EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Cars & Motorcycles
Classic Trains

Classic Trains

Fall 2020

CELEBRATE THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN RAILROADING – WHEN GIANT STEAM LOCOMOTIVES, COLORFUL DIESELS AND STEAMLINERS SHARED THE RAILS. CLASSIC TRAINS COVERS THE 1930’S THROUGH THE 1970’S WITH REMARKABLE PHOTOGRAPHY, DETAILED REPORTING AND FIRST-HAND ACCOUNTS FROM PEOPLE WHO WORKED THE GREAT PASSENGER AND FREIGHT TRAINS.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
expanding horizons in a shrinking world

All too often, it seems, our exploration of our railroad surroundings began just as the most fascinating aspects of that world were disappearing. Those who came of age in the late 1940s and ’50s, for example, found a vast ecosystem of steam, which soon vanished before their eyes. The Pacific that powered the first train they rode, the 2-8-0 that puttered into town with the local freight, the giant articulateds that battled the first mountains they ever saw — all gone. Later, another generation of young fans was beginning to savor the F7s, RS3s, and other first-generation diesels that had vanquished steam when those old warhorses themselves were put out to pasture. Boys who grew to love their hometown railroad, then discovered other companies in other towns, were heartbroken when mergers and line…

4 min.
headend

Ghost roundhouse on the prairie In 1925, to create a more direct route between central and northwest Saskatchewan, Canadian National built a line linking two of its predecessors. The track ran 38 miles from tiny Central Butte to tinier Dunblane, where CN put up a roundhouse in 1926. The sturdy concrete structure closed just 10 years later, and by the time of this 1972 photo was a ghostly, roofless ruin. Icing a dining car Sometime in the 1940s, before mechanical refrigeration took over completely, workers at Santa Fe’s Chicago coach yard use a portable raised platform to load blocks of ice through a rooftop hatch of a streamlined dining car. Slim-gauge gem lives again After a 14-year restoration, Rio Grande Southern 4-6-0 No. 20 is back in steam at the Colorado Railroad Museum. The 1899…

13 min.
curtain call for the last k4

I would like to add a footnote to Frank Tatnall’s article about the last active K4 [“Diesel Tonight,” page 68]. November 12, 1957, was not the last time the fire was dropped in that engine. On March 23, 1958, I saw No. 5351, under steam, in the Camden, N.J., yards. I was told it had been used for a while to provide steam to an industrial facility. To this day, no one seems to know exactly where that was, but it is assumed to have been in New Jersey. It appears from the photos I took that the engine moved under its own power, since all of the main and side rods are in place. — Frederick Ciocciola, Atco, N.J. More on PRR 5351 In my article on the last revenue run of…

2 min.
steam savior of the east

I took great interest in Kevin Keefe’s article on the patriarch of all tourist engines, Strasburg No. 31 [“Mileposts,” page 14]. Her redeemer, retired Reading boiler inspector Ben Kantner, is an unremarked hero of early preservation steam. He began as a boilermaker helper with P&R at Pottsville, Pa., at age 14. The first engine he worked on was the inspection locomotive Black Diamond in 1901. Promoted to boiler inspector at St. Clair at age 25, he later became the enginehouse foreman there, dispatching 102 engines daily. During World War II he became RDG’s general boiler inspector and served on the executive committee of the Master Boilermakers Association (not as its president) until it was disbanded in 1952. He retired as general foreman, Reading Shops, in 1963. The Reading’s Iron Horse Rambles…

4 min.
an escape to a place called otis

We pointed the car south because we had to. Weary of sheltering in place, fed up with the national news, confident in each other’s health, Mike Yuhas and I had both reached the same conclusion: we needed to go out and shoot some trains. Anywhere would do. So, on a weekday at the end of May, we headed for one of our happy hunting grounds — northwest Indiana and a tiny hamlet named Otis. A good friend and longtime colleague, Mike retired recently after 30 years with Kalmbach. He had a long career of selling advertising for Classic Trains and Trains, and we’d had the pleasure of each other’s company countless times. We chased CSX trains through the Paw Paw Bends and rode the Long Island Rail Road out to Port…

20 min.
north to florida for a winter vacation

One of my longest, and favorite, pre-Amtrak passenger-train trips was a post-Christmas 1968 odyssey from my hometown of Memphis, Tenn., to Jacksonville, Fla. I was a senior in high school, and this adventure was an early graduation present. The logical first leg would have been to go southeast from Memphis to Birmingham on the Frisco, but it was a year too late for that, Frisco having gone freight-only in 1967. By spring 1968, in fact, Illinois Central was the only railroad serving Memphis with varnish, so my only good option to Florida was to go north to connect with IC’s City of Miami streamliner. To go south via New Orleans would’ve been roundabout and difficult. Make no mistake, my objective was to ride and photograph passenger trains, not to sit on…