3 Hours in Classic Trains Time

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3 Hours in Classic Trains Time
Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 03, 2017 11:19 PM

Fantasy, Wishes and Imagination time- you personally get 3 hours and 3 hours only, back in time, at any time of your choosing and only for railfanning. Anywhere you want..you are whisked to the place, you can walk around, see, hear, take in the air, sights, sounds and smells, everything is real but you are incapable of interacting...for all purposes you are a phantom to all around you. You only get one choice, one location, 3 hours ...and just for the heck of it you can either go alone, with a pal, or a maximum of 2 buddies. Has to be railroad...anything..a roundhouse, a station, in a caboose, trackside busy mainline, a boardroom even. 

Where will you go? What day/month/year? Take anyone or by yourself? What do you want to see or even find out about? Why? 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:11 AM

For one time and place, and one only, It would have to be Terminal Tower in the Erie's Jersey City terminal, circa 1950, at evening rush from 4:00 to 7:00.

It's the last hurrah for Erie steam, non-stop action starring the K1 through K5 Pacifics. A spectaular steam show courtesy of all those homeward bound commuters.  And my best friend Shotgun Charlie would have to be there with me, he loves steam as much as I do.

I do have a second choice if anyone's interested, but as the man said I'm limited to one.

I'm a phantom to all around me?  Reminds me of "A Christmas Carol..."

Scrooge:  Spirit, are these people real, or are they shadows?

Ghost of Christmas Present:  They are real, WE are the shadows.

Erie steam would be a heckuva Christmas present, at any rate!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:26 AM

Wow ..That sounds terrific Firelock...long live the Erie in memory and lore at least.

Can't have anyone interacting becuase then you get into altering the past and all those conundrums so you are correct..."They are real" "We are the shadows". 

Never did warm up to Erie Lackawanna. The Erie was it's own thing to Chicago. The Lackawanna had those tenders with the spelling of it taking up the length of the tender and conjured up Buffalo destinations in it's day. Both were magic. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, March 04, 2017 12:31 PM

I’d like to ride down the Hudson River Railroad in 1861 just to hear Lincoln talk.  

Grayson -- A Train Ride for Mr. Lincoln 
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 04, 2017 1:09 PM

Hard to beat that one Wanswheel....last photograph Apr. 9, 1865..thanks.

Firelock76- however...your best bud Shotgun Charlie gets a wish so perhaps you could convince him to go to your second choice...because we are interested. 

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Posted by pajrr on Saturday, March 04, 2017 1:42 PM

Wanswheel, I don't know where you are, but in Peekskill,NY every Feb the town recreates Lincoln's visit to the town. A crowd gathers and a Lincoln re-enactor gives the speech that Lincoln gave when his train stopped at Peekskill on his way to Washington, DC for his inauguration in 1861. The best part? The New York Central freight house where Lincoln's train stopped still stands (now the Lincoln Station Museum) and "Mr. Lincoln" delivers the speech from the same spot where Lincoln actually did.   http://lincolndepotmuseum.org/.  Firelock, I agree that being trackside in Erie days would be great. I personally would go back to the early 1970's to the EL in Radburn. I would actually spend 3 hours there each afternoon, watching EL E-8s on the Port Jervis trains, the new U34CHs on new push-pull commuter trains and an EL GP-7 handling the local peddler rushing back to Suffern Yard to get out of the way of the evening commuter rush. My 3 hours would end when the 6:15 from Hoboken would pull in, my father would get off the train and we would all be together as a family once again. Firelock, one more thing: Want to see what an Erie engine crew was paid in 1937? Go here: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/177315-life-in-1937

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, March 04, 2017 2:33 PM

pajrr

Wanswheel, I don't know where you are

I'm on the train with Lincoln. Peekskill is the next stop. Probably see Chauncey Depew.

https://archive.org/stream/mymemoriesofeigh01depe#page/224/mode/2up

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Posted by K4sPRR on Saturday, March 04, 2017 3:07 PM

Myself, a lawn chair, an ice chest super cooling some glass bottled Coke, its summer in 1956.  I position myself trackside between Alto and Slope tower along the busy PRR mainline in Altoona Pennsylvania.  Here the grade steepens, a steam struggles to start its ascent over the Allegheny Mountain.  Pushers, maybe steam maybe a first generation diesel, probably and EMD F unit.  Brake dust from downgrade trains requires a quick quench from the cooler.

Passenger and freight trains, cabin cars, maybe catch an REA express freight with a tuscan FP9 in the lead, no doubt the westbound Aerotrain will be by.  Seeing aging steam, an assortment of diesel power with their different and distinct sounds, one can only guess its maker, unassigned power passing by.  My seat on the fifty yard line.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, March 04, 2017 7:03 PM

On the blue ridge around 1957 watching the coal traffic on the N&W.  Y's on the point, pushers behind.  Light engines dropping down.  A's on the hotshots and maybe even some passenger consists.  What a show!

