This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
www.railfan.com FOUNDING PUBLISHER


HAROLD H. CARSTENS (1925-2009)


PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER HENRY R. CARSTENS


VICE PRESIDENT JOHN A. EARLEY EDITOR


E. STEVEN BARRY


ASSOCIATE EDITORS WALTER C. LANKENAU OTTO M. VONDRAK


CONTRIBUTING EDITOR JAMES D. PORTERFIELD


COLUMNISTS


ALEXANDER B. CRAGHEAD THOMAS KELCEC GREG MONROE GEORGE M. SMERK JEFFREY D. TERRY WES VERNON


A WILLAMETTE VALLEY RAILROAD LOCOMOTIVE CRESTS THE HORIZON AT MOUNT ANGEL, OREGON, JANUARY 2008. Being Trackside Matters Most


WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF MAPS. I speak not merely of the paper variety, that have been around for a millennia, but of a much broader set of abstract renderings of the ge- ography of our world. Satellite imagery of nearly the entire planet can be had at the click of a mouse, thanks to the Internet. Countless websites now offer us road maps, with zoomable details and all for free. Google gave us Street View, a 360 degree view from millions of miles of roads, streets, and highways, worldwide. Thanks to tech- nologies like Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), we can track commercial airliners and ocean-going ships in real time. For rail- fans, there is Advanced Train Control Sys- tem (ATCS) monitoring, software that uses the railroad's signal indications and occu- pancy detectors to recreate on the screen the kind of data a dispatcher might see. With all of this technology, it might seem that to be a railfan today would be like the proverbial walk in the park. No more getting lost, the ability to scout locations virtually, and (where ATCS signalling is in use) no more wondering where trains are. Now I am, and always have been, a lover of maps. I collect them now and then — one of my favorites is a promotional map of Ore- gon produced by the Southern Pacific, to at- tempt to lure farmers and orchardists to its lineside locations. I also draw them myself now and then, and am constantly fascinated by the complex problem of how to render many layers of data onto a single, two-di- mensional image and still make it come out not just efficient but beautiful. Maps are, I think, one of the least appreciated arts, a kind-of hybrid between imagery and litera- ture and information. Some — older hobbyists mostly — decry the advancement of such technology in the hobby. “What happened to just using a scan- ner,” asked one I talked with recently, “or for that matter, with just sitting trackside and


4 DECEMBER 2011 • RAILFAN.COM


waiting?” Young fans inseparable from their smart phones, their 3G Internet access, their web sites. Cluck cluck, kids these days. While there's more than a little intergen- erational clashing of cultures in such cri- tiques, there's also a bit of truth. If we real- ly could know everything there is to know about a rail line merely by logging onto a web site or looking at a remote camera, it would be a far poorer hobby for it. Count me not amongst the silver-haired fans, nor as a luddite who decries access to more knowl- edge — far from it! — but count me as one who will always champion the cause of experience over information.


Will the critics of the overuse of technolo- gy in the hobby ever see their fears come true? Will we ever degrade into a whole pop- ulation who watch every train that passes, but from the comfort of our home computer chairs? Will we become only a group of information seekers, trading train numbers like so many digital trainspotters? Perhaps. But every time that I stand be-


side the tracks, what I know about the rail line before me — be it from maps, or ATCS monitors, or online postings on an Internet news group — becomes irrelevant. Some in- stinct in the back of my mind forces me to look, first right, then left, searching for the presence of a train. Some part of me still glances at the horizon, where the two silvery rails at my feet converge in a dim blur and disappear, and some part of me waits, half expecting the sound of a horn from a distant wind, and the sight of a headlight cresting over the curve of the Earth. For all that we know, in the back of our minds, the sensa- tion of mystery survives.


Alexander B. Craghead is a writer, photog- rapher,


watercolorist, and self-described “transportation geek” from Portland, Ore. You can reach out to Alex on our web site at www.railfan.com/departures.


DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING JOHN A. EARLEY


ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER PIETER UPTEGROVE


DIRECTOR OF MARKETING GEORGE RILEY


BOOK ACQUISITIONS MANAGER CHRIS LANE


ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER LARRY DEITCH


ART AND ADVERTISING PRODUCTION TAMMY J. HAVENS


ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER PHYLLIS M. CARSTENS


CUSTOMER SERVICE LYNN GOOD


DEALER SERVICE CATHY STREETER


Visit us at carstens-publications.com


RAILFAN & RAILROAD (ISSN 0163-7266) is published monthly by Carstens Publications, Inc., 108 Phil Hardin Road, Newton, New Jersey 07860. Phone 973/383-3355. Henry R. Carstens, Publisher; Phyllis M. Carstens, Secretary-Treasurer. Periodical Postage paid at Newton, NJ 07860 and additional mailing offices.


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RAILFAN & RAILROAD, 108 Phil Hardin Road, Newton, NJ 07860. Copyright © 2011 by Carstens Publications, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. Canadian GST #124725060.


Publications Mail Agreement No.40957020; Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to P.O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6.


SUBSCRIPTIONS: U.S.A. and possessions: $37.95 per year, $69.95 for two years, $99.95 for three years. Canadian (includes GST) and Foreign: $50.00 for one year, $94.00 for two years and $136.00 for three years. All communications regarding subscriptions and change of address should be sent to Circulation Manager, RAILFAN & RAILROAD, 108 Phil Hardin Road, Newton, NJ 07860. Please allow six to eight weeks for change of address.


CONTRIBUTIONS: Articles and photographs from our readers are always welcome. Contact editor Steve Barry at editor@railfan.com for details. The contents of this magazine may not be reprinted without written permission of the publisher.


ADVERTISING: Address all inquires to RAILFAN & RAILROAD, 108 Phil Hardin Road, Newton, NJ 07860. Phone: 973/383-3355. Fax: 973/383-4064. E-mail: ads@railfan.com.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68