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Discussion: Love Affair With Trains

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THE WRECK OF THE VIRGINIAN NUMBER 3


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Black belt caterpillar wrestler 26 May 21 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 07 Dec 11 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,EJL 06 Jun 11 - 03:41 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jun 11 - 01:38 AM
Richard from Liverpool 05 Jun 11 - 08:31 PM
Richard from Liverpool 05 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM
Max Johnson 05 Jun 11 - 09:50 AM
David C. Carter 05 Jun 11 - 05:49 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 05 Jun 11 - 04:39 AM
Joe_F 08 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM
Ian Fyvie 07 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM
Bobert 02 Sep 10 - 07:46 PM
Alice 02 Sep 10 - 06:30 PM
Alice 02 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM
Alice 02 Sep 10 - 05:45 PM
open mike 02 Sep 10 - 03:34 AM
Clontarf83 01 Sep 10 - 08:04 PM
Alice 01 Sep 10 - 01:42 PM
Mooh 31 Aug 10 - 08:01 PM
Mooh 31 Aug 10 - 07:58 PM
Tootler 31 Aug 10 - 04:11 PM
chazkratz 31 Aug 10 - 03:34 PM
Edthefolkie 31 Aug 10 - 03:13 PM
open mike 31 Aug 10 - 02:34 PM
chazkratz 31 Aug 10 - 01:51 PM
chazkratz 31 Aug 10 - 01:43 PM
John MacKenzie 31 Aug 10 - 09:43 AM
Mooh 31 Aug 10 - 08:38 AM
open mike 31 Aug 10 - 02:35 AM
Ebbie 31 Aug 10 - 02:15 AM
open mike 31 Aug 10 - 01:11 AM
katlaughing 31 Aug 10 - 12:02 AM
Clontarf83 30 Aug 10 - 11:35 PM
Tootler 30 Aug 10 - 07:22 PM
Richard Mellish 30 Aug 10 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Guest - Carl Ellis 30 Aug 10 - 03:27 PM
catspaw49 27 Jun 02 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,IanB, as a Guest 27 Jun 02 - 12:08 PM
katlaughing 27 Jun 02 - 10:17 AM
HuwG 27 Jun 02 - 07:46 AM
Hrothgar 27 Jun 02 - 06:42 AM
Art Thieme 27 Jun 02 - 05:32 AM
Art Thieme 27 Jun 02 - 05:12 AM
Art Thieme 27 Jun 02 - 03:57 AM
katlaughing 27 Jun 02 - 12:54 AM
bob schwarer 26 Jun 02 - 04:34 PM
Herga Kitty 26 Jun 02 - 03:54 PM
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katlaughing 26 Jun 02 - 10:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 26 May 21 - 04:36 AM

Looks like this thread has been revived by a spurious post.

However, I don't see Stanley Accrington's "Last train from Bacup" mentioned above. There are extra verses written by Mike Nelson and by my wife as well.
Stanley was a station master on BR in his other life and has written a few railway related songs. We had a disaster theme at our zoom night the other week and he performed one about the Quintinshill disaster, really upped the bodycount!
Red for Danger is still being used as a textbook for training railwaymen in the history and development of signaling systems.

Robin


This thread is 1/4 discussion and 3/4 deleted spam. It will be closed for now, but if you need to post remarks ask a moderator to reopen it. Thanks. ---mudelf


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 11:12 AM

The (West)german rock singer Udo Lindenberg was so pissed off about the then GDR Government refusing him permission to tour in the GDR that he rewrote "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" as "Der Sonderzug nach Pankow". Pankow is the district of (East)Berlin where the GDR Government was located. This was not long before 'The Wall' started to collapse.

I've written a couple of songs that have trains or railways somewhere in the text: "Parcels Joe" based on a story I read concerning the marshalling yard and loco shed at Rowsley, Derbyshire...and "Rolling Wheels" which is vaguely american influenced-a sort of 'hear that whistle down in the valley below' song. I'm ttrying to get them out to a wider public...........

