Posts Tagged ‘steam engines’

The Reynolda House Museum of American Art presents Trains that Passed in the Night: The Photographs of O. Winston Link on view February 19—June 19, 2011.

O. Winston Link’s haunting black-and-white photographs from the 1950s depict the end of the era of steam railroading in the United States and the rural landscapes of Virginia and North Carolina that these last trains passed through. Link’s evocative nocturnal images are at once highly staged technical feats, nostalgic representations of a disappearing way of life, and beautifully strange works of art produced during the era of film noir.

Link, a commercial photographer in New York City, made more than twenty trips to Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina between 1955 and 1960 to photograph the Norfolk & Western Railway. His photographs convey an eerie sense of absence, representing the vanishing “species” of the steam locomotive. But the images, which often include railroad workers or local residents, are also imbued with a deep humanity, a reminder of the complicated relationship between man and machine.

Link’s achievements have received international recognition and his photographs can be found in the nation’s premier museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2004, the O. Winston Link Museum opened in Roanoke, Virginia.

Trains that Passed in the Night is drawn from the collection of Link’s former assistant and agent Thomas Garver and is circulated by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. The exhibition is comprised of fifty black-and-white gelatin silver photographs printed and signed during O. Winston Link’s lifetime. Reynolda’s installation of the exhibition will include text by experts on photography, railroad history, film, and contemporary art, and a multi-media section featuring train films and sounds.

For more, visit: http://museumpublicity.com/2011/02/20/reynolda-house-museum-of-american-art-opens-trains-that-passed-in-the-night-the-photographs-of-o-winston-link/

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Source: http://www.salisburypost.com

The Flagg 75 steam engine spits, coughs, breathes heavily and blows off a lot of steam before it finally moves.

In other words, I can relate.

I hopped into the cab of the 1930 workhorse locomotive Saturday morning as Engineer John Barnett of Raleigh backed it onto the roundtable at the N.C. Transportation Museum.

We took about a quarter turn before locking in and heading south on our warm-up run. The white steam we released made us a moving cloud at first.

On the right side of the cab, Barnett manned the throttle. Also within reach were the reverse gear, the locomotive and train brakes, injectors for water and even levers to release sand for more traction on the tracks.

“It’s easy to operate, but they can be temperamental,” Barnett said of these coal-fired beasts.

Going forward, Barnett can watch the tracks ahead through a small window. Or in forward or reverse, he can poke his head out the side opening, much like a happy dog hanging out the window of his master’s car.

Also on board was Fireman Gil Williams of Lexington, S.C., and Mike Stovall of Greensboro, a fireman in training. All three men are regular transportation museum volunteers who love anything to do with trains and their operation.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE WITH LOTS OF GREAT PICTURES!

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So, it seems The Daniel Boone Railroad and theme park in Hillsborough is fondly remembered by many. These posts continue to be some of the most popular. Recently, I received a note from someone we’ll call “Camo” and he shares the same memories I do. The difference: he’s been to what’s left of the park several times and sent me some pictures. I asked Camo if he’d write up a guest blog post and agreed. Enjoy!

Dear Tarheel Trains,
Growing up in NC in the late sixties and seventies offered many distinct advantages, especially if one were an only child. I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of hand me downs from older cousins. Often these cast offs were in the form of Western toys such as Johnny West. These toys were usually broken or incomplete, but I didn’t mind because I was thrilled just to have them!

To augment the toys of the time, Western theme parks were popular places of amusement.  Because of a near catastrophe my family experienced while leaving Beech Mountain (the brakes on my dads Oldsmobile overheated coming down the mountain, a runaway truck ramp saving our lives), those beautiful mountains and their attractions like Tweetsie became off limits due to the fear of a similar mishap occurring again. Fortunately for me, the historic town of Hillsborough was only a few safe miles away.

The Western theme park there was known then as “Daniel Boone Country”. Similar to Tweetsie, it offered a train, costumed cowboys and indians, rides and shows, all set in a Western pioneer village. I first visited there when I was approximately five years old and while I do remember visiting the park on more than one occasion, the details have been lost to time. However, I do remember riding the train and the smell of the black smoke. When Indians attacked along a wooded portion of the track, I became frightened, believing that the attack was real! One of the actors made up as an Indian sat down in the seat in front of my dad and I  and calmed my fears, reassuring me that it was all make believe for fun.

