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News and Notes

July 22, 2015

From our banker comes the news that checks not drawn on USA accounts will be assessed a $25 fee. Though we doubt the validity of their claim that the Federal Reserve Bank charges them $25 for each check presented, there is no doubt in my mind that they will charge us.

So starting today Andover will not accept any checks not drawn on USA accounts. Canadian subscribers can use credit cards to purchase subscriptions. Call (815) 538-3060 (10 am-7 pm Chicago time) and we'll process your order over the phone.

December 18, 2014

We can’t help but notice how many fellas dilly-dally when it comes time to renew their RTR subscription. For the last ten years we have opened the mail, entered the TARDY subscription, gritted our teeth, and sent out the current magazine via first class mail. These days, it just costs too much.

The 80 page magazines are too heavy to send out via first class mail at the discounted subscription price. So, subscriptions will start with the next issue mailed from the printer. If you miss an issue or two and then renew, your make-up copies will be sold as Back Issues at $22 each postpaid.

Time to renew your subscription? Call us and get it done BEFORE RTR V9 Nos. 3&4 GOES TO THE PRINTER! After the magazine ships to the printer your window of opportunity closes.

If you don't know when your expiration date is--ask us and we'll look it up. So drop a dime, call (815) 538-3060 (10am-7pm Chicago time) and get your subscription renewed! You can use your Visa or MasterCard.

Increased International Shipping Rates
April 15, 2013

Due to recent postage increases, we have been forced to increase the cost of shipping magazines out-of-country. Please note price increases for Remember the Rock international subscriptions. Please contact us directly for all other international orders. It is regretful, that we've been forced to do this, but necessary to cover those costs. -- Customer Support

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Private Varnish, Volume 36 #1 - 146

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Out and About: Out and About: Santa Fe No. 56, Palm Leaf, Silver Splendor, Overland Trail, Pacific Sunset, Burrard, Chico, Swift Stream, and Puget Sound.


The Egg and the Engineers by Borden Black. The story begins with a hard coupling during the fall of 2013. Join the author on the platform of the Dearing as two Amtrak engineers compete with each other to see who can make the softest coupling. Judging was done by a jumbo egg perched on the coupler. Photos include the 2015 New River Excursion Train where this potentially egg-scrambling event took place.

38th Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri by Fred Stout. New car owners, Fred and Mozelle Stout finished their Silver Star and immediately left town on their first charter and first trip. If that wasn’t enough firsts, it was Fred and Mozelle’s first AAPRCO convention! You’ll find a story about the rebuilding of their car in a PV later this year. Plenty of convention train shots including overhead views accomplished using a drone-mounted camera. Photos of convention side trips, too!

ShopTalk News and Doings from AAPRCO Trade Member shops. Gateway Rail Services installed a new potable-water system on the Suitsme. A new sound system was installed on the Oliver Hazzard Perry. At Willetts Railcar Services NS Research Car No. 32 was given a fresh coat of roof paint and some electrical cabinet modifications. Sister car No. 36 arrived with tracking problems that needed correcting. The Stamped Pass got a new 80KW generator. The Prairie View, Dearing, and the J. Pinckney Henderson were all in for COT&S and PC-1 inspections. Includes a nice interior photo of Southern Railway Coach No. 1081, completed just in time for the NCT Museum's holiday events.


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Remember the Rock, Volume 10, Nos 3-4
RTR Volume 10 Nos. 3&4 Update Hey gang!

Here's the news you've been waiting to hear. RTR is at the printer! Expect to have copies by next Wednesday. So here's what's inside.

Bill Pollard concludes his study of the 'Porthole Club' cars in "Meet me in the Club, Part two." Lots of great interior shots from the Weibler collection, RI diagram sheets and roster shots taken during the life of these long-lived cars. A complete roster with disposition info completes Bill's story.

Stephen Eudy unearthed some postcards that resulted in another Classic Rock photo essay, “It Started with a Postcard.” See what turns up in a post card view of the Mansfield, Arkansas depot! We cover all the detail and then some. RPOs take center stage in this item!

