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FEATURE ARTICLES Norfolk Southern's West Slope

I've Been Working The Railroad

Information on railfanning NS's West Slope and details on traffic on the line

Learn about the aspects on running a heritage railroad and many other interesting details!

Puffing Billy Railway

Trainz - A Primer in Trainz

Visit Australia's Century Old Puffing Billy Railway and learn its history

Learn about the different train simulators out there to model in VR scale

Locomotive of the Month - UP 1989 Learn about UP 1989

Visit Alliance, Ohio Information on railfanning Alliance, Ohio

Model Train Scenery Tip n' Tricks Lots of Tips N' Tricks on Model Railroad Scenery

A Little Bit of History - Downriver, Mi Learn the history of Downriver, MI

Coming next Issue To celebrate Norfolk Southern's 30 Year anniversary, TheRailRag Magazine will be doing a NS 30 Year Special covering the railroad then, now & the Railroads that make up NS today.

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LetterFromTheEditor - Isaac Logan The Team

Welcome back, to our 2nd edition of

I also picked up on a few things that needed to be changed they are  Revamped contents page

Isaac Logan - Executive Editor Contact:

TheRailRag. Wow! What a great first few months and first issue!! Take a look at page 8 for information on our views!

 Getting it out earlier

Ryan Vince - Assistant Editor

 Add a list of the magazine team

Wow, what a busy 3 months since our last magazine, NS announcing there doing 18 heritage units and Railstream adding 3 new cameras to its live viewing system, good work Mike and the team! Over the last 3 months I have done a lot of fiddling with the magazine, in the way of graphics, colors and article ideas. We had many great comments on our first issue and thanks to those guys but the guys I would like to thank the most are the guys who also gave us information on what we can improve on and what they would like changed. I have listed some of the things highlighted

 Adding News, Comments & Product reviews!

 All photos need Captions  Writing does not need to be so big  More Model Railroad Content  And more photos

All of the above have been implemented along with the suggestions from our readers - Thanks guys Onto this month's magazine! Some great articles from our contributors again, great work guys, THANKS A LOT! Along with some by me on The Puffing Billy Tourist Railway & Scenery Tips N' Tricks. Enjoy our latest issue and may all your Railfaning and modeling adventures be fun! CYA in August!

Isaac Logan - Executive Editor

Mike Kisser - Railstream Owner & Manager Contact: Andrea - Editor Contact: Andrew - News Contact: For Advertising & Contributing Contact:

Our Team Try our best to reply within 24 hours when were available, if you have any issue getting in contact with anyone, please send an email to Isaac Logan - Executive Editor & it will be sorted out - Thanks TheRailRag Magazine Team May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Put together by - Andrew Tuttle & Isaac Logan Back to the good old days with NS Heritage units To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Norfolk & Western & Southern merger of 1982. NS is going to honour many of the railroads that make up the present NS system. The locomotives will be 10 SD70ACes and eight ES44ACs from an upcoming order for 25 units from GE. The 19 predecessor railroads selected for heritage paint are: •Central of Georgia •Conrail •Erie • Erie Lackawanna •Lehigh Valley • New Haven • New York Central •Nickel Plate Road • Norfolk & Western •Penn Central •Pennsylvania •Pittsburgh & West Virginia •Reading •Savannah & Atlanta • Southern • Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia •Virginian •Wabash. NS plans to recreate the paint schemes as accurately as possible. Can't wait to see them riding the rails! - Used With Permission of NS Corp & NS Media - Drawing also used with permission from NS & Andrew Fletcher - Thanks NS for letting us use them!

W&LE Lifesaver Unit 102 - Photo by Richard

Less Accidents - more deaths - Operation Lifesaver Operation Lifesaver reported that there was a reduction in highwayrail grade crossing collisions in 2011 but an increase in fatalities. There were 1,956 vehicle-train collisions in the U.S. in 2011 compared to 2,017 incidents in 2010; those collisions resulted in 262 deaths and 964 injuries. There were 428 trespass-related pedestrian deaths last year and 346 trespass injuries Operation Lifesaver President Helen M. Sramek said states with the most crossing collisions in 2011 were Texas, Indiana, California, Louisiana, and Illinois. States with the most pedestrian-train casualties in 2011 were California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New York. - May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Back to the good old days with NS Heritage units To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Norfolk & Western & Southern merger of 1982. NS is going to honour many of the railroads that make up the present NS system. The locomotives will be 10 SD70ACes and eight ES44ACs from an upcoming order for 25 units from GE. The 18 predecessor railroads selected for heritage paint are: •Central of Georgia •Conrail •Erie • Erie Lackawanna •Lehigh Valley • New Haven • New York Central •Nickel Plate Road • Norfolk & Western •Penn Central •Pennsylvania •Pittsburgh & West Virginia •Reading •Savannah & Atlanta • Southern • Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia •Virginian •Wabash. NS plans to recreate the paint schemes as accurately as possible. Can't wait to see them riding the rails! - Official Drawings are on NS's Website: ge_images.html -- Source: NS Media

Railstream's Latest Cameras Due the past 3 months new cameras have gone up in Chesterton, IL, Berea, Oh. Good work by the Railstream team! Lots of new action to be had at today!!

