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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

CHICAGO — For six decades, civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells was woven into the fabric of Chicago's South Side as the namesake of a public housing project.

A Rosa Parks-like figure during her era, the journalist and suffragist was so revered that 1930s leaders put her name on a project that promised good, affordable housing for working class families. Within a few decades, however, the homes deteriorated, growing more violent and becoming riddled with gangs and drugs – not as notorious as the city's Cabrini-Green public housing high rises or Robert Taylor Homes, but certainly not a monument to Wells' legacy.

Then, nearly a decade ago, the city tore the Wells housing project down, leaving the activist's great-granddaughter Michelle Duster and her family worried Wells wouldn't be remembered at all.

Now, to mark the 150th anniversary of Wells' birth in 2012, an effort is under way to build a sculpture to honor her legacy at the site of the housing development and renew her relevance for future generations.

"When the housing project was coming down we were like `Her name is going to be gone,'" Duster said, sitting in her South Side home, a portrait of her great-grandmother hanging on the wall. "Her name and what she did can't be lost with the housing project."

The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is seeking $300,000 in donations after commissioning noted Chicago artist Richard Hunt to create the sculpture, which is expected to combine images of Wells with inscriptions of her writings. They have raised a little more than 10 percent of the money so far.

While Wells' name endures on a grade school and a professorship in the city, the monument will aim to reflect the full legacy of a woman who was born into slavery in Mississippi and went on to become a well-respected crusader against injustice and outspoken anti-lynching activist.

Orphaned at age 16, Wells was left to support her five siblings. She became a teacher and moved to Memphis, where she sued a railroad because she wasn't allowed to sit in the ladies coach. When she later became a journalist, Wells wrote about that incident and the lynchings of three of her male friends.

Her writings enraged others and led to Wells being forced to leave the South. She kept writing and speaking about lynching across the U.S. and England. She died in 1931 and is buried in Chicago.

Planning for the Ida B. Wells Homes started three years after her death, as a project of the Public Works Administration. The homes opened in 1941 and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the complex, with its 1,662 units – more than 860 apartments and nearly 800 row houses and garden apartments.

By the 1990s, the housing complex had fallen to drugs and violence. In an infamous 1994 case, two boys, ages 10 and 11, dropped a 5-year-old boy to his death from a vacant 14-floor apartment. The boys were convicted on juvenile murder charges. The same year two neighborhood teenagers produced an award-winning radio documentary "Ghetto Life 101," which aired on National Public Radio.

A year later, prosecutors charged seven people with running a cocaine ring out of the Ida B. Wells Homes that authorities say did such booming business drug buyers lined up 50 at a time.

By 2002, the last buildings were torn down in a nationally watched urban renewal plan initiated by then-Mayor Richard Daley that also targeted other housing projects – including Cabrini-Green, which saw the last of its high-rises crumble under wrecking balls earlier this year.

As Wells Homes residents focused on finding new places to live, some also requested something be done in tribute to the activist.

"I want people to remember Ida B. Wells the woman, not Ida B. Wells the housing community," her great-granddaughter, Duster, said. "Something should be done to remember who she was. I think who she was as a woman got lost when it was attached to the housing projects."

When the money is raised, that something will be a sculpture in the middle of a large grassy median on 37th Street and Langley Avenue in the historically African-American neighborhood of Bronzeville on the city's South Side.

The site, across the street from a large park, isn't far from the 19th-century stone house where Wells lived from 1919 to 1929. The Ida B. Wells-Barnett House is now a National Historic Landmark.

Hunt envisions a sculpture in his metallic, free-form style that will incorporate images and writings of Wells. He said he hopes to convey "what a courageous and intelligent and committed person that she was."

Carol Adams, president of Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History, said the sculpture will be a lasting monument to Wells and a place where people can learn about her influence. The neighborhood is already home to the Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy, and Chicago's DePaul University has a professorship named for Wells.

"Her name itself just reverberates through the community," said Adams, who once worked in the Ida B. Wells Homes. "It was her voice, her stance that she took regarding lynching and how she used the media to wage that fight, what that fight meant to us. This was very significant for black people all over the country."

Duster said the sculpture will "have a lot of meaning" for those who lived in the homes named after her.

"I think they will have a huge sense of pride," she said. "Those who lived in Bronzeville when the homes were there, it's a source of pride for our neighborhood. For others it's a sense of pride in the city of Chicago."

Mostly though, she said, remembering her great-grandmother will teach a new generation that one person can make a difference and defy the boundaries of society's expectations based on race, class and gender.

"It's important to speak up when you feel you've experienced something not fair," Duster said. "Don't wait for somebody else to say something. That's one thing Ida did that I think is a legacy. She used her voice and talents to raise consciousness."

___

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Ask a Railroad Station Expert

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

As part of this week’s Q&A, David Naylor, an architectural historian and author of “Railroad Stations: The Buildings That Linked the Nation” (Norton), took readers’ questions on railroad stations. He is no longer taking questions.

Q.

I wonder if Mr. Naylor can tell us anything about the train station in New London, CT? Mary Leggett Browning, Miami Beach, Fla.

A.

To M.L. Browning. The New London Railroad Station has a notably scenic position along the edge of the town waterfront. The architect was H.H. Richardson, and ths was his largest station design in New England, as well as his last (the station opened in 1887, a year after Richardson’s death). The building has the distinction of being one of the first great station buildings to be restored, with work done in advance of the American Bicentennial in 1976.

Q.

Will Amtrak ever serve Grand Central Terminal again. or is it gone for good? One of my fondest memories is arriving in Grand Central aboard the Lake Shore Limited as a boy in the late 1970’s. — Mark L., Milwaukee, Wis.

A.

To Mark L.: Through trains into Manhattan can only go where the tracks allow, so at present that means just Penn Station. An expanded role for Grand Central will have to wait until a post-Amtrak world.

Q.

Why do lots of train stations have very high ceilings? When were the murals painted in Salt lake City’s Train Station. — Sam Dodd, Denver

A.

To Sam Dodd: My best bet for finding detailed information about major station architecture is to go to the Library of Congress website (loc.gov) to the Prints & Photograhs Division, and look for “Data Pages” embedded in a HABS (Historic American Building Survey) report if there is one available. Lots to learn.

Q.

Mr. Naylor, Loved the article and the reason for it! Portland, Oregon has a Union Station (Van Brunt & Howe) that might be among the beauties that you recognize. Perhaps you have—I have yet to get to your book. Portland has a new Rail Heritage Center being erected that will house three historic steam locomotives…the SP4449 pulled the Bi-centennial Freedom Train around the U.S., the SP&S 700 Empire Builder, and the Oregon Rail & Navigation 197 (1905—-being restored). History of the rail as it helped settle this region will be the focal point. It will be visitor-friendly…open in mid-April—please visit. You can check us out: http://www.orhf.org.

Now to find your book! — Bill Failing, Portland, Ore.

A.

To Bill Falling: Since I was lucky enough to live in Washington State for a number of years, I too know and love the station in Portland, as well as those in Seattle. Sadly there were only a few images of stations in the Northwest available for use in the book–at least the beauty in Tacoma could be shown. Also I thank you for reminding us all how progressive rail travel has become again in the Northwest.

Q.

We have a total of one week for our first train adventure. Would you recommend a Vancouver to Calgary trip? If so, is there a train you recommend? If not, what ride would you suggest? We would begin the trip from Burlington, Vt. and would fly to the train ride start. Thank you. — Sara Gold, Palmetto, Fla.

A.

To Sara Gould. If this is to be your first rail adventure, you are certainly starting with one of the best! I have always wanted to ride that very same stretch of rail, but have not…yet. Driven it, yes, so the one bit of advice I can give is to spend some time in Vancouver before you depart, and maybe break the trip in Banff/Lake Louise if you can.

Q.

With most passenger rail traffic gone from the nations mentality, we think of travel as merely getting form one place to another with the least discomfort. The glass box airline terminal is a case in point. Efficient but graceless and no place you’d linger in Train stations had individual styles and great services reflecting the cities they served not corporate connections. People now want to go cheap and don’t mind traveling like livestock. MOOO! — John Vorhes, Bethesda, Md.

A.

To John Vorhees. So is the question do we reinvent the railroad station or will we need to invent a new mode of travel instead.

Q.

Dear Mr. Naylor: I Enjoyed the Q&A in the travel section. This year I did some work in Boise ID I spent a little time in the RR depot marveling at the station exterior. Other than with interesting books like the one you wrote, can you suggest other ways to raise the public awareness to the train travel? As you pointed out, traveling by train is like reading a book or watching a movie, only real. Most people don’t know that any more. — Cesar Vergara, Ridgefiled Conn.

Mr. Naylor, Thank you for mentioning the beautiful depot at Boise, Idaho, as one that is worth a visit. Unfortunately, it is inaccessible by train since the Northwest’s third-largest city has not had passenger rail service since 1997. At a time when even California is scaling back its rail-building plans, how can American politicians and entrepreneurs best be convinced to re-invest in our nation’s passenger rail system? – Writethechange, Boise, Idaho

Thank you for your book. My question speaks more to the attiitude toward trains in the United States? Why is there so much hostility toward train travel from so many elected officials in congress? It’ s no secret that our railroad infrastructure is the laughing stock of many other countries; why this lack of pride in what was once a beautiful system of travel, and why does AMTRAK continue to be a political football, when it could be the lynchpin for better rail service? — Richard Steele, Los Angeles

A.

