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Steam Spoken HERE. 3/16/11

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#1 laming


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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:43 PM

Hi All!

There's been a lot of stuff happening, yet also not much happening. biggrin.gif

As for not much happening:

I have reached a couple of stalled points on my rail laying on my Frisco Lines obsession.

On the mainline, the rails are stalled at Rogers, AR. I need to do some field checking there.

Also, though the rails have reached Pettigrew on the St. Paul Branch, Pettigrew holds much mystery for me... so the actual track of Pettigrew has not been placed.

Thus, the rails sit at both points.

Now, as for lots of stuff happening:

As for that Rogers, field trip: I'm awaiting the next trip to Springdale (take the wife to see the her aging parents) to accomplish that. Barring the unforeseen, said Springdale trip should take place this Sunday, the 20th.

As for Pettigrew: Barring the weather prohibiting, Sharon and I will be loading up the 4WD Blazer and heading out to the Ozarks bright and early this Saturday for some field recon along the eastern end of the St. Paul Branch, including Pettigrew. Goal is to attempt to determine how the known track schematic fit among the lay of the land. We also intend to get out in the mountains and become reacquainted with the drivable, and some hiking portions, of the Black Mountain & Eastern roadbed.

PLUS: This coming Springdale trip (Sunday), I have arranged to meet Tom to return the St. Paul Branch track chart... AND to view the BM&E track MAP. (That is, the BM&E map is NOT a straight-line schematic, as is the case with the St. Paul Branch chart, but this is a scale MAP drawn as an evaluation map "back then".) I intend to take digital photos of the BM&E map so I can use it as a reference to lay track on my version of the BM&E! Now how cool is THIS??? cool.gif


The Frisco Lines route CD's, version 030911, has been received by the beta testers and the rails are being test run as I type, and will continue to be so over the next few weeks. Looking forward to hearing feedback from them.

So... the above catches you up to date on the state of the Frisco Lines obsession.

I have much more to say and some pics to post in regards to my love affair with steam, the TOC19 era in particular... but this post is already long enough!

With that, I'll leave you with an overview map from Activity Editor of the current state of the Frisco Lines!

See 'ya!!

Attached Files

#2 TheGrindre



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Posted 17 March 2011 - 12:29 AM

Looks all very interesting, Andre. Have fun this weekend.

Question, will the Ozark Northern fit in here somewhere?

#3 scottb613



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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:49 AM

"Steam Spoken HERE."

Is there any other kind ???


#4 laming


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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:23 PM

Replies! Cool! cool.gif


The Frisco Lines is a completely separate route in the ROUTES folder than the Ozark Northern.

Merging the two would result in a lot of loss for either the Frisco Lines or the Ozark Northern, for they both use the same tiles from Brashears to east of St. Paul. Plus, once the BM&E is built, then the area around Cass would also be in jeopardy. Besides, both routes are based on totally different concepts:

1. The Ozark Northern is BASED on prototype PRACTICES of railroads in the REGION, and is even in some prototype locations... but also has had "poetic license" employed. smile.gif

2. The Frisco Lines is BASED on PROTOTYPES and is, as much as practical, an accurate recreation of historical rails and towns.


I guess not!


As for TOC19... and STEAM...

My trek to being fixated on the TOC19 era was somewhat convoluted... but made sense once the journey was accomplished. I'll try to share it quickly here...

Prior to March of 1976, I was strictly a diesel enthusiast. Further, I modeled what I saw. That is, until they started junking my favorite locomotives that I grew up with! (F's and Geeps.) This sort of coerced me into becoming a "period" modeler, and staying with my railroading formative years: F's and Geeps.

THEN... something amazing happened: My discovery of steam in March 1976 via the GS4 Freedom Train.

This was a first, for I had never seen a steam locomotive in action, ever. Wow... how DIFFERENT they were! That stack talk... the glorious steam and smoke shooting skyward... that rod action... and that mournful, wonderful, whistle! Standing on an overhead bridge near Ramona, OK on a cold crisp night, as that GS4 came storming my way (the whistle echoing through the night), I knew this exposure was doing something to me... but didn't realize how MUCH it was doing.

