Who Was On Board This Evening?? (Page Two)
Suggested Dinner Conversations
Railroad Terms Used Commonly:
- All steamed up
- Asleep at the Switch
- Brownie Points
- Fireman (Engineer trainee)
- Getting Coupled
- Hell of a way to run a railroad
- Hell on Wheels
- Hog Head (railroad engineer)
- Huff and Puff
- Jerkwater Town
- Make the Grade
- On Track
- One-track Mind
- Real McCoy
- Roll Boxcars (twelve in dice)
- Roundhouse Punch
- Run out of Steam
- Standard Time
- Station Wagon
- Tank Town
- Wrong Side of the Tracks
Who Was Here Collage
Table By Table, Have Your Tickets Ready!
The Glacier Express, Switzerland
Did You Know? - The Glacier Express is an express train connecting railway stations of the two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The train is operated jointly by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) and Rhaetian Railway (RhB). For much of its journey, it also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes.
The train is not an "express" in the sense of being a high-speed train, but rather, in the sense that it provides a one-seat ride for a long duration travel. In fact it has the reputation of being the slowest express train in the world. As St. Moritz and Zermatt are home to two well-known mountains, the Glacier Express is also said to travel from Piz Bernina to Matterhorn.
The Glacier Express first ran in 1930. Initially, it was operated by three railway companies: the Brig–Visp–Zermatt Bahn (BVZ), the Furka Oberalp Bahn, and the RhB. Since 2003, the train has been operated by RhB and a newly established company, the MGB, which arose from a merger between the BVZ and the FO.
The trip on the Glacier Express is a 7½ hour railway journey across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass on the highest point at 2,033 m (6,670 ft) in altitude. The entire line is metre gauge (narrow gauge railway), and large portions of it use a rack-and-pinion system both for ascending steep grades and to control the descent of the train on the back side of those grades.
The Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
Did You Know? - Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian tour company offering Western Canadian vacation packages that operates trains on four rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta.
The company was founded by the Armstrong Group in 1990, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the busiest privately owned passenger rail service in North America, having transported over one million passengers since 1990.
Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train" at the World Travel Awards seven times for its Gold Leaf service, has been listed among the "World's Top 25 Trains" since 2005 by The Society of International Railway Travelers, and was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as one of the "World's Best Journeys" in 2007.
The Society of American Travel Writers, the world's largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, rated the Rocky Mountaineer as the world's top train ride in 2009.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, London-Venice
Did You Know? - The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, or VSOE, is a private luxury train service from London to Venice that is popularly referred to as the Orient Express, its historic namesake.
The original company was founded by James Sherwood of Kentucky, USA, in 1982; five years earlier, in 1977, he had bought two of the original carriages at an auction when the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits withdrew from the Orient Express service, passing the service on to the national railways of France, Germany, and Austria. Over the next few years, Sherwood spent a total of US$16 million purchasing 35 sleeper, restaurant and Pullman carriages. On 25 May 1982, the first London–Venice run was made.
It is currently owned by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. which in March 2014 changed its name to Belmond. The company owns 45 luxury hotels, restaurants, tourist trains and river cruises in 24 countries.
Talyllyn Railway, Wales
Did You Know? - The Talyllyn Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Talyllyn) is a narrow-gauge preserved railway in Wales running for 7.25 miles (11.67 km) from Tywyn[a] on the Mid-Wales coast to Nant Gwernol near the village of Abergynolwyn. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament to carry passengers using steam haulage.
Despite severe under-investment, the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway by volunteers.
Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages. In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
The fictional Skarloey Railway, which formed part of the Railway Series of children's books by The Rev. W. Awdry, was based on the Talyllyn Railway. The preservation of the line inspired the Ealing Comedy film The Titfield Thunderbolt.
Trans-Siberia Railway, Russia
Did You Know? - The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR, Russian: Транссибирская магистраль Transsibirskaya Magistral') is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. With a length of 9,289 km, it is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea. It has been connecting Moscow with Vladivostok since 1916 and is still being expanded.
In March 1890, the future Tsar Nicholas II personally inaugurated and blessed the construction of the Far East segment of the Trans-Siberian Railway during his stop at Vladivostok, after visiting Japan at the end of his journey around the world. Nicholas II made notes in his diary about his anticipation of travelling in the comfort of "the tsar's train" across the unspoiled wilderness of Siberia. The tsar's train was designed and built in St. Petersburg to serve as the main mobile office of the tsar and his staff for travelling across Russia.
The main route of the Trans-Siberian Railroad begins in Moscow at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, runs through Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via Southern Siberia. It was built from 1891 to 1916 under the supervision of government ministers of Russia who were personally appointed by the Tsar Alexander III and by his son, Tsar Nicholas II. The additional Chinese Eastern Railway was constructed as the Russo-Chinese part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting Russia with China and providing a shorter route to Vladivostok. A Russian staff and administration based in Harbin operated it.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is often associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At 9,259 kilometres (5,753 miles), spanning a record seven time zones and taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang 10,267 kilometres (6,380 mi) and the Kiev–Vladivostok 11,085 kilometres (6,888 mi) services, both of which also follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes.
Guests Claudia and Cristoph Kerchner
Guests Kitty Lam and Darryl Sue
"The Ballad of Casey Jones" is a traditional song about railroad engineer Casey Jones and his death at the controls of the train he was driving. It tells of how Jones and his fireman Sim Webb raced their locomotive to make up for lost time, but discovered another train ahead of them on the line, and how Jones remained on board to try to stop the train as Webb jumped to safety. It is song #3247 in the Roud Folk Song Index.
The song helped preserve the memory of Jones' feat down through the years in its 40+ versions and enhanced Casey's legendary status to the extent that he has even become something of a mythological figure like Pecos Bill or Paul Bunyan to the uninformed. Books and pulp magazines about the railroad and its heroes helped to perpetuate his memory as well.
Soon after Casey's death, the song was first sung by engine wiper and friend of Casey's named Wallace Saunders to the tune of a popular song of the time known as "Jimmie Jones." He was known to sing and whistle as he went about his work cleaning the steam engines. In the words of Casey's wife: "Wallace's admiration of Casey was little short of idolatry. He used to brag mightily about Mr. Jones even when Casey was only a freight engineer." But Saunders never had his original version copyrighted, and thus there is no way of knowing precisely what words he sang.
As railroaders stopped in Canton, Mississippi they would pick up the song and pass it along. Soon it was a hit up and down the I.C. line. But it was up to others with a profit motive to take it and rework it for a nationwide audience. Illinois Central Engineer William Leighton appreciated the song's potential enough to tell his brothers Frank Leighton and Bert Leighton, who were vaudeville performers, about it. They took it and sang it in theaters around the country with a chorus they added. But apparently even they neglected to get it copyrighted.