To Cesar Vergara, Writethechange, and Richard Steele: Last word I had was that the depot in Boise was open, but only for special occasions. The best book I have read on the current status of train travel is James McCommon’s “Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service.”

Q.

How many of the presently active AMTRAK stations still offer these full amenities: barbershop, restaurant, and ticket agent. I know the Utica (NY) Union Station does, but what about others? — Rev Dr Randolph Becker, Key West, Conch Republic

A.

To Rev Dr Randolph Becker: Most but not all stations have a human ticket seller, while many still include a restaurant, or at least some kind of fast food. The barbershop may make Utica unique!

Q.

Are there any plans for the redevelopment/restoration of Michigan Station in Detroit? It’s an architectural gem, and not far from downtown. – Liam, Lisbon

A.

To Liam: Unknown to me.

Q.

A couple of clarifications:

1. Santiago Calatrava designed the station at Lyon-Satolas, the airport, not the main railway station in the center, called Lyon Part-Dieu.

2. Also, he did not design the main station at Zürich, the Hauptbahnhof, but rather parts of the station at Zürich Stadelhoften, two kilometers south of Zürich HB, via the S3 suburban train or a pleasant walk along the Limmat River. Thanks! — Robert Britton, Allen, Texas

A.

To Robert Britton: My thanks to you for the clarifications. The fault lies with me, as the column had limited space and I was not sufficiently concise. A felicitous note: the Lyon-Satolas station has been renamed Gare de Sainte-Exupery, along with the adjacent airport.

Q.

Is it true the original Daniel Burnham design for the Washington D.C. Union Station was twice as large as it is today? — Owen Crabb, Baltimore, Md.

A.

To Owen Crabb: An old friend and grad-school classmate, Kristen Schaffer, wrote the book on Daniel Burnham. I will ask her next time our tracks cross.

Q.

My wife knows I love to ride passenger trains and wants to plan a trip that incorporates scenery, unique architecture, comfort, and a good value for the money. We’ve discussed various VIA Canada routes, the Amtrak Empire Builder, Denali Alaska, and Northern Spain (which is probably out of our price range). I’ve been on the California Zephyr (of which the Davis Train Station is interesting), Coast Starlight, the Hudson Bay (to Churchill), and Canadian (only between Edmonton and Vancouver) Trains before. Any Suggestions? — Eric Brink, Albany, CA

A.

To Eric Brink: You seem to have already covered a bit of ground. If money were no object, the train trip I would choose would be from Cuzco up to Machu Pichu. An easier choice financially might be a train excursion to West Virginia, possibly to include the Greenbriar Resort in White Sulphur Springs. (Unseen by me, but the mountains are certainly something to see.)

Q.

David, There never was a train station in Palm Springs CA. Southern Pacific tracks by-passed the city to the north. The picture (9-065) in your book is of the El Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs; now the Desert Regional Medical Center. The SP station that served Palm Springs was out in the desert at a place called Whitewater. The station is still there but is now a lumber yard. The other station to serve the Coachella Valley was in Indio. It’s a shame that so many of the West Coast train stations were not included. — C.Carlo, Chicago

A.

To C. Carlo. My thanks to you for letting me know that the photograph of the building in Palm Springs is misidentified. I will pass this news along to the folks at the Library of Congress (and check out the former El Mirador next time I am in Palm Springs). Also, I agree with you that it is a shame so few West Coast stations could be included–I was limited to images in the Library collection, and so no Portland, Oregon, no Seattle, Washington, and no exteriors of the equally wonderful Los Angeles Union Station.

Q.

Union Station Chicago with the steps used in The Untouchables to emulate those in leningrad. — R. Marz, Bath, Mich.

A.

To: R. Marz: I did try to sneak a fair number of movie references into the book. As for what you are referring to here specifically, a classic movie scene, set in a truly classic station.

Q.

In Washington, DC F ST NE is extra wide but I can’t find any indication of a former trolley line on that street. Can you lead me to information on former trolley locations? — Lisa Stuart, Washington, DC

A.

To Lisa Stuart. Sadly very little trolley information passed before me. You may be chasing ghosts, but I wish you luck.

Q.

The Stockbridge station still lives, and looks remarkably similar…

Great pictures, thanks. — Hank Gold, Lanesboro, MA

A.

To Hank Gold: The station, like so many buildings in Stockbridge, is a small masterwork. Berkshire residents are very fortunate to still have so many still around.

Q.

Does your remit cover more than the US? I’d like to know something about the station in McAdam, New Brunswick. — Deborah Dempsey, Philadelphia

A.

To: Deborah Dempsey. My task involved U.S. stations only. More needs to be done to record the stations in Canada.

Q.

We know a lot of the success stories of preservation of the great train stations – What are two or three that are still in danger of being lost?

How much do you think the long newspaper strike helped the people who wanted to tear down the old Pennysylvania Station. Were important voices silenced during that period or were most of the papers supporting of the “urban renewal.” — Gary Warner, Los Angeles

A.

To Gary Warner: For the time of which you write, I was reading, but mostly picture books. I wish I knew more. I’m not sure the story has been adequately told, beyond newspaper reports. Shuttered stations from Seattle to San Juan, not so much in danger of being torn down as simply neglected, or re-used in unsympathetic ways. The larger answer is that few stations are entirely safe when the future of rail travel is so uncertain.

Q.

Mr. Naylor, I have oved train travel in the U.S. since I was a child in the 1950’s and grew up arriving and departing in Chicago’s Union Station. Now, I travel occasionally oversees and have taken trains in Europe, Japan and China. In Europe and Japan some of the train stations have added numerous amenities that result in the stations resembling the nicest airports in the world. Often, they have preserved and updated the old structures and added restaurants, shops, etc. Such train stations appear to be important hubs of the cities they occupy, often combining other modes of transit (bus, trolley, underground, etc.). Do you see anything like that happening in the U.S.? –- Roger, Portland, Ore.

A.

To Roger. I see more of a mixed bag in the U.S. than elsewhere. Some great stations like St. Louis Union and Indianapolis Union were converted for hotel use, but lost their trains. Cincinnati Union Terminal is still glorious but hardly has proper train service. On the other hand, Grand Central and D.C. Union Station have thrived, at least after a few misguided revisions along the way.

Q.

Mr. Naylor, I’ve often wondered what design guidelines come into play that influenced why Grand Stations in some cities were of stub-end design (St. Louis, Chicago among others) – which forced inbound trains to back into the terminal – vs. a more efficient through-train layout (Scranton, Cincinnati, et al.) that minimizes extraneous train movements in both directions. Was it simply a function of available building space, pre-existing rail routing, or the preference of the individual railroads / architects, or might local building codes dictate one design over another? All things being equal, would you expect a through-train design to be the preferred choice where practicable? – Jim, Binghamton, N.Y.

A.

To Jim. A good, complex question, calling for a Master’s Thesis at the very least. All the factors you mentioned would likely come into play, along with local zoning laws and real estate competition. The matter of through trains no easier; seems to be the preferred choice but then so many gateway stations, like L.A. Union are stub-end.

Q.

Which large city stations, currently in existence, are most at risk for demolition? Which large city stations have the best potential for redevelopment in a meaningful way? Buffalo, for instance, is a great station, but its location seems to preclude such development. – Gregg, Syracuse, N.Y.

A.

To Gregg: At this point I hear little of either demolition or reclamation. A great deal of discussion about the revival of rail travel overall, but until the economy revives…

Q.

The photos are of a the grand age of great railroads, supported often by grand architecture and interior decor. One great station omitted from the selection is Philadelphia which has a wonderful facade and a magnificent interior

Why is it that we seemed to have lost the art (or perhaps the desire) for great building designs for airports, the modern edifice for transportation hubs. So many modern airports are faceless boring buildings which are often too small for todays crowds except in shopping spaces which have edged out seating areas for weary travellers. — Bob Guy, Bali Indonesia

A.

To: Bob Guy. There are several Philadelphia stations included in the book, with Broad Street, the B & O, and the Reading Terminal. in addition to the 30th Street Station (pictured, inside and out on page 102). As for your question about diminished artistry, perhaps this is a time of dormancy for architectural embellishment of this sort, but that artistry just comes out in different

ways.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Sausalito's first railroad

Sausalito Historical Society

By Larry Clinton, President

Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 12:11 PM PST

The following account is excerpted from Jack Tracy’s book, Moments in Time.

On April 12, 1873, an event occurred that seemed to secure Sausalito’s future. Amid much enthu­siastic cheering, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in Sausalito, marking the start of construction of the long-promised railroad that would link Sausalito to the lumber empire to the north.

Railroads were the key to growth for towns all over the country, and California was no exception. New towns struggling for existence suddenly prospered when even the thinnest of rail links was established. San Rafael was one of the first to have its own line, the San Rafael and San Quentin Railroad. This single broad-gauge track be­tween the ferry landing at Point San Quentin and the center of San Rafael gave an invigorating boost to local commerce.

The North Pacific Coast Railroad, incorporated in 1871 with the aid of a public bond issue in Marin County, had a grand plan to run a line through Marin connecting the emerging towns, and continuing up the coast to the vast redwood stands along the Russian River in Sonoma and the Gualala River in Mendocino County. The Sausalito Land & Ferry Company directors, sensing that this could be the breakthrough for their town, gave the financially feeble railroad company thirty acres along Sausalito’s waterfront as an inducement to make Sausalito the southern terminus of the new line.

