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NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/5/21 6:49 p.m.

New York Central #1290 switching cars at St. Clair in 1955 for a young audience. Yes, this is on Robert Young's New York Central. Built in 1900 by Canada Southern's St. Thomas shops along with sister #1291, the ended up on the Michigan Southern's roster when they leased the Canada Southern, then the Michigan Southern was leased by NYC. The two 64" drivered, 50" stacked, saturated-steam, hand-fired, Johnson bar-equipped Ten Wheeler's hung around until 1956 and 1957 on the St. Clair Subdivision, the oldest equipment on the NYC roster. By this point, the NYC had torn down all the water towers and so #1290 and #1291 towed auxiliary water canteens.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/5/21 6:49 p.m.

I just stumbled on this vid of early barcode implementation on railroads in the late-60's. 
 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/7/21 9:58 a.m.

Norfolk & Western #475 switching at Potts Valley Junction on the Radford Division in 1954.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/21 8:01 a.m.

Rush hour on the Erie. Four of Erie's fleet of Pacifics prepare to depart Pavonia Terminal in Jersey City, while to the far left an 0-8-0 can be seen building a consist. During the peak hours of commuter traffic, 59 trains departed Pavonia in a two hour span. Add in the switchers moving cars into position and locomotives arriving to couple on, and the place was essentially a railfan shooting gallery.

In reply to NickD :

I find early color photos(of pretty much anything) to be fascinating. With B&W it's too easy to mentally categorize something as belonging to a bygone time that seems beyond reality. Color photos bring life to the scene though, and that life sets up a juxtaposition against our own here & now that seems almost unreconcilable. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/21 10:22 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Someone once asked O. Winston Link why he didn't shoot more color photos (he did a small handful of night photos in color and some excellent fall, daytime color photography on the Abingdon Branch). His response was to the effect of "The sky is black, the locomotive is black, the cars are black, the ballast is gray, the steam is white, the smoke is white. Why would I shoot color?" The other reason, and one he didn't really speak of, is that he lacked the equipment to develop color film. He could develop his own black and white film, but he had to send out his color film, and then it was in someone else's hands and he wasn't in control of the finished product.

Don Ball's view was that steam locomotives were fine in either film format but that diesels demanded color photography. A steam engine, with their unique designs and exposed mechanical components and the smoke and steam, derived their character from their design. But diesels, with their hidden machinery and production line-appearances, took their character from their colorful paint schemes, and so it was best to get them on color film.

Well I certainly didn't need to see this for sale nearby for $2800. Though I doubt there's anywhere I could run it. 
 

In reply to NickD :

I get Link's point, but color photography was still fairly new too. So b&w hadn't reached "antiquity" status, so to speak. 

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
6/8/21 2:42 p.m.

No time for a long discussion right now, but color film was all the rage post-war, but it was also finicky, limited, and expensive. Companies were still figuring out how to make it work, development was not always consistent, and it was vastly more complicated than B&W for the average photographer. Not only that, some pros rejected it outright (Cartier-Bresson reportedly called it "vulgar"). When I have a chance I'll post a bit more, but suffice it to say that color never really replaced B&W except in certain niche fields, and even then only temporarily (fashion, for example).

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/21 3:33 p.m.
02Pilot said:

No time for a long discussion right now, but color film was all the rage post-war, but it was also finicky, limited, and expensive. Companies were still figuring out how to make it work, development was not always consistent, and it was vastly more complicated than B&W for the average photographer.

In America's Colorful Railroads, Don Ball Jr. has color photos he took of at Erie's Pavonia Terminal in January of '51 with a color camera he received for Christmas. In the accompanying text he notes that he used the new color camera to photograph the Erie/NYS&W operations since he was concerned the photos wouldn't come out well, either due to technique or film, and if it didn't then it was "only the Erie", an attitude he said later regretted. He also adds that he brought his trusty black-and-white Kodak Brownie for shooting the Reading, B&O and CNJ, since he didn't want to risk those photos not coming out.

That old Ansco color film that turned red as it aged also comes to mind. I wonder how much interesting early color photography was lost due to instabilities in the film composition.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/21 3:35 p.m.

Precision Scheduled Railroading strikes again. Norfolk Southern had another one stringline on Horseshoe Curve. This is like the third time this has happened in two years. Boy, it's almost like your consist needs to take car weights into consideration.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/8/21 3:43 p.m.

There's a club of people that do Speedsters, mostly out west., NARCOA.  They treat people like Porsche clubbers treat 914 owners.

We use another type of Speedster, can be built in your garage.  The only requirement is plastic wheels so you don't trip any switches.  Some are pedal others are Honda 8hp propelled.  We do an abandoned piece of track in the Adirondacks.  Bigger box in the rear for a chainsaw, camping gear and a rifle.

Or take a tour and see if it's something you want to do.

 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
6/8/21 7:20 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I am waiting for a Fed-Ex shipment. I think it on Hoseshoe curve sad

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
6/8/21 8:46 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

And no doubt marked: 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
6/8/21 9:22 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

Well I certainly didn't need to see this for sale nearby for $2800. Though I doubt there's anywhere I could run it. 
 

Talk 'em down to 2k and run it at the challenge...

In reply to Recon1342 :

Oh that thought definitely crossed my mind, but I don't think there's enough(any?) production automobile there to qualify. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 7:34 a.m.

The Lehigh Valley's Alco PA-1s have been cut off and swapped out for a PRR GG1 for the Black Diamond's final leg into New York Penn Station. The date of the photo: May 11th, 1959. The last run of the Black Diamond: May 12th, 1959.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 7:51 a.m.
914Driver said:

There's a club of people that do Speedsters, mostly out west., NARCOA.  They treat people like Porsche clubbers treat 914 owners.

Yeah, I seem to recall hearing where there is a hierarchy of snobbery amongst speeder car owners based on what railroad your speeder car came from.

There was a shed nearby me on a piece of property with no house, although you could see where there had likely once been a house, and the doors were missing off the shed. You could see from the road that there was a speeder inside it and the red oval, gray paint and lightning stripes of the New York Central were visible on it. The grass wasn't ever mowed but there was a chain across the driveway and the shed always seemed to be in decent if not tip-top shape. It sat there for, gosh, probably 20 years, used to see it all the time, but never saw anyone or any activity at the property. Then this spring I went by on my way over to visit my oldest sister and the speeder was gone out of the shed. And then a couple months later the shed was torn down. I wonder who owned it and what the story was and where it went.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 10:32 a.m.

The Black Diamond at Jim Thorpe in '54. Definitely a classy train, but never a particularly successful one. Of all of it's competitors offering New York City-Buffalo trains, Lehigh Valley had the longest routing and the slowest timetable and so always played a distant runner up to competitors like the NYC's Empire State Express or the DL&W's Phoebe Snow (who owned the shortest route to Buffalo)

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 6:52 p.m.

"The railroad that continued to impress me was the Lehigh Valley. The Valley seemed to outclass it's Eastern rivals from all standpoints of operation but somehow couldn't hold on. I deeply regretted seeing the Valley go, more than any other pre-Conrail road." - Don Ball Jr.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 7:00 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 7:03 p.m.

An RS-11 and one of the ex-PRR "hammerhead" RS-3s

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/9/21 8:17 p.m.

Also, Strasburg Railroad is 189 years young today. Chartered in 1832, it is the oldest continuously operating railroad in the US

In reply to NickD :

Damn, 189 years? That's incredible!

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