logo
Reading Company Newtown Pa L-5a 4-6-0 589 May 4 1941 Baldwin 1902

As you see in this photo, the engineer’s cab is located on the side of the boiler – the large round portion of every steam locomotive, where the steam is generated to power the driving wheels – rather than behind the boiler, which is the norm for virtually every other type of steam locomotive.

Hence, this design took on the “camelback” name, because the engineer sat astride the boiler. It became a very popular locomotive for pulling short passenger and freight trains on railroads such as the one which I grew up with … the Reading Railroad.

 » Read More

February 12th, 2018

Posted In: Railroads

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Neil Diamond and the Power of Music

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this commentary but, after hearing Neil’s recent announcement that his live performing days were over because of Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis, I knew that I had to write about music … his music and, in particular, one of his songs.

When Neil came on the music scene and began having hits in the late 1960’s, I didn’t pay much attention. I’ve always had a greater love for instrumental arrangements and recordings,

 » Read More

February 5th, 2018

Posted In: Radio

Tags: ,

Leave a Comment

WASH Radio Station Wheaton tower building 4

When the sign says WASH, you expect a Laundromat … how about a radio station?  The WASH Radio Station to be exact …

The History of the WASH Radio Station

This is the current-day scene on University Boulevard in the busy business center of a community named Wheaton, Maryland, located just about 10 miles due north of downtown Washington, D. C. Other than this tower which sits directly behind the building, you wouldn’t realize this is the former home of one of Washington’s major FM stations,

 » Read More

January 27th, 2018

Posted In: Radio

Tags: , , ,

2 Comments

I doubt that “Coca-Cola” needs any further description or clarification, and a song is a song, except this story is about a particular song … which we’ll discuss shortly. However, you likely wonder who Bill Backer is and where does he fit into this picture.

Mr. Backer became a true star and creative force in the advertising world after he hired the popular singing group, the New Seekers, to record a series of advertising jingles for Coca-Cola.

 » Read More

January 17th, 2018

Posted In: Radio

Tags: , , , ,

A more satisfying Amtrak ride by aAmtrak GE Genesis P42 166 at Saratoga Springs

My friend Mike and I – both train lovers – were chatting a couple of days back, talking about how great it would be to see the rail passenger’s “customer satisfaction” level improve in this coming year. In other words, what would it take to create a more satisfying Amtrak ride?

In letting you in on what this likely would require, we thought it best for you to read it from the perspective of an Amtrak P42 diesel locomotive we happen to know.

 » Read More

January 10th, 2018

Posted In: Railroads

Tags:

I recently found myself in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, an area where I’ve not spent much time in recent years. And, since it’s been decades since I last visited the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, which is located just across the street from one of America’s best-known tourist rail lines, the Strasburg Rail Road, I carved out a couple of hours for a fresh visit. And, I’m glad I did, as so much has been added over the past 25 years.

 » Read More

December 27th, 2017

Posted In: Railroads

Tags: , , ,

Of course I’m talking about one of the major events of the American Revolutionary War which took place on Christmas night … December 25, 1776 … when General George Washington and his patriot troops crossed the icy Delaware River in boats to travel a few miles downstream on the New Jersey side to launch a surprise attack on the British – then known as the Hessians – quartered at Trenton. This George Washington Christmas 1776,

 » Read More

December 18th, 2017

Posted In: General Musings

Tags: , ,

This is the U. S. S. Arizona Memorial. To me, the image says Pearl Harbor more than any other I’ve ever seen. Let us never forget what occurred at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii 76 years ago this week!  It is a major event in our nation’s history and a date that should live in infamy … but will it? Is it in the memories of most Americans?

It was a Sunday morning when Japanese bombs rained down on the home base of the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet … which brought the United States into what would soon be known as World War Two.

 » Read More

December 7th, 2017

Posted In: General Musings

Tags:

Recently, radio industry news publications put out the word that Nielsen, the large research organization which, among other things, publishes the radio and television listenership reports, had done an analysis of the holiday songs most played on radio during the 2016 Christmas season.

What really attracted my attention to this is the list of the 10 most-played recordings and their age. What’s most interesting is that not a single one of the ten – which has obviously been extensively researched to determine which songs have the greatest magnetic attraction with the most devoted listeners and lovers of holiday music – is new here in the 21st century,

 » Read More

November 26th, 2017

Posted In: Radio

Tags: , ,

There’s a Christian praise song who’s opening line goes … “Give Thanks with a grateful heart” … which truly rings close to my heart!

Should I say privileged, should I say fortunate or should I say blessed? Regardless, my first thought upon waking each morning is how thankful I am for what we have been blessed with as the years have rolled by. Or, as financial counselor Dave Ramsey likes to say on his daily radio show,

 » Read More

November 21st, 2017

Posted In: Radio

Tags: ,