Do you or your family live, work, or go to school within the potential blast radius of the next Lac-Mégantic?
Railbikes are pretty self-explanatory. You take a bike, attach an extra wheel sidecar-style, jump on some railroad tracks, and ride. There's no need to steer, so you can look around as you pedal. You stick to abandoned railroad tracks so there's no surprises either. It's not a new idea, dating back well over 100 years to the first bikes, and recently even custom bike builders have devised their own versions. More at Flickr on the railbike tag and in the railbike group. There's even a book about it .
The old Maumee & Western Railroad, in northwestern Ohio, had, arguably, the worst railroad track in existence. Built in a swamp, the line has, apparently, never had any maintenance since it was completed in 1964. Railfans used to travel there hoping to catch the (seemingly inevitable) derailment. So far as can be found, it never happened.
Tim Hall wonders if model railways are a form of fanfiction.
Come on into the MASSIVE Railroad Pictures Archive for, well, pictures of railroads. Over 3 million photos (!), over 100k locomotive pictures. Browse by railroad (defunct railroads are under Fallen Flags!), or browse by location, or look at rolling stock (over 700k pictures!). Looking for a way in? Check out the Editor Picks and Contributor Picks pages.
After scanning the old 'tube for a long while, I have selected the six most appealing videos that document n-scale realism. The selection is based on realistic impression, detail (landscaping and models), and camera use. N-scale model railroading has gained ground over the years. One reason is that the 1:160 scale, while small, provides superior overall realism. This first example shows a bridge scene at three angles, then an overview shot of the entire part of the layout, and a shot of the prototype scene. [more inside]
"Looking for all the world like an engine abandoned in the Amazon jungle, M2 class 4-8-0 number 1118 lies forlorn and forgotten at the Virginia Scrap Iron and Metal yard in Roanoke, VA." The Lost Engines of Roanoke website chronicles the history of four steam locomotives that were sold in the 50's to a scrapyard in Roanoke, Virginia. There are plenty of photos of the engines and other train equipment and information on two other lost engines. The news section has been busy of late since one of the engines has been sold to a railroad themed restaurant in Bellville, Ohio. The move was photodocumented.
Dogcaught, a group blog about trains and the train experience. Some of the pictures are nice enough that they almost look tiltshifted. Others are beautiful and alluring. Hang around long enough and you might turn into a foamer. [more inside]
The Days They Changed the Gauge. Early in the development of railroads in the American South, the builders departed from the standard 4' 8 1/2" gauge and built their railroads with the rails 5 feet apart. As part of a trend of increased government standardization, between May 30 and June 1 1886, workers moved over 11,000 miles of track 3 inches to the new standard gauge of 4' 9". [more inside]
London to Brighton in Two Minutes (2006) [HI Apple Quicktime, LO Adobe Flash] preceeded by London to Brighton in Three-and-a-Half Minutes (1983) [RealMedia, context] preceeded by London to Brighton in Four Minutes (1953) [RealMedia, context]
The Narrow Gauge Circle hosts, among other fine features, the Ted Kierscey Collection -- page after page after page of historical photographs of Colorado's railroad and mining towns.
Railway hotels. To go with yesterday's post, today I bring you the hotel's that were built alongside the railway. Some of the gradients were so acute that when the train ascended or descended, the table settings and food flew in all directions. The weight of the cars added to the problem, as they were too much for the locomotives of the day, and the cars had to be left at the beginning of the railway's path up the mountain passes. Obviously passengers needed to be fed so a solution had to be found as soon as possible. Have you been to any of these hotels, and if so, what was your impression? Do you have any favorite hotels?
The Canadian Pacific Railway was not just a railway, it was a way of life, as the many posters featuring ships, hotels and vacation land posters can attest. Travel along the rails to a different time . . .
AMTRAK still off-track (NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is stillheading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
Yet another rail crash in the UK, and trains are still not back to normal in the wake of the last one. It will be interesting to see how this increases road travel, something the country clearly isn't prepared for.