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									                      THE TWO FOOTERS
Issue 13                                                           March/April 2004

                           “Spring is in the Air”
Rock River Valley Traction                                                   by Stan Griffith
The Rock River Valley Traction is the out growth of an “S” gauge trolley system in my
basement. I used to think, “Wouldn’t it be neat to be a mouse and be able to ride on
this”. I remembered that back in the 1930’s I had seen an article in the old Railroad
Magazine of someone in PA that had a ride on trolley and I had been thinking of this ever

I had no advice, no plans, no place to put the thing, but I did have this dream. I found a
repulsion induction shifting pole printing press motor that had infinite speed control by
means of a lever and I found some light rail – maybe about 12#. I also found a place off
of the road in the woods along side of a creek where I would have privacy and also access
to commercial power at 110v. My first car was a 4 wheeled flat car with a control stand
on one end and a trolley mounted on a mast in the middle of the car. Our first run was
about 100’ using an extension cord.

I have subsequently made every mistake in the book but at least it runs. The man from
Toledo (can’t remember his name) came to see me one time and was aghast at how fast
we ran on such poor track, but this is for me, not for the public as was his.

This began in the early 1950’s and has grown slowly and sporadically ever since. I was
fortunate in having a strong back and a friend, Bill Janssen of traction fame, who was an
electrical engineer and also worked for CTA, North Shore, South Shore, etc… and had
access to cast off electrical equipment. Without this I could not have done it.

We now have a 4 wheeled work car with an end cab, an open car 4 wheel, a Birney and a
double truck box motor modeled from the eastern Michigan box motor that went to the
Rock Island Southern RR in Illinois.

We operate on 220V AC over head, and most of the cars are on board rectified and have
DV motors. They will run about 14 mph which seems like 100 and give a very
interesting ride. We have 3300’ of track, but it is arranged so that in making a round trip
you repeat some track and ride about a mile.

This past year another electrical geek who “plays” with me has installed electrical two
color operating automatic block signals and we have built a turntable. We run across the
turntable and continue on about 200’ on a descending 3% grade mostly on trestle.
I am over employed so it took me 3 years to build the trucks and the car. It is the only air
ride curve side ever built. In addition to the truck springing I have 2 small inner tubes
between the car bolster and the truck on each end and this does cushion the ride. The
Birney has two DC motors arranged electrically to have dynamic braking capabilities,
another first. The work car has self lapping air brakes.

Electric operation has the advantage of throwing the switch and go for a ride, no steam to
blow up and we can have relatively right curvature and still be prototypical. I do not
welcome the public, but any rail fans are most welcome.

Descanso, Alpine & Pacific Railway                                              by Leroy Athey
I made two trips to Bob Bucker’s Hempstead & Northern Railroad Company at
Hempstead, TX in 2003. The H&N is home to a stable of former South African 2’ gauge
equipment. A 63 ton Garrette, 67 ton Mike, 15 pieces of rolling stock including drop side
gondolas, goods vans (box cars) and two guard cars (cabooses). There is also Rail
Trolley 1337 that was assigned to the Director of Permanent Way (Road Master). The
trolley was built in the South African shops using a Ford N-8 tractor motor. There is also
a 22 ton Plymouth used for switching and moving dead steam locos. Incidentally the
H&N was the former home of my 2 ½ ton Brookville.

The first trip was in May 2003, when Jerry Pertrizze, my superintendent of Signals &
Communications, and I drove in my motor home down to work on the northern extension
of the line. In addition to doing track laying we cut and installed new wood roof ribs on
goods vans and sheet metal roofing, replaced some switch ties, reworked some turnouts
and got the trolley up and running again.