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Questions & Comments First issue comments Dear editor, Thanks for bringing us the RailRag online magazine to all of us here at Rail Stream. It is an awesome addition to the website and members area of the site along with the Fostoria cams -- thanks a bunch Andrew [Thanks Andrew, it you guys who keep us going. Ed]

With TheRailRag Magazine Staff Online I could not stop reading until the end! Very well put together, it's in my Favourites list. Thank you! - Robert Auran Forums [Thanks - Enjoy our new issue. ED]

Sensational effort, well done to all the contributors. An hour had passed while reading until I was snapped out of it by a phone call. Nothing holds my attention that long -PegHorse Auran Forums [Thanks, great to see something free can provide enjoyment. ED]

It looks very good and I was pleasantly surprised to see some English and Australian content. I look forward to seeing your next issue -HSB RMWEB [Being from Australia, Australian content suited and being an online mag, we target the world, thanks for kind works. ED]

Wow - that's nice. Thanks for posting Is it easiest to just always go to the site to get the latest issue? - Xrunner - [The best way is to bookmark, where the magazine will be posted as soon as it goes live. I will also look into a subscriber button where you get an email when it is out. ED]

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Advertising & Contributing Being a free magazine, contributors and advertisers are what keep us going and bring you this great content you read! Advertising So we need your help, if you are a company take a look at our advertising options on the left on screen, there are many options for you to chose from so we are sure there's one that suits you budget and needs. We have also included the stats for our February, March & April Issue, of both PDF downloads & Online version views. Contributing We are also looking for more contributors to our magazine, although at this time we are unable to pay our contributors, all fund generated from our magazine go into, the magazine & Railstream but we may be able to work out a discount on your next membership at Railstream. We look for articles from Prototype to Model & Simulator Trains, a good thing to think of when submitting is, would you want to read this in TheRailRag Magazine? If the answer is YES, then contact - There are also Editorial & Columnist jobs available.

DRAFT ONLY 2,500 2,000 1,500 Views

1,000 500 0 Febuary



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There are few spots left in the United States that can compare to Norfolk Southern’s east and west slope of the Allegheny mountains in Pennsylvania. With grades reaching 2%, helpers are often set onto trains in Altoona, Cresson, or Johnstown. The railroading action in this part of the country is so great, that

hotels often offer a discounted rate on your room if you do not see a certain amount of trains a day during your stay. With so much train traffic around, there are multiple area’s along the line to stay / watch the action in what has to be the most railfan friendly area this side of the Mississippi.

Coming out of Altoona, the line condenses into 3 tracks as it makes its way out to S 10th Ave, also known as “The Brickyard.” The Brickyard offers great views on the far side of the crossing, with a hilltop perch being the favorite spot. The other side of the crossing is a huge dip down a hill with limited views, so it is best to park your May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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car there and get set up. Trains coming into Altoona are often in Dynamic Brakes as they finish their decent, and trains starting up run by in full throttle as they try to gain speed before going uphill. From the brickyard, the line snakes up the mountain side away from all civilization. There are several locations along the tracks up in the mountain that you can catch a train, although a little hiking will be needed (so pack lightly!). From there, the line makes its way into Horseshoe Curve. This National Landmark is famous for having sweeping views for trains coming both East, and West. Although only open April through November, it is a must see if you have never been there. You will be charged an admission price of $6.00 to get in, but if you do the combo price for $10 you also get access to the Railroader’s Museum in Altoona. The trams runs every 30 minutes, so if you miss it, you have to lug your stuff up 18 flights of stairs. After Horseshoe Curve, the line once again goes back into the Mountain side away from roads. The line can be viewed from Rte 22, but that is limited. The next spot for railfans is the Tunnel

hill Overlook. Located at the intersection of Church Street in Tunnel hill, pulling into the dirt lot will offer you a stunning view of the Eastern portal of both tunnels, and views of the line as it sweeps up into the mountainside. Trains can be seen about 2 miles in the distance, but watch your step in the foliage, as going too far will put you over the edge of a long fall. If sweeping views aren’t your thing then sitting at the Gallitzin rail park will be. The park, located at the intersection of Jackson St and Convent St offers guests the ability to tour the inside of a Pennsy

Caboose. The Caboose is filled with memorabilia, and information about the railroad, while outside sits park benches, a small play area (complete with train), and an overpass with holes in the fence to allow for pictures. For an even better view, proceed down to railroad street and park right next to the tracks, across from the bar that sits there. This view offers STUNNING views of trains coming out of the tunnel as they head west, and equally as amazing views of trains going east. Perhaps one of the great locations on the West Slope, the Rte 53 Overpass is a May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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prime location for railfans. When coming from Gallitzin to Cresson on Rte 53, you will pass over 5 tracks. Right after this bridge, pull your car into the little dirt patch that sits there and then immediately look left to see another path. Park your car in the beginning of that path and walk to the end. You will find yourself with a clear view of all 5 tracks, the signal bridge, and most importantly, quiet. The bridge blocks most of the noise from the road, and very rarely will you ever not be the only railfan there.

Proceeding farther west by about 3 miles, enters you into the town of Cresson, note that Cresson’s spots will not be along Route 53 as you come in, rather Front street which can be accessed by taking a right at the traffic light. Cresson offers a railfan platform adjacent to the engine facility, a gazebo, and a handicap entrance for any railfan. The views of trains going east can be obscured during the summer, as a small tree sits right next to the platform. Your best bet is to park in the small lot right next door, and sit atop the straight away

hillside across from the Station Inn. The Station Inn is located on Front street, and offers outstanding accommodations to railfans, with low priced rooms, a porch with track views, and enough railroading magazines to keep any railfan occupied for days. The local pizza shop Vito’s will give discounts to any Station Inn guests, as long as you show your room key. Continuing down Rte 53 out of Cresson, you will come across a road called Carney’s Crossing Rd. This road puts you right down at track level, offering May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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straight away views of trains going West and a corner to show the struggles of trains headed east. Be sure to park your car on the left side before the crossing as you come down the hillside, as it keeps the car out of the way allowing for shots from all four sides of the crossing. Lilly is the next town that you are going to run into along the tracks. If you turn off of rte 53 and drive alongside the tracks, you can park on the corner past

all of the houses for views of the MP 254 signal bridge. This view is best in morning, as by 2pm you will get shadows on the traffic that passes by. As you look to the side of the signal bridge, you will notice that that it is another long straight away. This straight away lasts for just over a mile and then the line makes its right turn into Cassandra. Our last, and possibly greatest spot on the west slope is in fact, Cassandra. The

