Railroads on Parade gets reprieve, famed model train displays to remain in Warren County

Remember the story about Railroads On Parade? CitiBank used to sponsor a Christmas exhibit then it went to Pottersville, New York.

Visitors to Railroads on Parade love examine the intricate model train displays and cityscapes crafted by award-winning set designer Clarke Dunham. While it was expected that the displays were to be dismantled due to an auction Nov. 11 to pay off the venue’s debt, an agreement was reached between Clarke and Barbara Dunham and an investor to keep the displays intact and the venue open

Dunham said that he might pursue buying the Railroads on Parade property — which he now leases.

#He’ll also be seeking a waiver from state building code that mandates that a sprinkler system be fully charged, which prevents the museum from staying open past mid-November due to potential pipe freeze-ups.

#Dunham said he’d like to keep Railroads on Parade open year-round, which would likely include a Christmas display.

A New York Times article in September which publicized the pending closure of Railroads on Parade and described the intricate, enchanting layouts helped in securing the museum’s future, Dunham said. The article attracted thousands of extra visitors — hailing from all over the northeast U.S. and Canada as well as from Europe — until the venue shut its doors in mid-October, Dunham said. During that time, the traffic at the museum doubled, raising $39,000 which is vital in the venue’s pending resurrection, Dunham said.

Lucius Riccio, the former Commissioner of Transportation for New York City, will be organizing the fundraising through Kickstart.com, Dunham continued. Riccio is a long-time fan of Dunham’s award-winning set designs and displays.
Anybody know how close to a “real” railroad? All I know about Pottersville is it REALLY in the boonies!

#To obtain news on the status of the museum or for updates on the crowd-funding effort, see: RailroadsOnParade.com or dunhamstudios.com.

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North American Railroads: Consolidation in 2014 and Beyond?

Still A Big Topic



Canadian Pacific Railway CEO and Director E. Hunter Harrison told investors last week that he expects rail consolidation among the largest North American railroads within six years, but his ideas are more than just the usual rumors. One of which is that Kansas City Southern Railway, the smallest of the major railroads, will merge with one of the five other Class I carriers or a third-party that merges two railroads. The major benefit to a KCS buyer would be gaining the only cross-border rail network that connects the U.S. to Mexico’s rapidly growing manufacturing base.

What if each of the western U.S.-based Class I railroads — BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad merge with an eastern counterpart. BNSF or UP, for example, could merge with CSX Transportation or Norfolk Southern Railway. Such a merger wouldn’t “impact the competitive environment,” and shippers would gain better service by having two transcontinental lines…

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Metro-North Railroad Operations Center

Buried away “somewhere” near Grand Central is the Metro-North Railroad Operations Center. Not only did it replace a half-dozen signal towers in and around Grand Central Terminal, but it controls the three main lines: Poughkeepsie, Brewster and New Haven PLUS all those smaller lines like New Canaan. Quite an undertaking.

Yes I know they are not perfect yet, but they are trying.

One of the best sources of pictures and articles about the Operations Center is an independent WebSite called I Ride The Harlem Line. They even cover night-time operations.

A little about “ I Ride The Harlem Line”

 My name is Emily, though I am known by many who ride the train simply as Cat Girl, for the hats I customarily wear during the winter time. I am a graphic designer, a Metro North train rider, and a person that has always been interested in history. For the past 4 years I’ve been a regular commuter, though I’ve been a Harlem Line rider all my life. This site is a collection of my usually train-related thoughts, observations, photographs, and travels, as well as my never-ending hunt for intriguing historical artifacts. 


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How to get Canon PhotoStitch Panorama and Photo Stitching software for free

Great ideas from Don

Don Charisma

I’ve owned several Canon digital cameras over the years, which have all come with a “free” utility called PhotoStitch.

PhotoStitch isn’t the most feature packed or the newest software, but it does work well, made by a well respected company. It can do Panning (Scenery etc), Parallel Camera Movement (Documents etc) and Images scanned in sections.

I’ve tested it with Photos taken on my iPhone 4s and it seems that the pictures don’t have to be taken on a Canon camera.

Update Mar-2014 – I’ve just written about alternatives to Canon Photostitch, so you might want to check them out in my article – “Panorama Stitching Software – Alternatives To Canon Photostitch”

DonCharisma Canon PhotoStitch Panorama Canon PhotoStitch Panorama

Reason that I’m writing about this, is that ten years after taking some Panoramas, I wanted to stitch them together. I didn’t have the install CD or the camera or the software any more. After…

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Lift Bridge for Metro-North Trains Is Getting Big Repairs

In 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools. The Senate censured Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose scowling rants about Communist subversion had prompted witch hunts. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville advised a skinny young truck driver named Elvis Presley to stay behind the wheel.

And a baby-blue railroad bridge was changing the landscape between Manhattan and the Bronx. By its completion a couple of years later, it would ease the ride for suburbanites commuting to Cheever country and long-haul passengers reveling in the red-carpet treatment on the Twentieth Century Limited, a train so famous that it played a supporting role in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “North by Northwest.”

Now the bridge is getting considerably more than a face-lift — a top-to-bottom overhaul that has a price tag of $47.2 million and involves installing new cables to raise and lower the 340-foot-long track sections. Also scheduled are a new electrical control system, new wiring and new power-supply equipment for the third rail on the tracks.

Read More About this Bridge

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The Fabled Rutland Milk

We have just updated to include picture of Rutland Milk running as a NY Central train through MO Junction.



Pictured above is a “rider car” going through Troy, New York. Below is a milk car.


So what was so spectacular about what was called the “Rutland Milk Train”? Well, it started out way up in New York State, ran across the top of the state, ran down the length of Vermont, then back through New York State into New York City! Used to go over Rutland Railroad’s “Corkscrew Division”, but when that track had no more on-line business, they cut through Troy. Besides the truck lobby, what killed the Rutland Milk was inability to sell Vermont milk in New York (Federal “milkshed” regulations). My goodness! Almost 500 miles!

The Rutland milk ran to Chatham as train 88 which held over for 90 minutes for the arrival of the northbound empties from the NYC on the Harlem Division. The trains were swapped over from one railroad to the…

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Federal highway agency OKs construction alternative for CSX tunnel project in D.C.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHW) has approved a preferred construction alternative for CSX Corp.’s Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in Washington, D.C., enabling the Class I to complete design work and initiate the construction permitting process.

The decision marks the completion of an extensive environmental review conducted jointly with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation that incorporated three years of input from residents, businesses and government agencies in the southeast D.C. neighborhood around the tunnel, CSX officials said in a press release. The FHW approved temporary closure of Interstate 695 ramps located at 6th and 8th streets, and the occupancy of a portion of the 11th Street bridge right of way along the interstate.

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With help from Penney Vanderbilt