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Earle Baldwin

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About Earle Baldwin

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  1. I asked the publisher this very question during my initial conversation with him. Volume 2's layout is finished and it is essentially ready to go to press; however, more copies of Volume 1 must be sold in order to help finance production of the second book. During conversations I've ead with several railroad book publishers, releasing a train book is a frightfully expensive proposition, particularly if it's to be done well. That said, he's hopeful to be in a position to be able to print Volume 2 before year's end. Bob
  2. Hello, All. I hope everyone has been well. I'm sorry it's been quite awhile since I've posted here but the last few years have seen some very significant personal challenges which didn't allow me the opportunity to muster the effort required to post anything which would have been worth reading. I now find myself in search of diversion which only my passion for rail transportation can provide so I hope you'll welcome me back into the NYC Transit Forums family. I would like to tell everyone about a very special new book which has been introduced into the railfan marketplace. Titled "Making All Stops", the book provides a wonderfully nostalgic journey back to an era when the city's rails were ruled by R-12s, R-17s, R-21s, and their contemporaries. With the exception of a couple of black and white personal images, this is an all color offering. Trains often contained cars painted in multiple liveries making for colorful consists. The book is system wide in its coverage, ranging from 242nd St./Van Cortlandt Park on the 1 all the way down to Coney Island. There are even images of the last segment of the Third Avenue El which remained in service until 1973. Of particular note is the clarity of the photographic reproduction. The publisher clearly took the time to make sure it was done right s the images are razor sharp and the colors are vivid. The pictures, as reproduced, remain faithful to the original slides. The softcover book is perfectbound and is printed on heavy paper. It will stand up well to repeated handling which is wonderful news for purchasers who get good use from their books. As the owner of several hundred railroad books, I've flipped through a lot of them. This publisher knows how to do things right. Comparatively speaking, the subway of today is clean, bright and efficient. The new generation of equipment is a pleasure to be aboard. That said, I remain very fond of the period covered by "Making All Stops" as it represents the subway I grew up with. With their "railfan windows",wonderful myriad of sounds and wonderful electric smells, we had more fun riding those trains than should have been allowed. This book has done a superb job of rekindling cherished memories of the system during this period for me whether it was watching and photographing the trains or riding them in the company of a very special someone. In summary, "Making All Stops" provides an outstanding review of subway operations during a period which hasn't gotten much attention up to now. Thankfully, the publisher of the book has addressed this long overdue need. I highly recommend the book. It will bring back fantastic memories for those who experienced the subway during this era for themselves and will serve as a marvelous history lesson for those who want to learn more :bout how the system got to where it is now. Here's the link to the webpage: http://www.makingallstops.com/ Thanks for reading and it's good to be back. All the best, Robert Callahan a.k.a. "Earle Baldwin"
  3. Since I already have the Atlas ALP44, I'm primarily interested in the ALP46; however, I did not pre-order it due to my uncertainty of the accuracy of the finished product. I'll check it out when it is released and decide then. Earle
  4. Newkirk Images of Copiague, NY has delivered a very interesting New York City subway wall calendar for 2009. Opening to approximately 12" X 18", the calendar features a full page color photograph for each month along with color images and artwork on its outside and inside front covers, title page and rear cover. A number of eras are covered by the images presented as follows: Front cover: St. Louis Car Company builder's photograph of R33 9333 and two samples of NYCTA 1964 World's Fair advertising artwork Inside front cover: Publicity photograph of "Miss Subways" inside newly delivered R33 9306 at Times Square Station, 10/63 Title page: The interior of R14 5837 painted orange and blue for the 1964 World's Fair January: Aerial view of a freshly painted blue and silver R16 leading an outbound JJ Train at Marcy Avenue Station in Williamsburgh, 1/83 February: Work train crew replacing a signal at the Flushing Line's 90th Street Station - motive power is provided by "QX" Type 1640A, 2/20/55 March: Interior of BMT " Standard" 2541, 4/7/68 April: BMT "Multi-Section" cars approaching East 105th Street Station in Canarsie with the old grade crossing plainly visible (date unavailable; however, this equipment was removed from revenue service in 1961 so the image is at least that old) May: Third Avenue Elevated trains running through Manhattan in the 1940's June: "Q" Types and R30A 8397 at Broadway/Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, 7/69 July: R36 9748 at Corona Yard - the car is decorated for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the TA's "State Car " program August: "Gibbs" car 3420 on the Pelham Bay Line, 8/14/55 - having been built in 1904, the 3420 was over fifty years old at the time of the photograph September: Street level view of "C' Types on the Fulton Street Elevated, 9/4/55 October: Newly delivered green R22's on the Livonia Avenue Line - signage on the train pictured is Number 2/Dyre Avenue, 10/58 November: Ground level view R-6-2 Cars operating in D train service passing Brooklyn & Queens Transit Plow 68, 11/6/56 December: SIRT Car 329 at Arlington Station on Staten Island (undated) The quality of images is quite good particularly given their vintage. The slick pages are robust and their contents sharply reproduced, a clear indication the 2009 New York City Subways Calendar is a high quality item. It would be a very worthwhile acquisition for any subway enthusiast. Priced at $11.95, the 2009 New York City Subways Calendar may be purchased at the Transit Museum Store in Grand Central Terminal. Enjoy! Best regards, Earle
