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 Post subject: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
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NKP 759 & G.M. Leilich  8-6-71 small.jpg
NKP 759 & G.M. Leilich 8-6-71 small.jpg [ 47.61 KiB | Viewed 6069 times ]


On the bright morning of Thursday, August 6, 1971, NKP 759 (freshly painted) awaited the preparations of the Western Maryland Railway. Out in the yard, a freight train eastbound for the Reading connection at Lurgan, Pa was being readied. And a few feet away from 759, the WM's VP of Operations made his preparations: George Leilich was setting up his 16mm Bolex movie camera for a day's filming of 759 first pushing that freight up and out of Hagerstown, and then pacing alongside 759 in a WM Ford Econoline hirail pickup two tracks over, with Ross Rowland putting 759 through her paces.

George Leilich was a first-class railroader, a very friendly and encouraging person and was also a first-class filmmaker. His footage of those days was superb, well-shot, creative (a four-images-at-once sequence, shot on the same film, no computer "processing"), all the more so because of who was doing it. Can anyone imagine the VP-Operations of CSX filming trains?

That 16mm Bolex was a very high-powered piece of equipment at a time when 99% of fans shot Super 8. One could say it was the film equivalent of Lima Super-Power.

This was simply the middle of an amazing week (and summer) for a young steam fan and neophyte preservation railroader; the July 4 retirement of 6218, the first runs of the Valley Railroad just days before, and 759's glorious last days before retirement at Steamtown in Vermont. It all did make an impression, to be sure.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3015
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I live in the wrong time. . .or maybe I've even already lived too long (and I'm only 56). . .

Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:37 pm
Posts: 215
Dammit, Howard, you must do a book of your best b&w photography! Surely there's more great stuff waiting to be published ... get it into print!! (read: Classic Trains)

~K.R. Bell


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Thanks, KR. No one reads books anymore, don't ya know?

I do enjoy sharing these with the RyPN crew, though. I think there is some appreciation of the photos here and I hope everyone enjoys them.

Howard P.
Certified Fossil, NY

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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:16 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8302
Location: Baltimore, MD
[removed by author]


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
Really enjoying these images, Howard (and of course the back stories too!) -thanks for scanning these!

Stephen


Last edited by Stephen Hussar on Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 944
A coda to this story:

My wife and I were staying overnight with friends in Paramount, Maryland, a few miles north of Hagerstown, on that August day in 1971. The WM track was about a quarter mile from the apartment complex, and we could hear every freight train as they rumbled through the area, blowing for a crossing a bit to the north. My wife and I awoke as the head end of that freight train rumbled by, then dozed off a bit. We were both brought to instant consciousness by the sound of a hard-working steam locomotive. We looked at one another and shook our heads. "Nah, we must have been dreaming," we both thought. It wasn't until a couple of months later when we saw the story in "Trains" that we found out what we had missed.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:29 pm
Posts: 3
Howard, I sent all of Dad's videos to Herron Studies in Florida for digitizing and possible commercial sale. I need to to follow up to see if NKP 759 movies were in the pile and converted. It would be great if they were.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:52 pm 

In October 1971, High Iron ran 759 on an excursion train (17 cars, IIRC) on Saturday westbound/Sunday eastbound Baltimore to Connellsville. I was on board and observed crazy railfans chasing the train along a twisting parallel road in western Maryland. One guy was in a Mercedes, shooting movies through the car's sunroof while keeping one hand on the wheel! I wonder if he does any text messaging now? Hmmmmmm.

Sloan


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:30 pm 
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Location: H2O-town, CT
I think you need to do a slide show sometime, similar to what I did that one Sunday at the shop.

My grandfather shot all his video in 16mm, he even had a splicer for it. The camera, projector and splicer were given away/tossed in April of 2008 after my grandmother was gone and the house in Little Falls, NJ had to be cleaned out. Grandfather passed in 1997. Too bad I didn't know you at that time, I would have given you the stuff if interested. Hindsight is 20/20.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:17 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:47 am
Posts: 210
Location: www.frrm.org
Bob, Howard, et all-

Yes, there are scenes of 759 in the film we have from Bob. I have not used any of the Leilich RR footage yet because I still have a massive number of reels of his family films to transfer. Who knows, perhaps there are some gems hiding in them!

-Jim Herron


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:11 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:29 pm
Posts: 3
Greetings, all.

It warms my heart to see all the nice comments about my father, whose second greatest love in life was the Western Maryland. (The first, of course, was my mother, who, at almost 96, lives near our family in Texas.)

