Is the Real Thing getting, well, blah?

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by ls1gto, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Agreed. Asked and answered. Everyone's entitled to voice their opinion on here, there's no doubt about that. Just make sure you don't solicit an opinion you don't wanna hear! :rolleyes:
  2. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    O.K. First to clear the air, I'm not upset at those who dis-agree or upset period for that matter.
    Yes, in my first post I ask that question, that question was "did anyone agree or disagree that the loco's are getting boring or losing personality" not "are locos the only form of railfanning". I just didn't want anyone to think that was what I meant. Nothing more or nothing less. Quite honestly I was pleasantly surprised at the # of responses. Kinda cool reading over everyones opinion. Just please understand that I'm well aware of "why" things are happening the way they are and that there is a whole lot more to railfanning than just loco's. I was just focusing on one aspect.:thumb:
  3. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Exactly who did I disagree with?

    Here were my two responses:
    Again, please understand, I'm not saying that watching loco's is the only form of railfanning, I was just simply pointing out a small aspect of the railfanning experience from a railfan veiwpoint

    Sheesh, I didn't think this would go this way. I'm well aware that railroading is a business in the corporate world. This is why I placed the following sentence at the end of my post,

    This is just purely from a railfan perspective.

    I will continue to be a railfan when there are SD100mac's with lg. fries:) ,
    I was just simply making an observation about the continued advancements and streamlining taking place in the locomotive world.

    Again, I didn't "dis-agree" with anybody "dis-agreeing, I just wanted to make sure everyone new where I was coming from. Thats all. Very sorry to come across the wrong way guys.
  4. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Oh my, this just might be turning into an arguement! :rolleyes:

    On a different note, do you think they'll make an SD100, or go to 99 an' stop?

    (Intead, perhaps EMD will come up with a different designation, considering that the unit that was once "Special Duty" is now the mainstay locomotive of nearly all the Class 1's and probably most/some Class 2's)
  5. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    I certainly dont intend on it turning into one. I guess I just said something the wrong way and again for that I am very sorry and take full resposibility. The last thing on earth I want to do is cause an argument. I never intended for anything I said to be taken that way at all.

    On that second note, that is a good question, I guess only time will tell.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Because I WANT them too!!!! :D

    F units!!! GP9s Uboats!!!!!! I want 'em!

    Railfanning is all a matter of personal taste. I know there are a lot of folks who love the newest diesels. Anyone catch the MR Greatest Model Railroads with the story of the Utah Belt layout that continuously updates to keep up with the present? He recently retired some SD9s...made me cry. ;)

    Enjoy railfanning the way you like y'all!

  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member


    I just can't believe the SD9's hung in there for so long...and now they're gone, along with my long lasting interest in the Utah Belt...I'll miss them, they were so great looking, not to mention that the UB SD9's are my personal favorite, along with their SP prototype! :D

    The Utah Belt however is still worth in looking at, because it's a constantly updated MRR, and that's quite amazing!
  8. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    MJ you make a good point, although Im not a fan of steam, It seems to me that there was alot more personality in a coal burner. (ie...sound and sight)
    from their whistle, to their "pfff,pfff,pfff" chugging sound, to the sight of the massive drawbars in action. When you think about that transition from coal to diesel,it was far more dramatic than the diesel to diesel evolution.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    There are still some SD9s in service..However,there are more GP9s floating about.. :thumb:
  10. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    Of course, one might say that we are being too picky. No matter what the train is, I still am in awe of the power of todays locomotives. On a recent trip to truckee on the Union Pacific former SP donner pass route I had the fortune to witness a westbound freight gaining power to tackle the pass full throttle. It was spiritually orgasmic. I have never experienced that kind of power, the ground was shaking and you got a stomach ache from the rumbling. It was really something. I enjoy getting stupidely close to tracks on my normal route just to try to get a tenth of that kind of power to brush off on me and it still pleases me every time. I still enjoy looking for the unique, the wheel car that stands out in a long row of monotonuous hoppers or the 1960s vintage auto box. I think it is the same game, its just that the cool stuff is getting more and more rarer which makes it more and more special to see it. Just like my Uboat. The heritage series of locos by the UP were mocked by the railfans but I thought they finally had the right idea. Even if they get it wrong it still gives us variety! =]. Perhaps just take a closer look at what we have, because just like everything else, what we have now will probably get more boring tomarrow =].

    Cory in Turlock
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    From a business standpoint, the diesels are certainly the way to go, at least for the most common freight, passenger service. Steamers do have a place I think in the tourist/excursion business, but that is a specialized market.

    I suppose we should be thankful that steam lasted as long as it did. In part at least due to the huge war effort of WW2, when everything available was pressed into service. Few diesels built as well, because we were building trucks, tanks, and ships instead.

    Even so, when I look in Ian Wilson's excellent books on CN steam in Ontario in the late 1950s (see I am shocked and dismayed to see the steamers lined up for the cutting torch. I would be interested (but also depressed) to see a picture or two of these locos being hauled dead to the scrap yard.

    And you are right - it was quick - at least for CN. SOuthern Ontario was a hold out, but even here they disappeared in the span of less than two years.

