York

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York
Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 11, 2018 7:18 PM

 Whenever someone mentions the train show at York, it always reminds me of my time there in August '88. 1361 ran through the streets of town, on the Northern Central, and the Ma & Pa lines.

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 11, 2018 7:23 PM

York has a long railroad histor y. They were celebrating 150 years of railroad history there in '88. There was some locomotive manufacturing there in the early years, and Billmeyer and Small had a factory there building narrow gauge cars.

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 11, 2018 7:29 PM

It was great to see her run. The sound of that K-4 whistle echoing off the brick buildings was haunting ! I will never forget.

 Oh, and she is 100 this month. Built May 1918.

 This is what I think of every time someone mentions York !

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, May 11, 2018 8:46 PM

Have you heard?  Rail preservationist Bennett Levin is spearheading a drive to get 1361 up and running again.  New boiler, roller bearings, the works.

If Bennett's involved there's one thing you can be sure of, it'll get done.

And I still can't figure out how a locomotive restored and running in the 80's was totally FUBAR'd in the 90's.  Boggles the mind...

And don't you just love the look of a Pennsy K4?  No-nonsense, all power, as subtle as a clenched fist!   And it's hard to think of 1361 as a 100 year old locomotive.  I think 100 year old locomotive and the first thing that springs to mind is a Civil War era 4-4-0.

Here, let me bring her to life for all to enjoy...

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

1987.  It it really 31 years already?  Where'd the time go?

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 11, 2018 11:00 PM

Thank you, Firelock !

great news about 1361. Hope to have her back on the road again. I really enjoyed that clip, and the sound of her whistle.

Locomotive design is a balance, and they got it right with the K-4's, and that was the secret to their success. It's a 1914 design, but the free steaming boiler, and factor of adhesion were just right.  It's an American classic! 

Railroads through York were the Northern Central, which was Pennsy 'S route from Harrisburg to Baltimore, and on to D.C. The Ma &Pa, and Western Maryland had a presence as well.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 2:11 PM

Oh, pardon my manners!  This one's for Becky!  (Penny Trains)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3pLV9UDEQk

Good ol' 4070 on the Cuyahoga Valley Line.

I'll try to keep this topic like my grandmother's house, "No-one goes away hungry!"

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, May 12, 2018 2:53 PM

I enjoyed that, Firelock, but what's for dessert?

Love the USRA era, and loco design. Rode behind NKP 587 and 765 out of Chi town in '93. Got a huge cinder in my eye ! But loved the ride !

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Posted by Banks on Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:16 PM

For safety regulations the K4 wasn't permitted to operate on the main line. While being towed back from York on its last trip the main axel bearing were allowed to go dry. The resulting damage destroyed the axel. While attempting to repair this it was found the restoration was half assed. There were major deficiencies in both the boiler and tender. By this time the museum that owns it was out of money. A grant in excess of 1 million was obtained from the state of PA. It was stipulated  the work had to be done at Steamtown. There the money was all spent but there was only more disassembly to show for all the money that was spent. As I understand it was returned to Altoona in worse shape than it left. Supposedly a small group of volunteers continues to plug away at reassembly but at this rate it will be years til it's done.

Banks, Proud member of the OTTS  TCA 12-67310

I may not have every thing I desire but the LORD has come through with what I need

   

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:38 PM

we caught up with 1361 as she was being towed back to Altoona. They came through Lewistown about 5 mph. 

She's had  a rough life, but maybe we'll meet up again.

30 years exposed to the elements probably didn't do her any favors, either...

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 12, 2018 6:43 PM

Postwar Paul
what's for dessert?

How about one that SHOULD have been saved?

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, May 12, 2018 7:05 PM

What I miss in today's railroading world are all the distinctly different personalities, the corporate philosophies of the railroads.I love the Central, they Bought the best, largely from Alco.

Pennsy bucked every trend in railroading, and insisted their way was the best.

