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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
My interest in railroad came from watching trains on the L&N's Bardstown branch go back and forth behind my parents' home. This line was later purchased by RJ Corman as his first shortline operation.

As a youngster, my grandfather took me on a couple of trips sponsored by the Kentucky Railway Museum, then located in Louisville. The excursions were pulled by L&N 152. Those trips sealed my interest.

Flash forward to my young teenage years, KRM moved to New Haven, KY, about 15 miles from where I lived. I spent nearly every Saturday at KRM for many a year, working around everything, including steam. A gentleman I volunteered with, and worked with, was chief engineer. I learned trackwork, and the engineering behind it.

What makes me really blow the bell curve is that I also have an interest in electric railways, including streetcars and interurbans, long after the end of the interurban era in America. I trace this back to that chief engineer, who shared his interest.

Civil War reenacting, World War II reenacting, 18th century trade fairs, people who build Pennsylvania and Kentucky longrifles: all examples of people interested in an era of the past they never personally witnessed. Railroading in the "golden age" is just one of those interests.

EDIT: I'm 30 and still consider myself to be a "youn-un."

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:19 pm
Posts: 18
My railroad interest goes back to a school feild trip to the Carroll Park & Western RR in Berwick PA...Any time I smell creosote I think of it


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:14 pm
Posts: 91
Location: Spartanburg, SC
I've been interested in steam as long as I can remember. I'm 27 about to turn 28 in just over a month. My dad tells me that technically my first trip was when my mom was pregnant with me on a Charlotte, NC to Columbia, SC to Spartanburg, SC and back to Charlotte trip behind Southern Railway's former C&O 2-8-4 2716 in the first half of 1982. I was born in Spartanburg on August 21 of the same year, while my mom was in labor, N&W 611 was steaming through South Carolina on the NS mainline less than one mile from the hospital and to this day the 611 remains my favorite steam locomotive and like many others I can only hope for a chance to see her in steam again one day, although if she doesn't I had the chance to ride two 611 powered excursions up Saluda grade in 1992 and 1994, the first and last trips up the grade respectively.

Savannah & Atlanta 750 holds a soft spot for me as I rode behind her from Knoxville to Cumberland Gap, Kentucky along with FP-7 helpers. Even though I was only 1 at the time and don't remember the trip, I'm glad I got to ride behind the 750 as it looks like she won't steam again.

Shining Time Station and Thomas had some effect as well. Too be honest, I knew Ringo Starr as Mr. Conducter before I knew that he used to be a member of The Beatles. This was the 80s, some 15 years after the Beatles had broken up. While I like George Carlin's comedy, he just didn't fit that role as well as Ringo did, but that's just my subjective opinion.

On October 25, 1992, I got to ride in the first coach behind the 611's tender as she climbed, stalled and restarted at the top of the grade. Unfortunately, on the 1994 trip I rode the diesel-powered portion of the trip up the grade.

When the NS steam program ended in 1994, I lost interest in trains for a while, but was thankful when TVRM started their excursion program on the Chattooga and Chickamauga in 1995 enabling me to ride behind 4501 and 610 numerous times over the past 15 years. I am saddened that the floods happened and that the turntable in Summerville is sitting unused at the moment. While I am glad about TVRM's partnership with NS for the new steam program, I hope that the C&C line can be repaired and steam can travel their rails again at some point in the future.

Unfortunately living in SC there is virtually no local options for seeing steam in action other than in October for the last 4 years when the South Carolina Railroad Museum and John Gramling has brought in his 0-4-0T Flagg Coal Company 75 to pull excursions over former Rockton & Rion trackage. Things in NC aren't much better right now, Tweetsie 12 and 190, New Hope Valley 0-4-0T 17 and the Handy Dandy Railroad's 2-4-0 that operates over the July 4 weekend are about the only options.

I am looking forward to Southern 630's return in October as I have never had a chance to see the 630 or 722 in steam (as both are virtually identical sisters). Who would have thought that the 630 would be steaming on the Southern (now Norfolk Southern) 42 years after she was initially returned to operation in February 1968.

When I ride a steam excursion I have to ride in an open-window coach or hang my head out of a vestibule wearing goggles. Getting cinders in the hair and on clothes and smelling the sweet aroma of coal smoke is part of the excursion process for me. I've been lucky enough to have had cab rides in Graham County Railroad shay 1925, Ohio Central's GTW 4-8-4 6325, and Tweetsie's ex-US Army 2-8-2 190.