Once home, I begin to check out books at the library about steam... Arkansas steam in particular. Two pivotal books really hit home:

* "The North Arkansas Line", by Dr. James Fair.

* "Shortline Railroads of Arkansas", by Clifton Hull.

I learned of an entire world, complete with its own "look", that had existed in the past throughout the region I lived in. Places that are NOWHERE now... was SOMEPLACE "then". Empty roadbeds that I had often wondered about, now begin to be understood a bit better. There were even new empty roadbeds to find and discover, courtesy of the pages of these books.

I also begin to see a typical trend with many of the small and independent lines:

* Someone had a dream to build a railroad.

* The dream begins to become reality.

* Boom times begin for the towns reached by the new rails.

* Growth and development as the rails matured.

* Then the depression... and the smaller lines in particular were hard hit.

* The slow, agonizing, descent from a thriving line to one in its death throes.

* Then the inevitable: Abandonment.

Reading of the slow death of a railroad was always the melancholy part. When the last paragraph was read, and the line was no more, there was always a bit of sadness in it. Instead, it was always much more interesting to read of road's inception and boom times... and the excitement of a new railroad comin' to town.

It took a while for the above to become obvious, but it eventually did. I have now been completely comfortable with my love affair with TOC19 steam for about two decades.

Though the Freedom train of 1976 could be termed "The Awakening", for it really awakened me to the fascinating world of steam power. However, it really wasn't until a VERY eventful cab ride in the early 80's on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas that REALLY hooked me on steam.

However, that story would best be told another time.

For now, though, suffice it to say that my appreciation for TOC19 is very, VERY ingrained. You needn't look further than my released routes to see that. TOC19 wins at a 2 to 1 margin. (However, you ought to see my hard drive and the many TOC19 style route projects that have been experimented with!)

Argghhhh! I've done it again! I've typed another Novelette!!! (i.e. Loooong post.) And I'm not even to the photos yet!

Oh well... all for now. See 'ya later alligator!

#5 laming


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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:11 PM


Today's rendezvous with "Tom" to view the Black Mountain & Eastern track chart didn't quite go as planned. sad.gif

Out of time for tonight... more later. Film at 11. tongue.gif

#6 S. Weaver

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:28 PM

Standing by ... We'll never mind yer chatter.

#7 laming


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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:38 PM

The plan was simple and prearranged: Drop off Sharon to see her folks, head over to the meeting place... and feast my eyes on the BM&E track map. (Oh, and return the St. Paul Branch track chart.)

Pulling into the parking lot a minute early, Tom was already there. We said our how-do's and out comes the stuff from my car and his... sort of.

"I hate to tell you this, but I couldn't find the BM&E track map."

Say what????

My heart sunk. sad.gif

Sure 'nuf, Tom doesn't know where he put it, or if he loaned it and it was not returned.

Big bummer. No, HUGE bummer!

I was SOOO looking forward to being able to do have the resources to produce a reasonably accurate job of laying the track of the BM&E route. Now I'm back to textual descriptions and best guesses as to which side of the main the pass tracks were on, the depots, etc, etc.

However, we did have a good visit, and I was able to share a few BM&E pictures with Tom that he hadn't seen before.

Still though, it's pretty disappointing.

One new "you don't say?" cropped up about the BM&E: Tom feels he's unearthed evidence that the proposed "extension" to circumvent the switchbacks was not just proposed, but constructed. This is news. He also says he found the extension roadbed. Weather holding (i.e. read a very near future Saturday with cool temperatures), Sharon and I are planning to go hiking and try to find this new tidbit and hike it out. IF this proves to be accurate, this changes my mental perception of the BM&E in a major way. Interesting.

After bidding Tom adieu, I was off to Rogers to see if indeed there was a slight curve in the middle of town as I suspected there was from the topos and photomaps. Sure 'nuf... there is a small curve right in the center of town. Pics snapped, it was back to Springdale to visit with my in-laws a bit before heading for the house. The Rogers Riddle solved, I can now lay track in Rogers.

In all, this past weekend was a great getaway, yet a bit of a disappointment in regards to the BM&E track map.

Now... do I build a switchback version, or the extension version of the Black Mountain & Eastern???