Old 05-14-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
Joe the Photog
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Meaning where we have lived. I credit my grandmother's kitchen window for getting me interested in trains first. She lived right across from the Springs Mills Lancaster Complex from where I would watch the L&C switch out the plant using their entire roster at times, SW900s 90 and 91. Depending on time of year, I could also make out the Southern/NS trains passing on the other side of the mill on the SB line. When my grandmother moved, it was my luck that it was too an apartment complex in downtown Lancaster where both of the aforementioned lines interchanged. On Fridays, the L&C would deliver cars to the NS which the NS would pick up on Saturdays. Most of the interchange was actually handled in Chester, but since the L&C didn't work weekends back then, this got the cars to them earlier. NS would also sometimes deliver cars tothe L&C on Saturdays as well.

Later, my wife and I rented a place in Lancaster where you could see the L&C pass outside the kitchen window again. There were a few moves in between, but then I lived in an apartment complex where the L&C passed right outside my window. It was here where I saw them taking new deliveries SW1200s 93 and 94 to Lancaster sans lettering or Springmaid logo.

Later, upon reconcilliation with my first wife, who later became my second wife, we moved to West Memphis, Arkansas into an apartment on Rainer Rd. right across from the UP line out of Memphis to Texas. BNSF had trackage rights so we saw all kinds of power -- UP, SSW, SP, BN, ATSF, BNSF, leasors, CSX, NS.... very cool. The way the apartment faced, we could look out the bedroom window at the back or the living room window in the front depending on the train's direction.

When we moved back to South Carolina, we eventually wound in Columbia where we lived beside the NS and CSX tracks going toward Augusta and Savannah. All of these locations were happenstance. I didn't go out looking for anything trackside, though finding they were beside tracks very likely influenced some of those decisions.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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When I was 4, we moved to the village of Elmo, PA. I could not see the Conrail Clarion Secondary, but could hear the hopper/coal trains rumbling in the distance. I remember when I was around 9 or 10, we were visiting my grandmother who lived right along the passing siding, and there was a coal train parked. My brother and I were climbing on the hoppers, and the train started moving west. My brother jumped off immediately, but since I was sitting on the top, straddling the edge, I got about a 100 foot ride. Ya I know, shame shame. Unfortunately, that line is a thing of the past, but the memories I have of it. I unfortunately did not become a "railfan" until about 4 or 5 years ago when I was researching my worktown railroad of the Knox and Kane and accidentally came across a Robert Shook photo here at RP, and it sparked my appreciation of railroading. Don't take me wrong, I always liked trains, but never really appreciated them until it was too late. What I wouldn't give for a Delorian.

Attached is a close up of this railfan's house. It is actually a photo of my B&O whistle post in our landscaping that I purchased from the Knox and Kane prior to the auction for 1/3 the price that they went for a few weeks later. I live within a baseball's throw of the Knox and Kane's former RR eastern terminus, nee B&O Northern Sub.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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When I was born, my parents lived in a house that bordered the UP Jefferson City Subdivision in Maplewood, MO, 10-20 miles west of St. Louis. It was built in 1895 and it was rumored that it was a railroad boarding house for the Mopac. It had old single paned windows, and the trains shook the house. It was also located conveniently next to a crossover and control point, so trains would stop and sit right outside during the night.
Around 40 trains came by at the time, so I was exposed to many a train in those days. However, we moved around my first birthday, so I don't remember any of that. But my Grandama's house, which was located a few blocks down from the original house, was also on the tracks. So for years I would watch trains right outside her window. Not surprising that I love this hobby so much now!
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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The house I grew up in until I was 10 in Seminole, FL backed up to the SAL mainline between Clearwater, FL and St. Petersburg, FL. I dont have any pictures. Several years after we moved away, the SCL abandoned the trackage in favor of the ACL mainline between those 2 cities. A fire destroyed a large bridge over Bay Pines also around like 1981 and was never rebuilt, which didnt help, cutting it as a through route. The line hosted SAL/SCL passenger trains up to 1968 as well as freight. After the SCL merger the line was mostly redundant and only hosted a local as needed. Locomotives varied from GP7/9, GP30, RS3's, C420's. Toward the end mostly U18b's. The circus train used this line annually up to 1981/82 when the bridge burned and a passenger train detour as required. It was cool to have the railroad in your backyard, but really most of my life that I lived there, the line had seen better days.

