Rail Memories, Part I

Lance Mindheim’s blog recently had a nice post on why people model railroads.  He offered many categories. One of his categories talked about pleasant memories.  (BTW, Lance is one of the day’s masters and I highly recommend his blog.)

“Visual Satisfaction:  Often we want to be transported to a time and place that evokes pleasant memories.”

That got me to thinking why do I model, and his words struck a chord.  That is indeed one of the reasons I model and likely explains why for now I have shifted my layout more toward the early 1980s.  I have many pleasant memories of just me and my camera, smelling creosote, filled with excitement of seeing a new paint scheme or new type of equipment or capturing an old “dinosaur” still roaming the rails.  (See this post for a NP dinosaur I captured in the early 1990s.)

This post offers a small sampling of how my “pleasant memories” are beginning to frame my modelling efforts.

Mykawa Yard in Houston, Texas

I took dozens of photos at this yard in the late 1970s.  I was 16 years old and thrilled to have a hand me down camera from my Uncle Kenneth–a very manual Minolta.  I mostly shot Kodachrome 64.  Below is my first real rail encounter with my camera.  The sunlight was challenging because the clouds were moving fast.  Hard to beleive how well I remember this moment!

Mykawa Yard, Houston, TX 1978--©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Mykawa Yard, Houston, TX 1978–©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Adjacent cars.--©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Adjacent cars.–©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Otherside, sunlighted changed. --©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Otherside, sunlighted changed. –©Photo by C.E. Hunt

I was so taken, I had to have a picture of the inside too!--©Photo by C.E. Hunt

I was so taken, I had to have a picture of the inside too!–©Photo by C.E. Hunt

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PFE car on my layout. I love this car and it does evoke memories! This is a great Intermountain product. I have two more to weather in the future.

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What a great brand, logo or whatever! That alone evokes a lot of great memories for me. These were common all over the the nation during my childhood and beyond. As a college student, I remember seeing a string of PFE cars stored on a lead to a power plant near Texas A&M University (Class of ’89).

Bossier City Yard near Shreveport, LA

In the fall of 1978, we visited my sister stationed at Barksdale AFB.  It was there I encountered the Illinois Central Gulf.

The first ICG locomotive I "met" in person.  Bossier City yard, fall of 1978. --©Photo by C.E. Hunt

The first ICG locomotive I “met” in person. Bossier City yard, fall of 1978. It was GP-18 #9423 –©Photo by C.E. Hunt (There is a neat photo of it in black from 1976 on RRPicturearchives.net. It is amazing how fast it got so dirty in a couple of years.)

Bossier City Yard --©Photo by C.E. Hunt

Bossier City Yard –©Photo by C.E. Hunt

A caboose with a side door! --©Photo by C.E. Hunt

A caboose with a side door! I like the ACL boxcar too! –©Photo by C.E. Hunt

ICG Shreveport LA Jan 1978 III

This one captured my eye!–©Photo by C.E. Hunt

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I have a number of these. As usual, Tangent did a remarkable job on these early ICG covered hoppers. This model is stock except a little very light weathering and the addition of scale wheels.

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Another great Tangent car. Again stock except for a trace of weather and scale wheels. This car would have been almost new in my era.

Part II will feature additional vignettes I’d like to model in the future featuring Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Northern Pacific, Frisco and Burlington Northern memories.

(Note: If you like the ICG or BN flatcars, see my last post also.

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