T-Trak Modular RR Club will have a working model train display
  • Live DJ courtesy of Dallas DJ Entertainment.
  • The Museum of the American Railroad booth will show what their new home in Frisco will be like. 
  • Watch Amtrak's Texas Eagle train from Chicago arrive at 11:30am and from San Antonio at 3:20pm
  • Visit the Amtrak table and pick up a timetable and brochures.
  • Have fun with the balloon maker and face painters.
  • Participation from the Federal Railroad Administration
  • Learn how to stay safe around trains with Operation Lifesaver.

Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center - 1001 Jones Street 76102 10am-2pm
[View Map]

  • Park your car and ride the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth
  • See a Union Pacific Heritage locomotive up close and personal on the station platform. Visit the Union Pacific table and talk with railroaders.
  • Visit with the railroaders from BNSF Railway and see one of their freight locomotives. Stop by the BNSF booth. 
  • Planned: tour through the engine cab of an Amtrak long distance train
  • Live DJ music will be provided by Awesome Parties & Events
  • Visit the Trinity Railway Express table and learn about their Fort Worth to Dallas commuter operation.
  • Tour the restored original Interurban Trolley (CAR 25) that ran the rails between Fort Worth and Dallas between 1924 and 1934.
  • Both the Lone Star High Railers Club and the North Texas T-Trak Modular RR Club will provide operating model train displays
  • Texas Western Model Railroad Club will have a train photo display and information showing the history of trains.
  • Entertainment for the kids with balloon makers and face painters
  • Watch Amtrak's Texas Eagle intercity trains arrive from San Antonio and from Chicago (arrive and depart between 1:00 and 2:40pm), the arrival of the Heartland Flyerfrom Oklahoma City and Trinity Railway Express trains at this busy station.
  • Visit the Amtrak table and pick up a timetable and brochures.
  • Talk with Texas Rail Advocates and see how you can get involved in bringing more trains to Texas.
  • Participation from the Federal Railroad Administration.
  • Learn how to stay safe around trains with Operation Lifesaver.


Can't make it to Dallas or Fort Worth? Other Texas cities also have events on National Train Day:http://nationaltrainday.com/events/other/

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

National Train Day pulls into the station May 12, with free rails-inspired educational programs, model train displays and more in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Sponsored by Amtrak, National Train Day was established to celebrate the anniversary of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven into the final tie in Promontory Summit, Utah, linking 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways. The annual celebration pays tribute to the history of American rail travel and promotes train ridership today. National Train Day events are scheduled May 12 in more than 75 U.S. cities, including San Diego and L.A.

Locally, the San Diego S Gauge model railroad club will host an open house for its year-old model train layout at Liberty Station, where children can push buttons to operate accessories and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2445 Truxtun Road, Suite 106, Point Loma.

Historical Union Station in downtown Los Angeles hosts its fifth annual celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, children's activities, model train displays, tours of Amtrak equipment, freight and commuter trains and private railroad cars.

Luxury private cars scheduled for tours include the Royal Gorge, Overland Trail, Silver Splendor, Plaza Santa Fe, Silver Lariat and more. Orange County's N Gineers train club will display model train layouts. There will be an AmtraKids Depot with train-themed hands-on activities, a display on high-speed rail travel, free samples of food served on Amtrak trains, and police K-9 demonstrations. A "Dora the Explorer" walkaround character will be available for photos, and live entertainment by the All-American Boys Chorus and children's entertainer Aaron Nigel Smith. Union Station is at 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

TOPPENISH, Wash. -- For those interested in learning more about trains and its history, the Northern Pacific Railway Museum in Toppenish might have what you're looking for.

Visitors can now check out the many train-related displays inside the museum.

The building was once home to an operating train depot that was built back in the early 1900's.

Museum director Larry Rice says the building is maintained and operated by volunteers.

"The railroad was not just a car on wheels. It had a dining service, and a sleeping service.  And we try to show that in our museum," Rice explained.

The Northern Pacific Railway Museum is located at 10 South Asotin Avenue in Toppenish. They are open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, and is closed on Monday's. The museum will remain open through October.

Cost for admission is $5.00 for adults and $3 for children, 17 and under.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Those who remember the railroads of Toledo’s past may have recently observed tributes to history plying local rails, and there is more of that to come.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the merger that created it, Norfolk Southern is decorating 20 new locomotives in the paint schemes of historic railroads whose lines contributed significantly to the company’s current-day system. Nine of the so-called "Heritage Fleet" have already been placed in service, with 11 more still to be built.

