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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2600
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
As an aside, I wonder how many sound recordings made by fans, photographers, etc have been tossed over the years by relatives, or those managing the estate?

Is your organization's library and archives set up to preserve these recordings? There have got to be a lot of these recordings out there, of various qualities.

Somethng to think about.

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David M. Wilkins
Terrible Railfan
Salt Lake City, Utah


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:47 pm
Posts: 83
Location: US of A
The O Winston Link recordings reissued on CD have been remixed.
They are not just CD direct copies of the record albums.
Christmas Eve at Rural Retreat, for example, is longer than the record album version.

Some Questions:

I was a passenger on the famous 611-1218 side-by-side trip during the 1987 NRHS Convention in Roanoke. I recall somebody had a large expensive looking recorder running in the recording car. After the second runby on the mountain near Shawsville, when Frank Collins marched 611 out of there with the full train it was THE LOUDEST that I ever heard 611 - and I spent alot of time around her in those years.
I have been asking around for years (including here on RYPN) if anyone knows who has that recording. Willing to spend big money for a good copy of that .

I bought the Mobile Fidelity record album sets that were released in the late 1970s.
There were four issued: NKP 765, C&O 614, SP 4449, and UP 844. I remember reading that one of the engines that would be featured in future releases was to be 2101 on the Chessie Steam Special. The series never went beyond the original 4.
Chessie 2101 was a loud engine, working hard to pull those long excursion trains, and not much in the way of audio has ever been released. Does somebody have those Mobile Fidelity recordings of 2101 that were to become an album?

Does anybody have any of the Bud Swearer Steam cassette tapes? He was affiliated with Strasburg RR in the 60's, and he made an impressive list of titles of steam recordings, including PRR, NKP, N&W, RDG. I had exchanged emails with him just at the time when he was moving to a Seniors' Home about 6 years ago, and he was unable to produce the cassette tapes I wanted to buy.

If preferred, contact me by direct email at -
SGRDG179@aol.com


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 10320
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
wilkinsd wrote:
As an aside, I wonder how many sound recordings made by fans, photographers, etc have been tossed over the years by relatives, or those managing the estate?

Is your organization's library and archives set up to preserve these recordings? There have got to be a lot of these recordings out there, of various qualities.

Somethng to think about.


We've thought about that. Been there, dealt with it.

I'm one of two or three "audio/video geeks" that help to maintain, as best we can with limited resources, the medley of film and slide projectors we have at the Md. Rail Heritage Library. I've not dared to approach the audio spectrum yet, although we have far too many aging bluegrass guys around who probably still have reel-to-reel players out there.

But then what? Heck, kids these days treat my cassette deck as an antique up there with where we thought of Grandma's old wind-up Victrola or player piano. I don't dare tell them I still listen to radio now and then.

It's bad enough that not enough is being done with various computer files where thousands of hours of typing can be transferred from a floppy to a digital file almost instantly, or an original manuscript scanned for OCR. Transcribing or duplicating analog audio recordings is a painstaking process at best, requiring hours of effort in set-up, editing, clean-up, etc., and for what? Unless you have meticulous notes with each recording specifying that it's H&G engine #73 departing Shucksville, Pennsyltucky on July 23, 1949 with train #2 and six cars for Loganstown, what you have is simply an audio sample, not any kind of historical record.

I have enough of a problem fighting to identify hundreds of badly or under-identified photographs, and those only take one or two seconds to look at. Put the equipment in front of me to do it right, and it'll still take me several minutes to set up to listen for several minutes for that cassette or reel-to-reel or LP. And if I have no idea what it's supposed to be? At least with this photo of a "Columbia and Nehalem River R.R." railbus, I have a prayer of finding a record of it in the Keilty books or figuring out where the railroad was. But that bunch of chuffs and whistles? Hah.

And I say this as someone crazy and determined enough to have once acquired and restored a WIRE recorder (predecessor to the consumer audio magnetic tape recorder) for a group to transfer a set of wire recordings.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
I have a couple of reel to reel recorders here.

and tape stuff I worked on etc.
But I have a the new digital stuff, well no I don't have these phone things.

