Hot!Trains, Trains and More Trains

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Foodbme
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2015/04/19 17:09:25 (permalink)

Trains, Trains and More Trains

Thought of "The Mayor" when I found this.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/10-of-the-most-scenic-train-rides-in-north-america/ss-AAaWmzv?ocid=LENDHP#image=3
How many of these have YOU been on?
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/19 17:34:16 (permalink)
    None. But I did ride The Southerner from New Orleans to New York City when I was in sixth grade. It was in the dining car of The Southerner that I first tasted, and began a lifelong love affair with, corned beef hash.
    #2
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/19 23:45:59 (permalink)
    Yeah I have been a "FOAMER" for longer than I have been a RoadFooder ! A "FOAMER" is a Railfan, one who becomes so excited by the sights and sounds of rail operations that they tend to Foam at the Mouth a Bit !!
    FOAMERs have been known to line the tracks at certain scenic overlooks for hours before the passing a some special engine, locomotive, or train unit.
       Last year, Union Pacific RR took a Big Boy Steam Locomotive that had been on display for 40 years at the L A County Fairgrounds in So Cal, and dragged it back to their shops in Wyoming where they plan to spend millions to restore it to operating condition--for historical publicity purposes! Literally thousands of railfans camped out along the tracks from L A to SLC and more over the Wyoming rails to Cheyenne.
    Here is the BIG BOY as it left SOCAL . It was "Dead in Tow" at the time, One Million Pounds of inert steel on it's own rolling wheels.
      
     
      Railfans not only ride the scenic lines, but they can be found everywhere photographing and videographing every aspect of the operations.  My Mayor title is linked to my hosting railfan visitors from as far as Australia and New Zealand and many European countries to the Cajon Pass area, a major rail traffic zone with all the major lines from the East to L A passing thru the narrow gap where the SAN ANDREAS FAULT opens a pass thru the mountains. 
    As with most "lists" this one skips a lot of important entries..and has some that are less deserving than others.
    We haver ridden(sp?) The Cal Zephyr (CHI-SFC),The Sunset Limited (L A-New Orleans), The Panama Ltd.(N.O-Cincinnati), Motor City Ltd (Cinn-Det), Wolverine and Mercury (sev.times) Det-CHI), City of Las Vegas, City of St Louis, City of San Fran, City of L A, Super Chief, Chief, Grand Canyon Ltd, EL CAPITAN (MY ALL TIME FAVORITE RIDE AND MY LAST PRE-AMTRAK RIDE) and the Cardinal.
      Lots of scenic's  like the Branson, the Grand Canyon and the So Pacific (now Amtrak) L A to San Francisco Coast Daylite and Starlite.
    But enough.. Trains are fun, listening to the approach radio traffic on a scanner in the mountains, or watching the approach of 4 trains over 25 miles of open country rails in the Mojave is'interesting' to those of us in the sport.   We loved our Day Trip on the Anchorage-Seward run on the Alaska Rail line when we visited Lisa up North. That was a beautiful ride on a train designed for passengers with cameras ! Like the folks who sit near the ends of the runways at major airports and watch all the various aircraft land and take-off, Railfans have their favorite lines, locations and areas of expertise. It is a fun hobby and can be quite addictive.
     
    To give you some Idea of the complexity of the rail traffic in Cajon Passm here are a couple of recent photos, the first looks northwest across I-15 and the rails as they near the bottom of the long downgrade. The second is taken about 8 miles further "Up the Hill" with the twists and turns leading from the Mojave desert to the L A Baisin visible some of the older track has as much as a 3% grade which is rare in todays heavy load operations.

     

    #3
    lleechef
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/19 23:56:10 (permalink)
    I've done the Napa Valley Wine Train.  Great food, great wine.  It's not listed, but it should be:  The Alaska Railroad.  Everywhere they go there is breathtaking scenery.  I once catered a party on the AK RR.....I let the conductor and engineer eat all the shrimp cocktail they wanted.  In exchange I got to ride in the engine car back to Anchorage from Whittier!!  It was awesome.  I asked them what happens when a moose is standing on the tracks.  They said, "It ends up being a round brown blob."   
    #4
    EdSails
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 00:21:50 (permalink)
    I followed the story of the Big Boy and what they needed to do to get it to an existing track and ultimately to it's final destination. What an amazing story! I would love to be able to take a ride on it when it's running again. 
    #5
    Foodbme
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 02:38:45 (permalink)
    Many years ago, we went up to Dearborn MI to the Henry Ford Museum. There's a locomotive there that's the biggest thing I ever saw! It pulled coal cars from the mines in West VA.
    Allegheny Locomotive
    Built in 1941 and weighing in at 600 tons, this was one of the largest steam-powered locomotives ever built. Designed for pulling huge coal trains over the Allegheny mountains of West Virginia, this locomotive could reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. This powerful behemoth is the centerpiece of our trains collection and a visitor landmark in Henry Ford Museum. The cab of the Allegheny locomotive is now open for public viewing.
    C & O Allegheny #1601
    Lima Locomotive 2-6-6-6
    Made: 1941