It is too bad I was not born 60 plus years ago. I would have loved to have been at Blue Ridge summit to see J's roll by with the Pocahontas and Powhattan Arrow. Or Y6bs doubleheaded with A's with another Y6 pusher on the rear. Or just have gotten a glimpse of the short-lived Jawn Henry. Such things aren't to be and can just be grateful for what steam is still operating now and hopefully still to run for many more years.


Last edited by Steven Ashley on Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:36 pm
Posts: 103
Location: East Ely, Nevada
Let's see here, I am 16 now and have loved trains all my life.

I have always had an interest of steam over diesel from a very young age. Partly from watching our favorite blue 0-6-0T and the many steam engines on the "Island of Sodor". I also liked steam living on long island because they where different, there was more action on them with much more to watch and do which was a major appeal. The idea of using coal and water to power a train was also a cool thought, not that I had any idea about heat, boiler pressure and different gauges.

I really started to understand the iron horse after visiting the Strasburg Rail Road with my folks to see a day out with Thomas which turned into a yearly event. As I got older I started to notice the other aspect of the SRC, the regular hour excursion train. I stood watching for Baldwin Number 90 and slowly leaned away from Thomas simply falling in love with the Decapod realizing there was more to trains then just Thomas. I rode the SRC train and was instantly obsessed with it. I bought a copy of "Road to Paradise" studying it cover to cover learning history and steam.

By this point I was still going to SRC to see the real trains and wanted to work and preserve these machines that helped build America, and had brought me so much enjoyment watching and riding. I started volunteering at the Railroad Museum of Long Island where I always say my big break happened. I was finally working with real trains and learning a heck of a lot. I was actually meeting people as well that ran RRs and helped to keep steamers running.

Then with the idea of working on steam trains I went to Steamtown Railcamp, had an awesome time and moved onto the Nevada Northern Railcamp where things where really taking speed. I had worked on real steam trains, ran diesels and staffed the train crew. I was in heaven I knew that would be it, so with advice of many known and knowledgeable tourist railroad officials I came out up a schooling plan that I am working on now that will allow me to maintain steamers.

And now I am looking at heading back to the Nevada Northern to work as an intern, so steam is in my blood. Steam is the one thing I have found I am good at, know a ton about and enjoy.

Think that sums it up :-)
Anthony

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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:20 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 205
Steven Ashley wrote:
I've been interested in steam as long as I can remember.



Pretty much the same here. I was just born with it. No Thomas, or otherwise, but one very strong memory of 611 sitting in Spencer, NC in 1983 before an excursion to Greensboro sticks out pretty good. It was huge sitting still, and VERY loud when the photo runby came up.

I guess I was fortunate growing up to have parents that purchased an uncountable number of railroad magazines, and having Spencer Shops (now the NC Transportation Museum) fairly close to the house. Growing up, there was always Tweetsie (though it's appeal was somewhat limited), and the ex-BC&G #4 dressed up as SR 604 in Spencer, and we became fairly well acquainted with the volunteers there at the time--many of whom are sadly no longer with us. Cabrides and or cab-visits happened on a somewhat regular basis, and I have a very strong memory of being escorted from the passenger cars through the inner workings to the cab of SR FP7 6133 during one of the times the steam was down. Plenty of visits were also made to the Roanoke Transportation Museum including one during a flood, and to the SR 542 which was on display near the house.

Then, of course, there was Norfolk Southern steam. One unforgettable incident occurred somewhere circa 1988 where I had apparently played a video of 611 and 1218 one too many times for the parents to tolerate. 'Round about mid-afternoon, the unmistakable sound of a N&W hooter whistle filled the house, with the expected scream of "I thought I told you to turn that dadgum video off". My response of "it's not on" was promptly answered by another blast of the whistle. Long story short, the 1218 was doing a photo runby about a half-mile from the house. "Chasing" promptly ensued for a couple of miles as it came into town. That was the first of several incidents where steam showed up unexpectedly. Eventually, I got to ride that stretch of track behind the house when 4501 showed up in 1991.