Cassandra railroad overlook is very well hidden, and you will miss it if you do not look closely. Once arriving in the town of Cassandra, look for the fire station on Main st. Continue straight past the fire station and continue as the pavement ends. You will pass one more house and then come across the Overlook with a spacious parking lot. The overlook is amazing in the fact that when you cross over the pedestrian bridge, you look west down a 2 1/2 mile straight away and the old Pennsy Signal bridge. May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Looking east you have a sweeping curve which leads into Lilly. Although you can record almost everywhere on the property, be careful when filming from the bottom of the hill as NS Police will be notified if the engineer thinks you are close. This part of the line is also the steepest grade that the trains have to travel on, with Eastbound’s averaging 15-20 MPH even on full throttle! Many families come to PA to visit Horseshoe Curve, but almost all of them do not realize what lies just to the west of there. The Railroading goldmine that is Norfolk Southern’s West Slope - Joshua Powers “Jmano33”

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The Puffing Billy Railway -- Isaac Logan

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Locomotive of the Month - UP 1989 Union Pacific 1989 is one of Union Pacific's Heritage Series locomotives. Painted in the scheme of predecessor railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. It's an EMD SD70ACe locomotive which is owned by UP. Union Pacific started its Heritage Unit Program in 2005. The program consisted of six SD70ACe's. Each was painted in a scheme representing one of six railroads that make Union Pacific today. They are not painted to the original schemes worn by the railroad it represents but the scheme clearly defines the railroad. In addition to a unique scheme, each unit is numbered according to the year the railroad become part of UP. The other locomotives in the Heritage Unit Program are: Missouri Pacific - UP 1982, Western Pacific - UP 1983, Missouri-KansasTexas - UP 1988, Chicago and North Western - UP 1995 and Southern Pacific - UP 1996. They also featured UP 4141 which say's "George Bush 41" With the announcement by NS, that they will do 18 Heritage style units, there will be lots of fun to be had beside the rails and on! --Article by Isaac Logan >> UP 1989 turning his power in Durand, MI on a snowy Sunday morning Photo Andy's Backyard - By Andy May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Step By Step

By Isaac Logan

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While tossing around ideas for a Model Train article for the magazine, I was thinking around 3 things, a general introduction to model trains, alternatives to plaster cloth and a scenery technique article. I chose the latter, as I enjoyed doing scenery and had plenty of supplies on my shelf as I had just brought a heap of them. Although I could have done it on the layout, I tried but was having issues with getting good photos. So in the end I decided to do a small diorama on a piece of foam which I could then fit into the layout at a later date and so cam this article. I hope you enjoy and learn some new techniques along the way.

I started with a flat sheet of white foam but it's up to you what your scenery base is it can be foam, plaster, plywood or whatever you use on your model railroad. Now start by coating the area with full strength white glue from your craft store. Make sure the whole area is coated as this is what holds down everything thing else we place down. Also, I recommend you work in small sections about 1 foot at a time to make it easier. With our glue now down we can add our first layer of grass, for this layer use Woodland Scenic's Fine Turf, Grass Green. Cover the whole area but if you miss a few places don’t worry. In some patches add a little extra grass to simulate un-even ground. May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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With the first layer of grass down, it's now time to add a second layer. This what gives the grass a feel that is real. Unless you modelling someone's yard the grass shouldn't be just one flat color. For my second layer I used Woodland Scenic's Burnt grass but for this step it doesn't matter what color you use, just use what feels right for you. I also added a sprinkle of Woodland Scenic's 'Soil' turf. The amount of layers you use is also up to you, you could use just the 2 or go out and use everyone color Woodland Scenic's have to offer. I have found that when buying in the shaker bottles you actually use less because you can get the thinner, even coverage. Once you have finished this step you want to have all the foam/base covered.

With that complete now place some Woodland Scenic's Corse turf around randomly create the effect of small bushes. Now cover the area with a light misting of 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. Let this settle into the material for about 2 minutes before soaking the area with a 40/60 mix of white glue and water. Some people use 50/50 but because the base has already been coated with white glue the runny mixture, mixes with that fully soaking the area. Now you can let it dry and go onto another section or continue onto the next step.

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Now for the small gravel road. I wanted a limestone type road so I used Fine Buff, Woodland Scenic's ballast but you chose a color to match the type of road you are trying to model. To apply the 'limestone' use a spoon and pour the stones on top of the wet grass following the path you would like your road to take. Remember not to apply it to thickly because most roads are dug into the ground before the surface is applied. Fill the edges around the road with more grass.

Now we move onto the thicker foliage, some Woodland Scenic's bushes. There are two ways in which you can do this, one is to put dollops of white glue on the base and place the bushes on top and the other is to place them directly onto the diorama/layout and then use more of the water and glue mix. Always use more than one color of bushes, like when we're doing the base colors of grass we want to give it a more natural effect. Its best to place them in clumps and not just a little here and a little here, also plan for where trees will be and arrange them around the areas which would be shaded by trees, which would cause more growth.

