20th CENTURY 
RAILROAD CLUB

Members Meeting - click for more details

  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018
  • 7:00 PM
  • Founder's Room at Chicago Union Station

Our Next Meeting:  Meetings have Moved!!  The April meeting will be held in our new location in the newly renovated Founder's Room at Chicago Union Station. The room is located in the Southwest corner of the Great Hall, sharing the same entrance with the Legacy Lounge. Years ago, this area served as the station's barber shop.

 The Member’s Meeting will be Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 7pm. George Hiotis will present a two part program “Suburban  Symphony” and “Towers-----The Last Outposts

 Towers, like steam locomotives, are enduring symbols of railroading. Towers – The Last Outposts posits that interlocking towers were the last holdouts in an era of encroaching automation, succumbing one-by-one. They were places where a lone employee spent an 8-hour shift, in contact only by radio with dispatchers and train crews: For that alone, I believe it to be a unique aspect of railroading. The emphasis will be on the human aspect, along with a pictorial review of the distinctive styles of towers used by various railroads, in varying moods of light. There will also be an emphasis on the anachronistic combination of 19th and 20th-century technologies at some of the locations, which, as part of far-flung, modernizing corporations, managed to survive so long. Featured will be the former B&O last string of towers in West Virginia: Martinsburg; West Cumbo; Miller and Hancock.

 Suburban Symphony is a brief survey of the New York metropolitan area rail commuter lines, with a human-interest emphasis. Included are the former Jersey Central, Erie-Lackawanna, Long Island, New Haven, New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads, plus Amtrak. The primary focus is on present-day NJ Transit operations, but some vintage equipment is also seen. Most of the musical score is classical, as "symphony" seems descriptive of the coordinated nature of the system. Symphony is in six scenes: dawn in Westfield; the Raritan Valley Line in Westfield and Fanwood; the Morris & Essex and Gladstone lines; snow; night; and an excursion on the Long Island and the former New York Central, New Haven and Pennsylvania lines. Essentially, it is a return, 45 years later, to some of the locales of the photographer's youth, seen anew with a different viewpoint born of much more experience plus advanced photo equipment. It's an ongoing "work in progress" – a journey of discovery – portraying both the frantic and tranquil moments of commuting by rail.  

The next meeting (May):

 TO BE SPECIFIC, IT WILL BE “PACIFIC”    (Program by George Strombeck, Wednesday, May 9th)

During the 1960’s there were twelve different railroads that all used the word “Pacific” in their corporate name, such as Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and ten more with abbreviations of CP (Canada), PGE, SP, WP, NWP, PE, T&P, MP, CStP&P, and (my favorite!) CRI&P (Rock Island).  I have visited all these railroads, rode their trains, and will show my slides of their colorful passenger and freight trains!  Only the Union Pacific survives, as all the rest have either merged away or are bankrupt!


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