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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:18 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Well, speaking for myself, I would say what makes Strasburg special is:

1. Steam, and beautifully maintained at that.

2. Same for the passenger cars. You may think they are "Disneyesque," but photos of similar cars when new look mighty close to what Strasburg runs. And to be honest, how many other heritage roads running postwar lightweights would be better served with open window wooden cars or steel heavyweights as both more practical and more authentic? How many have cars of any vintage that are nowhere near the level of authentic good condition that is exhibited by the Strasburg fleet?

3. With steam and those passenger cars (and the vintage freight cars, too), Strasburg is also maintaining the institutional and technical memory needed to keep this stuff running. The management has also recognized the importance of preserving not only the railroad, but the view from the coach windows, which is why the road is also a member of a rural conservation society.

4. An excellent overall passenger experience, i.e., clean passenger cars, clean restrooms, too!

5. Commercial success. Let's admit it, railroads are expensive things, and most of our heritage roads have long had to struggle to pay bills. Strasburg used to do that, too.

Are there things I wish were different? Yes, among them:

1. Longer ride.

2. Get rid of those corny announcements, "ghost train" whistle, etc. Those contribute more to a "Disneyesque" atmosphere than anything else.

3. More in the way of authentic facilities, i.e., the proposed roundhouse in Strasburg, and the ability to turn locomotives at the Paradise end. I understand both of these are in the works, or at least used to be, along with an Amtrak connection and new station in Paradise/Leaman Place.

Now, for obvious reasons, I don't think I'm going to see a lot of those things, but let's admit it, that is being a bit nitpicky.

In the meantime, congratulate the crews and management for finding success in a very difficult field.


Last edited by J3a-614 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:36 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 602
Location: Bucks County, PA
It's one of the few places in the US where having a diesel pull the train is a rare event...

I didn't know there was a proposed roundhouse in Strasburg (I know about the one over at the museum) - where can one find more details about that proposed structure for the RR itself?

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1733
2. Get rid of those corny announcements, "ghost train" whistle, etc. Those contribute more to a "Disneyesque" atmosphere than anything else.



No way. The kids love it. The corn is in the adjoining farms, this is "character".

I find it hard to argue with or criticize success.


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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 253
J3a-614 wrote:
2. Get rid of those corny announcements, "ghost train" whistle, etc. Those contribute more to a "Disneyesque" atmosphere than anything else.


Honestly, I enjoyed the "ghost train whistle" announcement. It gave me a good laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Huh? What happened to the original poster? Talk about a ghost whistle, now it looks like I'm talking to a ghost!

About the proposed roundhouse in Strasburg--I know hardly anything of it. I glimpsed something on some videotape that was for sale there some years back; I think it was supposed to go about where Strasburg's expanded freight yard is, but I couldn't swear to it. I've had a devil of a time trying to track that down since.

I seem to recall that Strasburg has a turntable stored on the property; is that still there?

Material on the proposed Amtrak station at Leaman Place/Paradise is easier to find; apparently the station was almost ready to go in but budget constraints kicked in.

http://www.railfan.net/lists/rshsdepot- ... 00048.html

http://www.railfan.net/lists/rshsdepot- ... 00086.html

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,992676

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/r ... ?2,1723330

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/740/t/228227 ... SC&pi332=1

At one time there were a couple of newspaper articles locatable online, but those didn't turn up in the newest search.


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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:06 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 253
While I don't have a photo, there are/were two turntables mounted on trucks (3 axle?) stored at Strasburg on the lead to the RRMPA. They can be see on google maps at the very end of the track.

Edit: When I said lead to RRMPA, I mean the portion of the mainline that crosses Gap Road and connects to the spur coming out of the RRMPA.

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Bulby wrote:
J3a-614 wrote:
2. Get rid of those corny announcements, "ghost train" whistle, etc. Those contribute more to a "Disneyesque" atmosphere than anything else.


Honestly, I enjoyed the "ghost train whistle" announcement. It gave me a good laugh.

The "ghost train" shtick is a holdover from long-ago days when the crossing at Carpenter's was unsignalled, and the crossing was manually flagged by crew members, requiring a stop at either side of the crossing. The whistle echo was noted at the time and was built into the running commentary/ride. The crossing was later signalled with gates, I believe sometime in the 1980s (and a darn good thing, too, as it's got visibility issues); I'm fairly sure the "ghost train" shtick was re-developed as an excuse to delay the train just as it had been back in flagging days, and stretch the round trip out to the standard 45 minutes that has worked so well for them for decades. (I have the feeling that if a train crew were forced to, they could probably execute a round trip in about 30 minutes, minus the stops to trade whistles, at Groff's Grove, etc.)


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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Maybe Strasburg RR is Special because many consider it to be America's Premier Tourist Railroad Line. You also got other Railroad Attractions in area: Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania, Train Collectors of America HQ & Museum, Choo Choo Barn, & The Red Caboose Motel. Now for someone like myself, this was my 2nd time going to Strasburg. My last visit was back in 1993. Here's some of my videos from the Strasburg Area:

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-02-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MI1eLrSEjY

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-02-2014 #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpB-vjfvYnw

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-02-2014 #3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjKRTGHJpPQ

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-02-2014 #4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPV87J1qmOs

TCA Museum (National Toy Train Museum), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dilISJz93QM

Pennsylvania Railroad 4800 & 6755 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOevZb8kM6s

Pennsylvania Railroad 520 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsA-gVK2SYE

Amtrak 603 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_naQQFCdJQ

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014 #6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efpg7K0-haw

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014 #7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj6MLNGCqys

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014 #9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OhziP_lv24

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014 #13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Q29zsuWwo

Pennsylvania Railroad 4935 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcmXQ4vay0E

Pennsylvania Railroad 1187 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sTPicYA1FQ

Camden & Amboy 1 (John Bull), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZOAudLqpmQ

Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nqZQqNVFbI

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Diesel Locomotives), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdiEW3sTNJk

Pennsylvania Railroad 1223 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY92j7kVX0Y

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Steam Locomotives), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-uFaO-xydw

Pennsylvania Railroad 1670 & 5741 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vlLyZp8Y9M

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania (Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014 #14
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqFYKcVzm2I

Pennsylvania Railroad 94 & 7002 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzCuLSACxLk

Nickel Plate Road 757 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plp3sttZI5E

Pennsylvania Railroad 3936-3937 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY49LcdiPng

Pennsylvania Railroad 3750 & 7688 (Museum Tour), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUzW8kD38a0

Strasburg Railroad (Train Ride/Rolling Stock), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HDmjMD4Z4I

Choo Choo Barn (Model Train Layout), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpBG8O5jC1o

Red Caboose Motel (Model Train Layout), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDOldHFmIZ0

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-03-2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GalwyOVRWBQ

Strasburg Railroad (Norfolk & Western 475), 07-03-2014 #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAUjKy5pWw8

It may be another 21 years again before going back to Strasburg. Hopefully I go back sooner.

Enjoy! ^_^

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:45 pm
Posts: 190
Location: Boyertown, PA
In terms of the "Ghost Whistle", though corny, it's actually a notion to the Lancaster, Oxford, and Southern, a narrow gauge railroad to the southeast. The Strasburg Retains the sole survivor of that road, a railcar that was regauged.

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 Post subject: Re: So why is the Strasburg so special?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Posts: 663
Location: MA
Because it is run like a business and not a frat house.


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