Disappearing Railroad Blues ..Lament and Fix. Miningman over the edge

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Disappearing Railroad Blues ..Lament and Fix. Miningman over the edge
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:32 AM

 By now most of you know me as someone that Wanswheel has commented, "has a case of the disappearing railroad blues...worst I've ever seen". 

Well ....yeah.  Given my dithers, if I could snap my fingers or tweak my nose and everything reappeared, infrastructure wise only, as it was, say 1947 then I would make it so. Anytime until the end of 1950 will do. Even pre-war or 20's golden age will do, but favour the idea of superpower, modern steam, Niagara's and T1's blended in with plenty of old tea kettles. That's just me. Some 1st generation Diesels, regrettably, ahh sort of, somewhat ok, but the Baldwins are spiffy and the PA's acceptable. A few Lima's, Fairbanks Morse here and there but not too too much. EMD...meh.  Maybe my tweaking should be directed at very early 1947...let's limit the invaders. Pre FT's would be wonderful but then we miss out on some great steam. 

Whatever, the message from the "ether" is clear. Stick with the steam and use what you you've been given. 

All the track, the stations, the trains themselves, even the industries trackside and operations ...the way it was. Tomorrow morning we wake up and there it all is. The towers, the signals, the roundhouses, the water towers...everything. The Erie Berkshires, all of 'em, the CASO, the real Fort Wayne Division. (Not the people though, this is creepy enough as is and we don't need any further complications.)

Except...it's 2017.  Sounds like something from the HBO show The Leftovers. You know, kinda nutty without trying too hard to be cool. 

Lots of jobs just sitting there. Maybe need 6 months to a year to get it all figured out and trained but it is awaiting. 

So do we scrap it all again? Lot's of pretty nice Pullmans sitting around, waiting for overnight passengers. Not that bad. 

Of course much of what we have today would be displaced, vanish, as in strip malls, parking lots, fast food joints, urban sprawl or simply empty fields, and thats not too bad either.

Of course the New York Rangers would need a new home as Pennsylvania Station reappears and this time I know we would not be so stupid and idiotic as to demolish it. A lot of other beautiful railroad structures as well...the list seemingly goes on forever. 

Castle Rock is there. 

RPO's waiting for mail. Reefers awaiting ice. Not so bad. 

Of course a thousand EPA inspector's would be running around pulling their hair out and demanding a stop to the suddenly reappeared horrors to society. Just like the guy in the original Ghostbusters, whom everyone was hoping would get what was coming to him, and made to look like an idiot several times over. So to heck with them. They lose. We win. 

All those great electrics are back as well. NYC, Pennsy, Milwaukee Road. Just the trains folks, just the trains, and their associated infrastructure, not auto's and trucks, so don't freak out about too much of a return to the past. Everything else is modern day. 

All that trackage in New England. Hello Milwaukee Road. Hello Rock Island. Hello small town everywhere. Night trains, exclusive trains, trains for business folks, connections to everywhere. Not so bad.

Not so bad at all.

Could we apply life in 2017 and live with 1950 or earlier railroad only infrastructure and trackside associated industry so it has a purpose, and in the process to have the very best of both worlds. Can we? Sure we can, pourquoi pas? 

An ultimate railfan/ railroad fantasy? 
No, not at all. Nations were built and thrived with this. The worlds greatest nations. Pretty sure we could make it work and work well.
It's something we should not have lost in the first place. Not all of it anyway Period 

( do I need a period if I spell the word period..?)

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 8:33 PM

Ah Miningman, there's an old saying...

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 06, 2017 8:35 PM

Yeah, but, Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, May 07, 2017 12:10 AM

Miningman

Of course the New York Rangers would need a new home

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, May 07, 2017 2:34 AM

Great stuff Wanswheel! Bright lights, big city and looking good, mighty fine. 

Guess the Rangers will have to go back to the old Gardens, until they can get a new place built. I'm sure they will understand, hockey players aren't whiners. 

Just as a notation- there is a 2 hour time difference between myself and the time stamp on the postings in case you think I'm up at 2:34am which I'm not..it's 12:34 and I'm heading off to la la land. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:18 AM

La La Land?  I retired from Deutsche Bahn on 1 Aug. 2010 and still dream about working at the station in Nuremberg where I was employed in the service department for 21 years as a service rep.  Why I do not know.  I don't miss the work but do miss some of the great people I worked with. 

I seldom dream about my RR days spent in Texas with Cotton Belt or AT&SF though.  Before I came across this post I was thinking where I would transport myself back in time if I could.  I think it would be the spring of 1952 before I turned six on the 4th of July that long ago summer with the last happy days spent before starting first grade.

