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every month! Erie and DL&W


Wreck Trains by Ron Dukarm Available through the


Erie Lackawanna Historical Society


Iron Rooster 2010 High Speed and Steam Tradition Revelation Video, P.O. Box 129, Tallmadge, OH 44278; www.revelationvideo.com. 120 minutes, DVD only. $29.00 postpaid (overseas, add $5.00) or $49.00 for this DVD plus Secret Railways of North Korea.Ohio residents add sales tax.


Recent arm- and checkbook waving by poli- ticians in this country has touted the ability of high speed


rail


(HSR) to pro- pel us into the


21st Century on many fronts. What better way to see what HSR can mean than to ride China’s HSR lines, often juxtaposed with older society and railroads, the latter having capacity freed up by HSR to move more freight. We see many aspects of Chinese life in high society as well as rural areas, view and ride regular trains, trams, and sub- ways, and as a complete change of pace and century, visit four of the last outposts of Chi- nese regular service steam operations, all related to coal mining. Filmed, edited, and narrated in a nice travelogue style suitable for many audiences, this program covers a lot of ground and should please armchair travelers and passenger train fans, as well and those who wistfully like regular service steam, albeit not on the main line. Starting in Hong Kong we ride the Star


This 100 page, five chapter spiral bound book includes 153 photos of Lackawanna, Erie, and EL wreck cranes and their associated equipment. Most of these photographs are being published for the first time. The book also includes 36 drawings and equipment charts. Ron thoroughly covers the complete roster of wrecking cranes, wreck trains, and wrecking procedures of all three railroads. Ron also provides the first ever explanation of Erie's mysterious Maintenance Of Way numbering system.


Member price plus $7.95 s&h


www.erielackhs.org $1696


US Funds Only Visit us online at Dealer Inquiries Welcome


Order from: ELHS, Department RF Jay Held, 10-10 ELLIS AVE, FAIR LAWN, N.J. 07410 No phone calls will be accepted For information send SASE


N.J., PA & Ohio res. add sales tax. Outside US extra s&h.


ELHS membership at $35 per membership cycle. Cycle includes four issues of our magazine “The Diamond” and four newsletters with modeling


information. Separate check please. Send to: ELHS c/o Randy Dettmer, 290 W. Prospect St., Hudson, OH 44236


18 DECEMBER 2011 • RAILFAN.COM


Non-member price $1995


Ferries at night, the double-deck trams by day and visit Lamma Island (tranquility in the midst of capitalist chaos) prior to riding a regular train to Guangzhou, which is then toured. The high speed train to Wuhan (the equivalent of riding from Boston to Rich- mond in three hours and 20 minutes) leaves from a vast, gleaming train station (like a very modern airport terminal), recently opened and sparsely populated, but with ample tracks for future expansion. The swift and smooth ride is on a mostly elevated Pas- senger Dedicated Line (PDL), built using eminent domain without the impediment of endless legal delays. We alternately ride be- hind the driver, look out the rear of the train at the infrastructure whizzing by, and see interior scenes. Meanwhile, the narration sums up the Chinese high speed rail story to date. Once in Wuhan, we tour some of the city and ride the quite lengthy trains on the light rail system. Back on high speed rail, we ride from


Wuhan to Shanghai and watch much HSR right of way being built parallel to the old route. Shanghai’s new station, near one of the airports, offers HSR, light rail, metro (subway), and intercity bus intermodal transfer options. We ride the Maglev to downtown and Expo 2010 is our next desti- nation, where we see various HSR promo- tional videos, which give us a better idea of what the future will bring to China. We see artists renderings of bridges, tunnels, PDL rights of way, new train sets, route maps, and more. There is even a full-size mockup of a Pennsylvania Railroad 4-4-0 next to an HSR train set to illustrate historical change. This takes us about one-third of the way through the program. After a 27-hour, 1300-mile regular train


ride, again with much HSR infrastructure being built alongside, we arrive in the far northeast city of Fuxin. October 1, 2010, finds us viewing very clean SY-class 2-8-2s in an engine terminal. Servicing scenes and some light engine moves (it is a national hol- iday) are helped by shots of steam pushing and pulling coal cars. We are then off to Jia- musi, closer still to the North Korean border via an all-stops, diesel powered train featur- ing the classic green passenger cars with black roofs. Our new quarry is the old, 0-8-0 powered Huanan narrow gauge line, less than 30 miles long now, running through endless mud; coal again is the commodity being moved. We chase and pace the diminutive locos, which acquire their loads from trucks and discharge them into other trucks for the last miles to a power plant. This line ceased operations in April 2011. More SY class 2-8-2s greet us at Ji’Xi,


where several engines move coal in the shadow of a new building being built for electric traction maintenance. We see a va- riety of light engine and switching moves and ride in a cab where clothes are hung to dry. Back towards Jiamusi a GE “Evolution” diesel chugs by with endless coal wagons but with a pug-nose export face. Back in Jiamusi we see a little of the town prior to flying to Beijing, where we visit briefly the vast in- door railroad museum north of town, which is well worth a visit. After a pleasant home cooked meal in a


Hutong (a traditional one story home, many of which are being demolished for new con- struction) the next day we fly to Urumqi, about as far west as one can go in China (ba- sically due north of Kolkata [Calcutta], In- dia). Here, three SY and 17 JS 2-8-2s, all filthy, work a huge open pit coal mine. We watch a number of loaded trains claw their way up the final trackage out of the mine on their way to the crusher. There are runbys, starts on the steep grade, views of the side dump cars in action and the special treat of riding the bona fide Jordan spreader, which is used to clear rock from the flange ways and trackside. The machine performs ad- mirably as the steam engine struggles to keep its footing. Our trip ends with a double- overnight train ride back to Hong Kong . The contrasts between inner China and the coastal provinces could not be more striking as the 19th Century meets 21st Century. This program, like most of Revelation’s


more recent offerings, has something for everyone, with an emphasis on rail travel and the whole scene surrounding it, not just the locomotive stars of the show. The video technique is good to excellent and the appro- priate narration always highly informative. The combination of train scenes with those of daily life and the environs of strange lands is much more valuable to one’s educa- tion than endless, sterile runbys of some lo- comotive on the dark side of the moon. Revelation has 14 more programs on Chi-


nese railroading to choose from and owner Ron McElrath runs tours to China regular- ly. The company also offers Secret Railways of North Korea, a program shot between 1989 and 2003 on tours, which covers mod- ern electrics, steam and diesel power, nar- row gauge steam, streetcars, trolleybuses and the capital’s Metro, plus some general scenes in the North Korean countryside. This program can be purchased along with Iron Rooster 2010 at a discount (see pricing information above). —TOM KELCEC


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