Among the "heritage" railroads already honored are Norfolk & Western and the Southern Railway, which merged in 1982 to create Norfolk Southern, and Conrail, which NS and CSX Transportation jointly acquired in 1998 and integrated into their networks the following year.

The Conrail locomotive has made at least six passes through northwest Ohio since its mid-March debut — the most recent on April 23 when it led a westbound automotive train through Williams County and onward to Chattanooga, Tenn.

So far, the N&W and Southern engines haven’t been to this part of the system, but on April 22, the locomotive dressed up in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s classic Tuscan red (don’t call it brown) with yellow pinstriping made its first working trip on a coal train from Pittsburgh to Toledo.

Northwood police presumably are accustomed to seeing railroad fans loitering near Wales and Drouillard roads, close to the Vickers Crossing junction, but the legions who turned out that day to see the Pennsylvania engine were enough to prompt one patrol officer to inquire if something special was coming. The response was simple: a finger-point down the track as the coal train eased through a siding while high-priority container trains sailed by on the main tracks.

The Pennsylvania engine ended up spending two days in an East Toledo storage track with its train before being sent back east hauling a trainload of oil from North Dakota to the East Coast. But PRR fans could get another chance to see this engine in northwest Ohio before too long: it’s scheduled to be on display in Chicago during that city’s National Train Day event on May 12, and getting there (or back) could take it through Toledo.

View Toledo Magazine: Heritage Trains

On April 27, the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s honoree in the fleet made its maiden trip through Bucyrus and Marion, Ohio, hauling western Pennsylvania coal to Virginia.

Eventually, seven railroads that once had lines in Toledo will be among those recognized by Norfolk Southern’s anniversary party: the aforementioned Conrail, PRR, and N&W, plus the Wabash, Nickel Plate Road, New York Central, and Penn Central. The Nickel Plate engine is already out and about, but like the N&W loco, it hasn’t been near Toledo yet. Other already finished engines honor the Interstate Railroad, the Central of Georgia, and the "original" Norfolk Southern.

Other engines still to appear are those for the Reading, Central of New Jersey, Lackawanna, Erie, Virginian, Savannah & Atlanta, Monongahela, and Illinois Terminal.

All 20 will be models designed for heavy hauling, so they’re most likely to turn up on high-tonnage trains hauling coal, grain, stone, or steel. But NS locomotives of the same two models, dressed in the company’s standard black and white, sometimes turn up on other trains, too, so it’s possible the special ones will.

Norfolk Southern says it has no plans to do many special events with its special engines. But it runs scores of trains daily through Toledo, and dozens more on other tracks in the region. So there’s a good chance a "Heritage Fleet" engine will be polishing the rails somewhere in the area at any given time, especially after all of them are out and about.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Soo Line 2-8-2 No. 1003 test fired

Published: May 7, 2012

HARTFORD, Wis. – Soo Line 2-8-2 No. 1003 underwent test firings last week at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford. The locomotive is being rebuilt by 1003 Operations, LLP, with assistance from Wisconsin & Southern Railroad President Bill Gardner at a cost of approximately $400,000. In a post on the Wisconsin & Southern Yahoo group page, Gardner said, “Soo 1003 should be in full steam by June 15.” The locomotive last operated on Nov. 13, 2010, when it came due for its 15-year Federal Railroad Administration inspection.

American Locomotive Co. built No. 1003 in March 1913. It was donated for display to the city of Superior, Wis., in 1959, and returned to service in 1996. Starting in the late 1990s, the Wisconsin & Southern has hosted the engine, approving appearances under steam for community events and photo charters across its system.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Newspaper sells historic “Lincoln Depot”

Published: May 7, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Early on the morning of Feb. 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln went to the Great Western Railroad depot in Springfield to begin his inaugural journey to Washington. Lincoln gave a short speech to a group of friends and family who came to see him off, and then boarded a train. His return was a sad one: Following his assassination in April 1865, President Lincoln’s body was returned to Springfield for burial.

Now the historic depot, owned and operated by the State-Journal Register newspaper and staffed by the National Park Service, is being sold. The Journal-Register has announced an agreement has been reached to sell the building to Pinky Noll of Springfield. Noll plans to maintain the first floor of the depot as a visitor center and use the second floor for law offices. Her husband is a Springfield attorney.

Noll told the newspaper the depot will be closed this spring and summer for work that includes relocating second-floor exhibits to the first floor, interior updates, roof repairs, and making the building accessible to people with disabilities.

