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. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

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    Does it still run?
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  2. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    What a sharp looking locomotive! Too bad it is starting to rust and look shabby.

    Thanks for the photo.

    John
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I am guessing that with a little cleaning and grease here and there that it could; however, it probably wouldn't/couldn't be certified without a complete overhaul, including asbestos removal and boiler rebuild. If it were in running condition, NPS Steamtown would probably have it under steam as they've been woefully short of running steam engines. UP, though, does have a "Northern" class locomotive that is currently running. That would be UP 844, shown in the internet photo below.

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    844 often accompanies Big Boy on its runs.

    I too think this Northern has great, classic lines, John, and you're most welcome!

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    Edit Note: Since the 4-8-4 wheel configuration was first used by Northern Pacific, the name "Northern" stuck to the class of locomotives having 4-8-4 wheels.
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  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Art, Science and Adventure Of Finding Trains That Are Not Moving - Part 1: I know most, if not all, of the best train watching spots in the state. When you ride by these places and find a gaggle of folks with radios hanging around, you've an idea that a train might be nearby. The operative words are "might be" and the main question "when".

    I could buy a radio but I am (a) more committed to riding than waiting around to see a train and (b) saving my shekels for a good camera drone. You can have more fun chasing trains by riding roads that follow the rails than just hanging around at some vantage point. When you don't see anything but empty track, which is the norm, you have to go to where trains gather - the rail yards. Below are some shots of the PA yard taken several days ago. Nothing was moving or stirring.

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    There are two main rail yards in the state, the PanAm Deerfield yard and the CSX Worcester intermodal yard. Lesser yards include the G&W/P&W yard in Worcester and the GU yard in Grafton. Of these, the CSX yard will be the most active; however, Worcester traffic does not make for motorcycle nirvana and the movement in the CSX yard is mostly that of intermodal cranes, not trains. You can, of course usually find power units sitting around in these yards but you may need to use your zoom power get a pic, which results in some degree of lens compression.

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    Knowing how to use these yards, however, is the secret to getting closer-up pictures of trains not moving, given the scarcity of moving consists. That will be in Part 2.
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  5. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    That GE cleans up nicely with a new coat of paint. Good to see Pan Am spending the money on branding their 'new' locomotives.

    John
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Art, Science and Adventure Of Finding Trains That Are Not Moving - Part 2: As you know, it somewhat difficult, if not a little dangerous, to photograph a train when both you and it are moving. Thus, the intrepid photographer must either lie in wait at some strategic spot or catch the train when it's not moving. The advantage of catching the stationary train is that it gives you time get shots from multiple positions and settings. So, where do these trains rest? One answer is at the entrance to yards. Often, they'll stop short of railroad yards waiting for traffic to clear or for trainmen to get out and operate manual switches. Such was the case with the PAS train below, waiting to get into the Deerfield yard.

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    Having seen the stationary train from the other side of the river, I had time to ride to the yard, park, walk up on the bridge and take various shots, several of which follow. I could have ridden or walked down closer but the trainmen would have likely called the RR police.

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    I even had time to mess with various angles and zoom settings.

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    Knowing where trains will stop short of yards, tunnels, diamonds, and other places (e.g., industrial sites, crew change points, etc.) is something you develop over time. Below was good catch at a known stopping point.

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    As I recall, the train driver was really pissed that he had to sit around for hours waiting for the relief crew and was then late getting a ride into Boston. With the train stopped, I was able to take my time getting various shots of the power units.

    More to follow.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Addenda & Errata - Miscellaneous Pictures Taken: Below is a recent picture of a CT River bluff, taken just prior to the passing of the witch of November, which removed most of the late leaves.

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    This particular hunk of arkose sandstone is known as Sugarloaf Mountain. Located at coordinates 42.470235, -72.592159, it really a just a 650 ft. tall river bluff and not really a mountain. According to native American myth, Sugarloaf, known by them as Wequomps, was the carcass of a giant, human-eating beaver. Today it is a favorite viewing and picnic spot that you can drive or ride up to in open months.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bird Becomes Bird Food: I happen to catch pics of this Cooper's Hawk dining out back in the woods.

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    Not wanting to scare the raptor off, I was shooting through a basement window at full (600 mm) zoom into the woods in fading light.

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    I must have taken over 100 shots to get the half dozen that weren't blurred by the bird's movements or loss of focus.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Addenda & Errata - Miscellaneous RR Pictures Taken: Below are two pics taken of some really old and toasty rolling stock.

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    For better or worse, I find the construction and pictures of these old cars interesting.

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    The car appears to be an old turn of the century work car (Edit: With new windows).
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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    John, looking back thru pictures of the PA yard, I am wondering why they're only painting some of the GE units and not the others. All seem to have an MEC (Maine Central) number. Any ideas?
  11. jeickerman

    jeickerman Full of it.