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To add a little extra detail I decided to use some MiniNaturŽ Grass Turfs. There come in small packs from Scenic Express.Pl ease note that I think they are expensive, about $8 a pack so only use them in highly visible areas, and in the foreground but in saying that, I do love them! To add the turfs, just pull them from the backing and place on layout, if the glue for the scenery base has dried, paint on a little bit of white glue (don’t use to much or you will wreak the effect) The final bit of detail I added was to sprinkle down some yellow grass over the area, to simulate flowers/weeds in the area.

For our last step comes trees for this small area I used 3 small pine trees. Two of the pine trees I brought on eBay from China, they are low cost and still look great! These trees can just be pushed into the foam using the wire based as shown above. The 3rd tree was from Life-Like, it have a plastic base so I glued it on and coved the base with more grass and bushes. - Finish by adding a few autos or other details to the scene I hope my tips and techniques help you in your next scenery project, remember just to let things go down naturally and it will look more natural!! More photos of the finished scene can be seen on the following page! --Isaac Logan, Managing Editor TheRailRag

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I'd Been Working on The Railroad Article By Dave Ruffner & Photos By Jeff Geis May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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One of benefits of working at an operating railroad museum such as the Whitewater Valley Railroad is the opportunity to experience all facets of railroad operation. The WVRR is somewhat unique among operating railroad museums in that it actually runs between two towns, Connersville, IN and Metamora, IN. We are exclusively a passenger operation and run passenger trains from Connersville to Metamora on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from May through October on a

timetable schedule. With the exception of one or two full time paid employees, most of the work on the railroad is done by volunteer employees, who donate their time and sweat to get the work done. Certain large restoration and rehabilitation projects are accomplished using contractors, but the regular maintenance work is done by volunteers. The Whitewater Valley Railroad's 76 mile line from Cincinnati OH to Hagerstown, IN, was built on the towpath of the Whitewater Canal. The

Indianapolis & Cincinnati began construction in 1863 and completed the line to Hagerstown in 1867. In 1890 the line was absorbed by the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis aka The Big Four, which was then absorbed by the New York Central. Commuter trains were operated on the line between Connersville and Cincinnati until 1933, when passenger service was abandoned. Freight service by Penn Central ended in 1972 at which time the Whitewater Valley Railroad was formed May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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by a group of men who did not want to see the railroad completely disappear. Passenger trains began operation in 1974 after the WVRR obtained Ex Cincinnati Union Terminal #25, a Lima Hamilton product that was part of six locomotive order for CUT. The passenger train consisted of 4 Erie Stilwell Suburban and Semi-Suburban commuter cars and the operating museum replicated a small chunk of the commuter service, in its mission of preserving and interpreting railroad culture and history. When I started working at the WVRR in

1984 our track was in deplorable condition due to the fact that it was part of the Penn Central's former NYC Whitewater Valley branch and had been placed sometime earlier on deferred track maintenance. Many of the ties were rotten and the cinder ballast was choked with weeds. On my first run as a student brakeman our train derailed at the Laurel Feeder dam, nearly four miles from our destination. As I helped the crew re-rail the equipment, it became obvious to me that if I wanted to operate trains on this railroad without having to stop every whipstitch

to rerail derailed equipment, that I should apply the majority of my efforts there to track maintenance and restoration. I semi-officially joined the track gang in May of 1984, two days after the derailment, the only pieces of mechanized track maintenance equipment we owned was a broken down International pickup truck with hirail wheels and a newly acquired Grumman awaiting installation of its rear hirail wheels. The track gang at that point consisted of the Chief

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parking area and picnic tables. Track level is a good 20 feet above ground level at that point and by the time the Chief and I dragged three 250 lb. crossties up there using two man timber tongs (similar to ice tongs, except equipped with 18 inch long steel handles) the Chief and I were obliged to rest for about an hour before setting about replacing the scarred and broken ties with these new ones. In the meantime our teenaged helper was employed in bringing up the tools we would need in order to do the job.

Engineer and me. I was able to expand our little gang on the day in question by collaring the 15 year old son of a couple of our members who happened to be handy while the Chief and I loaded ties and tools on our new truck. We were on our way out to repair the site of our most recent derailment, the situation that occasioned my decision to join the track gang.

Unfortunately we soon discovered that the missing rear hirail wheels made it impossible for us to run the truck on the track, which meant that we would have to drag the three ties up an embankment to the repair site. This site was located a few hundred feet from the Feeder Dam for the state's restored portion of the Whitewater Canal and there was a small park there with a

While the Chief and I rested and tried to get our breath, the boy brought up 2 track jacks, 3 shovels, a pick. a lining bar, a claw bar for removing spikes, 2 spike mauls and some new track spikes. The Chief and I soon discovered that telekinesis was not going to work and after our rest period got up and set about the job. The basic procedure for replacing a crosstie is very simple. Pull the spikes and jack up the rail to get the weight of it off the tie to be removed. Use a shovel to excavate a trench for the crosstie to occupy as it is removed. Use the pick or lining bar to loosen the material around the tie, then remove same using timber May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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tongs and/or the lining bar. Lower the rail back to normal position, then excavate the tie crib so that the new tie will fit. (this procedure avoids producing a hump in the rail because many of the original ties were smaller than the ties we had to replace them with) Install the new tie under the rail with tie plates between the tie and the rail. Attach the tie to the rail with spikes driven by the spike mauls, being careful to maintain correct gauge. Repeat as needed, in this case twice. This little job took us six hours in all, from the time we loaded the truck in

Connersville until we arrived back in Connersville. The stated goal of our Chief Engineer in 1984 was to replace 100 ties per mile for a total of 1700 ties in one year. The actual figure was around 500 and that came only after a couple of extra days during which we ran big work parties on non operating days and nights. Our typical Saturday work crew consisted of 5 or 6 people, mainly folks we found loafing with nothing to do first thing on Saturday morning. A lot of people learned to hide when they saw me approaching them on a Saturday morning.

