Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Meeting Notes

Election of New Officers
President Bernard Haxel says:
Hi Folks,
Please don't forget the regular NRHS Rivanna Chapter meeting next Tuesday at the Elks Club.  Dinner ($14.00) at 6:00 and meeting at 7:00, as usual.

We need a good turnout this time because November is when we elect our officers and this year we actually have a slate of new officers ready to elect!  Your Executive Committee has met, and we will nominate the following slate:

    President:            Ross Thomas
    Vice President:    Ed DeBary
    Secretary:            Bernard Haxel
    Treasurer:            Ann Harrod

Of course, we will also take other nominations from the floor.  There are some other important announcements to hear and a few other matters of business to discuss.  And then, a great program (more on that later).

So please plan to attend.”

Our program

Steam Fever” is my all-time favorite railfan video, because it is the most elegantly photographed and recorded railroad video that I [Don Wells] have seen. It is just plain beautiful. It was first shown to the Rivanna Chapter by Nick Page 10-15yr ago. I was so impressed with it that I obtained a personal copy, and then I showed it again in 2009 when I was VP, and now I have chosen it to show as my final video program as VP of Rivanna Chapter.
This video was produced in South Africa 20yr ago, and shows mainline steam there in its final days, in the late 1980s, pulling both fast passenger and heavy freight trains. The railroad is 42-inch gauge (“Cape Gauge”, not the 56.5-inch “Standard Gauge” of US RRs), and the railfans drive their 1980s cars on the left half of the highway (steering wheel on the right), so it isn't our familiar USA railroading, but this is double-tracked, fully-signalled, power-turnout mainline steam still running only 25 years ago! And the locos are big stoker-fired 4-8-4s, with high horsepower and large tenders for long runs. Because these locos ran in desert country, many of them were equipped with condensers that recycled their boiler water – and these condenser locos roared and whined instead of chuffing.
Some of the South African steam engines were among the most efficient ever built, with sophisticated designs. The most famous of these advanced engine designs was called the “Red Devil” – a steam loco painted all-red!
South Africa ran coal-burning steam engines later than other countries because it has abundant coal but doesn't have oil; in fact South Africa has a long history of large-scale coal-to-liquid conversion to operate its automobiles and trucks.
The silent video to be shown during dinner has not yet been selected.
Next month's program
The officers expect that we will have a guest speaker for the Chapter's December 17th meeting, but we do not yet have a firm confirmation of that – more later.
All Aboard!

Rivanna Chapter
National Railway Historical Society
Charlottesville, Virginia

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 2013 Meeting Program

The October 2013 meeting topic will be Powder River Basin Coal traffic.  Don will show video of trains in the basin which is one the densest lines for traffic in the country. 

Business items include annual election of officers and a discussion of a donation to the 611 restoration project.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 2013 Meeting

 The program for the May meeting of Rivanna Chapter, on Tues 05-21, will be "Mixtape#2" – a program of short railroad videos, 54m30s duration. This “mixtape” (or “smorgasbord”) Rivanna Chapter program is a DVD of 24 short videos, many only 1-2 minutes in length, with the longest only 7 minutes. The range of subjects covered is very wide, in five general categories: (1) MOW [Maintenance Of Way], (2) Historic-Steam, (3) Contemporary-Steam, (4) Bad Things Happen (crashes, etc), and (5) Diesels. These videos are all from the Internet, and many of them are very recent, some even less than one month old. A sample of the subjects includes: BNSF rotary clears snow in Nebraska, a South African 4-8-4 condenser engine does a runby, the British “Tornado” engine arrives in a station, one derailed train in Brazil derails another, an Oktokopter misbehaves while filming a train, a UP auto rack train climbs the Tehachapi grade, a Caltrain "Baby Bullet" runs through a station at 75mph, and the BNSF Masters Special does a runby in Georgia on its journey to Augusta.

The silent video during dinner will be "The Pennsylvania Railroad" [60m] -- Emery Gulash 16mm color movie footage 1952-1969.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Meeting - Slideshow on Indain Railways

In April the program will be a slideshow on Indian Railways in various gauges.  If you love the exotic and British or unknown Railways then come and join us on the 16th.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Blog

This new blog is to give timely news and views from the NRHS Rivanna Chapter.  More frequent postings will help spread news and meeting info easier.  Check back regularly for updates