There is a swedish song called "Jag är födda i en stuga"(I was born in a cabin) which deals with a navvy's life building railways. Sweden also has some shanty/chain-gang like work songs from navvies and track gangs.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,EJL
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 03:41 PM

To add to this train song discussion, I have written three train songs, one of them for my grandfather who worked in the shops "When The Steam Trains Rolled". Another, a lament called "Trains Don't Run Here Anymore", both on my first CD. The third song is "National Dream" which is about almost the same thing. Train service has all but disappeared in Eastern Canada and other parts of this country. Rail lines are now walking trails, so we went from trails to rails to trails. Check this site for lots of Canadian Train Songs:

http://www.irontrail.ca/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 01:38 AM

Railroad Photographer Richard Steinheimer died in Sacramento on May 4, 2011. You can see some of his wonderful railroad photography with this Google search (click)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 08:31 PM

Just taken another look at "The Shuttle and Cage" and seen even more:
* Moses of the Mail ("It was a dark and stormy night, the snow was falling fast, I stood on Thorpebridge junction where the reckless Moses passed")
* Cosher Bailey's engine ("Cosher Bailey had an engine, It was always wanting mending, And according to her power she could do four mile an hour")
* Cannily, cannily

Not a bad little haul, six railway songs in one little book!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM

There are a few British Isle railway songs in "The Shuttle and Cage: Industrial Folk Ballads" ed. Ewan MacColl:
* Poor Paddy Works on the Railway
* The Iron Hrose ("...I gaed upon an iron road, a rail they did it ca', man, an' rugget be an iron horse, an awfu' beast to draw, man")
* The Fireman's not for me ("Come all you young maidens, take warning from me, Shun all engine firemen and their company; He'll tell you he loves you and all kinds of lies, But the one that he loves is the train that he drives"; this one's by MacColl himself I think.

Others I can think of:
* Are ye right there Michael, are ye right, by Percy French - I've heard my father singing this, he does a very good rendition of it.
* A New Song on the Opening of the Birmingham to Liverpool Railway in Roy Palmer's A Touch on the Times

There's an album by Harry Boardman et al which sounds like it has lots of interesting railway songs from the British Isles on it: Steam Ballads (about half way down that page)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Max Johnson
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 09:50 AM

It is odd, yes, that there are so few British folk songs about trains. Especially when you consider the fact that Sir Nigel Gresley rhymes so nicely with Elvis Presley. But they are celebrated in poetry of course, two of the best-known being 'Adelstrop' and 'The Night Mail'.

Favourite songs are:
Smokestack Lightnin',
Fulsome Prison Blues, and
The Ballad of the FFV.

Favourite train film is 'The Train', starring Burt Lancaster.

...and may I take this opportunity to recommend Andrew Martin's 'Railway Detective' books, set on the Victorian and Edwardian railways?


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: David C. Carter
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:49 AM

"Southern Flyer" by:Lonesome EJ. That's a great song!

Sorry...Can't do Blue Sticky Clickies.

David.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 04:39 AM

Favourite train song? Since my main interest is calypso, I first thing I turn up in my head is "New York Subway."


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:31 PM

Ten Thousand Miles from Home
and, of course, I've Been Working on the Railroad


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 10:06 PM

Just over four months since the last posting! I stumbled across the thread after a "follow your nose" session on Mudcat.

My comments - the two big names of UK railway songs have been mentioned, Ewan McColl and Dave Goulder. I shouilkd add Don Bilston I'm told (also mentioned above - but I'm not familiar withy his songs.

The big difference in theme between US and UK songs,quite rightly, have been pointed out as (US) stories of people traveling around, with the train as the backdrop rather than the subject' (UK) stories of railway WORKERS; about the job, lamenting the change in technology with modernization.

More recently, we've had the PRESERVATION movement as a subject. Its happened in many countries with a strong railway tradition - but nowhere more than in Britain. Indeed I heard a song about a preserved railway within a few weeks of discovering folk clubs (1973) - having already written some myself whilst still involved with pop bands!

