January 11, 2018
So what's inside? Regular RTR readers will recognize Bill Leistiko's byline, as items from his post card collection have been subjects in past issues. A Moline boy, that went west, Bill has been collecting cards for years, and has been researching Silvis Shops just as long. His first installment in an ongoing series answers the question of "where and why?" the railroad took on this mammoth construction project. During his primary research, Bill located maps, photos, cards and a ton of history. Tanya spent a lot of time cleaning up old images so they could be enlarged big enough to capture all the details. Believe it or not, one of the original Rock Island structures from the early 1880s still stands and is in use!
Editor Phil got a fine selection of photos from the Walter Keevil photo collection sent to the home office, and what a fine kettle of fish it turned out to be! In his "cover" story, Walt tells the story of his dad, who worked for the Association of American Railroads back when they were in the Rail Detector Car business. Which is a fascinating story, but the kicker is that the fella who operated the car was a very fine photographer, who had a real knack for framing images of wartime operations on the Mighty Fine Line. You're gonna love these photos, and we ran them big!
This issue debuts the "RTR Explainer" a new back page department designed to enlarge subjects—that would normally be footnotes in articles—with additional illustration and explanation. This should help regular readers debate know-it-alls at the next post-meeting pizza fiesta. Listen to them pontificate, and level 'em with the facts; smirks are optional!
RTR Basement Archivist Paul Hunnell has a nice little book available that should be on every Rock Hound's shelf. It's a pocket guide to the railroad from the twenties, which makes it a little easier to glean facts from photos or timetables from the twenties and thirties.
Bob Massey penned another Ready to Run (RTR?!) Review, this time on the Tangent Scale Models PS2CD 4750 covered hopper. What a model! If there's anything that's apparent to modelers old enough to have been at it in the sixties, it's that they didn't come out of boxes looking like this back in the day. The progress in tool and die work afforded by modern Computer Aided Design software and the automated machine tools they run translates into fabulous models. These days, it’s one better than the next. Pour a cuppa coffee and join Bob for some history and discussion.
From Lincoln, Nebraska, Tom Jurgens sent us some rare photos of a subject dear to his heart: Beatrice Nebraska. (See RTR Vol.5, No.3) Cornhusker football in 1954 figures into it, as does a long string of passenger cars. Tom's caption packages all the details.
First time RTR author Don Warren tells the story of his career on the Rock Island out in Bow & Arrow Country in Oklahoma. Don's photos from back in the day, and on some trips back to visit his old haunts are nice enough, but his stories are even better. During his fourteen years of service he heard a few from the old heads, and tells a few of his own. Lots of pix, maps and grade profiles. Oklahoma isn’t all flat.
Mike Crosby sent us a Bill Lemon snap shot that Tanya turned into the second RTR Christmas card. We got it done after all the festivities, so it morphed into a New Years greeting. It's never too late to say Happy New Year!
Stephen Eudy has been collecting Rock Island memorabilia for years. He's put together a nice collection of photos of Limon, Colorado in the 1900s that we added some of our favorites to. There's even a period map of the yard so you can visualize the photographer's location.
Rock Island modeler Bob Massey took Editor Phil's last editorial to heart and put together some cars that just came out of the shop, circa 1974. Bob studied some photos and recreated the look of two series of boxcars and a hopper that had been rebuilt and leased back to the railroad. Naturally, we've added Diagram Sheets and prototype photos.
Railroad historian and RTR author Louis Marre unearthed a series of Jules Bourquin photos taken on an afternoon in Horton, Kansas that didn't quite adhere to the advertised schedule. Using the latest photographic restoration techniques Tanya made it possible for you to get up close and personal with all these splendid photos from 1913. Louis's commentary makes the afternoon come alive as the big hook and a load of manpower right the listing 2027! Not to be missed.
So for your consideration… that's the skinny. I'll keep you posted. Keep the cards and letters coming.
Attention naysayers and procrastinators!
If your subscription has expired and you've been waiting until the last minute to subscribe because your doubtful if there's gonna be another RTR... or you just like to play chicken, consider this the last minute. I'm ringing the bell. If we get your payment after this issue mails, your subscription starts with the following issue. The current one becomes a back issue and gets sold for the cover price. Nuff said.