Of course, we became regulars on the NS Steam Excursions from about 1987 onwards when actually finding out about one with time to get tickets became possible. I was lucky enough to convince the parents to go on the 1989 Powhatan Arrow anniversary trip out of Roanoke behind 611, and later the first trip up Saluda in 1992, even though $90 tickets for the latter were just an outrage at the time! Many other trips followed (roughly 2 a year until the steam program ended), and I still get people from time to time who remember me. Guess an 8-year old with goggles who refused to move from an open vestibule regardless of how late it was stuck with them.

Going to college and being 15 minutes away from a hard-working 2-8-0 running over 5% grades at the Great Smoky Mountains Railway didn't help either to dissuade me from the hobby, but it was certainly enjoyable when studies and other activities didn't interfere. It wasn't mainline steam, but it was very impressive and one-of-a-kind. Not many tourist railroads were pulling 14 car trains up 2% grades, and occasional runs up the 4+% grades of Red Marble to Topton. Never let it be said that a US Army 2-8-0 isn't one of the loudest engines out there!

I was lucky enough to have money saved up to pay my own way to China to see doubleheaded QJ 2-10-2s in the winter of 2004 to see the last of steam over Jingpeng Pass. The parents understood the theory, but never really believed I would go by myself to another country to see a steam engine until I faded from view down an airport corridor towards a plane. No regrets at all however. Being woke out of a dead sleep to the in-and-out rhythm of doubleheaded steam working uphill in the middle of the night is something I'll never forget. I've heard so many stories from a friend who grew up in Abingdon, VA watching a never-ending parade of As, Js, Ks, Ys, Ms and everything else slogging by on Wyndale Hill, that it was nice to be able to get a glimpse of what it was all about.

I guess I can blame it on a natural interest of all things steam (didn't really care for the internal combustion side of things...some things never change!), and some VERY helpful parents who spent much more time and money than was necessary to help encourage me.
Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:57 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Being 34, I'm not exactly a young'un. Grew up in Chattanooga and saw plenty of trains, both on the main line and at TVRM. However, the locomotive that made that big impression on me was not the 4501-never rode behind her until I worked as a trainman. My first train ride (ever) was on the Southern Railway Steam Excursion Program-TVRM's Autumn Leaf Special up to Crossville, Tennessee behind the Texas and Pacific 610. I still have the photographs of the photo run by and it's clear to me that seeing that machine in all it's power and glory was what made that impression on me.

Another fond memory was getting to visit the cab of the Tennessee Homecoming Special when it paid a visit to Chattanooga in 1986. I've got a picture of me with some friends leaning out the engineer's window of the F units. Their grandfather was a Road Foreman of Engines on the Southern at the time and the only way to get an invite to the cab for that trip. Getting to work on the Tennessee Valley when I was in high school and college only fed my interest in railroads more.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Springville, PA
This question has come up quite often at family functions. How can Bruce be so interested in trains?? When I was young, there were no television based railroad shows. There are no railroaders in my family. Nobody in my family was even interested in trains before I came along.

The only explanation my parents can come up with:

I was concieved on the Broadway Limited in July of 1959 somewhere between New York and Chicago. My parents took a trip out to the west coast and flying was way too expensive at the time so they took the train.

Nuff said.

I still have the ticket stubs and baggage tags from this trip.

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Bruce Mowbray
Springville, PA


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 148
Location: MD
I'm a 22yo young'un. I would say my grandfathers are most responsible for my interest. Both worked for the RR. One fired for the B&O and the other learned to fired on the PRR then moved on to the L&NE and finally CNJ. One of my great-grandfathers was a B&O yardmaster as well. I also have a great-uncle, and his brother that worked for the L&NE. I have an uncle that got my brother and I into model railroading. My interest comes from my family, but there are other factors. Of course my parents recognized my interest and started me on Thomas. I also got to see 2100 steamed up here in Hagerstown as a small child and that really got me excited until it disappeared. Another factor was Boothbay Railway Village and it's little Henschels that I looked forward to seeing each year on our family vacation to Maine. I've had a long love for Western Maryland 202 ever since I saw it on a school field-trip in elementary school. I know the campaign to save the WM roundhouse and shops here in Hagerstown really caught my attention as a child. All in All there are many factors. I've been exposed to railroading my whole life.

