Do Trains figure in your interests?

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Ian

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Railways have been in my blood for years, I worked for South Australian Railways /Australian National Rail from 72-93. I have always wanted to have a layout but never found the time nor room. I guess having an RV interest there would be many out there who might be frustrated railroaders who have even less room to indulge in their dreams.
Maybe visiting some nice Garden Gauge Railroads might assuage some of that frustration?  Here is a link to some G Gauge railroads that will be having Open House in the next month or so. Maybe some of you can get to visit them while on your travels.

Eagle Wings Iron Craft Open House Layout Previews
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Ian,

I've always loved trains. Started an N-guage layout years ago but never finished it. Still have the two trains, one is a freight and the other is the New York Central 20th Century Limited passenger train. Living in a 40' motor coach doesn't leave much room for a layout anymore. :)
 

Tom

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When we took our then 2 year old grandson to the zoo last year, we saw his eyes light up when we took him on the small-gauge train that runs around the park. We bought him his first train set for Christmas - a Thomas the Tank train set. I made a base for it which Chris covered with felt to simulate grass and she proceeded to add animals, trees, a lake, etc. It was an instant hit and he just loves playing with it whenever he visits.

Yesterday, while I was going around the fairplex here in Pomona, I was looking at their small-gauge railroad and thinking how much fun it would be to have one of these at home. Alas, it wouldn't fit in our back yard.
 

Tom

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While attending grammar school, I used to ride the train to school and back every day. Used to be steam trains until they introduced those new fangled diesel-electric things.

When I worked at a steel plant I got to repair some large diesel-electric locomotives for an all-too-short period of time.
 

Ned

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There is a large model railroad layout under the grandstand at the Fairplex.  Worth an hour or so.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

I remember the steam engines they used where I grew up. They would come up the main spur into town about 1/4 mile down the road. I would hear the whistle and run out into the front yard to watch them cross the trestle. There also was a spur to the lumber yard across the street. I enjoyed watching them bring the cars to the yard.

One of my favorite stops, when it works out, is Steins, NM, the abandoned railroad town. It was a water stop for the steam engines. When the diesels came into being, they closed the town and it became a ghost town overnight. For $2.50/person you can have a guided tour of what is left and boondock about 150' from the mainline. There are supposedly 25 trains in 24 hours and the grade crossing requires they blow their whistles. Not a good spot if you don't really like trains. ;D
 

Tom

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Ned said:
There is a large model railroad layout under the grandstand at the Fairplex.

Is that the same one I saw "behind" the grandstand? I incorrectly referred to it above as a "small-gauge" railroad; It's really a model railroad.
 

John From Detroit

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Several years ago Norfolk & Southern had steam operations, These continued up to somewhere around 1990, Seems the CEO was a steam fan, but alas when he retired his replacement discontinued Steam operations. At the time they had, if memory serves, 4 engines 3 in service 1218, 611 and a "Mighty Mike" (Number unknown)

I've ridden behind two of them..  Interesting ride

Alas, it's all history now  Though there are several small steam trains, many of them pulled by a yard donkey.  One of them is about 8 miles from where I'm typing (Greenfield Village)
 

Tom

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There was definitely something fascinating about them Jim.

The railroad divided the "top and bottom halves" of our street. When we heard the whistle of an approaching train we'd run and squeeze between the steel bridge across the river and the fixed concrete ends of the bridge. As the train crossed the bridge, the whole thing shook, rattled and made a deafening noise.

Some years later, a friend started his "career" on the railroad by washing the locomotives and rolling stock in the yards. Later he graduated to being a fireman, which meant he shovelled the coal into the fire to heat the boiler. There was still magnetic about his stories of how hard/fast he had to shovel when climbing a grade.
 

Ron

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Yep I'm partial to railroads espesealy steam engines.  I grew up in Grenn River, Wyo which was a railroad town.  As kids we use to grease the tracks going up the hill west of town and then watch from a distance while the 4000' worked to pull the freight up the hill.  After Estes Park rally one year several of us visited the UP Steam shop in Cheyenne Wyo had a great tour.

