Bowie Race Track Question(s)

2099 views
49 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,594 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:13 PM

rcdrye
The only PRR roster I can find doesn't show a steam generator on PRR 8776

Hahn notes six DR-4-4-1000s and RS12s 8975 and 8776 all equipped with Vapor OK-4516s.  He has no clear picture of 8776's short hood, but I can see the exhaust stack in one (top of page 121).

As an aside, RS12 8110 was given a larger steam generator (OK-4625, the same size used on GG1s) in part precisely for use on long standing consists at events like the Army-Navy game.  (I thought, a bit uncharitably, this 'counted' a bit more than the railbird service to Bowie!)

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:35 PM

rcdrye-- So more mystery of sorts. Does the 8776 or doesn't it? What is it doing there? The eyes say that train is lined up ready to take patrons back for the short 1/2 hour hop to Baltimore. No biggie,... right?

Wanswheel-- Beat me to it. Would have to have done this from work, not the greatest idea, as you cannot put a disk into an iPad. Good old E. A. Behr...he did a lot of 'photojournalism' write ups for Trains Magazine in those days. Now people say 'things were much more simple in those days' but I do not think so! That is quite an operation by Pennsy and to think they made money at it, enough so to be worth the effort, is mind boggling. Just look at all those employees, conductors, engineers, fireman, brakeman, having a little get together in front of all those K4's. All on Special Trains, probably some extra overtime involved. 

Todays activist investors would have shut this down in 2 minutes. Oh the horrors! Saunders, far away yet, thinking, "what a buch of rubes, I could put this in my pocket". 

I was a big pony guy for a long time. Woodbine, Fort Erie, Mohawk, Flamboro, I was there. Fancied myself as a pretty astute handicapper. Best I ever did on a single ticket was $34,000 and something on a win 4 ticket. Cashed it in at the same teller window I placed the bet and gave the gal a $500 tip and she started crying, bought a round for the bar, after the meet stopped at St. John's Church in Burlington near my home, knocked on the Rectory door and gave the Priest $700 bucks and said this was Gods money. He looked stunned. That was that and I went home. Why $700, I dunno. 

Had many good days at the track, and my share of failures. Everything went south when the Casinos came in and horse racing went downhill. All those tracks got Casinos and the wide open spaces were gone leaving the racing fans little room and outside. Then they banned smoking anywhere and everywhere at all the tracks. That was the end of that for me. Now you can sit at home, see no one, interact with no one, use pay pal or whatever, chips and beer from a lazy boy recliner, place your bet by phone or 'puter getting fat and dumber by the minute. No thank you. I moved to the frontier. 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,594 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:42 PM

Note a couple of details in the Trains article wanswheel linked.

I was right, as it turns out, about having two trains lay over in the tail of the wye.  Not every day, but days when 10 trains were run for 8 tracks...

There is a considerable upgrade to the 'terminal' tracks, and the sharp approach curve means that loaded trains can stall easily and will need pushing.  That would be the most likely job for a couple of MUed Baldwins; the usual operation was that the road power would push the train downgrade and then through the wye, then back up to one of the tracks -- I see little difference between K4s and E units in ability to perform that operation with empty consists, but if a little additional 'kick' were required to get back uphill, we would expect to see the coupler doors on the fronts of the E units open and ready...

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, April 19, 2018 2:40 PM
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,594 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:06 PM

wanswheel
LIRR probably was earliest to run race trains.

Actually Brooklyn & Jamaica, before it became part of the LIRR, which built both the line and station to Union Course, opened April 1836.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,062 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:25 PM

This is getting more and more interesting.  It's almost like archaeology with you boys digging up a lost world!

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 20, 2018 12:28 AM

Yeah. A bit like Raiders of the Lost Arc.

Well I for one would just love to do a day at Bowie on a fine crisp sunny day and enjoying beyond measure a fine ride behind K4's. I'll take the extended trip as advertised from Pennsylvania Station making the connection at Baltimore. A working mans track suits me just fine, as being a underground Mining guy at the root of it all, smokin' and cursin' and gamblin' is a natural thing in my world.  

