We had a great selection of 11 entries for the August 2016 chapter photo contest. It was a bit of a short deadline for getting them in and hopefully that didn’t keep someone from entering. Our next and last contest for the year will be October from the 1st to the 8th and the deadline for emailing your entries to me is October 11th. Again, I’ll be out of town during the next meeting, but will judge the contest from the road and send the winning entries to Bill Thomas for the Pennyrail and Bill Ferrell so he can show the winners during the next meeting. We will the work on putting together a calendar using the winning entries. I’ll have a report on that for the November 2016 meeting. Send your entries for the October Photo Contest (Chapter Members only) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my first installment on this new column for the Pennyrail! I hope that everyone gets at least something from my ramblings here!
The Best Camera
I’m often asked what’s the best camera to use when taking photographs? My short answer is, the one you have with you! It doesn’t really matter what brand you use or like as long as you get out trackside and shoot pictures!
Now, of course some cameras offer better results than perhaps others, but what it all comes down to is that it’s the person behind the camera that “makes” the picture, not the equipment you use! I shoot and have seen others shoot with everything from smartphones to high priced digital cameras, but what it really comes down to a lot is you, the photographer and how you see and capture the scene before you! That’s what I love about photography, the ability to decide when and what I want to photograph. No one else tells me, or you, when to press the shutter.
Simple advice to keep in mind when shooting pictures. First and foremost, if something in your picture doesn’t contribute to what you want the final photo to say then eliminate it when your shooting. Do this by getting closer, lower, higher, picking up trash or whatever else it takes. It’s much easier to do it before you shoot than it is to have to do it in the computer. Second, when shooting trains, don’t get hung up on the direction of the light! It is what it is and you can’t always control it. You have to shoot the picture when the train and you are there! Third, don’t shoot everything from eye level! Get low sometime to add drama to your pictures, or high sometimes to give a different perspective. Fourth, don’t shoot just on bright and sunny days. Great pictures are to be made on cloudy, rainy, snowy filled days.
Fifth, don’t put the camera away when it gets dark! Drag out the tripod or fast lens and shoot! There’s great pictures to be made during twilight and after dark. Sixth, Study the pictures of photographers you like! Ask yourself questions such as why did he shoot form this angle, time of day, etc. Seventh, look for things to photograph that are different. Heritage Locomotives, Steam Engines, Unusual paint schemes, obscure out of the way short lines, trains with different types of cargo, etc. I hope some of these help and good luck trackside and always be safe! Keep Clicking!!!
New Chapter member Will Kling submitted these photos and drawings of his recent work in N Scale. – Bill Thomas
Attached is the drawing of the cannery in N Scale each square = 1 inch I also included a site mock up and a picture of the warehouse with the cross over opening where the two building will connect. The warehouse is not yet painted, still working on roof details. Tonight started cutting out of sheet styrene the Cannery. Once that is done will start working on the dock. I’ve been taking photos and drawings of the complex I am building.
I was asked to build an N scale cannery and warehouse for a guy in California. The warehouse is a kit bash but the cannery and the dock are being scratch built. My wife and I are building an addition to our home that will have a basement. I plan to build a two-tiered N scale layout. The top layer will be the EK division and the bottom will be SP/UP division in the St. Louis area.
If you have photos and/or stories about your modeling activities, please send them to me for this portion of the newsletter. Thanks – Bill Thomas
As promised, here is a synopsis of “Flying Sparks”, a book published in 1914 authored by M. E. Munsell. Mr. Munsell was a Pullman Conductor on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. His favorite niece requested that he tell her about his travels and about the area he traveled through.
In 1914 the Missouri Pacific or MoPac as it was known, ran from St. Louis Missouri to several points west via Kansas City, Kansas, Arkansas and into Texas. Mr. Munsell wrote a series of letters to niece from which the book was authored.
The book is not arranged in chapters but in a series of paragraphs much as his niece would have read. Mr. Munsell was a fan of poetry which readily shows in the book.
The synopsis begins: ” Hefflebower’s Six Buxom Daughters at Bucyrus” and tells of a prominent farmer and of his daughters and hired hands!
