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... In my opinion the steam lovers have had a monopoly on your magazine in the past, and an issue of TRAINS devoted entirely to the present era of diesel power would be a wonderful relief to those of us who hardly remember the steam engine of yesterday and still have to look through pages of steam articles before finding anything concerning diesels. After all, there are a few people in this country today who are not dyed-in-the-wool steam fans. I am 19 years old and happen to be one of them.
Charles A. Beahm. 322 Washington Ave., Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
. . I'm a steam man myself, but I
Thomas A. Aquino.
2015 Portugal St., Baltimore 31, Md.
The idea of an all-diesel issue is a little bit nauseating. I'd even prefer an all-caboose or all-handcar issue.
Joe R. Thompson.
2039 Milford, Houston 6, Tex.
. . You publish so much as just one all-diesel issue and I shall immediately cancel my subscription.
John M. Prophet 3rd. 55 Meadow Rd., Buffalo 16, N. Y.
... I'll settle for the diesel issue if I may also have some nostalgia from the steam writers without being told by the progressives that we're robbing them of their 50 cents' worth.
This photo [page 52] shows a bilingual Canadian National piggyback trailer I saw in Moncton, N. B., recently. This trailer is lettered especially for service between Montreal and the Maritime Provinces, and a number of them were = in evidence at various places between Halifax, N. S., and Montreal, Que.
As you probably know, Canadian French is quite different from Parisian French, using, as it does, 18th century idioms and 20th century North American English. In fact, I have been told by various people that a "real" Frenchman can hardly understand a French-Canadian. The word piggyback is not really good English in my opinion, and it makes even worse French. However, it has become an accepted word in both languages, and the Canadian National officially recognizes it as such.
J. William Vigrass. 1494 Cohassett Ave., Cleveland 7, O.
Disneyland's supported monorail [page 10, September 1961 TRAINS] was not the first of its kind in the world. In the July 1961 TRAINS [page 54] you show a much earlier version - the Listowel & Ballybunion - built in 1887-88. The accompanying photograph of another, the Peg
James Boyle, collection of M. D. Isely.
Leg, shows a construction train in Layton Canyon, San Bernardino County, Calif., in the early '20's. You carried an article about the Peg Leg-"Monorail to Nowhere" in October 1951 TRAINS. A railroad of this type was built by Stone for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition at Phila
W. Beverly Molony. UP CHALLENGER on Garnet wye in 1948.
delphia, and the original Alweg, the particular version of the saddle type used at Disneyland and Tokyo, was built in Germany in the late '40's. Of course, supported monorails are not limited to the saddle type. The City Island Monorail of New York was another type of supported monorail which carried passengers for several months.
Other supported monorails have been built, at least in prototype form, but until Disneyland they all seemed to have one thing in common. They lost money. See page 54 of July TRAINS for a typical sad case history. The reason we hear so little about the monorails of the past is that they have uniformly lost the competitive battle with conventional railways and the promoters have not publicized their failures. But today the monorail has found its niche. It is an unqualified success as an amusement park novelty ride. Disneyland's line earns its keep and the Tokyo line will probably do likewise. Thus they may well be the first selfsupporting supported monorails in the world.
P. O. Box 81, Inyokern, Calif.
M. D. Isely.
On page 58 of December 1960 TRAINS the fact is mentioned that Editor David Morgan is intrigued by pictures of articulated engines going around curves, showing the offset of the boiler and the front engine.
I am sending him a picture taken on the wye at Garnet, Calif., in July 1948. During the summer rush of 1948 the Southern Pacific rented four of the Union Pacific's early Challenger engines and used them in helper service out of Colton, Calif. They were good engines, but it seemed odd for an SP engineman to operate any other articulated than a cab ahead.