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 04, 2017 7:18 PM

Miningman

Hard to beat that one Wanswheel....last photograph Apr. 9, 1865..thanks.

Firelock76- however...your best bud Shotgun Charlie gets a wish so perhaps you could convince him to go to your second choice...because we are interested. 

 

My second choice, welllllllll since you forced it out of me...

Ashland, Virginia, 1943, anytime during the year.  On the two track main line of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.  RF&P is the only ball game in town connecting Richmond and Washington, a 100 mile racetrack where the freight and passenger trains HAVE to move, no ifs, ands or buts. We're in the middle of World War Two and the trains, all steam-powered, are coming through one every fifteen minutes, both northbound and southbound, 24 hours a day, although three hours out of that 24 would be more than enough.

The downside, because there is one you know, is phantom that I am I'm looking at the troop trains and I know a lot of those kids won't be coming home.  Most will of course, but still there will be mothers and fathers somewhere left with a heartache only the grave will erase.  It would spoil the fun a bit.

Sorry if I bummed everyone out here. Would you like a third choice?

And Miningman, "Erie-Lackawanna" may not get everyone excited, but at least it sounds like a real railroad, not like it's erstwhile replacement, "New Jersey Transit." 

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, March 05, 2017 7:22 AM

I am going to choose early November 1943 at the N&W's East End Shops in Roanoke, Va. There I can see the world's finest locomotives being built, including the unstreamlined J1. And, watch my father as he goes about his duties as a "Tinner".
From there it is a very short walk over to the busy passenger station. Here every train through Roanoke funnels down through the station tracks. You can watch them from ground level or up above on the station concourse. With wartime traffic, both freight & passenger, up so high there shouldn't be a dull moment.

.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 05, 2017 11:19 AM

I am in Silver Banquit having Rocky Moutntain Trout for lunch while passing the Book Cliffs and Castle Gate on the Rio Grande Zephyr.  Leonard Bernstein himself or Tom Long is sitting across from me, and my former girlfriend, Pat Cruise is alongside me. 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, March 05, 2017 11:33 AM

Nice...sounds glorious.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, March 05, 2017 2:56 PM

For myself I drew up a list of 20 places in no time at all without much thinking. Painfully crossing out destinations to get down to one I am left with: Pennsylvania Station in the Big Apple, because I never saw it, and I'm picking sometime at the height of the roaring twenties and the golden age of railroading. 

I know it does not beat Rocky Mountain trout in the diner with Leonard Bernstein whilst passing through Castle Gate, or trackside wartime but I just have be outside and inside Penn Station and see the trains below. 

 Choosing the roaring twenties because it's a time that the station was still fairly new and was used in a way it was exactly built for, not tainted by depression or war or decline. 

I'll ask Dave Klepper to come along because he knows his way around and Wanswheel because he will be well prepared with information. 

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Posted by lvt1000 on Monday, March 06, 2017 6:50 AM

Allentown,Spring, 1949. Preferably I would have rode in from Philadelphia on the LVT Transit Liberty Bell Route and placed myself at the LV Station early in the morning so that I could see LVT cars cross over the LV, The morning rush such as it was of LV service mostly eastbound to New York would be the main attraction and in the distance i could see some arrivals and departures at the CNJ station. My three hours would end with a streetcar ride to Bethlehem to catch a Reading train to Philadelphia.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 06, 2017 7:07 AM

Make it ayear earlier, 1948, so that your trip to Bethlahem can be on one of the ex-Dayton and Troy Cincinnati-curve-side interuruban cars, perhaps riding through to Easton, PA, before returning to Bethlahem.

 

 

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Posted by Enzoamps on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 2:48 AM

Probably mean nothing to anyone but me.  I would go back 60 years to the porch of the B&O YMCA/hospital in Brunswick, MD, right across the track from the roundhouse and engine facility between the two yards.  As a kid I spent days there watching trains.  Busy B&O main line along the Potomac, plus the local engine service and yard action traffic.  I'd like to see if it really looked like I remember now decades later.  Specifically the day a hostler, who saw me there every day, called me down and had me drive his GP7 onto the turntable, then rotate it and off to another track.   I remember clicking the throttle into 3 and feeling the power of the engine respond.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 10:11 AM

I would prefer an afternoon in Summer 1939 at Elmhurst IL on the C&NW, waiting for the westbound Cities Streamliners to speed through town.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by TrainMan5632 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 3:32 PM

Hmmm, that is very tought to answer. I would have to say on the Milwaukee Road between Milwaukee and New Lisbon, Wisconsin on May 15, 1937. There I would be able to see Milwaukee Road #2 break 112.5 mph. I would also go to see one of the greatest locomotive classes to have never been preserved.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 5:52 PM

WOW! LOVE THAT PICTURE!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:05 PM

Ummmmm.....Houston, we have a problem. Tongue Tied

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:07 PM

Okay....first time all I saw was a dark image of a cooler sitting on a table in front of a ladder.  Now I see a locomotive outside.  Something goofy going on with my server I think...