By all accounts, it was a magical place. By the time I had graduated high school, the park had sold their train (to Carowinds) and was on its way to becoming defunct. Last summer my wife and I invited my father to join us on our vacation to visit the USS North Carolina in Wilmington. On the way home, my father spotted the exit sign for Hillsborough and asked if I remembered going there as a kid. Of course I did, so we agreed to go back there together. We made that trip a couple of weeks ago.

Very few traces remain of the old park. There are two cabooses being used as rental space for antique shops, and an old passenger car complete with graffiti that sits on a small slice of track under a lean-to. A lot of the old Western style store fronts remain, their weathered paint and abandoned appearance creating the atmosphere of a ghost town. The old Blacksmith shop still stands, complete with hand painted lettering, even though it now serves as a junk shed. Beside the “Antique Mall”, is a storage area where one can find wagons and antique farm equipment rotting in the open. A few feet up the hill stands a dilapidated barn that contains the Daniel Boone stage coach.

Another barn on the premises houses more wagons, antique trucks complete with bullet holes and hand painted signs (by Apache Joe?).  At least Daniel, a twenty foot tall “muffler man” type figure still stands.  A similar Indian figure that once adorned the roof of the steakhouse across the street has vanished. If one cares to look, one can still find traces of the park in the form of waterwheels (pan for gold attractions?), a miniature covered bridge and a weather vane (part of the old train depot?), but these sights are disappearing daily. An old kiddies’ ride that I saw on a earlier visit, rotting away amongst some weeds, had been cleared away when I returned with my camera (see link for pics).  I just got the feeling that whoever owns the park may now be clearing out some of the old left over’s because the gates to the barns were open and the area where that kiddie ride had been was open after previously being cordoned off.

I did make a brief attempt to find old track, but that area is now a trailer park, and I did not want to arouse the suspicion of any tenants by poking around in their backyards. I would urge anyone interested in seeing what is left of the park to make the trip post haste. In these economic times, who knows what the current owner may have in mind for the property. Being an amateur singer/songwriter, my visit inspired me to write a new song about the old park. As soon as it is finished, I will post a link. Thank you all for your interest.
Sincerely,
-Camo

VIEW PHOTOS OF THE DANIEL BOONE RAILROAD & THEME PARK!

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The posts I’ve written about the late Daniel Boone Railroad in Hillsborough are some of the most viewed on the site.

Recently, I received an email from a guy we’ll call “Camo” who has fond memories of riding the train, as I do. He has volunteered to take some new pictures of the area, as well as share some of his old pictures of the RR.

I asked, and soon we’ll have a special guest blog post coming soon from our friend, “Camo.”

Here’s a teaser photo for you. Camo in Hillsborough, in front of old Daniel himself.

Check back soon. More to come…

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http://nctrans.org/events/santa_train.php

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tweetsie ghost train

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nc transportation museumSPENCER – Source: Salisbury Post

The N.C. Transportation Museum’s 2010 Family Rail Days Festival this weekend will celebrate the golden age of railroading and offer something for every member of the family. Featuring historic locomotives and rail cars displayed alongside modern rail equipment, the event will give visitors a chance to enjoy train rides, great music, model train layouts and a model train expo.
This year’s Family Rail Days will be held in association with 2nd Saturdays, a partnership between State Historic Sites and the N.C. Arts Council. Artists will be given the opportunity to show and sell their work June 12. Poetry, music, painting, drawing, photography and more will be offered.

Visitors to the 2010 Family Rail Days Festival will have numerous chances to ride the rails. Boarding at the pedestrian crossing, the passenger train will offer a 25 minute ride around the museum property on classic rail cars pulled by vintage diesel locomotives. The caboose train, boarding at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center, gives everyone a chance to ride in their favorite train car. At the Roundhouse, motor car rides will be offered, giving visitors a chance to ride these smaller pieces of rail equipment used to repair tracks.

An up-close view of the N.C. Transportation Museum’s classic steam and diesel locomotives will be available during the Parade of Power. Engines are placed on the Roundhouse turntable for great photo opportunities. The Parade of Power takes place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.rail days spencer

Turntable rides will be offered throughout the Rail Days festival. Families can take a spin and get a closer look at how the Spencer Shops operated during the good ol’ days.

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VISIT: http://nctrans.org

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