Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.

Greetings from Siberia,er Upstate, NY!


Recommended Posts

Greetings to all! I have been a Railfan/ Metrophile since early childhood. I was born in Chicago in 1962 and my parents did not get a car until 1968, so as a young child we took the bus or ‘L’ everywhere. I remember the trolley buses that used the streetcar wires and the old Green and White 6000 Series transit cars built by the St Louis Car Company with the drop sash windows. When we went to visit my Grandparents in Western Ill. We took the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad which at that time still had Diner cars with linen table cloths. I always loved the sense of adventure the old Northwestern Station promised, even after the CN&W became just a commuter railroad. For many years smelling the diesel exhaust inside a train shed was my favorite olfactory experience. Many years later when I returned to Chicago and took the Metra to Northwestern Station I was mortified to find that the Porphyry and Granite columns in the elegant waiting room had been replaced by a generic glass and steel office building.


When I was 12 my parents moved to Rural Wisconsin. I never adjusted. Ever Summer for the next several years I would go and stay at Grandparents in Chicago for two weeks. Being too young to drive and my grandparents too frail to go anywhere I soon started exploring the city via the CTA. I quickly learned the entire system of Elevated Trains and Buses and started collecting paper transfers and system maps. I then branched out to include the Metra Suburban Rail System. I continued to return to Chicago even after getting my driver’s license. After graduating with a degree in History from the University of Wisconsin my first job was as a cab driver and then delivery driver.



My first trip to NYC was in 1988. My girlfriend and I drove from Madison, WI to see her brother who lived on 20th St btw 7th & 8th Aves. The 1st night there my gf wanted to hang out at her bro’s appt. I wanted to explore and immediately discovered the 18th St station of the West Side IRT. My 1st ride was from 18th St to Penn Station on the 9 Train. I instantly fell in love with New York and the NYC Subway. For the next 5 years I planned 2 trips a year to the city. Each time I sent a letter to the NYCTA requesting the most current Subway Map and a complete set of the Borough Bus Maps. I stayed at the Vanderbilt YMCA on W. 47th St. Each day I would set out and explore the city, maps in hand. I would keep a journal of my experiences and sometimes took pictures. Over those years I rode every line and saw every station except the 3 Train on both ends (New Lots and 155th). In between visits I read everything about NYC I could, history, politics, Robert Moses, everything. I memorized addresses on the Avenues.


In 1993 I finally moved to the city. I moved in with a new girlfriend in the East Village. I was finally was in the city! On April 1st, 1994 I became a NYC Cab Driver. I drove for 6 months, really learned the city and had a great time. During the time I drove The Rangers won the Stanley Cup, The Knicks were in the NBA finals, the World Cup had games in the city, Richard Nixon died and the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall happened.


For a lot of reasons, personal and financial I was forced to leave the city for awhile but returned to Northern NJ in September 96. I started driving a cab again in November right after the Yankees won their 1st WS since 1978. My gf and I stayed until June 1997 until we moved to her hometown of Rochester, NY and got married where we have been ever since. On our last day in the city I rode the A to Rockaway Beach and also took pictures of the Canal St Subway Station.


I really miss the city and especially the Subway. I did not get back again until January 2006. My 1st day back I rode the 1 Train to 242nd and spent hours drinking with an MTA worker named John in a great Irish Bar under the tracks named Dorney & Malones.


I first took my son to NYC in 2007 and he fell in love with the subway too.


I really love all aspects of the subway, the rolling stock, the maps, and especially the stations. I love the feel of the changing air pressure when I descend the stairs into the station. I really miss the rolling destination signs and think the electronic signs are awful by comparison, although I am eagerly looking forward to riding one of the R160 Trains.


I am glad I found this forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rochester, NY ... where we have been ever since...

although I am eagerly looking forward to riding one of the R160 Trains.


Let me know when next you come down - my supply of Sal's Sauce is running low:cry: - and much as I love it, I can't afford $40 + shipping and tax for a 6 pack.


2 years in Rochester spoiled me for small cities.


Welcome aboard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chicago! Another great place to be a rail lover! Welcome to the Forum. Just from a glance at your intro it was easy to tell you were a hopeless romantic when it comes to the subways. In 1979 I stayed in ILL NOISE :D for 7 months. Only got to the city on two occasions and wasn't able to go end to end on Chi's wonderful system. Maybe one day.


Tale care and enjoy your stay at NYCTF!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.