“We are really, really thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Noll. She said her goal is to reopen the depot this fall.

Noll said she hopes to continue a partnership with the National Park Service at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The park service has operated the depot in recent years through an agreement with the newspaper.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW



Mississippi train station to be refurbished

Published: May 7, 2012

GREENVILLE, Miss. – The former Columbus & Greenville depot in Greenville will be getting a $535,000 makeover and a new tenant. The Delta Democrat Times reports that grants of $400,000 from the Mississippi Department of Transportation and a $135,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will be used to upgrade the structure. While the inside will be modernized, the exterior will keep its historic look.

The depot will be the new home of the Delta Economic Development Center, formerly the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. The center will move to the depot from its current offices in about a year. The building was donated by Genesee & Wyoming, which purchased the Columbus & Greenville in 2008.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

As a youngster, I lived just a few yards from the Southern Railway tracks between Florida and Kentucky streets. I was fascinated with the old steam engines that huffed and puffed as they tried to make the grade passing under the Magnolia Avenue Bridge. Sometimes I would hop on the side of those slow-moving freights and ride a block or two.

I stood on the side of the tracks that evening in 1948 when the first streamliner passed through here. Scores of people from across the city lined the banks of the road to see the futuristic gleaming white diesel as it snaked its way to the Southern Depot about five blocks away. It had been 93 years since the first passenger steam engine arrived here on June 22, 1855.

More railroads have serviced Knoxville than I care to mention without running the risk of confusing readers and myself. That first train, however, was a part of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. One of its financial backers as Charles H. Coffin, a leading Knoxville merchant who had died in Columbia, Tenn., on June 19. His body was sent to Nashville and Chattanooga before it arrived on that first train that came here.

In 1894 the ET&G became the Southern Railway. The grand opening of the Southern Depot at Gay Street and Depot Avenue took place on Feb. 2, 1903. The other railroad of recent memory was the L&N at the intersection of Western Avenue and Henley Street. The first passenger train arrived there Jan. 1, 1905, before the station had been completed. It officially opened April 10, 1905.

Editorials from as far back as 1831 were calling for a railroad to be built to connect Knoxville with other cities. Obviously, some construction had begun somewhere not too far from here by 1846, because the Knoxville Standard of March 10 of that year stated, "We have frequently alluded to the importance of completing the road from this point to connect the railroad in the state of Georgia."

The Knoxville Journal of Oct. 9, 1887 carried the story of the efforts to build the Powell's Valley Railroad. It revealed several interesting facts about the thinking of that period. It read, "Scarcely two months ago the people of Knoxville voted $500,000 to free themselves from what they consider an oppressive railroad monopoly. Of that sum $225,000 was voted to the Powell's Valley road to connect Knoxville and the Great gateway of the Cumberlands range of mountains — historic Cumberland Gap."

Another item in the story, about the 7,000 people who gathered on a farm on Tazewell Pike to break ground for the project, caught my attention: "On the stand as a committee of Colored citizens, appointed to receive the banner awarded to them by the Knoxville Southern and Powell's Valley Railroad Companies for their loyalty to themselves, to the city, and all of East Tennessee. When the vote was taken upon the proposed railroads, not a single Colored voter was found to have voted against the interests and prosperity of the City of Knoxville," said Alex A. Arthur, chief promoter and manager of the railroad.

Black jeweler A.A. Dodson accepted the banner and presented it for the occasion on behalf of the black community.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Salem's historic railway freight depot might get tenant

Greyhound is interested in moving to the site

By Elida S. Perez
Statesman Journal

The fate of the historic freight depot near Oak and 13th streets SE, on the Amtrak station grounds, has been in flux for years. Renovations began more than 10 years ago but halted when funds dried up. An anonymous donor later offered to help; but then withdrew the offer after complications surfaced.

But hope springs anew that the building soon could be restored as negotiations recently began between the Oregon Department of Transportation and Greyhound to make use of the landmark at its current site.

ODOT, which owns the building, has not had funding to complete renovations of the historic building. Work stopped about a decade ago, and it remains sealed in weatherization wrap and surrounded by a chain-link fence near the station that serves Amtrak.

State Historic Preservation Office officials said in October that the depot’s historic status relies heavily on its proximity to the railroad tracks and being adjacent to the passenger train station. Moving the building could could jeopardize its historic status.

In February, an anonymous donor, who had offered $96,000 to restore the building’s exterior, pulled his funding after not getting a promise from ODOT to leave the building at its current site.

This left the department back where it started.

