Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
In 2019, a few months before the pandemic first broke out, we took a trip to the UK. I got to ride the excellent British rail roads several times. All the trains I rode were electric, fast, convenient and smooth. London has 4 or 5 major rail stations, with connections to locations throughout the UK and France.

I rode from Heathrow Airport to London by the Paddington Express, that goes ~40 minutes between the airport and Paddington Station. I took a taxi from there to King's Cross Station, the building with glass dome entrance and tan brick building. On the right (red brick) is the equally large St. Pancras Station, where you can get the Channel Tunnel train to France.
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At King's Cross, we caught a train to York, about 2 hours north. The train, run by the Grand Central Line, was sleek & modern.
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Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
Loved the Alaskan RR as well, wife and I rode it 16 years ago for our 30th. Great trip, Fairbanks to Anchorage and then on to Seward to board the cruise ship. The narrow gauge trip on the White Pass & Yukon out of Skagway is another beauty !
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
This is the poster I mentioned- does anyone know a good way to send something like this across country? Not sure if I want to roll it and put it in a tube, but that may still be the best.
 

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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
This is the poster I mentioned- does anyone know a good way to send something like this across country? Not sure if I want to roll it and put it in a tube, but that may still be the best.
I've always had such shipped to me rolled up in tubes....can't imagine shipping it economically or as safely otherwise....
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Field Marshall
I love watching Impossible Railways on TV Ontario. The engineering behind some of these efforts is amazing. Would like to take the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockys some day. Would be much like the McKinley Explorer. I also really enjoy Steam Railways on BBC. The history behind how early railways transformed Britain is fascinating. There are several lines that have been restored and it's on my bucket list to fly to Britain and ride some of the old steam powered trains in the south.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
I love watching Impossible Railways on TV Ontario. The engineering behind some of these efforts is amazing. Would like to take the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockys some day. Would be much like the McKinley Explorer. I also really enjoy Steam Railways on BBC. The history behind how early railways transformed Britain is fascinating. There are several lines that have been restored and it's on my bucket list to fly to Britain and ride some of the old steam powered trains in the south.
another good one is 'Great American Railroad Journeys' with Michael Portillo. My local PBS station aires them Tuesday evenings @ 2130
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
Loved the Alaskan RR as well, wife and I rode it 16 years ago for our 30th. Great trip, Fairbanks to Anchorage and then on to Seward to board the cruise ship. The narrow gauge trip on the White Pass & Yukon out of Skagway is another beauty!
Seems like we took the same trip. It was also our 30th anniversary. I spent 2 years in Anchorage while in the navy, 1973-75. I wanted to go see it again, and show my wife what it was like.

If I can offer advice to anyone who wants to try this trip, here goes. Skip Fairbanks. It's a sad place. We were jet lagged from flying there from Maryland – 10 hours of flying in one very long day. We even flew there a day earlier than needed just to get over some jet lag, but it wasn't enough. So being jet lagged may have influenced me, but I honestly think Fairbanks wasn't worth the effort. Instead, fly to Anchorage and make that your base. The train ride between Anchorage and Denali Natl. Park is great. The train between Denali and Fairbanks isn't nearly as good.

I knew the Anchorage area better from my time there, but I think there is much more to do & see in there than in Fairbanks. I was lazy when I planned that trip, and simply chose one of those organized land tours/cruise boat trips. You can book all the same tours from travel & tour offices nearby the hotels in downtown Anchorage. Most or all the cruise boats sail from Seward, about a 2 hour bus or train ride from Anchorage.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
Seems like we took the same trip. It was also our 30th anniversary. I spent 2 years in Anchorage while in the navy, 1973-75. I wanted to go see it again, and show my wife what it was like.

If I can offer advice to anyone who wants to try this trip, here goes. Skip Fairbanks. It's a sad place. We were jet lagged from flying there from Maryland – 10 hours of flying in one very long day. We even flew there a day earlier than needed just to get over some jet lag, but it wasn't enough. So being jet lagged may have influenced me, but I honestly think Fairbanks wasn't worth the effort. Instead, fly to Anchorage and make that your base. The train ride between Anchorage and Denali Natl. Park is great. The train between Denali and Fairbanks isn't nearly as good.

I knew the Anchorage area better from my time there, but I think there is much more to do & see in there than in Fairbanks. I was lazy when I planned that trip, and simply chose one of those organized land tours/cruise boat trips. You can book all the same tours from travel & tour offices nearby the hotels in downtown Anchorage. Most or all the cruise boats sail from Seward, about a 2 hour bus or train ride from Anchorage.
All good points for sure !! yet the railroader in me needed to experience the whole thing, LOL ! I will say though the day trip up to the Arctic circle, panning for gold and listening to a great marching band while in Fairbanks was fun !

As for the trip from Anchorage to Whittier the 'shared tunnel' experience is not one to miss !!


I was wrong in my earlier statement, we sailed out of Whittier, not Seward
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
This came up in my youtube feed
I've ridden a couple of them, Georgetown Loop and the Cumbres &Toltec. Personally I would rate the Durango & Silverton ride through the Animas gorge even more potentially dangerous. The Georgetown Loop is a fun excursion close to Denver right off I70
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
It has taken me awhile to get these pictures together.

I have had a life long interest in steam, both trains and ships.

For Christmas 1956 I received a working steam scale model of a Southern Railway, 2.6.0 Mogul engine. This was built by the renowned model railway firm of Bassett Lowke.

