2017 Chapter Calendar Available for Purchase

Chapter Calendars highlighting the winners of our 2016 chapter photo contests are now available to order for the holidays from Jim Pearson’s store on Lulu.com. All proceeds from the sale of these calendars go to support the chapter. Please stop by and order one order today! They’ll make great Christmas Gifts! Visit http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/jimpearsonphotography to purchase your copy! These calendars are for the 2017 year.

April 30, 2016 - The sun sets on the Paducah & Louisville Railway line at Madisonville, Ky an afternoon of rain showers. - Tech Info: 1/400 | f/2.8 | ISO 3600 | Lens: Rokinon 14mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW.    2017-nrhs-small-calendar-cover

 

November 2016 The Spill with President Bill Farrell

This is unbelievable, the past two years have passed so fast. At our next meeting, we will be electing a new President for 2017. I believe the new slate of officers will serve our organization well for the upcoming year. I would like to wish them well in their leadership going forward.

If you have not received an email from Steve Miller about the Christmas Party at his house, then you need to contact him very soon. He needs a head count and what you plan to bring as a covered dish. The get together is on Saturday December 3rd, any time after 1 o’clock pm. Steve and his wife have just recently added on to their house and we should have more than enough room for the party. If you are not sure where Steve resides it is 1420 Billy Goat Hill Road, Hopkinsville, KY. His phone number is 270 839-7936, please get in touch with him.

James Kemp will have a signup sheet for the Christmas show work schedule. I talked with him last week and he indicated we have several empty shifts. We need for our membership to turn out for this event and help make it a big success. Please contact James soon and get on  the work schedule. The show will start on December 12, 2016, 6:00 pm.

Along with the Christmas show we are having a raffle for a Lionel Ready to Run Train Set with remote control. The set is the New York Central Early Bird freight, value– $390.00. By now you should have received an envelope with three raffle tickets. We are asking each member to sell the three ticket in order to cover our Liability Insurance Policy. The Raffle tickets are 5.00 dollars each and only 150 were printed. If you need additional tickets, please contact me. We will have tickets available for sale at the show in the Mall. If you are having a hard time selling the tickets bring them to your work shift at the Mall. You can tell anyone you sell a raffle ticket to that I (Bill Farrell) have a standing offer of 75.00 dollars to anyone who doesn’t want the train set (if they win the raffle). Once you have sold all your raffle tickets please get the right side of the ticket along with the money to; Bill Farrell or mail it to me at, P.O. Box 457, Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42241. We need to have all stubs in by December 23rd for the raffle.  

Our photo contest is now paying off. Jim Pearson will have a sample of the calendar at the November 21st meeting. I think he will be taking orders so that the calendar can be printed before January 1st. If you are going to have a train calendar in your house or office, why not the Western Kentucky Chapter/NRHS. Of course, all the pictures were taken by members of our organization, now that’s cool. You might plan on purchasing more than one.

The slate of officers for 2017 are as followed; President Ricky Bivins, Vice President Steve Miller, Secretary Wally Watts, Treas. William Farrell, Chapter Rep. to NRHS Will Kling. We will open the floor for any other nominations just before the slate is presented. If there are no other nominations then we can accept the slate by acclamation.

Bill Farrell, President    

 

Bridge to Nowhere? No More! By Rich Hane

picture10For the last couple of years if my wife and I were in Louisville we have made it a point to walk on the new pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the Ohio River which is part of the riverfront park system just east of downtown. It is truly a wonderful attraction for a nice town and someone who likes history, scenery, railroads, or walking.

The Big Four Railroad Bridge which was owned by the New York Central Railroad connects Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville, IN and was completed in 1895 and updated in 1929. Forty two men lost their lives in the original construction.  It is a six span through truss bridge type. The spans total 2,545 ft with a clearance of 53 ft and rests on 7 attractive and strong stone piers.

The original bridge had one standard gauge track along with a narrower interurban track between the standard gauge track. Also, two pedestrian walkways were included. The bridge was almost 11,000 ft long with the approach ramps.

