Pacing

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Pacing
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:00 PM

Somewhere here a couple months ago - around the time of the 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Big Boy and 844 trains, and shortly afterwards - I seem to recall there was a thread about pacing, but I can't find it now. 

Anyway, I thought of and may have mentioned a frontispiece article in Trains.  I finally found* a reference to it - it was about E7's or E8's as I recall - and this entry explains it as well as I could:

Pacing the Panama on a South Shore train
from Trains June 1968  p. 23
e8  ic  Limited  panama 

*I've always thought Golightly was a pseudonym (pen name), but now I'm not so sure.  I saw it earlier today in another thread - the steam-powered rocket one, I think - in one of the historic reprints of a magazine article, likely from Mike/ wanswheel

- PDN.

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:40 PM

Paul, I remeber that item about riding a South Shore train alongside the Panama--and wishing I could been there.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11:43 PM

One of my favorite short articles, remember the vivid imagery of slowly passing the train. Also comments in subsequent issues about the acceleration rate of M.U.'s versus locomotive hauled trains.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:10 AM

Deggesty

Paul, I remeber that item about riding a South Shore train alongside the Panama--and wishing I could been there.

 
Not quite the same as the "Panama Ltd", but I've paced a number of freights while riding the South Shore, almost always in the southbound direction.  I do remember pacing the "Shawnee" (remnant of the "Seminole") on a Sunday evening and that it had about a dozen deadheading Harriman coaches in the consist.
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:21 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
 
Deggesty

Paul, I remeber that item about riding a South Shore train alongside the Panama--and wishing I could been there. 

Not quite the same as the "Panama Ltd", but I've paced a number of freights while riding the South Shore, almost always in the southbound direction.  I do remember pacing the "Shawnee" (remnant of the "Seminole") on a Sunday evening and that it had about a dozen deadheading Harriman coaches in the consist.

Got to ride the Panama as a kid, don't recall pacing any CSSB trains.

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:01 AM

I rode the IC's Pannyma (as the IC people in South Mississippi called it) and the Seminole  out of Chicago once each, and also did not notice any South Shore train  alongside. Nor, when I rode the South Shore to South Bend and back did I have the pleasure of running alongside an IC train. Oh, well, not all of us can have that interesting experience of pacing without having to worry about other traffic along our way.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:19 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr

Somewhere here a couple months ago - around the time of the 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Big Boy and 844 trains, and shortly afterwards - I seem to recall there was a thread about pacing, but I can't find it now. 

Anyway, I thought of and may have mentioned a frontispiece article in Trains.  I finally found* a reference to it - it was about E7's or E8's as I recall - and this entry explains as well as I could:

Pacing the Panama on a South Shore train
from Trains June 1968  p. 23
e8  ic  Limited  panama 

*I've always thought Golightly was a pseudonym (pen name), but now I'm not so sure.  I saw it earlier today in another thread - the steam-powered rocket one, I think - in one of the historic reprints of a magazine article, likely from Mike/ wanswheel

- PDN.

 

 

The link did not yield the story, only an index. Is that as good as it gets? Naturally, they want you to buy the back issue.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 3:18 PM

Imagine the "races" out of Chicago, between NYC and PRR.  I don't have any idea how far the two ran side-by-side, but I'd imagine it was fun for the passengers, too.  

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Posted by CShaveRR on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:48 PM

Every once in a while, UP will enertain Metra's passengers on the West Line with a freight that may fall behind or outstrip the scoot.  It wouldn't be a contest, except for the station stops.  

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:53 PM

tree68

Imagine the "races" out of Chicago, between NYC and PRR.  

Born too late to really have experienced the NYC-PRR race out of Chicago, but did have first hand experience with two BART trains leaving McArthur station at the same time (Back when Concord service was McArthur to Concord).

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, August 15, 2019 7:16 AM

It can get quite interesting when the pacing is between two 767's at 35,000 feet westbound over the Pacific.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:15 AM

This takes me back to 1961 when I moved to an apt in Berwyn IL next to the BN three track "racetrack". I watched in happy amazement as a Scoot (commuter) train came outbound on the North track, the Denver Zepher passed the Scoot on the middle track and an outbound freight crawled past on the south track. Most train activity I had seen since Cincinnati Union station. And for pacing, as Carl notes, frequently I have been on a scoot and we pass a freight just coming out of the Cicero yard and then slow for a station stop and the freight passes us only for us to overtake it after the stop. When the freight gets up to 45mph, he usually leaves us behind.

