May 2016 Rail Flicks by Tommy Johnson

central-kentucky-rails-7The following is the description that is included on the DVD case for this video, Central Kentucky Rails.  I will let that suffice for a list of the highlights pertinent to this production and I will add my comments afterwards.

Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State and there is so much to see and enjoy. With state-of-the-art camera equipment, our crews have traveled throughout much of the central part of Kentucky searching for the wide variety of incredible action that can be found here. CSX and Norfolk Southern are the major players in this region and plenty of heavy-duty action was filmed from both railroads. In addition, the regional RJ Corman Railroad is highlighted, including their dinner train powered by classic FP7s. We caught everything from ground-shaking ballast trains to the more commonly found auto, manifest, & intermodal freights that polish the rails daily. It’s always an incredible sight to watch new CSX power in La Grange trundling down the middle of a downtown street right past 130 year old buildings! Long steel trestles are common too and we caught several trains crossing these impressive structures. The Paducah & Louisville was captured performing switching duties. Some of Union Pacific’s SD90MAC locomotives found a new home on the Norfolk Southern and we caught some of them in action for you to enjoy. We finish our exciting program chasing trains from 2 different operating train museums in the area. Shot in the late spring of 2015, this is one show you don’t want to miss. This is Central Kentucky Rails!

Pentrex once set the standard for RR videos but in my opinion their quality has been surpassed by several newcomers in the industry.  Most new RR video products are coming out in wide screen format, which is a far superior way to present the action than is the old fashioned full screen mode, but this one still uses the 4:3 aspect ratio.  That is strike one against this video.

The image quality is only “average” and that is not so much a matter of Pentrex quality declining; it is a case of the competition getting better.

The use of maps in this video is a joke.  A plain blue background with black lines representing the route and black dots representing the towns constitute the “maps” used.  It is like using stick figures to represent people.

Another disappointment to me was that we did not get a view of the inside of the RJ Corman Dinner Train.  It would have been nice to see what the dining car looked like from the passenger perspective.

Title Central Kentucky Rails
Producer Pentrex
Format DVD
Playing Time 2 hrs.
Purchased From Pentrex.com
Date Purchased 4/19/16
Price Paid $29.95 + $6.00 shipping

The May 2016 Interchange

¨ HO estate for sale. Charles Ellis lost his brother recently. Mr. Ellis had started collecting and operating HO in the 1980’s. Most of his collection is from the 80’s and early 90’s., and the family wants to liquidate this part of his estate. If you are interested contact Mr. Charles (Chip) Ellis at 270 886-3357 (Pennyrile Door & Glass) or pennyriledoorandglass@gmail.com .

¨ If you have items you’d like to buy, sell, or trade, send descriptions and pictures to me, your editor, billtrainthomas@gmail.com.

 

 

May 2016 Regional Photo Section by Jim Pearson

April 27, 2016 - Paducah & Louisville Railway WW1, (Louisville Gas & Electric) chases a heavy storm north with a loaded coal train at McHenry, Ky with PAL UK engines 4522 and 2012 along with UofL 2013 as power. - Tech Info: 1/400 | f/2.8 | ISO 3600 | Lens: Rokinon 14mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. - Photo by Jim Pearson

April 27, 2016 – Paducah & Louisville Railway WW1, (Louisville Gas & Electric) chases a heavy storm north with a loaded coal train at McHenry, Ky with PAL UK engines 4522 and 2012 along with UofL 2013 as power. – Tech Info: 1/400 | f/2.8 | ISO 3600 | Lens: Rokinon 14mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson

May 10, 2016 - A Paducah & Louisville Railway DPU coal train rounds the loop at the Calvert City Loadout at Calvert City, Kentucky as storm clouds pass in the distance. I think this is the first time I can recall finding a PAL train with DPU units. It had four on the front and four on the rear of the train as it moved through the loop. - Tech Info: 1/1250 | f/5 | ISO 560 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 48mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. - Photo by Jim Pearson

May 10, 2016 – A Paducah & Louisville Railway DPU coal train rounds the loop at the Calvert City Loadout at Calvert City, Kentucky as storm clouds pass in the distance. I think this is the first time I can recall finding a PAL train with DPU units. It had four on the front and four on the rear of the train as it moved through the loop. – Tech Info: 1/1250 | f/5 | ISO 560 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 48mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson

May 2016 Pickin’ the Points by Bill Thomas, editor

tategeorgelaneGET THOSE CAMERAS OUT!