    #6
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 10:17:48 (permalink)
    There have been many debates between the the "Fans" of the two Giants, The Allegheny and the Big Boy much like two rival teams going nose to nose, As you mentioned the preserved Allegheny has a 2-6-6-6 wheel arrangement to support it's massive weight... The Big Boy is a 4-8-8-4.  The final unit(s) of the Allegheny outweighed the Big Boy by x amount. The length of the Big Boy prevented it's use on some of the Eastern rail lines where sharp curves were beyond the capability of the engine and tender combination. It excelled on the long pulls across the flatlands of the West, especially during WW II. It could handle heavier loads over longer distances than the Allegheny.  Both of these Giants were the last of their breed, giving way to the Diesels that we know today.
      There are but a few of the Big Boys and Alleghenys on display around the country, with the one at the Ford Museum being one of the finest preservations open to the public. U P has amazed the Industry (and the fans) with its decision to restore one of the dozen "DEAD" display Big Boys to actual active rail service. Look for it in a year or two !
       Meantime you can find a steamer to ride at many museums or scenic operations around the country. My favorite ride is the DURANGO AND SILVERTON in Western  Colorado.
     
    I have to add one more comment here. This is a photo taken by a good friend, of a steam helper locomotive assisting the Santa Fe Super Chief 'up the hill in Cajon Pass, CA taken about 1950, I have stood in the same spot many times to catch a shot of an Amtrak climbing the Pass in modern times. This is one link in the history of the place that keeps me coming back.

    #7
    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 19:22:55 (permalink)
    Foodbme
    How many of these have YOU been on?



    Three:  Cass, Strasburg, and The Grand Canyon.  Four, if one count taking the AT & SF's 'El Capitan' from Chicago to L.A. as being a 'Zephyr equivalent'.
     
    I still retain vivid memories gained as a young child watching the steam-powered passenger and freight traffic running along the B&O tracks through my first home-town, Eighty-Four, PA.  Yes, a big Boeing revving up its GE jet turbines is plenty impressive, but not even they can raise as many goose bumps as watching those WWII-era steam locomotives hauling their massive loads with grace and power.
     
    Near us in Frisco, TX The Museum of the American Railroad is presently under construction.  Their collection includes a Union Pacific Big Boy and (perhaps) the same AT & SF locomotive and rolling stock that transported me from Chicago to L.A. to enjoy Disneyland in its first year. 
     
    On that trip I spent many hours at the rounded end of this car, mesmerized by the receding tracks:
     

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    EdSails
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 19:51:02 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
     
    Near us in Frisco, TX The Museum of the American Railroad is presently under construction.  Their collection includes a Union Pacific Big Boy and (perhaps) the same AT & SF locomotive and rolling stock that transported me from Chicago to L.A. to enjoy Disneyland in its first year. 
     
     



    I know Texans can be jealous of Californians, but now you went and stole Frisco from us?
     

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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 20:18:49 (permalink)
    Many - pointing to Europe and Japan - urge massive public funding for 'High-Speed Rail' here in the U.S.  Problem is, they don't quite appreciate the massive size of this country. 
     
    Relatively tiny Japan aside and staying inside Texas, if Paris were in El Paso, Berlin would be just a little east of Dallas - still 160 miles short of Texarkana.  Dallas - D.C. is the length of the fabled Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul; that service is gone as even Parisians fly that route now.
     
    But, high speed rail can work in the U.S.  The DC - NYC - Boston Metroliner shows a profit 'as is'.  Turn that line over to a private company to make it truly 'high-speed' and I'll be a stockholder (and pay taxes on my dividends)!
     
    Presently, a private company is engaged in building high-speed rail from downtown Dallas to downtown Houston.  Once complete, they intend to add legs connecting San Antonio and Austin to both Texas' 'mega-cities'.  Look at a map, that 'makes sense', too: the whole route is an isosceles triangle with a short base from Houston - S.A.  I'll buy stock in that.
     
