Someone Shrunk The Traction!

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Someone Shrunk The Traction!
Posted by wallyworld on Thursday, February 18, 2010 9:54 AM

 This one made me smile....looks like very serious fun.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ku8OLRBD8&feature=related

 

Oh my aching back..

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGqzNDdhGrk&NR=1

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Posted by henry6 on Thursday, February 18, 2010 10:18 AM

RRVT?  Where?  Great! Narrow guage trolley or interurban museum or what?

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Posted by wallyworld on Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:04 PM

 It appears to be individually, privately owned or a club that runs miniature trains based on full size prototypes, although this is the first example ,of the many I have seen, that is based on traction, rather than steam....although I am aware of one individual in Wisconsin that had a small "home-built" traction line with live overhead in his backyard... This one in the video, according to the scant information attached to it.. is two foot gauge which makes it all the more intriguing. It's arguable if it is not actually an actual "railroad" in of itself..although not a commercial entity. The "peanut whistle" is quite a scaled down "honk"..it looks like a lot of fun...I don't know where they are or if they encouraging visitors via occasional open house..but Id love to see this little line in person.Quite a curio...the guy wedged inside the freight motor..in the video looks quite content...  

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Posted by henry6 on Thursday, February 18, 2010 3:27 PM

"...the guy wedged inside the freight motor..in the video looks quite content..."

I sure know I'd be!!!!  

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

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Posted by bedell on Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:18 AM

This was a great video - we all want one in our backyard.  Reminds me of a Youtube a while back showing a very primitive electric mine train somewhere in Europe.  It had a unique " human arm" trolley pole.  Can't seem to find it again on the youtube search.  Anybody remember it?

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, March 11, 2019 12:13 PM

In an effort to revive this thread from nearly 9 years ago, has anyone ever managed to figure out where this is?  If you go onto "YouTube" and do a search for "RRVT Trolley" or "RRVT Railroad" there are actually oodles of videos on there.  IT's really elaborate complete with live overhead and what appears to be a functioning automatic block signal system.

People have asked questions about it on youtube over the years but those questions nearly always go unanswered.  It's almost like they want this lovely little line kept a secret.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain,

Topeka, IN

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 11, 2019 12:32 PM

bedell
Reminds me of a Youtube a while back showing a very primitive electric mine train somewhere in Europe. It had a unique " human arm" trolley pole. Can't seem to find it again on the youtube search. Anybody remember it?

I remember this well: for some reason I remember the 'trolley pole' was actually two metal sticks that were touched to naked high-voltage conductors to make the thing go.  It was posted here or on RyPN with some kind of condescending title, perhaps making fun of contemporary Eastern European rail safety practices.  Perhaps Mike MacDonald still knows where it is.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, March 11, 2019 12:51 PM

Overmod

 bedell

Reminds me of a Youtube a while back showing a very primitive electric mine train somewhere in Europe. It had a unique " human arm" trolley pole. Can't seem to find it again on the youtube search. Anybody remember it?

Interesting - BUT - I'd still like to try and find out WHERE the RRVT is.  Somehow I have assumed it's somewhere near Chicago but I cannot verify that.  Another thing I've wondered about, perhaps "RRVT" is not even the real name of the layout.

Somewhere a few years ago I found an online map of the system but I can't find it anymore.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, March 11, 2019 3:25 PM

A little Google searching strongly suggests that RRVT refers to Rock River Valley Traction, a private live steamer layout in Chana, Il.

https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/railroads/US-clubs.htm

Only known contact is via email.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, March 11, 2019 4:35 PM

Well, whoever they are they're a private club or the line's privately owned, and they prefer to keep it that way.

Hey, their 'road, their rules.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:20 AM

MikeF90

A little Google searching strongly suggests that RRVT refers to Rock River Valley Traction, a private live steamer layout in Chana, Il.

https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/railroads/US-clubs.htm

Only known contact is via email.