How I wish I’d had a camera at the young age of about 10.  As I peruse current railroad publications sporting vintage photographs of locomotives, freight and passenger cars, depots, and other peripherally related items, I treasure more and more the ability to at least see in my mind’s eye the gray and yellow L&N F units that frequented my home town, Ellijay, GA’s Hook and Eye line between Marietta, GA, (Elizabeth) and Etowah, TN.  Seems the sweet spot was around 1972 or 3, when the line still supported 2 daily freights, South in the morning and north in the afternoon.  Much better than the Family Lines/Seaboard/CSX-middle-of-the-night-as-needed runs from Tate, GA, in the early 1980s.  I’m not sure of the exact schedule or even the terminal points of the trick, but I assume things began at the Tate yard where Georgia Marble’s short line (with the only 2 switchbacks in the state) still plies the hilly terrain to interchange with the now operating Georgia Northeastern.  The accompanying photo shows an Alco FA leading a southbound freight at Tate in 1966, with the depot to the right.

I WAS fortunate to befriend the latter CSX crew as a teenager with a drivers license.  I met them one evening in Tate around 8 pm to ride the turn to Ellijay and back.  I can’t believe my parents let me, but, I was a pretty good kid in those days.  I returned home around 5 am having ridden the 60 some odd mile round trip only to go to work at 8 that morning (summer break) at the grocery store.  I was so excited I couldn’t have slept anyway.  I rode north in the lead locomotive, a 4 axle “jeep” of some kind.  The normal 3 unit consist made fairly easy work of original narrow gauge grades and curves.  Only drawback was the often pitch blackness outside.  The crew even shared their sandwiches and drinks with me on the return trip in the L&N red bay window caboose.

This story has a tragic ending. Not one photograph or any other form of recording was made other than these words you read now coming from my memory that will leave this world with me.  I can still remember the sound of the EMDs grinding up-grade, the smells of the honeysuckle covering the miles of adjacent farm fence rows, and even the sights of the locomotive’s headlight hitting the countless pine tress and red clay embankments along the path, but, oh, how I wish I had taken my camera.  Don’t be like me!  Get it down on film, digitally, or even write about it while fresh on your mind.  Then submit it to your newsletter editor!!!  You knew that was coming!  Be careful out there!

Bill Thomas, editor

 

Photos From Sunny California by Matt Gentry

SB Surfliner @ RR Days - Southbound Pacific Surfliner, led by F59PHi #452, departs Fullerton, CA bound for San Diego. Fullerton's annual Railroad Days is happening at the depot and Amtrak has supplied its 2 (out of 3) Veterans decorated equipment; P42 #42 and Cabbage (Cab + Baggage = Cabbage) #90208. 5-01-16. Photo by Matt Gentry.

SB Surfliner @ RR Days – Southbound Pacific Surfliner, led by F59PHi #452, departs Fullerton, CA bound for San Diego. Fullerton’s annual Railroad Days is happening at the depot and Amtrak has supplied its 2 (out of 3) Veterans decorated equipment; P42 #42 and Cabbage (Cab + Baggage = Cabbage) #90208. 5-01-16. Photo by Matt Gentry.

UP 8130 SanTimoteo 2-27-16 - UP ES44AC #8130 leads it general freight east on the former SP Sunset Route through San Timoteo Canyon on its way towards Beaumont, CA and the infamous Beaumont Hill. San Timoteo Canyon has got to be one of my favorite places to watch trains in all of Southern California. 2-27-16.  Photo by Matt Gentry.