Because the bond issue called for a southern terminus at Point San Quentin rather than at Sausalito, a legal battle ensued. After considerable legal fireworks, Sausalito won out, and in 1873 construction began. One work gang commenced at Tomales, moving south. Another gang worked at Fairfax, and a third started at Strawberry Point where a trestle was constructed across Richardson’s Bay to Sausalito. The trestle connected with Alameda Point (later Pine Station), approximately where Nevada Street meets Bridgeway today.

North Pacific Coast Locomotive Number One “Saucelito” was shipped by sea to Tomales in 1874 as work progressed on the rails. Ambition being tempered by lack of cold cash, it was decided that Tomales would the northern terminus for the time being. On January 1875, another ceremony marked the passing of the first train over the completed line. James Wilkins, a former mayor of San Rafael and founder of the Sausalito News, recalled in 1927: “The railroad, as completed in 1875, was a ramshackle narrow gauge affair, built along lines of least resistance, with a lofty disdain of the laws of gravity and a preference for curvature instead of tangents.”

The Sausalito Land & Ferry Company retired the nineteen-year-old ferryboat Princess and happily turned over all ferry operations to the railroad. A new ferry landing and railroad wharf was built slightly north of the old one at Princess Street. There it would remain for the next sixty-six years. Trains began hauling logs and lum­ber from the redwood forests to feed San Francisco’s endless building boom. And passengers came too, com­muters from fledgling towns along the line and vacationers from San Francisco. Sausalito’s small business community was delighted and encouraged by the influx of new people as shops and stores opened for business along Caledonia Street near William Richardson’s old casa.

In the summer of 1875, the North Pacific Coast Rail­road absorbed the San Rafael and San Quentin Railroad and converted it to narrow gauge from broad gauge to unify the two lines. The main passenger terminal was shifted from Sausalito to Point San Quentin, where it would remain until 1884. Even though the wharf remained in Sausalito, and several trains a day brought passengers and dairy products from nearby towns, the main traffic was routed through San Quentin. The track from San Rafael to San Quentin avoided the several steep grades and curves on the line to Sausalito.

In spite of that setback, Sausalito continued to grow. With the railroad came more people, laborers at first, the merchants from many national backgrounds. Added to the Americans and British were families from Italy, Franca Germany, Austria, and Portugal, from China, Ireland, and Greece— all contributing to the character of Sausalito.

“Moments in Time” and other ­local history books are available at the Ice House, 780 Bridgeway, and at the Historical Society’s headquarters on the top floor of City Hall.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

GALESBURG —

The National Railroad Hall of Fame is on track to move to its next phase early next year with the completion of the philanthropic market study’s confidential interview phase. The final report is expected to go to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors in early 2012.

Part I of the philanthropic study began in May 2010 with receptions in Washington, D.C.; Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago; and Peoria. In an earlier interview, Hall of Fame Executive Director Julie King said suppliers, regional and shortline railroad operators, logistics professionals, private railcar owners and Class I railroad executives were interviewed as part of the confidential interview phase. Others interviewed were Hall of Fame inductee representatives and directors of charitable foundations. Nearly 200 people took part in confidential interviews or a focus group conducted by Campbell and Company of Chicago.

“We were fortunate to engage railroad industry leaders of national caliber, ensuring the project’s full potential will be reflected in the results of the study,” Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jay Matson said in a news release.

According to the National Railroad Hall of Fame’s website, the final report will include comments and opinions of study participants about the Engines of Freedom concept vision. A $30 million project telling the story of the railroads through an interactive, cinematic approach modeled after the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield is planned for the Colton Park/depot area downtown.

If all goes as planned, the Railroad Hall of Fame will be part of a tourism corridor known as Tracks, Trains and Tractors, which will also include the John Deere Pavilion in Moline and the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, which is under construction on the riverfront, adjacent to the city’s new museum.

The final report also will “provide a wealth of information related to the development process, including recommendations for capital campaign structure, leadership, fundraising target, potential contributors, staffing and budget,” according to the item on the website, posted earlier this month.

King said earlier that a national fundraising campaign would begin early in 2012. That campaign presumably will begin after the board receives the final report on the philanthropic market study.

Matson explained the connection between the report and the fundraising campaign, saying the study is essential in order to give lead donors confidence in the project.

“Our board understood the importance of this step and was committed to doing what was necessary to get it right,” he said.

Matson said further comment will be made once the board has a chance to look at and read the report and ask any questions it may have.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

MARATHON -- Henry Morrison Flagler neither created nor discovered the Florida Keys.

Yet after Flagler gave his famous instructions to his railroad buiders -- “Go to Key West” -- the islands would be forever and irreversibly altered.

Enriched by a mostly successful business career capped by his stewardship of the Standard Oil monolith, Flagler in his 50s turned to building resorts along Florida’s east coast and running the Florida East Coast Railway so vacationers could reach them.

           In this Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, adult and student artists finalize a 60-foot-wide outdoor mural in Key Largo, Fla., that depicts Henry Flagler's Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad. The artwork is being created to honor the Jan. 22, 2012, centennial anniversary of the completion of the "railroad that went to sea" that remained in operation until September 1935. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)        CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS

Flagler held a shipping business as part of his personal empire. The canny industrialist realized his railroad needed to reach Key West as the U.S. port closest to the Panama Canal, under construction in roughly the same timeframe as his Over-Sea Railroad.

Building a railroad across more than 100 miles of swamp, thickly wooded islands and, most dauntingly, seemingly unbridgeable miles of open ocean had occurred to Flagler years before, said Jerry Wilkinson, founder and president of the Upper Keys Historical Preservation Society.

Corporate records show Flagler raised the topic at an 1893 board meeting, three years before the Florida East Coast Railway had reached the fledgling community that would become Miami.

“How would he have that vision?” Wilkinson, a Flager re-enactor, still wonders.

Construction began on the Florida East Coast Railway, Key West Extension, in 1905. Seven years and millions of dollars later, Flagler in 1912 rode his own railcar all the way through the Keys (although final construction on the railroad would last several more years).

“The railroad connected the Keys to the mainland for the first time,” Monroe County Library historian Tom Hambright said.

“That probably never would have happened had it not been for Henry Flagler,” Hambright said. “It took his private money to do that. Who else could? No one could come close.”

Key West gave travelers a destination but the Southermost City already was known. It was the third-largest city in Florida in 1905 with a vibrant cigar industry and military installations. “Key West was a boomtown,” Hambright said.

“The railroad opened the Keys to civilization and enterprise,” Wilkinson said. “Eventually the road was going to be built, but Flagler’s railroad got a lot of the work done for the road.

“If nothing else, the raiload probably moved Keys society a step forward by about 20 years,” Wilkinson said. “Where would the water pipeline and electric lines gone, if they couldn’t hang them off Flagler’s bridges?”

Wilkinson speculated that costs of building U.S. 1 without Flagler’s advance work would have made it an expensive drive. “The highway toll would have been much higher and lasted a lot longer.”

Marathon largely evolved as a railroad work camp, later becoming a major freight and passenger port for shipping commerce with Cuba.

Copyright 2012 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Hundreds of railroad cars laden with pineapples, molasses and sugar rolled off ships and onto a long railroad pier extending into the Atlantic Ocean, near what is now the 33rd Street area. Manufactured goods went to Cuba.

Fishing

By the late 1920s, Marathon pioneer William Parrish created a commercial-fishing industry by turning railroad buildings into fish houses and docking fishing boats where steamships once tied up.

Dan Gallagher, a Middle Keys Historian, said: “Best of all, there was a train to take fish to market.” The railroad hastened the demise of the Keys agricultural economy (which gave Plantation Key its name) but business already was in decline, Keys historians said.

The mainstay pineapple plantations in the Upper Keys had been hurt by a 1909-10 blight, Wilkinson said. “Cuba’s pineapples were better and cheaper,” Hambright said.

Keys farmers tried switching to winter vegetables, but farmers in Dade County beat them to it since they had new access to railroad shipping too.

“The railroad carried a lot of stuff into and out of the Keys but most of the business was with Cuba,” Wilkinson said. “There was a limit on how much the railroad could move effectively within the Keys.”

The Keys railroad enjoyed a heyday of only about two decades. The system was financially hurting before the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane destroyed the Over-Sea Railroad.

Not all predictions came true. “Flagler predicted Key West would have a population of 50,000 by 1930,” Hambright said. “It didn’t make any significant change in the population.”

Depression

The Depression and collapse of both the cigar industry and Cuban trade sent Key West’s population into a tailspin. “The local joke was that after the railroad came, it was the first good way to get off the island,” Hambright said.

Other ramifications of Henry Flager’s Over-Sea Railroad remain, a century later.

One of the first U.S. Navy air stations was built on Key West’s Trumbo Point in 1918, on land rented from the railroad. The railroad also made it easier for the military to reach Key West. “That was pretty new stuff then,” Hambright said. “Aviation was only about 10 years old at the time. So we might not have the Key West Naval Air Station if not for Flagler.”

Massive filling of wetlands and using dirt to close natural gaps between islands affected the environment. “It created big dams in places and probably caused a lot of wildlife destruction,” Wilkinson said. “We probably haven’t seen the end of the environmental effects.

