Archive for May, 2009

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Source: Wall Street Journal

By STUART FERGUSON

Seeing Henry Morrison Flagler and John Ringling’s private railroad cars — their interiors, furniture and opalescent glass skylights gleaming from recent renovations — you’d never know that by the 1950s one had become housing for migrant farm workers, and another a fishing shack. Now, thanks to the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla., and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fla., visitors can get a glimpse of the lives of tycoons whose careers were so closely intertwined with rail travel.

Flagler (1830-1913) created the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), and Ringling (1866-1936) was advance man for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, owned by him and four of his six brothers. Both men used their cars for business and only incidentally for pleasure.

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RALEIGH – A visit to Raleigh’s Pullen Park off of Western Boulevard near NC State University’s campus can include a locomotive train ride, a ride on a boat, a visit with Andy and Opie from Mayberry, and more.

We visited on a recent sunny Saturday afternoon and found the park to be very vibrant and alive with blooming flowers, the sounds of ducks quacking, and of course, lots of kids having fun on the park’s antique carousel and other attractions.

For more CLICK HERE!

The park also has an antique train engine that costs only $1 to ride as well as a statue of Andy and Opie Taylor from the “Andy Griffith Show”, fishing pole in hand, that was donated by TVLand.

Other fun attractions include the pond with ducks and pedal-boats, the full-sized train caboose on display, plenty of grassy areas for picnics, and more.

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The database which lies behind this site derives from a number of sources. It began from a locomotive list maintained by a man named Tim Bosshardt in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and was added to based upon a list published by the Tourist Railroad Assocation. Additional input came from thousands of miles of travel by Dale Brown and Doug Bailey, and from other sources too numerous to record or remember. Ownership histories, where we have them at all, came mostly from a text file “ownership guide” submitted by Mark Halford.

Check it out at: SteamLocomotive.info!

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Source: CNN.com

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By Stephanie Chen – CNN
 
FOLKSTON, Georgia (CNN) — Rain or shine, 80-year-old Cookie Williams plops himself on the wooden viewing platform perched over double train tracks.

On this warm May afternoon, a patient Williams sits slouched, legs crossed and arms relaxed, donning his vintage CSX railroad company cap littered with miniature train pendants.

He is waiting for a train.

A scanner, listening for oncoming train signals, crackles in the background as it picks up some conductor chatter.

He waits some more.

“A lot of people in this town thought I was on the kooky side,” said Williams, who is retired from the paper and pulp industry. “But I love it. I’ve loved these trains ever since I was a kid.”

Folkston, Georgia, where Williams lives, is one of many train hot spots nationwide. Here, the blasting train noises are jokingly called “Folkston music.” With up to 60 trains crawling loudly through the quaint town each day, it’s become an attraction for fans eager to collect train images and sounds.

In 2001, Williams, who grew up by a train track, pushed town officials to construct a viewing platform with picnic tables, wireless Internet and a scanner to detect oncoming trains. The Southeast Georgia town reports that at least 12,500 visitors from all over the world visit the platform to watch trains each year.

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By Mike Conley | The McDowell News

Last year, Old Fort celebrated its railroad heritage with exhibits, music and fun-filled activities for young and old alike. The first-time event proved to be a hit.
On Saturday, the town will again commemorate the days when steam was king and folks traveled everywhere on steel wheels and rails.
The Second Annual Railroad Day in Old Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Depot, which for many years was a station for the Southern Railway. The event is free to the public.
Train enthusiasts, and all those who are children at heart, will enjoy the model railroad exhibits inside the Depot, which also has displays of old railroad memorabilia. Wes Lael of Old Fort Model Trains is coordinating the model railroad exhibits.
The Depot’s visitors center and railroad museum will be open, along with the former Southern Railway bay window caboose nearby.
Outside, the celebration will feature a talented face painter, Joan Jackson, who is ready to create some “cheeky” masterpieces for the youngsters. Bouncin’ Kids from Nebo will set up inflatables in Bradley Park, directly across the street from the historic Old Fort Arrowhead.
The Flying Rock Band will entertain the crowd with covers of classic rock songs from the 1960s through the 1980s. Nathan Ebanks, Rick Travis, Rob Hoffner and Gillaaron Houck enjoy interacting with their audiences. You might recognize Houck from his years as an actor. One of his roles was the character of Leroy on the hit television show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The band will play in the courtyard outside the Depot. Folks are asked to bring lawn chairs and meet the band. The music is expected to start around noon, depending on the setup time.
During the late 19th century, Old Fort was a popular tourist destination. The Western North Carolina Railroad built the first train depot, Henry’s Station, two miles east of the historic Round Knob Hotel. In 1879, the depot burned followed by the loss of the Round Knob Hotel. The hotel was built very close to the tracks. Sparks generated a fire in 1903 burning the hotel to the ground. In 1881, the second depot opened and that facility is active today operating as a visitor center and railroad museum. For many years, it was a passenger station for the Southern Railway.
Nearby Andrews Geyser is another railroad landmark. It was named after Col. A.B. Andrews, the second vice president of the Richmond and Danville Railroad and one of the early leaders of the Southern Railway.
Lodging and area information are available online at www.mcdowellnc.org or call the McDowell Tourism Development Authority toll free at (888) 233-6111 for additional details.

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