Since February, however, Greyhound has approached the department with a plan to relocate its downtown station to the site, and make use of the freight depot for a ticket office, said ODOT cultural resources program coordinator Christopher Bell.

“Our first course of action is to make it work as a facility for Greyhound because it’s part of that landscape,” Bell said.

He added that the department also has applied for a Bus Livability Initiative grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to help restore the building.

The initiative makes funds available to public transportation providers to finance capital projects to replace, and rehabilitate ... bus-related facilities, according to the Federal Transportation Administration.

Bell said the hope is to use the funds to restore the historic depot with added environmental features while having multi-model uses because the site already offers train service and is close to walking paths.

“To have (the depot) function as an active building would be the best use for preservation,” he said.

The city’s Historic Landmarks Commission, which has a say in what is done to the building, also is applying for a Preserve Oregon grant from the State Historic Preservation Office to assist in its restoration. The landmarks commission supports the Greyhound suggested use.

The State Historic Landmarks Commission offers the matching grants for rehabilitation work that supports the preservation of historic resources listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Kimberli Fitzgerald, senior historic planner for the city, said since guidelines for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications have changed, it might be possible to incorporate green features within the historic building’s preservation.

“We have been working for over a year now to try to find a positive solution for this building, and we have turned a corner,” Fitzgerald said. “We may have found a way to preserving it.”

Bell said regardless of whether they receive the grant funding from the Federal Transportation Administration or from State Historic Preservation Office, the agencies will continue to try to find funding to restore the salvaged baggage room of the original Oregon & California Railroad station built in 1889. It also is thought to have been a part of the original depot built in 1871 that was destroyed by fire in 1885.

Although discussions are ongoing between ODOT and Greyhound to determine what arrangement might be made and how to accommodate the site for increased traffic, Bell said there is momentum to get them into the facility.

Greyhound officials confirmed they have been in talks with the state to relocate to the site, but nothing is final.

ODOT completed a renovation of the passenger-train station in 2000. The 1889 freight depot/baggage shed, has been unchanged for almost as long.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

History Talk: Pacific railroad, Part 2: The Central Pacific Railroad

By KEN MANIES - Museum Docent

Posted:   05/08/2012 01:07:24 AM PDT

 

 

The Central Pacific Railroad would build 692 miles of main line to Utah. The Union Pacific ran from Omaha to Utah, 1,085 miles to meet the CPRR. The miles were not in the contracts; those are the numbers at the end of the job. Each was required to build a proper line: "drains, culverts, viaducts, crossings, sidings, bridges, turnouts, watering places, depots, equipments, furniture, and all other appurtenances of a first-class railroad."

The prize was the number of miles of track, and so it became a race. Now to those living in the 1860s, this was like the goal to reach the moon, 100 years later. Remember it has been said the two most important things that won the West were railroads and barbed wire.

The CPRR first hired 5,000 men, but as it reached the Sierra it needed more. It was then when Charles Crocker contracted for 14,000 Chinese.

A large number of workers were Irish, and they hated the Chinese along with a list of others they did not like.

The Chinese worked apart, and there are many photos of them working with hand tools, small donkey carts, etc.

The CPRR's Big Four — Crocker, Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, and Mark Hopkins — filled their pockets at every turn, but they were school boys stealing apples compared to Thomas Durant of the UPRR.

CPRR Tunnel No. 1 still is open, and appears solid, but no longer used. It was cheaper and maybe safer to cut a new tunnel than try to make them wider in later years. The first track was narrow

 

gauge, and the train cars and engines lower than the modern trains. There are many old tunnels in the east abandoned for this same reason.

The railroad's first locomotive is on display at the California Railroad Museum, the "Gov. Stanford," CPRR No. 1. It came "Around the Horn," and was the top of the line for its day.

Also on display is the tiny CPRR No. 2, a big error on Huntington's part. He knew nothing of the needs of an engine, and when he found a New Jersey railroad that went broke, he bought the locomotive designed for a short run on the flat sands of New Jersey. It was used at Sacramento city as a switch engine, and really too small for that task.

Beside a rail line, towns grew. Rocklin was the CPRR's first switch yard. A round house of cut stone for 25 engines was built. Truckee was a railroad town, not existing before the CPRR. Same with Reno.

Mining towns that had almost died away came alive, such as Dutch Flat and many others. The original site of Cisco was removed by the new Interstate, but it was a stop for the wagons and then a railroad town.

Within the tool collection at Bolt's Tool Museum is a section of railroad hand tools. These would be some of those used in this story.