In the 1920’s as trains became much heavier, it was decided to rebuild the bridge. A very novel plan was made to build the new bridge entirely within the old bridge while using the existing stone piers. When the new bridge was finished the old bridge works were removed. This plan cut about 2-3 years of work and the new bridge was finished in one year.

picture11Interurban service lasted until 1939 and with the coming of the Penn Central merger the bridge was abandoned in 1969. The approaches were removed in 1974. For a while the bridge came to be known as the bridge to nowhere. Many people organized and promoted the idea of a pedestrian and bicycle conversion for the bridge and this opened in 2013 with a spiral ramp on the Kentucky side and a ramp stairway on the Indiana side in 2014. A total of 326 precast concrete panels make up the desk’s surface and lights and safety railings where added. The adjoining parks contain nice walkways, gardens, trees, and are well patrolled.

I encourage everyone to walk or bicycle this truly beautiful piece of history. The views are spectacular especially when large ships are passing beneath the structure or when the city skyline is lit up at night. We saw a lovely sunset recently and also passed beneath the bridge on a riverboat and enjoyed a fine dinner aboard the boat. The Belle of Louisville and the City of Jeffersonville are gorgeous examples of old riverboats. At night the bridge is lit up with thousands of lights that constantly change colors from red to blue, yellow, green, orange, etc.

picture12 picture13 picture14

Union Pacific railroad locomotive #844 pauses at Gorham, Illinois by Ricky Bivins

Union Pacific railroad locomotive #844 pauses at Gorham, Illinois October 13, 2016 en-route to Memphis TN. - Photo by Rick Bivins.

Union Pacific railroad locomotive #844 pauses at Gorham, Illinois October 13, 2016 en-route to Memphis TN. – Photo by Rick Bivins.

November 2016 Pickin’ the Points

Picking the PointsOpinions and Stories by Bill Thomas, Editor

I am enthusiastically looking forward to our modular railroad layout display at Parkway Plaza Mall this Christmas season.  I’m one of those who believes every kid should have a Lionel train set at some point in his or her life. 

In a recent conversation with a real estate client, I heard those horrible words, “I don’t know how they can stand those railroad tracks so close to the house!  I don’t want my grandchildren that close to the tracks!”  In reality, the tracks are a full city block away.  When we moved to town in 2003, I tried my best to get near the tracks, but just couldn’t find a place with enough yard.  But, occasionally I can hear three trains at a time in my back yard, so I guess it turned out ok. 

Back on track – I predict the modular layout will draw a crowd, we just need to get the word out!  So spread the news where ever you go.  If you’re a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media user, post it on your timeline or page you manage. 

I’ve enjoyed re-introducing my 10-year-old to the hobby through this project and hope we all can bring a little nostalgic happiness to those who come our way in the next few weeks.

 

All Things Trains and Photography by Jim Pearson

Jim will be back after the first of the new year with more helpful information about rail photography.  For now, enjoy a few more examples of his work below.

November 12, 2016 - Indiana Railroad's newly painted "In Honor of Our Veterans" engine 4005 (SD40-2), sits at the north end of CSX's Howell Yard in Evansville, Indiana. The unit was freshly painted at the National Railway Equipment Co. shops in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and is waiting to move on north along CSX's CE&D Subdivision for delivery to the Indiana Railroad. - Photo by Jim Pearson

November 12, 2016 – Indiana Railroad’s newly painted “In Honor of Our Veterans” engine 4005 (SD40-2), sits at the north end of CSX’s Howell Yard in Evansville, Indiana. The unit was freshly painted at the National Railway Equipment Co. shops in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and is waiting to move on north along CSX’s CE&D Subdivision for delivery to the Indiana Railroad. – Photo by Jim Pearson

November 16, 2016 - A CSX L688 passes the south end of the siding at Slaughters, Ky with Atlantic Coast Line engine 7889 leading it's 11,500ft train, as it heads north on the Henderson Subdivision. - Photo by Jim Pearson

November 16, 2016 – A CSX L688 passes the south end of the siding at Slaughters, Ky with Atlantic Coast Line engine 7889 leading it’s 11,500ft train, as it heads north on the Henderson Subdivision. – Photo by Jim Pearson