“Osawatomie, John Brown Fought First Battle of Civil War Here” tells of the man and his fight. A monument is here to honor the man. Look it up. Interesting. Osawatomie is located 62 miles from Kansas City and in 1914 was home to 4000 residents. The 2010 census shows 4447! The name is a merger of two river names, Osage and Potawatomi! Near here is the town of Paoli Kansas, and is the boyhood home of Charlie Pullman, Georges brother!
More next Month!
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
September 10, 2016—Bicentennial Ride to the Beer Fest at Lincoln Amphitheatre. Details coming soon!
October 2016—Fall and Zombie-themed rides. Details coming soon!
December 2016—Holiday Excursions—Details coming soon!
Submitted by Don Clayton
Former WKNRHS member Dr. Fred Ripley stands with his photography exhibit at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Fred is getting creative in his display venues.
Fred’s work can be seen and purchased at
The Village Bookshop
2424 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.
(Ohio Route 161)
Columbus, OH 43235
Telephone: (614) 889-2674
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10:00 AM– 9:00 PM; Sun. 11:00 AM–7:00 PM
Dramatic and colorful images of railroading “come to life” in this series of 20 x 30” mounted and framed photographs, all for sale, taken by a life-long observer and interpreter of the railroad scene. A guide sheet available at the bookstore provides detailed information about each photo.
contact the photographer:
Frederick J. Ripley
P.O. Box 21491
Columbus, OH 43221-9998
Telephone: (614) 949-2056
I have some great news. As most of you know, we came to Madisonville in 2003, when I answered the call to First Baptist Church to serve as their Minister of Music. Since leaving that church in the summer of 2013, two week shy of my 10 year anniversary there, I’ve been making a living in lawn care, landscape design, real estate sales, driving a school bus, and serving as an interim music minister at First Baptist Bowling Green.
I am happy to announce that on August 28, 2016, I will begin service as the Full-time Associate Pastor/Minister of Music at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Madisonville.
It is a bitter-sweet transition as I leave a great church in Bowling Green which has helped me find the joy in music ministry again. I often tell them, “They’ve been better for me than I could ever be for them!”
I also am sorry to leave the hard working team of professional drivers, trainers, and staff in our Hopkins County School District’s Transportation Department, led by Marcie Cox, who answered a late-night call from me needing another job to make ends meet. I am forever grateful.
While I will be full-time at the church, I’ll be keeping my real estate license and business active for the time being. Time will tell if I can manage the two while giving First Christian my time priority.
Thanks to all of you for your support, prayers, and kind words over the last three years of this long transition. I look forward to continuing my work as your editor and fellow railway historian. Whether you’re looking for a home in Madisonville or heaven, I can help. In a pinch, I can mow your yard and drive a bus too.
Well, it has been hot this summer and it even got hotter last week. On Tuesday afternoon I received a call from Ricky Bivins. He asked me if I had read my emails for Tuesday. I reply with,” no”. Then he unloaded a ton of coal on me, with, we lost our meeting place in the Madisonville train depot. Yes, if you have not heard they started renovation on the building last week.
Ricky’s next question was, where are we going to meet for the August meeting? Well, that was another ton of coal dropped on me. Before I could even think Ricky said, we can meet at the airport. Well, with all that coal, now I at least had a shovel to start digging out. So, we will meet at the Madisonville Airport for the August meeting. I have placed time on the agenda for us as a club to discuss the future of where we will meet. I would like for the membership to give it some thought on a good place to meet.
By the time you receive the August issue of the “PennyRail” the third quarter photo contest will be over. I hope everyone had a chance to submit a photo to Jim Pearson. Our next club contest will take place in October from the 1st to the 8th. After the final judging of the pictures we plan on making up a club calendar which can be purchased at our December Christmas Party. Jim has also made reference to selling them online to other individuals who may be interested. Jim will tell us more about that later.