And this is for Balt. That three track BN Chicago racetrack must be a fun job to dispatch. The Metra rush hour commuter volume is I suspect only matched by the PRR & Long Island Penn Station density. It has in the evening outbound locals on the north track being overtaken by outbound express trains on the center track and the inbounds on the south track. Throw in a late Amtrak CZ or SW Chief and the dispatcher has his hands full. I've watched the CZ come East on the center track, pass an inbound scoot at Downers Grove, and move over to the South track in front of said scoot, while an outbound scoot does its business on the north track. As soon as the CZ got off the center track, about two minutes later an outbound express to Naperville roars through on the center track, followed three minutes later by an express to Downers Grove coming off the center track to the north track. What a show. 

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:48 AM

tree68
Imagine the "races" out of Chicago, between NYC and PRR.  I don't have any idea how far the two ran side-by-side, but I'd imagine it was fun for the passengers, too.  

I understand that both RRs adjusted their schedules to get the two trains to meet where the tracks got close, just so they could race to where they diverged.

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:03 PM

Electroliner 1935
And this is for Balt. That three track BN Chicago racetrack must be a fun job to dispatch. The Metra rush hour commuter volume is I suspect only matched by the PRR & Long Island Penn Station density. It has in the evening outbound locals on the north track being overtaken by outbound express trains on the center track and the inbounds on the south track. Throw in a late Amtrak CZ or SW Chief and the dispatcher has his hands full. I've watched the CZ come East on the center track, pass an inbound scoot at Downers Grove, and move over to the South track in front of said scoot, while an outbound scoot does its business on the north track. As soon as the CZ got off the center track, about two minutes later an outbound express to Naperville roars through on the center track, followed three minutes later by an express to Downers Grove coming off the center track to the north track. What a show. 

As a kid, riding the B&O, was in the 'races' between B&O & PRR from Washington Union Station to just beyond F Tower where the PRR rails turned to the East.  Info from my father - In the early 20's the PRR K-4's would out accelerate the B&O's early Pacifics,  when the B&O got their President P-7 Pacifics in 1927 they would leave the K-4's in the dust, then when the PRR electified with the GG-1's the competition was all in the PRR's favor.

Dispatching the BD Desk (RF&P) on CSX has elements of high volume commuter traffic interspersed with Amtrak traffic as well as CSX freight traffic - especially between Union Station (CP Virginia) and Control Point 'AF', as between those points you have both the Fredericksburg & Manassas VRE commuter schedules as well as all Amtraks that operate on the I-95 corridor as well as those that operate on the NS to Manassas and beyond.  CSX freight traffic in both directions stir the situation.  While it is only 8 miles between CP Virginia and CP AF, the territory is triple track from Virginia to L'enfant where it becomes 2 tracks for 1.4 miles over The Long Bridge over the Potomac where it becomes 3 tracks again at CP RO and remains 3 tracks to CP AF where the configuration has 4 Main tracks as well as the 'South Siding' and the 'North Pass Track' - NS accesses CSX from both the East and West sides of the CSX North-South Mains.  At times a very lively piece of railroad.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 15, 2019 2:12 PM

BaltACD
In the early 20's the PRR K-4's would out accelerate the B&O's early Pacifics, when the B&O got their President P-7 Pacifics in 1927 they would leave the K-4's in the dust, then when the PRR electified with the GG-1's the competition was all in the PRR's favor.

There was a picture in an issue of Trains in the late '60s that showed a brace of P-7s supposedly handily out-accelerating a GG1 that was putting up a remarkable cloud of dust.  I wondered then, as I wonder now, if the relative position was an accident of the time the shutter was snapped, and the PRR train would be storming ahead just a few seconds later... but the caption said no, it wouldn't.

(And it wouldn't be surprising to find that a 4-6-6-4 with 27x28" cylinders could accelerate pretty darn quickly...)

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2019 2:18 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
In the early 20's the PRR K-4's would out accelerate the B&O's early Pacifics, when the B&O got their President P-7 Pacifics in 1927 they would leave the K-4's in the dust, then when the PRR electified with the GG-1's the competition was all in the PRR's favor. 

