STAND BACK! (Photo by BobbaLew.)
—We are still in Tyrone (“tie-RONE;” as in “own”), like last month.
The February 2016 entry from my own
calendar is a westbound rounding the curve past Tyrone’s station.
04T, Amtrak’s eastbound Pennsylvanian,
has made its Tyrone station-stop, at the tiny phonebooth that serves as Amtrak’s Tyrone station.
Norfolk Southern 11A is off the Nittany & Bald Eagle
, and the Nittany & Bald Eagle local has ventured up its mainline (the old Pennsy Bald Eagle branch).
Norfolk Southern 10A, the northbound counterpart of 11A, has gone up into Tyrone on its Nittany & Bald Eagle trackage-rights.
It’s waiting for the Nittany & Bald Eagle local to clear off the main.
Some of this action comprised my January calendar-picture.
Suddenly a horn blared, and grade-crossing lights started flashing. Gates dropped.
A westbound blasted Tyrone on Track One. 04T had made its station-stop on Two, which is normally westbound.
Tyrone is where the old Pennsy turned east toward Harrisburg through a notch in the mountains, and the Juniata (“june-eee-AT-uh”) River threads it too.
Pennsy was following the Juniata.
The railroad pretty much follows the line as originally laid out.
It was John Edgar Thomson
back in the early 1840s.
Thomson had previously engineered railroads in Georgia, and used past experience locating Pennsy.
Surveys had been made to locate Pennsy up on mountainsides to ease the grade over Allegheny summit.
But Thomson located the railroad in valleys, and then took on Allegheny Mountain with a giant leap
Mountainside location would have eased gradients, but traffic was down in valleys.
Thomson also used a trick to ease the grade over Allegheny summit. That’s Horseshoe Curve
, the greatest engineering marvel of the original Pennsy.
Pennsy was so proud of it they used to stop passenger-trains mid-curve so passengers could view it.
“From the rear of the train you can see the locomotive.”
It made crossing Allegheny Mountain possible.
Previously Allegheny Mountain had made trade with the nation’s interior extremely difficult. One of the best-looking cars of all time. (Photo by Dan Lyons©.)
—The February 2016 entry in my Tide-mark Classic-Car calendar
is one of the best-looking classic cars of all time
, the 1955 Oldsmobile Super-88 Holiday two-door hardtop.
The ’55 Olds has the most garish two-tone color scheme of all, but it looks great.
Oldsmobile stepped away from building turkeys — that is, they looked like turkeys, but they had Oldsmobile’s phenomenal overhead-valve Rocket V8 motor.
But Olds was moving upmarket. The first Rocket V8s were plunked in a lightweight Chevy body. They were the scourge of NASCAR, which at that time was still racing actual stock cars available at dealers.
As the ‘50s began, Oldsmobile began building bloated turkeys. They were on Buick’s body, individualized to be Oldsmobiles.
Chevy and Pontiac did that too.
General Motors was moving toward standard bodies and chassis used across car makes. Oldsmobile was one of the B-O-P cars: Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac.
Change started in the 1954 model-year, a switch to a larger leaner-looking body.
1955 found full-flower.
The GM-bump — that dip in the side window-sill — was where the two-tone paint-scheme began. Same with the ’54, but the ’55 was much more dashing.
That body lasted though the 1956 model-year. The ’56 Olds wasn’t as good-looking as the ’55.
For 1957 GM cars became giant glitzmobiles, bloated bodies and acres of chrome. Even Chevy went that way with its ’58 Impala.
With 1956, Olds began its downfall. 1957 was a bloat-mobile, and for 1958 Olds was no longer the exciting car it was in 1955. It became glitz.
I notice this car has a windshield-visor. It doesn’t need it;
if anything, I think it looks stupid.
The ’55 Olds is one of the best-looking cars of all time
. It doesn’t need gee-gaws.
Hardtops are no longer made — that is, a steel roof on pillarless side-windows. Hardtops had little crush-resistance like sedans with their side-pillars.
Even convertibles now-a-days have integral rollbars inside extending above the occupants’ heads.
Heaven forbid you roll a convertible or hardtop in days of yore. The roof would crush down to the body and trap the occupants, maybe even decapitate them.
But the hardtop looked great,
open and airy. Convertibles also had pillarless side-windows, so hardtops were a metal roof, as opposed to a cloth roof, on pillarless side-windows.Too good to pass up. (Photo by Philip Makanna©.)
