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Castle Gate ( revisited)

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Castle Gate ( revisited)
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, July 19, 2018 12:22 AM

Pulled this image from SD70 Dude link to a National Geographic photo essay over on Trains on the Sahara Rwy line. 

One of Dave Kleppers favourite rail places/scenes.

... and, oh ya by the way, they blew up the castle tower on the right to widen the highway. So Castle Gate today is a Half Castle Gate.

 the in formation to the bulletin-board and other points around the station, advising the 200 or more porters, baggagemen, and others on what track and at what minute the train will stop.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, July 19, 2018 1:56 AM

I was hoping one of you would notice this, I too thought of Dave when I saw that shot.

My favourite is on page 399, the Brakeman leaning on the next car as he sets a stemwinder handbrake.  Better hope that brake club doesn't snap!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a free digital version of the article online, or else I would have had to scan and upload my own. 

As I write this I am leafing through my own copy of the April 1923 National Geographic issue, and the ads are even better than the articles!  LaFayette, Maxwell, Studebaker, Dodge Bros. and Willys-Knight automobiles, Dutch Boy lead paint, Remington typewriters and half-a-dozen different railroads promoting their vacation packages, including two full pages on Canadian Pacific's ocean liners. 

How times have changed!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, July 19, 2018 11:38 AM

I'm not even sure the real reason was to widen the highway. Think maybe it was a ritualistic showing that devils and demons rule this planet and we are all real stupid thinking we are smart. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 3, 2019 2:20 PM

My Yeshiva, like the Mt. Scopus Campus of Heb. U., has a beautiful view of most of Jerusalem from above.  I  was enjoying the view this afernoon, when the thought occured, what view in the USA do I miss most?  View of the Manhattan sky line or the Statue of Liberty from a Ellis Island or Staten Island ferry boat?  View of Denver down below from a train east of the Moffat Tunnel?   Others also came to mind, but I decided it was Castle Gate before its destruction.  And in truth, hardly a week goes by when I don't think about its loss.

Why does it bother me more than the loss of Penn Station, NY, some Manhattan and Brooklyn streetcar lines, the North Shore, the Liberty Bell Limited, the 20th Century and Broadway, and....?

I concluded that first, given enough money, time, and political will, all those could conceivably be restored, but not Castle Gate.

But perhaps more important it was one of a very few examples of nature (or the Eternal for religious person) paying a compliment to Humanity by imitating a work of the hands of human beings.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 3, 2019 3:15 PM

David has asked me to post these 2 pictures to follow up on his comment 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 3, 2019 6:57 PM

Blowing up a magnificent work of nature like Castle Gate was an affront to God.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 3, 2019 10:06 PM

Flintlock76
Blowing up a magnificent work of nature like Castle Gate was an affront to God.

Then what do you call what was done to Calypso Island?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 4, 2019 9:28 AM

Was this island destroyed in atomic weapons testing?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:29 AM

Miningman actually posted a great color picture on the original thread:

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:33 AM

daveklepper
Was this island destroyed in atomic weapons testing?

Although it might as well have been ... look up the history of the Lehigh Valley and note why Calypso Yard has that name.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 4, 2019 12:03 PM

Well I went looking for Calypso Island and Calypso Yard, and the only "Calypso Island"  I could find was Ogygia, where Odysseus hung out with the nymph Calypso for seven years.

I can understand why, she was supposed to be a hottie!

The Lehigh Valley's Calypso Island?  All I found out was the Lehigh Valley puchased it for 20 G's and made a yard out of it back in 1904.  

Found nothing on Calypso Yard, unless you're interested in some yard sales on various Calypso Streets.

Overmod, I love ya' bro, but the next time you want to make a point will you NOT be so bloody obscure? 

I mean, what's it tell you when you've got someone like Dave Klepper who's ridden every foot of rail in the country scratching his head wondering what you're talking about?   

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 4, 2019 12:33 PM

Flintlock76
Well I went looking for Calypso Island and Calypso Yard, and the only "Calypso Island" I could find was Ogygia, where Odysseus hung out with the nymph Calypso for seven years.

You're Googling the wrong way.  Use "Calypso Island Lehigh Valley" and the whole first page is relevant.  And far better explained than I could do with one of my word salads.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 4, 2019 1:02 PM

I thought I tried that.  I'll try it again.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 4, 2019 1:18 PM

A small 13 acre Island paradise adored by the public was sold to the Lehigh Valley who destroyed it by using the land as fill to straighten out a curve. 

Unlike Castle Rock it is conceivable but incredibly unlikely that the island could be reconstructed and in a hundred years or so once again be a paradise, won't be original ever,  but Castle Rock cannot be put back. 

Stupid is as stupid does.

My immediate neighbour clear cut 200 feet of old growth timber, huge Spruce, Poplar, Aspen and Tamarack, right along my fenceline. Followed by 3 days of a bonfire the size of a bus, this very weekend. I am sickened by it, my house smells of strong smoke, as does everyone else in the hood. Looks gawd awful now. Suppose they think they are masters of the their land now. I called the village office 3 times and got no reply.

Stupid is as stupid does. 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 4, 2019 1:58 PM

Seems at one time the Lehigh Valley appreciated the Island. 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 4, 2019 2:09 PM

But apparently changed their mind 3 years later in 1904

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 4, 2019 7:35 PM

Well look at it this way.  The Moravians made $20,000 from the sale, so they were happy.  Bethlehem residents found other places to go, so they didn't miss Calypso Island in the long run.