But the recording systems showed up just about in time to preserve the sounds of railroading done by pro-semi-pro and some amateur likes.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:22 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:57 am
Posts: 48
Location: Elgin, IL
bigjim4life wrote:
mspetersen wrote:
Has anyone checked iTunes? There are a couple of Railroad "sound effect" albums listed there, such as "Steel Rail and Thundering Skies."


I did get "Steel Rail and Thundering Skies". In all honesty, it sounds like they got ordinary runbys of each of those engines (maybe from the actual engine, who knows), and then put a generic "thunderstorm" background track with each one. Is it real? I have my doubts, but I could be wrong.



There's more than that on iTunes, or at least there used to be. In 2009 (or so my files are telling me) I downloaded "Big Steam: Union Pacific", "NKP 779", "Power of the Past", "Steam Tracks Plus", and "The Power and the Majesty". The first three are in-service recordings, while the last two are 1970s and 1980s fantrips.

The IC steam in "Power of the Past" are all wearing steamboat hooters, like they should be! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:01 pm
Posts: 1
Hadn't been on these boards in ages, so I totally missed this topic.

However...

Some time back I started a Yahoo! group called The Railroad Record Fanclub. I had hoped it would be a little more lively than it turned out to be, but it seemed more like everyone else waited for me to write something. I hadn't intended it to be a magazine.... sigh.

There are a number of files over there, including discographies for a number of producers. I still manage to find new vintage titles that I had never heard of before.

Examples:
Voice Of The Iron Horse by Associated Four Productions
Local Freight by Railfan Records
Vanishing Vapor On The Boston & Maine by the 470 Club

It's nice to come up with new ones like that; I've got a couple of shelves full now.

Mary McPherson
Diverging Clear Productions


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:07 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 541
A little off topic, but in the late 70s at North Freedom I would see a blind railfan, parabolic microphone and tape recorder, as I recall he was assisted by his sister.

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 715
Mary Rae McPherson wrote:
Hadn't been on these boards in ages, so I totally missed this topic.

However...

Some time back I started a Yahoo! group called The Railroad Record Fanclub. I had hoped it would be a little more lively than it turned out to be, but it seemed more like everyone else waited for me to write something. I hadn't intended it to be a magazine.... sigh.

There are a number of files over there, including discographies for a number of producers. I still manage to find new vintage titles that I had never heard of before.

Examples:
Voice Of The Iron Horse by Associated Four Productions
Local Freight by Railfan Records
Vanishing Vapor On The Boston & Maine by the 470 Club

It's nice to come up with new ones like that; I've got a couple of shelves full now.

Mary McPherson
Diverging Clear Productions


Hmmm....Local Freight might be the elusive album I am looking for...plus a few others...


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:47 am
Posts: 230
Location: www.frrm.org
The album "Local Freight" mentioned above was released by the late Bill Bauer in Louisville, KY. It is a compilation of a ride on a B&O local freight in 1957 in middle Indiana. While it is an accurate recording of that train on that day, it never caught on and Bill never issued successive records, other than one he did of the Tweetsie tourist railroad in North Carolina. Too bad because he had many recordings of much higher quality.

Bill Bauer made a lot of recordings that have never been released. He recorded N&W steam from both aboard trains and lineside. Some of his subjects include pacific 578 pulling the passenger train from Bluefield to Norton and return, all recorded in the baggage car behind the engine. He recorded a ride on the Powhatan Arrow from Cincinnati to Kenova behind a J. Also, the Blacksburg Mixed and the excursion from Roanoke to Iaeger on July 11, 1959 with A class 1240 and Y6 2174. His lineside locations include Blue Ridge, Roanoke depot, Bluefield, Portsmouth, Williamson, and chases of mine runs out of Williamson.

He recorded Illinois Central steam in Kentucky at Louisville, Central City and Paducah plus the entire May 14, 1960 fan trip from Louisville to Paducah with 4-8-2 2613. Plus, the 2613 also pulling the L&N's Centennial excursion in Oct., 1959.

Other subjects were steam excursions on CB&Q, West Virginia short lines and others. All together, his recordings run over 60 hours.

