Rail Memories, Part II

Last post I shared some vignettes where I have done a little modelling to capture poignant rail memories.  This post I will share additional photos I took when I was a teenager of other scenes that evoke special memories that I may seek to at least partially evoke through modelling in the future (somehow).

Frito Lay Plant in Houston c. 1978-80

BN Hopper at Frito-Lay on Griggs Rpad in Houston July 1978 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN Hopper at Frito-Lay on Griggs Road in Houston July 1978. (Love the old tank car too) –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I loved riding by the Frito-Lay plant in the late 1970s.  There was almost always a tank car and a covered hopper, and it was frequently switched out.  The covered hoppers were almost BN or predecessor roads.  CB&Q and a variety of NP cars (green and gray) were common.

NP at Frito-Lay Jan 1979--©photo by C. E. Hunt

NP at Frito-Lay Jan 1979–©photo by C. E. Hunt

Wish I had taken many more photos there!

Cabooses!

Caboose on MP freight near Houston, August 1979. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Caboose on MP freight near Houston, August 1979. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I loved when cabooses trailed the train.  It was a nice closing to the experience of seeing a freight train.  It gave you closure as a rail fan.  It was a consolation prize of the train ending and gave the closing a human touch–especially as a kid, when a rail employee would wave to you.  It was as though the entire train was saying good bye.

Rock Island caboose in Houston in August of 1979 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Rock Island caboose in Houston in August of 1979 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN caboose in Houston in May of 1980. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN caboose in Houston in May of 1980. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Almost mythical, lonesome branch lines

Prescott and Northwestern at Tokio ARK on the way to the gypsum mine Aug 1978

Prescott and Northwestern at Tokio, ARK on the way to the gypsum mine August 1978 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

There were special places across the landscape that had a mythical quality where you dream of seeing trains but never did.  One such place was near my Uncle Arnold and Aunt Molly’s farm in Arkansas.  Near their farm was a lonesome line that went off to a very small gypsum mine.  I did a post on this mine last year.  I finally found some of the photos I was looking for for that post, but I never found the picture of the Gypsum mine I took.

Prescott and Northwestern, Prescott, AR, August 1979 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Prescott and Northwestern, Prescott, AR, August 1979 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW in Prescott, AR--©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW in Prescott, AR–©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW Caboose in Prescott, AR, 1979--©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW Caboose in Prescott, AR, 1979–©photo by C. E. Hunt

For many summers I hoped to catch the little train winding its way through the woods and over the hills to the mine.  I only captured it in my imagination.

The Southern Pacific

SP on Griggs Road, August 1978--©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP on Griggs Road, August 1978–©photo by C. E. Hunt

I grew up near a Southern Pacific line.   The line saw a lot of locals and an occasional long freight,  I vividly recall one highlight that took place at night. I remember a Southern (not Southern Pacific) caboose slowly trailing a long freight headed east.  I still remember being able to look inside because it was illuminated.  Funny how certain memories stick with you.  When I would go to bed at night and hear diesel horns from that direction, I would sometimes imagine what kind of train was passing on the line.

Also RS11#2926 on Griggs Road in July of 1978. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Also RS11#2926 on Griggs Road in July of 1978. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP switcher servicing-warehouses on Griggs Road in January of 1979.  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP switcher servicing-warehouses on Griggs Road in January of 1979. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Those were the days.  I have more to share in Part III.

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.