 

Ian

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Thanks for all those reminisces. I'm sure I smelled some real smoke running through them as I read them.
I worked behind (guard) Steam once or twice but only in the suburban area.  My wife well recalls steam trains running near their house in the old days. Her mum would hear the whistle then rouse on the girls to get the washing off the line so the soot didn't discolour the sheets and nappies. Back when I was working the Booking Office at Canberra Station (80-85) I would volunteer as a ticket nipper for the local histerical mob and 'work' their Easter weekend specials behind steam. Loads of fun, used to stir the kids up and bring a smile to the adults faces. I loved it.
A few years back Flying Scotsman was brought out to Australia for a visit as part of our Bicentennial. What an amazing thing to see such a famous train running on Australian tracks. While it was here they took it out the bush for a run, one of our big Mountain types on the Broad Gauge and Scotsman on the Standard. When they got out into the country folks could swap from one destination to the other and come back on the other train. That way I can honestly say that I have ridden behind Flying Scotsman, but didn't have to leave my State to do it!
Wait till Terry and Liliane Nathan get back to talking with us about their recent travels in Australia. They travelled on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Adelaide, then from Adelaide they took the Ghan though Alice Springs up to Darwin. Two legendary journeys that you trainin' folks would love to experience.

Attached is one of my photos taken of a special (in 82) that had recently left Canberra heading back to Sydney and was just passing over the Bungendore Bridge. The climb out of Canberra just before it gets to that bridge is one of the steepest in regularly running track in Australia, so I have been told. I know the steamers would start sanding at the bottom of the hill and just keep it running.  During the Easter Specials one year they  found hooligans had spread grease near the steepest portion and the train lost most of its traction, I wasn't a happy camper thinking that we might have been stuck there for a while. After several runs at the slippery patch they were finally able to work enough of the grease off to push past it. <sigh> 

I think it is 3102 a 36 class leading the way, her nickname was "The Green Lady" and she was a really lovely engine.
PS: Just checked the photo with a magnifier and she was 3642.
 

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Ian

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Jim Dick said:
...Living in a 40' motor coach doesn't leave much room for a layout anymore. :)
Jim, I've seen some spectacularly small layouts using N gauge. Maybe something like that might be able to be squeezed into a spot on the rig somewhere. I'm sure there are other RV'ers who have continued their hobby while mobile. Even if it is just making vehicles and locos and then running them on tracks they visit along the route. Maybe you could get the grans hooked on a layout and then you build up the consists ready for the next visit ;)
 

Tom

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Great photo Ian, thanks.

Ian said:
...they  found hooligans had spread grease near the steepest portion and the train lost most of its traction.

Hey, watch what you say about Ron!
 

Ian

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Tom, Ron wouldn't be one of those guys that is generous with the grease, would he? Sounds like a story here ...

Here's another shot taken at the same time. Both these pics are on my desk next to me as they bring back such strong memories of a great time in my life.
 

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Ned

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You can build a Z scale layout in a very small space. ?The biggest hurdle is the cost :)
 

Ron

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As kids we were just trying to make sure the rails didn't wear out. ;D ;) ?We had been known to grease about a mile or more. ?They sanded but would run out of sand before the grease ended.

 

Ian

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Ned said:
You can build a Z scale layout in a very small space.  The biggest hurdle is the cost :)
Z! OMG, man that is too small, I'd never see the couplings. Even N is 'small' for me LOL![br]Date Posted: March 24, 2006, 07:01 AM
Ron said:
As kids we were just trying to make sure the rails didn't wear out. ;D ;)  We had been known to grease about a mile or more.  They sanded but would run out of sand before the grease ended.
Well I can tell ya Ron, sitting on the end of a hill watching the loco push its heart out and spinning the wheels and getting nowhere, and looking back and seeing the steepness of the track behind us as well as the gorge just a couple feet alongside us, it wasn't the best day I have had ;)
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

During our trip west last year I often thought it would have been fun to be an Engineer on the railroad. I'm sure there are many boring hours as with a lot of jobs but to be able to travel the rails across the country would have been fun.

If I remember correctly there was a big flap about keeping the "firemen" on the engines after they were no longer needed for their main job. Not sure what they call them today but I'll bet someone is still in that position.
 
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