W. Beverly Molony. 1125 W. Crescent Ave., Redlands, Calif.
Under "Arrivals & Departures" in September TRAINS [page 6] mention is made of St. Louis National Museum of Transport having picked up two more goodies. It is about to acquire another. In a recent letter, W. T. Scarboro, General Agent at
St. Marys, Ga., for the St. Marys Railroad Company, stated that this little road had donated motor car No. 1180 to the museum. This car is the last of its type in the United States, all others having been disposed of for scrap or sold to foreign countries.
Motor car No. 1180 was the beginning of gas-electric-powered equipment built by Electro-Motive Company. The carbody was constructed by Osgood Bradley Company and the motive power installed by Electro-Motive. It was put in service in early 1926 on the Boston & Maine Railroad and was used in branch-line service until sold to the St. Marys Railroad in 1945. Operation of the car was discontinued in 1953 when passenger business was suspended and mail and express were handled over the highway. The car had a passenger capacity of 50 persons in addition to a mail and baggage compartment. It had a Winton Model 120 275 h.p. gas engine direct-connected to the main generator for furnishing power to traction motors which were coupled to the wheels, both front and rear, for pulling power.
Winslow Dwight. 100 Washington St., Quincy, Mass. I
samplers offered by the well-known labels. Issued as saliva-starters to entice the uninitiated into stereo, these recordings include exciting bits of music and sound guaranteed (they claim) to enthuse the most single-minded monophonic holdout. Since the very mobile nature of rail sound is ideal for stereo demonstration, many samplers include a bit of the high iron.
One such record that comes to mind is Journey into Stereo Sound (London PS-131, $4.98). You'll find intriguing nonrail tidbits: a peek into a British music hall with dancing girls — and the solemn, echoing ceremony of The Queen's Keys inside the Tower of London. But you will also find yourself at trackside to watch a precise-sounding British Railways locomotive steam past with stiff-upper-lip pistons. Elsewhere on the disc you are on the platform of a London station, listening to all those sounds that precede a departure, plus a sound unfamiliar to American ears - the slamming of compartment doors down the length of a passenger train. These two scenes are brief but nonetheless are recorded with London's impeccable quality.
Samplers aside, included in this month's reviews are several bargains, a lesson in ornithology, and some sounds of steam below the Tropic of Capricorn.
[Unless otherwise noted, all recordings reviewed are 12", 33% rpm discs. [M] indicates monophonic, [S] indicates stereophonic.]
Your Sound of Steam Souvenir ([M] 7", 45 rpm, $1.49. Five Chime Recordings, Box 163, Brookfield, Ill.) has good fidelity for a 45 rpm disc. The record is admittedly directed toward the daisypickers, but it is clever enough for any railfan record shelf. It would make a good gift, too, for those pooh-poohing friends and relatives who really don't fathom your nostalgia over dirty steam locomotives. Four bands with connecting narration explain steam worship clearly, briefly, and without undue emotion. These present the sounds of a passing diesel (the Challenger on Milwaukee Road trackage); a fine start-and-pass by a Nickel Plate 2-8-4 in freight service; a stirring speed run with a Baltimore & Ohio 4-8-2; and a distant, going-away B&O Mountain with mournful whistle.
Last of the Big Red Cars ([M] 7", 33% rpm, $1.25. Pacific Railway Journal, Box 91, San Marino, Calif.) is a roundup of Pacific Electric sounds recorded by Stan Kistler in the early months of 1961. Only days away from abandonment, the former PE lines were then operating under the Metropolitan Transit Authority title; but these were still unmistakably the big owl-faced interurbans of San Francisco origin. Pacific Electric blessed each of these cars with a monotone air whistle not unlike a bass clarinet. Unfortunately, all the whistles played the same note. Air pressures were high and the whistles tended to fly off into a chilling shriek exactly like that of a clarinet being attacked by a beginner. It must have been rough on the motormen. Side 1 includes some excellent close-ups of motor and compressor noises, and an on-train band
clearly records a conductor calling stations and ringing up fares. There is a particularly pleasant sequence along the main line. As a yet-unheard train approaches, crossing bells cut in lazily down the line, then close by. The train whistles and screams in the distance, and the rails pick up the tempo of its wheels. The train passes with a clatter, then speeds on, shortly to be drowned out by a train passing in the opposite direction. Side 2 puts you in the motorman's cab of car 1510 with stops, starts, and a speed run. Motor noises, the chatter of brake rigging. bells all are faithfully recorded. Quality is tops. This could be the buy of the year for any traction enthusiast.