There was a picture in an issue of Trains in the late '60s that showed a brace of P-7s supposedly handily out-accelerating a GG1 that was putting up a remarkable cloud of dust.  I wondered then, as I wonder now, if the relative position was an accident of the time the shutter was snapped, and the PRR train would be storming ahead just a few seconds later... but the caption said no, it wouldn't.

(And it wouldn't be surprising to find that a 4-6-6-4 with 27x28" cylinders could accelerate pretty darn quickly...)

I only know the stories my father related to me.  As we all know today - a single picture doesn't answer all possible questions or support all positions.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, August 15, 2019 4:37 PM

The picture that Overmod references was a frontispiece with commentary by David P. Morgan in the late 1960's, I think.  He did write it in terms of a race, and used several lines of the lyrics from Stephen Foster's Camptown Races as part of it.  But even he acknowledged that despite the B&O being in the lead at the moment, the PRR engineer would open the GG1's throttle and rapidly outrun the B&O train. 

The Magazine Index isn't working right now, so I can't provide a citation.  Maybe later. 

- PDN.

Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio leaving Washington
from Trains July 1966  p. 18
B&O  electric  prr  race  steam 
"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:44 PM

BaltACD
Dispatching the BD Desk (RF&P) on CSX has elements of high volume commuter traffic interspersed with Amtrak traffic as well as CSX freight traffic - especially between Union Station (CP Virginia) and Control Point 'AF', as between those points you have both the Fredericksburg & Manassas VRE commuter schedules as well as all Amtraks that operate on the I-95 corridor as well as those that operate on the NS to Manassas and beyond.  CSX freight traffic in both directions stir the situation.  While it is only 8 miles between CP Virginia and CP AF, the territory is triple track from Virginia to L'enfant where it becomes 2 tracks for 1.4 miles over The Long Bridge over the Potomac where it becomes 3 tracks again at CP RO and remains 3 tracks to CP AF where the configuration has 4 Main tracks as well as the 'South Siding' and the 'North Pass Track' - NS accesses CSX from both the East and West sides of the CSX North-South Mains.  At times a very lively piece of railroad.

Are all tracks signalled for both directions. Is there any track assignments for the Alexandria VA station or can you use any track there?

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:59 PM

Electroliner 1935
 
BaltACD
Dispatching the BD Desk (RF&P) on CSX has elements of high volume commuter traffic interspersed with Amtrak traffic as well as CSX freight traffic - especially between Union Station (CP Virginia) and Control Point 'AF', as between those points you have both the Fredericksburg & Manassas VRE commuter schedules as well as all Amtraks that operate on the I-95 corridor as well as those that operate on the NS to Manassas and beyond.  CSX freight traffic in both directions stir the situation.  While it is only 8 miles between CP Virginia and CP AF, the territory is triple track from Virginia to L'enfant where it becomes 2 tracks for 1.4 miles over The Long Bridge over the Potomac where it becomes 3 tracks again at CP RO and remains 3 tracks to CP AF where the configuration has 4 Main tracks as well as the 'South Siding' and the 'North Pass Track' - NS accesses CSX from both the East and West sides of the CSX North-South Mains.  At times a very lively piece of railroad. 

Are all tracks signalled for both directions. Is there any track assignments for the Alexandria VA station or can you use any track there?

Passenger trains cannot use Track #1 in making their station stops at Alexandria, only tracks #2 & #3, there is a fence between #2 track and #1 track.  South of AF toward Fredericksburg VRE's must operate on #2 track in both directions accout station configurations.  Note-Some VRE stations can handle trains on both #2 & #3 Main tracks, however, there is at least one station between each Control Point that requires operation on #2 track, so from a Dispatchers perspective all VRE's between Fredericksburg and Alexandria are operated on #2 track.

Further NOTE - on the RF&P Numbers 2 and 3 are the Main tracks - as they were when the territory had current of traffic signalling, when #2 would have been the Northbound track and #3 the Southbound track.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, August 15, 2019 7:31 PM

A little more on the former RF&P. Unless there has been a major rebuilding effort in the past few years, track #1 exists  only in several locations (Balt, do you have any knowledge as to why the two tracks that run the full distance are numbers 2 and 3?

