Friday, September 30, 2011


This is a wireframe view of my 3-D rendition of the K-36, showing only stuff basically below the running boards and without the rear frame and pilot frame. I turned off the layers for the wheels, axles, counterweights and a few other layers so the print would look something besides a mass of undecipherable black ink.

Working on this particular drawing for more than 30 minutes a stretch is a good way to go blind.

I keep asking myself: "Why am I doing this?"

Beats watching TV all day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


just a few of many:


It's main claim to fame was that it sported a new type of shock absorber that provided a smoother and quieter ride. Seems to me that it would be the rail that did that.


This was the world's first coal-burning steam turbine-electric locomotive . It was 154 feet, 9 3/4 inches long, including it's water tender, and had a top speed of 100mph. The engine alone weighed 411 1/2 tons.

Why was it named the "500"? Well... that was 20% better than calling it the "400", shown above.


Adjustable coach seats - indirect lighting - complete air-conditioning - ash trays at every seat - radio in every car - stewardess - registered nurse - beautifully appointed lounge car - delicious inexpensive meals - tickets at ordinary fares.

That's what it says on the back of this card.

NO, the headlight was not referred to as the "Green Lantern".


"Haiwathas"? Yes, there was more than one. At the time, they were considered as the most popular trains in the world.


For a long time, I thought that there was only one "ZEPHYR" and that it went between Denver and somewhere else, that it was the only ever train made of stainless steel, and that it was the only one with that unique front end. Silly me. The railroads, like any other company, were quick to jump on a popular concept and ride it into the ground.

A few of the many ZEPHYRS below:

Yes, it's the "Denver and somewhere" ZEPHYR of my childhood days.

Then there's the below ZEPHYR that did not even get near Denver: The Chicago, Omaha and Lincoln unit.

But it looked like what a true ZEPHYR should look like.

Then came along the Texas ZEPHYR:

Definitely not a true streamlined stainless steel ZEPHYR, it was an attempt to cash in on the magic and allure of the ZEPHYR legend. Perhaps those cars were stainless steel, but I'll bet some very serious money(up to a maximum of one federal reserve dollar) that those very ordinary A and B unit diesels were most likely just painted silver.

And then there's those strange people back on the East coast that wanted their very own ZEPHYR, but just couldn't abide calling it what everybody else did, so they named their ZEPHYR the "FLYING YANKEE". Heh... Maybe they were secretly wishing for more airplanes.

This ZEPHYR was owned and operated by the Boston & Maine RR.

I suppose I should be a bit more diplomatic when bringing up Texans and Yankees - since my wife was born and raised in Boston - and we both live in Texas now.

As usual, you can left click to enlarge all the photos.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


I'll post one every now and again...

The Albuquerque & Ashfork RPO:

Ash Fork, Arizona. A few miles west of Williams on U.S. 40. Population in 2007: 573, consisting of 353 males, 220 females. Not a good place for bachelors.

A water and fuel stop for the ATSF, it's apparently a place that never suffered growing pains.

As usual, click on the pics to enlarge.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Here's a quick print of about 25 layers of the K-36 drawing put together.

Eveything matches up... I'm as suprised as anybody.

Only one layer of dimensions is visible, turn them all on and nothing is readable.

Been a long, long haul doing this.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


The back of the card pretty much says it all...

It's a chuckle to read that this was thought to be the "last of the Western Narrow Gauge".


Awhile back, I posted a view of some trains at the "Century of Progress Exposition, reposted below:

It prompted this reply from Randy:

Bob, the "Century of Progress" was the 1933/34 world fair held in Chicago, at which the Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr was also introduced. Since your postcard does not have the Zephyr (which was on display during the summer of 1934) I think it's from 1933.

I was recently rummaging through the post card collection and sure enough, there was a card with the Zephyr shown and dated as 1934:

It takes hours to go though the collection just once, so it's not surprising that I missed this card earlier.

I have often thought to index and organize all the cards, but I don't think I have enough time left to to that on top of the other things I'm trying to finish up.

Truthfully, I'm just to lazy to do it.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


I've added more to the backhead while at the same time some pipes and fittings have been moved a bit to aid visualization of how and where things are going.

After looking over a lot of my notes and photos of various K-36's, I'm not a bit concerned if what I show is not like any particular locomotive. Seems all of the locos were plumbed any old way handy. My only concern at this point is to make certain (as possible) that the connections are correct.

The backhead so far:
left click to enlarge

I have now positioned it in reference to the cab and frame since many of the items to be added are cab or floor mounted, such as the now added Johnson Bar.

There are still lots of pipes and outlets going nowhere, and the throttle lever is just an outline for position.

The side elevations are coming along... Although a bit slower.