Are model trains "toys" or not?

Spender spake thus:


Wow, I thought *I* was an alien, having never ridden a steam train. (Except for the little one they have here up in Tilden Park in Beserkeley.)
I rode Metra before it was Metra--the C&NW North Shore route, then green & yellow (I used to live near the Main Street station in Evanston). Same double-decker cars, I believe. (Also the same ones I saw in Alaska on the ferry train to Portage, strangely enough.)
I do pity your lack of train experience. You ought to jump on the next train you get a chance to. Even Amtrak is a lot better than nothing.
--
Any system of knowledge that is capable of listing films in order
of use of the word "fuck" is incapable of writing a good summary
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 29 May 2007 19:30:55 GMT, Spender wrote:

Wabash from Decatur to Peru - and back; Pennsy from Fort Wayne to New York and return; Nickel Plate from Noblesville to Peru in the caboose and in the cab (grandpa); also Wabash from Wabash to Fort Wayne in the cab (great uncle); and El Capitan from Chicago to San Diego (courtesy of the US Navy; met a girl on the train and got laid - although on dates after arrival, not on the train; sorry to have missed that experience, but hard to do traveling coach).
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I dunno where this comes from (after all, we were talking about next day freight service). But in a small way I feel your pain. I've never been on a train trip that's lasted more than one day (no sleepers). However, I spent 5 years commuting to college on the MBTA's Attleboro line, and I spent a short season working for a tourist line (Cape Cod). I've also ridden on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway in NH, the Wolfeboro RR in NH, the Valley RR in CT, the Roaring Camp & Big Trees RR in CA, Edaville RR in MA, and at Steamtown in Scranton, PA (all behind steam). Plus the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum in Portland, ME, the Maine Eastern to Rockport, ME, and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington in ME. And I suppose counting the rest of the MBTA's rail systems as well as several other cities (Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, New York City, etc.). Heck, I've even ridden the rails at Disneyland and Disney World. I've taken Amtrak to New York City three times, once as a kid and twice on the Acela (and once, back on the "Bay State"). And I've also ridden Amtrak to Washington, D.C. back in 1989. But the only thing I've yet to ride that I want to is to go across country by train, 1st class. Someday.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pac Man spake thus:

Ah, then you haven't lived, my friend. One of the few high points of my childhood was the annual summer vacation we took for several years in Colorado (Estes Park). We took the Denver Zephyr (Burlington) from Chicago. Us kids got our own sleeper. I still remember lying in the bunk, looking out the window at night, scenery rushing by, rain sweeping across the glass, watching the most tremendous Midwestern lightning displays I've ever seen.
That, of course, was back in the American good old days, when Trains Were Trains ...
--
Any system of knowledge that is capable of listing films in order
of use of the word "fuck" is incapable of writing a good summary
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 30 May 2007 10:30:38 -0700, David Nebenzahl

Every old movie I see with people riding on trains makes me wish passenger service was still the same. Slower service, but we move too fast today in many respects.
A ride on the Hogwart's Express would be fun also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And to think I have an uncle and a cousin who are/were engineers. They live in a different state. But if I had shown interest as a child I may have gotten a ride on an actual working freight line.

Ah, the monorail at Disney world. I forgot that one. I rode it twice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, I was thinking more of the live steam narrow gauge engines at Disneyland and Disney World at the Magic Kingdoms. And, the diesel-steam engine at the Wold Kingdom park. That was the funniest thing. You get behind an engine that *looks* like a steam engine of Euro design, but when it accelerates, you think Peterbuilt or Mack diesel from the sound and smell. Heh. Anyways, Walt D. was quite the model railroader (trying to get back on topic), and so were many of his "Imagineers". As much as I dislike the mammoth corporation that Disney Co. has become, I have to say that I like Walt and respect his hobby efforts.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I didn't even know they had other trains. Of course I haven't been there since I was 11, and it was just one day. It was too much to see in one day even back then.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It depends on the demographics of the area. I recall when the Sears store in Halifax would unload boxcars as a single boxcar could carry the load of two tractor trailers. Unfortunately, it meant tying up a locomotive and switchman much of the day shuttling cars around whereas a truck could drop the trailer and the driver could come back several hours later after a nap, hook up, and leave within five minutes. The only businesses keeping the rail alive in Nova Scotia are the Autoport, container and gypsum piers in Halifax, and a container pier in Sydney. Even the Trenton Rail Works closed recently because there is either no viable market for rails.
Cheers, John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Fraser wrote:

Here in NZ we move goods wagons by tractor or forklift on private sidings. Of course they were/are smaller than US cars, but it's a simple and economic process. (end-beam center buffer coupling)

Yeah, US railways seem to have gone as low as they can, but the rest of the world has generally had more sense.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As a point of interest Nova Scotia is in Canada, not the United States. {;^)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Smith wrote:

I realise that, but there doesn't seem to be much distinction these days ;-) (railway-wise)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you hadn't included the "railway-wise", I would be offended. {;^)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Smith wrote:

There's always the problem of a good insult retaining a link to reality! ;-)
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

LOL!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, but no. The 1970's was the absolute nadir of American railroading. There was talk of Federalizing all RR's, for pete's sake. These days, the Class I's are doing very well. Modern US freight railroading is just as advanced over the rest of the world's freight trains as US passenger railroading is behind the rest of the world's passenger trains, IMHO.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pac Man wrote:

Oh dear - that sounds bad! ;-)

We had national railways from the 1870s through to the 1980s - it all went downhill when they were sold off to private (WC) ownership. Our government was recently forced to buy the trackbed back for $1- to stop the degradation.

Nahh, you're 3rd world Freight as well. (like NZ)
Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pac Man spake thus:

>

To address this latter point, this discussion so far has been mainly on the "pissing contest" level (i.e., whose trains are bigger/longer/faster). Keep in mind that the issue is actually much more complex than how long or fast one's trains are. The crucial thing is the existence (or lack thereof) of a *rail network*. The problem is moving stuff from point A to point B. That's all very well when both points A and B are in major metropolitan areas with good rail connections (say, from Boston to St. Louis), but what about those customers in East Bumfuck, Idaho? Without a rail connection, their stuff *has* to move by truck--no other choice.
The problem isn't just that the U.S. used to have a first-class passenger rail system that was dismembered, piece by piece, leaving a shell of a national passenger rail system (aka Amtrak); it's that large portions of the entire rail *network*--branch lines, smaller carriers--were likewise abandoned, the tracks ripped up, leaving us with an incomplete system. Nowhere near "world class" compared to, say, Europe, where goods can move door-to-door via rail.
Remember that cautionary bit about the "last mile", usually the most difficult part of the transportation problem to solve.
--
Any system of knowledge that is capable of listing films in order
of use of the word "fuck" is incapable of writing a good summary
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Spender wrote:

Open your eyes, and look beyond the US. No need for a comeback, railways never went away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

No, they are still here. But we are way past the heydays of railroads.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.