The CPRR started from what is now "Old Sacramento," and headed east. The price was jacked up, but they built a first-class road.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

This Mother’s Day, take mom on an historical train excursion via the Virginia and Truckee RailroadSunday, May 13.
This special edition train ride from Carson City to Virginia City will provide mom with a long stem rose, Wild West history, storytelling, shopping and dining in Virginia City to go along with the spectacular scenery. The train features a 1953 ALCO heritage diesel locomotive leading 100 year-old Pullman coaches displaying the distinctive yellow and green of the V&T.

The ride includes scenic vistas of the majestic Sierra Nevada, passing through two tunnels, by abandoned mine shafts, old cemeteries and offering occasional sightings of wild mustangs. The historic train travels the same route paved by the miners of the infamous 1860s Comstock silver boom. The V&T Railroad’s 16 miles of track re-opened in August 2009 after 70 years of non-operation.

“The V&T Railroad offers an authentic trip through time where riders have direct access into the Wild West,” said Candace Duncan, executive director at the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The regular V&T season begins Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28 with Railfest, an annual celebration of everything trains in Virginia City, with train rides, parade, an exclusive all-day Made in Nevada Market at Gold Hill Hotel, stagecoach rides, gunfights and Wild West Theater. After the opening weekend festivities, V&T trains will run weekly, Saturday – Sunday through Oct. 21.

Adult tickets for the one-day May 13 event are $35 for adults, $20 for children and $31 for veterans and seniors 65-plus. Tickets are available at http://www.VisitCarsonCity.com or 800-NEVADA-1.

The Carson City station at Eastgate Siding on Flint Drive off U.S. Highway 50 East, also has a gift shop with various V&T souvenirs to keep the memories rolling.

For more information on the travel deals, dining, lodging, activity information and further details on the V&T train, visit http://www.VisitCarsonCity.com or call 800-Nevada-1.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

As a youngster, I lived just a few yards from the Southern Railway tracks between Florida and Kentucky streets. I was fascinated with the old steam engines that huffed and puffed as they tried to make the grade passing under the Magnolia Avenue Bridge. Sometimes I would hop on the side of those slow-moving freights and ride a block or two.

I stood on the side of the tracks that evening in 1948 when the first streamliner passed through here. Scores of people from across the city lined the banks of the road to see the futuristic gleaming white diesel as it snaked its way to the Southern Depot about five blocks away. It had been 93 years since the first passenger steam engine arrived here on June 22, 1855.

More railroads have serviced Knoxville than I care to mention without running the risk of confusing readers and myself. That first train, however, was a part of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. One of its financial backers as Charles H. Coffin, a leading Knoxville merchant who had died in Columbia, Tenn., on June 19. His body was sent to Nashville and Chattanooga before it arrived on that first train that came here.

In 1894 the ET&G became the Southern Railway. The grand opening of the Southern Depot at Gay Street and Depot Avenue took place on Feb. 2, 1903. The other railroad of recent memory was the L&N at the intersection of Western Avenue and Henley Street. The first passenger train arrived there Jan. 1, 1905, before the station had been completed. It officially opened April 10, 1905.

Editorials from as far back as 1831 were calling for a railroad to be built to connect Knoxville with other cities. Obviously, some construction had begun somewhere not too far from here by 1846, because the Knoxville Standard of March 10 of that year stated, "We have frequently alluded to the importance of completing the road from this point to connect the railroad in the state of Georgia."

The Knoxville Journal of Oct. 9, 1887 carried the story of the efforts to build the Powell's Valley Railroad. It revealed several interesting facts about the thinking of that period. It read, "Scarcely two months ago the people of Knoxville voted $500,000 to free themselves from what they consider an oppressive railroad monopoly. Of that sum $225,000 was voted to the Powell's Valley road to connect Knoxville and the Great gateway of the Cumberlands range of mountains — historic Cumberland Gap."

Another item in the story, about the 7,000 people who gathered on a farm on Tazewell Pike to break ground for the project, caught my attention: "On the stand as a committee of Colored citizens, appointed to receive the banner awarded to them by the Knoxville Southern and Powell's Valley Railroad Companies for their loyalty to themselves, to the city, and all of East Tennessee. When the vote was taken upon the proposed railroads, not a single Colored voter was found to have voted against the interests and prosperity of the City of Knoxville," said Alex A. Arthur, chief promoter and manager of the railroad.

