Your Railroads History?

LnNrr Oct 18, 2000

  1. LnNrr

    LnNrr Guest

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    Have you created a historical story for your railroad? Having a background for your road, whether written or oral, can help you keep a focus on the reason why your road exists and on what it does.If you have one, please share it with us.
    Here is a sample.

    The Cumberland & Pacific was concieved and started in the 1880s by a group of investors who thought that they should build a railroad into the eastern Kentucky coalfields. Like many modern investors, they had no long-term interest in the project but intended to sell out to a bigger road after they tapped into lucrative resources and got there first. Time being important to them, they rushed the project and tried to get by cheap. Tunnels and major bridges being slow jobs, they settled for steep grades to use the most direct routes. This backfired on them. No buyer was found that wanted their route. Other roads moved in slowly, finding easier grades, investing in tunnels, cuts, and bridges to make a road that would be less expensive to operate in the future. With the competition from L&N and others, they barely kept operating for years.
    In the depression of the 1930s, the road went into bankrupty and fell into the hands of a court appointed receiver. As even the scrap market would pay little in those years, he kept the road running in hope of better times to come when he might sell assets for a better price. Before that time came, World War II was upon us and traffic boomed. The ICC would not approve abandoning any useful rail lines in the war years. He paid off some creditors and improved the condition of the mainline.
    After the war, he went again looking for a buyer but the scrap market was still the best bet for a wornout railroad. A group of employees went to the reciever to discuss what could be done to save their jobs. The idea was brought up of the employees buying the railroad for themselves. A campaign to raise the money got started. The court had set a deadline for this effort, and as time gew short, only about 60% of the needed funds had been raised. Desperate, they went to the coal miners union and asked for help. After consideration, the miners agreed; and furnished the funds needed out of their pension funds. This came with strings.
    At that time new diesel locomotives on major railroads were already making cutting coal sales. Fearing that their own money would go to buy diesels, provisions were make that the C&P must remain a steam-powered railroad. By 1950, the employees had taken control and were making progress on upgrading their railroad. New ties and relay rail was going in on the line. Drainage was improved. Trestles were getting long postponed repairs. Surveying and planning was going on toward route improvements. But the old locomotives were flat worn out. Maintenance was an impossible burden. The only solution was new motive power.
    The diesels being bought by the big and more prosperous roads made it possible. Used steamers of recent design were available at what were basically scrap prices. Mainline track improvement made it possible to run heavier locomotives. Thus the C&P became a haven for steam power from several roads. Berkshires, challengers, heavy Mallets, and others made their way to the C&P. Spare parts were bought at scrap prices, as well as machines and tooling to keep them operating.
    Some newer passenger equipment was acquired, as the road found there was a market for steam excursions. This was a great money-maker as it paid more per mile than regular passenger service, and trains were usually full.
    The C&P had finally become a profitable railroad after sixty years of struggle.

    This history gives me a rationale for rough terrain, sharp curves, and equipment of mixed heritage. How about YOUR railroad? Got a story about how it became the way it is today?

    Chuck


    (Chuck, I just compacted your story a little but didn't deleat anything. Great Story! I have a condenced histroy of the AOW/BNSF in the "Welcome to the AOW" Thread. Brent)

    [This message has been edited by Maxwell Plant (edited 18 October 2000).]
     
  2. Harron

    Harron TrainBoard Supporter

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  3. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    NnNrr, take a look at the forum "Its all in your Head". How is you plans for moving your layout outside coming along?

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    Watash
     
  4. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

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  5. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    Robin, I visited your home page and read your history. I like history anyway. It sounds like a story book setting, I'll bet the layout must be striking to see!

    When I went to 'sign in' to return you a compliment, I discovered you have the most agressive bunch of salesmen I have ever encountered! Ha! My screen was being covered up with "buy this and buy that" windows quicker than I could click them off. I finally hit the panic cut-off button! It was the only way I could get away from you! No wonder you guys could hang your track up the sides of those mountains, you stick like glue!!! Do you have any photos of the Three Sisters Pass, and the Castle?

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    Watash
     
  6. John Whitby

    John Whitby E-Mail Bounces

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  7. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

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    Sorry to hear about those pop ups Watash. I suspect they may have come from a link on my home page.
    Can you help me by telling me what those pop ups looked like and any addresses they may have had. I will remove the suspected link in the meantime.
    Thanks for letting me know.

    Pictures of the Pass of the Seven Sisters and the Schloss Eiger Castle can be found on the Fall 1998 page in the Under construction section of my web site

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    Robin
    Maberly and Tayside

    [This message has been edited by Robin Matthysen (edited 21 October 2000).]
     
  8. slynch

    slynch E-Mail Bounces

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