  12. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I agree with ls1gto to some extent. My railfanning began with the Santa Fe during the transition from "cigar band" to "warbonnet" on freight locomotives, back in the 70's. It was always interesting to see F-units lashed up to GP's and SD's. Santa Fe had plenty of all three, along with those squatty-nosed GE units. Then came the CF7...that certainly added interest. Even up to the end Santa Fe remained interesting with the red / silver warbonnet, GP60 B-units and the early wide-nose cabs. They were also proud of their paint schemes and washed their locos more than most others. Now BNSF's paint fades in a short time making it the only difference in many lash-ups. On the other side, around here there's still lot's of SD40-2's left on drag runs though, in many paint schemes, old BN, SF warbonnets, and newer Heritage schemes. I even have a picture somewhere of a GP40X taken at Alliance Yard in 2000.
  13. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Just to throw in my 2 cents worth. I drove by what was once the old CNW shops here in Council Bluffs that are almost brand new and where the UPRR now does all of their work on the older classic sort of stuff at least at this end of the line. What did I see this last time past there but an A-B-A set of E-8s with a goreous consist of the shiniest cars you have ever seen. And me without my camera. I usually carry my camera in the truck, but when it is as cold as it has been lately I don't think it is good for it to leave it in a cold vehicle very long. Hopefully I'll get another chance one of these days. I had not seen the A-B-A set before, but the consist is there much of the time.

  14. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    One of the best paint schemes on the newer widecab diesels was the last 1990's CNW paintscheme like on their C-44-9W's. Too bad there's only I think 3 units left in that paintscheme, rest are UP now.

    I like the AMD 103's especially in their first Amtrak silver mist paint scheme - reminds me a lot of the original CB&Q Zephyrs.

    I guess I kinda like some of the newer stuff, in my area we have BNSF, UP, CP and CN, plus a number of regional railroads like Twin City and Western and Dakota Minnesota and Eastern. I live on a line operated by Progressive Rail, it's the old Minneapolis Northfield and Southern highline, and PR has painted their GM switchers into a paintscheme based on the old MNS scheme.

    Plus you know it's all relative. I remember the seventies/eighties when every other train was powered by three SD-40-2's and people thought it was all the same stuff over and over again. Even when I was a kid seeing 1st generation Baldwin and FM diesels on the MN&S, people said the diesels all looked alike compared to 'real' engines (i.e. steam engines) that each had their own personality and character.
  15. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    I would have to agree with this statement. I know it makes for boring railfanning and modeling modern era locomotives but what else can a capitalistic society do.


  16. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Ya but 40 years from now you'll be showing off to your grandkids with video and pictures you took now..."Wow Grampa, you really saw an engine in BNSF 'Heritage I' paint scheme running with a warbonnet BNSF engine?? And is that a CNW C-44-9W running with those UP engines?? That's so cool!!"
  17. Sunburn

    Sunburn Member

    Railroads and the modern man

    I followed this thread with great interest. Growing up, I was oblivious to railroads, save the occasional Amtrak trip on the Eastern Seaboard. Decades later, I was finally able to understand my father's love of the 50's era ATSF diesels and occasional steamer. The beauty of the Warbonnet and the imagery of a black steam engine blasting past a level crossing.
    I happen to love the look of the MACs and modern equipment. I love seeing the LRVs and bullet trains. I profess to being unable to distinguish GEs from EMDs and for that matter anything else.....

    But I have the same thrill as my 5 year old and my 2 year old scream delightedly "Traaaaiiinnn, Dadddeeeee, Traaaaiiinnnn!!!" as a Great Pumpkin goes blasting past the level crossing... :thumb:
  18. lionelfan

    lionelfan Member

    IMHO means in my honest opinion, in my humble opinion.

    I know railroads are a business, and everyone is running as lean as possible, but, I miss the Chessie days with the nicely painted locos. I railfan NS and CSX, and about the only difference you see on NS is the occasional gray ghost ( unpainted unit in primer), and not as yet painted Conrail, but on CSX at least in my area, you see lots of foreign power, CN, BNSF, SOO, UP etc. which tends to break things up .

    What I wouldn't give to see a nice Chessie SD40-2 or GP38 or GP40 in the multicolored Chessie paint scheme from the 70's.
  19. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I saw a chessie engine... but i didn't get any pictures, but i should have. it was 2000, and my grandparents took me to the USAF Museum in Dayton Ohio. we went back down through virginia on the way back. we were at Days Inn across the street from some tracks, and there were constant trains. in the morning i saw 2 Chessie units back to back pulling a long train. I think they were coal porters, but i can't remember. Then again at that time, i was much younger, and while trains were still cool to me, I wasn't aware the Chessie was long gone...

    I'm almost positive they were GP38-2s. Maybe GP40-2s. I always find it odd that even when i was young, i made sure i looked for details on things! Its weird. when i was really young, i saw an E60MA, and only recently did i finaly find out what it was! but i clearly remember trying to remember how many wheels it had, where the pantographs were... thats so weird to me. I feel like i wasn't even into trains enough to know to look out for that.
  20. Hookups

    Hookups New Member

    Hi all,

    I am just getting back into modeling after being gone since the early 90s. I was a kid then, and was into modeling to play trains.

    Fastforward too today, helping father-in-law on his layout, work on the club layout, and building a small switching layout for the house. I have been hooked again!

    With me being older now, I have been a huge railfan now for the last three years. The lines that run by me is NS moving coal. Once in awhile I will see a old Chessie helping in the work load. I am not good with model and makes of the locos yet, but when I find out, I will post what it is. NS uses some Conrail once in awhile too, that always gets me going since Conrail was used alot here in the 80s. (I think). I would have to ask her dad.

    My 2 cents, Thanks,

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