As to Fredericksburg, the track is elevated at the station, with an elevator on only one side (by track 2), but with ramps on both sides. The two times that I rode from there to Washington, my cousin and I waited by track 2 for the train--and both times the train came in on track 3. The first time, there was no announcement; the second time there was an annoucement a minute or so before the train arrived; in both instances there was quite a movement--down to the street level, under the track, and up the ramp. If my cousin had not been with me, I would have missed the train, for she raced down and up, and told the conductor that I was coming (pushing my rollator). This stook plsce so quickly I did not get to hug my cousin goodby the second time.

As to Alexandria, last year, I came in from Meridian, Mississippi, and detrained next to the station--and when I boarded to continue to Washington, I boarded an Amtrak train on the same track. I may misremember, but it seems to me that the track next to  the station is called "track 2" (in Fredericksburg, the tracks are called in accord with RF&P practice).

For the information of those who are not aware of the RF&P practice, the zero milepost is in Richmond.

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:41 PM

Above is the Timetable schematic for AF.

The RF&P is using, I think, a form of the PRR track numbering scheme - with the railroad being North-South - from the East Side the tracks are numbered 1 - 2 -3 - 4.  On the PRR the 'middle tracks' #2 & #3 were the express tracks.  There are a few locations where there are tracks #1 and #4.  Some of these CSX have now designated as sidings instead of Main tracks.

During the years that the BD Desk was in Baltimore.  #1 track was extended from AF South to Franconia 6.3 miles.  #1 track has been extended North from Crossroads to Hamilton 2.5 miles and now ends at Control Point Fredericksburg making it 5.7 miles in length.  Crossroads is the Control Point that leads to VRE's maintenance faciltiy for Fredericksburg.

Greendale milepost CFP 4.8 is the Control Point that separates the Florence Division and it's Richmond Terminal from the Baltimore Division.  It is controlled by the Florence Division dispatcher.  #4 track has been extended from Richmond's Staples Mill station to Greendale to facilitate Amtrak operations at Staples Mill.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, August 16, 2019 1:52 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr
The picture that Overmod references was a frontispiece with commentary by David P. Morgan in the late 1960's, I think.  He did write it in terms of a race, and used several lines of the lyrics from Stephen Foster's Camptown Races as part of it.  But even he acknowledged that despite the B&O being in the lead at the moment, the PRR engineer would open the GG1's throttle and rapidly outrun the B&O train. 

The Magazine Index isn't working right now, so I can't provide a citation.  Maybe later. 

- PDN.

Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio leaving Washington
from Trains July 1966  p. 18
B&O  electric  prr  race  steam 
 

 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, August 18, 2019 9:30 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr
Somewhere here a couple months ago - around the time of the 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Big Boy and 844 trains, and shortly afterwards - I seem to recall there was a thread about pacing, but I can't find it now. 

Anyway, I thought of and may have mentioned a frontispiece article in Trains.  I finally found* a reference to it - it was about E7's or E8's as I recall - and this entry explains it as well as I could:

Pacing the Panama on a South Shore train
from Trains June 1968  p. 23
e8  ic  Limited  panama 

*I've always thought Golightly was a pseudonym (pen name), but now I'm not so sure.  I saw it earlier today in another thread - the steam-powered rocket one, I think - in one of the historic reprints of a magazine article, likely from Mike/ wanswheel

- PDN.

It's not a frontispiece, but rather a one-page essay in the middle of that issue.  Here it is: 