The Christmas Special, at the Parkway Plaza Mall is starting to pick up speed now. James Kemp who is serving as the chairperson will need everyone’s help for this to be a success. So when you get the call to help, please say yes, you will more than likely have fun. This will be an event you can show off to your family, friends and neighbors. This will be a free event to our community and people shopping at the mall.
We have several new items on the agenda this month, other than a new meeting place so please try to make an effort to attend, your input is very important.
Bill Farrell, President
Ed. One more by Jim Pearson – can’t help but think about O. Winston Link seeing this. July 9, 2016 – LORAM Rail grinder RGS-9 waits in the siding at the north end of Robards, Ky as southbound loaded coal train CSX N040-05 passes it on CSX’s Henderson Subdivision. – Tech Info: 3 seconds | f/2.8 | ISO 125 | Lens: Nikon 18mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson (forgive me for cropping)
In 1984 is was working for Andalex Resources as a supply truck driver. My friend from school, Tim Kingery was managing the Salvation Army Thrift Store and would alert me to any “train stuff” the store received. That summer he called my work place (no cell phones in 1984) and left a message for me to come by the store. He had taken in a book titled “Flying Sparks”. Of course I purchased the book and read it immediately.
The book is a series of letters penned by a Missouri Pacific passenger train conductor to his then eight year old niece. His niece had requested of her uncle a description of his work and the places he visited. This all takes place in or before 1914! The style of writing is as interesting as the stories themselves.
I have enjoyed this book for thirty plus years now and will continue to do so. Hopefully you will as well as I intend to recount portions of the book as a regular Newsletter feature.
We look forward to hearing more from Ricky next month about this book. Editor.
July 6, 2016 – Norfolk Southern Tier4 engine 3616 heads up a loaded coal train as it heads north on the Paducah and Louisville Railway cutting its way through steam rising from the roadbed after a summer rain outside Bremen, Ky. – Tech Info: 1/320 | f/6.3 | ISO 500 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 600mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson
June 15, 2016 – I chased the leading edge of this storm front for about 20 miles till I finally caught CSX Q592-15 approaching the south end of the siding at Kelly, Ky as it headed north on the Henderson Subdivision. As dark and nasty as the sky looked, all it did was dump a lot of rain and create some lighting and fortunately for me it didn’t do it while I was shooting! – Tech Info: 1/400 | f/2.8 | ISO 900 | Lens: Nikon 18mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson
July 1, 2016 – Autorack CSX Q241-30 (Detroit, MI – Louisville, KY) makes its way through downtown La Grange, Ky (one of the few places in the state that has street running) as it heads south to Louisville, Ky on the Short Line (LCL Subdivision). – Tech Info: 1/400 | f/20 | ISO 900 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 165mm with a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson
Here are some photos from our June Meeting at Bill Thomas’s home and Garden Railroad.
If you own and use a computer or smart phone, you now have access to a great tool for locating rail lines and more interestingly, abandoned rail lines.
Lately, I’ve enjoyed Elmer G. Sulzer’s Ghost Railroads of Kentucky first published in 1967, by Indiana University Press (originally by Vane A. Jones Company) which presents 23 chapters of railroads that used to be. Chapter 18 unpacks the history of the L&N’s and IC’s adventures through Clay, Dixon, Morganfield and Henderson, KY, right in our back door.
Now back to the computer and/or smart phone. I’ve begun to “mentally overlay” the satellite images available on sites like Google Earth and other mapping apps on Sulzer’s maps provided in the book. The drawback to the latter is that there are no roads mapped in Sulzer’s book, just rivers, streams, county and state lines. You have to be a little creative, but it’s fun to find some of these places on the computer screen then visit in person. And, if you have the smart phone map app, it will pinpoint your location as you move.
Many of you are probably familiar with this technology as am I, but I wanted to share the possibilities with those who may just be getting caught up with it.
As a side note, also included in Sulzer’s book are railroads which once served Russellville, Adairville, Gracey, Princeton, Elkton, Guthrie, Hartford, Irvington, and Falls of Rough.
Mr. Sulzer also published Ghost Railroads of Tennessee and Ghost Railroads of Indiana. I’m looking forward to browsing through both of these in the near future. All are available on Amazon.com.