Steam on the Five-Foot-Three ([M], $5.95. A.R.H.S. Record Department, 8 Marian Ct., Blackburn, Victoria, Australia) will intrigue North American ears. The Victorian Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society has documented nine classes of wide-gauge locomotives operating on Victorian Railways in 1960, plus a narrow-gauge Beyer-Garratt. Some differences from North American practice are unmistakable. Short and light VR trains allow quick acceleration and stopping. Passing four-wheel freight cars set up a fearsome clatter. A single embellished whistle blast seems to suffice for most any situation, including grade crossings. The record has 16 "complete scenes." In one, a small-wheeled 2-8-0 is improbably paired with a 6-foot-drivered Hudson to take a freight up the 2 per cent grade at Heathcote Junction between Melbourne and Seymour. The great difference in cylinder stroke causes a weird effect. The 2-8-0 leads with rapid-fire blasts. As the train moves closer the slower, sharper breathing of the 4-6-4 intermingles to create a limping, 31%-cylinder monster. This in turn smooths out to the Hudson's rhythm as the Consolidation's efforts pass out of range. A bit of light relief is presented by an 0-6-0T crane engine switching around Newport shops. The little 37-tonner. built in 1893, dashes back and forth on 36-inch drivers, peeping impatiently with surely the most diminutive of peanut whistles ever applied to a steam locomotive. The 2-6-0+0-6-2 Beyer-Garratt sequence is particularly interesting since that type of articulated was never heard on our continent. The Beech Forest line is the sole VR 2-foot 6-inch gauge trackage still in operation. Climbing out of Colac-90 miles southwest of Melbourne - the line encounters sharp curves and 3 per cent grades. Garratt exhausts synchronize on tangent track, although there is no timing connection between the engine units. This is plainly heard as the small (70-ton) locomotive chuffs past with the weekly freight and screeches through a very tight curve. Jacket notes | fully describe each scene, and major specifications are included for all locomotives heard. Recording quality is first-rate throughout. The disc is highly recommended. Note: the price quoted includes postage by surface mail only. Don't expect 10-day delivery service.
2nd Pigeon and the Mocking Bird ([M), $4.95. O. Winston Link Railway Produc
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number 34 of a series
Editor awaits train
IT would frighten us to be
charged with the responsibility for a Time or a Newsweek, whose beat is the world and all that's important therein. It's all we can do to simply keep abreast of the changes within a single industry (e.g., Mexico's new line to the coast, German diesel-hydraulics on test for D&RGW and SP, NYC+PRR, the Super's 25th birthday) which, in turn, points up the case for the specialized publication. Trains are the sole concern of TRAINS, So we can report them exclusively and in depth-and without being involved in the U.N. and the New Jersey elections and other nonrail news that is beyond our province. Indeed, so close is TRAINS to its subject that our readers frown if the editor admits he took a plane anywhere or if they think we're favoring this line or that diesel make. Reasons why TRAINS is the magazine of railroading.