-Alex Haines


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 151
Anthony C. DeBellis wrote:
Then with the idea of working on steam trains I went to Steamtown Railcamp, had an awesome time and moved onto the Nevada Northern Railcamp where things where really taking speed. I had worked on real steam trains, ran diesels and staffed the train crew. I was in heaven I knew that would be it...


My goodness, how did I forget Railcamp? I attended the 2007 camp at the Nevada Northern, met some great kids my age, but I realized something later... I wanted to hang out with the crew more than the other campers (if any of you all happen to read this, don't be offended. You were all great). I wanted to learn so much about the day to day business, all the little stuff like air brake checks, what to look for in walk around inspections... all those little details that most people wouldn't think about. Just from talking to the crew, I sort of became friends with them in the short time I was there (I actually keep up with a few of them to this day). I'd say Greg Udolph was definitely a big help, as was Jason Lamb. They both gave me ideas of where to look for a job, and what kind of stuff to expect once I get a job somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:08 am
Posts: 44
Location: Lehighton, PA
Not being too terribly young, but at 26, and new to the forum, I think I can add a bit here.

I grew up in and still live in Lehighton, PA, just four miles from Jim Thorpe. My father is a casual railfan and got me hooked at a young age. Seeing the equipment around the station in Jim Thorpe got my full attention at that same time, and I rode Railtours' excursions many, many times. For the longest time, from as far back as I could remember, up until I was 10, George's CP 4-6-0 # 1098 was being worked on right in the middle of town, and I couldn't wait for the day I could see it in operation. For the brief period it did run in the fall of 1994 I did get to see it a fair bit, and was even given a cabride on it courtesy of Bill F. Only wish my mother had brought the camera along in those days!!

I joined the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society at the age of 8 or 9 and have been active with restoration ever since, though admittedly I haven't been to Scranton as much in the past year as I should have been.

I also volunteered as a ticket seller for the two-rail O scale train display known as 'Pocono Museum Unlimited' (where they got that name I still don't know) for a few years in Lehighton.

And yes, that blue tank-engine helped me get through those dry spells when being trackside wasn't an option!!

-Micah


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:15 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
I sometimes mention the two young men I saw at Nevada Northern a few years ago. They had learned about steam at the "Orange Empire Institute of Railway Technology" and were in East Ely doing "postgraduate" work in coal-fired railroading.

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Southern California


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:01 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 151
Bob Davis wrote:
I sometimes mention the two young men I saw at Nevada Northern a few years ago. They had learned about steam at the "Orange Empire Institute of Railway Technology" and were in East Ely doing "postgraduate" work in coal-fired railroading.


Did you happen to pick up their names?


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:37 pm
Posts: 16
Under 30. The ball started rolling with GTW 4070 and NW 1218 excursions.

Since then, I have successfully completed a 1/8" operational model of MILW #261. This is the same locomotive that many had seen in the mostly completed state at Owosso Train Fest '09.

http://www.youtube.com/horizonr- vids of the locomotive.

I am successfully operating a growing full-service locomotive service and supply company. We specialize in everything from locomotives (EMD/GE/ALCo) for sale and lease to all components / installations. Some of our services include engine, generator and compressor rebuilds, installations and alignments.

http://www.horizonrail.com


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:01 pm
Posts: 43
39 here. My mom and grandmother would take me trackside on the CNO&TP's Third District (born in Soddy Daisy, 30 miles from Chattanooga). First trip was behind 4501 in 1976 when she ran up Cumberland Mtn. from Emory Gap to Crossville (only time she ever did that). Rode behind T&P 610, chased the AFT behind the RDG 2101, rode behind 4501 numerous times, 1218, 611, went to the 1991 NRHS convention in Huntington.


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 Post subject: Re: Young'uns
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:35 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Chesapeake, Va
I am not sure if at 39 I qualify as a youngin anymore, but my interest in anything on flanged wheels stems from time spent with my Father at the then Branford Trolley Museum. I have been active at Shoreline (aka Branford) as well as Seashore Trolley Museum's, following in Dad's footsteps. Being a career military member does pose challenges though. Now that I am seeing the end of my career approachin I am looking forward to being more active at Branford again! Now I have begun passing the torch to my 7 year old son. Seeing him at the controls (assisted) of a 1919 Connecticut Company Brill Suburban car solidified the interest!!!

Steve Loitsch


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