View Full Version : Help With Trains In Your MS

01-04-2011, 11:59 PM
In a very weak way to try and give something back, I am willing to offer any advice or help with any questions regarding trains or railroading in general that any of you might need for your manuscripts or stories, limited to North American Railroads. I know it's a very limited subject, but it's what I know best and if I can help someone that's stumped on some technicality, I'd be more than happy to help. Just my small way of saying thanks to everyone here for their help.

01-05-2011, 12:24 AM
You should put this offer in the research thread. More folks will see it there. There's also a thread for sharing your expertise. I love trains, btw! My brother is currently designing and working on building (if they get the funding) a train to run from the airport in Honolulu to Waikiki. I ride the Downeaster up here all the time (well, whenever I need to go to Boston.) Love trains!

01-05-2011, 12:43 AM
I thought they had that line in Honolulu up and running? They planned it a while ago. Oh well, might be like it is here in Jersey. They study things to death around here. The Downeaster sounds like a nice train to ride. Took a long time to set that thing up too. Guilford Transportation, who owns the line are not my favorite people in the industry.

01-05-2011, 02:26 AM
Whoops, missed this. Off to Experts we go!

01-05-2011, 04:36 AM
Anybody wants to steal a GE U25B diesel, I have an original locomotive operators manual for it that covers everything from checking the engine oil to emergency train brake operation.

It's amazing what can be found at yard sales.


01-05-2011, 05:48 AM
Man, that's an oldie! The U 25 B was a four axle locomotive which was General Electrics entry into heavy locomotive manufacturing, about 1959. Up to that point, they manufactured small industrial locomotives and were partnered with American Locomotive Company (ALCO) to jointly produce diesels when ALCO started producing diesels in the late 1930's. Their priciple competitor was The Electro Motive Division of General Motors (EMD). GE and EMD are still in business. Most every locomotive you see on a train to day is either one or the other. By the way, in that manual, does it show that the throttle has 16 speed "notches" in it? I believe that the early GE's had a half notch setting between the standard 8 power notches on the throttle. Most U 25 B's are long gone today. You can still find one here and there, but there aren't many left. The price for being a "prototype." Lots of bugs.

01-05-2011, 05:56 AM
I'll have to check, but I think it mentioned 8 notches. Not sure though. I'll check when I get home from this trip.

01-05-2011, 08:12 PM
My dad was section foreman for the Milwaukee Road (and all its mutations) for 48 years (he retired in 1974). I still remember going down to the yard and riding on the 'putt-putt', and when the train would be switching, Dad would finagle a ride in the engine for us. Loved seeing all our school chums looking up, totally green with envy! :tongue

Also remember the smell of kreosote and sweat every night when he came home. The sweetest smell this side of heaven, since it was his. :)

01-05-2011, 11:53 PM

Wow, that means he started in 1926! Got to see the Hiawatha's in all their glory, too. The streamlined steam locomotives they used were very unique, especially that 4-4-2 type. I also know what you mean about creosote. It's one of my favorite smells, too! I've got 27 plus years overall in railroading, so I know for a fact, as a section foreman, your dad really worked his butt off. Trackwork is tough! Just watched a gang of guys up in Suffern New York yard humping tieplates to the ground from a moving gondola just after I tied my train up there this afternoon. My hat's off to your dad.

01-06-2011, 08:59 PM
I really admire my dad - he had one helper and worked a 26-mile stretch. And some of the stories he told - like another section boss who was told he had to replace over two dozen ties because he couldn't have a surplus stock. Instead of going through all that, he just dumped them off a trestle into the river. :ROFL:

He started when he was 17 as a 'day hand' for the summer, and stayed on. He couldn't turn down the $1/hour wage when other jobs were paying $1/DAY. Bought his first car with his earnings - brand new, $300.

He's been gone now for almost 20 years - but I can still smell the creosote...