Yesterday (December 27th) my Grandpa took my train friend, Jacob, and I railfanning! Despite the harsh weather we still followed through with our plan of train watching at Manor in the morning and Latrobe in the afternoon. At Manor we saw light helpers followed by two intermodals all within about 15 minutes. In Latrobe we watched from the train station as a garbage train and many intermodals passed. The most interesting thing we saw was NS SD70 #2580 which was the last unit built for Conrail before the split. Thanks for bringing us Grandpa! Here are some pictures!
The week after Thanksgiving I traveled to Bethlehem, PA for a Blenko Glass pledge drive at PBS 39 television station. Being only 4-1/2 hours away, it was easier to drive rather than fly, but this gave me the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in Bethlehem.
I was aware of Bethlehem Steel's presence in the Lehigh River Valley and had heard that efforts were underway to preserve parts of the former mill, much like the Rivers of Steel organization is trying to do with Carrie Furnace in Pittsburgh. I did some research online and read about Steel Stacks, a non-profit group (www.steelstacks.org) that is part of a multi-focused effort to create a campus that combines history, arts, retail and tourism on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Plant in Bethlehem. Railroads and steel mills go together like peanut butter & jelly - most railfans I know are also students of the steel industry, so hence this blog entry.
Work is also underway to create the National Museum of Industrial History (www.NMIH.org) on the site which promises to be a fascinating destination.
In seeing the remaining signs on so many industrial buildings, I couldn't help but think of the late Dean Freytag urging steel mill modelers to never label a building or facility "No. 1", but rather choose a higher number to give the impression that this was part of a bigger operation that extends beyond the edges of the layout.
There are many opportunities to get up close to relics of the steel making process; a scratchbuilder's dream!
All too soon, our tour ended. I can't recall a more interesting afternoon during which I learned so much. I highly recommend a visit to Bethlehem to learn not only about the steel mill and the steel making process, but also about the many ethnic groups that worked in the mill and how the town and the mill influenced each other. Bruce Ward is a truly a gem and shared so much interesting information during the hour and a half we spent touring the site. Even if you are not a steel making enthusiast, Bethlehem is a very welcoming city with much to offer visitors.
Sorry if I got a little long winded, but it was a very enjoyable 24 hours in Allentown-Bethlehem that I thought would interest you. Best wishes in 2013!
Yesterday (December 22nd) I saw on the internet that the Lackawanna heritage engine was coming through on NS mixed frieght 37A. I kept track of the locomotive on http://www.heritageunits.com/. When it was reported again in Lewistown, PA I calculated the speed and figured it would get here around 2:40 PM. So, I quickly convinced my dad (it didn't take much - it is one of his favorite heritage units) and we headed off for Wegely which is only a few minutes from our house. We waited in the bitter cold and snow with absolutely no trains for 45 minutes! Finally, right on time at 2:40 the train came through! It was trailing and not the greatest conditions but we saw it! This was my third heritage locomotive and my dad's second. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
A good friend of ours, Gary Burdette, has started a website for his train layout of the Cheasapeke and Ohio Hinton Division. Gary has some amazing modeling skills and has won countless awards. He is also an outstading railroad columnist. He has used both of his skills to create a great website that is top notch! Please check it out!
The Train Nerd's Blog is dedicated to bringing you the latest railroad news and railfanning adventures of Andy and Charlie!