—I normally try to interlace my train-calendar pictures among the others, but this one is too good to pass up.
If it weren’t for the fact the ’55 Oldsmobile is one of the best-looking cars of all time
, I’d have run it first after my own calendar.
The February 2016 entry of my Ghosts WWII warbirds calendar
is a North American Texan
At first I thought it a Douglas Dauntless
, and was pleased photographer Makanna made it look so good.
My trigger was that rear-facing gunner. A Dauntless had the same thing.
Photographer Makanna probably sits in this location with his big telephoto.
Texan trainers are a dime-a-dozen;
about 350 remain airworthy.
As I understand it, the Texan trainer was the last stop before letting fighter-jockeys try the Mustang
They’re fairly friendly, but more challenging than a Stearman
A Texan is good for 205 mph, and was known as “the pilot-maker.”
That engine-cowl threw me off; it doesn’t look like the Douglas Dauntless.
Our 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush, flew Dauntlesses in combat during WWII. He even got shot down once, rescued at sea after parachuting.
Our current presidents avoid combat at all costs, yet are happy to send others into combat.
My WWII warbirds site says the Texan had no armament — so that rear-facing gunner is an exception.Last days for Pennsy steam. (Photo by Robert Malinoski.)
—Steam-locomotive usage was winding down on the Pennsylvania Railroad. This picture is February 24th, 1957; steam-locomotive usage on Pennsy would end in a few months.
The February 2016 entry in my All-Pennsy color calendar
is an M-1 Mountain (4-8-2), the finest steam-locomotive Pennsy ever had.
Also in the picture are two Pennsy Decapods (2-10-0), also ready for service.
The picture is at the engine-terminal in Williamsport, PA.
It could be said the M-1 was intended to replace the K-4 Pacific (4-6-2).
But that didn’t happen.
The K-4 wasn’t that good but good enough doubleheaded.
locomotive crews per train; extravagant,
but Pennsy could afford it.
It also could be said the M-1 was the last successful steam-engine Pennsy developed.
Pennsy developed others after WWII, but their success is debatable.
While other railroads were developing or purchasing big-drivered 4-8-4s in the ‘30s, Pennsy was pouring investment into electrification.
Would that they developed a steamer as good as the GG-1
electric, the BEST
locomotive of all time.
So when WWII inundated Pennsy with its tidal-wave of war-traffic, they were stuck with old tired steam-engines.
And they weren’t allowed to develop replacements.
They had to shop outside.
The J-1 2-10-4 is not a Pennsy design. It’s Chesapeake & Ohio’s SuperPower T-1 built by Alco, dolled up to be a Pennsy engine. It doesn’t have Pennsy’s standard Belpaire
The M-1 was an all-purpose locomotive. Its drivers were only 72 inches in diameter, not the 80 inches of the K-4, and many 4-8-4s.
The M-1 had the gigantic boiler of the I-1 Decapod, but its fire-grate was only 70 square feet, fairly large, but not 100.
What made it such a good runner was a large combustion-chamber ahead of that firebox — to better burn its coal.
M-1 Mountains were extremely well-suited
for Pennsy’s Middle Division, the long slightly uphill grade from Harrisburg to Altoona. It was following the Juniata River, a so-called “river grade.”
Railroads often located next to rivers.
The original Baltimore & Ohio located along the Potomac River.
An M-1 on a freight might average 40-50 mph to Altoona.
The last steam-engine on Pennsy was an I-1 Decapod into Altoona on a coal-train from Cresson (“kress-in”) PA — November 27th, 1957.Wauseon, OH, station is at right, now a location for railroad memorabilia. (Photo by Tim Calvin.)
—This picture looks like something my brother or I might take.
Too much foreground.
The February 2016 entry of my Norfolk Southern Employees’ Photography-Contest calendar
is a trailer-train from Chicago heading east.
My brother and I see many trains like this at Allegheny Crossing.
Trailer-on-flatcar goes back a long way. Railroads discovered it was possible to make money shipping highway-trailers on railroad flatcars.
This was 1950s on, maybe even late ‘40s.
Trucking companies loved it. It avoids paying multiple drivers.
I see the lead engine is a 6300, #6315, an SD40-E
The SD40-E is an EMD SD-50
downrated by Norfolk Southern to 3,000 horsepower. The SD-50 was 3,500 and overstressed.