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:27 PM

Penny Trains- Nothing wrong with your server..everyone got that image...guess the garage door opened and viola..steam!

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Thursday, March 09, 2017 12:08 AM

I would go to downtown Toronto on a sunny spring day in 1956.  Wander around the Spadina (CN) and John St. (CP) roundhouses for a while, seeing everything from Royal Hudsons and CN's green & gold passenger steam engines (and FP9's of both roads) to the wide variety of yard goats, diesel & steam still in service then.  Not to mention all the steam-hauled freight, and CN's 4100-series 2-10-2's (most powerful engines in the British empire) on transfer runs.  I would finish the visit off by leaving Union Station in the dome car of CP's Canadian. 

A shame it's only 3 hours, would have loved to fit in a night's stay at the Royal York.  Maybe if I tinker with the time machine, worst that could happen is I get stuck back here right?...

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Yankingeorgia on Thursday, March 09, 2017 12:44 AM

It'd have to be somewhere busy or you're likely to get skunked for such a brief period of time.

I will go with the East Slope of the Alleghenies on the PRR main line.

May as well make it Horseshoe Curve on August 29th 1947, 10 years to the day before I was born. That way I'll have a chance to see T1s and J1s in addition to the ubiquitous K4s and I1s etc, plus 1st generation diesels from EMD, ALCo, BLW, Lima and FM.

I'd be there with my late father (although Pop would probably rather be somewhere along the New York Central, but it's my fantasy, right?)

Now I just have to hope that something didn't derail somewhere else on the line and foul all four mains, preventing me from seeing any trains during my three hour window.

 

 

 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, March 09, 2017 7:58 AM

I was going to leave this one alone but put my rusty Texas brain (what little is left of it) into gear.  Gads, just listen, it's grinding away! 

My three hours would be spent with my grandfather at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, shortly after Texas & Pacific 2-10-4 638 was placed on display in 1953.  Papa, as I called him, took me with him as he crawed up into the cab of this magnificent steam machine.  He then took me by the hand and on top of the tender we went. 

I was six at the time and just knee high to a Texas grasshopper.  When I looked down and saw mother earth far below it didn't even make me dizzy.  Of course my grandfather had a good grip on Little Joe that day!

Not properly protected from the public, she was "vandalized" and scrapped by the dirty no good low life degenerate State Fair of Texas officials.  Hey, so what if the headlight and gauges were busted; they couldda been replaced!  Depite the fact a sister Texas Type, the 610, survives, my big Lone Star Heart still belongs to the 638 to this day and to a loving grandfather who introduced me to "The World's Greatest Hobby" even though he wasn't a railfan or model railroader.

Thanks Papa.  I miss you and the 638!  RIP 

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Thursday, March 09, 2017 8:08 AM

Mid 1950s Elizabeth New Jersey where the PRR crosses the CNJ.  I'd pick the afternoon rush hours.  Well over 100 trains per hour, GG1s, P5s, MP54s the R1 if I'm lucky. All the vegetable soup of locomotives CNJ had including steam. Reading and B&O also, both ususally diesel but sometimes steam.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 09, 2017 9:38 AM

Just a little earlier and you would have the CNJ 4-6-0 "Mother Hubburd" Cemelbacks.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 09, 2017 10:45 AM

SD70M-2Dude- Your's is the first trip back in time wish that I've actually done. 

One could go up to the platforms on track level in Toronto and simply walk up to the front of the trainshed and out into the yards and both John St and Spadina Roundhouses. Yes there was steam and Diesel everywhere. No one ever said a word to me ..did this maybe 5 times. In fact there was a fella at the John St. Roundhouse who had a locker full of glossy's and recording's and other things selling them to railfans so I could not have been the only one. 

The Dominion ( with heavyweights!) was still running back then, in addition to the Canadian, and one heck of a lot more passenger going in every direction. It seemed to me Canadian Pacific had a much stronger presence than CN but that would change by the time 1960 rolled around. 

Stayed in the Royal York many many times because that is where the Prospectors and Developers Convention was held each year, the worlds largest Mining show by far, which incidentally is on this week. Some functions are still held there. 

Leaving on a long distance transcontinental train from its originating station, especially one with domes, is thrilling. The sense of purpose and adventure from the crew and passengers is unmatched and fortunately can still be experienced today.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, March 09, 2017 6:51 PM

Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
Not properly protected from the public, she was "vandalized"

I feel your pain!  There was a C & O Kanawha here parked near the Cleveland Zoo that got vandalized too.  Don't know what ever happened to her as it took me a very long time to even confirm that yes, in fact there was a steam locomotive on display in Brookside Park.  I saw her way back in 1976 when we boarded the Cuyahoga Valley Line behind Ex-GTW Mikado 4070 for a trip to Hale Farm and back.

Anybody remember which loco that was, the Kanawha by the Zoo?  2700?  2707?

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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