    Then there's this genius plan to connect Bakersfield to Fresno with the 'help' of over $100 Billion to be billed to us all through 'Federal Funding'.  Good thing they aren't using steam locomotives; they use a lot of water. 
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2015/04/20 20:20:54
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 20:34:34 (permalink)
    EdSails
    MetroplexJim
     
    Near us in Frisco, TX The Museum of the American Railroad is presently under construction.  Their collection includes a Union Pacific Big Boy and (perhaps) the same AT & SF locomotive and rolling stock that transported me from Chicago to L.A. to enjoy Disneyland in its first year. 
     
     



    I know Texans can be jealous of Californians, but now you went and stole Frisco from us?
     





    No, just kinda' borrowed the nickname. 
     
    Frisco, TX was once a 'watering' stop on the St. Louis - San Francisco Line. 
     
    Weather aside, Texans 'being jealous' of Californians? 
     
    #11
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/20 23:55:28 (permalink)
    My Last ride on the El Capitan--1963  when I got out of the Army and was headed for Boston to begin my college studies.

     
    I had a write up completed on high-speed rail, but it is nonsense. all discussion and no track laying. I won't live to see the long talked about LA to Vegas Mono-Rail...or the LA to San Francisco hi-speed line It will be discussed to death.
    #12
    Foodbme
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 01:43:37 (permalink)
    When I was 13 years old (1953) I went from Jamestown NY to what is now Irvine CA on a train full of Boy Scouts going to the Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine Ranch. At that time Irvine was just an open field.
    The Special Train started in NYC and picked up boy scouts at various points along the route. I think the train was full when we left Cleveland and we took the Northern Route out and the Southern Route back. One week each way since we stopped along the way for touring & sightseeing, Pullman Cars: the seats converted to beds at night with a pull-down overhead bunk. No Air Conditioning so crossing Death Valley, we all just laid on the floor in our underwear sweating like hogs. A wonderful experience for a 13 year old kid.
    #13
    EdSails
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 02:06:56 (permalink)
    Foodbme
    When I was 13 years old (1953) I went from Jamestown NY to what is now Irvine CA on a train full of Boy Scouts going to the Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine Ranch. At that time Irvine was just an open field.
    The Special Train started in NYC and picked up boy scouts at various points along the route. I think the train was full when we left Cleveland and we took the Northern Route out and the Southern Route back. One week each way since we stopped along the way for touring & sightseeing, Pullman Cars: the seats converted to beds at night with a pull-down overhead bunk. No Air Conditioning so crossing Death Valley, we all just laid on the floor in our underwear sweating like hogs. A wonderful experience for a 13 year old kid.


    Have you seen what Jamboree Road looks like lately?
    #14
    EdSails
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 02:09:58 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim
     
    Then there's this genius plan to connect Bakersfield to Fresno with the 'help' of over $100 Billion to be billed to us all through 'Federal Funding'.  Good thing they aren't using steam locomotives; they use a lot of water. 




    Maybe if they used high speed steam trains they'd channel some of the money into solving the water crisis!" />
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 08:02:58 (permalink)
    EdSails
    MetroplexJim
     
    Then there's this genius plan to connect Bakersfield to Fresno with the 'help' of over $100 Billion to be billed to us all through 'Federal Funding'.  Good thing they aren't using steam locomotives; they use a lot of water. 




    Maybe if they used high speed steam trains they'd channel some of the money into solving the water crisis!" />




    When high speed rail makes economic sense it will be built - by private companies.  Who built the railroads in the first place?  Cornelius Vanderbilt or James Knox Polk?  Leland Stanford or James A. Garfield?
     
    I'm 'jacked' about high-speed rail connecting DFW, S.A., Austin & Houston.  It will happen.  The whole key to connect center city with center city.  That's why the Metroliner was my 'go to' choice for getting to NYC from DC.  Frankly, I think Elon Musk has a better plan to connect LA & SF. than conventional rail, 'high speed' or not.  Nothing the matter with a little 'California Dreamin'.
     
    BTW:  if Cali is so hot to spend Federal (other people's) Money and wants to save some slugs in the San Fernando Valley, may I suggest a giant fresh water pipeline from Western Canada which has a surfeit of such flowing to the Pacific; or, from the Great Lakes which empties into the Atlantic?  Now there's some proven technology!  
    #16
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 09:29:38 (permalink)
    I also attended that Scout Jamboree in Irvine. I was selected to represent my Troop to walk thru a reception line and shake hands with Then Vice-President Richard Nixon.  Since I lived in SoCal, it was just a school bus ride to and from the area... but going East each summer I would see Scouts riding the train with me to the big Scout Ranch in Raton New Mexico- The Philmont Scout Reservation...I never did attend that adventure.
     
