Railside Adventures Facebook Page

Railside AdventuresHi everyone!  I just made a Facebook page for Railside Adventures, and I would appreciate it if you could show support by “liking” the page on Facebook.  You’ll know the page when you see it because the current profile pic is the one I set in this post.  I think this will really be a good way to share my love of trains to a whole bunch more people (who I hope will enjoy it in turn).  Thanks!

National Train Day 2015 and Norfolk and Western 2156’s move to Roanoke


Hey y’all, it’s me again!  This year’s National Train Day was one with a pleasant occurrence when it came to railfanning, which I’ll get to shortly.  I spend most of the day at the Kirkwood Missouri Pacific train station in Kirkwood, MO, which now serves Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.  There were several displays set up inside the station, but most everyone was on the train platform to catch some action on Union Pacific’s Jefferson City Subdivision, in the form of a CSX autorack, a UP train, and Amtrak.  The main attraction to the station today, though, was a local freight towing a steam legend: Norfolk and Western 2156.  Two UP diesels were on the point, with a Norfolk Southern unit tucked in behind.  Among the train was an extra water car for N&W 611, a few NS coaches, a baggage car, and, of course, N&W 2156.  This was just the beginning of her journey, which started at the National Museum of Transportation, and will end at the Virginia Transportation Museum in Roanoke.  This is a homecoming for the mammoth 2-8-8-2 Y6a, because she was build in the Roanoke Shops of the Norfolk & Western for use on the railroad’s coal routes.  At Roanoke, she will be reunited with her cousin, N&W 2-6-6-4 1218, as well as N&W Class J 611, which has recently been returned to steam.  Together, they make up the remnant of the glory days of the Norfolk and Western, which kept steam much long after the rest of the major railroads had converted to diesels.  She will stay at the VTM for the next five years, and will receive a cosmetic restoration while there.  So here’s to you, 2156, to your stay in Roanoke with your family, and your return in 2020 to St. Louis.  And for the rest of you, thanks for reading, and until next time, happy rails!

March Railfanning 2015


Hi everyone!  I’m posting today with the footage and some stills from my trip to Florida this past March.  The railroad was the Tavares, Eustis, and Gulf Scenic Railroad, A.K.A the Orange Blossom Cannonball.  The railroad does own a steam engine, but she only pulls the trains on Saturdays, so the engine I saw working was the railroad’s 1941-built GE 45 ton center cab switch diesels.  Even though it wasn’t running, I got some stills of the steamer, a 2-6-0 wood-burner.  Hope you like it!  Be on the look out for a post on this weekend’s Train Day, which I will be spending at the Kirkwood Amtrak station hoping to watch Norfolk and Western 2156 begin her journey to Roanoke, where she will spend the next five years.  Until then, thanks for reading and happy rails!


Model Railroad Status Update

Railside Adventures, the railfan's retreatHey guys!  In the small amount of time I have in between all the things on my to-do list, I just thought I’d give an update on the model railroad.  The framework of the bench work is complete, and to finish the benchwork completely all I need to do is install the plywood!  The benchwork is almost done!  It almost makes cutting the boards in sub-freezing temperatures worth it…  I’ll post again when the plywood is on, and I’ll try to post pictures at the same time.  Stay tuned for further updates and, until next time, happy rails!

December Railfanning 2014

Well, it’s Christmas Eve of 2014, and I just realized I haven’t posted anything in ages and now would be as good a time as any.  I was able to go railfanning last Saturday and yesterday, and both times were complete successes.  On Saturday I arrived at Valley Park just in time to film a meet between a couple of BNSF freights (one of which was carrying an M1 Abrams tank), and I took good footage.  Yesterday, I had a different goal: film the St. Louis Polar Express, pulled by a pair of TRRA GP-38-3s, out of St. Louis Union Station.  I was able to capture the trains’s departure right in the middle of golden hour, so the train glowed in a brilliant orange.  The video I put together using the footage from both days can be viewed above.  While I’m posting, I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to pass along the word that about half of the lumber for my layout has been cut (with my brother’s assistance), and is awaiting assembly.  Well, that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading, and, until next time, happy rails and Merry Christmas!

Update on the model railroad

I’ve finally made some progress!  The lumber has been purchased, and my brother has agreed to help me put the bench work together (he’s good at carpentry).  I can’t wait to see my layout take shape!  Stay tuned!

Valley Park Railfanning 8/30/14



While the cost of the lumber necessary to build the layout is being added up, I decided to write about the latest railfanning trip I made.  This was the end of an era and the beginning of another, because this was the first time I’ve gone railfanning based upon information I gathered from an ATCS monitor installed on my computer.  When I got there, though, I was worried that the info was a false reading, though, because the site where I got it said itself that sometimes it wasn’t reliable.  So I waited, and waited, and waited.  Just as I was about to leave, I happened to glance up and noticed that the signal had finally turned green.  So I waited some more, and was getting worried when the train wasn’t showing up, until the crossing gates finally went down, and the train came.  Another first for my railfanning is that I caught a westbound train on film.  When the first train, eastbound, was passing, I looked up and saw the wb pulling up to wait for it’s turn on the single-tracked main.  Double score!  I think I’ll let the video show you the rest.  Thanks for reading, and, until next time, happy rails!