*My song "So Ride With Me", about the Watercress Line/Mid-Hants Railway was recorded (in 1975 I think) by band "Muffin The Mule" (seriously!) on Forest Track Records. Another: "We're All For Swanage" was recorded by Dorset band: Cottage Industry in the early 1980s.

I have 11 railway songs in my current repertoire - learning/relearning more in 2011.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 07:46 PM

I still include several train songs in every set... Come a long way since postin' to this thread back on '02... But still love tarins and train songs... BTW, my mom's father (my grandaddy) was an engineer... Okay, it wasn't all that romant6ic... He pushed and pulled cars all around Detroit...

And just like this train
I'm stuck on this line
Couldn't quit now
Even if I tried

(from one of my oldest songs, "Amtrack Blues" from the 60s and written on a train from New York to DC...)...

B~


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 06:30 PM

Best Link to see the old Northern Pacific building


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM

direct link to the blog railroad paintings


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 05:45 PM

The yin/yang symbol in red and black was the logo of the Northern Pacific. It was the line along the southern part of Montana, so it went through Bozeman and Livingston. The passenger depot in Livingston was preserved and is used by the community now for a museum, and for art festivals, etc.


Livingston Depot Center

In Bozeman, the freight depot for the Northern Pacific was refurbished by a local restaurant company called Montana Ale Works. They use the yin yang logo and have old railroad photos framed inside the building and a railroad car along side as an outdoor room in good weather.
Montana Ale Works

Alice


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 02 Sep 10 - 03:34 AM

Alice--it is great to hear about your dad and the trains! Also great to see all the paintings you have been creating lately! I remember
the RR station in Livingston (i presume?) having symbols like yin
yang in red and black. What rr line went thru there? I think it was
the symbol logo for the rr line. perhaps it stood for the meeting of the east and west...the northern pacific....
http://www.timslife.com/images/shop/shop11/wint13.jpg


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Clontarf83
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 08:04 PM

Katlaughing--re your inquiry about train videos by my brother Norman McAdams--try the website of the Irish Railway Record Society, and see if anyone can send you stuff

http://www.irrs.ie/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Alice
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 01:42 PM

My father worked for the Great Northern Railway in Montana from the time he was 14 years old, in 1916, carrying railroad ties, to his retirement when he was 65, just before the Great Northern merged with the Northern Pacific and Burlington Route.

Many of those memories have inspired paintings and are the subject of some of my work. Lately I've done some small paintings this month and posted them online. The logo of the Great Northern on a pin, the old depots, etc.


Click Here For Images and my memories.

I remember going with my dad on Saturdays down to the depot in Helena, MT, where he would do paperwork and check on things while no one else was around. I would play with the big staplers and rubber stamps. The wood floors would creak, the freight room would be cold and stacked with crates.

Montana lost most of its passenger trains. We only have the one left on the highline that goes from the east through Glacier Park to Seattle. I wish the passenger trains would come back in the rest of the state. We have freight trains going through our town day and night, "hear that lonesome whistle blow".

Alice


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:01 PM

Also really dig Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railway Trilogy.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 07:58 PM

Has this been mentioned?

The Scholar
Maura O'Connell

The train from Sligo moves too slow as it brings her from the school below
She wants to be home faster than the train from Sligo ever can and
Wonders where the passing time goes creeping by the window my, oh my
It's getting longer than it ever has before.

Eyes wide as silver dollars, I can't think why, but she's a scholar
Hold on; it seems so long to learn what's right from what is wrong.
Oh, school books and fancy collars; I might not care to be a scholar
Hold on, her daddy tells her, learn to sing your song.

The train to Sligo moves too fast when holidays are gone at last
And winter nights are here again, please promise me you'll write me then.
It's two long weeks till I get home, I can't help feeling all alone.
If someone doesn't write me soon I'll simply fade away.

Eyes wide as silver dollars, I can't think why, but she's a scholar
Hold on; it seems so long to learn what's right from what is wrong.
Oh, school books and fancy collars; I might not care to be a scholar
Hold on, her daddy tells her, learn to sing your song.