Here's a tidbit for you all. Having played the horses at several American tracks, Chicago ( Arlington and Hawthorne) and Columbus (Scioto..they have a ton of my money left behind),  Santa Anita out West in Arcadia ( oh! the backdrop of the mountains!) and the old Tropical in Florida there is a slight different terminology in language for types of bets...We have the Triactor and Exactor but in the USA it's Trifecta and Exacta.

I sort of like the somewhat pretentious sound of 'ta' at the end. Our 'tor' is too harsh and unromantic. It's manly though.

The Quinella was common to both countries but no one has offered Quinella bets in Canada in many years. It's just gone.  Daily Double, Win, Place, Show is the same. Other exotic bets are simply obvious such as Win 4, Pick 6, Super7, that sort of thing and up to the track to offer them. 

For about a ten year period I had to remember where I was. Ta or Tor.

So who wants to come along? Hope Firelock comes because we can swap smokes, my John Players or McDonalds Export for Marlboros or Camels. Plus I know he can curse. 

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,273 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 20, 2018 6:45 AM

Rockingham Park in Salem NH has been knocked down for some depressing mixed retail/business/condo development, after a period of years as a "simulcast" racing facility with no live racing.  Boston and Maine ran racetrack specials there from Boston for almost 10 years after the regular doodlebug (between Manchester NH and Lawrence MA) was discontinued.  RDCs made turning the trains easy...

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 20, 2018 10:28 AM

Yeah but just think of the huge increased tax revenue from multi-use development...name of the game for the politicians. 

Sorry to hear because Rockingham Park was legendary.

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,273 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 20, 2018 11:02 AM

The way New Hampshire does things all of the tax revenue from the devlopment goes to the town (Salem).  The revenue from horse and dog racing made up a substantial part of the state's budget in the days before the lottery.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 20, 2018 7:43 PM

So can we now say with a high degree of certainty that the RS12 and companion switcher were there to offer a 'la boosta' to the E's on the upgrade and not to power a train back to Baltimore? 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,062 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, April 20, 2018 9:00 PM

Actually Miningman, I'm into Pall Mall's now, they're on sale in most of the smoke shops I go to like "Joe Butts" a mile-and-a-half down the road or "Butt World" over by the Amtrak station.

Oh, I can curse all right, learned in the best school for it on Earth.  And let me tell you, I really wanted to let it rip on a machine I couldn't fix today, both on the machine itself and the people of dubious antecedants who designed it! 

And what WERE those RS12's DOING there?  Maybe there's some mysterys in life we're just not meant to know. 

I've gotta stop, I'm so beat this evening I'm mispelling just about every other word!  And that after beating Lady Firestorm at the Reader's Digest "Word Power" game earlier.  She hates me tonight. 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 20, 2018 9:50 PM

Sorry the boss Lady Firestorm is cheesed at you. Not good to have the Lady of the house mad at you just as the weekend starts. Tip-toe and speak very little.

Copy machines right? We had one last year on a 2 year lease that they changed out this fall. Thing was fabulous, I swear it would make Capuccino if you talked nicely to it. Then September comes along and we get this so called updated model. All Black. It is the Darth Vader of copiers. Vile thing. Eats toner like an S2 sucks water. Has a repeating glitch that has been fixed 20 different ways and still the guy has to drive up from Prince Albert frequently. Its a Japanese name but I think the Russians built it and glued the nameplate on. 

I was going to type Pall Malls but changed it to Camels for unknown reasons at the last second. It does not matter they were just examples. You would have a heart attack if you knew how much smokes are up here. 

Likely, unless someone has photos of how the switchers were used at Bowie we cannot be certain, but we uncovered a lot.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,062 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:06 AM

Yep, copy machines.

The biggest problem I can see with 'em nowadays is the manufacturors keep packing more and more "gee-whiz" gadgets and gizmos in them than the average person will ever use.  As good ol' Scotty of "Star Trek" fame once said, "The more ye complicate the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain!"

The Japanese didn't learn a thing from World War Two, they still don't know enough to quit when they're ahead! 

The price of smokes in Canada wouldn't surprise me, I almost have heart failure over what they cost in New Jersey when I go up for a visit!  So I go prepared with a couple of cartons.