And as Vince said, it someone wanted to Caypso Island could always be restored.  How do you restore something like Castle Gate?  

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, August 4, 2019 8:17 PM

How do you restore something like Castle Gate?

It is impossible. A pinnacle could be built--but it would not be the same.

I became aware of what had been done when my wife and I were on our way from Denver to Salt Lake City in July of 1972; the conductor commented that the highway department had torn their side  down.

Johnny

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 4, 2019 8:50 PM

Lego. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 5, 2019 9:24 AM

Miningman

Lego. 

 

Well, yeah.  I suppose a huge Lego Castle Gate would be a tourist attraction in it's own right!

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, August 5, 2019 10:54 AM

Absolutely, Wayne--to Lego fanatics.

Johnny

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 19, 2023 4:28 AM

I am a  religious person, but any American religious person may say this:

I mourn deeply for my friends and relatives whose life was ended in the recent Hamas massacre in the south of the Holy Land.

But my anger and hurt with regard to the loss of Castle Gate is only a matter of degree, in one importasnt respect, not in kind, from the loss of relatives and  friends.  It was a symbol.

A second connection is petroleum and its "Golden Calf" importance.

I submit that if the  USA and Canada had energy-independence as a  major goal after WWII, and stuck with it, neither would have occured, nor much evil in the World.

And of course,  Pacific Electric and the North Shore and much else would have  survived.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 19, 2023 10:04 AM

daveklepper
I submit that if the  USA and Canada had energy-independence as a  major goal after WWII, and stuck with it, neither would have occurred, nor much evil in the World.

I'd submit something slightly different: had the USA not gone all-out promoting the "Insolent Chariots" model of automobile production, sale, and support after the late 1940s, "and all that that implied" (at one point one out of six Americans was associated with the sutomobile industry in some way), we'd have been better off, and better equipped not to be abused at the time of the OPEC 'embargo'.  (And in the context of Mr. Klepper's post, we should never forget what event was the proximate cause of that embargo...)

This has a very direct relationship to Castle Gate in particular -- it was vandalized merely to facilitate a couple more lanes to save a few minutes of motoring time.  That makes the choice, and the act, both uglier and more pathetic.

I find myself repeatedly looking back to the Ford-Edison effort that was shorted out by WWI.  Had that paradigm -- of relatively small, lightweight cars -- been coherently adopted along with the general Good Roads initiatives, we might never have reached the point that something like Castle Gate could be expediently ruined, likely forever.

As railroad context -- this would not have preserved trolley systems, and in fact would likely have facilitated their much more rapid demise (particularly if some more organized version of jitney service been adopted for the Ford-Edison cars, like a telephone-dispatched version of Uber).  Absence of need for other than farm-to-market or local 'express' trucking might provide a lease on life for various kinds of interurban service, including both 'car ferry' and truck-ferry service of the kind operated out of Montrose.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, October 20, 2023 4:34 AM

Overmod.  There is no difference at all.  The cheap petroleum priority was directly associated with the Golden Calf of the personal automobile.

And electric cars and buses might have been an alternative to retaining streetcars.  But what about congestion?

I think some streetcar lines wouild have been saved, exspecially those being reincarnated as light rail but lack much PRoW.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 20, 2023 4:03 PM

daveklepper
Overmod.  There is no difference at all.  The cheap petroleum priority was directly associated with the Golden Calf of the personal automobile.

The point is that Ford intended to leverage the success, and formula, of the Model T with mass production of that style of light car, but equipped with Edison batteries and charged from Insull's expanding web of electrification.  The gasoline 'counterpart' was the light 'cyclecar' for which there was a craze in the late 'teens and into the 1920s.

Do not forget that there was no 'cheap petroleum' toward what would prove to be the end of the New Era.  In 1928, in fact, American refiners (I think it was Standard of New Jersey, Esso) paid something like $100 million for the rights to Fischer-Tropsch gasification and subsequent gasoline synthesis... because the nation was running out of cheap crude even with the advent of catalytic cracking.  The absolute numbers in the reserve of the Teapot Dome scandal (in 1924) were chicken feed ... but a big part of what was driving demand for synthetic fuel was the tremendous expansion of 'aftermarket' used sales, of cars sold for a pittance (remember that in this era cars got better every year but were sold for less) but required plenty of fuel and lubricants to run.

Then the West Texas fields came in, and there was plenty to be pumped.  Had it not been for the developing Depression, my suspicion is that the Golden Calf effect would have developed dramatically earlier, but as with postwar development with wastefully larger vehicles sold for 'prestige' more than transportation.  (GM had much of the necessary arrangement, both for promotion and finance, well before then).

What I'd have liked to see was the expansion of electrification, particularly rural electrification, as Insull was planning at the time he was stripped and thrown in the pokey.  We were taught in school that much of the electrification in the 1930s was the brainchild of the REA, with one of the early demonstrations of Keynesian capital expansion being the large hydro projects.  Come to find that many of them were undertaken and capitalized privately, to be paid for by the larger 'take rate' of all the things that home electricity could offer.  Some of that would involve regional railway electrification.  In an easily anticipatable alternate future, though, this would involve distributed charging for lightweight, comparably low-speed but 'go-anywhere' vehicles -- much as some of the long-range planning now for electrification is doing, but with smaller battery pack size and complexity and lower requirement for an extended range or runtime.

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Posted by nyc#25 on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 12:28 PM

Dave,

  That was a very thoughtful description of Castle Gate and your love for it's beauty.

'Regards,

'Ray Cooney,

Philadelphia

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 3:21 PM

Thanks - Todah - Shukhran

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