(Not sure of lyric accuracy.)

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 04:11 PM

I know that these locomotives might look a bit Mickey Mouse compared to a Pennsylvania K4s

Nothing quite prepares you for the scale of American trains. I visited the Ford Museum in Detroit a few years back and in the hall I first went into I was confronted by a Malet Loco and I was completely stunned by the sheer size of it. Not even European trains are that big and they are quite a bit larger than ours.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 03:34 PM

Oh, and I was so caught up with adding some songs that neglected to mention Spaw's sublime account and Art's great story about helping John Hartford* and the other pilot keep the steamer from going aground in the hurricane. Good on yer, lads.

Charles

*I don't think I'd like to ride out a hurricane in a deck chair on a Steam Powered Aereoplane.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 03:13 PM

I can't think of any UK train songs that haven't been mentioned, but I must compliment Spaw on his terrific posting. Maybe you could have a look at this Spaw? It's a link to the men of Lostock Hall, which was the last steam depot in the UK (last service train 4th August 1968)

http://www.lostockhallmpd.org.uk/men.html

The whole site is really good, done by a chap called Alan Castle who photographed steam in the 60s and is still at it!

I know that these locomotives might look a bit Mickey Mouse compared to a Pennsylvania K4s, but the spirit of the enginemen was just the same as Spaw's description of his Dad. Unbelievably, well over a hundred of the old steam men turned up for a reunion recently; some in their 70s and 80s, some from abroad, most for the beer!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:34 PM

Greenville Y reminds me of a trestle near here....between Greenville and Quincy near Keddie. It crosses over the Spanish Creek.
here are a couple of pix and flix of the Keddie Wye Trestle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc8F9rmMwGY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRVgSEGfHKA

i think this is the train track featured in an episode of Lassie
the dog show http://episodes.lassieweb.org/lassodsy.htm

included on this page is a pic of one of the most photographed bridges
just a couple miles from me (as the crow flies) Pulga Bridges
where hiway 70 and the rr trax cross the feather river. Pulga is Spanish for flea.

http://www.californiazephyr.org/resource_library/photo_archive/albums/frc_railfans_view.php


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:51 PM

Sorry. Previous times I've entered chords with the lyrics, they stayed in the right place, but in the song above they spread out a bit too much. I think you can figure out where they go by matching them to the accents in the lines.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: chazkratz
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:43 PM

I first heard this done by Belle Monroe and her Brewglass Boys (how's that for a great band name?), and later heard Doc Watson doing it on his album of train songs. The melody for the verse is the same as Merle Haggard used for the verses of "Mama Tried," and the last two lines of the chorus also use that tune. I find the subdominant seventh chords do a good job of suggesting the sound of the steam whistle.


The Greenville Trestle

       C                   F7                   C                         F7
I remember as a boy how in wonderment and joy
      C                                                 G7
I'd watch the trains as they'd go by
                   C                            F7                           C                            F7   
And the whistle's lonesome sound you could hear from miles around
                C                               G7                         C
As they rolled across that Greenville Trestle high.

(Chorus)
                   F7                              C
   But the whistles don't sound like they used to
             A7                                           G7
   And lately not so many trains go by
             C                            F7                      C                               F7
   Hard times across the land mean no work for a railroad man
                      C                           G7                              C
   And the Greenville Trestle now don't seem so high.

On the riverbank I'd stand with a cane pole in my hand
And watch the freight trains up against the sky
With the black smoke trailing back as they moved along the track
That runs across that Greenville Trestle high.

When the lonesome whistles whined I'd get rambling on my mind
Lord I wish they still sounded that way
As I turned to head for home Lord she'd rumble low and long
Toward the sunset at the close of day.

Another good Doc Watson railroad song I haven't seen mentioned here is the following:

The Wreck of 1262

She just left Dupoint at Chikahmee, the freight numbered 1262,
And on down the mountain she traveled, so brave were the men in her crew.