tions, 58 E. 34th St., New York 16, N. Y.) is certainly different. This is the first record I have auditioned which actually brought the lady of the house back of her own accord (after she had instinctively retired to the kitchen in self defense) to listen to an entire side. Despite this phenomenon, it is a good rail recording. Long the master of storytelling with sound, Link has returned to the Norfolk & Western with his professional equipment and sympathetic ear. The mockingbird is authentic and fascinating. So is the 2-8-8-2 Y6 in the background, laboriously climbing a 7-mile grade on Salt branch out of Glade Spring, Va. You can listen to either one, depending upon your taste. Heard together, they are in complete harmony. The Y6 does top the grade and drown out the bird, with the man in the cab proclaiming his love for the job with inspired steam whistling. Close up, the Y6 snuffles and clanks and wheezes and roars as it manhandles 46 loads up the branch. It is a thoroughly satisfying sequence. "2nd Pigeon" turns out to be another Y6 without feathers. This was the Pigeon Creek shifter, a switching run that serviced coal country sidings between Williamson and Kermit, W. Va. Adroit time-lapse editing compresses the entire 38-mile round trip onto one side. This is an on-train recording, made from a special caboose spotted two car-lengths from the 2-8-8-2. It is realistic. When the slack comes crashing down the line of empty hoppers toward the caboose, you'd better get a good grip on your chair! Jacket notes are complete. Though the content is fresh and the technical quality excellent, this record is overshadowed by Link's earlier Thunder on Blue Ridge. I
• SECOND SECTION
Hello, there . . .
One of the editors here on the fifth floor at 1027 North 7th Street always defines "to edit" as meaning "to throw out," Webster's notwithstanding. His point is that no publication, not even the Times, has the space or can afford the paper and ink to print everything, so it's up to someone the editor - to throw out the irrelevant and send just the interesting and/or important to the linotype. This can be a job, particularly when writing our news columns. For instance, I've culled a few items which, though not vital, are readable. Out West, Southern Pacific has taken down its huge (44 feet high, 77 feet wide) and controversial flashing sign from atop its headquarters at 65 Market Street, San Francisco much to the delight of the local press which thought it marred the city's sky
line. Sort of ironic, for how often have the rails been criticized for failing to merchandise themselves? Then here's the countdown on Rio Grande's narrowgauge Silverton: last summer its Mikes hauled more than 38,000 riders up the Animas River Canyon vs. a few more than 37,000 in the 1960 season. Two entries on B&O: first, as a result of tests of the German-built Auto-Porter on the National Limited [photo on page 11] the road is investigating the possibility of hauling the autos of passengers behind the train on which they're riding; and second, President Jervis Langdon Jr. figures that if B&O had received a subsidy comparable to that of its barge and truck competitors, 25 to 45 million dollars of its expenses would have been picked up by the Government, so that even in 1961 - when the road dropped between 25 and 30 million dollars - it would have been on easy street. And here's a bit of semantics from C&O, which has changed the name of its combination highway-rail vehicles from "Railvan" to "Roadrailer." This was done out of consideration for the fact that the original trade name would be dated when flat, tank, gondola, and other nonvan-type bodies became available. Also this: 30 of the two-unit, articulated Key System electrics that once rode the Bay Bridge have been sold to Buenos Aires (which is one up for the Latins, in our book). And we must confess mental alarm over the image conjured up concerning elderly freight equipment by Walter A. Renz, executive v.p. of the American Railway Car Institute. He has told the U. S. Treasury that because of unrealistic depreciation rates on rolling stock (up to 30 years), the average age of freight cars is nearly 19 years, which has "clogged our rails with superannuated jalopies."
True, when space is tight news items like these must give way to such big cannon fodder as the renewal of NYC + PRR, and yet we occasionally wonder if the summary of all of railroading's marginal notes wouldn't create a picture in depth of the industry today.
P.S. Do you know what Western Pacific is shipping in carload lots from Teasdale Packing of San Jose, Calif.? Why, canned water in six-packs, of course! Canned under the trade name of U.S. Aqua, the scientifically processed vacuum-packed HO is recommended for desert-bound motorists, campers, hunters, fishermen, for fallout shelters, the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and so forth. WP proudly moved the first transcontinental carload of U. S. Aqua (to Florida) last August 4, according to its Mileposts, and Aqua packer L. W. Teasdale called it "just the beginning." And he added: "We won't run out of the stuff, either, as our well runs down some 500 feet." I