Green County Trip

Yesterday I had to make a run down into Greene County for our business. While on my way down I stopped in Middleburgh to snoop around what was once the end of the line for the Middleburgh and Schoharie Railroad. And if you haven't seen it or have and interest in it check out "Under Vroomans Nose" a book written by Len Killian about this cool little railroad that disappeared in 1936. There are two really neat railroad related buildings left from back in the day along Railroad Avenue. A Bordens Creamery which at some time was possibly re-painted but the "Bordens" amazingly still shows, and the passenger station for the railroad which dates back to 1867 (See this site for further info http://www.hmdb.org/PhotoFullSize.asp?PhotoID=62608 ). .

M&S's 1890 built 2-4-4T at Schoharie junction where the M&S interchanged with the D&H.
 Middleburgh Station today.

Check out the Post Office at Preston Hollow. I really love the Gingerbread accents. Reminds me of what the A&S did to there freight houses between Binghamton and Albany.

Dean J. Splittgerber
Duanesburg, NY

WNY&PA Trackcar Run

On Saturday the 28th, we ran from the Olean engine house almost into Hornell, about 126 miles round trip, under perfectly clear skies through the beautiful mountainous terrain dotted with side hill farms where the cows all have one pair of legs shorter than the other side. I was quite surprised to see that the trees were just starting to bud in the southern Tier while at home our leaves are 3/4 full yet I am at least 120 miles to the north of Olean. The budding colors, while they are muted, are reminders of the fall. This segment is on clickity-clack stick rail and we averaged about 22 to 25 mph on that.

Starting out on a frosty Sunday morning we ran from Olean to well past Emporium on welded rail, typically maintaining an average speed of 25 to 30 mph. A nice pace that helps keep you on your toes. The crossing gate system in this section is set up so that the gates go down as a large steel object passes over a metal plate in the gauge. Our cars are mostly aluminum but the wheels and axles still occasionally set off the gates. This is a nasty situation as a gate can come down on an automobile suddenly. We have a rule concerning shunting to avoid that gate problem so it was a relief when we were told by the railroad that it was not someone's car setting off the gates, but the odd system they use to trigger the gates.

It appears the WNY&PA does a considerable tank car business as there are strings of tanks all over their lengthy yard. Unfortunately we did not see any "train" activity operating on the line as we did last year when we were treated to a freight hauled by 3 ex-QNS&L ALCo's. There was a string of ALCO's behind the enginehouse and a couple of old Russell plows and a dump car as well as several Union Pacific coaches and one from Atlantic Railcar that looked pretty snappy.

After the run, we all load up our cars on trailers, say goodbye to many many friends, thank the railroad crewmen for their help (and we give a "good" tip to our guide in addition to the railroad fee and his regular pay BTW). Railroad crews acting as our pilot usually bring along their family to enjoy the unique experience. It's fun! Most of the riders and operators are more "railroad-wise, educated tourista" than railfans which always seems odd to me but at least I am not fighting for a place in the photo-op lineup and I get shots that only railroad crews can get.

William "Maddog" Kozel

Tip Of The Iceberg 8

The three sawmill images were from slides I took in 1972 at Jess Elliot's Sawmill. This was located in Modena, NY. While they cut large beams for post and beam construction the specialty was hardwoods: You could get Oak, Cherry, Black Walnut cut to order. There was even Wormy Chestnut to be had. As long as it was available I used for making picture frames. Our cutting board, to this day, is a slab of Walnut (10X14X2") I got there. The operation was powered by a gas engine with leather belts connecting to the blades. Make what you will of the safety issues back then.

I make no pretense to being a serious railfan photographer (I haven't the patience, or the stamina) but, given the years and the time spent trackside I have come up with a lot of favorites. These were all shot close to home on the East Side of the Hudson;
Amtrak Turbo 154 SB at the Poughkeepsie station 12-81. A bit more snow than this past Winter.

Metro North E8 495 SB at Poughkeepsie 3-84. Impatience I said!. I was losing sun and just stopped the car on the overpass south of the station to make this grab shot. Thankfully there was no traffic behind me.

Amtrak F40PH NB at Rhinecliff 8-81. Our old Kingston house appears in the string of houses on the opposite side of the Hudson.

Hope you all find something enjoyable.

Wayne Sittner