 

Thanks, Mike !  I tried Googling, too, and Googled and Googled and Googled but I was not able to find this.

Now I've flown over the area using Google Earth and I could not see anything like that.  I couldn't even see the kind of scenery that was seen in the RRVT videos with lots of woods and hills.  So, that suggest that Chana, IL might be where the group is headquartered or where their P.O. Box is located but the railway itself is probably located somewhere else in the area.  I still think it might be in the greater Chicago area somewhere - but where?

After looking at a lot of those videos, the guy who'd posted them and who identified himself only as "CNW4145" said that the overhead catenary is energized with 250 VAC.  This is most definitely NOT something you'd want to bump your head on especially if you were well grounded.  You would probably do that once and never again.

So, they might be reluctant to let the public in there due to liability concerns.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 8:51 AM

Found this in one of the books Google scanned

The Engineering Record, Building Record and the Sanitary Engineer, Volume 48

 Fond du Lac Wis Chas D Smith Pres of the Rock River Valley Traction Co is reported to have said that his company has purchased the system of Janesville St Ry Co The company intends to build suburban and interurban lines one of which is to extend from Janesville by way of Milton Ft Atkinson Jefferson and Watertown to Fond du Lac Mr Smith has also had a survey made for an electric road from this city to Ripon and Green Lake 

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 11:34 AM

I thought I found a map of the line a few years ago but couldn't find it again.  But I looked at all or nearly all of the videos on YouTube of the RRVT and I finally, finally found it!

Here it is: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3ywUal6flY

It's obvious to me that someone has spent and awful lot of time and hard work on this project.  I wish there were more railways like this out there.

From what I have been able to garner after a lot of "Googling", it appears to have been started by a traction fan, historian and author named Stan Griffeth.  Not quite sure if he's still with us or not. It would be fun to see this sometime.

On one of those videos I also found that this is not open to the public at all, but traction fans are generally welcome.  I s'pose you'd have to make some kind of arrangements ahead of time with them.

Regards,

Fred M Cain,

Topeka, IN (not too terribly far from Chana, IL)

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 11:37 AM

rdamon

Found this in one of the books Google scanned

The Engineering Record, Building Record and the Sanitary Engineer, Volume 48

 Fond du Lac Wis Chas D Smith Pres of the Rock River Valley Traction Co is reported to have said that his company has purchased the system of Janesville St Ry Co The company intends to build suburban and interurban lines one of which is to extend from Janesville by way of Milton Ft Atkinson Jefferson and Watertown to Fond du Lac Mr Smith has also had a survey made for an electric road from this city to Ripon and Green Lake 

 

 
Rdamon,
 
Yes, it sounds like there was a REAL as in real world Rock River Valley Traction back in the day.  But that's not this miniature interurban railway.  There is also a Rock River Valley Trail in Iowa that's apparently been built on an abandon railroad right-of-way.
 
 
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Fred M. Cain
U.S. Route 66 Re-commissioning Initiative
www.bringbackroute66.com/
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Posted by Eastrail11 on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:34 PM

I was doing some research myself, and I came across another forum where there was some information about the RRVT. 

"I did some research on the RRVT which stands for the Rock River Valley Traction, somewhere in Illinois. The gentleman's name is Stan Griffith and he said the traction line was the outgrowth of a S gauge trolley system in his basement. He thought that it would be neat to be as small as a mouse and be able to ride on the model railroad. So with no training of any kind he set about to build what you see today. He says he does not welcome the public but rail fans are welcome. 

There is more of his story is at this website: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/27431145/THE-TWO-FOOTERS which was an online newsletter now defunct."

Here is the WayBackMachine link, which has some good information about it. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20110502075113/http://www.docstoc.com/docs/27431145/THE-TWO-FOOTERS

 

(here is the link to the other forum http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32198&start=75 )

 

~Eastrail

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:19 AM

Dear "Eastrail",

Hey!  Thanks for finding this article!  Now we know 100% for sure that it was, in fact, Stan Griffeth.  I thought it was him but wasn't completely sure.