Then the engineer pulled at the whistle, for the brakes wouldn't work when applied,
And the brakeman climbed out on the car-top, for he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him, he tightened those brakes with a prayer,
But the train went right on down that mountain, her whistle still piercing the air.

She traveled at 60 an hour, gaining speed every foot of the way,
And then with a crash it was over, and there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage, or the value of what the wreck caused,
It's the sad scene they found in the cabin, where the lives of two brave men were lost,

They found them at their post in the wreckage, where they died when the engine had fell,
The engineer still held the whistle, and the fireman still clung to the bell.

Now this story is told of a freight train, but it should be a warning to all
We need to be prepared every moment, for we can never tell when He'll call.

Doc's "Lonesome Jailhouse Blues" has a couple of railroad references and uses the same tune as "Golden Rocket" for the verses and the last two lines of the chorus.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 09:43 AM

Dave Goulder has written manyn wonderful railway songs. There is a new compilation CD of his railway songs available, it's called The Golden Days of Steam.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Mooh
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:38 AM

There's a guy who has hung around the Stratford Ontario Canada train station for at least 30 years. Talks incessantly about trains. Interesting character. Love or OCD?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:35 AM

Tom Hunter sang a kid's song based on a sign in a train.
It has hand gestures and is a fun one.

To stop the train in cases of emergency
pull on the cord, pull on the cord
penalty for improper use 5 pounds.

it makes a fun song to sing as a round


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 02:15 AM

This is a fun thread. I've never had an 'intimate' relationship with a train but even at that, trains hold somewhat the same mystique for me as a plane or a ship. All three speak to me of the far reaches.

In 1949 when I was 13 I moved with my family from Oregon to Virginia. We traveled by train. Most of the trains we were on were steam but I remember the first diesel train I saw. My parents were rather disdainful of the diesel and I tried to be, too, but I thought it looked very sleek and clean. I wasn't sure what the problem was...

I know a train song that not too many people do- or at least no one that I know.

It was written by Phil Halliday, a Canadian, and he called it 'That Train Song'.

It goes:

Well, he gave all he had to my maw and me
Just another boy child he would never see
My maw and my paw went their separate ways
I was born on a midnight train.

Well, I was raised in a railside shack
And I'd fall asleep to its clickety clack
All day long I'd run along side
Learned real young how to hop a ride

         Well, I got a soul like a runaway train
         I got a heart that feels no pain
         When you're born with a track beneath your bed
         You sleep one eye open pointing straight ahead.

It's a cool song. Does anyone else know it?


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: open mike
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 01:11 AM

if you really love trains you should join the travellers on the Cowboy Train or other train trips organized by Flying Under Radar. See the schedule at www.flyingunderradar.com. some are cross-canada trips, some are on the California Coast Starlight, and others are old fashioned steam trains in the Rocky Mountains or even in the Copper Canyon in Mexico!! Some trains take artists and canvas and paints to scenic destinations or even to see polar bears. Roots on the Rails can be seen at this web site It is kind of like re-enacting this movie:
http://www.festivalexpress.com/


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 12:02 AM

Clontarf, will any of his videos be available online, ever? That's really neat that he captured the history.

Tootler, LOL!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Clontarf83
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 11:35 PM

Don't think anyone has mentioned the classic "Freight Train"

My brother (RIP) was a train fan and railway historian in Ireland. He loved to videotape steam engines (out on loan for the day to the historical society) roaring across green valleys at full stretch. Looked like serious carbon emissions, with hindsight...


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 07:22 PM

Taken from a book of Graffiti we had some years ago (now lost, sadly).

