Archive for July, 2010

Point-of-View Model Railroading

July 30, 2010

Bill Rogers gives us another superb video treat! Here’s his video from an engineman’s perspective climbing the Cascades in a Southern Pacific cab forward. What a great trip!


Shasta Daylight

July 15, 2010

There’s no doubt that the Southern Pacific ran some of the nation’s most colorful streamliners. Even a Pennsy fan like me admits that fact. I found a YouTube video posted by HO modeler Bill Rogers of Colorado. I really admire the quality of his work, especially the scenery representing the west slope of the Cascade range. His website about the construction and operation of his layout is here.

Foreign Motive Power

July 14, 2010

A lot of foreign locomotives reflect the character of their home countries. German electrics are the penultimate in engineering and design. The Chinese had mainline steam locomotives until recently.  And, of course, the home built back shop critters appeal to my peculiar tastes. At the same time, a lot of American technology has found its way around the world.  Consider the Belgian Class 204:

Belgian Class 204 and second unit

Looks Euro on the outside, but inside beats the heart of an Electro-Motive Diesel design, the 567.  It’s just a little weird when you are standing on the platform at Liege waiting for a train and what sounds like a Seaboard GP-7 winds up and pulls off, looking like that.

So, let me introduce you to the GM-22, another American design that has found its way out into the world:

Argentine G22

Argentine G22, photo by Alejandro Goldemberg

Built under license by ASTARSA, the G22 looks a little more like our kind of locomotive, but when you listen, it beats the pure heart of an SW1500.  Which is to say, a 12-cylinder 645E diesel engine; that’s 645 cubic inches, per cylinder.  I like SW1500’s:

The New iPhone and Trains!

July 12, 2010

Here’s a video at the bottom of this page that demonstrates the power of video and editing software on Apple’s latest. It was shot at Allied Model Trains in Los Angeles and in a garden railroad. The video presentation is followed by a “behind the scenes” segment that demonstrates what you can do to capture track level shots and other unique points of view. Apple should advertise in Model Railroader!

Oldest Living Pullman Porter

July 8, 2010

Here’s a link to a heart-warming story in the Los Angeles Times. Lee Wesley Gibson is known to be the oldest living porter. He worked on the Union Pacific out of Los Angeles. According to the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in Chicago, there are fewer than fifty porters still alive. Alas! In the years when I served as a host on the news and talk Group W Westinghouse radio station in Chicago I did a feature on the musical “On the Twentieth Century” that was opening in one of the city’s theatres. That was thirty years ago. The feature triggered a deluge of phone calls from retired porters, lounge car attendants, conductors and others who worked the many streamlined limiteds in and out of the Chicago terminals. It was the most interesting two hours of radio any rail fan could wish for. How I wish I now had a transcription of those hours knowing that most of those oral historians have passed.