CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween (1981)

Here is a shot of U23B #2304 fresh out of Colonie paint shop. The engine behind it, #504, is one of the RS3-u engines and clearly was just in for maintenance work as its paint is still weathered.

Note the trucks on #2304, which haven't been painted and are various shades of black, brown, and gray (perhaps overspray from painting the frame of the engine?)

Either way, its new "costume" looks pretty good on this Halloween afternoon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Chester Railway Museum (Mass.)

The Hudson Berkshire Division of the NMRA held our October monthly meeting at the Chester Railway Station and Museum in Chester, MA over the past weekend.


Though it was a 70 minute trip from our house, my wife and son came with me and we had a great time learning about the local railroad history. 

Some fun facts I never knew were that the first pusher operations were conducted on the original railroad in this location, and technically the first "mountain railroad" was located here. 

They have an attractive tank car painted up for "Bakers Chocolate", which apparently shows the oldest American trademark (the old woman) on file. 

They also have an old Rutland caboose, painted for the New York Central, that you can rent for the night. I definitely plan to do that in the spring. 

An unusual steam locomotive, which arrived with a two-axle tender that was powered by a motor, is also on the property. 

The station itself is nicely restored and smelled like an old railroad station. 

Inside, they had lots of displays and memorabilia as well as tables and chairs to rest in.

During the meeting I was also awarded officially my MMR Structures certificate.

A CSX train happened to go by on the old Boston and Albany mainline, which was neat and caught everybody's attention.

An old schematic of the tracks that use to be in the area.

They even had a "kiddie" boxcar (an actual boxcar) filled with toys and children's books and things for young ones to play with. An old Lionel train circled the ceiling.

Across the street from the station was the location of an old marble quarry. 

Apparently, someone tried to steal the cutting wheel with a blowtorch! They might have cut part way through, but they never got it off though.

One neat thing about this trip was that I found out about the background for Michael Tylick's (one of my biggest influences) large scale Chester and Beckett Railroad which is frequently exhibited at the Springfield Train Show. It has models of quarry operations based on this area, and when I go in January to see it again I will take better notice of all that he built.

All in all, I learned a lot and it was a really enjoyable place to visit for an hour or two. Even my wife and Harrison (who is in a couple of the shots) enjoyed themselves too.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

D&H train in Bear Mountain (1977)

Here is a shot of a joint D&H/B&M train going through Bear Mountain, Pennsylvania on October 21, 1977. The colors in the trees look spectacular, and I think I want to model the fall season on my next layout for this reason.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Amtrak "Family Days" display at Rensselaer (1982)

This picture was taken at the Albany/Rensselaer Amtrak station. It is dated October 1982. It features a newly repainted D&H engine #2307 (U23B); Maine Central #573 (GP7); one of the new "I Love New York" boxcars, and a D&H caboose. The lead engine is cut off but I know it is B&M #310 (GP40-2) in the solid blue scheme. I have seen elsewhere that #2307 might have been the last engine painted by the D&H.

The reason for this congregation of equipment was the "Amtrak Family Days". Per the discussion here, the celebration for Amtrak employees included tours of the shops, a large display of rail equipment including the above shown trains plus an Amtrak Turbo train, an FP40, a D&H observation car, an Amtrak baggage car, some of the double-decker "Superliner" cars, and other things. The superliner cars were used for Amtrak excursions on the Post Road Branch out to the junction with the Boston & Albany main line.  

Note the wooden clog (shoe) on top of the yellow structure in the front! Albany's Dutch heritage was in showing!

Sunday, October 8, 2023

D&H train passing through Cohoes (1977)

This is a special slide in my collection. I don't have many images featuring the Cohoes Station. At the time this picture was taken on October 08, 1977, the station had been closed for years (late 1960s). Also, I count six big Alco C628 engines. That is a lot of horsepower!

But most importantly, it was featured in a published D&H book. I have lots of D&H books, and I always look at the list of contributors to see familiar names. But with this slide, I was able to help a little towards the cause. The station is currently used being used as a medical office building, which is a significant step up from the OTB that it housed for years.

Some other pictures on my blog showing the same area can be found here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

D&H #4075 and 44-tonner (1980)

Here is an interesting shot taken in October 1980 in Colonie Yard. The two blue dip engines (RS3 #4075, and C424 #415) aren't anything remarkable. However, the GE 44-tonner is a big deal. I don't know where it came from, but perhaps it was an engine that worked at the nearby Army plant and was sent here for service? Who knows. But, I love 44-tonners saw when I saw this slide I had to buy it. I don't think any of the B&M or Maine Central 44-tonners ever made it onto D&H rails during the Guilford time, so this might be one of the only instances when a 44-tonner was at Colonie.

Edit: per this website, I think the engine belonged to Allegheny Ludlum Steel which was located across the street from the Colonie Shops.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

MMR - Chief Dispatcher completed!

Over the weekend I participated in our area's "OpToberfest" prototypical layout operation sessions. While I always enjoy operating on other layouts (especially since my own layout has limited operating potential), this one was special because I had made arrangements with my friend John V. to Dispatch his layout over several sessions. His layout, the N-scale "Raquette Lake Railway", models the prototypical RLR in the Adirondacks in the 1920s. A great layout in its own right, and with a fantastic Facebook page, I always enjoy going there to run trains. Here are a few pictures I took of his layout in 2021 to give you an idea what he models. I can't believe I didn't take a single picture when I was there recently.

In addition to some paperwork including coming up with various time tables and operating schemes (which I based on the layout at the Adirondack Live Steamers), since 2017 I have accrued 50 hours of layout operating time on a dozen or more area railroads. I needed a minimum of 10 hours of Dispatching, which is tough if you don't have your own layout needing a dispatcher, as someone else has to trust you enough to successful run their layout without wrecking it! John V needed a dispatcher, I needed the hours, and several sessions later... I have submitted my paperwork.

If approved (and it better well should be) I only need one certificate to obtain my Master Model Railroader award.