Author Topic: Plow Train Pics  (Read 3119 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Plow Train Pics
« on: January 25, 2009, 08:34:53 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Plow Train Pics has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Mike Fox wrote:
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Ok. Here are a couple of pictures. More on NERAIL and some video will be on YOU TUBE when Joe gets them there. Enjoy.
Mike

Approaching Trasks


Approaching Alna Center


Alna Center

fjknight replied:
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Here are my videos on YouTube from the weekend. The heavy snow made this a real winter railroading adventure. I now have a much deeper appreciation of what it must have been like for the railroaders in the early part of the last century battling the elements.

Here they are in chronological order:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aUQ8UXyDvA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJUlZgzMC9Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KySu8wd5yTo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPgBYE-eUkI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOct_m09Fp0

Frank

Joe Fox replied:
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Yes, I agree with that statement Frank. What an incredible day it was, both for the plow extra, and the tourist trains.

Joe

Bill Sample replied:
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Just finished watching all the videos from the past week on the WW&F.  Thanks for sharing!  These scenes fit right in with those winter photos I've seen from the original WW&F operation.
Joe, sounded like you disappointed some people by NOT getting buried by snow up at Alna Center during the run past.

Joe Fox replied:
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Yes, they were hoping I was going to get covered. My feet did, but the rest of me stayed clean.

Joe

p.s. Here is the first YouTube video shot from Trask's crossing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzwxUdXhjMs

Bill Sample replied:
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From the warm comfort of our Connecticut home, Sue and I just enjoyed a quick trip to the snowy woods of Maine.
Thanks, Joe - that was an excellent video.  That sure shows why the clearing operation took so long, having to "buck the drifts" like that.
Guess sometime down the road it will be time to replicate a WW&F snow plow.

Joe Fox replied:
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Ah, yes, and then maybe even a double headed plow extra powered by steam only. "Big Dreams, Little Wheels."

Joe

gordon cook replied:
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Nice pictures, guys. Thanks for sharing.
And the effort put out by everyone was tremendous. I have jelly arms today, and I only worked on the snow a couple of hours on Friday. I hope that anyone who came and thought maybe they waited too long can appreciate what it took to run those free trains.
Just thought I'd add a few explanations and observations on running #10 in the cold.....
First, We don't have a flanger, so the snow keeps falling back onto the rails and keeping everything coated in ice. Traction is the first problem because 10's too light on her drivers. A thrill going over the crossings for sure.
Then there's no brakes. Not good.
The diesel is better because there is more weight per wheel, as in about twice as much.
Second, the drag from the friction bearings is just awful, this includes her own bearings and the trucks under the cars. We switched to 10W oil on the engine, but that just allowed us to oil around, sloooooowly, and of course everything else still had the molasses in it.
Third, with absolutely perfect firing, you can keep steam up when running her full out, and we were running full out most of the time, but it doesn't take much to go wrong before you watch the gauge slowly fall. I was running her hooked up all the way with wide open throttle, and she'd keep her feet and maintain speed on level track, but that was it.
We were using at least twice and maybe close to three times as much coal and water, and by around noon we felt confident enough to run with just #10 on the two coaches. BUT.... we started to have trouble making steam, and just didn't know what was wrong. So we stalled on the way north... twice. Very disheartening, because with 125lbs on the gauge we were doing fine, but just couldn't maintain that.
Lots of people waiting make for a little stress.
It was a while before we figured out that we were generating 2-3 times as much ash too, ( duh!) so we weren't keeping the fire clean enough, and there was a layer of dead stuff under the nice bright top.
Once that was cleaned out, she steamed well again, but by then it was the end of the day.
So, nothing radically wrong, just that we're not perfect, and that we hadn't done this before, and learning on the fly is just the way it is.
Hopefully JML will chime in with his thoughts.
Yeah, the steam crew was a little discouraged, but we'll have a heavier engine soon!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all my friends here.  Thank you everyone, for making this all possible.
_________________
Gawdon

Bill Reidy replied:
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Great photos and videos, Mike and Frank.  Thank you for sharing them!  I wish I could have been up in Maine yesterday to see it in person and to help.

How was Victorian Christmas?  Many visitors?

Merry Christmas!
Bill

Joe Fox replied:
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Here is a link to a video my Dad made on the flat car of the first train in the morning, with the steam engine by its self, and the diesel at home in Sheepscot. Note how much problems the engine has with only three cars, icy rails, etc. As Gordon said, there were a lot of things against the steam crew yesterday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOyMCpppfC0

Joe

Bill Sample replied:
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Thanks for the excellent report, Gawdon!  Thankfully you didn't have to supply any of that precious steam for car heat like they did at Edaville  during their Christmas operations in the old days.
And Mike, thanks for your video.  That was a perfect addition to Gordon's report on some of the difficulties that were faced - the sight of all that snow covering most of the track structure, and the sound of the locomotive's labored exhaust sure told the story.

Mike Fox replied:
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I haven't seen any pics of my two foot rotary I had Saturday yet. Hopefully next year we have snow again but not nearly as much. I looked through my book tonight and here in Waterford we have had 32 inches of snow already. On the ground it is atleast knee deep.
So this made things interesting Satuday. As Gordon said, the snow definately kept it interesting. But everyone who spoke on the way out were pleased.
Now to design a simple flanger for a workflat or something incase this should happen again. Time to sharpen the pencil and look through the scrap steel.
Mike

Jason M Lamontagne replied:
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Gordon described Saturday very well.  It was a very frustrating day, mostly out of desire (seemingly impossible to fulfill) to provide a good service to a lot of people who were waiting for us.  In hindsight it was a picture perfect day for Victorian Christmas.

No 10's slipping was very interesting in the morning- rather than completely break loose, the engine, as going along under heavy throttle, would slowly start to accelerate, or at least the mechanism of the locomotive did- as this occured, the actualy traveling speed would slowly decrease.  This process would continue, if allowed, until you weren't moving along at all, and No 10 would sit there chugging loudly and somewhat slowly (relative to the typical wild locomotive slip).

As Gordon perfectly described, the problem morphed from one of traction to one of power, due to difficulty in maintaining pressure, as the day went on.   There is an ash content in this coal worthy of remembering, and of course running full out non stop can make the worst of that situation.

Our difficulties were only part of the puzzle- a large crew had to open the railroad, repeatedly clean crossings, manage the crowd to keep people safe, keep refreshments hot, and generally keep things going.  All in all- it was an incredible effort.

Most importantly, I hope that everyone involved- volunteers and visitors alike- had a time worth of Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas to Everyone,

Jason

John McNamara replied:
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Absolutely fantastic stills and videos!!!

Steve Zuppa replied:
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The forum has a limited reach. It's too bad that Gordon's and Jason's reports don't reach the public at large.   Each group of volunteers only knew how their contribution to the overall effort (and a considerable effort it was) made the whole day come together. The public had no idea what it took to put on an event like that. Wish we knew someone at LCN who could write a followup story. Still, while a few people didn't wait, the vast majority of the folks that Santa talked to had a really good time and that was the whole point. So, thanks, everyone, for making this the best VC so far. Merry Christmas!
Steve
_________________
"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Not to worry -- a fabulous time was had by all! I came up with the family and rode the noontime slip/stall trip Gordon described, and no one was unhappy. In fact, the only cry-babies were the actual crying babies themselves! Most passengers thought it was neat -that the train was going to back-up and make another run at the hill. One of those was a 20-year veteran engineer working for Pan Am, who completely understood what was going on and said of the conditions, "it all adds up."

Here are a few pictures of the festivities...

Gordon oiling around...

Plenty of steam...


The view out the frosty coach window upon arrival at Alna Center...



Merry Christmas to you too!