And the "powers that be" up North scream about cigarette smuggling!  What did they think was going to happen when they taxed them into the stratosphere?

Sad thing about history, no-one ever learns from it.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 21, 2018 5:42 PM

Yeah we have come a heck of a long way and fairly rapidly from the acetone days. All the handouts, in full colour, hole punched and stapled...sent wirelessly to another part of the building altogether. Definitely something we never had in our days of school and yet education levels keep declining. We never had it so good, easy and effortlessly. 

I stick to the whiteboard, 4 times more than any other instructor at the school. Printed handouts come out at the very end of class, power points are for treats and brain breaks. 

Not quite the same thing but we have a 3D printer now that can model orebodies for crying out loud. Now when those things jam...whoooboy, what a mess and (usually) expensive repair with tangled nylon every which-a-way. I'm not sitting there babysitting the thing over a weekend while it does it's thing. 

You need the racing form and all that incredible meticulous information done by a printing press to handicap...a.screen or interrupted broken up page photo copying simply is ineffective and useless. 

Do you think 20, 30, 50 years from now we can 3D print a full size Niagara in our own backyard? 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,062 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 21, 2018 6:02 PM

Vince, it wouldn't surprise me if 20, 30, or 50 years from now you wouldn't need to 3-D print a Niagara, a Virtual Reality experience may just have it covered, complete with coal smoke smell and vibrations.

It wouldn't quite be the same as running the real deal, but who knows?

Now that's a bit of over-the-top high-tech I just might enjoy!

And you're so right, all the high-tech available in the classrooms today and education levels keep declining.  An editorial in todays paper said two-thirds of millennials don't know what Auschwitz is, and 22% either have not heard of the Holocaust or aren't sure if they have!  Can you imagine?  What the hell?

You know, except when I was very young I can't recall a time when I didn't know what the Holocaust was, even before it got the name.  Growing up in the Northeast in the greater New York area it wasn't uncommon to run into Holocaust survivors.  They were especially noticeable during the summer months when people wore short sleeved shirts and dresses, the unmistakeable tattoo on their left forearms jumped right out at you.  Made my blood run cold to see it, not over the person themselves, but at the thought of the horrors they witnessed and lived though, horrors no-one should have to see.  Lady Firestorm worked as a waitress during high school and her first sight of one of those tattoos on a customer froze her in her tracks.  I can understand why.  Reading about it is one thing, seeing the living evidence is something else. 

Wayne

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: Calgary AB. Canada
  • 2,200 posts
Posted by AgentKid on Saturday, April 21, 2018 9:24 PM

Firelock76
coal smoke smell

The change in smells is what I notice when I am watching a train. The smell of creosote and journal box grease just isn't there.

About 15 or so years ago I was helping my Mom furniture shopping and afterward we were sitting outside a drive-thru hamburger place. We were talking and eating and all of a sudden there was an overpowering blast of creosote smell on the wind. We just stopped and looked at each other in shock, because we both new what that smell was.

We turned and looked at the road and there was a flat deck semi loaded with brand new railway ties. Mom burst out and said that is not how you run a railway, hauling ties on trucks!

I would like to have seen security footage of that moment, it would have been pretty funny.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,716 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 8:06 AM

Just to note that I did ride the doodlebug from Manchester to Lawrence before it was discontinued, in winter 1952-1953.  Stood next to the engineer most of the trip, riding on my B&M employees pass.

But stupid me, never took the opportunity to ride a B&M steam locomotive, and there were still quite a few running at the time, including Boston suburban service.  Not only Pacifics, but also still some 2-6-0's.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,553 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:07 PM

Yeah that is unfortunate. Still a doodlebug is good experience because I'm sure the RDC's were not long in coming or the service discontinued altogether. I'm thinking you likely thought you could ride the steam 'next time' but steam vanished so rapidly in New England it was simply astonishing. Tomorrow just never became available. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, April 27, 2018 1:23 PM

I dig the hell out of old videos at University of South Carolina Moving Image Recource Center. At link a horse and Tom Thumb replica on the B&O race track.

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A22006

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter