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Railroad Recording Club of Hawkins, WI

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Railroad Recording Club of Hawkins, WI
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 6, 2003 5:53 PM
I have stumbled onto for albums recorded by RCA Victor for the Railroad Recording Club. Three are Northern Pacific records and the fourth is Winston-Salem Southbound.

I am finding precious little info about the recordings online. Does anyone know anything? What value, if any, do these things possess (not that I would get rid of them, but I am wondering if I should pay to get them digitized or not).

Thanks!
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Railroad Recording Club of Hawkins, WI
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 6, 2003 5:53 PM
I have stumbled onto for albums recorded by RCA Victor for the Railroad Recording Club. Three are Northern Pacific records and the fourth is Winston-Salem Southbound.

I am finding precious little info about the recordings online. Does anyone know anything? What value, if any, do these things possess (not that I would get rid of them, but I am wondering if I should pay to get them digitized or not).

Thanks!
  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 1:23 PM
I bought a lot of Railroad Record Club LPs (10-inchers) as they were released. The only one I kept long enough for digital remastering was a track recorded by Elwin Purington of the last steam run of CN's Continental (Train 2) leaving Vancouver and passing through Port Mann. Apparently he was able to chase Mike 3550 in his car with no trouble. Perhaps the material on the Northern Pacific RR Record Club LPs have the same Purington recordings that appeared later on L&H Railsonics Cassette LH-7001, which I have.

There's a lot of rare sound on these but the liner notes were often lacking in vital details and separation of scenes into separate tracks was sometimes done rather carelessly or not at all. But Railroad Record Club was a great pioneering effort until LPs by O. Winston Link, Mobile Fidelity and a host of others filled the gap.

I don't know if there's a big market for train audio — videos and DVDs of restored steam engines in excursion service will no doubt have more appeal for newer generations of railfans, but there are always ads in Trains and Classic Trains for CDs of vintage monophonic steam recordings.

I've managed to transfer my surviving out-of-print LPs first onto cassettes and later from cassettes to my Mac hard disc (and then to CDs) using freeware I downloaded from the internet. After getting them onto the hard disc in digital format it was possible to eliminate a lot of the most annoying clicks that always appear in well-used LPs.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 1:23 PM
I bought a lot of Railroad Record Club LPs (10-inchers) as they were released. The only one I kept long enough for digital remastering was a track recorded by Elwin Purington of the last steam run of CN's Continental (Train 2) leaving Vancouver and passing through Port Mann. Apparently he was able to chase Mike 3550 in his car with no trouble. Perhaps the material on the Northern Pacific RR Record Club LPs have the same Purington recordings that appeared later on L&H Railsonics Cassette LH-7001, which I have.

There's a lot of rare sound on these but the liner notes were often lacking in vital details and separation of scenes into separate tracks was sometimes done rather carelessly or not at all. But Railroad Record Club was a great pioneering effort until LPs by O. Winston Link, Mobile Fidelity and a host of others filled the gap.

I don't know if there's a big market for train audio — videos and DVDs of restored steam engines in excursion service will no doubt have more appeal for newer generations of railfans, but there are always ads in Trains and Classic Trains for CDs of vintage monophonic steam recordings.

I've managed to transfer my surviving out-of-print LPs first onto cassettes and later from cassettes to my Mac hard disc (and then to CDs) using freeware I downloaded from the internet. After getting them onto the hard disc in digital format it was possible to eliminate a lot of the most annoying clicks that always appear in well-used LPs.
  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 2:52 PM
Very helpful, thank you. I found the liner notes to be a bit weak as well. One of the records has nice narration before each clip, though.

I use a Mac myself (3 of them, actually) so I am going to fiddle around and get these things digitized. It will be fun.

The LPs look as though they were used very lightly. Excellent condition. A great find. For a forty year old, this is cool stuff. I never heard these sounds. :-(

Dan
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 2:52 PM
Very helpful, thank you. I found the liner notes to be a bit weak as well. One of the records has nice narration before each clip, though.

I use a Mac myself (3 of them, actually) so I am going to fiddle around and get these things digitized. It will be fun.

The LPs look as though they were used very lightly. Excellent condition. A great find. For a forty year old, this is cool stuff. I never heard these sounds. :-(

Dan
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 6:33 PM
Here are links to the software I use on my Mac with System 9.0.4:

Coaster: <http://www.visualclick.de/products/coaster/index.html>
for transfer to hard disc from analog source

sonicWORX Artist Basic: <http://www.prosoniq.com/>
for editing: cut and paste, fade in, fade out, and eliminating noise from LP clicks.

Some of the sonicWORX buttons are labeled in German: Schreibtisch for Desktop, etc. Have fun - it's a great activity for anyone living where they have long cold winters.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 6:33 PM
Here are links to the software I use on my Mac with System 9.0.4:

Coaster: <http://www.visualclick.de/products/coaster/index.html>
for transfer to hard disc from analog source

sonicWORX Artist Basic: <http://www.prosoniq.com/>
for editing: cut and paste, fade in, fade out, and eliminating noise from LP clicks.

Some of the sonicWORX buttons are labeled in German: Schreibtisch for Desktop, etc. Have fun - it's a great activity for anyone living where they have long cold winters.
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 18, 2003 8:37 PM
I don't know about the albums, but if Your organization is interested in some more recordings, drop me an e-mail and I will be glad to let You know what I have. gentlegiant582002@yahoo.com
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 18, 2003 8:37 PM
I don't know about the albums, but if Your organization is interested in some more recordings, drop me an e-mail and I will be glad to let You know what I have. gentlegiant582002@yahoo.com
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 8, 2003 2:08 PM
Guys,

Don't know if you'll see or read this, but The Railroad Record Club was created and run by a Mr. William Steventon a farmer near Hawkins, Wisconsin. The Club had regular ads in Trains and other magazines for many years.