However, this raises several new questions.  First of all, is Stan still with us?  I wonder if he is.  He mentioned that he first got to work on this back in the 1950s. I also found another article which was evidently published in the Shore Line's Magazine (First & Fastest) back in '09 where he'd remembered trolleys back before the Second World War.  The link to that article is here:  http://www.shore-line.org/_pdfs/StanGriffith_TopThis_Spring09.pdf 

But if Stan is no longer with us, that raises the next question as to what was the fate of his home-built railroad?  Is it even still there?  Did he bequeth it to some traction fans?  

It's also very possible that Stan is, in fact, still with us but in poor health.

Is there anybody out there in TRAINS Land who knows?

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:37 AM

Fred,

A whitepages searh found a possible Stan who is 80+ years old in Ashton, IL. His full contact information is online. 

 

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:51 AM

Robert,

Thanks for the information.  If he is over 80 then that would surely put him in the right age bracket.  Then again, Griffith is not an uncommon name so this might not be the one.  I s'pose I could call him and probably make a fool out of myself.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 1:47 PM

Fred M Cain
I s'pose I could call him and probably make a fool out of myself.

You'll note in the linked article that 'railfans are most welcome' ... not just traction fans.  He doesn't want 'the public' in there for all the usual reasons, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't tickled pink to hear from you and invite you to 'partake of the action'.  I certainly doubt he'd resent your calling him.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 2:06 PM

Overmod

 

 
Fred M Cain
I s'pose I could call him and probably make a fool out of myself.

 

You'll note in the linked article that 'railfans are most welcome' ... not just traction fans.  He doesn't want 'the public' in there for all the usual reasons, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't tickled pink to hear from you and invite you to 'partake of the action'.  I certainly doubt he'd resent your calling him.

 

 
Oh no! He wouldn't resent it at all!  Not in the least!  In fact, I don't even think he could hear me.  Because, you see, I'm afraid I found his obit online.  Pretty sure it's the same guy but not 100% sure.  
 
 
So, back to my other question.  What happened to his railroad?  Is it even still there?  I sent a couple of e-mails to the Shoreline association that publishes "First & Fastest".  I think they might really know but so far they have not responded.  By the way, First & Fastest is a wonderful quarterly newsletter that is not well known.  It covers traction topics from both the past and present in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.
 
Regards,
Fred M. Cain
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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:29 AM

Group,

I turned on my computer this morning to find some good news!  And, unfortunately some bad news.  Life is always a mixed bag.

I had sent an e-mail to the e-mail address for the RRVT found on this webpage that Mike had shared with us:

https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/railroads/US-clubs.htm

This morning I got a response back from someone associated with the RRVT.  First the bad news.  I have received verification that the guy who built the line (Stan Griffith) has, in fact, passed away.  The good news is the the line is STILL there and STILL operating!  The guys in charge are adding some new track and building some new equipment!

I hope to make it out there someday, although it's about a 4 - 5 hour drive there from where I live.

So, I guess I don't have much more to add to this thread unless I finally get out there then I'll have more to share.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain,

Topeka, IN

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Posted by Leverettrailfan on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1:26 PM

Going to kindly drag up this thread to share some good news: The RRVT Youtube channel is active again, with promise to release more videos throughout the coming year!! And they have done a great deal since the most recent old video- tracks have been almost entirely upgraded, a new reverse loop was added, and a new car was built, RRVT 119
I've always loved the RRVT, and I'm beyond ecstatic that there's going to be video more coverage of the line. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 4:50 PM

Great slideshow Leverett, thanks for the link!

That's no "fly-by-night" outfit, by any means.  That's a serious little locomotive they've put together!

PS:  Good to see you here!  I see your posts on the CTT Forum quite often.

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