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Messages - Kevin Madore

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General Discussion / Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« on: August 10, 2013, 04:37:45 AM »
Yes, the York has been running for the last week or two.  The issues that SIH has had over the past couple of months have been relatively minor.  They are trying to be cautious with a new (and very expensive) locomotive.  Best to call ahead if you plan to visit.  As with any steam operation, things can happen.  The machine may be new, but the technology surely isn't.


General Discussion / America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« on: August 09, 2013, 12:38:21 PM »
Early last month, I was fortunate to be able to spend 3 days observing, riding and photographing the new "Steam into History" (SIH) operation in New Freedom, PA. This new tourist railroad is operating a brand new, 4-4-0 American Standard, built by the Kloke Locomotive Works in Elgin, IL. The new locomotive is designed to look like an 1860s-era wood-burner, and is loosely based on the design drawings developed by O'Connor Engineering back in the late 1970s for the two engines that firm built for the Park Service's Golden Spike National Historic Site. The "York 17" as she is called, is really an oil-burner with air brakes, and all of the other appliances that the FRA now requires.

The new "York 17" runs on a roughly 10-mile stretch of rehabbed track that was historically part of the Northern Central Railway. The excursions operate out of New Freedom and make a round-trip to Hanover Junction, currently using replica coaches leased from another operation. SIH expects to begin taking delivery of some replica coaches of their own beginning this month.

Obviously, the main attraction of this new operation is the beautiful new engine. Quite simply, there is no other tourist railroad with anything like it. An additional draw is the restored depot/museum at Hanover Junction and the rich history of the place. Abraham Lincoln is said to have stopped there on his way to Gettysburg in November of 1863, and the group has Matthew Brady photos that purport to show the man himself standing on the platform. What struck me was just how sharp Brady's photos were. If the bearded gentleman on the platform isn't Old Abe, he could fool me.

Here is a small photo album of shots that I took during those three days.

Click on the thumbnail images for full-screen views. Check out the link that I put on the Hanover Junction shot to see some of the Brady pics. The guy did some amazing work.


Museum Discussion / Re: Roads
« on: August 08, 2013, 01:07:29 PM »
Hi Mark,

My rule of thumb at the WW&F is one shot per run.  The advice that the other folks have offered is very sound.  You really cannot chase this train.   Attempting to race down some of the dirt roads will not only aggravate the neighbors, but it will beat the heck out of your car.  Not worth risking either.  

If you park along the dirt road that leads into Alna Center, you can walk in and shoot the switching moves there.  Then, when the train goes north, you can either hike in that direction and catch them when they come up the ladder (headed south), or wait in the field at Alna Center and get them when they come back past the station.   The Alna Center area probably offers more opportunities during one round trip than any other.  It is good in the morning and in the afternoon.   In the morning, the ladder shot is good.  In the afternoon, the ladder area is in shadow and the AC station area is lit.

The WW&F folks do occasionally bring out the freight cars and run an early morning or late afternoon special.   The Annual Picnic announcement indicated that they may do something this Saturday evening.  Any of these special operations are also great opportunities to shoot unique trains in good light.   Look at some of my stuff on and see what is possible.

Happy hunting!


Yes, KIWI would be your best bet for visiting the museum.   RW 7-25 is 3397x75 with decent RNAV approaches in both directions.   AirNav webpage says rental cars are available.  Also says for short periods, they might loan you a crew car.  

Here is the AirNav page:

I recommend giving the FBO a call, and they'll give you the real skinny on what's available.   I've been in there a few times.  It's a nice field and as usual, the Maine folk are friendly.

The former NAS Brunswick (KBXM) is also available and has facilities to accommodate everything up to large bizjets.  You can also rent a car there, but you'd have a bit more driving to do to get out to Alna.


US Two Footers / Re: New 2 Footer in Upstate NY?
« on: May 10, 2013, 07:10:03 PM »
The only 2-footer I am aware of in the Utica area is at the Erie Canal Village in Rome.   

When I last visited that area back in 2007, the park was closed.   Although they do have a small 0-4-0T, I don't believe they've run it in several years.   It is my understanding that they also have a small diesel locomotive, and that normally powers the trains.

Here is a link to a shot of the steamer:


That's a great pic, Kevin, as always.