UP 8130 SanTimoteo 2-27-16 – UP ES44AC #8130 leads it general freight east on the former SP Sunset Route through San Timoteo Canyon on its way towards Beaumont, CA and the infamous Beaumont Hill. San Timoteo Canyon has got to be one of my favorite places to watch trains in all of Southern California. 2-27-16. Photo by Matt Gentry.

May 2016 The Spill with President Bill Farrell

May is here and what a wonderful time of the year it is to get out and watch trains on your favorite line. This is also a reminder that our meeting on May 16th will be held in Hopkinsville at the depot on 9th street. Wallace Henderson will have the program and I understand it will be outstanding as usual. Remember to bring your appetite with you as usual for the May meeting.

Ricky Bivins, has been preparing for the “Railfanning Event” in Mortons Gap on this coming Saturday (May 14). We will gather in the park next to the tracks. Ricky said there are some restaurants in Mortons Gap for food and he has made arrangements for restrooms. Bring a lawn chair, your favorite 32-ounce sipper and enjoy. We will start to meet any time after 10 AM and it will end when the last man leaves. We still have a couple of months open for club members to step up and sponsor a “Railfanning Event”. If you are interested, please contact me with a date or talk to me at the May meeting.

Congratulations to Blair Terry on winning photo contest last month with his picture of a Florida East Coast Railroad, locomotive crossing an alligator infested swamp. According to Jim Pearson we had a total of nine entries in the contest. I would like to thank all of you who entered, for taking the time and making an effort in this club activity. Our plans are to take the top photos from each contest and compile them into a club calendar for 2017. Our next photo contest will be from June 4th to the 11th.

James Kemp, Rich Hane, and myself met as a committee on our Christmas Show. I think we have some good ideas but this needs to be a club effort for it to be a success. We will need all our members to step up and be willing to work a couple of shifts while this project is under way. Things we are looking at, are, the modular layout, a standard gauge layout, antique toy display, Wally’s steam engines, the conductor from the Polar Express, continuous show of the movie “The Polar Express”, and a display of antiques toys. This project should get the Western Kentucky Chapter out into the eye of the community and help us cover the liability insurance billing for 2017. Any member who would like to be on the Christmas Show committee needs to contact me as soon as possible.

We need to thank Thomas Bryan for the excellent program last month. Betty and Donny Knight also stepped forward on the refreshments and did an exceptional job of feeding the crew. If you missed the meeting last month, you missed one of better meetings. Hope to see you in Hopkinsville this month on the 16th. This month’s program with be presented by Wally Henderson and refreshments by Terry, Farrell and Hopkinsville group.

Remember, “Show and Tell” for May and we also need raffle item.

Bill Farrell, President

 

April 2016 Rail Flicks by Tommy Johnson

Title: Through the Oregon Cascades
Part 1: The Long Grade
Producer: 7idea Productions
Format: DVD Wide Screen
Playing Time: 2 hours 35 Minutes
Purchased From: Trainvideodepot.com
Date Purchased: 3/28/16
Price Paid $26.49

While I would not classify this DVD as a “must have,” it is a very good one. It would make a nice addition to your collection of RR videos. The viewing time is 2 hours and 35 minutes and there is plenty of railroad action amid the backdrop of the gorgeous mountain scenery of the Oregon Cascades.

The viewer would expect excellent quality videography since this is a 7idea Productions offering; he would not be disappointed. This video is in wide screen format and that very much enhances our view of the natural beauty and the railroad action contained in this video.

We travel southward in this video from Eugene, OR, to Cascade Summit over the 46 mile long Brooklyn Sub and then the 40 mile long Cascade Sub. The Brooklyn Sub has only gentle grades but the Cascade Sub has an overall 1.8% grade which southbound trains must climb. A total of 4458 feet of elevation is gained from Eugene to Cascade Summit.

The Coast Starlight appears in many scenes in this video, sometimes northbound and sometimes southbound. We also see oil trains, double stacks, and mixed manifest trains.