This is the engine, which I fired up for my eldest grandson on a visit in 2004.





It is a perfect scale model. The pistons and valve gear all work as they should. The boiler is filled with the correct amount of water. There is a safety valve and a valve for letting off steam. Below the boiler is a methylated spirits burner to make steam. In front of the boiler is a small tank containing SAE 30 oil. There is a narrow bore tube connecting the front of the boiler to the oil tank. This keeps thee cylinders supplied with lubricating oil under pressure. There is a lever on top of the cab, which as advanced increases forward speed, center is neutral and backwards is reverse.

The pistons and valve gear are all to scale, and work as on the full sized engine. The cylinder and valve gear are double acting. In other words the power cycle is in both directions in both left and right cylinders,so both back and forward are power strokes.

I built the track. Great care had to be taken in operation. The most important thing is to NEVER let the boiler run dry, or it explodes violently with lethal consequences.
Also if the engine should derail and turn on its side, the methylated spirits spilled and it burst into flames. I kept a hemp sack in a bowl of water for these events, and threw the wet sack over it to douse the flames, which it did instantly. This whole operation taught you vigilance and attention to detail early in life, and your life depended on it.

Until my mother died in 2018, I kept the train at the OP in Frindsbury. I brought the engine back after that and it is here in Eagan. The track and rolling stock are still at my brother's house in the UK.

I also had a Bassett Lowke 4.4.0 Enterprise engine which had been my father's almost 100 years ago now. This is now in possession of my nephew Dr John Apps.

The UK is a vintage train lover's paradise. There are numerous preservation railways.

Wales is a large number of narrow gauge steam railways. These were used to transport slate, coal and timber. There is even a steam cog railway that goes up mount Snowdon.

Here are a pictures of the Welshpool Llanfair railway.





Then there are large scale model railway, which can transport passengers. The most famous is the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway in the Kent South Coast just West of Dover. This has always been a favorite of mine and the grandchildren.

Here are some pictures I took.





One very famous preservation railway if the Bluebell Railway in Kent.

We can't leave this topic without talking of the Isle of Mann, (Manx).

This is small Island right in the middle of the Irish Sea, half way between the Northwest coast of England and Ireland. I had a wonderful visit there while my best friend from School was the Secretary to the House of Keys, the islands Parliament. He is now retired as an international lawyer and judge. He set up a lot of the laws involving trade and taxation at the foundation of the EU. The Isle of Man is a self governing British protectorate, where the Queen's title is Lord of Manx. Manx is spoken extensively there, and English. The capital is Douglas. The Isle of man is a gigantic tax haven and a major source of revenue in addition to tourism. It is a truly beautiful and fascinating place to visit. Time has stopped still.

Now the other, and less common name for the Isle of man is the island of Sodor. If you are at all familiar with the Thomas the Tank Engine children's books, you may remember these engines run on the Island of Sodor. Well these engines have never left!

These are a few of the pictures I took.





The Isle of man also has an electric Tram railway, built in 1907. The tram cars are all original. It wind its way up Mount Snaefell, the highest peak. The gradients are steep, and the cars wind their way up the mountain in a circular fashion, with a sheer cliff face! At the top you can see England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Heaven and Hell. So the locals say you can see six kingdoms.

Lastly we can't leave this topic without referencing the Jacobite Railway out of Fort William Scotland, on the west side of the Great Glen.

This is the train featured in the Harry Potter movies. Below are a couple of pictures I took on a visit to Fort William a few years ago.








I hope you train enthusiasts might find some of this entertaining.
 
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R

rnatalli

Audioholic Ninja
Always loved trains myself. When I was a kid, I used to make large stretches of tracks and build entire cities around it. Even now, I prefer to take a train over plane for shorter distances of less than 300 miles.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
For anyone near Green Bay, WI or who might find themselves nearby, the National Railroad Museum may be something to check out- haven't been there in a long time, but it was worthwhile.


Also, for those in Southern WI, Northern Illinois, Quad Cities area, the East Troy Railroad Museum could be interesting.

 
MaxInValrico

MaxInValrico

Audioholic
the year is 1956, location 'BV' (Bay View tower, south of Bflo), the operator, my dad.......

View attachment 52966
That yard south of Buffalo is long gone and my great uncle worked at it. Have driven over it many times on the 90. Many of the NYC rails have been reclaimed and are a large part of the rails to trails initiative in NY State which is a great way to see the State.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Ninja
That yard south of Buffalo is long gone and my great uncle worked at it. Have driven over it many times on the 90. Many of the NYC rails have been reclaimed and are a large part of the rails to trails initiative in NY State which is a great way to see the State.
Just for the record, Bay View (BV) wasn't actually a yard per say, rather a junction / interlocking where the Gardenville branch came back into the mainline.

Speaking of 'rails to trails' here's shot taken by my grandfather over 60 years ago. Former 'West Shore' of the NYC, Clarence, NY. Lovin' I've biked it many times, nice and level, LOL !

west shore salt rdest.jpg
 
MaxInValrico

MaxInValrico

Audioholic
Just for the record, Bay View (BV) wasn't actually a yard per say, rather a junction / interlocking where the Gardenville branch came back into the mainline.

Speaking of 'rails to trails' here's shot taken by my grandfather over 60 years ago. Former 'West Shore' of the NYC, Clarence, NY. Lovin' I've biked it many times, nice and level, LOL !

View attachment 53011
Clarence doesn't look like that any more! Clarence was the stix when I was a kid. Used to cut out Christmas trees out there.
 
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