In addition, he recorded steamboats such as the car ferry St. Genevieve, Delta Queen and others.

Recording all of this on 1/4 inch tape was not easy in the 1950's. He had to take a bank of automobile batteries to power the recorder plus heavy boxes of tape.
I recall him set up in a baggage car with a wooden table to hold the recorder that he tied to the wall to keep it from bouncing. It took him an hour or two to lug all the stuff to the train and set everything up. I'm sure the same was true of others.

I have been digitizing these sounds lately and may put a couple of CD's together in the future. I have used some of his audio in my videos where appropriate.

There were others who began recording much earlier. The famous photographer C. W. Witbeck recorded IC and Mississippi Central steam in the early 1950's.
His MCRR sounds include the final steam and first diesel runs on that line.

In St. Petersburg, FL, George Pettingill recorded ACL steam in the late 1940's on paper tape. He also got FEC steam at New Smyrna Beach and Canadian Pacific steam in Maine.

Jim Hawk accompanied his friend Don Krofta and got the sounds while Don shot 16mm film on NYC, PRR, NKP, B&O, CN, and CP. I've used many of his recordings in the videos we produced of Don's film.

So, while there are great sounds on records, there are many, many more that have never made it to either vinyl, cassette tape or today's digital files.

- Jim Herron


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: Pacific, MO
It would be a very worthwhile project to digitize whatever is out there and preserve/sell it before the original media has deteriorated too badly to be preserved.
I wish the Frisco hadn't dieselized so darned early! Hard to find even color photos or movies of their steam, much less sound recordings. Pity.
There are many other roads that seemed to escape much coverage.
Hindsight is wonderful.
I lugged a big reel to reel on a Burlington 4960 St. Louis trip and recorded amost all day only to find out that the converter in the bag car was either putting out low voltage or wasn't 60 cycle. When I played them back at home they sounded like Mickey Mouse.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:47 pm
Posts: 83
Location: US of A
'' When I played them back at home they sounded like Mickey Mouse. ''

If you still have the tapes, it might be worth a shot to make a digital copy, and try to slow it down. You might still be able to save it.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:45 pm
Posts: 199
Location: Northern Virginia
There is a new Winston Link CD available, Time Freight, featuring Class A 1238 on a composite round trip from Roanoke to Crewe and return in very late December 1958. This is an all-new set of Link recordings. It includes details of moving Link's recording car from the station in Roanoke, eastbound departure from Roanoke and up Blue Ridge, fast running through Thaxton, start and more fast running from Pamplin to Abilene, westbound action through Evergreen and Bedford, then a steady 15-mph climb up Blue Ridge westbound. No slip or stall this time, just heads-up hard work.

So far the CD has received little attention but it has been selling well and is available through the Link Museum and N&W Historical Society websites. If you like BTTW on-train fast freight action, this is a recording you want to get.

Caveat - I had something to do with both the Life Along the Line and Time Freight CDs so I'm very (!!) biased in my opinion of both these recordings.

Dave Stephenson


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: Pacific, MO
RDG 179 wrote:
'' When I played them back at home they sounded like Mickey Mouse. ''

If you still have the tapes, it might be worth a shot to make a digital copy, and try to slow it down. You might still be able to save it.


I still have the tape, but it's an old 4 channel tape and I have no way to play it to digitize it. It would take someone a whole lot more geek savvy than me.
There was one sequence on it where they did a runby and I took it and plugged it into the Peruque, MO depot. It came out normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 264
Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Just slightly off topic, but does anyone have any sound recordings of New Hope & Ivyland, ex Canadian National 4-6-0 number 1533? Thanks guys - David Notarius, London UK


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Sound Recordings
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:47 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Homeworth, Ohio
I need some help on a purchase I made. I got this Ralbar B&O Iron Horse Days record from eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/141144524673?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649as a gift for my Dad for Christmas. It only has a sleeve and the info on the record. I am wanting to know what year it is from and if it was B&O engines used on this trip or RDG T1's. I searched the Semaphore catalog and they don't list the Ralbar records in their discography. Any help is welcomed.
Have a wonderful holiday!!
Rob Sundberg


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