Showing posts from December, 2010

World's Oldest 'New Butcher'

Depot at Carthage, N.Y.
(From Railroad Magazine, September, 1950)
The World’s Oldest Newsbutcher               by Watson B.  Berry Up  in Carthage, N.Y., where a branch of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg from Watertown connects with the Carthage & Adirondack and the line that runs from Utica to Ogdensburg, known formerly as the Utica & Black River - all now and for many years a part of the New York Central system - lives the world’s oldest newsbutcher.

There's No Fuel Like an Old Fuel

(Peat is so common in the United States and Canada that most people can't see the resource for looking at it. There are an estimated 80 million acres of deposit  in the continental U.S. Most of this vast natural supply goes unused . . . although some people do throw a few bushels of the muck on their gardens for fertilizer and others use the more fibrous and mossy varieties as a dressing for flowerbeds.

Parlor Car Patrons - a Forgotten Social Strata of Society

(From the New York Herald, July, 1893)                       ___     "It is a rather tiresome," said a Wagner parlor car conductor, "the airs people put on in a parlor car. The moment they get seated they begin to behave like kings and queens and to order people around as if they had been used to having servants at their beck and call all their lives.

Why the Lehigh Valley Finally Added Dining Car to the Black Diamond Express


Out on the High Iron

Visitors at the MOST admire the modular layout and Bill Brown's Denver & Rio Grande train as it comes chugging around the bend on a recent Saturday afternoon. Photo by Dick Palmer

Milwaukee arrives in Syracuse

Member Russ Grills spent many hours meticulously assembling and painting this Walthers limited-run kit of Milwaukee terminal  will greatly enhance our layout at the MOST. The prototype, built in the 1870s,  today is a modern train and bus station.  But for our purposes it will be strictly a conventional railroad station one would have found in cities like Milwaukee in the 1950s and 1960s. Photo by Dick Palmer

When 'Hojack' passenger trains came off

Self-propelled rail diesel cars (RDC's) replaced conventional locomotive-powered passenger trains on many New York Central branchlines in the 1950s, especially on the St. Lawrence Division.  This car is shown at Croton-on-Hudson in later years. On the New York Central these were called "Beeliners."

Locomotive Trials on the D.L. & W. in 1853

By Richard Palmer     Much has been  written over the years about the famous  Rainhill Trials of  1829, a public spectacle to  determine what locomotive was best suited to become the first to be operated by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in England. This involved comparatively small homemade locomotives.

A cab ride to Sayre in 1937

(This article appeared in the Cortland Standard on Nov. 13, 1937 - Dick Palmer)
Standard Reporter Rides Night  Freight          to Sayre and Return                  _____ Dons Overalls With "Thack" Winnie and  Learns the Sway of 131-Ton, K-4 Model,    Pacific Type Freight Locomotive                      ____    By L.B. Van Dyck      Two deep throated blasts on the whistle and Lehigh Valley Extra No. 2053, night freight for Sayre, began its long pull out of Cortland with a string of 40 cars destined to 40 different points.

Did the New York Central own ships?

By Richard Palmer
     Yes, the New York Central at one time owned a fleet of more than 20 package freighters on the Great Lakes through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Western Transit Co. and the Anchor Line that primarily sailed on the upper Great Lakes. The freighter, "Utica," shown here, was built in 1904 and was registered at 3,533 gross tons. She was 325 feet long and 44 feet wide. The "Utica" was launched April 28, 1904 at Wyandotte, the Detroit Ship Building Co.

The Rail Has a Language That Is All Its Own

(From New York Central Lines Magazine,  March, 1925, Page 50)                                               By Crawford P. McGinnis     You, who are associated with the railroad and with the people whose business is railroad -  especially the operating and mechanical divisions - when you read a newspaper article descriptive of some episode of the railroad story, written by a "penny-a-liner," you are often conscious that it is lacking in realism.  It was good, but for some reason a little flat. This is because the writer doe not "speak your language."

Where Did the Term "Hojack" Originate?

By Richard Palmer    Although the rail lines north of Syracuse, both abandoned and existing, have passed ownership from Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg to New York Central, to Penn Central, to Conrail and finally CSX, this railroad has from time immemorial, been known as the "Hojack." The origin of this title seems to be lost in the mists of antiquity.

Romance of a Railroad Recalled by George Townsend

Interlaken (N.Y.)  Review February 16, 1961
   By Herb deLyser      "I recall it must've been in 1905 when I bought my first round trip excursion ticket to Niagara Falls for one dollar."  So said Mr. George Townsend in recounting the earlier years in our town when the railroad played a vital and important role in the changing American scene.

Recalling Early Days of Railroading in Jamesville

      Frequently authors become so engrossed in detailed technical information as to what tracks go or went where,  locomotive and car rosters, and corporate history,  they tend to forget the human side of railroading. Tracks were laid and railroads were operated by people. That's why it's refreshing to occasionally find old newspaper articles about some of these people who made the railroad tick.        More often than not,  articles of a human interest nature about old time railroads were not written by reporters who had any special knowledge of railroading. But reporters of generations back knew how to ask the right questions, thus preserving for all time a glimpse of how railroads were operated in the early days.      The following article, written by veteran reporter Roy E. Fairman who was a journalist for more than 50 years, appeared in the Syracuse Herald on February 13, 1931.  - Richard Palmer Century With the Railroad - Father Helped Construct Tracks With Strips of Iron …

Remembering the Niagaras

These engines featured a 14-wheel "pedestal" (PT) or "centipede" style tender which carried 18,000 gallons of water and 46 tons of coal. Like other high-speed New York Central steam power, the Niagaras were equipped to scoop water on-the-fly from long pans set within the rails. The S1s had roller bearings on all axles and also on the side rods and Baker valve motion. 
    They were designed to accept either 75-inch or 79-inch driving wheels depending on their projected usage. The first example, S1a No. 6000, came with the smaller drivers as a "dual service" locomotive to satisfy requirements of the War Production Board, but the 25 engines of the S1b class that followed all came with the larger drivers intended for passenger service, and No. 6000 was also converted to the 79-inch size. (Larger driving wheels mean the locomotive is capable of faster speeds, but tractive effort is reduced.) 
    The Niagaras had a boiler pressure of 275 pounds per square …

N.Y. Central train arrives in Camillus, early 1900s.