The following year, after we begged for it, the WVRR acquired a tractor loader backhoe, commonly referred to as a backhoe. Similar only in appearance to the Case machine in the photos accompanying this article, it was an ancient Massey Ferguson machine and like a lot of the equipment obtained by operating railroad museums, nearly worn out. When we could get it to start, though, it was very handy for removing ties, and cut down on the workload a lot. On occasion we would have an experienced operator come out with us, and that person could not only use it to remove ties, but also install the new ones under the rail. Because of this May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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machine we were able to double our annual production and replaced over a thousand crossties in 1985. Historically speaking, railroads began mechanizing track maintenance forces during World War II, at which time labour had become very scarce. Functions that had once required several men to accomplish were now handled by one machine and its operator. After the war these machines were improved dramatically as innovations came along in hydraulic technology applied to construction equipment. As the years passed, newer machines would replace older ones and the railroads would sell the older machines at auctions to

dispose of them. The WVRR obtained several pieces of track maintenance equipment at a Conrail auction of surplus equipment. We still own five of the pieces and those are in the photos that accompany this article. These are actually historic artefacts now, as most of them are gone from modern railroading, replaced by newer machinery whose function is similar. The machine with long rigid boom is an RTW 1040 tie crane or handler. The clamp is capable of holding three crossties at once and the machine can also pick up a 33ft long stick of 90 lb. rail if necessary. The machinery platform will revolve continuously 360

degrees, as will the tie clamp. It is self propelled and forward and reverse functions are controlled using the pedals. The brakes automatically apply when the movement pedals are released. The other tie crane pictured here is a similar model, a slightly newer RTW 1040b that I purchased a few years ago with the intention of converting it to a light brush cutting machine. With the exception of the articulating boom and the single tie clamp, it is virtually identical to original machine owned by the WVRR. My plans changed due to medical issues and I donated it to the WVRR in 2009. Tie cranes allow one person to pick and

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place crossties. The newest models you can see on the big railroads have been constructed by taking a light hydraulic excavator off its normal crawler chassis and marrying it to a rail chassis very similar to ones under these machines. John Deere is one of the notable examples of companies who have done this and I've seen several examples of these working in timber gangs on CSX. In the WVRR's case it eliminated the problems associated with moving crossties around. And while spending a few hours on one of these will tire out most people, the operator can accomplish far more work in the limited time available. The machine with the double flanged wheels on front and rear is a Fairmont W-114-C tie shear. Its purpose is to remove crossties and accomplishes that by using hydraulically powered shears to cut the tie into three pieces. The operator lowers the open blades into the ballast around the tie, then closes the blades which cut the tie into three pieces. The blades are powerful enough to cut the ties completely. After completion of the shearing operation, the operator raised the shears with the center section of the tie held in place

and moves ahead a few inches. She (Women operated the shear most of the time) then uses the hydraulically actuated dozers to push the tie ends (called butts) out from under the rail. Because we operate on fairly light rail (70 - 90 lb.) she then reverses to drop the centre section into the crib, before proceeding to the next tie to be removed. Depending on the availability of equipment, the three pieces are removed with either a tie crane or by hand. The next machine is the Kershaw W87E rotary tie crib scarified. This machine works like a big rototiller and excavates the crib so that a new tie can be installed. This machine is quite an efficient excavator and if set up properly will produce properly sized cribs in far less time than it takes two people to dig out a crib by hand. In addition to that function it will also insert ties, using a handle attached to cable to winch the new tie into the new crib. A person on the ground is required to use the handle to guide the tie into proper position and usually a tie crane will place the new tie into the access trench, which the scarified excavated at the same time as it excavated the crib, using a bolt on extensions to the scarifier's drum. May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Another machine that was acquired at the same auction is our Plasser spot tamper, which is used to tamp the ballast under ties directly under the rails. The operator positions the tamping tools over the tie, opens the valve so that the hydraulic motors begin vibrating the tools, then lowers the tools into the ballast on either side of the tie. The operator then uses another handle to squeeze the tools and move ballast into place under the tie. If a certain amount of lifting is required the machine is equipped with rail clamps that apply automatically with the brakes and a large jacking bar operated by hydraulic cylinder to raise the tie and the rail simultaneously. Incidentally, tamping is where the name gandydancer originated. Before mechanization, lining and levelling operations were accomplished with large gangs of men using lining bars and tamping bars, which have heads on them similar to those on the tamping tools on the Plasser machine. A company called Gandy supplied many of these hand tools to the railroads and from a distance the gangs of men appeared to be dancing, hence the name. I've done this and it is very hard work. I much prefer mechanized tamping to manual, even though manual

tamping produces a much better job. For awhile one of our members owned several other pieces of equipment, including a Nordberg HydroSpiker that allowed two operators to drive spikes all day long by pushing the spikes into the ties with hydraulic cylinders. This gentleman was getting himself in the track contracting business and helped with our track maintenance enormously while simultaneously training his personnel to operate the equipment. We discover during this time why the big railroads no longer used this equipment, because it is maintenance intensive and broke down frequently. When running properly though, it would drive a lot of spikes in a very short time. Most of the spikes on the WVRR were driven by hand with spike mauls, or with an air hammer similar to a jack hammer. I used this hammer to drive spikes and it is nearly as tiring to use it as it is drive them by hand, because it weighs about 60 lbs. and the handle only comes up to my knees when it is sitting on a driven spike. The other machine we own from the original buy is the Kershaw ballast regulator, which came equipped with the front plow, side boxes and powered May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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cylinder Wisconsin engine. It can be lowered to the track hydraulically from the operator station on the machine. Unlike the other machines covered by this article, which use hydraulic power for all of their functions, this machine uses a mechanical transmission and forward and reverse gearbox to for its propulsion. It is very difficult to use and had a bad tendency to derail itself when it was used. Because most of its functions can be accomplished with the backhoe, I suspect this machine will become a permanent static display item in our new museum facility currently under construction. broom attached. This machine is very old and the power unit has a six cylinder International gasoline truck engine in it. However if you compare it to its modern counterpart, not much has changed. The purpose of this machine is to shape the ballast along the railroad, using its plow and side boxes. The height of plow and side boxes is controlled by hydraulic winches, a function that now uses hydraulic cylinders on modern machines. The front plow can be recofigured to work as a transfer plow so the extra ballast dumped along one side of the track can be transferred to the

centre or the other side. The side boxes can be moved in and out horizontally with hydraulic cylinders and are used to evenly distibute the shoulder ballast and also to shape the ballast shoulder to the proper slope. The boxes are equipped with digging bars to loosen ballast that has become choked with dust and compacted into what is called cemented ballast. These bars are deployed manually by loosening the set bolts and extending them. The power broom on the back of the machine is also a Kershaw product and as the nameplate shows it is powered with a 4

Also included in the photos with this article are two of the newest pieces of track maintenance equipment. First, the small red machine with the rubber tires on it is an RCC Tie master that was acquired from the estate of a deceased member who built his track contracting firm around it. The Tie master is a nifty little machine that is powered by a two cylinder gasoline engine of about 25 hp driving a hydraulic pump. Its primary function is to remove and insert crossties and it is equipped with a two piece boom and tilting tie clamp for this purpose. It can clamp itself to the rail May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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and jack up itself and the rail to facilitate tie removal, remove the tie, then lower the rail and carry the tie away for disposal. Then it can pick a new tie and return to insert the new tie under the rail. It is additionally equipped with a hydraulic tool circuit and hoses to power a spike remover and a spike driver, along with a hydraulic tamping hammer. It is light enough to towed behind a pickup truck on its rubber tires and can remove itself from the track using those tires and the tie boom. The gentleman who owned it passed away in 2003 and eventually his estate sold his equipment to the WVRR. We acquired the Case backhoe and a Ford hirail pickup truck in this deal as well. The newest piece of equipment owned by the WVRR is this International medium duty hirail truck with crew cab and crane. This truck was donated by a member who has belonged to organization from its start and recently retired from a long career in railroading, most of it spent in maintaining the track belonging to a short line that operates a few miles south of us from Brookville to Valley Junction on this same branch. The gentleman purchased and donated the truck last year and I have been told

that he came up once a week afterwards to use it and the Tiemaster to go out and install 25 ties a day. He begins by using the crane to load the Tiemaster and a bunk of ties on the truck, then drives to his work area and unloads both the ties and the machine. When he installs all of the ties he brought, he reloads the machine on the truck and returns to Connersville and unloads. He leaves the spiking of the ties to another crew to accomplish from what I've been told. This is done with a hydraulically powered spiker attached to either this truck or the Tiemaster.

from several people using hand tools to a mechanized force capable of maintaining our track in its current condition. Personal health issues forced me to retire from active service as a volunteer employee of the railroad museum in 2006, but I still have the friends I've made there and the personal experience of working on the railroad, "all the livelong day."

The Whitewater Valley Railroad is forty years old this year and a lot has happened in that time. I rode the train to Metamora back in 1982 when it was but ten years old. As I mentioned earlier, I joined the organization two years later. Thirty years ago the mainline appeared to be part of the landscape, the rail hard to see under the weeds and grass that grew in the cinder ballast. I've personally witnessed and been a part of the rehabilitation efforts, $1.6 million funded by federal grants that has resulted in a fully ballasted main mainline upon which our passenger trains operate at 15 mph. I've also watched our track gang evolve May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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TRAINZ - A primer in TRAINZ

So you have no room for a layout of your own. Well what would you say to the fact that I live in a small double wide mobile home and my smallest layout/ route is 23 actual miles long? Yes I'm talking about virtual modelling. VR Scale is what it's referred to now. Now I'm not going to go over everything there is about the world of train Sims but I will cover just some of the basics. First let's talk about the Sims them self. The thing you need to know first is all of the train Sims allow you to go into the cab of the locomotives to operate the train. So let's look at each one by name.

First is 'Train Simulator' by 'Railworks'. This is a power full railroad simulator that offers a very realistic driving experience. You can operate anything from an American UP GP(Geep)38 to something from overseas. There are few things that set this sim apart from the rest. The first is that you can hear on board radio chatter in the locomotives. The scenery looks good, and as the your train goes in to a curve it will tilt with the curve. The American locomotive feature working ditch lights. Also there is a guide to let you know the next signal indication and station coming up. The May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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CSX Wye in Downtown Columbia SC structures in Train Simulator are close to photo real. The rail cars for this sim do squeak, but at speed that's a big drawback. The are plenty of routes that come stock in the game and each will test the new user. You will find however that all trains are too short and way over powered. There is no reason to put three locomotives on a 15 car train. This is two on the front with a rear end helper. Eventually this will drive you crazy. That is where the pretty side ends. If you want to create your own route, then you're going to need hours and hours of practice. Then once you get a route going getting it into game is another

