Nov 10, 2018

Quick update - more cars, more livestock moves

Quick update - still here, still working on bringing a new set of rolling stock to the layout. And also working through ideas to expand operations... thinking about livestock movements especially and how I can add more shipping locations to open up some more options.

Sep 30, 2018

Rail Revolution - biking the tracks

So, as part of a trip out to New York, Vermont, and parts nearby this past August, our family visted a great attraction that let us bike (more or less) on a railroad right-of-way.  It's one of several popping up here and there around the US, this called Revolution Rail.

This operates though Oct-28 this year, running on the tracks used by the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad, which sadly has now suspended tourist operations.  But, as you can see from the photos - lots of equipment still on site.

But back to the rail biking.  The idea is to offer people an easy way to experience scenery and terrain accessible only by rail, in a more up-close manner than you might riding in a train.  There's clubs which purchase and use old railroad 'speeder' (maintenance cars) for this, but this bikes open up the rails to a much broader group.

And, it's quiet, provides some exercise, and is available to anyone.

Here's the 'bike' used by this operation; we reserved a 4-seater but 2-seaters are also available.  There are other models, used by other companies - such as Rail Explorers, in other locations.

From here, it's a 3-mile easy pedal out to a picnic area, then the crew turns the bikes and you pedal back into town.  The best part of the ride is a high bridge with spectacular views.

But it's also very pleasant to simply drift thru the woods. The guides keep the bikes maybe 100' or so apart (or further if you like), so it's not crowded.

And then of course, I had to explore the rest of the area, and a lot of old Delaware & Hudson stuff scattered around.

Sep 9, 2018

RGS 20 rebuild and Strasburg visit -Sep 2018

I had the chance to visit the Strasburg Railroad recently, and Linn was gracious enough to take time and show me around RGS 20's work.  The work is sponsored by the Colorado RR Museum

More funds are needed to complete to work - please head over to the Museum's site and Donate Here if you want to help.

 RGS 20's rods (in the foreground):

Brake cylinders - I think?  And some of the valve parts and connecting rods -

Brake rigging -

I'm sorry I didn't get more photos, but here's the boiler, with extensive work completed, including a new firebox door area, and a new upper boiler course ahead of the sandbox. This is also essentially complete now.

Springs were too far gone to use, so these are completely new, and ready to install.

Main bearings - ready for install.

The lead truck was severly out of square, and Linn and his guys spent a lot of time rebuilding this.

The smokebox was too far gone, so this one is brand new.

As reported elsewhere the frame also had major damage - from numerous spot-welded repairs over the years.  Entire sections of the frame have been newly fabricated.

Here's the rear of the frame - again, extensive work was done to rebuild the tender attachment pocket and related framing.

Driver sets just out of the paint shop!

And by the way - the Strasburg Railroad itself is a great place to visit!  A great train ride, LOTS of equipment to see, and a pile of kid-friendly activities as well.  This was my first visit, and I highly recommend it.  Success on the tourist side also helps fund the generous work Linn is doing with the RGS 20. Here's some photos of the rest of my visit there:

Beautiful platform areas - with gift shops, cafe, kid train rides, etc.

A happy note, althoug I didn't get a photo, is that the 15" gauge park train (you can see the smaller track behind the fence) is the steam train ride from Buckeye Lake Amusement Park.  We actually ended up in an AirBnB right on the former location of that park, and looking through photos I realized the Strasburg's park train was the same one. 

Here's the power for my day's ride:

Beautiful equipment:

Lots of Amish farms along the route:

The ride goes out to Paradise PA, where it meets the old 4-track mainline of the Pennsy (now a 2-track Amtrak route):

And interesting equipment elsewhere on the property: