Sunday, October 30, 2016

Along the Anthracite Road

Well, its been a while since we did the "blog" thing.  Finding time lately to do anything is at a premium as I've been working on the railroad to get some of our cars out of storage and productive again.  Of course, as we all know, railroad traffic is down, coal is almost non-existent compared to years ago, thanks to Washington policies.  Like the railroads, coal made the country what it is today and I predict, will make a return in a big way, to keep the lights on tomorrow.  Do we need solar and wind and natural gas and all those other things...of course, but coal will make us energy independent for the next 100 years and energy independence can go a long way in today's world.  Now back to railroading.

As I said, I have been trying to get about 800 rail cars back into service and they require a complete inspection and while I was inspecting the side bearings on a particular car I saw a shadow across my face.  Now there are lots of hazards inspecting cars, climbing, footing and just the fact that they are heavy but this is a hazard I hope to never encounter again.

Meet my new best friend...Joe NoShoulders.  He missed my by the hair on my beard and was coiling back up to give me a little peck on the cheek.  Who said railroading is fun...

Throughout the month though, my encounters on old railroad rights of way were all pleasant, following the tracks of the former Lehigh Valley Railroad from Sayre to Pittston.  Amazingly, the station at Sayre is still magnificent and it is worth stopping when the museum is open.  Imagine, a building that is 125 years old (this year) still stands and has borne witness to progress in 3 centuries...Truly amazing and these structures, you must remember, were akin to to the airline terminals of today, moving people and passengers over increasingly greater distances.  Further down the line though the structures are remnants of their former selves.

Of course, anthracite hasn't disappeared all together and is a major part of clean coal technology.  You can still buy anthracite coal in 40 lb bags in coal country and most people burn it in a well ventilated fireplace but be careful of the grates as anthracite is still a very high BTU value fuel, with an 80+ carbon content.  America's largest anthracite carrier today is the Reading & Northern Railroad, whose track occupies a lot of former anthracite carriers in eastern Pennsylvania.  Love the Johnny Cash Black.

Well, this is almost the of the line for today's blog.  I will make the commitment of producing one at least every Sunday from now on.  The blog is so late since I took over I received the following flyer a while back and it was buried in the pile of information that I use for the blog. It's too bad I missed this one as I would have loved to win one of the prizes for riding this train.

Maybe I should go through this stuff more often. 

Enjoy Hallowe'en as the Jersey Central notes and don't miss our blog train next Sunday.  (SHAMELESS PLUG) We are now open 6 days a week and offer many scale trains from anthracite roads.  Come and take a look at our Anthracite Road cars manufactured by Funaro & Carmelango in HO Scale and we remind you that we are the exclusive Tangent Scale Models dealer in the State of New Jersey.  If you are looking for something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, we have taken thousands of pieces in from train collections and there are some really obscure HO cars and locomotives in these collections.  Ask when you walk in the door.  Happy Halloween to you and yours and after eating all that candy may the dental profession treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve for paying for their summer home.