November 16, 2016 - Huron and Eastern Railway 2026 (GP38-3) brings up the rear of the power lash up on CSX L688 as it passes the south end of the siding at Slaughters, Ky with a 11,500ft train, as it heads north on the Henderson Subdivision. Huron and Eastern Railway is a short line railroad operating 384 miles of track in The Thumb and Flint/Tri-Cities area of the lower peninsula of Michigan. - Photo by Jim Pearson

November 16, 2016 – Huron and Eastern Railway 2026 (GP38-3) brings up the rear of the power lash up on CSX L688 as it passes the south end of the siding at Slaughters, Ky with a 11,500ft train, as it heads north on the Henderson Subdivision. Huron and Eastern Railway is a short line railroad operating 384 miles of track in The Thumb and Flint/Tri-Cities area of the lower peninsula of Michigan. – Photo by Jim Pearson

Tidbits on the life of a railroader    

picture3Early in the 20th century (and before the various “Safety First” campaigns that we still see today),  a dozen railroaders — on average died on the job each day .   On any given day, tens of thousands more were injured or maimed.

That was often brought home by the fact that few conventional insurance companies would write policies for railroaders — their jobs were considered too risky.   So railroaders set up their own group insurance plans and mutual benefit associations.

An industrial pension program so that employees could expect to retire (rather than work until they died) was largely a railroad innovation.  The first plans emerged in the early 1880s and led to the creation of the Railroad Retirement Board in 1934, which was the model for the Social Security Act a year later.

Hundred of thousands of railroaders worked in jobs that took them away from their homes and families.  Sometimes they enjoyed networks of boarding houses, railroad YMCA’s, beaneries, and places of entertainment and commercial affection.  At other locations, the away-from-home accommodations could be threadbare or downright inhospitable.

And then, the names.  For everyone from the president on down, official railroad documents generally identified the employees by a sterile two initials and surname,  (J. T. Blow).   Yet no group of industrial workers embraced nicknames more than railroaders.   There was always a few Butches, a Nookie, Boogie, Shotgun, Skeeter, Barney, Screwdriver, Speedy, and all sorts of fellows who, for one reason or another, went by some alternate version of their given names.

All of which speaks to a larger truth.  Despite the hazards and demands, railroaders were proud of their work.   You would hear variations of this theme many times:   “I hate the company but love the work.”  Or, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this.”  – submitted by Gary Ostlund

Credits:  Pix by H. Armstrong Roberts and excerpts from Kalmbach’s 2011 Working on the Railroad

 

Southern Indiana Excursions

Train Rides on the Hoosier Southern (ex-Southern) Tell City, IN to Lincoln City, IN during the Fall of 2016

The Scenic Lincoln Way is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to welcoming tourists to the historic land of President Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in Spencer and Perry Counties in Southern Indiana.  This is over the Hoosier Southern (ex-Southern) Tell City, Indiana branch east of Evansville, Indiana.

Past events have traveled west out of Tell City to approximately Troy, Indiana.  The September trip should be from Tell City to Lincoln City (most of the route).  Suspect equipment is borrowed from the nearby City of Jasper and/or Indiana Railway Museum.

 

2016 Excursion Train Rides

October 2016—Fall and Zombie-themed rides. Details coming soon!

December 2016—Holiday Excursions—Details coming soon!

Visit http://www.sceniclincolnway.org/events.html

Submitted by Don Clayton

 

Continued Book Review By of Flying Sparks by Ricky Bivins

Yates Center Kansas boasts “more hay shipped from this point then any other town in the United States!

“Buffalo Kansas, more ancient fire arms and implements of war here then anyplace west of Chicago; and, one of the largest brick plants in the west”!

Next is “Neodesha Kansas, the one time home of the Notorious Bender Family” and 3500 other people in 1914. 2486 residents in 2010!  Neodesha was also “the largest oil refinery in the west, using 60,000 barrels crude petroleum per day”!

There are two accounts of the name. One is the Osage Indian meaning “where waters meet” another meaning “muddy waters”!

“Cherokee Indians” tells about the Cherokee Indians being the only Native Americans to have “an alphabet of their own and a printed language “! As well as the only Indian Newspaper ever printed!

I will continue this’s synopsis next month.

If you are interested in reading the book, It is available as an electronic file for purchase via Amazon.

Rick Bivins.