Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

All the Way from Bippus

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Erie Railroad company photo, Steamtown NPS, Image #A-417. The original image can be accessed through this link.


One of the activities I’ve enjoyed the most with my morning coffee is trolling through the latest image uploads from the Steamtown National Park Service to the Erie Lackawanna email list photo archive. There are about 16 images posted each day, mostly historical Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western company photos. I find something to learn from at least one of the images. Since the first of the year, four of the images have been from Erie Railroad glass plate negative taken about 1909, like this image of the Bippus, Indiana depot that leads today’s blog post.


What’s in the Yard? – 2

Friday, January 6th, 2017

The DL&W Freight House in Orange, NJ, December 1920

DL&W company photo, Steamtown NPS, Image #X1689.

Ray Breyer is back with another detailed look at the freight cars in a period image. This time, Ray has three images to use from the same facility and were taken on the same day. Click on any image here to view a larger size.

As an early rail modeler I’m constantly on the lookout for high-quality photos of period railroading, whether it’s my favorite prototype’s infrastructure, rolling stock or engines. I’m also looking for good images in context, showing why things may look the way they do, especially the area surrounding a given image’s viewpoint. Finally, just about any halfway decent period is fair game, since it can highlight rare freight equipment or ‘general atmosphere’ which may prove to be useful when working on my owl layout’s scenery.


Why model 1926?

Saturday, October 8th, 2016
Image from the Cleveland Memory Project of the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University. (LINK: )

Wheeling & Lake Erie East 93rd Street depot, 1927. Image from the Cleveland Memory Project of the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University.

As a railroad modeler, I answer many questions about this hobby. A regular question from other modelers has been, why model 1926? This sounds simple, doesn’t it? Just explain why I model a specific year. Oddly, I’ve been trying to write this for three weeks and it comes up a little different with each new version. I think I finally like how this has turned out so I better post it before I change my mind, again. Besides, I have models to build!


Road Trip

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
North Pacific Coast Railroad No. 12, Sonoma.

North Pacific Coast Railroad No. 12, Sonoma.

It’s been a busy month on the road to see younger family members receive their graduate and undergraduate college degrees. It was wonderful traveling from coast to coast and spending time with friends and family in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and California. I did squeeze in a little railfanning and I even got to ride Amtrak around the Horseshoe Curve!


M-K-T box car time markers

Friday, March 25th, 2016


Many modelers focus on a specific point in time to guide their layout efforts. There are a number of markers that can be used to pinpoint the time an image was taken. Many railroads introduced emblems or new lettering at different points in time on their rolling stock. Steve Hedlund sent along details about Missouri-Kansas-Texas box car lettering practices that I found interesting so this blog post is mainly Steve’s. I added a couple points at the end and I’m certain this type of info will be revisited. For now, enjoy Steve’s work.