I’ve seen many SD40-Es, but in double-sets of helpers for Allegheny summit. The SD40-Es replaced SD40-2s used as helpers for years.
I also notice the Lackawanna Heritage-Unit, #1074, as the second unit. 1074 is one of 20 Heritage-units painted by Norfolk Southern in paint-schemes of predecessor railroads.
1074 is Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, which merged with Erie Railroad in 1960 to form Erie-Lackawanna.
Both lines had Buffalo extensions; DL&W was primarily to Buffalo.
The Norfolk Southern line east out of Buffalo is Erie’s Buffalo extension, which later became part of Erie-Lackawanna.
|The Erie Heritage-Unit. (Photo by Mike Ramey©.)|
The old Erie main across southern NY is now a Norfolk Southern line to New York City. There also is an Erie Heritage-Unit, #1068.
The Heritage-units are used as regular road-power.
I think by now my brother and I would avoid too much foreground.
But in Ohio a photographer is not dealing with a mountain railroad, with many curves and tunnels.
What the photographer is trying to get is old railroad stations, and we have an elegant one here.
It’s just that including a railroad station often forces too much foreground.
The old railroad station in Tyrone, PA is gorgeous,
but I have yet to be able to successfully include it in a photograph. Chop not! (Photo by Scott Williamson.)
—My cleaning-lady and I recently had a discussion about this car.
She likes hotrods.
“I’d buy it in a minute,” she said.
“Not this kid!” I said.
“I know, you don’t like chopping the top of Ford’s five-window coupe.”
|A 1939 Ford five-window coupe.|
|A Ford three-window coupe.|
|A 1941 Willys three-window coupe.|
“The ’39 Ford five-window coupe is one of the BEST
-looking cars of all time
,” I said. “You don’t chop the top.”
The February 2016 entry in my Oxman Hotrod Calendar
is a 1936 Ford five-window coupe — obviously chopped;
six inches.Scrunch the driver!
thing is to chop the top on one of the prettiest cars of all time
; a disaster.
It appears the lines of the five-window coupe began in 1936 — in fact, there was a three-window coupe at that time.
But by 1939, Ford’s three-window coupe was gone.
And good riddance,
since it looked stupid.
But for 1939 the five-window coupe had perfect
lines and proportions‚ although I think the ’41 Willys three-window looked fine.
While I was growing up as a teenager, living in northern DE, my family lived near a neighbor that had a ’39-’40 Ford five-window parked out back, shorn of its front clip.
Word had it the owner was planning to wrench in a Rocket Olds V8.
I never got to look at it up close — it was black, the makings of a very desirable hotrod.
For 1939 Ford designed a new front-clip.
The front fenders were more bulbous, and no longer flowed into the running-boards.
I’d like to know who approved that, since it looked much better.
Ford didn’t have a Styling-Department; unlike General Motors, which despite its “Art and Colour Section” fielded some of the worst
looking turkeys of all time
Ford’s styling was essentially “Bob” Gregorie
, with input from Edsel Ford, son of Old Henry. Despite bad-mouthing from his father, Edsel promulgated some of the best-looking cars of all time
, the Model-A, the 1932 Ford, and the ’34.
Edsel’s last car was the 1949 Mercury.
Old Henry thought styling a waste,
and Edsel a dandy.
Too bad Edsel had a car named after him that looked awful and bombed.
Old Henry thought the Model-T was all America needed. Ford almost tanked because Old Henry wouldn’t admit American car-buyers wanted more — the Model-A, which is much more “normal” than the Model-T.
In fact, Ford almost tanked again in the late ‘40s, except Old Henry’s grandson, Henry Ford II, pushed through the revolutionary 1949 Ford, the first Ford with a modern chassis: no transverse buggy-springs.
Compared to a ’39 Chevy, the ’39 Ford looks much better. —As long as you stick with the coupes; the sedans were beetle-bombs.
Years ago, probably about 1990, I went to south Jersey to celebrate the 90th birthday of an uncle. He was living with my cousin in the south Jersey pines — not the Pine-Barrens
, but where they began.
My brother-from-Boston had come down too, and we noticed a metallic-green ’40 Ford five-window coupe motoring into the development.
My brother and I immediately gave chase; we’re both car-guys.
We caught up with the five-window; its owner was driving back from a car-show.
The car had a 350-Chevy and air-conditioning.
What I remember most was how small the car seemed inside; like occupants had gotten much bigger.The car looked fine.
The only thing wrong was the color. The top had not been chopped.
