Favorite place and time

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Favorite place and time
Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 07, 2018 3:35 PM

If you had to spend your entire railfanning existence in a 150 mile radius of one spot in a ten year period, when and where would it be?  For me, it would be Pittsburgh from the late 40's to the late 50's.  I'd have Pittsburgh, Altoona, Cumberland, Youngstown, Cleveland along with a thriving coalmining and steelmaking industry. I'd get the steam/diesel transition and miss all the bankruptcies.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 3:54 PM

Oh man, that's an easy one!

It'd have to be my home area, Northern New Jersey, say from 1945 to 1955.  All those 'roads, the New York Central, the Pennsylvania, the Erie, the Lackawanna, the New York Ontario & Western, the Reading, the Jersey Central, the Lehigh Valley, the Susquehanna, plus lesser 'roads like the Raritan River and the Middletown and New Jersey, most converging on the New York area, plus the added attraction of all those railroad marine fleets of ferrys and tugboats.  Steam to diesel transition era, but still quite a bit of steam left by 1955.  Non-stop action and a railfan's heaven, it had to be, considering all the photographs and amateur movies shot by so many at the time.  And you just might have run into legendary master railfan photographers like Bob Collins and the great Bob Malinoski at trackside!

Mind you, it would have to be the immediate post-war era.  During the war you didn't want to be caught dead by a busy rail line with a camera unless you had some friends on the railroad. 

I mean, you sure didn't want anyone to think you fit into this category!Whisper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4M0BW1GLnw

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 07, 2018 4:58 PM

I'll take St. Thomas, Ontario 1939-1949. Puts me in range of Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland ( as the crow flies across the Lake) and Hamilton and Toronto. A zillion branch lines going everywhere and busy busy. Maybe even in range of Altoona, again as the crow flies, to see the as delivered new nuttier failed attempts at first generation Diesel, but no further than '49. Get to see all the as delivered shiny T1's with their whole 6 month star status, if it was that. 

Yeah I know we had a fairly decent ten more year run up here with steam, but it was thinning out and too many look alike Diesels all over the place. To heck with that. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, July 07, 2018 7:28 PM

Well I'm from Cleveland so this may sound like sacrilidge or something, but I'd plop my butt down on the blue ridge and watch the A's, J's and Y's thunder up the grade.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 9:55 PM

Penny Trains

Well I'm from Cleveland so this may sound like sacrilidge or something, but I'd plop my butt down on the blue ridge and watch the A's, J's and Y's thunder up the grade.

 

And a very wise choice that would be!  Besides, you'd get to watch all that steam action up to 1960.

Maybe even later if it wasn't for that Philistine Stuart Saunders, but the less said about him the better.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, July 08, 2018 7:43 AM

I'd just go back to where I was in 1962.

Sydney, NSW, Australia. The steam era was ending and diesels (and main line electrification) were in full swing. 150 miles radius would be fine.

I'd prefer to have more money and time than a high school student could spare and I'd really like to have my Nikon D750 and a couple of laptops.

It would be good to have had then a train tracking system based on the GPS locator in the locomotive radio as we have now (but they didn't even have locomotive radios then).

Peter

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Posted by K4sPRR on Sunday, July 08, 2018 8:16 AM

Backshop, I am with you on this one.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:45 PM

Salida, CO in the late 40s thru late 50s.  In a 150 radius there is Denver, most of the Moffat line, the joint line, the La Veta Pass line, the NG Cumbres Pass, Poncha Pass and Marshall Pass lines, and of course the Royal Gorge/Tennessee Pass line.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, July 09, 2018 12:32 AM

I would pick Toronto, ON, starting in 1947.  I would get to see the might of CN and CP while they were still entirely steam-powered, and finish off with the Canadian  and Super Continental.  

Staying within the radius I would also make many trips to the Welland Canal, to watch steam-powered lakers go through the locks and carefully creep through the CASO swing bridge and blind curve through downtown Welland. 

Might even have enough room to take the Niagara, St Catharines and Toronto interurban down to Port Colborne, and soak up some sun on Nickel Beach, which is still a great place to hang out today.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, July 09, 2018 7:44 PM

This goes along with another "dream of timewarp" that I have.  If I could ride any trains, I'd start in New England with the B&M Flying Yankee.  Then accross New York on the Empire State to Buffalo where I'd catch the Century to Cleveland.  Then I'd side trip to Detroit on the Mercury and from  there to Toledo to catch up with the Century again for the run to Chicago.  After that, it would simply be a matter of picking between the Hiawathas, the Cities, the Super Chief and the Empire Builder to decide which routes to take in daylight and which to run at night.

And of course I'd take the Daylight between west coast cities.  I'd come home on the southern transcontinental route to ride Frisco's Texas Special and I.C.'s City streamliners and Southern's Crescent.  A side jaunt doen to Miami on FEC and ACL would be mandatory too!  Then back up to Norfolk to catch the Arrow to Cincy.  After that, I'd go commuter all the way home to Cleveland.

Wouldn't it be great!?!  Big Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:13 PM

You really did your homework on that one Becky, sounds like one helluva trip!

You know, I hope David Klepper looks in on this, I'll bet he actually did it!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 7:52 PM

All I needed was Great Trains East, Great Trains Heartland and Great Trains West to come up with that plan.  Wink

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 10:48 PM
I would pick Chicago during 1940 to 1950, it was the "capital" or base of my favorite Steam locomotives, like PRR S1, T1, S2, Q1, Q2, Milwaukee road Hiawatha Class A and F7, NYC streamlined Hudson, Niagara, J3a, The Green Diamond of Illinois Central Railroad and many other named train by Santa Fe and UP. : )
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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:17 PM

This might be stretching the 150 mile radius a little, I'd have to check a good map, but I'd say Duluth MN 1950-60. You'd get to see big steam on the DM&IR (and GN) on the Iron Range, and late steam and first generation diesels on NP, GN, Soo Line, DSS&A, and C&NW.

Minneapolis - St.Paul is about 150 mi. south, so could see the great passenger trains - Empire Builder, North Coast Limited, 400, Hiawatha, and others. Of course, I'd visit my hometown of Richfield just south of Minneapolis to see the Minneapolis Northfield and Southern's Baldwin and FM diesels...and in 1950, they still ran a few of their Russian Decapods.

About 150 miles northeast would be Port Arthur - Fort William Ontario (they didn't merge to become Thunder Bay until 1970), so you could see CN and CP trains, like the 1st CP Canadian, CN's Super Continental, and those great Canadian steam engines.

Stix

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