“Maybe Hurricane Wilma wouldn’t have caused so much damage, if the surge had been able to flow around the islands in a natural pattern.” A major project related to the recent construction of the new Jewfish Creek Bridge was removing fill in Lake Surprise to restore natural water exchange.

But the Seven Mile Bridge and the other remaining oceanic spans from the last century also remind what can be accomplished with manual labor and primitive construction equipment.

“It was cutting-edge engineering and an incredible undertaking,” Hambright said. “There was nothing here but mud. They brought in thousands of workers every year, had to give them a place to live and bring fresh water from the Everglades.”

“Everything they needed -- equipment, cement from Germany, rock from New York -- all had to be brought in. It had to get here at the right time in an era with no cell phones or computers. It’s amazing.”

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/01/09/3774118_p2/over-sea-railroad-centennial-100.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/01/09/3774118/over-sea-railroad-centennial-100.html#storylink=cpy

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Yesterday, Patriot Rail Corp. announced it has donated the 21-mile Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad (MSV) to Mississippi’s Calhoun and Yalobusha counties for the creation of the Skuna Valley Trail. The Calhoun County Board of Supervisors accepted the property donation last month, establishing the Mississippi and Skuna Valley Rails to Trails Recreational District.

Since the MSV also traverses Yalobusha County, Calhoun County entered into a joint agreement for the project. The ownership of the trail ensures the land can be returned to use as a rail line in the future, if service is warranted, Patriot Rail officials said in a prepared statement.

The short-line holding company acquired the MSV in 2010 as part of the purchase of six railroads owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. The MSV ceased operations in April 2008 after a Class I connection was suspended because a bridge required substantial repairs.

“Repurposing the MSV railroad into a trail is an excellent use of this rail corridor, transforming a once underutilized property into a vibrant community asset,” said Patriot Rail Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino.

Meanwhile, Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. has installed Scott Woodward as chief engineer, effective Jan. 1. Most recently engineer-maintenance of way, he now is responsible for the engineering department, where he will oversee maintenance and capital programs for track and structures.

Woodward previously served as chief engineer for the I&M Rail Link, engineer of maintenance for the Wisconsin Central Railroad Ltd. and a consultant for the Estonian National Railroad. He also held various engineering department posts at the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Patriot Rail donates railroad to Mississippi counties

Tuesday, January 10, 2012  

Patriot Rail Corp. has donated its 21-mile Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad to Calhoun and Yalobusha counties in Mississippi.

The donation sets the stage for the counties to pursue creation of the Skuna Valley Trail for public recreational use. The Calhoun County Board of Supervisors accepted the property donation in December 2011, establishing the Mississippi and Skuna Valley Rails to Trails Recreational District. Since the MSV also traverses Yalobusha County, Calhoun County entered into a joint agreement with Yalobusha County for the project. The ownership of the trail by the counties ensures that it can be returned to use as a rail line in the future, if service is warranted.

"We are pleased to donate the MSV to these counties," said Gary Marino, chairman, president and CEO of Patriot Rail Corp. "Re-purposing the MSV railroad into a trail is an excellent use of this rail corridor, transforming a once underutilized property into a vibrant community asset. We hope that this trail will be a source of enjoyment for the community for many years to come."

Patriot Rail acquired the MSV in 2010 with the purchase of six railroads belonging to the Weyerhaeuser Company. The MSV ceased operations in April 2008 after the Class 1 connection suspended service due to a bridge that required substantial repairs.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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CASS, W.Va. - The Cass Scenic Railroad is a hard-working, up-the-mountain tourist rail line.

It's a slow 7 miles per hour on the steam-powered trains up Cheat Mountain to Whittaker Station and upward to Bald Knob on Back Allegheny Mountain.

That's a climb of nearly 2,400 feet in 11 miles to Bald Knob (one of the highest peaks in West Virginia) with grades of up to 11 percent.

That means the locomotives, mostly Shay engines once used by old lumber operations, gain 11 vertical feet for every 100 feet of horizontal distance covered. Most commercial railroads consider a 2 percent grade steep.

The line from Cass to Bald Knob was originally built in the early 1900s by the Greenbrier & Elk River Railroad Co. to haul timber out of the Allegheny Mountains in east-central West Virginia.

Today the line to Bald Knob winds from Cass at an elevation of 2,452 feet, up Leatherbark Creek, through the forests and up two switchbacks to Whittaker Station at 3,264 feet.

There you can picnic or visit an old lumber camp to learn what it was like to be a so-called wood hick living in the woods and logging nearby mountains in the 1940s. The camp was built and is operated by the Mountain State Railroad & Logging History Association.

The line continues north past the old logging town of Spruce at 3,950 feet and then to Bald Knob at 4,842 feet elevation. You can climb an old fire tower or hike through a red spruce forest more typically found in Canada. The summit is just over a half-mile and 140 feet above the train's stopover point.

You are likely to catch a big whiff of smoky soot from the locomotive as you sit in open-sided rail cars. But that's part of the old-time charm.

Welcome to West Virginia's Cass Scenic Railroad, a unique state park that is 11 miles long and 50 feet wide.

The park also includes much of the hamlet of Cass, a one-time lumber boom town with 2,000 residents, with its old company-owned houses and buildings. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

All told, the park covers fewer than 400 acres.

The railroad was built in 1901 by the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co. It cut and harvested red spruce trees for papermaking in Covington, Va. A sawmill was quickly added.

A 44-car train filled with red spruce left Cass daily for the Virginia mill. Up to 10 rail cars per week of supplies went through Cass to a dozen logging camps in the surrounding hills.

West Virginia Pulp & Paper built the hamlet of Cass and continued its lumbering operations until 1943, when it was sold to the Mower Lumber Co. It closed in 1960.

During its heyday from 1908 to 1922, the company employed 3,000 men, the mill operated two 11-hour shifts six days a week, and it handled 1.5 million board feet of lumber per week. Its mill was destroyed by fires in 1978 and 1982.

Cass housed a giant planing mill. It was three stories high and measured 224 feet by 96 feet. It housed flooring machines that took 15 men to operate. All four sides of the flooring were finished in one operation.

The state of West Virginia acquired the railroad in 1961 and the tourist trains began running in 1963. It got 23,000 passengers that first year. The line was expanded to Bald Knob in 1968 and the state acquired much of the town in 1977.

The Cass Scenic Railroad is one of the only authentic museums for lumber railroads in the United States. West Virginia once had 3,000 miles of logging railroads.

Today the railroad offers excursions from late May to late October in Pocahontas County. It annually attracts 75,000 train passengers and 100,000 park visitors.

The railroad has five Shay steam locomotives, one Heisler and one Climax. The engines were designed especially for mountain use.

Its flagship locomotive is Shay No. 5 that was built in 1905. The C80-3 Shay has been running on Cheat Mountain for more than 100 years. The 90-ton locomotive was designated West Virginia's official state steam locomotive in 2004 by the state legislature.

Shay No. 6 is the last Shay engine ever built, in 1945, and is the largest still in existence at 162 tons.

The passenger cars are refurbished logging flat cars made into open-sided passenger coaches. The railroad typically offers four trips per day: three 90-minute round trips of eight miles to Whittaker Station and one 4.5-hour round trip of 22 miles to Bald Knob.

Adult tickets start at $18 on weekdays and $23 on weekends for the shorter trips; tickets on the longer trip start at $24 on weekdays and $27 on weekends. Tickets for children 5 to 12 on the shorter trips are $13 on weekdays and $16 on weekends; longer trips are $17 on weekdays and $20 on weekends.

Tickets are higher in the fall foliage season, late September through Oct. 30. The railroad offers weekend charters in the spring. Group rates are available and the railroad also sponsors dinner trains and other special events.

Tickets include admission to the Cass Showcase with its slide show and diorama, the Railroad and Logging History Museum and the logging camp tour.

Free tours of the railroad locomotive repair shop and the town of Cass are offered regularly. Cass is compact and it's easy to do a half-hour walking tour on sidewalks, alleys and wooden boardwalks. The town has changed little from the early 1900s, officials say.

You can walk past the old Cass Hotel. It was reputable and on the right side of the tracks from other hotels, bars and brothels on Dirty Street across the tracks and other locations across the Greenbrier River.

The old three-story company store next to the depot was built in 1902 as the Pocahontas Supply Co. and now houses a restaurant and museum.

Today the post office is in an old meat market that once butchered 25 pigs and 25 cows a week to feed the residents of Cass.

But the most striking thing about Cass is the former company-owned houses that are still standing. You can even rent one.

The nearly identical two-story white houses, built in the early 1900s, each have a living room, dining room and kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. Bathrooms were added starting in the 1920s.

Owners and renters could put on additions with free lumber from the company. When a house was sold, the deed included a provision that the house could only be sold back to the company for the exact amount that the worker had paid for it.

The company-owned houses line several streets and have been restored. At present, 20 cottages are available to rent. They draw tourists and train buffs spring to fall and skiers in the winter. Snowshoe Mountain, the largest ski resort in West Virginia, is 11 miles west of Cass off state Route 66.

The Cass cottages can accommodate 6 to 12 people. They are equipped with microwave stoves and televisions with basic cable. There is no air conditioning and no telephone. Rates range from $75 to $111 a night depending on the season.

On Bald Knob, you can rent a cabin once used by a ranger who manned the nearby fire tower. You ride the train and then hike three-quarters of a mile to the cabin. The rate is $50 a night plus railroad tickets.

