Other Railroad Activity
(during 'The Decadent Decade + 2'- 1988-2000 - and beyond)
 Why this Web Site?
 The Layout
 Despatch Yard
 Christopher Yard
 The Railroad
 More Pictures
 Looking Back
 D-N-D Division
 H & O Division
 H & O Revival
 Bison Yard
 Service Module
 House Caboose
 H & O Slideshow
RR Memorabilia:
 My World of Trains
 Train Travel
 A Very Special Day
 Christmas 1
 Christmas 2
 Lionel Centenary
 Other RR Activity
 Guest Book


      ALTHOUGH my “model railroading mania” was in nearly total remission during most of these 12-plus years, my romance with the rails and railroading continued to thrive through many other activities, even though the model layouts lay at rest, nearly forgotten, entombed in the ever-growing clutter of a basement and an attic.
      These activities have included two trans-continental (and several other) railroad journeys, a constant and growing involvement in stamp collecting in general and railway philately in particular, support of the projects of numerous museums, and development of a “hobo troubadour” persona.


      My interest in collecting train stamps had begun even before 1988 (c.1985), with the issuance and promotion earlier in that decade of the prolific and now somewhat infamous “Leaders of the World” omnibus series by several island entities of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Although I had acquired substantial philatelic collections in a number of other areas of interest, the railway theme prevailed and has developed into a specialty to the near exclusion of all other elements of that hobby.

The Rochester (N.Y.) Philatelic Assn. sponsors the annual ROPEX national stamp show, which has chosen railways as its theme twice in recent years, as seen on these show program covers for the 1994 and 2000 exhibitions. The 1994 ROPEX show took place during the year the author of this web site was the association's president.

      I joined the Rochester Philatelic Assn. about this time, and served as its president in the 1993-4 year; I have been a governor of the Casey Jones Railroad Unit - ATA (American Topical Assn.) since 1992, and a member for several years of the American Philatelic Society, the Mobile Post Office Society, the British Railway Philatelic Group, and the German Internationalen Motivgruppe Eisenbahnwesen. I was a co-author (with Howard J. Burkhalter and my wife, Florence) of the 1996 Railways of the World on Stamps (ATA Handbook 130), and compiler and editor of that work's annual supplements in 1997-1999. I am currently the author/editor of ATA Handbook 138, World Railways Philatelic (published in 2000), and its five supplements (2001-2005), as well as CD-ROM editions released annually in 2002-2006. Since my retirement from gainful employment in 1993, I have been associated with a local stamp dealer in the promotion of railway and other topical philately.


This is me working at home (c.1994) at my “retirement activity” of sorting and cataloguing railroad and other topical stamps for my good philatelic friends at a local stamp shop. I have been involved in this “pastime” from 1993 through the present.

The NYMT and the U.S. Postal Service issued a special Philatelic Day cancel on August 29, 1999, to honor railroad history and celebrate the issue of the new “All Aboard!” set of U.S. stamps depicting famous 20th Century luxury passenger trains. The stamp on this photographically-cropped cover depicts the famous “20th Century Limited” of the New York Central Railroad.


“Inspector” Norm Wright points out a feature of the newly-restored “Casey Jones” Model 551-A speeder. Believed to be the oldest operating track motor car in the country, it was built c.1927-8 and used by the former Rochester (N.Y.) subway system. It is pictured here, and in the smaller overall photo, in the summer of 2000 on its first day of public operation following restoration at the New York Museum of Transportation.

On June 30 2001 at the New York Museum of Transportation, trolley car rides were available to the public in the Rochester (N.Y.) area for the first time in 45 years to the very day of the last run on the now long-abandoned Rochester Subway system on June 30, 1956. We were there to share in the first runs of newly restored Philadelphia & Western (P&W) Railway Car No. 168 (built by Brill in 1929). This car, which ran in Philadelphia, Pa. suburbs for 60 years (until c. 1989) has now passed the age of 70.

       The museums for which we have provided some support in this period include the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin; the Conneaut (Ohio) Railroad Museum; Union Depot at Historic Saranac Lake (N.Y.); the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum (Rochester Chapter, National Railway Historical Society); the Parma (N.Y.) Old Meetinghouse and Museum (near my boyhood village of Hilton, N.Y.); and the New York Museum of Transportation in nearby Rush, N.Y.

Restored Union Depot, Saranac Lake, N.Y.

In August 1996, we set up a portable model train layout to help celebrate “Heritage Day” at the Parma (N.Y.) Old Meetinghouse & Museum. In the top photos, some of the visitors watch and inspect the operating (battery-driven) G-gauge (1/32nd scale) train as it “makes its rounds.” In bottom left photo, the railroad proprietor explains a technical point. At lower right is, of course, “The Hobo Troubadour” and his trains - but where is the audience?

'The Hobo Troubadour'

       In March of 1994, while visiting here briefly from her home in New Jersey, daughter Norma found an old baritone ukulele in the attic, which she said I could have. After learning a few chords, I began to build a repertoire of railroad and hobo songs, inspired by Hank Snow's “I've Been Everywhere, Man!” which I had heard on a video tape and took a likein' to. Thus was born “The Hobo Troubadour” (or “the poor man's 'Boxcar Willie'”), and in this incarnation I have entertained not only myself, but have rendered a “number” or two at a few railroad-related (and some other) gatherings, whether or not I was asked.

At the Conneaut (Ohio) Railroad Museum in the Summer of 1995, “The Hobo Troubadour” presented a free concert from both the front (locomotive) and rear (caboose) of the real steam train display, to an audience that was really “out of sight.”

Above, he rehearses at home alone, but in the lower picture, he was able to get two of his wife's relatives to listen to him!

Here, "The Hobo Troubadour," in full costume, sings some railroad songs for folks attending his 75th birthday celebration in July 2005.

      It is my intent on this page to present images of memorabilia of some of these “other” railroad activities which, although related, essentially replaced model railroading as my primary hobby pursuit in the waning years of the 20th Century and early years of the 21st.

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