Black jeweler A.A. Dodson accepted the banner and presented it for the occasion on behalf of the black community

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

THE IRON WAY: RAILROADS, THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE MAKINGS OF MODERN AMERICA

By William G. Thomas

Yale University Press, $30, 296 pages

Reviewed by Wes Vernon

It was apparent early on in the Civil War that the newly emerging railroads, suddenly “annihilating” time and distance, would be pivotal to victory or defeat.

Some historians have relegated the railroads to secondary importance in the war. Not William G. Thomas. In “The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America,” he offers a detailed analysis of how it transpired that “[f]or both Confederates and Unionists … much of what they needed to fight the war could be found in their experiences with the railroads.”

But the history professor goes beyond that. The book encompasses a 31-year period that began long before the war started and did not end until a few years after hostilities had ceased.

The author covers the entire transformational period from 1838, whenFrederick Douglass hopped aboard a B&O; train to become a fugitive from slavery, to 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was completed with the driving of the spike at Promontory Point, Utah, thus forever binding the states of the Atlantic and Pacific into one nation.

As the book affirms, the war helped settle the question of whether America’s Industrial Revolution in succeeding years would be shared more evenly with the Southern states rather than reposing predominantly in the Northeast, as turned out to be the case for many decades.



In the 1850s, investors had envisioned a railroad through the South intoMexico and then on out to the Western United States. Mexico actually had granted the charter to run the trains through its territory, including Mexico City.

But secession and the war intervened, and in the end, the momentum shifted northward to the victors, where the Union Pacific saw to it that the eastern starting point for the transcontinental railroad was Omaha, not New Orleans.

One can forever speculate as to how or if a Southern rail route would have affected 21st-century issues (immigration and illicit drug imports) or even the early-20th-century Mexican Revolution.

The geography of the railroads became the geography of the war. As one example, Union forces were able to outrun the Confederates by sending troop trains quickly to various theaters of the conflict.

Despite this and multiple other advantages, President Lincoln had a hard time convincing one of his generals, George McClellan, that the railroads held strategic value in the war. In its letters and telegrams, the McClellan camp mentioned railroads less frequently than “river” or “enemy” or “fort.”

In military terms, Lincoln concurred with Frederick Douglass‘ assertion, in the civilian sense, that Southern slavery “has an enemy in every bar of railroad iron.” The train had enabled the fugitive slave to reach New York in less than 24 hours on a trip that just 10 years earlier would have required two weeks.

But there again, Lincoln and McClellan were talking past each other. The general lectured the president that “military power should not be allowed to interfere with the relations of servitude,” meaning slavery.

“The Iron Way” records that as McClellan hunkered down on the James River and Confederate generals Jackson and Lee used the railroads effectively in pursuit of their goals, “the Union’s war in the East, however bloody and destructive, would not change until a new strategy could be aimed at seizing and controlling, as Lincoln so wished, the Confederate … systems of railroad lines and junctions.”

Ultimately, the North did seize control of some of the South’s rail property and used it to Unionist advantage. That prompted the South’s forces and its unorganized but aggressive guerrillas to destroy much of the very same railroad infrastructure in which the Confederacy previously had taken no small amount of pride.

Such tactics included filling a train with wood, lighting fire to it and letting it run into a tunnel that was crucial to the usefulness of the line. That collapsed infrastructure would be down for three months.

Ultimately, Lincoln fired McClellan over the latter’s incompetence, and the Union’s victory was due in no small part to the railroads. Nonetheless, the railroad operations had helped form the South as a unified region.

Public opinion that slavery was wrong strengthened in the ensuing years, although other states’ rights issues (of which segregation was only one) persisted.

Mr. Thomas ends his narrative with a focus on the transcontinental railroad authorized in legislation signed by Lincoln in 1862. The book cites a joyous 1866 celebration of VIPs aboard Pullman luxury cars at the end of the Union Pacific line (then under construction) at North Platte, Neb., making its way west to meet up with the Central Pacific, which was laying track eastward from Sacramento.

America had begun to replace the divisions of the 31-year transformative period. The time for healing was at hand.

Wes Vernon is a columnist for Railfan and Railroad magazine. His online column appears regularly at RenewAmerica.com.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Driving of Golden Spike to be commemorated

Published: May 8, 2012

PROMONTORY SUMMIT, Utah – The annual anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad will be held at the Golden Spike National Historic Site on May 10. The anniversary celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the site, 32 miles west of Brigham City, Utah. The event carries special significance this year, as Union Pacific celebrates the 150th Anniversary of its founding in 1862, when President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act.

