Monday, November 07, 2011

Trolling the Web

You may have seen a few new websites appearing over on the left; but I have come across enough of them that they deserve a post to highlight them as well:

Ogden Brothers Trains - blog and related family of websites.
Updated multiple times a week. These two brothers, James and Steven, have been blogging for a while, but I discovered them only recently. They offer a variety of posts: profiles of famous passenger trains, reviews of model railroad products, explanations of railroad slang, and vignettes of modern railroading thanks to James' job as a conductor for the BNSF in Montana. Definitely worth a visit - anyone interested in trains is going to find something worth reading there!

Idaho's Panhandle Railroad, by Matt Sugerman.
Occasionally updated blog, chronicling Matt's modeling of the Camas Prairie RR in the 1960's; recommended for anyone with an interest in the Camas Prairie, or anyone interested in how railroads operated in the Northwest in the 1960's. Railroading then was a different beast - 100 car trains, but loaded with logs... here, modern and ancient railroading met!

Occasionally updated.This blog focuses on the Union Pacific's branchlines in eastern Washington and northern Idaho in the late 1960s and 1970s. So far the focus has been on boxcars and grain operations.

Updating 1-2 times a month. A new model railroad blog, set in the Pend Oreille Valley. Looking froward to this one.

Official blog of the Forest History Society, updated 2-4 times a month. If you have an interest in forestry, forest management, or logging, this is worth a visit; one of the things I have enjoyed reading about is the various mascots of forest fire prevention programs - Idaho's "DON'T BE A GUBERIF' road stencils needs to show up on a layout somewhere.

New website for the museum, dedicated to the rail history of the Inland Northwest.

It's a good time to be a train nerd; a time of plenty if ever there was.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From Utah To The Black Hills By Way of Montana

Train-order signal at Hill City, SD.

I have traveled far and wide in recent weeks; business took me to Fort Peck, Montana, and pleasure took me to the Black Hills. There is a lot to inspire a modeler in that amount of driving, and here's a quick summation of some posts that are forming in my head:
  • Division points as layouts. Many much better and smarter did this before me - John Armstrong in the November 1952 Model Railroader,  for one - but seeing it for myself in the old and yet still current division points of Glendive, MT and Livingston, MT really got me thinking, as it would be a great way to bring big-time passenger and freight operations onto a smaller layout, without a big classification yard.
  • The now-quiet Livingston Rebuild Center; formerly the Northern Pacific shops at Livingston, Montana.
    The BNSF (former BN, former NP) division offices in the station building at Glendive.
  • I suppose that should explain that last part, how no yard is a good thing. I don't like yard switching. (It's personal. There, I said it.)
  • Stuck just outside the Glendive yard, waiting to get in.
  • The Black Hills offers some awesome modeling ideas. (That said, I don't think I'm the guy to tackle them. My tastes run Pacific Northwestern. I blame Spokane.)
  • The former FE&MV depot at Deadwood, SD. No tracks anymore, sadly.
    Fortunately, the Black Hills Central made up for that. In spades. (The South Dakota State Railroad Museum nearby is a must-see, too.
  • You can find trains in the most interesting places - so always carry a camera.
  • Ex-GN combine sitting in a field outside Fort Peck, MT.
I'll open up the comments; feel free to drop in your thoughts!

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Heartland Corridor

The current issue of Trains has an interesting article on Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor project, which has improved clearances to accommodate double-stack trains along the former Norfolk & Western main line in Virginia and West Virginia.

It is a big, ambitious project, requiring extensive tunnel and bridge work.

But I'll let Norfolk Southern explain:

Norfolk Southern is investing in a way that does its heritage proud - this is big-time railroading. And this isn't all - there's the Crescent Corridor, too - but that's a post for another day.

The short take-away: exciting things are happening in Eastern railroading.