Too bad that it is the only one that made it through the railpictures screening process. I would have liked to have seen what else you had come up with that day.

Hi Bill,

I made the decision to head up to Portland when I found out that the trains would start running in the early afternoon.  I was really hoping to catch a few frames at the east end of the line, with the waterfront in the background.  You can get those shots in the summertime, but the light is usually bad most of the day.   Unfortunately, what I found out was that even at 1:30 PM in December, the east side is already in shadow.  The east-end shots were doomed from the moment I got there.   The light was good on the west side, and I did shoot several sequences during the two daylight runs, but the look of the other frames was not a lot different from what you see in the shot that I posted.   I went with that frame for RP, because it was the prettiest light of the day, and I was able to get the nicely lit Portland Company in the background.   Whenever I post stuff on RP, I try to have those shots be the ones that show the subject railroad in the best possible opposed to any possible way.   ;D

I saw Richard's post regarding the aesthetics of the Portland location and while ideally, I always prefer to photograph trains in their "native" environments, I also understand that when it comes to steam, survival is the most important thing.  As I travel around, I see so many really authentic steam operations, in very historic and photogenic locations, that are constantly struggling to survive.   The remoteness of these locations made it possible for these railroads to survive being paved over by progress, but that same remoteness is now their biggest threat.   Ely, Chama, Orbisonia.....the list goes on.   Operating in Portland may not be very authentic, but the close proximity of the population means that events such as Polar Express will continue to bring in the money that it takes to keep the operation alive for future generations to enjoy.  We sometimes have to be careful what we wish for.

Me?   I'm wishing for the day when I can take this shot again:



Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co. & Museum / Polar Express just before sunset....
« on: January 15, 2013, 10:41:00 AM »
It's unfortunate that we don't see more photos of the MNGRR operation in Portland here on the forums. 

Here's a shot that I took of one of the last of the daylight Polar Express runs, just before sunset on Dec 23rd:


Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas Pics
« on: December 22, 2012, 11:10:13 PM »
Fourth one:  Plenty of folks on the platform at Sheepscot waiting to head off to AC:

I apologize for having to do four posts.  Not sure why, but the forum would only let me post one pic at a time, despite the fact that all of them were under the 128K size limit.   There must be a magic word to get it to take 4 images in one post.   If someone can let me in on the secret, I'd be grateful!

Have a great Christmas all!!


Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas Pics
« on: December 22, 2012, 11:07:15 PM »
Third one:  Some of the folks up at AC, watching their ride to Sheepscot arrive:

Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas Pics
« on: December 22, 2012, 11:06:26 PM »
Second one:   Santa with one of the many little ones at AC:

Work and Events / 2012 Victorian Christmas Pics
« on: December 22, 2012, 11:04:00 PM »

I saw Wayne's request for pics over on the work thread.  I am about to head off to CT for the holidays, but I managed a few quick edits on some obvious candidates.   I am not used to posting really low-res images, so I hope these look OK.

First one: Humanson Brook.....hummin!


Work and Events / Re: Annual Picnic?
« on: August 07, 2012, 07:08:39 AM »
Thanks Stewart!  Let us know the plan when you have it.  If there's a Sunday extra, I will need to grab a hotel someplace.


Work and Events / Annual Picnic 2012
« on: August 04, 2012, 09:52:42 PM »

I've been browsing the forums every few days, just checking to see what might be in store for the Annual Picnic weekend.  Are there any special activities planned?   I'm looking for a good excuse to put my compass on NE next weekend.



Work and Events / Re: 4th of July 2012 *pics*
« on: July 06, 2012, 01:17:00 PM »
Wow, Stephen you really got around on the 4th!  Nice job documenting the day.  Hope you were able to enjoy some of it while you were running back and forth.   The portrait of the engine crew and the Row-Mow shot are my faves.  I would have had difficulty with the portrait, but that Row-Mow shot was one I really wanted!


Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: WW&F Visits....
« on: July 04, 2012, 07:25:59 AM »
Well, maybe not an "official visit", but.....Skagway, Alaska. 

Go to this page:

Down at the bottom of the page is a little video.  Play that sucker and pay special attention to the interviews at the end.  My apologies that you have to sit through several minutes to see it, but I think you'll be able to put up with it!  ;D


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