I, too, came upon his records (I can't remember where) and given my massive thirst for the sounds of steam I was immediately intrigued to know more about their offerings.

The records I located were not 10" originals, they were 12" re-issues. The 10" records were produced in the late 1950's and were available until Mr. Steventon ceased operations (for a time) in the late '70's. He then decided to re-release his series, one at a time and if I remember correctly ran some ads to this effect in Railfan and some other publications. He had quite a series of albums including IC, DRGW, NYC, NP (including the last run of 4-8-4 2626 which was actually the famous "Four-Aces" built by Alco in 1930 to showcase the benefits of roller bearing use in steam locomotives), the last run of NKP Berk 779, Canadian Pacific, B&O and a number of traction records.

I ended up contacting him and enjoyed several very nice conversations with both him and his wife. By then they were retired from farming and living in Hawkins. I believe he passed away around 1988. I would VERY much like to know what happened to these recordings!! I feel secure that his wife would not have allowed his beloved collection to be destroyed or cast to the winds assuming she retained good health. I hope a responsible party obtained the originals and stock and has plans to make them available once more.

John
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 8, 2003 2:08 PM
Guys,

Don't know if you'll see or read this, but The Railroad Record Club was created and run by a Mr. William Steventon a farmer near Hawkins, Wisconsin. The Club had regular ads in Trains and other magazines for many years.

I, too, came upon his records (I can't remember where) and given my massive thirst for the sounds of steam I was immediately intrigued to know more about their offerings.

The records I located were not 10" originals, they were 12" re-issues. The 10" records were produced in the late 1950's and were available until Mr. Steventon ceased operations (for a time) in the late '70's. He then decided to re-release his series, one at a time and if I remember correctly ran some ads to this effect in Railfan and some other publications. He had quite a series of albums including IC, DRGW, NYC, NP (including the last run of 4-8-4 2626 which was actually the famous "Four-Aces" built by Alco in 1930 to showcase the benefits of roller bearing use in steam locomotives), the last run of NKP Berk 779, Canadian Pacific, B&O and a number of traction records.

I ended up contacting him and enjoyed several very nice conversations with both him and his wife. By then they were retired from farming and living in Hawkins. I believe he passed away around 1988. I would VERY much like to know what happened to these recordings!! I feel secure that his wife would not have allowed his beloved collection to be destroyed or cast to the winds assuming she retained good health. I hope a responsible party obtained the originals and stock and has plans to make them available once more.

John
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 25, 2003 11:02 PM
I bought the 10-inch version of the CN recording mentioned above, but on eBay I bought a 12-inch LP of the same record, with different cover, and more in-depth liner notes.

I enjoy collectong Mobile Fidelity, Audio Fidelity, and O.Winston Link original recordings. Link's "The Fading Giant" is available on CD through the N&W Hisorical society website. It's the only one of his records to be "mass-re-released" in CD form, to my knowledge.

The availability of good used vinyl out there, and the tiresome quality of cheap CD players (yes, they DON'T all sound alike) has made me get a decent 1970's turntable or two, and a good quality pickup, mainly for the old railroad records.

Jon Archibald
Peterborough, Ontario
canada
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 25, 2003 11:02 PM
I bought the 10-inch version of the CN recording mentioned above, but on eBay I bought a 12-inch LP of the same record, with different cover, and more in-depth liner notes.

I enjoy collectong Mobile Fidelity, Audio Fidelity, and O.Winston Link original recordings. Link's "The Fading Giant" is available on CD through the N&W Hisorical society website. It's the only one of his records to be "mass-re-released" in CD form, to my knowledge.

The availability of good used vinyl out there, and the tiresome quality of cheap CD players (yes, they DON'T all sound alike) has made me get a decent 1970's turntable or two, and a good quality pickup, mainly for the old railroad records.

Jon Archibald
Peterborough, Ontario
canada
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 29, 2004 9:33 AM
Railroad Record Club reproductions in 12" are very common on ebay. I've bought several in the $14-18 range. The originals were done as 10" records. I never got any of the originals so I can't compare the records or covers. I do know that they are all very good recording with great sounds. Quite interesting compared to most other recordings I've heard as they weren't just grade crossing sounds. Mr. Stevenson made recordings of locos switching and onboard running. Sometimes there is crew conversation and narration.

I certainly wish all of the older recordings were available now.

Roger
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 29, 2004 9:33 AM
Railroad Record Club reproductions in 12" are very common on ebay. I've bought several in the $14-18 range. The originals were done as 10" records. I never got any of the originals so I can't compare the records or covers. I do know that they are all very good recording with great sounds. Quite interesting compared to most other recordings I've heard as they weren't just grade crossing sounds. Mr. Stevenson made recordings of locos switching and onboard running. Sometimes there is crew conversation and narration.

I certainly wish all of the older recordings were available now.

Roger
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    October 2011
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Posted by jagreene on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:13 AM

I have some photographs from this organization and I trying to get permission to display these online at the University of Southern Indiana's website.  Does this organization still exist?  ANy information would be very welcome.

Jennifer Greene

University of Southern Indiana

jagreene@usi.edi

812/464-1832

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