Though Dad could be intimidating at times, if you were a railfan, the door to his office was always open. Ask Mike Autorino, a talented movie maker, who Dad virtually adopted as a son (and now still my virtually adopted brother), giving him carte blanche to photo the WM. (Of course, Dad went along to "supervise.") If you were an employee, Dad treated you with great respect as long as you did your job.

When Ross Rowland had a working steam engine without a railroad and Dad had a railroad without a working steam engine, it was a no-brainer match made in Heaven as the two "boys" had the time of their lives. Even I had the privilege of handling the throttle on the 759 - whatta' locomotive, born to pull.

Recently, I learned that Dad's former business car, #204, may be available for restoration, similar to the 203 (President's business car) that now resides at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania near Strasburg. The 204 is now sitting as an unused family vacation home on Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. If I can convince the owner's estate to donate the car, the Allegheny County Museum has verbally indicated a willingness to take title to the car, the Western Maryland Scenic Railway has agreed to store the car indoors out of the elements, and a local contractor has agreed to move the car for free (or nearly so). If we are successful in doing this, the next step would be to fund material for restoration and obtain as much volunteer labor to do the work.

I would love to hear from anyone interested in participating in this effort, either financially, with labor, or both. You may contact me directly at BobLeilich@comcast.net.

- Bob Leilich
Attachment:
File comment: Kent T. Healy, George Leilich's former professor at Yale, enjoys an inspection trip on the 204 during WM's Halcyon days.
WM Ry Business Car 204(2).jpg
WM Ry Business Car 204(2).jpg [ 275.33 KiB | Viewed 4662 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Back in NE Ohio
G. W. Laepple wrote:
A coda to this story:

My wife and I were staying overnight with friends in Paramount, Maryland, a few miles north of Hagerstown, on that August day in 1971. The WM track was about a quarter mile from the apartment complex, and we could hear every freight train as they rumbled through the area, blowing for a crossing a bit to the north. My wife and I awoke as the head end of that freight train rumbled by, then dozed off a bit. We were both brought to instant consciousness by the sound of a hard-working steam locomotive. We looked at one another and shook our heads. "Nah, we must have been dreaming," we both thought. It wasn't until a couple of months later when we saw the story in "Trains" that we found out what we had missed.


This reminded me of the 16mm movies of these runs shot by the late Cleveland railfan photographer "Jungle" Jim Marcus. Jim's been gone now for over 20 years (early AIDS victim), but I clearly remember watching his movies of the 759 WM trips, and one scene in particular. He's filming one of the pusher trips, set up across the street from a trackside bar. As the 759 passes by the bar, a customer leaving the bar stops in amazement, jumps up and down, turns tail and runs back into the bar. Brought down the house at the railroad club meeting. Those are some movies that I would really like to see again. Jim worked in construction and had winters off to travel to Central and South America in the late '60's, shooting 16mm movies of the end of steam down there. I think he came close a few times to causing some international incidents. Truly one of the characters of the hobby. He could walk into a meeting to do a program with a projector, slide file box, and a stack-loader, and put on a nearly two-hour program that virtually no one left early.


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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:22 pm 
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Posts: 1910
Location: San Diego, Ca
Howard P. wrote:
George Leilich was setting up his 16mm Bolex movie camera for a day's filming of 759 first pushing that freight up and out of Hagerstown, and then pacing alongside 759 in a WM Ford Econoline hirail pickup two tracks over, with Ross Rowland putting 759 through her paces.


Doing a little research on existing commercial NKP 759 footage in the excursion era- there seems to be a lack of it.

But I did find a review of Sunday River Productions "Nickel Plate Odyssey" about 759 from 1969-1973.

https://wjhudson.wordpress.com/2013/05/ ... e-odyssey/

The review mentions pacing shots from 1971- could this be Leilich's footage that Howard P. mentioned?

I just purchased the DVD, so I'm looking forward to watching this.

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 Post subject: Re: Two Nice Machines and One Nice Man
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1052
Location: Pacific, MO
Paul Woodring's post about the bar reminds me of when the BN allowed us out very late at night for a shakedown run out to Valley Park, MO (about 70 miles considering MOT to downtown, turn, run to Valley Park, turn on the wye and do the reverse.
After turning in Valley Park, we started back east and were really working the engine hard. It was about midnight and we whistled for the main crossing and it brought an avalanche of guys out of the saloon by the tracks. They were going ballistic and it was funny.
Always fun to catch people who didn't know you were coming and surprise them like that.


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