Before we left I told Robert, Bob’s oldest son that when they got ready to set the north
switch for the run around siding to give me a call and I’d come back down to help out. I
had anticipated this would be spring of 2004 at the earliest. In October 2003, I got a call
from Bob telling me that there was a truck load of new ties from LA at the front gate of
the ranch waiting to be unloaded and he was calling for Section Hands. I finally
convinced my Comptroller to issue me a track warrant to travel to and return from
Hempstead on the condition that I not drive but that I fly. I left Alpine on November 7th
and returned on the 17th. Of the 8 days I was in TX there were four of us, myself, Bob,
Robert his oldest son and Garrette the younger son, working 2 days. Then there was 2
days there were three of us, myself, Bob and Robert and the remaining 4 days just Bob
and I were working.

The photos tell the rest of the story and are numbered.

   1. When Jerry and I left in May the siding off to the left did not extend one rail
      length beyond the frog of this switch. The main line on the right did extend 100’
      and one rail was spiked part of that distance. This is what I found upon my arrival
      in November. The switch still needed some final spiking and we have just
      attached the switch stand target. The entire siding is not yet spiked and
      approximately one half of the main line to the north switch and beyond to the end

March/April 2004                                                                              2
        of track is yet to be spiked. There was also one length of rail still to be placed at
        the end of track.
   2.   The Section Gang at work. Bob, on the left, holding the spike lifter to straighten
        set spikes as needed. Garrette, yes he is named after the locomotive, operating the
        air hammer and I’m “nipping” the ties. Note the track gauge that is moved along
        as we do the final spiking.
   3.   Yours truly setting spikes after the ties have been pre-drilled. Bob decided to use
        standard gauge ties on the main but the siding is laid with 10’ ties halved and end
        treated at the tie yard before delivery.
   4.   Then we headed south over the siding stopping so I could point out the silver
        spike to him.
   5.   In addition to spending time under the hood of the Trolley and in the ash pit
        working on the undercarriage, this seems to be a project each time I visit; we
        spent significant time restoring the diesel park. After 15 years of service and a
        problem of water running down the flange ways into the barn during the winters
        the ties had all e disappeared and the track settled quite a bit to the point that the
        loco almost bottomed out when going in and out of the door way. Bob had started
        replacing some of the ties one by one, but that required trenching at the end of
        each tie. I suggested that we either remove the rails or jack them up high enough
        to allow us to remove all of the ties, new and old, grade the area and then replace
        all the ties at once eliminating the need to trench. On the right hand side of the
        photo is the rear tank of the Garrette which is currently undergoing retubing and
        the smoke box front is on the left side of the picture.
   6.   The Blue Bull and a Guard Car. All the African equipment is equipped with link
        and pin couplers and vacuum brakes – only the bull has air brakes. The open door
        on the left end of the Guard Car is the guard compartment. Note the periscope
        window just to the left of the door, there is one on the other side also, that serves
        in lieu of a cupola. Next comes a set of double doors without windows which is
        the LCL freight and baggage compartment. The number 2 is second class for
        whites only and the 3 indicates third class for blacks only – identical
        accommodations but very separate.
   7.   Garrette has been very methodically painting the Mike and had cut a stencil to
        apply the name to its tender. The first weekend I was there he used the same
        stencil to emblazon the road name on the Plymouth.
   8.   After returning to Alpine, I got in some more work on laying track on the DCET.
        The Trammer is in front followed by a side dump ore car and a timber car setting
        on the tail of the switch back ready to start up to the next level if the track were in
        place. Since this photo was taken the track has been extended up to a point where
        it levels off for a small yard to store 18” gauge equipment and a wye into yet to be
        dug mouth of the No Hope Mine. The majority of the DCET track is 10# rail 15’
        panel track from the Little Three Mine at Ramona, CA about 30 miles north of

March/April 2004                                                                             3
              (Picture 1)   (Picture 2)

              (Picture 3)   (Picture 4)

              (Picture 5)   (Picture 6)

              (Picture 7)   (Picture 8)

March/April 2004                          4
Teaberry & Southern RR                                                by Bill and Paul Krelner
In spite of all the rain the T&S did pretty well in just general maintenance. A fair amount
of ties were replaced including putting planking in between the rails on the turntable. We
painted and worked on roof of the Engine House and put in a light work bench. Moved
to better location new ties for turnout areas (these are covered for future use). Painted
railing and iron beams on trestle. Made another “Whistel Stop” location. Did heavy
brushing ???? on right of way. Redid 2 culvert ends and filled in and leveled area for an
engine house off of the turntable. We had a very successful “Shawmut Day” and
“Excursion Day” for the public.