The railroad also offers overnight stays in cabooses for up to three adults and two children at Whittaker Station, Spruce and Bald Knob. You ride the train to your caboose, stay the night and return the next day. The rates start at $85 a night at Whittaker Station and $119 at Spruce and Bald Knob plus railroad tickets.

Pack lightly for the cabin or cabooses, because space on the train for your gear is limited.

For information on the railroad and its operations, contact Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, 304-456-4300, 800-CALL-WVA, http://www.cassrailroad.com.

For information on the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association, the nonprofit foundation and partner with the Cass Scenic Railroad, see http://www.msrlha.org.

For local tourist information, contact Pocahontas County at 800-336-7009, http://www.pocahontascountywv.com or http://www.naturesmountainplayground.com.

OTHER TOURIST TRAINS

Here is a roundup of other tourist trains in nearby states:

-Kentucky

Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Stearns, 800-462-5664 or 606-376-5350, http://www.bsfsry.com.

My Old Kentucky Home Dinner Train, Bardstown, 800-801-3463 or 502-348-7500, http://www.kydinnertrain.com.

Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven, 800-272-0152 or 502-549-5470, http://www.kyrail.org.

Bluegrass Railroad Museum, Versailles, 800-755-2476 or 859-873-2468, http://www.bgrm.org.

-West Virginia

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad with four routes, Durbin, 304-636-9477 or 877-686-7245, http://www.mountainrail.com.

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, Romney, 304-424-0736, http://www.potomaceagle.info.

C.P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society's New River Gorge trips, 866-639-7487, http://www.newrivertrain.com.

-Maryland

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Cumberland, 800-872-4650, http://www.wmsr.com.

-Pennsylvania

East Broad Top Railroad, Rockhill Furnace, 814-447-3011, http://www.ebtrr.com.

Kiski Junction Railroad, Schenley, 724-295-5577, http://www.kiskijunction.com.

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, New Hope, 215-862-2332, http://www.newhoperailroad.com.

Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad, Titusville, 814-676-1733, http://www.octrr.org.

Strasburg Railroad, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, http://www.strasburgrailroad.com.

Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad, Middletown, 717-944-4435, http://www.mhrailroad.com.

-North Carolina

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock, 800-526-5740, http://www.tweetsie.com.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, 800-872-4681, ext. 84, http://www.gsmr.com.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/16/3373267/ride-the-cass-scenic-railroad.html#storylink=rss#storylink=cpy

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The Walkway Over the Hudson, a former railroad bridge turned into a scenic recreational trail, is getting a long-sought link to the Dutchess Rail Trail.

The deal between CSX and the non-profit Walkway group was negotiated with the assistance of Sen. Charles Schumer.

Construction of the trail extension is to begin in the spring.

The walkway has drawn more than 1.2 million visitors since it opened in 2009. It's operated as a New York state park.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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MARATHON, Fla. -- Florida is marking the centennial of Henry Flagler's Over-Sea Railroad, which steamed through the Florida Keys Jan. 22, 1912, carrying residents and tourists from Miami through the once-isolated island chain to Key West for the first time ever.

The engineering feat, referred to by some at the time as the "eighth wonder of the world," launched the Florida Keys' tourism industry. Its track stretched 156 miles, nearly half of it on bridges over water or swamps, built by 4,000 men working 10- to 12-hour days, six days a week.

"It is perfectly simple. All you have to do is build one concrete arch, and then another, and pretty soon you will find yourself in Key West," Flagler is quoted as saying in the book "Henry Flagler: The Astonishing Life and Times of the Visionary Robber Baron Who Founded Florida" by David Leon Chandler.

In the days of cigar rolling, Key West was the most populated city in Florida and the richest city per capita. Flagler hoped to make it a major port, investing some $50 million of his own money (some experts say it was more) into the project that took seven years to complete.

Work began on the Seven Mile Bridge in 1908 with over 500 concrete piers across the route's longest stretch of open water. Innovative tools and machinery were introduced to cut through trees and swamps and work over the ocean.

Pigeon Key, a 5-acre coral island, served as the home base for 400 workers between 1908 and 1912. Most workers came from New York, lured by wages of about $1.60 a day to work in the hot Florida sun, plagued by mosquitoes. They got food, housing, and Sundays off for church services. Alcohol and women were banned.

"They say the two things that slowed down the completion of the railroad were the mosquitoes and the lack of alcohol," said Kelly McKinnon, executive director of the Pigeon Key Foundation, a preservation, education and research nonprofit.

Concerns that Flagler, in his 80s, might die before the railroad was finished led to marathon 12-hour shifts by workers toward the end of the project, McKinnon said. The efforts gave the Keys city of Marathon its name.

Some 10,000 people turned out to greet Flagler and his family on Jan. 22, 1912, as they arrived by train in Key West.

"It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened," said Claudia Pennington, executive director of the Key West Museum of Art & History at The Custom House. "Everybody from schoolchildren who had never seen a train in their life to people who thought it would be a great way to transport freight and improve the economy was there."

Lamar Louise Curry, now 105 years old and a resident of Coral Gables, was a 5-year-old living in Key West when the railroad arrived. She rode it over the old Seven Mile Bridge a few times with her parents and remembers the porcelain drinking cups and railroad trestle. "We were told to look out the window. There was nothing but water. I was too young and took it for granted," said the former American history teacher.

Passengers could travel from Miami to Key West for $7.18 in 1925 in less than three hours. A one-way trip from Jacksonville, Fla., to Key West was $20.34 and from New York to the Keys was $77. Flagler even offered a 48-hour trip from New York to Havana, by train and steamship, with accommodations in Flagler hotels on the way.

In those days, riders thought the train was flying at 25 mph. "It was the idea of warp speed to them," Pennington said. "Passengers were able to get on a train with their winter coats from New York, Boston or Washington and the next day they were in Florida where it was sunny and warm."

Flagler died 18 months after the railroad's completion. Thousands of people took the train over the next two decades, but the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression took their toll. By the 1930s, the train and resorts scaled back as "the elegance of the Gilded Age was slipping away," Pennington said.

Then the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane wiped out 40 miles of track. The railroad was never rebuilt, though portions of old bridges stand today over open water and remain among the Keys' most visited spots.

The Keys are marking the centennial of the railroad's completion Jan. 22 with a Key West parade, Henry Flagler re-enactor, museum exhibitions, and more. Other exhibitions and events are taking place across Florida, from Jacksonville and St. Augustine in the northeast to Palm Beach and Miami in the southeast.

And even today's vacationers acknowledge the indelible impact the railroad had on launching the state's tourism industry.

"I think he set the groundwork for all of this," said Vincent Rich, visiting the Keys this week with his wife from Pittsburgh, Pa. "He had a big influence by bringing life down here."

___

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Nevada Northern Railway Announces Annual Winter Steam Locomotive Photo Event

February is a photographer's dream month at the Nevada Northern Railway (NNRy), the only railroad in the nation where guests can operate an historic steam locomotive out on the mainline. NNRy is located in Ely, Nev. and is one of the six friendly communities along Nevada’s Pony Express Trail along Hwy 50. February’s highlighted event is the Winter Steam Spectacular Photo Shoot, featuring railway crews in period dress, mentoring by a world-renowned photographer and a variety of winter meteorological conditions to capture. The Smithsonian’s Curator Emeritus considers the Nevada Northern Railway to be the best preserved historic railroad “bar none.”

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.Photographers Capture Shots of Historic Steam Locomotive. Phot credit Steve Crise.

This is the original railroad equipment in the original paint schemes in the original setting,” stated Mark Bassett, executive director of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. “All of this equipment has been on the property for decades." Pony Express Territory, Nev. (PRWEB) January 23, 2012

This February, amateur photographers from all over the nation will gather at Nevada Northern Railway (NNRy) to take award-winning photographs of historic locomotives and scenic vistas. Although other railways may “toot their horn” to promote winter photo shoot events, NNRy offers the most unique landscape with more shooting options like different trains, numerous railroad cars, and original historic buildings and locomotives.

Located in Ely, Nev., in the Pony Express Territory of Nevada, NNRy is 350 miles east of Reno and approximately 240 miles from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. It is Nevada's newest National Historic Landmark (one of only seven in Nevada) and America’s best preserved short line and complete operating rail facility. A variety of interactive, engaging railroad experiences take visitors back a century, as they climb aboard a narrated steam or diesel-powered passenger train. One can also “Be the Engineer” and operate an historic steam locomotive – the only place in the nation where guests can grab the throttle and head out onto the mainline. And, guests now have the unique and especially rare option to engineer a locomotive WITH the freight train attached!

Nevada Northern Railway offers two annual Winter Photo Shoot sessions: February 3-5 and February 10-12, 2012. Each session is limited to 30 people in order to ensure freedom of movement, artistic creativity and individual attention. The cost for each two-and-a-half day session is $425 and includes continental breakfast and lunch each day ($835 for both weekends). NNRy members receive a reduced price at $395 per session; $745 both weekends.This is a rare opportunity to participate and learn about heritage railroading and to be mentored by one of the finest rail photographers in the nation, Steve Crise.

Crise has worked as a professional still photographer and lighting director for 30 years, traveling on assignment to Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada. He’s photographed Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and other celebrities. He’s also shot annual reports for the Union Pacific Railroad and is currently working on projects with the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway in Forth Worth, Texas. His evocative style has taken him out in the field capturing wide, panoramic vistas for some of America’s leading transportation companies.