  5. [float=right][/float]In 1972, the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors introduced an upgraded version of its popular GP38 road switcher. Classed GP38-2, the new locomotive featured enhancements including a solid state, modular electrical control system and improved engine components designed to maximize the unit's tractive effort while reducing its emissions. Rated at 2,000horsepower courtesy of its 645E prime mover, the GP38-2 proved very versatile with over 2,200 units sold to customers in multiple countries. In the successful tradition of its prototype, Atlas has released an outstanding rendition of the GP38-2 in N scale. The sample my review is based upon is decorated as the CSX 2717. The 2717 joined the road's roster when Conrail was officially split between CSX and Norfolk Southern on June 1, 1999. It is the former CR 8043. The locomotive wears the current dark blue scheme of CSX which has been splendidly reproduced on the model. Paint and lettering are evenly applied. Handrails are fully painted with safety yellow correctly adorning the ends per prototype practice. The road number is displayed in the proper font and colors within the number boards. In addition, assorted builder's, leasing company and warning signage is applied in the correct locations. The model is a genuine treat for the eyes. Operationally, the GP38-2 runs as well as it looks. The locomotive features Atlas' highly regarded Scale Speed motor which enables prototypically correct speeds. Illumination is provided by golden white LED's. Completing the package are blackened wheels and AccuMate magnetic knuckle couplers. The model pulls well and is a reliable performer. The GP38-2 is available in two configurations. A DCC ready version is priced at $99.95 and the unit with the decoder installed by the manufacturer sells for $129.95. Mine is the DCC ready version. The website catalog illustration of the GP38-2 decorated for CSX and other additional roadname selections may be viewed at the following link: http://www.atlasrr.com/nloco/ngp38-2a.htm Happy railroading, Earle
  6. 62's make appearances in the video; however, the Redbirds were dominant on the Pelham Line at that time as preparations were being made for the introduction of the 142's. Regards, Earle
  7. He included views of the L captured while he was recording the 3 Train
  8. Absolutely. The Redbirds were both attractive and reliable. That's a good combination for trains (and women for that matter!) Earle
  9. Every so often, we uncover previously undiscovered jewels of great value to ourselves and those who share our passion for railroading. I did just that during a recent visit to http://www.nycsubway.org when I was directed a link to Mark's Subway Videos. The catalog offers in excess of 70 individual programs, the majority of which are devoted to New York City's underground and elevated railway empire. The variety of subjects is staggering and almost overwhelming. This is quite significant since commercially available video of New York City subways is very limited in quantity. As I was scrolling through the numerous titles, I had the feeling of a kid on Christmas Morning who didn't know which present to open first! After many passes, I edited the selections for my first order to eight programs and mailed the money order. A few weeks later, the envelope containing my DVD's arrived. During the entire process, Mark did an excellent job keeping me updated regarding the projected ship date. All eight programs will eventually be reviewed on this forum; however, today's evaluation will discuss Program DV011 titled "The IRT Was Redbird Country." Taped July 21, 1999, "The IRT Was Redbird Country" provides extensive coverage of operation along the IRT's White Plains Road, Pelham and Flushing Lines. Several vignettes of the Eastern Parkway Line and neighboring L Train action in Brooklyn are included as well. As indicated by the title, Redbirds are the star performers although R62/R62A cars appear as well. At the time the program was made, it was believed 1999 would be the final summer of Redbird operation. As we all know, that was not to be the case as they remained in regular service several years beyond that date. Still, they were very plentiful in number at the time this material was recorded and we are privileged to receive a fantastic "Redbird Fix!" The producer was very thorough in his coverage of lines included on the video. In fact, it's hard to believe he was able to do it all in a day but we can be grateful he did. Specific lineside locations visited are as follows: Pelham Line: Whitlock Avenue Elder Avenue St. Lawrence Avenue Castle Hill Avenue Westchester Square Buhre Avenue Middletown Road Zerega Avenue White Plains Road Line: Prospect Avenue Intervale Avenue Simpson Street Freeman Street 174th Street East Tremont Avenue East 180th Street Bronx Park East Gun Hill Road Flushing Line: Long Island City - Hunterspoint Avenue (Includes views of Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit trains) Willets Point - Shea Stadium 90th Street - Elmhurst Avenue 111th Street 46th Street - Bliss Street 33rd Street - Rawson Street In addition to runbys at the above locations, we are treated to thrilling head end rides courtesy of the "railfan window" on the Flushing Line Express between Queensboro Plaza and Willets Point - Shea Stadium and on the White Plains Road Line between Simpson Street and Freeman Street with a second sequence from East 180th Street to Gun Hill Road via the express track! This combination of head end rides and trackside views from a number of different perspectives provides great variety and maintains enthusiastic viewer interest. The image quality is razor sharp and the transfer from tape to DVD is superbly executed, greatly enhancing the program's visual appeal. It does not feature narration; however, an insert listing locations visited is provided. In addition, the producer often shows station signs in scenes which aids the purchaser in following along, particularly along lines with which the viewer may not be as familiar as others. Mark was kind enough to include a subway map which I enjoyed referencing as I watched the videos. I found the absence of narration a good choice since it allowed me to listen to the sweet sounds of traction motors, compressors and everything else associated with the art of electric railroading! Each DVD is packaged in a slim line jewel case (offering maximum storage space for more subway DVD's!) and is stamped with attractive photos of a Redbird to the left and one of the museum trains on the right. All discs provided were clean and free of scuff marks and scratches. "The IRT Was Redbird Country" is almost two hours long and is priced at $20 which represents exceptional value. Judging by the quality of this and the other titles I ordered, it is my opinion the programs of Mark's Subway Videos may represent the pinnacle of subway related merchandise currently available to today's hobbyist. I can certainly think of no better way to experience the New York City subway and elevated system without leaving the comfort of your home. The thought of the time and expense required to search out and record what Mark has done is staggering. The combination of equipment featured and overall quality of his video programs make them essential additions to the collections of anyone who claims to be a fan of New York's subways. Do yourself a favor. Click on the link below, pick the programs of your choice and send in an order. You won't be disappointed. In fact, I'll be mailing my second order later this morning! The link to Mark's Subway Videos is as follows: http://www.nycsubway.org/biblio/mark_videos.html Mark told me this listing is now incomplete and he is currently in the process of updating it. Also, as mentioned earlier in this review, he is now offering his programs in DVD format so be sure to specify your preferred format when ordering. These are superb programs not to be missed. Best regards, Earle
  10. Zach: Thanks for the evaluation. I was hoping someone would review these since I did not purchase a set. Even though I'm a Metro-North fan and commuter equipment releases are few and far between, the cars are a bit too short for my liking so I passed when I saw them. Still, they are proving to be quite popular as they appear to sell out wherever they are stocked. Regards, Earle
  11. [float=right][/float]As the United States was emerging as an industrial power many decades ago, the New York City Metropolitan Area became its center of manufacturing and foreign trade. Consequently, railroad companies very much wanted to access the region; however, unlike most other heavily developed urban centers, the area was dissected by numerous rivers, kills, bays and tidal straights. These bodies of water made it impractical for carriers to lay tracks to many points and therefore necessitated the development of creative methods to connect them with the main bodies of their respective systems. Undeterred, the area's railroads established marine departments to provide service to port areas without direct rail access. Utilizing fleets of ferryboats, tugs and barges to transport passengers and freight, the railroad industry provided a wide variety of flexible services to port customers and was largely instrumental in establishing the New York Harbor area as the country's premier port facility. Regrettably, as manufacturing declined and short sighted government policy poured vast amounts of money into highway development to the detriment of efficient rail transportation, New York Harbor railroading began a precipitous decline during the 1960's which has left only one carrier, the Port Authority owned New York New Jersey Rail Corporation, providing car float service within the harbor. It is encouraging, however, to know that plans for a rail freight tunnel are being developed. Also, rail traffic destined to the port has risen dramatically in recent years with the expansion of CSX and Norfolk Southern container operations and the resumption of service to New York Container Terminal, formerly Howland Hook, on Staten Island. Through the pages of "New York Harbor Railroads In Color Volume 1," let us journey back in time to the 1950's and 60's when a variety of railroads were busy serving the Port of New York. Published by Morning Sun and authored by Thomas R. Flagg, the 128 page hardcover book contains a treasure trove of color images of the many types of locomotives, rolling stock, marine vessels and buildings which were used to serve the region. Beginning with an introduction which explains the the history of marine rail development and types of services offered, the book presents photographs of operations of participating railroads accompanied by informative text and