Gotta love 'em ! Their quirkiness, and " I did it my way" attitude. They built most of their motive power to very conservative standards that were out of step with the railroad industry as a whole. But, this is what is so fascinating about their story !

And the enormous size of their operation was truly incredible. Yes, I love 'em !

But my short list includes: 

Nickel Plate

U.P.  and Espee steam

Rio Grande standard and narrow gauge

NYC

Sante Fe.

and, they are each different in the way they ran their railroads !

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 8:51 PM

Penny Trains
 
Postwar Paul
what's for dessert?

 

How about one that SHOULD have been saved?

 

Thanks for that, Becky!  The Dreyfuss Hudson, you're so right, one SHOULD have been saved, or ANY Hudson should have been saved, and a Niagara as well.

Well, what can you do?  The people running the Central were businessmen, not historians.  The head-scratcher for me is a decade earlier they were bragging about how great their steamers were.  Come the 50's and they couldn't get rid of them fast enough.

And thanks for that insight Mr. Banks!  You know, back around 1989/1990 I'd heard "whispers" that the 1361 restoration wasn't as well done as it could have been, but nothing definate and nothing concrete, just "whispers."   And you can't make an opinion on whispers. 

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Saturday, May 12, 2018 10:49 PM

Central' Hudsons were magnificent! It is a shame to not have saved them. The steam to diesel era is fascinating, with the decisions being made, especially regarding the cost savings to retire the steamers.

All the railroads handled it differently. Some railroads opted to retire all steam immediately, when diesels were available to replace them. Some railroads kept steamers in storage as backup power to cover traffic upswings. A very few tried everything to develope a steam engine that was good enough to match the diesels productivity. Two examples of this: N&W, and the Pennsylvania. This was what all of Pennsy's experimental engines were about.

Eric Hirsimaki has a great book about this "Black Gold-Black Diamonds".

Paul

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, May 13, 2018 10:38 AM

Despite how 1361 ended up, I still have great memories of York. Glad to have seen her in better days, and I hope they get her back together.

A couple more things:

anyone interested in the PRR should go to the museum in Strasburg. Fantastic collection of Pennsylvania stuff !

Toy train museum nearby, which I'll need to go back and take another look...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 13, 2018 11:40 AM

We've been to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, great place with a super staff! 

And The Toy Train Museum down the road?  You'll love it in there!  The best way I can describe it is "Christmas morning gone berserk!"

Another fun place in the area is the "Choo-Choo Barn."  It's a BIG O gauge layout with scenes from the Lancaster County area modeled in great detail.  We call it the "Diabolical Choo-Choo Barn."  Why?  Well, after you view that superb layout you "get the fever" real bad, and when you exit the display you exit right into a model railroad hobby shop!  Don't ask how much money I spent...

Diabolical indeed!

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, May 13, 2018 6:19 PM

I love Choo Choo Barn! OMG! The animations ! The circus ! The gold fish in the pond ! Wow!

My only regret is the last time I was there in '08, I wasn't savvy enough to appreciate some of the trains in the Toy Train Museum.

Must.. Go.. Baaack........

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Posted by Michael6268 on Sunday, May 13, 2018 6:20 PM

Don't forget the Red Caboose Motel !  

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, May 13, 2018 7:07 PM

Or the Strasburg Railroad!  Big Smile

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, May 13, 2018 7:43 PM

Yes, yes, all wonderful suggestions. I really like Strasbourg 90, the 2-10-0. And 475, an N&W 4-8-0, like some of O. Winston Link's great pictures.

They are so hospitable there " go anywhere you like, just be careful".

First time I was there in '88, 1223, the Pennsylvania D-16 4-4-0 was running on the Strasbourg.

I've got a thing about pinstripes...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 13, 2018 8:22 PM

Strasburg PA, it's railfan heaven, that's for certain! 

That corner of Pennsylvania's an antiquer's playground as well.  Adamstown, Kutztown, Downingtown, you name it!