Winter time in Ely, Nev., offers photographers natural backdrops that change quickly due to the weather, making for dramatic images. Historic Steam Locomotive 93 looks spectacular on a 20 degree day in February with billowing white clouds of steam plus plumes of black and gray smoke towering above canyons and valleys. Past Photo Shoot participants have experienced every type of meteorological conditions that wintertime brings in Ely. At NNRy, trains are still made up with wooden cars whose origins date back as far as 1872. For the Winter Photo Shoots, the railway crews will be in period dress, adding to the experience.

“Nevada Northern Railway is not a mishmash of equipment from different railroads or different countries, nor is the equipment prettified or garish. This is the original railroad equipment in the original paint schemes in the original setting,” stated Mark Bassett, executive director of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. “All of this equipment has been on the property for decades and, in a couple of cases, more than a century, all of it still operating on the original track that was graded and laid a century ago.”

Smithsonian Institute’s Curator of Transportation History, William Withuhn said, "Among all railroad historic sites anywhere in North America, the Nevada Northern Railway complex at East Ely is—no question in my view—the most complete, most authentic, and best cared-for, bar none. It's a living American treasure and a stand-out one…everything is still there."

Nevada Northern Railway Museum has also been voted “Best Place to Take Kids” for five years in a row by Nevada Magazine readers and has been featured many times on PBS, as well as The History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” and several recent episodes on “American Restorations,” with additional episodes scheduled.

For more information on the Winter Steam Photo Shoots and Nevada Northern Railway Museum, call toll-free at 866-40-STEAM. Nevada Northern Railway is located in Ely and White Pine County.

Anytime of the year, the Pony Express Territory offers plenty of things to do and see for a vacation. The six main towns have approximately two hours of driving distance between each − Dayton, Fallon, Fernley, Austin, Eureka, and Ely. The routes that link these towns have come to be known as one big 17 million acre museum. The “museum” greets visitors with expansive terrain, natural wonders, historical heritage and one-of-a-kind events found only in this area of the rugged West.

The Pony Express Territory welcomes the media to the online pressroom with exclusive high res photography and fresh story ideas. We’re available to help you tour, customize your story, and more.

Sign up for the complimentary Pony Express enewsletter.

ABOUT THE PONY EXPRESS TERRITORY

Nevada's Pony Express Territory sits on 17 million acres of wide open space with 150 years of rich history, rugged undisturbed nature and black night skies. The Territory is where the Pony Express riders once galloped along its main trail, now Highway 50, connecting the six adventurous towns of Dayton, Fallon, Fernley, Austin, Eureka and Ely.

1,840 miles of wilderness was crossed in the Nevada "Pony Express Territory". Twenty years ago Life Magazine designated this section of Nevada State Highway 50 – “America’s Loneliest Road.” For more information about The Pony Express Territory, call 1-888-359-9449.

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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The Virginia Museum of Transportation's red, white and blue "1776" locomotive is riding the rails again.

The diesel-electric locomotive was pulled Monday from the museum's west side beneath the Fifth Street bridge to the railroad shops at Shaffers Crossing. There, the 250,000-pound, 3,600-horsepower engine will be made "rail ready" in preparation for a pilgrimage to Norfolk Southern Corp.'s paint shop in Chattanooga, Tenn., where it will receive a new red, white and blue coat.

The locomotive, built in 1970 by General Motors, was one of 115 SD45 diesel locomotives purchased by the former Norfolk & Western Railway. In 1974, the railway painted the locomotive red, white and blue in advance of the 1976 bicentennial celebration. According to museum Director Bev Fitzpatrick, the idea was mimicked by other railroads, but the N&W 1776 locomotive remained the most popular of the bunch.

By 1978, the engine was back in black paint and remained in service until 1988, when it was retired. Three years later Norfolk Southern donated the engine to the Museum of Transportation, which repainted it in its most popular colors.

But over the years, those colors have faded, even as the old workhorse has become one of the Roanoke museum's most popular attractions, after the 611 and 1218 steam locomotives.

The museum embarked on a fundraising campaign to get it repainted. In November the project was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $10,000 Trains magazine Preservation Award, which also generated a publicity bump that helped the museum reach its overall fundraising goal of $20,000.

Fitzpatrick said that Norfolk Southern's paint shop process, which includes the process of "baking" the paint, will help ensure the red, white and blue colors remain vibrant for much longer than the museum's paint job did.

The hauling of the locomotive was delayed for a few hours Monday after Norfolk Southern officials arrived and found its brakes were out of commission.

"That's not a big surprise, after sitting there all these years," Fitzpatrick said.

After the hydraulics were linked up to another engine, however, the locomotive eventually fixed itself, and was hauled down to Shaffers Crossing by noon.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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University Libraries at Utah State University has created a new exhibit shown at the university’s Merrill-Cazier Library, “Forgotten Photographs of the Union Pacific Railroad.”

The exhibit, assembled by Special Collections and Archives Photograph Curator Daniel Davis, can be seen in the Merrill-Cazier Library atrium Jan. 17 through Feb. 17. A reception for the exhibit is planned Feb. 15 in conjunction with a lecture by Davis for the Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library.

“The Forgotten Photographs of the Union Pacific Railroad” explores the history of the Union Pacific Railroad through photographs and the work of A. J. Russell. The exhibition presents several of the well-known and idealized scenes of the railroad’s construction (1868-69) as photographed by Russell while under the commission of the Union Pacific Railroad. In addition to the well-known images, the exhibit presents examples of stereoviews taken by Russell and other photographers that offer a more complete and less sanitized version of the railroad’s history. The stereoviews selected for the exhibit were produced more for the general public rather than the Union Pacific Railroad company.

Stereoviews were the 3-D item of the day in the late 1860s. Viewed through a stereo-viewer, the dual images appeared as a three-dimensional image and were as popular then as today’s 3-D movies.

During the time Russell was working for Union Pacific, the East Coast public was hungry for images of the West, Davis said. It was this audience that saw the multiple series of stereo-views that were mass produced.

Davis said the 900-plus stereoviews produced by Russell give a more complete picture of the railroad.

“Russell’s large-format views, for instance, tend to mythologize the building of the railroad and the men who did it,” Davis said. “His stereoviews, however, fill in the details of what was a very messy, ugly business.”

The majority of the images in the USU exhibit are drawn from the university’s collection at Special Collections and Archives. As photo curator, Davis has collected stereoviews for 10 years. Visitors to the exhibit will have the chance to view eight stereoview reproductions through a stereo-viewer. Along the walls of the exhibit, larger versions of the stereoview can be seen, bringing the images detail to life.

The exhibit presents a larger view of the time, Davis said.

“Who were the surveyors, graders, spikers and engineers who lived and died to get the thing done,” Davis asks. “Where did they come from and where did they go after the railroad was built?

“Today, much has been produced about the political corruption, corporate shenanigans and the violent ‘Hell on Wheels’ towns. On the other side there are enthusiasts who know every minute detail for how a railroad mechanically functions. The in-between history of the Union Pacific is still mostly unknown.”

During a 2010 sabbatical, Davis traveled from Omaha, Neb., to Promontory, Utah, re-photographing the landscapes and structures originally captured by Russell. He is currently writing a biography of Russell that will include a catalog of the stereoviews.

Davis will be featured in the spring Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library lecture, discussing the exhibit and his work, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. at the library. The lecture is free and all are invited.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

.OVER-THE-SEA RAILWAY TURNS 100

on January 31, 2012 in North America

In 1905, work began on building a railway that literally went to sea – for a distance of 250km from Miami in Florida to the island of Key West. True, parts were on tiny coral island outcrops, but nearly half was on bridges over seawater or swamps. The longest bridge, carried on 500 concrete piers, stretched 11km. Working 10 to 12 hour days, six days a week, a team of some 4,000 men finished in seven years what was described at the time as the eighth wonder of the world. That was in January 1912 – a hundred years ago this month. The workers, attracted by wages of $1.60 a day, were housed on Pigeon Key, a 5-acre coral island. They got food, housing, and Sundays off for church services – but alcohol and women were banned.

A crowd of some 10,000 turned out to greet the first train on 22 January 1912. During the following two decades, thousands patronised the railway. For $7.18 in the mid-twenties, one could reach Key West from Miami in under three hours. The fare from New York at that time was $77. Alternatively there was a 48-hour package excursion to Havana, Cuba, including the sea crossing from Key West.

On Labour Day 1935, a hurricane washed away 60km of line and the track was never restored. Today a road runs across the bridges that once carried Florida’s railway over the sea.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Is this how you think of New York City? Wood walkways, colourful flowers, tall grasses, warm lights? I’m not talking about the High Line, which has become one of the city’s top economic assets, drawing people from around the world to experience New York in a unique way from atop a former elevated railway. Steps away on the west side of the island, Hudson River Park is often overlooked by visitors as a must-see New York attraction.

The river park has quickly become an integral part of daily living, an extension of New Yorkers’ living space. It provides an alternative to heading uptown to Central Park, which until now has been many residents’ shared backyard. But for a visitor like myself, the scale and beauty of the waterfront revitalization is staggering. Even with the premium that New York real estate commands, city and state governments have successfully collaborated to preserve the waterfront for people. It’s also a continuous and cohesive experience, from 59th Street all the way to Battery Park, something other waterfront cities, like Toronto, are still struggling with.

