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Re: Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad Trolley #129 at Hoffman

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  • Robert Schoneman
    Do you suppose there are a number of fans today who only know of Penn Central from their magazines, books and videos? Paul- At least a generation or so. :-)
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 18, 2008
      Do you suppose there are a number of fans today who only know of Penn Central from their
      magazines, books and videos?


      At least a generation or so. :-)

      My family bought property on Sacansaga in 1968. I wished I knew more about tracks-FJG or
      NYC than I did. But I was maybe 11 or twelve at the time. So I didn't see much.
      Gloversville and distant Jtown were that, and it was by happenstance I got to see FJ&G.

      I did get to see the power when I had my learners permit, but by then everything was held
      together by twine and rubber bands. I do remember the stored cars of PC and other
      heritages in around town. One the leather went overseas, so did everything else. I'm
      surprised that Coleco kept things there as long as they did.

      Not sure if Decca Records was a major player in rail over by 30A and NLH.

      I grew up in NJ. Was fortunate to see GG1's in PA, and the whole lot of power that EL had
      to offer in ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus and Hobokken. Ironically, the only NYC and PC I saw was
      in Fonda; usually trackside at the Fonda fair. Meanwhile, my pareb=nts looked for me in
      vain at all the rides and candy booths...

      Moved to WI in 1977, but kept several Northampton properties until the late 1990's, when
      my Dad's cancer caught up with him. Ironic, are in the heart of lakes and fine beeer, and
      we have to go 1100 miles for a real lake and a real beer ( as judged by hangover
      potential ) in the name of Sacandaga and Genesse respectively.

      If I'm ever able to retire, it will be in and around Northvile on the Sacandaga doing
      volunteer work. My old fire dept and EMS Corps could use the help. Now that I've lost
      200+ lbs since our get together, the idea has practical merit.

    • Paul Larner
      Bob, Jason, et al., Oh I m well aware of my age and that most of today s rail fans are younger. This is good, very good. That is why I referred to the
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 19, 2008
        Bob, Jason, et al.,

        Oh I'm well aware of my age and that "most" of today's rail fans are younger.  This is good, very good.  That is why I referred to the location of Hoffman's  using CSX.   Could have used ConRail I suppose, for the folks who "know" that location in conjunction with those two carriers, whereas NYC, as Bob knows it, is a "learned" interest. 

        When you refer to the various media we use to acquire knowledge, do you ever consider how fortunate it is, if not amazing, we are able to see the images of who and what existed as much as 150 years ago.   Previous to the camera the only eye on the past was a painting or the mind's image create by gifted authors.  We can "see" the past!  Unfortunately heirs too often leave their photos unidentified and/or discard them without a care.  This can explain why someone would pay millions for a Matisse or Renoir, or as easily hundreds for that certain print or negative.  I don't see any merit in living for or in the past, though I enjoy having a grasp on who we are, where we are and importantly, why we, as a community survived.

        My interest in railroad history stemmed from an initial fascination with trains, specifically the FJ&G and NYC at Fonda, gained from the vantage point of the park across from the station every Wednesday and Sunday evening.   Railroad and Trains magazines fed this interest once I was old enough to earn the money to buy them (paper route money or allowance).  Then following my parents lead again, who every Sunday afternoon visited at  the antique shops in Fonda, I would prowl the tracks and buildings of FJ&G and NYC, such as they were at the time, and observe the Sunday parade on NYC.  I recall periods when a train passed every five minutes; that was still a four track main line.  Collecting started in John Morford's antique shop, in the old livery barn in the alley behind the bank and hotel at Fonda, where $2.00 bought two NYC brakeman's lanterns, an Adlake 250 and a Dietz short globe.  My father was a historian from which I gained an appreciation, if not an early interest, in the history of the Mohawk Valley area.  Railroad history came later when I started delving into the history of the city and area I resided and also the railroad which employed my wife and myself.  At some point I became aware that these "things" I accumulated were a physical connection to "someone" who had toiled in an industry which had early on caught my attention. That realization channeled my collecting focus from "one of everything " to "specific connections."  The first is really impossible to achieve, the latter can get costly but...

        I am neither modeler, nor photographer (in my case "picture taker") though I have done both.  I worked in the industry, on both sides of the table, inside and out, and never found time for the restorative benefits of modeling.  For a while I pursued the photographic image but at some point I realized all the best images could be acquired in books some day, at far less expense than the film, gas and (some reading this may know the story) a right side car door.

        What is it about a train?  Each of us harbors our own prejudice.  Is it the easy pace of the short line or the throb of 12000 horses moving 10,000 tons through the Berkshires (even on the descents you can sense the power), the rush of a two mile freight crossing Kansas.  That's the dichotomy evidenced with the NYC and the FJ&G at Fonda, the G&J and the B&M at Johnsonville, the R&W and the D&H main at Whitehall; and then there's transit.  Gotta love the hobby, something for everyone..


        To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
        From: dhc628@...
        Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 06:34:54 -0700
        Subject: [FJGRailroad] RE: Penn Central - young fans

        I am too young to remember Penn Central.  I was born in 1974.  All of my exposure to PC has been first through magazines (Jim Six modeling articles stand out as what I remember being the FIRST awareness of PC), followed by the internet, and then later, some videos about the Penn Central. 
        I'll also site magazines, books, and the internet for my exposure to many of the railroads that I am very interested in.  The FJ&G, Ballston Terminal, S&S, Unadilla Valley, and even the D&H.  Although I grew up in Ballston Spa, my first time railfanning was December 26, 1987 in Fort Edward.  A bitter cold day, overcast, generally miserable but it was the first time railfanning.  Only power there that day was a Guilford GP7 or 9.  My main interest in the D&H is the mid-70's when Alco's and GE's ruled followed by the 1980-84 pre-Guilford years.  However, I really do like the Guilford years from a modeling standpoint and will have a nice selection of the Big G's power on my layout from time to time so I can recreate 1985-88.  For me, a long train behind an assortment of matching Guilford SD26's, SD39's, SD40's, and SD45's is just as exciting as a train with matching D&H C628's, U30C's, and U33C's.
        Back to Penn Central.  I can assure you that there are a number of PC modelers/fans that are well under 40.  Very few of us in this age group have any memories of PC and as such, have no built in dislike the PC as we did not see NYC or PRR.  I'm also a fan of the NYC, especially the 1950-58 period before the cigar-band paint.  Just can't model everything even though I plan to get a complete Walther's NYC 20th Century Limited.  What a beauty that's going to be!
        Jason Cook
        New Haven, IN

        --- On Fri, 7/18/08, Paul Larner <pklarner@hotmail. com> wrote:

        From: Paul Larner <pklarner@hotmail. com>
        Subject: RE: [FJGRailroad] Re: Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad Trolley #129 at Hoffman
        To: fjgrailroad@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Friday, July 18, 2008, 1:24 AM


        The question implied to me the writer is younger than us old farts who actually grew up and experienced the NYC in the valley.  Do you suppose  there are a number of fans today who only know of Penn Central from their magazines, books and videos?  Lot of deadhead power in that make up.


        To: FJGRailroad@ yahoogroups. com
        From: suds@ameritech. net
        Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 18:06:26 -0700
        Subject: [FJGRailroad] Re: Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad Trolley #129 at Hoffman

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