Visitors will recreate the photo taken when Union Pacific’s 119 and Central Pacific’s Jupiter met on May 10, 1869. The famous photograph will be recreated at 10 a.m. Anyone wearing period clothing may participate in one shot, and then all of those present may take part in a second photo. There will also be a moment of silence, followed by “Taps,” in memory of workers who lost their lives building the railroad. 

The anniversary program begins at 11:30 a.m. with guest speaker Scott Moore, vice president of public affairs for Union Pacific in Roseville, Calif. Volunteers in 1860s garb will re-enact the driving of the last spike at 12:20 p.m. and 2 p.m., and replicas of the Jupiter and No. 119 will conduct steam demonstrations throughout the day.

Admission is free. The event is held rain or shine, and typically draws 2,000 to 3,000 visitors.

Historic re-enactments continue at 11 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. every Saturday and federal holiday throughout the summer, until Oct. 8. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with daily steam demonstrations by the locomotives. For more information go to: http://www.nps.gov/gosp/index.htm.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Norfolk Southern announces schedule for employee steam trips

Published: May 8, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Southern has announced the tentative schedule for a series of steam-powered excursion trips for employees as part of the corporation’s 30th anniversary celebration. Trips on the northern part of the system will be pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, built by Lima in 1944 and owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. Trips on the southern part of the system will be pulled by Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630, built in 1904 by the American Locomotive Company and owned by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Each of the railroad’s 11 divisions will host several excursions. The trips are not open to the public, but are “invitation only” for employees. NS says details of the operations are still being worked out.

The trips will include moves on the former Pennsylvania Railroad main line over Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona, Pa. Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s Rich Melvin reports that NS is assisting the society to install cab signals on 765 so it can lead trains on the main line from Cleveland through Pittsburgh, Altoona, and Harrisburg, Pa. Norfolk Southern ES44AC No. 8100 (the Nickel Plate Road Heritage unit) will be tucked in behind No. 765 on all these moves.

The following is the tentative schedule, with the headquarters city listed for each division. Excursions will not necessarily originate at the division headquarters city, but it is being listed here to represent the geographic area of the system where trips will operate: 

  • June 2-3: Georgia Division, Atlanta 
  • June 9-10: Piedmont Division, Greenville, S.C.
  • June 30-July 1: Virginia Division, Roanoke, Va.
  • July 14-15: Central Division, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • July 21-22: Lake Division. Ft. Wayne, Ind.
  • July 28-29: Dearborn Division, Dearborn, Mich.
  • Aug. 4-5: Pocahontas Division, Bluefield, W.Va.
  • Aug. 11-12: Pittsburgh Division, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Aug. 18-19: Harrisburg Division, Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Sept. 8-9: Illinois Division, Decatur, Ill.
  • Sept. 15-16: Alabama Division, Birmingham, Ala.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Iowa Pacific Holdings gets recommendation to operate Santa Cruz branch

Published: May 8, 2012

SANTA CRUZ – An ad hoc committee of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission recommended that Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings become the operator of the Santa Cruz branch, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. The county is acquiring the scenic 32-mile, ex-Southern Pacific line from Union Pacific later this year.

The unanimous recommendation of the committee will be presented to the commission’s board, which is expected to vote next week. Iowa Pacific is one of five bids under consideration after a prior deal with Sierra Northern Railroad collapsed. The others are Patriot Rail, Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroad, Golden Gate Railroad Museum, and Michigan-based Railmark.

“I think the Iowa Pacific proposal is head and shoulders above the others, because they have a broad base of experience and short line experience,” commission chairman Kirby Nicol, who also heads the ad hoc committee, told the Sentinel. “They also have a balanced approach as far as passenger and freight service, (and) they’re looking down the line with San Jose and San Francisco services, which some people in the community are interested in.”

Iowa Pacific’s plans include running seasonal weekend and holiday trains twice daily from Santa Cruz to Davenport, Calif., including the use of a dome car. It also hopes to run winter “Polar Express” trains, and eventually wants to run passenger trains to San Jose via Watsonville, Calif.

Iowa Pacific’s revenue-sharing plan with the county includes five percent of freight revenues on all cars above 500 cars per quarter. Freight service on the line is limited now to a short section of track near Watsonville. In addition, Iowa Pacific will pay the commission five percent of passenger revenues above $300,000 per quarter. Once fully operational, the company expects to make $462,000 annually from the Davenport trains and $980,000 from Polar Express trains.