I'd love to eat Aunt Kate's fried chicken on a Sunday spent in Greenville, Texas.  I wish my grandfather had been a railfan.  I saw trains but only if one passed when he was driving to or from any place and had me with him in his big old Nash.  I well remember as a little tot seeing a grey Katy diesel switcher on Denton Drive near Dallas Love Field on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.  Wonder if it was one of the last as Katy was busy repainting grey diesel switchers to red.  This also included the four GE 70 tonners which I never saw.

Yep, wish I could go back to 1952 and stay there forever!  Great memories remain.  Guess that's better than having none at all to look back on but I miss those long gone days of innocent youth and at least wish I could turn back the clock and start all over again.

I imigine most of us do.

You can add the (.) after the word period and guess it is proper English to do so but when it is said and done guess you can do it anyway you darn well please.  It's entirely up to you and doubt if any one of your old English teachers will ever read your words or wisdom you write here on the Classic Trains site as it is. 

....oh, good morning Miss Dove....

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 11, 2017 5:04 PM

Somebody once said it's easier to be nostalgic about a time you didn't live through - you only see the good parts, and miss the negative and hum-drum of real life.

Still, it sure would be fun to be able to go to Madison Square Garden c.1950 and see a Knicks game, especially to watch them get stomped by the greatest basketball team of all time, the Minneapolis Lakers....

Cowboy

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, May 11, 2017 11:20 PM

Wjistix-  I'm afraid you would not be able to see the Minneapolis Lakers as this is not a journey through time. Pennsylvania Station does however, reappear taking the place of the new Madison Square Gardens but in todays current time. 

The question or premise is: could we function with all the railroads, equipment and infrastructure if it all suddenly reappeared the way it was in a specific point of time, say 1947. Not the people. 

So we have our cars, and our laptops and cell phones, it's us, everything normal as today except we have 40' boxcars, Pullman sleepers, Niagaras and T1's. 

Aside from my railroad historical enthusiasm the real thing is ...we have all our trains back, the equipment, the tracks, the schedules. 

Given a second chance at this, do we make a go of it and transform society?

However, your desire to see the Minneapolis Lakers at MSG could be realized by a thread I posted a while back granting you one single trip with 2 extra buddies but only for three hours. You can see and hear everything but cannot be seen or heard by others of that time. It was supposed to be only for a railroad scene but we can make an exception in your case. Should be able to get a game in with 3 hours of time. 

My contention is we as a society chose a different direction and destroyed or abandoned what we had. I think we can live in the digital age and have quaint locals and frequent intercity service and plenty of overnite sleeper service, all of it well connected. 

...and I was there in those days, the tail end of it anyway. 

 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, May 12, 2017 10:09 AM

Going back to a railroad infrastructure of 1947 in 2017 would also require that the road and air infrastructure also go back to that date:  no interstates, nothing longer than 40-foot semi-trailers, airlines flying DC-3s, DC-4s, Constellations, Stratocruisers, etc. It would also require the tight regulation of the ICC and CAB over ground and air transportation.  Are you sure that you would want this?

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 Firelock76 on Friday, May 12, 2017 6:52 PM

Hey, I LOVE DC-3's, DC-4's, Constellations, Stratocruisers, anything with honest-to-God props on 'em!  AND men like Eddie Rickenbacker, Juan Trippe, and Howard Hughes running the airlines, you know?  Men who knew what the hell they were doing and loved the business. They must be turning over in their graves at about 2000 RPM seeing what the airlines have turned into.

And CSS, just who's squadron patch is that you're using for an avatar?  It seems familiar but I just can't place it. 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, May 12, 2017 8:08 PM

You're living in the wrong place then Firelock. 

Everything but everything up here is a propeller, The ice went out in the bay Tuesday, and yesterday, Thursday, the float planes were going out. The main body of the lake is still frozen solid..it will go 2nd week June. They were practicing landings all day today. Mind you, over the winter they use skis on the float planes. That is a bit trickier. 

Water bombers were practicing all week as well, all props there to and they are big. Spring is here, 2C right now, daytime highs around 10C. 

We don't got no stinkin' Jets. 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:00 AM

The patch belongs to the 367th Bomb Squadron, the "Clay Pigeons".  It was part of the 306th Bomb Group based at Thurleigh and is Dad's unit.

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 Firelock76 on Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:57 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The patch belongs to the 367th Bomb Squadron, the "Clay Pigeons".  It was part of the 306th Bomb Group based at Thurleigh and is Dad's unit.

 

Thanks for the response!  Here's a bit of trivia for you...

Ever see the movie "Twelve O'Clock High"?  The fictional 918th Bomb Group was based (loosely) on the 306th,  306 X 3 = 918. 

Another thing, if you're ever traveling down Route 95 in Georgia BE SURE to stop in the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler, GA, right off the highway, you'll love it!  We were there several years ago and it's unforgettable!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:12 AM

Firelock76

Thanks for the response!  Here's a bit of trivia for you...