The experience is thoughtfully designed to consider the needs of many and curated to deliver special moments along the way. The defining feature is a bike path adjacent to the highway with an additional path for running and walking along the water’s edge. In between is surprisingly lush landscaping. A variety of plants and tall grass introduce texture and a softness in strong contrast to the concrete and glass high rise buildings just across the street. A wood, boardwalk-like meandering path makes you feel more like you’re in the Hamptons than Manhattan and contemporary wood benches add a dash of sophistication. Every path is spotless, which I’m sure will change, but I’ve never experienced a cleaner part of New York. The park and paths connect many key sites and landmarks including the World Trade Center site, Chelsea Piers, Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, and Riverside Park, making it a great way to see the city.

http://opencityprojects.com/blog/uncategorized/new-york-gets-waterfront-design-right/

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Railroad Day will be celebrated in and around the Pioneer Museum in Cassidy Park starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The program will start with a visual presentation on “Ole 72,” the Washington Parish Fairgrounds’ restored steam locomotive, with Foots Quinn performing an original song about the big engine.

David Price, of the Mississippi Great Southern Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will then offer an audio-visual presentation of local railroad scenes.

Taking a train trip with friends can fun, no matter how long the journey. COURTESY PHOTO

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That will be followed by Charles McCarty performing four railroad songs, and then a presentation of Bogalusa railroad scenes from 1907 to 2012.

At 3:20 p.m., John Walker will present a video of the special “Calpine” train that ran from Bogalusa to San Diego last November. That train includes the blue caboose and the largest railroad car in the United States, which can carry more than 900,000 pounds.

After that, an audio-visual interview with former “Rebel” hostess Martha Douglas will be presented.

And at 3:40 p.m. Quinn and Kate and David Ray will perform more railroad songs followed by a question and answer session with rail historians.

There will also be a spike-driving demonstration, and all “steam whistle” vocalists are urged to stick around for an acoustic jam session on the porch after the end of the program.

At 4 p.m., the drawing for the winner of an “Amtrak Souvenir Train Trip,” roundtrip tickets for two to Meridian, will take place.

Quinn says there’s a lot to do on a train-powered day trip to Meridian. Besides the experience of the ride, meals, snacks and drinks will be available in the lounge car.

And the many attractions within a short distance of the Meridian depot include the recently rebuilt depot itself plus restaurants, a railroad museum that is open Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings, the Riley Center, a music venue based in a renovated 19th century opera house and the Temple Theatre which hosts a monthly revue similar to the Abita Opry.

The raffle tickets cost $2 each. For additional information, call 735-9188, 750-5213 or 335-4340 or email info@museumsofcassidypark.org.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

SIOUX CITY -- After 16 years in the making, the volunteers looking to complete the Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District are seeing 2012 as a year of accomplishments.

First, the days of summer operation could be doubled from three to six days. Additionally, the Siouxland Historical Railroad Association volunteers are anticipating the good financial news needed to get the project done by 2015.

The association in 1996 began the quest to renovate the railroad complex at 3400 Sioux River Road, commonly known as The Milwaukee Road, which dates to 1917, when railroads were still a primary transportation mode.

"These days, kids probably don't even know what it was like to go without a microwave or a cell phone, to go all the way back to steam power," said association executive director Matt Merk of Kingsley, Iowa.

The complex closed in 1981, when the railroad went bankrupt, with two employees on hand -- far from the 1948 heyday of 561 people employed, when 18 freight trains and 12 passenger trains headed out from Sioux City daily on average.

The quest to improve six original buildings on 31 acres has resulted in $2.3 million spent, while the remaining work will cost another $3.8 million, Merk said.

A month ago, in sharing association plans with the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, longtime association spokesman Larry Obermeyer of Sioux City said visitation spiked in 2011, even though the site is still "rudimentary" compared to the final design. The number of visitors rose from 20,000 in 2010 to 31,150 in 2011.

Of the final $3.8 million to be expended, $2.1 million has already been raised in the last two years, while the association this winter applied for a Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism grant of $952,000. The remaining $726,000 will be sought through fundraising and tax credits, ideally by 2014.

The association is  in a final phase push, Merk said, noting he recently became the first paid employee in a formerly volunteer organization.

"The push, with having me here too, is to work on fundraising, work on building on our educational program and building our exhibits," Merk said. "Also, we are looking to start up a volunteer recruitment drive, and the goal is to increase our hours of operation to six days per week."

The remaining portion of the project is to renovate the final four original buildings, adding a parking lot, interpretive walking trail and amenities such as a visitors center. A prominent park inclusion is the former Great Northern Railway Company locomotive that was retired in 1955, which had the distinctive Old Chief Ironhorse name when it was on display for years near the Sioux City Auditorium.

The park work has been handled by volunteers, from 15  with some of the construction projects to 65 volunteers during weekend hours when visitors come for railroad events.

"Sioux City has a rich railroad heritage. There were 10 railroads in Sioux City at one time. This complex itself has a lot of historical significance for the Milwaukee Road and its expansion west," Merk said.

Once done, the association expects to draw visitors from the Sioux Falls, Omaha and Fort Dodge areas, with 68,000 annual visitors anticipated.

Read more: http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/6a14b29d-f0b7-5226-a152-8eb02c788d38.html#ixzz1lWP6dasf

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Source: HistoryChannel.com, February 5, 2012)

On February 5, 1883, the Southern Pacific Railroad completed its transcontinental "Sunset Route" from New Orleans to California, consolidating its dominance over rail traffic to the Pacific.

One of the most powerful railroad companies of the 19th century, the "Espee" (as the railroad was often called) originated in an ambitious plan conceived in 1870 by the "Big Four" western railroad barons: Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, and Mark Hopkins. A year earlier, the Big Four's western-based Central Pacific had linked up with the eastern-based Union Pacific in Utah, creating the first transcontinental American railway. With that finished, the "Big Four" began to look for ways to increase their control over West Coast shipping, and decided to focus their efforts on extending the California-based Southern Pacific southward.

By 1877, the Southern Pacific controlled 85 percent of California's railroad mileage. Huntington, who now dominated the company, saw an excellent opportunity to create a transcontinental line through the southern United States. Huntington had to act fast if was to beat the competition. The Texas and Pacific Railroad was already pushing westward toward the Pacific at a fast pace. Marshalling his awesome energy and financial resources, Huntington began driving his Southern Pacific line eastward. He won the race in 1881, when he linked the Southern Pacific to the Santa Fe Railroad at Deming, New Mexico, creating the second American transcontinental railway. Two years later, on February 5, 1883, Huntington gained full control of a number of smaller railroads, creating the Southern Pacific's "Sunset Route" from New Orleans to California.

With the "Sunset Route," Huntington confirmed his domination over California rails. He had taken considerable financial risks to build the Southern Pacific system, and he collected very considerable financial rewards. The Southern Pacific had a near monopoly over rail service to California, and Huntington and his associates took advantage of the situation by charging high shipping rates.

Termed "the Octopus" for its tentacled stranglehold on much of the California economy, the Southern Pacific inspired Californians to create some of the first strong public regulations over railroads in American history. But despite the anger and outrage Huntington's exploitation inspired, few would deny that the mighty Southern Pacific Railroad played an essential role in fostering the growth of a vibrant California economy for decades to come.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An antique steam shovel that was once used to build Idaho canals and railroads will be placed on display at the Idaho Transportation Department in Boise.

Department spokesman Mel Coulter told the Idaho Statesman that officials with URS Corp. offered to donate the 1920s-era steam shovel to the state last year. Old equipment like steam shovels can be popular collection pieces for those who have room to store them. Coulter says the donated steam shovel is a Bucyrus-Erie B3, a model that has a fan club among collectors.

Department architectural historian Dan Everhart says the equipment represents an era of construction between the world wars, when road and railway builders made the switch from pickaxes and wheelbarrows to the massive machines.

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Railroad Day will be celebrated in and around the Pioneer Museum in Cassidy Park starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The program will start with a visual presentation on “Ole 72,” the Washington Parish Fairgrounds’ restored steam locomotive, with Foots Quinn performing an original song about the big engine.

David Price, of the Mississippi Great Southern Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will then offer an audio-visual presentation of local railroad scenes.

Taking a train trip with friends can fun, no matter how long the journey. COURTESY PHOTO

Advertisement

That will be followed by Charles McCarty performing four railroad songs, and then a presentation of Bogalusa railroad scenes from 1907 to 2012.

At 3:20 p.m., John Walker will present a video of the special “Calpine” train that ran from Bogalusa to San Diego last November. That train includes the blue caboose and the largest railroad car in the United States, which can carry more than 900,000 pounds.

After that, an audio-visual interview with former “Rebel” hostess Martha Douglas will be presented.

And at 3:40 p.m. Quinn and Kate and David Ray will perform more railroad songs followed by a question and answer session with rail historians.

There will also be a spike-driving demonstration, and all “steam whistle” vocalists are urged to stick around for an acoustic jam session on the porch after the end of the program.

At 4 p.m., the drawing for the winner of an “Amtrak Souvenir Train Trip,” roundtrip tickets for two to Meridian, will take place.

Quinn says there’s a lot to do on a train-powered day trip to Meridian. Besides the experience of the ride, meals, snacks and drinks will be available in the lounge car.

And the many attractions within a short distance of the Meridian depot include the recently rebuilt depot itself plus restaurants, a railroad museum that is open Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings, the Riley Center, a music venue based in a renovated 19th century opera house and the Temple Theatre which hosts a monthly revue similar to the Abita Opry.