The selection of an operator is critical to fulfilling state requirements that passenger service be a part of the line’s future in exchange for underwriting the $14.2 million purchase. The federal Surface Transportation Board must sign off on an operator before purchase the goes through.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW



Oil Creek & Titusville to host two steam locomotives in July

Published: May 8, 2012

TITUSVILLE, Pa. – The Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad will host two steam locomotives, running extra and rare mileage excursion trains this July. Operating on the weekend of July 14-15 will be Viscose Company 0-4-0T No. 6, restored to operating condition by Scott Symans of Dunkirk, N.Y., and Flagg Coal Co. 0-4-0T No. 75, restored and owned by John and Byron Gramling of Ashley, Ind.

Oil Creek & Titusville will operate three 90-minute “rare mileage” trips on the ex-New York Central Fieldmore Springs line through the city of Titusville to East Titusville. Each day a three-hour trip will run on the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad Chautauqua Branch between Titusville and Rynd Farm, Pa.

The OC&T began operation in 1986 after acquiring a 13-mile branch from Conrail that travels through Oil Creek State Park, the site of the world’s first oil field.

This will be the first time the railroad has offered steam-powered excursions. For more information call 814-676-1733 or go tohttp://www.octrr.org.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Shore Line Trolley Museum sponsoring "Walk for the Rails"

Published: May 9, 2012

EAST HAVEN, Conn. – The Shore Line Trolley Museum is sponsoring the “Walk for the Rails” campaign to raise funds to protect its collection of trolleys. Several trolleys were severely damaged in 2011 by Hurricane Irene. The museum’s goal is to raise funds to build new facilities on higher ground.

On June 9 at 10 a.m., the museum is inviting visitors to walk through the Shore Line Trolley Museum grounds. There are four options for walks, ranging from just a few steps to four miles. A trolley will be available to return walkers to the station if needed. 

Registration for the event is $15 for an individual and $25 for a family. For more information go to http://www.shorelinetrolley.com.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

BURLINGTON – The 1906 Freeman Station has finally found a home on busy Fairview Street, on a spot of land beside the Central Fire Station.

The city announced Thursday it had reached an agreement with manufacturer Ashland Inc. for the station to go there after 16 years of looking at 35 locations, including Spencer Smith Park, Ireland House, behind the Burlington Arts Centre and even the Toronto Railway Museum. Its new home is in between Brant Street and Maple Avenue, around the corner from where it originally sat beside the CN tracks.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, who organized last year to save the building from demolition along with Councillor Blair Lancaster, anticipates the station relocating to its new home by the end of summer. And it won’t have to go far. It has sat behind the fire station since 2005 after it was moved from its original location when the city assumed ownership from CN. Via Rail halted service to the station in October, 1988.

There’s still the question of fundraising to help pay for the $350,000 cost to restore the building, which was built by the now defunct-Grand Trunk Railway and was also known at times as the Burlington Junction Station and Burlington West. Meed Ward knows of about $60,000 that can be put towards fixing up the station, not including the $25,000-$45,000 the city has budgeted on its relocation. But, finally find it a home, and at a prominent location, was a moment to savour.

“It’s fantastic,” said Jacquie Gardner of Friends of Freeman Station, which formed last year and has raised about $30,000 towards restoration. “We’ve been working a long time behind the scene.”

She anticipates no problem raising more funds and says the group recently received a donation “that’s quite significant.” She said an announcement will be made soon and anticipates others would be interested in donating due to the “high-profile location.”

“It’s a great site,” said Meed-Ward, noting it will sit around the corner from the Freeman family farmhouse on Brant Street (now an office). “It’s a perfect location. This is a huge win for the community.”

Ashland plant manager Scott Thomson was also on board. The company, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is a global company that specializes in chemical solutions for consumer and industrial markets.

“We look forward to working with the Friends of Freeman Station to achieve a successful and timely completion of the restoration to Freeman Station,” Thomson said in a statement.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

McComb museum to buy 2 RR cars from Hammond museum
  
 
Text Size:     tool nameclose tool goes here
McCOMB, Miss. -- The train display at the McComb Railroad Museum will add two cars now at a Louisiana children's museum to its railroad display in October.
But The Enterprise-Journal (http://bit.ly/KRepU5) reports the $105,000 addition could come with a big risk.
The city board voted unanimously Tuesday to buy the cars from the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center in Hammond, La., and the Southeast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. It also voted to apply for a $500,000 state transportation grant.
Money paid to move the cars would make up the required 20 percent local match for the grant. But if the Mississippi Department of Transportation rejects the grant this year, it won't be able to use that money next year as a match.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2012/05/10/3938330/mccomb-museum-to-buy-2-rr-cars.html#storylink=cpy

 

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