1. The Frisco in my region (and historical railroading in my region in general).
2. The Colorado Midland.
3. Colorado narrow gauge.
As for interests 1 and 2, obtaining pictorial records, trackplans, engine and equipment rosters, anecdotal info, all in pre-printed (and high dollar) hardbound is as easy as eBay, Amazon, and used/new book dealers. I have shelves full of those two subjects.
It's that first subject that is hard to find pictures and information concerning. Now understand that Mike Condren, Gordon Mott, Lou Marre, and a few others, documented the diesel era pretty good. For modern steam, Charles Winters and a few others did a good job. No, the dearth I'm talking about is early stuff, mainly. Pics and information on the early years of railroading in these parts is very far and few between.
Well, every now and then I root up a nugget concerning the most obscure of my pet interests: Rail history/artifcats from my region.
I offer them below for your perusal. What you're looking at is possibly the only two known photographs depicting a portion of the rail facilities at Huntington, Arkansas, circa 1890's. I know, not much is evidenced in these... but what is there really piques my interest.
Up first is the overall shot of some of the rail facilities at Huntington. Frankly, I'm a bit perplexed in understanding the arrangement of track that is going on here. Obviously, to the right and curving around the peak of the hill and on out of sight is the main, and a pass and a back track.
However, the long tangent between the main and the mine building? Could be a supply track and a place to spot coal for the powerhouse? (Why would they spot coal at a coal mine, though?)
It would appear that the brakeman is "clubbing" the loaded car down the incline toward the connection with the main, or to a small holding yard between the mine and the main?
Next pic is a closeup of the mine itself. What a wonderful structure full of character! Notice the very low height on the loading conveyor? Better not run the engine in too far! Also note how DANGEROUSLY close the two tracks are spaced. May only be an optical illusion, but there appears to be NO WAY a man could ride the side of a car into that spot!
If any of you have ideas as to what we're seeing here, or you may notice some detail you find interesting, please share it here!
In all, both of these photos are just dandy's that really whet my appetite for more to surface. Ah well... dream on!
Said it before... I'll say it again: Really a shame it takes so long to create route content for train sims. There are SO many projects I'd love to build!