Originally Posted by boothboy
Well I got to tell you that about an hour away from where I live is the Calif State Railroad Museum. My wife won't go with me anymore as I drag any new visitor we get first to the Empire Gold Mine ( biggest producing gold mine in the world up until the 1990's , and the Empire shut down in 1957!) here in Grass Valley and then down to the Train Museum in Sacramento. It's one of the best museums in the USA. I love trains! The control bar your referring to is called "The Johnson Bar" I had to look that up as I couldn't remember it's name. Here's my old desk top picture. I saw this old guy passing through Lawrence Kansas a couple of years ago. It had been a static display in Cheyenne WY. for years in a park but finally got back on the rails. It was on its way back East. Fifteen years ago or so Sacramento hosted a Rail Fair. Old steamers came fron all over the USA to attend. There were Locomotives that were shipped from England! Can you imagine that! And we think we have a expensive hobby! It was absolutely wonderful. There are alot of people who collect private coaches and the hooked up with some of the Engines that were attending. I got my lawn chair and cooler and sat at a crossing out in farm land and watched them arrive. Absolutely breathtaking!
BB, I love trains too. I went to the Old Town Sacramento back around 1989 to a HUGE rail fair there. The steam trains from Europe, were awesome! We have a nice one here in Niles near my home that we have been on many times. I have a friend with a Rail car.
His is like the first on in this picture.
Riding in these things is a BLAST. I went up and back thru Niles Canyon in on a rainy day a few years ago, it was such a blast.
The first thing I thought of when you guys were talking about old trains was my neighbor Mr Henderson. Scotty was 93 years old when I moved into this house about 15 years ago, his wife Betty was also 93! They had been married 72 years. He worked for Southern Pacific from 1922 until 1966! He had photos and memories that were out of this world. How about he lived in Truckee and use to walk the track to Reno inspecting it! That was a "shift" to walk to Reno for a quick inspection. Then the more elaborate inspection took longer, that is where he walk up the track about 30 feet inspecting under the lip of the track with a mirror on the end of a stick looking for cracks! He then walked back down the track on the other side inspecting that rail. Now get this, he bad better report where he saw the chalk marks his boss put there or his butt was grass. He worked in the round house that is now the rail museum in Sac! He lived and worked in Niles and was the foreman of this station. I forgot what it is called, not foreman, crap. Anyway, he had rail stuff all over his property, this house he bought in 66 when he retired. He gave me a bunch of stuff. I have a Christmas train out right now and put it up every year. He gave me a couple of tools of his like a huge Rail encyclopedia from the forties that he had his name and address in it and a also a large wrench with SP stamped on it. I gave both of those to the museum here in Niles when they opened it a few years ago. There is a street named after him in Niles. At the time I was a paint rep and would provide tech info to the Skunk Train up in Willits/Fort Bragg when they were restoring them. I got to go in the yard up there and literally go inside a boiler once, I got to hang out there quite a bit and it was a kick. I would come home and go next door to chat with Scotty and ask him questions about the steam engine I had just saw and he would tell me all about it like it was friggin yesterday that he worked with one! He was an amazing man. When the movie Titanic was out I went to see it and then visited him and told him so, he told me how he remembered when it launched and them talking about in school! He was amazing, drove his Volvo sedan until his 93 Birthday and then chose not to drive anymore. He and Betty Passed away about 8 months apart and were one of the most special couples I have ever seen.
I could go on and on taking about them.