Chopping the top of a five-window would be a struggle.
Whoever chopped this calendar-car did a stellar
job. Perfect lines and no sign of shortcuts.
But the top of Ford’s five-window coupe should not be chopped. Plus the front clip of the ’39-’40 Ford looks much better.
Chopping that top turns it into a gun-turret.
For gearheads the motor is a supercharged SmallBlock, 650 horsepower. Not a Pennsy electric. (Photo courtesy Joe Suo Collection©.)
—Despite the “Pennsylvania” scrip on the side of the locomotive, FF-2 #7 is not a Pennsy engine.
The February 2016 entry of my Audio-Visual Designs black-and-white All-Pennsy Calendar
is FF-2 #7 in front of the railroad-station in Columbia, PA.
It’s actually Great Northern, probably too big to fit through the tubes under the Hudson into New York City.
When Great Northern gave up its electrification, Pennsy decided they could use these behemoths.
They were helpers out of the Susquehanna River valley toward Philadelphia.
They ran as far east as Thorndale, PA on the Pennsy main.
The line to Columbia was the original railroad from Philadelphia to Columbia in the Susquehanna River valley.
Columbia is where the cross-state canal system began — the vaunted State Public Works System that eventually failed.
Pennsy made it moribund.
Pennsy came to own the railroad from Philadelphia, but used a more direct route to Harrisburg.
It left Public Works at Parkesburg (“parks-burg;” not “parkers-burg”).
Pennsy came to own the line to Columbia, but kept it because it could be incorporated to get freights east from Enola Yard
Getting up out of the Susquehanna River valley is not difficult, but it is
The FF-2s could be used as helpers, or lead a train.
They don’t look like Pennsy electrics, which had to be small
to fit the Hudson tubes.
Note both pantographs (“panta-GRAFFS”) are up. The FF-2 had to have both pantographs up.
|In color. (Photo by Jim Buckley.)|
I also have a color picture of an FF-2 that ran in 2011 in my All-Pennsy Color Calendar. The calendar-picture appears to be a black-and-white version of the same photograph.
The FF-2 is waiting to help eastbound freight to Thorndale.
It’s worth noting the FF-2 (2-6-0 + 0-6-2) is using the same class-numbering as the GG-1
(4-6-0 + 0-6-4); “F” being the 2-6-0 steam-engine — Gs were 4-6-0; e.g. the G-5
—I don’t even know what this thing is.
And the calendar doesn’t tell me; it doesn’t identify the cars.
The February 2016 entry in my Jerry Powell “Classic-Car” calendar is unknown.
I was thinking it might be a late ‘30s Chrysler product.
I happened to be poking around, so I fired up Google-Images of ’37-’40 Chryslers, particularly Imperials, since it seemed to be a special-bodied car.
Look carefully and you’ll see it’s a half-sedan. The chauffeur is out there in the open, to get rained or snowed on.
Yet her Royal Hiney is safely ensconced in back, closed off from the weather.
Nope; not a Chrysler product.
I was thinking maybe “LeBaron,” so Googled “LeBaron.” It fired up Chrysler’s LeBaron of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, based on the humble K-car.
It also said something about LeBaron being a standalone coach-builder from the ‘20s and ‘30s that built special bodies for chassis supplied by car-makers — e.g. Packard, Cadillac, Lincoln and Duesenberg.
LeBaron was bought by Briggs, which was merged by Chrysler in 1953.
Briggs was another specialist coach-builder.
“Landau?” Not as far as I knew. A Landau has a hinged metal bar on the side of the top.
Not a Landau.So what is it?
A Buick, a Studebaker, definitely not a Packard; and I don’t think it’s a Caddy.
Whatever it is, it’s special.
Probably a body assembled by a specialist coach-builder installed on a regular car-chassis. That half-sedan body says that.
And it has to be one of the last such cars made. By the late ‘30s chauffeurs were brought in out of the weather.
An uncle was chauffeur for the mega-rich Pew (“Pyoo;” as in church-pew) family near Philadelphia, scion of the Sunoco fortune.
He and his family lived in a small apartment over Pew’s gigantic garage.
Pew had a huge
selection of cars, including a Roll-Royce.
But the car he used to get to work, the one my uncle drove, was a humble ’48 Dodge sedan.
It agreed with Walter P. Chrysler’s dictum that he should be able to wear a hat inside.
Labels: Monthly Calendar Report