CSX Local at Denmark SC on the CSX Florence Div

exercise in patience. I'm not even going to discuss that here. My first suggestion is to either find someone who has Train Simulator and try theirs or buy a copy for yourself. Over all the dynamics of the game are good. Now one caveat you should know is the bulk of the add on content for this sim is not free. Yes some is but finding it can a be trick on its own. TRAINZ: Now this is where things get easy. Trainz first big flaw is the features depend on the version you get. Trainz 2004 has been phased out and support for it is no longer offered. There are still plenty of people that still use it, so finding to help should you have any questions really isn't that hard. Like

Train Simulator, TRAINZ takes you right inside the cab. And that is where the similarities end. Trainz pulls you into the scene where Train Simulator some keeps you at a distance. Trainz does make you feel like you're driving a real train, from gates that go down to better looking switches. Now before I go any further, let me say that I will not attempt to compare these two. Both are good and have their strengths and weaknesses. My point for now is to just give you the reader a brief over view of both. In Trainz (2012) the end user can run routes such as Cajon Pass. There are also routes that allow the user to switch cars and make station stops. If your May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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CSX Local at Denmark SC on the CSX Florence Div thing is running trains then both Sims will make you happy. Now if your wanting to try building your own route, then Trainz is the program for you. You'll find that the default trains in Trainz are of correct length and have correct power. Further should route creation be something that you want to try, you'll find the Trainz platform is by far the easiest to work with. Another plus is most everything you could ever want is free and very easy to install. Places to find these assets range from AURAN's own Download Station (DLS) to 3rd party sites. One such site is Jointed Rail located at These guys offer high quality free ware and pay ware content for Trainz.

You'll find plenty of forums where you can find the help you may need for both Trainz and Train Simulator. As time goes on, you'll want to take pictures of your trains. We'll cover that at a much later time. For now let's get back to Trainz. In Trainz just like Train Simulator, out of the box, you'll find plenty of routes that can run. The difference is, Trainz allows you to step away from the assigned route and have some fun with your train without disrupting the game. Both offer routes and sessions that from 30 minutes to as much as 4 hours. The on board locomotive controls are very realistic for both simulators as is the braking and most of the horn sounds. Now I'm not going to suggest a program. That's for

you to decide. Price may be factor as may be your computer specs. Train Simulator is very detailed but not heavy on the graphics. Whereas Trainz requires at least a good mid range computer to run smoothly. The smallest graphics card suggested for Trainz is a Nvidia 8000. I would suggest something even higher. Now on my machine I'm running a 6200 , so yes you can by with less. But you will want to upgrade your video card for smoother operation. In the end, both programs will deliver what you want and at the same time have you wanting more. The main thing that must advise is this. Remember at all times that this is only a game and a hobby. I mean where else can you place 10 GE ES44's on the track for next to nothing. That's about it for this month. As for me, I have CSX Stack train to get back with a SD80 ,SD70, and a SCL GP38 on the head end. I hope to see you guys in the next edition. - Samuel

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Visit Alliance Ohio - With Andrew Treece & Ryan

When in the State of Ohio coming from Pittsburgh you follow the NS Fort Wayne line/Cleveland Line. This line is a very important route for NS intermodal trains travelling between Harrisburg, Pa and Chicago. Allinace, Ohio is also the point where the NS Fort Wayne line and the NS Cleveland line separate the Cleveland line continues from Allinace up through Rootstown and Ravenna, Ohio. At Allinace there isn't a whole lot of

photo opportunity's but if you're willing to work with what you have you can create some very great photo's also the Amtrak station and the little area near the parking lot offer really good views With the Amtrak station being redone last year the Station is well Light if you want to stay for an overnighter the station also has Electrical sockets for you to charge your phone, laptop and even your camera. Amtrak comes in

the mornings at 1:39 am and 3:35 am eastbound and westbound. During the night there is many moves to keep you active and a lot of the crews on this part of NS are really friendly toward rail fans. If you decide to stay at Allinace there is numerous places to eat and to refuel your snacking needs with the 24 hour gas station across from the Mt. Union campus at Allinace. Also during the day and night you can expect to see a coal

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train or two come off the fort Wayne line most of the time they have a SD70ACE in the train. And on days you can see up to 4 Roadrailers and also the Emotional trains which sometimes have CN Power on them will show up on NS from time to time and many intermodal trains plus mixed freight plus sometimes if you're lucky BNSF run to one Run trough coal trains. Allinace is a perfect place for a day of railfanning and with the station nicely light at night it's great for night railfanning and the Allinace PD doesn't mind rail fans either and also on Saturday's a group of railfans meet up at the station and there is also a hobby shop right up the street from the station.

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A little bit of history - Downriver, MI

In Downriver Michigan there are 4 Major railroad subdivisions, The Dearborn Branch, Conrail Detroit Line, The Shoreline Subdivision and The Flat Rock Subdivision. There a many other railroads in the downriver area but these other branch lines are minor and do not see much rail traffic, therefore are not included in this article.