The raffle tickets cost $2 each. For additional information, call 735-9188, 750-5213 or 335-4340 or email info@museumsofcassidypark.org.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

North Freedom Railway Museum train ...NORTH FREEDOM - The thrill of winter train rides will return to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom during its celebrated Snow Train weekend, set for Friday through Sunday.

The museum, which largely lies dormant during the winter months, awakens from its hibernation on Snow Train weekend to offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience wintertime railroading.

"Snow Train is Mid-Continent's longest continuously running special event," said Jeffrey Lentz, the museum's past manager. "People really enjoy the atmosphere of Snow Train. The train almost seems to come alive when the steam heating system on the train cars is connected for our winter trips. The steam escaping from between the cars creates a very dramatic scene."

The Snow Train is often the most challenging time of the year for the group of dedicated museum volunteers who help run the event.

Now in its 37th year, Snow Train has become a cherished tradition for many who enjoy trains, love to travel or are looking for an opportunity to escape the monotony of being indoors.

Several levels of services are offered.

"Most passengers, especially those with children, choose to travel coach," Lentz said. "The coach cars are the lowest priced and are lined with windows that offer the best viewing during the 55-minute ride."

The ability to ride aboard a "mixed freight" is another experience unique to Snow Train. During this special event, a second train is run which contains a mix of passenger and freight cars. This was commonly done as a cost-saving measure on rural railroad lines with little traffic. Passengers on this train can choose between a 105-year-old wooden coach or, for a few more dollars, an 87-year-old wooden caboose.

Unlike the passenger-only train, the mixed train is heated using coal-fired, pot-bellied stoves.

First-class service includes complimentary food and beverages during the train ride and uses elegant diner/lounge cars.

"We have partnered now for several years with Elite Catering of Baraboo for our on-board food service and the response has been terrific," Lentz said.

Dinner service is planned for Friday and Saturday evenings, a service so popular that it often sells out before the event.

"Riders really enjoy the ambiance in the dinner train and the food is just wonderful. It keeps people coming back year after year," reservations coordinator Nancy Miller said. "The volunteers who work on the dinner trains really know how to make it a memorable time."

Coach class is available all three days, with departures at 11:30 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

First-class service is available at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Fares are $17 for adults, $16 for seniors age 62 and older, $10 for children age 3 through 12 and free for children younger than 3 who do not occupy a seat.

The fare for first-class service is $35; the fare for the dinner train is $85.

All fares include admission to the grounds, where guests may see the museum's award-winning coach restorations and other exhibits on railroad history.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Bogalusa Mayor Charles Mizell has declared Jan. 28 as Railroad Day and the Pioneer Museum in Cassidy Park is celebrating with a special presentation from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will include a concert of railroad standards by Charles McCarty, a railroad crew member from Summit, Miss. Michael Wetzler, a recording artist who makes steam locomotive whistle sounds using only his voice, will perform.

Amtrak station manager Craig Carter will be speak about modern passenger train travel possibilities.

A Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad locomotive sits at the Bogalusa train depot sometime in the 1960s. COURTESY PHOTO

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A raffle will be held for two round trip tickets on Amtrak for a day excursion from Picayune, Miss., to Meridian, Miss. Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 each.

An audio-visual recording of an interview with Martha Douglas, hostess on “The Rebel,” the famous early streamliner that came to Bogalusa, will also be shown. A number of former Bogalusa dignitaries are also seen on the recording.

There will be a presentation from the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Histor-ical Society that was shown at a recent convention in Union City, Tenn., featuring the last New Orleans Great Northern steam locomotive in existence, the No. 72, which has been cosmetically restored and sits at the fairgrounds in Franklinton.

David Price, a retired Methodist minister living in Hattiesburg, Miss., and who is president of the Mississippi Great Southern Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, will make an audio-visual presentation of area railroad development.

Raffle tickets may be purchased at the museums on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will be used to offset Railroad Day expenses.

For more information, call the museum at 735-9188 or 516-0084 or visit MuseumsofCassidyPark.org.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Museums don’t belong just anywhere. They need a venue that will attract visitors, perhaps even those who don’t have a particular interest in the artifacts on display.

To that end, local leaders are looking for a place for a railroad museum that will give appropriate — and worthy — attention to an industry that helped build the Texas Panhandle.

Amarillo needs a railroad museum.

The questions are these: Where does it go? How do officials get the money to pay for it?

The Santa Fe Historic Railway Museum Inc. had planned to build a museum in — where else? — the Santa Fe Building. It was going to go on the second floor of the refurbished and reoccupied 82-year-old building, which now is home to several Potter County government offices.

But that project now has gone away, even though many of the artifacts headed for an undetermined site are still on the second floor of the building.

There are some interesting ideas being kicked around. One of them would put the museum at the Santa Fe Depot building, just east of the Amarillo Civic Center complex. County Commissioner H.R. Kelly likes the idea of putting the museum at Third Avenue and Johnson Street. Indeed, others have declared their preference for the museum to be placed in a building of its own.

Amarillo lawyer Walter Wolfram is leading the fundraising effort for the museum. He has indicated he would redirect the museum toward the Santa Fe Building if he could not secure another site. He said a second-floor site in the Santa Fe Building would cost about $2.5 million, while another site — such as the depot — would cost around $3 million.

Potter County cannot afford to pony up that kind of cash to build a museum, even to put it in a building it has owned since the mid-1990s. The Santa Fe Building once housed the division headquarters for the railroad company before it was vacated in the 1970s.

With the effort already made to raise money for a museum that honors such a critical part of our region’s history, it truly would be a shame to let this idea simply die.

The better option appears to be the Santa Fe Depot structure. It’s vacant. It sits on property accessible to visitors. The result would be an exhibit that salutes the huge role the Santa Fe company had in building this region.

The region has no shortage of museum experts, such as those who run the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon. Surely the PPHM can lend a hand, right?

.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Bogalusa Mayor Charles Mizell has declared Jan. 28 as Railroad Day and the Pioneer Museum in Cassidy Park is celebrating with a special presentation from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will include a concert of railroad standards by Charles McCarty, a railroad crew member from Summit, Miss. Michael Wetzler, a recording artist who makes steam locomotive whistle sounds using only his voice, will perform.

Amtrak station manager Craig Carter will be speak about modern passenger train travel possibilities.

A Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad locomotive sits at the Bogalusa train depot sometime in the 1960s. COURTESY PHOTO

Advertisement

A raffle will be held for two round trip tickets on Amtrak for a day excursion from Picayune, Miss., to Meridian, Miss. Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 each.

An audio-visual recording of an interview with Martha Douglas, hostess on “The Rebel,” the famous early streamliner that came to Bogalusa, will also be shown. A number of former Bogalusa dignitaries are also seen on the recording.

There will be a presentation from the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Histor-ical Society that was shown at a recent convention in Union City, Tenn., featuring the last New Orleans Great Northern steam locomotive in existence, the No. 72, which has been cosmetically restored and sits at the fairgrounds in Franklinton.

David Price, a retired Methodist minister living in Hattiesburg, Miss., and who is president of the Mississippi Great Southern Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, will make an audio-visual presentation of area railroad development.

Raffle tickets may be purchased at the museums on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will be used to offset Railroad Day expenses.

For more information, call the museum at 735-9188 or 516-0084 or visit MuseumsofCassidyPark.org.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

Photo by J. Miles Cary

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Southern Appalachia Railway Museum Director Richard Iliff visits an EMD SD35 locomotive Wednesday at the former K-25 site. The 400,000 pound engine, built in 1965 for the L&N Railroad, is under evaluation for restoration by the museum. Plans for a new museum are back on track thanks to an $300,000 infusion from a nonprofit group tagged with finding new uses for old Department of Energy properties. (J. MILES CARY/NEWS SENTINEL)

OAK RIDGE — Derailed for a decade by a perfect storm of roadblocks, plans for a $1 million railroad museum are now back on track, officials said last week.

The long-awaited Southern Appalachia Railway Museum — with a new design and location — is received the go-ahead Tuesdayfrom museum members.

Members of the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee — a nonprofit group tagged with finding new uses for old Department of Energy properties in Oak Ridge — received an update on museum plans.

CROET is chipping in $300,000 to help fund the museum project, CROET President Lawrence Young said.

The museum would be moved from its envisioned location just off state Highway 58 to a tract just inside the old K-25 site, an abandoned uranium enrichment facility undergoing cleanup and conversion into an industrial park.

With that relocation, the design for the museum would be changed from a Victorian-era depot to a 1940s-style train station that will mesh with plans for a K-25 historical area, Young said.

For years, vintage locomotives loaded with visitors have chugged through the former K-25 site on the start of a 14-mile round trip into Roane County's rural Blair community.

Weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a $480,000 federal pass-through grant to the state was awarded to underwrite the planned museum and depot.

A security crackdown at that time imposed a ban on train trips but was later lifted. Since then, fundraising efforts to match the grant have lagged, and concerns about site preparation costs at the original museum location surfaced.

Museum members are now on a hurry-up schedule for the depot.

"We have to do something by the end of this year to meet the state requirements (for the pass-through grant)," said museum member Dick Raridon.

Last year, more than 5,000 people rode the Secret City Excursion Train, said Charlie Poling, past president of the museum.

"The hope is with a permanent building there, they would see that ridership grow considerably," he said.

 

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