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    I would guess it is all about money. Costs a lot to paint a locomotive, so they are doing it when the locomotive is in the shop. Purely guessing, since they are buying second hand units.

    John
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Good Grub At The Inn: Had dinner last night at the Grafton Inn, shown above in a July post. This is the Grafton, MA, Inn and not the one in Grafton VT (which was named after Grafton, MA). It has been decades since we'd been in the place, which has been under new management since 2015. The first floor is the inn's lobby, bar & grill with the main entrance in the back of the building. The lobby area is shown below in an iPhone pic.

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    The place was very neat and clean with friendly staff seating us in the dining room area by one of the two fireplaces. I felt at home with the model train on the fireplace mantel.

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    I ordered marinated steak tips with onion rings and a beer. The plate was heaped with the tasty stuff. The onion rings were fresh, not frozen, and had been dipped in a buttermilk batter and there were more steak tips than I could eat (some went home).

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    All-in-all, we got a heaping quantity of good food at a reasonable price with very good service at this quaint, 1805 inn. Apologies for the crappy iPhone pics.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Addenda & Errata - Miscellaneous RR Pictures Taken: Below is a pic I found of the 1916 Baldwin 2-8-0 first used by Oneida & Western Railroad in TN and then by Rahway Valley Railroad in NJ.

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    This steamer operated from 1916 to 1973 and provides us with a train fix for these days of bone-chilling cold, wet and snow.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Perfect Pork Chop Just Got Better And So Did The Ice Cream: We made our third trip to Pekarski's Sausage today to stock up on more smoked pork chops and "drizzle". On our last trip there, the nice folks behind the counter talked us into getting a "drizzle" for the chops and on a whim I tried it last night. Man oh man, I am glad I did because that chop with the "drizzle" condiment was without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, things I've ever tasted/eaten. I have been fortunate to have eaten some very good food in the U.S. and around the world and this was as good as it gets. A succulent, moist, smoked chop with a savory maple apple drizzle. The stuff iI speak of is Sugarbush Farm's Maple Apple Drizzle, shown below and it's killer on ice cream too.

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    I got two more jars today at Pekarski's and should tell you a little goes a long way. Don't overdo it on whatever you're drizzling on. I seared both sides of the chops, plated them and put a dollop (tablespoon) of the drizzle on the plate to be added as desired. As always, I've no affiliation with or interest in the purveyor of this stuff. It's just an FYI because this is 5-star stuff!

    Edit Note: I've ridden through Woodstock VT often and seen references to this place. You can bet the next time through I will be stopping.
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Restorable Railroad Relic? Found these pictures I took sometime ago of what looks to be a turn-of-the-century Pullman or ACF combined passenger/freight car (i.e., combine car).

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    I didn't have enough knowledge or information to know if this car was built by Pullman or American Car & Foundry. I did look through some ACF records, which suggested they didn't make all that many combination cars, thus swinging the probability to Pullman as the manufacturer.

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    I found the wooden construction, particularly the truss bracing and non-rectangular baggage door, interesting.

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    This is just another set of curiosity questions that will bug me from time to time (e.g., Who built it? When was it built? Who bought it? Where was it used? etc.) In any event, when does it become more of a rebuild than a restoration.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Steaming On: While on the subject of train stuff (i.e., I am going through my file of train pics), I found another pic of Steamtown's 1929 Baldwin 0-6-0 switcher pulling out of the roundhouse. It is only one of a very few operating steam locomotives the park has and the only one under steam when I was there last year.

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    With the majority of nostalgic attention given to Big Boy, Pacific and Northern type steamers, having a pictorial record of a yard switcher under steam is more of a rarity.
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    More On The Cruiserface Transformation: The switch from road sofa to GS brought with it a good number of other changes. Database and web site work (e.g., Oracle, SQL Server) phased into photographic work. Lathe work was phased out and CNC learned. Also, for whatever reason, my tastes in food changed and I moved from showing up for dinner to cooking it. Cooking was not something I ever did in my first 75 years of life. Now, some of the best meals come out of the crock pot (e.g., Londron Broil, Beef Bourguignon, etc.). Tonight, though, at the end of working through some trip planning, I soloed a new skillet dish, shown below, that will now become one of my road food favorites (i.e., what I eat when I come home from a ride).

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    It's just a simple amalgam of thin-sliced red potatoes, peppers, Vidalia onion and smoked kielbasa skillet-fried in a bit of olive oil and some seasoning. This pairs well with motorcycle.
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  18. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Looking forward to tasting that......:lol3:y0!
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    You ever get this way and we'll rustle you up some of this grub. :dukegirl
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Scene While Riding : Every once in a while the happy face gives way to some somber thoughts. This happened the other day on a ride when the mind's eye saw an image of industrial and social decay. I stopped and took two pictures,

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    I call these two pics "Mill Row Twilight".

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    The textile manufacturing that was in this mill town went south and overseas.