A chance sighting of TA 606 while plowing the archives for another subject led to a way cool story, “Route of the Rockets: Kansas City to Denver” about that service back in the thirties. And about as soon as we wrapped that up, what pops up but another great bit.... this time about the Limon-Colorado Springs segment of the same train. See it here first pages 22-29. This is a great story with a sidebar from Dennis Opferman about the intricacies of working out of the Limon Roundhouse.

So what happens when some great MOW photos show up in the office… and on the web? Find out in our look at our “Graettinger, Iowa” article. Deep in BCR&N country on the way to Sioux Falls, this little burg has an interesting history, which we dissect in detail,'s the icing on the cake… some of the best Bucyrus steam shovel shots I've ever seen in our “The Rock Island Modeler: Bucyrus Steam Shovel.” With Tanya's clean up of the old prints, they are sharper than you've ever seen ‘em. We found photos and diagram sheets of the RI's fleet of Rogers Ballast cars, and a beautiful HO-scale model of a Buycyrus shovel to go with it! All the history is there to boot and a nice explanation of the why and where of sand and gravel geology in Iowa.

So okay, your appetite for passenger railroading and MOW equipment is being satisfied, how 'bout a little Rock Island history? The railroad ran what they called a Short Haul Grain Shuttle back in the late seventies. We studied what history was available and distilled it into a concise article about The “Mini-Train Experiment” in Muscatine, Iowa in 1978. Illustrated with model photography shot on Eric Miller's Meadow Subdivision, this is the real deal, with a slight twist. Eric's pike is a snapshot of what the Rock island might have looked like in the nineties! He backdated the layout to achieve the look of the late seventies. Check out his super sharp rendition of the Bankruptcy Blue scheme. If only the Rock had lived long enough to put Eric's job on the side of some big GE locomotives. It's the most plausible rendition I've seen to date!

“Rock Islanders” of yore get coverage in this issue in an article by Dean Schirf about a long gone, but not forgotten William Nichols, engineer on the Mighty Fine Line. Dean tells his story of meeting William's grandson Mike on the Durango & Silverton narrow gauge. Eagle-eyed reporter that he his, Dean's sharp eye caught a detail on Mike's D&S Conductor's uniform that led him to a good story. Vintage photos add to a good story.

This issues installment of RTR's “Ready-to Run” review takes a close look at Tangent's PS-3 hopper in HO-scale. What a beautiful model! Bob Massy gets out the magnifying glass and really gives this model the once over. Pretty cool prototype photo, and some of Steve's model photography rounds out Bob's review.

So just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the Rock, something new comes along and wakes a person up. Senior Editor, Dick Gill, recounts his experience studying cotton traffic on the IC and ties it into the Railroad's 1964 Annual Report and RI shareholder's meeting that accompanied its release in “Evil Weevil, Rotten Cotton”. Turns out young Gill worked for John Ingram and has some interesting insights about the future RI President. Dick's sidebar about RI President Jervis Langdon's participation at the 1965 board meeting completes this very informative article for any student of Rock island history.

Pete Hedgpeth's story about what an author does AFTER an article is published will delight those that have written an article, or a book, but it's the photographs that will kill ya! After his first “Havoc at Hallam” article appeared in RTR Vol 9 Nos. 3&4, color photographs of the wreck emerged from the shadows. Enjoy these views of the cleanup, and the folks that came to watch. This is rural Americana at its Sunday best having a day in the sunshine watching the railroad cleanup. Great color pix of a Q diesel, wreck cranes at work, and some disgusted looking RI brass in “The Rest of the Story: Hallam Wreck!”

Nebraska gets another shot in the arm with an injection of “Switching at Lincoln, Part 1,” a fine job by our newest RTR author, Richard Schmeling. This long-time Nebraska railfan's comprehensive look at what went on in town and the immediate surroundings is proof that there is more to Nebraska than cornfields! Richard's shots of Rock Island power and switching movements complement his lively text.

Four pages of Rocket RPO conclude this issue. Everything that's fit to print and then some!

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