Unmistakably Bob G on the platform!

jockellis replied:
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I think I see calendar shots. This was great! down here in GA we had about a half inch of rain which didn't help our drought.
Jock Ellis

C130Engineer replied:
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I wish that I could have been there to see all the activity in person, and to help too!! Everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Nice New Years!!
Robert

PS-on a side note could one of the moderators email me, I am having a difficult time viewing this message board and I don't know why.

Joe Fox replied:
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Great pics Steve. They help show how happy everybody really was. My most memorable time of the day was meeting the Pan Am engineer in Steve's picture, and my most hated time of the day was when I was firing and we ran out of steam. How embarrassing that trip was for me. If I could have kept steam up, I think we might have been able to make it, because aside from the wheel slips on the crossings, we actually maintained pretty good footing.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Perfect shots as usual Stephen. Thanks for sharing.

I for one will say with all the work I put in Saturday morning, I would gladly do it all again. I had a great time and as I said before, everyone seemed happy when they left.

So to Jason, James and all the others that organized this, congrats on a job well done.

Mike

Bill Sample replied:
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Steve, if the WW&F ever decides to make their own Christmas cards for sale in the gift shop, I can guarantee that I'll be a customer.  Excellent.
Joe, don't be discouraged - you're relatively new at this and that kind of day would be a severe test to any fireman!

James Patten replied:
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I was at the RR this afternoon.  After Sunday's warm temps and the rain Sunday night, you'd wonder what all the fuss was about.  No snow above the railhead anywhere.  Looks like a typical early spring day at the RR.

FYI - The Museum does have our own Christmas cards for sale, made from a drawing done by Richard Symmes.  Never too late to order some!

Fred L. Kuhns replied:
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Thanks for all the hard work that went into the Christmas train.  The pictures and videos were just great.  The smiles and happy people will aways remember the great ride in the snow.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Thanks again , to all the great people who made the train rides happen.

Josh Botting replied:
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After the warmth and rain, most of the snow is now.  On Sat.  there was a little less snow at the RR than here, and most of our snow is gone...... but there is plenty of ice!

Also thanks to all the voulenteers who ran the goodies and the station.

Mike Fox replied:
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Yes Josh. The unsung heroes of the day. Those who kept the Hot Cocoa flowing and the cookies refreshed. And those who minded the Museum store. A big Thank you. Must have been something with all the trffic getting to the hot chocolate.
Mike

ETSRRCo replied:
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my most hated time of the day was when I was firing and we ran out of steam. How embarrassing that trip was for me. If I could have kept steam up, I think we might have been able to make it, because aside from the wheel slips on the crossings, we actually maintained pretty good footing.

Joe

Joe don't be embarrassed. Those are tough conditions to work in. I'm sure you did fine. As stated before you are relatively new at this. I have had my license for a year now and ever time I get on the 40 I learn something new. I still get into trouble now and then and its going to happen. Just keep at it Joe.
_________________
Eric Bolton
East Tigard & Southern Railroad Co 1889-1958

Steve Klare replied:
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Joe,

At colleges around the world, people are sitting in classes with names like "History of Technology" and "History of Transportation" talking about what they've learned from books about what it was like to operate a steam locomotive.

You're studying that too, the difference is you really know what you're talking about...

Josh Botting replied:
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There were 'Christmas' cards this year.  They had a nice line drawing of #10 with a wreath on the front.  However I over heard that they would be great, except they say Happy Hollidays, instead of Merry Christmas.  Probally would have had more sales.