Painted on a Railway Bridge over the line between Darlington and Middlesbrough/Stockton

Jesus Christ is Coming

to which someone had added underneath

Only if he remembers to change at Darlington!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 05:31 PM

Seeing as this thread has been refreshed after a long dormancy, it's perhaps worth pointing out that one reason why Dave Goulder wrote his railway songs was the dearth of them in Britain. Of course he also has the talent for song writing and personal experience of working as a fireman.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,Guest - Carl Ellis
Date: 30 Aug 10 - 03:27 PM

The descriptions of your British Railroads' nicknames reminds me of my favorite here in Vermont, USA. The original builders of a railroad out of Saint Johnsbury, on the the Connecticut, on the eastern side of the state, had a western terminus at Lake Champlain in mind, so their road began its life as the Saint Johnsbury & Lake Champlain. When the money got scarce, it was found that it had reached, or nearly, Lamoille County, so it was able to remain the SJ&LC. To parties awaiting its arrival nearer Lake Champlain, it became the Slow as Jesus & Long Coming, or Slow as Jusus' Last Coming. It is now long since dead.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:46 PM

Thank you Art for the kind words and even more for your great posting as well. You took me there beside you....Beautiful.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: GUEST,IanB, as a Guest
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:08 PM

You never forget the smell of a steam train. We were deep into Germany last year, and from somewhere I sensed that curious mix of steam and coal and oil and thought 'steam engine!' And sure enough, along came a preservation special.

Amazing how a momentary sniff can bring memories instantly back into focus.

- ian B


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 10:17 AM

Art, what a wonderful story, FineArt, as always. Thank you!

You're welcome, Hrothgar...someone here pointed me to bookfinder a few years ago and I like to pass it on.

HuwG...it's great to hear about other places, too. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: HuwG
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 07:46 AM

I'm surprised and glad to see that so many people are fond of Red for Danger. Tony Rolt had a gift for bringing a subject alive, which isn't shared by too many authors on technical or learned subjects. Bruce Catton (historian on the American Civil War) and Isaac Asimov shared this gift, in my humble opinion.

Before I start thread drift ...

My childhood was spent in the declining years of steam, and one of my memories is of myself running around in frantic circles on the platform at Bridgend (Penybont) station in South Wales, trying to beat out my hair which a cinder from a passing locomotive had just set alight. We may lament the passing of steam, but many fires (and Michael Jackson impressions !) were caused by sparks from steam engines. [Note: the offending locomotive was one of the hundreds of hard-worked 0-6-0 pannier tank engines used in Wales and elsewhere on the Great Western].

One other interesting point; the family later settled in North Yorkshire, where my little brother still lives; he and his family bought and renovated an old railway house. It looks no different to many country farm buildings, but the track bed still exists. It gives excellent scope for exercise for dogs, horses, children (and uncles and grandparents !)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 06:42 AM

Thanks for the tip about bookfinder, kat. I used to have a copy of Red for Danger. Somebody else must have liked it, too.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:32 AM

Sorry for the thread drift folks. I guess steamboats ain't trains. But steam is steam is steam as Va. Wolf mighta said if sh'e been here to read this thread. And I'm sorry about my lousy spelling. Some day Max will get a spell checker here at Mudcat. We are moving and my dictionary is packed away.

And, oh, yes, I meant to write DENNIS Trone-----not Dessis Trone. It was Dennis Trone who designed and built the Julia Belle Swain. The old girl has a new owner now, but she got her lifeforce and her loveforce from Denny. Yeah, Pat, she IS, as you said, alive. Funny thing about those steam engines...

Art Thieme (up late tonight)


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:12 AM

Pat, I just read your long post and it is special beyond words. Thanks to Kat for pointing me to this thread. My last day on the steamboat came back to me as I read it. I could smell the steam, see Paul Anton polishing the dials down at the engineers station, see the long flow of the Pittman Arms as they turned the huge red paddlewheel. And most of all, I could see Denny Trone and John Hartford up in the pilot house struggling together to hold the wheel against the massive force of a half dissipated hurricane that had, like an invisible and gigantic python come blowing up Mississippi River from the Gulf Of Mexico to hit us broadside and force the starboard rail to touch the water and then right itself shaking and spraying showers like some great and wet dog (to borrow an image from Stan Rogers in "White Squawl".) A hand hold from the wheel broke off in John's hand just as the worst gust of that splendid and sublime and terrific (in the best use of that word meaning terrifying) hit the five rudders and nearly tore the wheel from their exhausted hands. I had to jump up off the lazy bench and help with the wheel. The broken hand-hold wound up in my pocket, and it still sits on my desk in front of me as I write this.

The Julia Belle Swain had to be sold by it's builder Dessis Trone because of extreme financial pressure and hardship caused by the early advent of gambling boats on the venerable Mississippi---circa 1993. The J.B.S. used 800 gallons of fuel for it's 2-day excursion trips. The diesel boat, Twilight used a fraction of that --- so the decision was made to divest. The last trip I was there as a folkiesinger on the stemboat was a hard one for me. The mate had taken a piece of the red paddlewheel and inscribed it to me with the blue paint that covered the decks of that good vessel. A tear (or two) did eascape right then---but heading home the 70 miles from the river I had to pull over a few times and let it all come out. ------------- The back of John's fiddle was inscribed with the words of one of his main mentors, Captain Fred Way.

--- "Nothing is real but the river, and all else is sham.

A photo I took of that fiddle-back is in a frame above my desk too. For river people, that is pretty much a true statement. The river is the only reality even though Eisenhower's superhighways roar just beyond the trees along the riverbanks.

Today I took my electric powered scooter, the one the National MS Society amazingly and thankfully gave me, the one with enough POWER to climb the bluffs here from the Illinois River that flows so beautifully past our town, and I again descended to the river as I try to do on any half-way pleasant day. A beat up old diesel with about six old cars pulled up in front of me, stopped, and blocked my view of the river. I was content to look at the train and try to decipher the autographs of hobos inscribed on the cars. The train pulled back, though, seemingly, to give me my view again -- and the crew descended and went into the Maze Lumber Yard for some air conditioned talk and a Coke or two. When they came out again, I gave them the two-handed wave that rivermen use to salute each other-----and the train went on it's way saluting me with the whistle----two longs, two shorts and a final long and excruciatingly mournful blast. I hadn't realized diesel engines could do that. Only the Julia Belle Swain could emulate the old steaboat's whistles I had thought.-------- It was an honor to be proven wrong.

Yeah, Pat, I know just a bit of what you're talking about. Thanks for your lovely and heartfelt remembrance of your dad. It was wonderful.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 03:57 AM

Old friend and co-producer of my '98 CD, Paul Stamler, recently sent me a link to a song which could (possibly) be the missing link to where "Wabash Cannonball came from. It might've been more recent than we thought----like from the first third of the 20th century or so. I'll dig that up if I can and try to present the link here. Kind of fascinating.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:54 AM

Our PBS station showed a neat film on Trains of the Americn West, tonight. It was wonderful. One thing I remember is they said at one time there were over 20,000 steams trains running in this country; now, there are only about 200.

One of the engineers who considers himself lucky to be working one of the old ones said people who know him joke that when he dies, he will be cremated and they will put his ashes in the firebox and let him go up with the coal smoke! (there's a song in that!)

There was another thing mentioned which I am going to put in a different thread as I'd like to see if anyone knows of any songs about it. Watch for it...I will include "train" in the thread title.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: bob schwarer
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 04:34 PM

Jerry,

I've got that record(Get Down Home) around here somewhere. Don't know why I never noticed the depot. Maybe I did and just forgot.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:54 PM

Re red for danger - the signals used on roads were based on those used on the railways

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: NoMattch
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:48 PM

If you want to hear a more recent tear-jerking train song, try "Trains and My Grandfather" by Brian MacNeil.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 02:35 PM

Yes "Red for Danger" was writen by the late L C T Rolt. I have a copy myself. Interestingly R for D was ( and may be still is) used as a text book in the Insurance industry for prime examples of Chain of Causation.

Also worth reading for working life on the Railways is the late Gerry Fiennes "I tried to run a Railway"

Gareth.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 10:08 AM

LeeJ, beautiful song, thanks!

Love hearing the stuff from across the pond, too, guys! Was the Red for Danger book written by Rolt? If so, there are several copies available at www.bookfinder.com

Thanks,

kat


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