THREE LOVELY LADIES
Ever really watch E8’s?
J Golightly
I     ILLINOIS CENTRAL No. 5, the Panama Limited, departs 63rd Street, Chicago, at 4:40 p.m. daily, and Chicago, South Shore & South Bend No. 201 leaves 63rd Street at 4:41 p.m. Monday through Friday.  By the time the two trains approach 71st Street, the four-car interurban is catching up to the streamliner and the stage is set for a pageant that is performed five times weekly.  Stand in the vestibule of one of the ancient orange South Shore cars, slide back the cab window, and watch the show.  
     The old interurban is running as fast as it can.  You hear the motors whining outside and the familiar slam-banging of the striker plates and buffers.  You don’t even notice the 10 or so people standing in the vestibule with you.   Slowly you draw abreast of the Panama’s immaculate observation car, where six or seven people peer through the curved glass at the rickety apparition going past. 
     Pullman cars.  Ladies, men, porters.  Dining car.  Waiters, flower vases.  The parlor car, with its fascinating six-wheel trucks.  Coaches.  People, faces, coats on hangers.  Baggage car.  A bald head bent over a tiny standup desk.  A deep roar – a familiar one – getting louder.  And up front comes the crowning glory.  The Panama is reaching its running speed just as No. 201 draws even with the three shouting E8’s.  They’re about 30 feet away, running wide open. 
     Have you ever watched an E8 running at full speed?  I mean really watched it – not just observed it as it ran by or listened to it pumping off the air, but traveled along beside it, 30 feet away, matching its speed. 
     The journals of the massive A1A’s leap up and down in their pockets, looking for all the world like the hooves of a galloping steed.  The big units seem to glide along without effort.  The roar isn’t quite deafening, but the six V-12’s are sparing no effort to be heard.  The sides of the units are shiny clean – the familiar yellow rivulets streaming back from the radiator grids haven’t yet formed.  The ladies are long, graceful, and sleek, but their voices are not at all ladylike.  They’re immense and powerful, and very deep.  The air compressors can’t be mistaken, with their tsk, tsk . . . tsk as they snap on and off.  Little jets of steam escape from between the units and disappear.  The steam and the blue exhaust combine to make that smell La Grange made famous.  It is a scent befitting these ladies. 
     Ever so slowly, you draw abreast of the cab of the lead unit.  There sits The Hogger, majestically oblivious to the presence of the little commuter train.  He sits with one arm on the armrest, sipping his coffee.  The plaid Thermos jug rests atop the control stand; he knows it won’t fall off, and you know he knows it.  The horn cord swings lazily about, and so does the coiled cord of the radio-telephone.  You wonder what it is he’s yelling across to the fireman. 
     111th Street.  The dull rumble from beneath the commuter car is the sound of the brakes being set up for the stop at 115th Street.  The Panama steps out ahead and the sextet of V-12’s sings its farewell in harmony.  The long string of brown-orange cars continues its sprint south.  
     No. 201 stops, starts again, and crosses the IC main behind the Panama’s markers to head east.  The Panama Limited is out of sight now, but above the tracks is a hazy blue cloud and a block signal showing red.  I
 
 [The background to this essay is an impressionistic black-and-white drawing of the nose of an E-unit, viewed almost vertically from track level, with a number 4018.  Looks like one of John Swatsley’s renderings, perhaps in pencil, but I don’t have enough art knowledge to know for sure.]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good writing like this is hard to find anymore.  Much better than discussing the 3rd paint scheme on a Dash 8 whatever.

- PDN. 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 10:01 PM

Beautiful. Thanks for the post and the memories.

On a significantly grosser note, has anyone of you ever used the porcelain throne that is behind the second prime mover of an E-8 when it is running at 80 mph wide open? Not something you choose without need.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, August 19, 2019 2:41 AM

Lithonia Operator
Paul_D_North_Jr

Somewhere here a couple months ago - around the time of the 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Big Boy and 844 trains, and shortly afterwards - I seem to recall there was a thread about pacing, but I can't find it now. 

Anyway, I thought of and may have mentioned a frontispiece article in Trains.  I finally found* a reference to it - it was about E7's or E8's as I recall - and this entry explains as well as I could:

Pacing the Panama on a South Shore train
from Trains June 1968  p. 23
e8  ic  Limited  panama 

*I've always thought Golightly was a pseudonym (pen name), but now I'm not so sure.  I saw it earlier today in another thread - the steam-powered rocket one, I think - in one of the historic reprints of a magazine article, likely from Mike/ wanswheel

- PDN.

 

 

The link did not yield the story, only an index. Is that as good as it gets? Naturally, they want you to buy the back issue.

Sorry, but that's as far the you can get with the Magazine Index.  I provide it in case anyone does want to find and buy the back issue, but I don't think Kalmbach even stocks them that far back anymore.  Or, for those of us who have paper copies or the electronic version, to facilitate looking it up.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, August 19, 2019 7:22 AM

I haven't done it in years, but before I was married I was able to pick up a lot of past issues of TRAINS (and other stuff) at various swap meets.  I wouldn't know how well that would work today.

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

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