Tuesday, October 2, 2012

All Aboard!

Last week we visited the National New York Central Railroad Museum (NYCRR) located in Elkhart, Indiana.  

The New York Central Railroad was at one time the second largest railroad in the United States being located in eleven states and two Canadian provinces with 11,000 route miles of track.

Elkhart is the home of the largest railroad freight classification yard east of the Mississippi, the Norfolk Southern Railway's Elkhart yard, which made it a natural location for the museum.

The museum's goal is to educate the public on the history of the vast New York Central System and its progression into the modern era.

Below is a picture of a General Motor's Electro-Motive Division (EMD) E8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive that is on display at the museum.  I will get into it more later on in the blog.

An EMD E8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive on display at the NYCRR Museum.
Below is a 1/12 scale working model of a L2A Mohawk steam engine which was built by Richard Stolzenfelds who was a locomotive engineer for the Santa Fe railroad.  He based the model off an actual New York Central (NYC) locomotive blueprints.  It is an amazing model which is very detailed.

A model of a L2A Mohawk steam engine.

Outside is the New York Central #3001, a L3A Mohawk steam engine which was purchased in 1940 to be used as a dual service steam locomotive to move both heavy freight and passenger cars.

There have been many rumors that this steam engine was to be rebuilt and used as a tourist attraction operating twelve months out of the year.  

Many train enthusiasts would love this to happen, but I think that politics and the high cost of rebuilding has put this idea to bed.

NYC #3001 L3A Mohawk Steam Engine.

The NYC #3001 is a very impressive steam engine to be next to with its massive wheels.  The Mohawk class of steam locomotive had four small wheels in front, eight driving or powered wheels in the middle, and two small wheels following the driving wheels (4-8-2) which were first used on Central's Mohawk Division in the state of New York.

Avery, Courtney, Tia, Chloe, Ethan, & Ian posing in front of NYC #3001's massive wheels.
The museum also houses an impressive O gauge model railroad layout that the kids really enjoyed.  Sooner or later all of the O gauge model trains in the museum are rotated onto it so that there are always different type of engines and cars on the track.

Control room for the O gauge model railroad tracks in the museum.
I'm not sure whether or not the crashed plane is a representation of a true event, but I thought it was a really neat detail of the model railroad track they had.
A model crashed bi-plane on the model railroad.
 After touring the inside of the museum, you can go outside and actually board a EMD E8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive that is on display.

Front view of the EMD E8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive on display at the museum.

The EMD E8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive has a diesel engine which runs the on-board generators that power the electric motors that actually drive the wheels.  Most people think it is the diesel engine that drives the wheels.  So in essence, it is an electric train that carries its own power plant.
Specification sheet for the EMD E8 Locomotive.
A view of the NYC #3001 through the windshield while inside the cab of the E8 locomotive.

View of NYC #3001.
Below is a picture of the inside cab where the engineer would drive the train engine. 

Engineer / Operator controls inside the cab of the E8 locomotive.
Here is one of the massive pistons that is in the two-stroke diesel V-12 engine for the E8 locomotive. 

One of the pistons out of the V-12 diesel engine in the EMD E8.
Below you can see the size of the piston (just above and to the right of Tia's head) compared to Ethan and Tia.  I had a picture with Misty next to the piston, which was a better comparison, but the expression on her face was less than flattering, so I had to crop the picture above.

Ethan & Tia next to the piston out of the V-12 diesel engine.
Also on display was a Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 Pacific steam engine made entirely out of 421,250 toothpicks built by Terry Woodling of Warsaw.

Toothpick Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 Pacific.
The model took seven years to build with its completion in 1991.

Side view of the Toothpick Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 Pacific.
The 1/6 scale model also has moving parts that include the brakes, side rods, wheels,  and windows.

Close up details for the Toothpick Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 Pacific.
The museum also has plenty of hands on displays such as the miniature tracks that you could stake down.
Ethan and Ian testing their hammering skills while Mother watches closely.
Throughout the entire museum there were train bells that could be rung such as this one that came off of NYC #3001.
Ethan ringing the bell off of the NYC #3001.
I guess the scenes of chasing someone across the roof of any of these trains was not possible since the below warning was stenciled on the wall at both ends of this caboose.

And the doctor said, "No more employees jumping on the bed!" or in this case, the roof.
Just one of the cabooses that was part of the rolling stock at the museum.

Ian, Tia, and Courtney inspecting one of the cabooses at the museum.

The interior is a little rough, but if you use your imagination, you can see that this would have been a good place to take a load off and relax after a hard days work on the railroad.

It would also make a great hunting camp with a little tender loving care and about $2,000.00.
The old caboose ain't what it used to be.
This is what you get when your three year old thinks he is going to go on a train ride, but then discovers that he is not going on a train ride because we missed the last available train for the day.

Avery's reaction after learning that we were not going to go on a train ride today.

All in all we had a very interesting time at the museum and for the most part, everyone enjoyed themselves, including Avery.  He soon got over his disappointment and is moving on with his life.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog and found something of interest.  If you are ever in Elkhart, IN and have a chance, make sure you visit the museum.  It is worth it.

Until the next time, may you and all you love be blessed and watched over by the Lord.

Don, Misty, & Kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment