Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Rare One Now Extinct: I don't think you will find any old (ca. 1957) Boston and Maine heritage GPs running around these days. The last time one was photographed, as far as I know, was in 2016 by myself, shown below from an Aug. 2016 ride, and several rrpictures.net fans.

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    I was searching for pictures of this unit as a response to @jeickerman, who wondered about the number of GPs left laying around Pan Am's various facilities, and finally found this pic that hadn't been previously posted. This GP is definitely gone, having been sold to Heber Valley RR. B&M livery is now in short supply, if it exists at all.
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  2. andredl

    andredl Sold my K Bike for a Deere

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    At 6'4" I can manage about 4 hours in the drive's seat, maybe 2 in the passenger's. Still the most smiles per mile of any car we've owned.

    miat-10.jpg
  3. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I'll soon have to "un-park" my next best thing (MG Midget). I suspect mine is a little more maintenance intensive but when it's running well, well it's fun just like yours. Only time I had the top up was when we brought it home from my dads house. 1,500 or so miles away.
  4. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    That is one sharp looking Geep. So clean too.

    Thanks for posting it.

    John
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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    At 6 ft. I just fit in the NC with the seat pumped all the way down. Funny thing about the Miata is that it has seating I can take all day (which I have many times going x-country) whereas our previous, supposed-luxury Accura left me in pain after about 2 hours. Our CX-5 is also good on my (platform diving accident) back and far better than the Accura but the Miata is like therapy for the back, mind, spirit and soul. That said, it's out of storage to stay, either in the garage, as shown below, when the kid's away or outside under cover until the place is done.

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    After 10 years, she's still minty fresh and road-sassy as ever.
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Minor Train Fix: Busy day with the contractors and subs but was out for a short bit near MBTA tracks around the time the Lake Shore Limited was coming out of South Station in Boston. Only had to waste a few minutes waiting for this pic.

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    Amtrak is on MBTA tracks from Boston to Worcester and CSX after that and one or the other often puts them behind. Is it me or are these trains getting shorter and seedier?
    KMichael, Deckyon, zookster and 3 others like this.
  7. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    Winter time they cut back on the length of the train, as fewer people are riding them. The Empire Builder runs either 7 or 8 cars in the winter time (usually 8), and summertime it is at least 10 cars. They still seem to over power the trains though. I would think that they could pull those four cars and supply HEP with one locomotive. The Empire builder, when it breaks in to two trains in Spokane, WA runs one locomotive (usually) for each leg to Seattle WA or Portland OR, and those cars are heavier than the single level cars.

    John
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Melange Of Mills That's On The Dance Card: Below is a bumper crop of photogenic old mills, some of which are interconnected, that are are my train fix to-do list. Simply put, I hope to get a picture of some CSX power coming into view where you see the river, dam and mills. Thus the need to scout out angles and views, which is as good a reason as any to ride. The view below doesn't work.

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    First off, there's the trees that obscure the picture and will do so even more when they leaf out. Second, the position is too high. It needs to about half way between this height and the road bed, so as to see the river. Thus the challenge. It may require a good number of rides out that way.
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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bike & GP: Another previously-unposted pic, this time of the bike with a 1975, ex-CN GP40 running on the MBTA line some years back. I had taken a sequence of shots as train approached. This is one of those.

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    At one time, the T had some 25 of these old workhouses running the rails. Don't know how many are left now. It's time to get to Ayer and find out what's running.
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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Ice Out: Well, happily, it's ice-out and geese can be seen flying north. Late last week folks were ice-fishing and now they're not.

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    It's not unusual to see some additional snowfall, even into the first of April, however, ice on the water should be gone for good shortly.
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  11. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    Think about a WARM April!
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thinking about a warm April does resurrect some memories of the years when mother nature said "Ha Ha" and dumped white stuff on us. Memorable was the April 4, 2016 when the redhead woke up to this scenario:

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    The same time the following year was, with the exception of all the snow laying around, somewhat better.

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    Optimism abounds, nevertheless, and we're looking forward to days without freezing temps, black ice, high winds and cold, driving rain. Right now, it seems colder than a duck's ass in the arctic, but that's probably these old bones protesting the absence of warmth. In the spirit of warmth, the plumbers are, at this very moment, installing gas pipes to the two furnaces, hot water unit, dryer, stove and fireplace in the carriage house.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    OK, Now We Know What's Running: In the previous post on this subject, I was wondering what kind of power the "T" was running out of Boston on the northern route. After a short stint in the (not home) office, I got out around noon and rode up to Ayer to see. I learned two things. The first was this:

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    First I learned that one of the infamous MPI HSP46 units made its way onto this line and that Ayer is now just a flag stop for this particular train. For those of you unfamilar with this engine, it is considered (by me and others) to be somewhat of a "pig in a poke" purchase of some one-of-a-kind rolling perpetual problems, 40 units to be exact. The ongoing mechanical issues with these locomotives have raised questions about the MBTA's procurement practices, not to mention administrative personnel. Below is another view of the train as it was pulling away. Note passenger's car's state of maintenance.

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    I think it's fair to say these trains are definitely not anywhere near the class of, say, the S Bahn trains of Germany or those of the Swiss Federal Railway, passenger division. Finally, the second thing I learned was that I can no longer get the bike into the yard and/or up on the platform to pose. They've fenced it all in. So, it's off to Palmer next time a train fix is needed or maybe a trip into Worcester to the P&W yards.
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  14. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Not sure I'd be willing to ante up the price to ride in something that decrepit.
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Looking at that car, you might have reason to think there are some serious cooties in those seats. :D

    To answer your question, how about $11.50 for the privilege of riding in a rail car like that for over an hour to creep some 30 or so miles into Boston? Does that sound like a good deal?

    In any event, a cogent discussion of the MBTA and its crappy look, service and reputation can be traced back to decades of grandiose political ambitions (i.e. think MA governors and politicians who wanted a legacy and to be president) and "runaway costs, of lawmakers who failed to invest amid warnings of collapse, bureaucratic infighting and a system grabbing for expansion even as its core deteriorated". It's the kind of stuff that would stir the denizens of the CSM sewer into a feeding and trolling frenzy.

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    I will continue to ride motorcycles and just photograph T trains, as I did years ago in above pic, rather than take them anywhere. Also, with the advent of fencing (which wasn't in place in the pic above), I probably won't be riding up to Ayer much, if at all, in the future.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Casualty In The Builder Wars or Why Motorcycles Are Safer Than Building Contractors: Things are picking up on building front. Plumbing and electrical are roughed in, front and back are sided, inspectors have given the green light to go ahead and things are supposed get going in earnest. Even this morning, the cupola was out of the garage, making think they might get it up today.

    [​IMG]

    Right now, as I type this, it looks like the only place the cupola is going is back in the garage (Edit Note: It did). Makes you wonder why they got it out in the first place since it was in the safely stored in the back corner out of the way. Anyway, there's progress but not without a casualty - me.

    Yesterday I accompanied the plumbers into the basement of the old house, going with them into the work area for reasons I won't get into here. There were planning to pressure test the gas line going into the new place. As they started to hook up the air compressor to the gauge apparatus on the end of the pipe, I started to pick up a piece I was working on and get it out of the way. Noticing a corner that needed sanding, I started to sand it when BOOM, the pipe end exploded sending some shrapnel into my face, just (fortunately) missing the eye. They obviously didn't (1) properly hook it up and/or properly use the test apparatus and (2) warn me they were pressurizing it for the test. Aside from a gash, a scar-to-be and some residual headaches, I am basically OK. Motorcycles aren't nearly as dangerous as inexperienced plumbers so stay close to one but not the other. To say I was pissed would be the understatement of the year but blood loss compensated for any resulting blood pressure rise from anger.
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  17. zookster

    zookster Chupacabra

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    Wow. Can't give that post a "like" given the result of the "test", but glad you are ok!
    black 8 and popscycle like this.
  18. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    Yikes John...good that you made it through it mostly OK. Pretty darn scary I would say. I have had a rubber hose burst on me from a compressed air source. I got rubber bits in my skin, and it too missed my eyes, thankfully.

    Take care,
    John
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  19. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    well hell :yikes
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  20. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    That don't sound too good. Glad you didn't suffer a more serious injury. Heal quickly John. Only "liked" your post because unlike some social media there are no other options available.
    black 8 likes this.