And for the bibliophile, there's Baldwin's Book Barn in West Chester.  Five floors of books in an old dairy barn.  You could lock me in there for the rest of my life and I'd never be bored.   www.bookbarn.com

And no surprise, the used books that go out the door the quickest are the railbooks, just like every other used book place.

I just love Pennsylvania!

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, May 13, 2018 10:14 PM

Colorado and Pennsylvania are great places for trains .

I missed out on that Red Caboose Motel. M6268 did you stay there ?

The Book Barn looks fantastic. There is so much history in that part of the country that is pre Revolutionary war, and this Barn looks like it could be.

I still have many slides from that '88 trip to Pa. that I will need to scan. Someday...

Happy to have seen 1361 in her brief return to service.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 5:47 PM

Glad we're all having fun here!  We ARE having fun aren't we?

Anyway, this has nothing to do with toy trains, so I hope I don't get in trouble, but for those who'd like a closer look at the "Book Barn" I found a short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY0Mt8S2UyQ

Fans of the place call it "Hogwarts Castle,"  it's so magical in there.

I should have a little train action.  Someone say "Strasburg?"

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

 

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Posted by Michael6268 on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:09 PM

Postwar Paul

Colorado and Pennsylvania are great places for trains .

I missed out on that Red Caboose Motel. M6268 did you stay there ?

The Book Barn looks fantastic. There is so much history in that part of the country that is pre Revolutionary war, and this Barn looks like it could be.

I still have many slides from that '88 trip to Pa. that I will need to scan. Someday...

Happy to have seen 1361 in her brief return to service.

 

 

No, we never stayed there but are still planning to someday! Looks really nice on their website.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:14 PM

And while we're still talkin' Strasburg, how's about a look at the National Toy Train Museum?

Before you start, have some paper towel handy.  Your mouth's going to start watering and you don't want to goob all over your keyboard, do you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZWINYr8U6U

Remember what I said about "Christmas gone berserk?"

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:25 PM

Michael,

thank you. Just curious , because I tried to book the Red Caboose in '88, but because it was over Labor Day Weekend, they did not want to break up days. They wanted someone to book all 3 days, which I can understand.So, I have never stayed there, but all the more reason to go back.

Firelock, 

when I went to the Toy Train Museum in '08, I had just barely learned about the steam turbines in O scale. Of course, being a Pennsy fan, this sealed the deal for me and Toy trains. Some of the more obscure prewar trains were quite foreign to me at the time. Even with the American Flyer, I knew very little. Of course, now I have a very great appreciation for Flyer, they made great stuff ! 

To go back there now , I would really have a much greater appreciation.

At the time, Choo Choo Barn stole the show, with their animations.

Paul

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:46 PM

Somebody say "Choo-Choo Barn?"

Here ya go...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h71UMWCmRBI

Neat video, but in a way it doesn't do the place justice, you really have to be there for the full impact.

 

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:12 PM

Well, thank you, Firelock !

 What an absolutely fun layout Choo Choo Barn is !

I've enjoyed seeing it again, and the fun memories !

Here's another thing :

in Western PA., the Carnegie Science Center layout in Pittsburgh. Great 3 rail layout with scenes from in and around Pittsburgh. Including Frank Lloyd Wright's " Falling Water", and the Pittsburgh inclines. Steel mills, and Forbes field. A must see in Pittsburgh !!!!

One more thing about 1361:

 it's not a K-4,

it's super sized 2035 !!

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, May 18, 2018 5:30 PM

A "super-sized 2035..."   So THAT'S what it is!   Just like that blockbuster Becky lucked into at a second-hand shop and gave a good home to.

I looked at the pictures she posted and muttered to myself, "Oh great, now I have to get one of those too!"

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:03 PM

She's a beauty alright!

And so is this little beasty:

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 18, 2018 8:26 PM

They're beautiful !!!

The Pennsy lives on, in one form or another. And Central's Hudsons have been made immortal, with so many beautiful engines from Flyer, and Lionel. 

All very well represented.

Thankfully...

All great railroads.

All classics!

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