Toonerville Trolley Update                                                    by Terry Welch
I wrote an article to this newsletter a couple of years ago. As a recap, I friend of mine has
a WWI vintage Plymouth Locomotive and two clay cars that his family used to bring clay
from the fields to their drain tile factory in Capron ILL. For many years after the factory
closed down it sat in a side yard at his family's lake front cottage in Southern Wisconsin.
The cottage was sold and the locomotive and cars had to be moved. They were moved to
central Wisconsin to my friend’s son-in-law’s farm. Well Harry's son-in-law decided to
put in a railroad. He purchased rail from our club when we rebuilt our railroad, got some

March/April 2004                                                                            5
someplace else, located two switches a recently bought one switch from the company
taking the light rail out of the Badger Ordinance Plant in Baraboo Wisconsin.

Now with the help of his wife, and father in law, work is under way in restoring the little
locomotive and laying the rest of the track. They have stripped off the canopy, removed
the motor, it had a cracked block, and started to fix the locomotive up.

Harry's daughter found out that her grandfather purchased the locomotive in the late 20s
in Blue Island ILL. Through a fellow on the internet "Critters List" she found out who
originally owned the engine. They have done research on the little locomotive and she
wants to write a book on the Plymouth Company.

The engine had to be replaced. The one in the Locomotive was not original anyway.
They have a Hercules engine of that vintage that they plan on using. They are thinking of
having the drive wheel on the friction drive system rebuilt by a company that rebuilds
pulleys for tractor and industrial concerns. They are made out of paper, believe it or not.

In the spring the goal is to get the engine in the locomotive and get it running. Clean it
and get it painted. Repair what needs to be done on the drive line. Then will be time to
lay the rest of the track, with the "Y" turnaround. Hopefully this will get all done this
spring and summer. Then will be time to rebuild the clay cars so they can pull some cars

On a side note; at the Rock River Thresheree's railroad, the first Henschel Locomotive is
having the cab removed so some stay bolts can be replaced, and the cab will be refinished
at the same time. We have also purchased switches from the Badger Plant as in the future
we want to have a passing siding and another siding into the train shed.

In case, if any one is interested, all of the 25 lb and 40 lb rail was sold to a scraper in Eau
Claire Wisconsin by the name of Tom Toy, at Toys Scrap and Salvage. I have no
association with this company other than we bought some switches from them.

March/April 2004                                                                              6
Tick Acres                                                             by Terry Raines
Last 23 January was a Red Letter Day here at Tick Acres, when the shipment from
Harmer Steel arrived with Gill's Locomotive, three Gondola Dump Cars, and many
panels of track.

Ron and his wife arrive
in their 18wheeler
loaded with 38,000#

With all the lightweight
track and cars unloaded,
our 2ft high trailer cribbed
up to match the 4ft of the
18wheeler, and a track
panel laid in preparation for
the transfer

The diesel fires right up and
I drive it right across,
hoping that it will stop

March/April 2004                                                                    7
In short order, Ron is
packed up and heading
home to Oregon. All is
quiet and the Loco is left
'high and dry'

With our eBay RR jacks,
the trailer is slowly lowered
back to ground level, and
all is stable

Closing Remarks                                                              by Tom Bauer
Can you believe it? We are already starting our third year of publishing the newsletter.
The newsletter staff appreciates the articles that members have sent and encourages
suggestions on improving the newsletter.

                                    The Two Footers
                                    534 Armory Road
                                  St. Marys, PA 15857


March/April 2004                                                                           8

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