captions. Railroads covered are as follows: Baltimore and Ohio, Jersey Central, Lackwanna, Erie, Erie Lackawanna, Harlem Transfer, Lehigh Valley, Long Island, New York Central, New Haven, Pennsylvania, Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, New York Dock, Bush Terminal and Hoboken Shore. The book is up to Morning Sun's typically high standards of quality with well lighted and composed photographs superbly reproduced. "New York Harbor Railroads In Color Volume 1" was released in 2000 with a list price of $54.95. Production of the book ceased recently; however, Morning Sun titles are stocked by numerous dealers who sell at train shows and advertise in the various hobby magazines such as "Trains" and "Railfan and Railroad" so it should still be relatively easy to locate at a reasonable price. I obtained my mint copy at a 2008 show for $30, providing evidence it can be found with a little effort. The book is well done and all New York City Metropolitan Area railfans will find it fascinating. An image of the book's cover can be found at www.morningsunbooks.com. Click on the Northeast link at the home page. Happy railroading, Earle
  12. [float=right][/float]Of the many commercially produced railroading video programs available, "Amtrak Cab Ride - Night Train to Manhattan" is truly unique. The video is approximately 100 minutes in duration and takes us for a cab ride aboard Amtrak AEM7 904 as it powers the 8 cars of Train 167 from New Haven, CT to New York Penn Station on the evening of December 31, 2005. As some will recall, New Year's Eve that year featured a snowstorm and the snow laying on the right of way provided optimum lighting conditions for the production of a night time cab ride program. The combination of heavy snow and impressive speed provides for a railroading experience of high drama. The view from the cab is breathtaking as lights of stations, interlockings and surrounding structures illuminate the 904's way as it diligently makes it way through the worst Mother Nature can dish out. Many opposing trains of Amtrak and Metro-North are observed. Commentary and conversation among the crew give the program a real railroading flavor. Since it was filmed on New Year's Eve, some of the commentary regarding the festivities are quite entertaining. At one point, a remark is made regarding the Metro-North crews who will be dealing with returning Times Square revelers later in the evening! The highlight of the entire trip is a fabulous ride over the Hell Gate Bridge with the lights of the Triboro Bridge and Manhattan twnkling in the distance. "Amtrak Cab Ride - Night Train to Manhattan" is priced at $29.95, an outstanding value particularly when one considers the opportunities for cab rides have become virtually non existent due to litigation and security concerns. I strongly recommend its purchase for enthusiasts who are looking for an unusual addition for their collections. An image of the program's case may be viewed via the following link: www.neffvideo.com/db1/00053/neffvideo.com/_download/N078.pdf Happy railroading, Earle
  13. Hi, Bill. I'm with you. I would like an accurate model of one of the TA's locomotives used in MOW service. When MTH released its subway work train, an EMD switcher was used for power....no good. Earle
  14. The Long Island Rail Road holds the distinction of being the busiest railroad on the North American continent. Its train frequency and traffic density is unmatched by any other carrier and a video which captures the LIRR's intense pace has been made available by Highball Productions. "The Long Island" is a 60 minute program released in 1991. Filmed during that same time period, the video captures the essence of North America's busiest railroad. Featuring two and sometimes three trains in the same scene, the program presents LIRR passenger operations in a well photographed manner. Beginning at Mineola Station, a variety of perspectives within town are included. There are a number of run pasts at NASSAU Tower and another sequence of ground level views at a grade crossing on Mineola's west side. We are then treated to additional action at the following stations: Merillon Avenue, Floral Park, Bellerose, Queens Village and Forest Hills. Subsequent to the production of this program, LIRR's equipment roster underwent a complete facelift so the locomotives and rolling stock shown are now considered vintage. Diesel operations were still in the capable hands of blue and white GP38-2's, MP15AC's and ALCo FA and EMD F-unit "power packs" hurtling along with older coaches and red striped parlor cars in tow while electric services were still trusted to M-1 multiple unit cars. Of course, all this has changed with the introduction of the new generation of DE and DM Class locomotives, multi-level rolling stock and M-7 multiple unit cars. We, as hobbyists, can be grateful to Highball Productions for having taken the time to preserve this action for us all to enjoy at a relatively nominal cost given the time and money required to finance production of this and similar video programs. Highball Productions has reissued many of its programs on DVD; however, "The Long Island" has not reappeared in this format. Still, older VHS tapes frequently appear for sale at train shows and on internet sites. I purchased my VHS copy shortly after its release. If memory serves correctly, I believe it had a list price of $24.95. Any fan of the Long Island Rail Road would be well served to take the time to hunt down a copy of "The Long Island." Its acquisition would be time and money well spent. Happy New Year, Earle
  15. AW: Try the following link and see if the picture displays for you. http://www.trains4tots.com/mtanewyosuca.html Earle
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