The Dearborn Branch was ordered by Henry Ford, his ambition was to have it running as an electric line, these Arches from the catenary in which these wire once ran from still remain there, deserted and no longer in use. Many times during the project he failed, every time he uses to try the lights in people's houses would go on and off. The Former DT&I and GTW

Dearborn Branch is now known as the CN Dearborn Branch. The Shoreline subdivision runs from Detroit MI to Toledo Ohio and was formally run by the DT&I & GTW railroads. This line is now run by Canadian National (CN). This CN subdivision is a double track mainline, which sees about 20 trains per day. The line does run three track thought Trenton Mi but this third track

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Figure 2 - Empty tracks looking down the old 'Arches' is no longer used by CN, the line then continues on to Detroit as a single track mainline. Now onto the Conrail Detroit Line, this line is also a double track mainline running North, South. The line was originally owned and run by Conrail but after closure NS took over. Sadly, like all ex Conrail lines, you know longer see Conrail here. The Conrail Detroit Line runs from Toledo Ohio to Detroit Michigan. During the event of a derailment on one of the track Amtrak

Figure 1 - GTW Locomotive 4921

uses, it is possible to see one running this line. I have also seen the NS OCS run on this track before. They have recently been installing new signals and lights along this line as they are planning on running 8-10 more trains each day along with line. The Flat rock Subdivision once again formally run by DT&I and GTW railroads is now run by Canadian National (CN) Most of The Flat Rock Subdivision Track work is gone and most of the train which once run here,

no longer do. They're moving all of these trains on the Shoreline Sub now. About 5 trains days go south and into Flat Rock Yard but there talks that one day these trains will also stop running. It sad to see an old line coming to an end but it all in the history of Downriver, Mi. We move back into the past now as we focus on 'Downriver Mi Back in the day' Downriver MI back in the Day, the lines are buzzing, the steel plants are firing & its action every which way! May, June & July - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Figure 3 - A GTW locomotive and a CN locomotive at The Shorelines and the Detroit line use to be buzzing with action! Much of this action was because of the Trenton Plant Mclouth steel plant. Mclouth Steel is a former integrated steel company. The company had three locations. The first plant was in Detroit, Michigan. The second which was significantly larger and was in Trenton, Michigan. The third and final plant, a cold mill, in Gibraltar, Michigan. The one in Gibraltar MI is now in use today. During the days of the steel mills, you could see 40+

Figure 4 - Some flat cars of army units run in

trains running the lines. This was still in action DT&I and Conrail was still running in Detroit. Today the steel cars sit on the ground burned, they have been like that for a few years now. There was talk about making it a big train yard a few years ago but that never happened. Last year they were doing a lot of work to it. I am sad to say it has stopped. A few years ago there was a small fire in there so now it is just a other old steel plant just sitting there, no longer being used. Just to finish this article off, I thought it would

be a good time to mention the Michigan Central Station which is currently going though some major revamp works, to find out more visit - Chris Williams

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Figure 5 - A Final Photo collage showing some of the other photos taken by Chris in the Downriver, Mi Area!










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Athearn's GP15-1 is loaded with details, from working ditch lights to sand lines & airlines, Athearn's Genesis series locomotive has them all! My locomotive, is painted for Norfolk Sothern and has running number 1403. Although my unit does not have DCC and sound, it has both a 8 & 9 pin plug. Many modellers say it's one of the most details locomotive yet. Some of the details include, detailed fuel tank, wire grab irons, etched metal lift rings & grills, celcon handrails, sliding cab windows and lots of under body details. The locomotives paint is good, but there are some minor

issues with the yellow on the handrails seems to have run meaning the paint does not finish on a straight edge. The loco runs great on Dc, and I am yet to install a decoder, although like many Athearn's it runs noisy but I hope once I install a decoder I will be able to fix this issue. Great work Athearn on an amazingly detailed locomotive, you guys still need to work on you quality control and get those motors quietened down! The Dc version sells for $169.98 & $269.98 for DCC & sound. Also in BN, CR, MP, CNW

& UP, also coming is the GP15T in other color schemes. - Isaac Logan

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<< U83924 heading westbound at Vine St. Fostoria, Oh. ahead of a storm with UP 8053 leading, as they haul empty coal back to Chicago, as work continues on the Tiffin St. overpass. -Matt Smith

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^^ 146 with NS 6675 heads east in the early morning at Poplar St. in Fostoria, Oh. as Bellevue and the next crew change close in.

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^^ Mike Tierney: NS H-74 has a nice consist today , with NS 5425 and 5300. 5425 is one of only 17 active Conrail blue units left on the NS roster and seeing it lead in perfect morning sunlight was a added bonus! - Mike Tierney of New Jersey Aged 17

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^^ NS Nickel Plate heritage unit rolling through Leetsdale, PA, fresh from the shops in Altoona, on its way to Conway Yard to be activated. March 31, 2012.

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table or displayed in the front room. Kids don't run away sobbing "BAMBI" when you bring a "trophy" home. Filet of GP7 just doesn't sound too appetizing.

A LITTLE BIT OF HUMOR & LAST WORDS! - OH deer!! Why Railfaning is better than Deer Hunting Train lovers don't get mad at you for shooting "Thomas The Tank Engine." You can't use a scanner to tell when deer are getting close. No arguments when two people shoot the same train at the same time. Nobody cares if you use a railroad crossing sign to "sight in" your camera. Three words: "Hunting License Fee." SD90MAC's don't need to be field dressed. Working models of deer? Yeah, right. There's no limit on how many trains you're allowed to shoot or bring home. Unless they're really dumb, your buddies won't mistake you for a diesel locomotive. A warm train room beats a tree stand any day. Trains can be shot all year long. No taxidermist fee needs to be paid when "mounting" your best trophy shot. Wife wouldn't object too much to having your "trophy shot" hang over dining room

Two blondes were walking through the woods and they came to some tracks. The first blonde said: "These look like deer tracks." And the other one said: "No they look like moose tracks." They argued and argued for a while and they were still arguing when the train hit them. DEAR, DEAR People!!

A passenger train is creeping along, slowly. Finally it creaks to a halt. A passenger sees a conductor walking by outside. "What's going on?" she yells out the window. "Cow on the track!" replies the conductor. Ten minutes later, the train resumes its slow pace. Within five minutes, however, it stops Again May, June The woman sees the same conductor walk again.

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