    Jim I agree in Principle regarding the development of Hi-speed rail transport, but the complexity of our political system currently seems to have doomed reasonable expectations. 
    #17
    MetroplexJim
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/21 20:04:35 (permalink)
    mayor al
     
    I have to add one more comment here. This is a photo taken by a good friend, of a steam helper locomotive assisting the Santa Fe Super Chief 'up the hill in Cajon Pass, CA taken about 1950, I have stood in the same spot many times to catch a shot of an Amtrak climbing the Pass in modern times. This is one link in the history of the place that keeps me coming back.





    That is such a wonderful photo!  Union Pacific's Big Boy worked many years into the 'diesel-era' helping long trains over Sherman's Hill in Wyoming.
     
    BTW:  your photo in #12 above is of the Pullman Sleepers of the Super Chief.  The "El Capitan' was all coach with reclining seats with the rounded back 'observation car' and a glass-domed 'bar car'.  As a kid, the conductor told me that we crossed the Mississippi at 100 MPH and hit 120 on the Western straightaways.  Pre-interstate highways those speeds were really impressive to this, then 8 year-old.
     
    On the return trip we visited the Grand Canyon over which this tragedy had just occurred.  The wreckage was visible with binoculars from the South Rim.  We were happy that 'we took the train'!
    #18
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/22 10:50:12 (permalink)
    The El Capitan you described ran until @ 57/58 I have forgotten which year they switched to the "Hi-Level" cars. I rode it each summer from 1954 to 1958, then again in 1960 and 1963.  By 1963--the year I shot that photo in Post #12 above, passenger traffic had dropped to the point where the Santa Fe had combined the two Trains ( Super Chief and El Cap) into one. If you look closely at the photo you can see the Bi-Level Coach Cars of the EL CAPITAN section close to me, but off to the right are the the single level Pullman Sleepers of the SUPER CHIEF...again, all riding behind one engine team and with a central dining car.
    #19
    leethebard
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/22 14:00:04 (permalink)
    I've always been a little partial to the GG1.They ran(Tuscan Red and green) along the line we drove along on our way to my Grandmother's house. One Christmas in the 50's I got a Lionel GG1. It weighed a ton. Still have it proudly displayed!!
    #20
    Sundancer7
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/22 16:02:11 (permalink)
    The only train I ever rode waswhen I was dismissed from basic training from ANG at Lackland AFB in San Antonio.  As ZI recall, it was about 11:00PM and I really pinched myself to make sure I was not dreaming.  Eight weeks of basic was enough for me.  Trip took me through HOLA and then to Montgomery AL.  I spent the next six week at Gunter AFB in Montgomery Al and then out exept for six years of meetings.  Pretty easy from then on out.  That wasfrom 1964-1970.  I sincerely say that I do not miss trains at all.
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    #21
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/22 17:12:09 (permalink)
    Lee I have never seen the GG1 in operation, but have viewed many news-reels etc with them racing across N J . A beautiful Engine , for sure ! and so different in appearance from the complex Steamers of the day !
    I have an 'HO' scale GG1 in a plexi-glass display case with my many HO scale models...and nowhere to put them out for display ! My collection tends to focus on the Snta Fe, and other Western RR, but that GG! and the N & W J-4 Steamer are two exceptions to my own rule.
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    leethebard
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/22 18:06:05 (permalink)
    Love the G3 Santa Fe, Mayor al.
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    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/23 01:22:08 (permalink)
    A few years ago the CSX used an old Canadian Pacific Passenger Locomotive to pull the CSX Special Business cars and some private cars as well in a "Special Derby Train" from Chicago to Louisville over the old Monon Line. Here that Special Derby Train works it's way thru the traffic in the town square in Bedford, Indiana.
           
     
    Union Pacific has it's own Business cars, enough to fill a standard passenger train roster, and more than one set of the early model E8 Diesel Locomotives. Here is the U P RR, Business Special coming downgrade in Cajon Pass in 1999.
                  
    #24
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/23 08:24:32 (permalink)
    I loved the article and have found some routes that would be great to try. thanks!
     
    I should add that the Lancaster train, which I have ridden with visitors several times, is fun, if short. Across the street is the famed Railroad Museum that is definitely worth a visit even if you only have a cursory interest. Further down the road, about a mile or so, there's a place where you can eat in one of the old cabooses they have on the property, and I think they still have some set up as motel rooms. I think you can see it from the train ride too.
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    MikeS.
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/23 10:45:04 (permalink)
    "Then there's this genius plan to connect Bakersfield to Fresno with the 'help' of over $100 Billion to be billed to us all through 'Federal Funding'. Good thing they aren't using steam locomotives; they use a lot of water."