We see a rail grinder in action on Salt Creek Trestle and the sparks look like fireworks. Salt Creek Trestle is the only trestle we see but there are a series of tunnels along the route.

Throughout the video are views so typical of the Pacific Northwest: coniferous trees standing in the mountain mist with rain dripping from their needles.

C&O Coaling Towers by Frederick J. Ripley

 

Towards the former west end of the larger of the two Chesapeake and Ohio yards in Hinton stands this monument to the steam era, an enormous coaling tower built in the style of C&O’s “modern” installations (also in this style is the much smaller coaling tower at Thurmond, WV, built in 1922 and seen in this up-close view on the right).    Hinton was a critical facility for both classification and locomotive servicing on the main line across West Virginia.   To the west, the New River Subdivision follows the course of the New River (some of the most spectacular scenery in the eastern U.S.), resulting in a route with many curves but with grades kept to a minimum.   To the east, however, the Alleghany Subdivision, after following the course of the Greenbrier River, climbs to the summit at Alleghany, VA.   Perhaps Hinton’s most famous role, late in the steam era, was dispatching eastbound loaded coal trains with two of the most powerful steam locomotives ever built, the C&O’s H-8 2-6-6-6 “Allegheny” class.    Leaving Hinton, every coal train bound for Tidewater at Newport News was powered by an H-8 on the front, with a 2nd example of the class cut in in front of the caboose.  The helper would remain there until the train crested the grade at Alleghany, at which point it would cut off and return light to Hinton.    Photographs by Frederick J. Ripley

 

The April 2016 Interchange

¨ HO estate for sale. Charles Ellis lost his brother recently. Mr. Ellis had started collecting and operating HO in the 1980’s. Most of his collection is from the 80’s and early 90’s., and the family wants to liquidate this part of his estate. If you are interested contact Mr. Charles (Chip) Ellis at 270 886-3357 (Pennyrile Door & Glass) or pennyriledoorandglass@gmail.com .

¨ If you have items you’d like to buy, sell, or trade, send descriptions and pictures to me, your editor, billtrainthomas@gmail.com.

 

 

Paducah and Louisville Railway “Salute to our Troops” engine 2127 by Jim Pearson

March 30, 2016 - Paducah and Louisville Railway "Salute to our Troops" engine 2127 heads up a ballast train sitting in the number 2 track at West Yard in Madisonville, Ky waiting for a crew to take it on south to pick up a load of rock. - Tech Info: 1/250 | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 24mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. - Photo by Jim Pearson

March 30, 2016 – Paducah and Louisville Railway “Salute to our Troops” engine 2127 heads up a ballast train sitting in the number 2 track at West Yard in Madisonville, Ky waiting for a crew to take it on south to pick up a load of rock. – Tech Info: 1/250 | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | Lens: Sigma 24-70 @ 24mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson

Norfolk Southern’s 1071 Heritage Unit “Jersey Central Lines” by Jim Pearson

April 1, 2016 - Norfolk Southern's 1071 Heritage Unit "Jersey Central Lines" pulls out of the Warrior Coal Mine Lead onto Paducah and Louisville Railways Main line at Madisonville, Ky as it begins its northbound trip to Louisville, Ky. The train tied down at Pond River, north of Madisonville till the new crew takes it on north this afternoon around 4pm CST - Tech Info: 1/2500 | f/6 | ISO 400 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 370mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. - Photo by Jim Pearson

April 1, 2016 – Norfolk Southern’s 1071 Heritage Unit “Jersey Central Lines” pulls out of the Warrior Coal Mine Lead onto Paducah and Louisville Railways Main line at Madisonville, Ky as it begins its northbound trip to Louisville, Ky. The train tied down at Pond River, north of Madisonville till the new crew takes it on north this afternoon around 4pm CST – Tech Info: 1/2500 | f/6 | ISO 400 | Lens: Sigma 150-600 @ 370mm on a Nikon D800 shot and processed in RAW. – Photo by Jim Pearson