Ever see the movie "Twelve O'Clock High"?  The fictional 918th Bomb Group was based (loosely) on the 306th,  306 X 3 = 918. 

Multiple times, it's probably the best war movie ever made.  I've read that it's part of a leadership course at the Air Force Academy.

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 Firelock76 on Monday, May 15, 2017 5:48 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
 
Firelock76

Thanks for the response!  Here's a bit of trivia for you...

Ever see the movie "Twelve O'Clock High"?  The fictional 918th Bomb Group was based (loosely) on the 306th,  306 X 3 = 918. 

 

 

Multiple times, it's probably the best war movie ever made.  I've read that it's part of a leadership course at the Air Force Academy.

 

Part of a leadership course?  I can well believe it, the film's that good.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:24 PM

Transferring ( copying) some text I wrote over on "String Lining" in the Trains Forum.  It seems appropriate in the Classic Trains forum. 

Something to think about.

Using the "Classic Trains" theme, I refer to us older dudes that loved our trains and remembered railroads as something astonishing and magical, powerful, permanent and beautiful as the "Classic Guys". 

Classic guys were at the tail end of it...Pullmans, heavyweights, steam, trains to everywhere and anywhere, china and linens, passenger trains run by free enterprise, not government. 

We are also disappearing. I watched, from hillside, as the rails were lifted from the magnificient NYC CASO line through famous quaint Waterford, the connection with doodlebugs of the TH&B. 

For some time before that I would go trackside and walk along the now never used rails and remember. I try to understand why and how. Never could figure it out. Now it is never coming back. 

Same story a million times from California to Newfoundland.

How do we know if one of us Classic Guys "departs" and is never coming back. Just by the absence of posting? That seems a bit thin. 

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Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:13 AM

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:17 AM

Good one Wanswheel. Will tell it to my class today. 

Interesting picture. What's it about? The Big Apple I presume but where are we?

RME
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Posted by RME on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:09 AM

Miningman
Good one Wanswheel. Will tell it to my class today.

Many more of those chestnuts in the Asteia of Hierocles.

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Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:41 PM

Miningman

The Big Apple I presume but where are we?

Photo by Ed Molinari, New York Daily News, October 24, 1964.

Caption: “Subway car Lo-V [low voltage] is about to leave Grand Central subway station to head for the scrap heap after 45 years of service.”  

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/showpix?JTIwbmNhcnR5cGUlMjBpbiUyMCg0Niw0MSw1OSw1NDIsMjc5KSUyMCUyMGFuZCUyMCUyMG5jYXJudW1iZXI9JzU0OTYnJTIwfDB8NXwxMDB8U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHN8L2luZGV4Lmh0bWx8Y2FzdChuY2FybnVtYmVyJTIwYXMlMjBzaWduZWQpJTIwYXNjLG55ZWFyJTIwYXNjLG5tb24lMjBhc2MsbmRheSUyMGFzY3ww

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Posted by NDG on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:19 PM
OT.
 
 
Was in Chicago in the Sixties, and the Rush Hour cars were elderly, drone of traction motor gearing and all.
 
Anyway, on the Chicago Cars the Conductor had to ride between the car ends to open and shut the doors on the train.
 
 
Is that what the control is under the front windows on these NYCity cars?? Ditto the steps below??
 
 

Thank You.

 

Post Script.

Looks as if the Motorman is changing the Whistle.

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:39 PM

Yes, the NYC Subway also had the exterior door controls that required the conductor to ride outside.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:32 PM

Chicago's first few 6000-series PCC cars delivered in 1950 still had the conductor's position outside, though it was quickly moved inside.

Chicago 6000 series conductor

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:53 PM

That must have been endless fun in the winter.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:09 PM

Miningman

That must have been endless fun in the winter.

 

I agree.

I wonder what the rationale was for palcing the door controls there.

Johnny

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Posted by NDG on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:26 AM

rcdrye

Chicago's first few 6000-series PCC cars delivered in 1950 still had the conductor's position outside, though it was quickly moved inside.

Chicago 6000 series conductor

 

 

Thank You, Sir!

I did not know this prevailed until 1950.

Winter must have made this a terrible job.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:21 AM

It also would have been very loud, particularly in tunnels...

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 8:56 PM

Wouldn't the conductor ride inside between stations?

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:17 AM

That is most likely, but still would require being ready a few seconds ahead of time and a few seconds later when closing. It would be a constant up and down. 

Maybe someone could give us the lowdown on the why and how's.

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:06 AM

Chicago Rapid Transit's 4000 series cars had their side doors at the end of the carbody, not at quarter points like later CTA equipment.  I would assume that the door controls were placed outside the car to avoid taking a door out of service for a conductor station.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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