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Old 05-15-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Grew up with the P&LE Youghiogheny Branch running thru the middle of the backyard and the B&O mainline clearly visible across the river. Great place!
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:38 AM   #6
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Image © Steven M. Welch
PhotoID: 313691
Photograph © Steven M. Welch
Next to the 25MPH sign is my current house...

Image © Steven M. Welch
PhotoID: 268960
Photograph © Steven M. Welch
My old house in California... Palm tree is in the backyard.
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenmwelch View Post
Image © Steven M. Welch
PhotoID: 313691
Photograph © Steven M. Welch
Next to the 25MPH sign is my current house...

Image © Steven M. Welch
PhotoID: 268960
Photograph © Steven M. Welch
My old house in California... Palm tree is in the backyard.
Nice catch with sun in Missouri! Isn't that pretty uncommon compared to where you used to live??

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Old 05-15-2010, 01:51 AM   #8
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Nice catch with sun in Missouri! Isn't that pretty uncommon compared to where you used to live??

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*looks up and sees clouds* Yeah. You'd think I'd be rich with the gas I've been saving when its cloudy, but I still manage to be broke.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:54 AM   #9
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From birth to six months old, I lived in a house that had a backyard against the Pennsylvania Railroad Mainline through New Jersey. But of course, I have no memory of that. With an exception of an eight month apartment in South Orange NJ overlooking the then Conrail Morristown Line (now NJ Transit Morris & Essex Division) and a four month apartment in North Hollywood CA with a view of the Southern Pacific Coast Line, I have never had a railroad view.

In fact, both my childhood home and the adult home that I have live in longer than my childhood home are in towns without railroad service.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:38 AM   #10
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I do have something to show this time. Damn hard to get light on them and my houes to. Mine is the yellow one on the right 40' off the branch. And it suck's at night to
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:11 AM   #11
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I live near Pittsburgh....need I say more?

But to be more precise, I grew up in Conrail days. My house was 1/4 mile on top of a hill overlooking the town of Bentleyville and the Ellsworth Secondary. When I was a child, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I would just sit by the window and stare at the tracks and wait for something to go down the single main branchline, haha. The mine was busy in those days, and for a single main branchline, it was busy. At least 4 a day, and 90% of the trains were led by 80MAcs. When I got older, 10-12 years old, I knew to listen for the windows to shake and hear the horn blow for one of the 6 crossings in town and would run down the street to one of them to watch it go by. My love of trains in my youth died off when I got older, I started building computers from scratch for a hobby, played in a pro jazz band and worked. One day I went trackside to bring back memories, and here I am now. Bought a camera, moved about 4 miles away from the then CSX Keystone sub now Pittsburgh Sub, moved back close to the never used Ellsworth Secondary and NS Mon Line and now I travel all over the place when I'm not in or around the city. Oddly enough, I dropped playing in the band and building computers and now chase trains, haha.

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Old 05-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #12
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Two years ago, I bought a condo in Greenville, and I can see the Carolina Coastal from every window...albeit looking through the trees. And to think the real estate agent tried to apologize for the train! Unfortunately, the view is pretty bad in the summer thanks to the foliage.

Though not a residence, about half of my high school's windows faced G&O's Nash County Rwy which always sounded great with 567's handling long grain trains over a short but steep hill up from the Tar River.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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Here is the view from my parents' backyard. NEC in Glenolden, PA. Good times, good times.....
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