Those pictures would be great in Christmas cards though.

gordon cook replied:
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Joe jumped in just as we ran into the problem of the ash build up under the fire and the pressure just kept dropping no matter what we did or didn't do as we were trying to make it up to Alna with the two coaches .
We had about a 8-10" thick fire, and I think the bottom 3-4" was ash and clinker, keeping the air from passing up through it. When I was picking out the clinker from the bottom of the fire, some pieces were the size of pie plates! Normally our coal ash falls through the grate, but with the heavy firing apparently a lot was fusing together and forming clumps.
The optimum seemed to be about 5-6" deep CLEAN fire, and with a shovel full every minute or so and no holes that was good to keep the pressure steady with the fireman's injector on. I think that our other steam crew members probably have found that to be true if they want to chime in.
For those who are not familiar with the diminutive size of #10, that's not a lot of coal, but as much as she can handle in a firebox that's I'm guessing is all of about 2 1/2 by 3 feet.
_________________
Gawdon

James Patten replied:
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It's nice to see the video from trackside.  As diesel engineer for the plow train, the growl of the diesel filled my ears and I heard nothing of the steam engine except whistles, unless the sound reflected off something (like the station).  #10 had quite the stack talk going.

Joe Fox replied:
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I can honestly say, that I now know what to do differently if I should ever attempt to fire #10 in the snow again. Thanks to all who helped out in the snow removal process, running trains, bringing refreshements, that were excellent as always, goodies, and tending to the station, etc.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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A wild thought.............
Rent, borrow, lease, buy the flanger at Albion. Bring it to Sheepscot and rebuild as necessary for safe usage.
As an incentive, move it to Albion in the spring and back to Sheepscot in the fall. They would have it for summer display and we would have it for winter use. Result: win-win.
Far fetched.?
Ira

Steve Zuppa replied:
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Not at all, Ira. It's a great idea.
_________________
"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Steam replied:
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Amen to all of the above posts about the Victorian Christmas events!!

We thoroughly enjoyed every moment, and share the frustrations of the steam crew.  We in the live steam hobby have our own finniky little locomotives to deal with, and we know the problems associated with any steam power.

Congratulations to everyone, and here's to a happy and prosperous year ahead!

See you soon.

Richard W. Symmes

Mike Fox replied:
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Someone else can correct me but I believe all the flanger in Albion is is just the car. I think most of the hardware is missing. Maybe Jason will get to show off more of his fabrication skills. That would make for a good winter project. Restore the car and return it to them in the spring. I know the Historical society would go for that. A great bunch of people up there.
Mike

Wayne Laepple replied:
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The flanger at Albion is little more than the deck. There are no trucks, couplers, draft gear, truss rods or body. It would be an interesting project, but I think we have a lot more important stuff to deal with at Sheepscot than  this. The plow on no. 52 is capable of taking care of most of the snow that falls, except in very rare circumstances.

If a flanger is necessary, it would be much easier to fabricate an air-operated blade either immediately behind and beneath the snowplow blade or beneath the cab. An air cylinder could be used to raise the blade at switches and crossings, with gravity to keep it in the plowing position. A simple pin arrangement could keep the blade up when not in use. Like the plow, the flanger would be removed during the warmer weather.

It would also be fairly simple to make a pair of wings to attach to either  side of no. 52 to push the plowed snow back from the track.

John McNamara replied:
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An air cylinder could be used to raise the blade at switches and crossings, with gravity to keep it in the plowing position.

Since flangers are always lifted at switches and crossings, I question how useful they would have been to us at Victorian Christmas, as crssings were one of our problem areas.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Hey, a re-gauged weed burner would melt those icy flangeways!! Of course it might set the crossing timbers ablaze...but hey, it's a trade-off!

Photo: Jim Sands

Joe Fox replied:
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At least you wouldn't have to worry about ice at the crossings any more after using that for one storm. Ha Ha Ha.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Or crossing planks or abutting buildings!!

Mike Fox replied:
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With the price of fuel, I couldn't afford the fuel to burn one tie!!!
Mike

jockellis replied:
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At The Great Train Store in Atlanta, the most popular video we sold was the Pentrex tape of the Southern Pacific getting its tracks from under tons of snow with rotary snow plows, bulldoziers, etc. Maybe the WW&F Ry needs a similar, high quality video.
Jock Ellis

Joe Fox replied:
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Jock,

What a great idea. If my dad, and Frank are willing to let their video clips be put onto a DVD, or VHS and make a few copies at first to see how they do. However, cost has to be taken into consideration, and time, but I do think that it would be a great idea to try. Talk to you later.