    Thank you Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown for this unneeded an unwanted project. Although Fresno is my home.
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    leethebard
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/23 14:56:46 (permalink)
    FriedClamFanatic
    I loved the article and have found some routes that would be great to try. thanks!
     
    I should add that the Lancaster train, which I have ridden with visitors several times, is fun, if short. Across the street is the famed Railroad Museum that is definitely worth a visit even if you only have a cursory interest. Further down the road, about a mile or so, there's a place where you can eat in one of the old cabooses they have on the property, and I think they still have some set up as motel rooms. I think you can see it from the train ride too.


    The Lancaster train takes you on the "Road to Paradise"...that's Paradise Pennsylvania....Great trips.You can pack a picnic lunch, the train lets you off at picnic grounds, and will pick you up later!....And the Pennsylvania Railroad museum is great. They have a GG1 you can check out.And the toy train museum is just a few miles away. Great time for all!!!
    #27
    mayor al
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/23 17:59:02 (permalink)
    The Illinois Rail Museum out in Union, IL has a nice open country, out and back ride. 
    The Branson Scenic is fun with a dome car in the line-up to add flavor.
    We have enjoyed the KY Dinner train several times, Bardstown, KY.
    BUT the best of the short line scenics are out west... The Grand Canyon, The Durango & Silverton, and the "Skunk Train" in the California Redwoods at Ft Ross.
    Railfans have special points all across the country where they gather to photograph rail traffic...
    My home area of Cajon Pass is one of the favorites, also nearby the Tehachapi Loop near Bakersfield, CA.
       The Columbia River Gorge  provides wonderful scenic background for rail photos,...also The Great Salt Lake Causeway, The I-70-Colorado River -Amtrak line in Colorado. Several of the Mississippi River Bridges are fine photo shots, but the Santa Fe's crossing at Ft Madison Iowa on a center-pivot draw-bridge is fun to photograph in action. Also the massive Huey Long Bridge in New Orleans.
       In Rochelle, IL there is a DOUBLE DIAMOND FOUR TRACK INTERSECTION of U.P. and BNSF lines. The city has built a shelter house complete with scanner radio and speakers, benches and picnic tables for fans to enjoy watching the busy rail traffic pass within a few feet of the safety barriers.
    The Great Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA has a railfan park built along one side of the tracks. And finally shooting the N E Corridor anywhere you can get decent access without tresspassing is fun. We used to catch some traffic coming out of Princeton Jct NJ the "Dinky" car that brought commuters to the Jct. to meet the NYC bound trains in the morning.  or after filling on Abbott's Lobster Rolls, shooting the Coast line rail traffic near Mystic, CONN. goes back a long time for me... but was fun for sure !
    #28
    Foodbme
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    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/24 00:21:44 (permalink)
    Mayor,
    You need to put a book together!
    #29
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 15787
    • Joined: 2002/08/20 22:32:00
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re: Trains, Trains and More Trains 2015/04/24 02:32:57 (permalink)
    I thought abought a thread here focused on trains and roadfood linked together. Maybe a sticky one??
        Example, in Hesperia, CA on the Desert side of Cajon Pass. Main St crosses over the tracks on an overpass bridge. That is milepost 45 for the tracks with a couple of sidings into business yards there and signal lights to control access to those sidings. Running beside the tracks is Hesperia Road and on the far side of the road are businesses, including a great tortilla factory and Mexican food stand, and a short block North is a good Cafe with all glass windows facing the rails, where we often sit and wat the trains roar thru eastbound (downhill) at 79mph) . The westbound trains pulling a very long slow grade often stop to allow their wheels to cool a bit at Mile 45 before pushing on to the Summit at Mile 55. If the stop the Jr crewman will run across the street to pick up an order they have called in to either the Mexican place or the Cafe...and then trot back to his idling locomotive to share the chow with the engineer.
       There are places like this all along the track thruout the USA !!
     
    Major Error on the Crew's part Here.
    Instead of locking the brakes with the gearing in 'Neutral/Park' when they stopped for a long 'crew-change break' ,  This crew on this CSX train let the engine idle in forward gear. They were on a very slight grade so the train made no forward progress, it's powered wheels just kept turning and grinding against the tracks at the same points, with this being the results a few hours later. I don't know what happened when the new crew arrived on scene and reported the condition of the engine and the track, requesting assistance.. This was near Nashville about 8 years ago.
     
     
    #30
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