Joe

jockellis replied:
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Joe, I know there has to be a student at your high school who is into making videos and has the equipment that would do it. You need to have in cab shots, "two shots" of - obviously - two people discussing the weather, the PLAN for the day, etc. Have some strawbosses, etc. You might call Pentrex or Green Frog Productions and talk to them about a film which they would promote nation-wide. For this, it would need to be about an hour long. Also ask them how they turn film or pixels into drama by the order in which they place closeups and scenic shots.
Oh, yeah, you would want it tied in to the Christmas Train and have some video of it at the end to show what it was all for. Get passenger comments on film to fill it out. I think this has merit because it has "heart." Walt Disney could tell in advance when a movie was going to be a stinker because he could tell from watching it whether it had something that would tug at your heartstrings.
Personally, I think this might be the best idea I've had since deciding yesterday to have a hotdog for lunch instead of leftover lasagna. I would have one today but at the plant, they are providing breakfast biscuits because we went another month without an injury. But we always make up for that in spades during February.
Thanks for listening. I have lots of ideas, but not being up there, there is little I can do other than keep sending in my small donations for track.
Jock

Joe Fox replied:
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Hey Jock,

We have volunteers at the museum, such as Steve Hussar who are extremely good at making videos. Since this wasn't really panned out this time around, all we have are just the videos posted by me and Frank. This is an idea that should kind of be kept floating in the back of everybody's mind when another video is made of the WW&F. And add some good clips of the plow extra, the day before the Victorian Christmas, and also Franks videos of the week before would be great. It is a great idea, however, it's too bad that this wasn't thought of before the actual event, so that videos could have actually been made for this WW&F plow extra video. Talk to you later.

Joe

jockellis replied:
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Joe, I agree. This really needs to be planned out while the weather is still hot and making sure you have what you need to make a film which looks good on one of those 60 inch front plasma back draft (or whatever) televisions people watch today.
Deciding in advance what scenes you want, and say, getting a warm perch atop the water for a rooftop shot, would make for a better film. Since you have good cinematographers, carpenters, etc. among the museum volunteers and members use them.
Can you get them now to start storyboarding  the film? You could get a few shots if you have another snow. Just you don't go outgrowing the foul weather gear you had on for the Christmas Train.
This sounds like an exciting project. Wish I were there!
Jock Ellis

Mike Fox replied:
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The only thing that can't be planned is the snow. This year to do the advertised trains, the line had to be cleared. Next year at the same time, there may be no snow. Kind of a hard thing to plan for. Kind of a drop of the hat thing. Have to be there.
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
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Well, I made it. 2 of my pictures made it into this months Railpace magazine. In the New england section of course. The only unfortunate things are I neglected to include the web address and I didn't have a clear shot of the #10. More publicity for us.
Mike

jockellis replied:
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Mike,
You are absolutely correct that snow cannot be predicted. But just like real movie makers, we can plan what will be needed in a film. It doesn't have to be shot on a Christmas train day. It will be the same thing done last year for the Christmas train. Any time of the winter would be a good time to be ready to get some film or pixels shot. Mixed in with some Christmas train footage, no one will know it wasn't all shot the same day. As long as everyone wears the same clothes.
Jock Ellis

James Patten replied:
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There's a distinct possibility that we'll attempt to plow out the line this Saturday.  It would be done with #52, of course.  With the snow/rain/warm cycle we've been getting lately, there may not be much to plow - or it could be an absolute bear with heavy/thick ice on top of the rails.  We'll see.

Mike Fox replied:
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Have fun with that James. Looks like yet another Saturday storm to keep me away. Wish it would only storm Monday thru Thursday.
Mike

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Mike,  I saw your photos in RAILPACE.  That's good exposure in a magazine that concentrates on railroading in the Northeast.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum