Photo Album

George Oliva took these photos of nails in ties on the U.S. Navy track in New Jersey: (--72--)(--79--)(--83--)(--92--)(--98--)(--98b--)  (See Nail Notes May-June '00 for details.  Since then Russ Hallock has spotted steel 99's in this track, among other aluminum dates in the 90's.)

Jim Sinsley recently took some pictures of some Spokane International nails in the track in northern Idaho:  (--1--)(--2--)(--3--)(--4--)(--5--)(--6--)(--7--)(--8--)

Steve Cochran took photos of Leon Sorenson's Santa Fe set.  This is a good, nearly complete set!  One thing to note:  the OZ is shown upside down as a ZO.  I have split up the pictures so they can be printed.  They load faster now, too.
Round 1-7 a
Round 1-7 b
Round 8-22 a
Round 8-22 b
Round 23-31 a
Round 23-31 b
Round 32-41 a
Round 32-41 b
Round 42-58 a
Round 42-58 b
Round 59-69
Letters
Diamond & square 4-15 a
Diamond & square 4-15 b
Diamond & square 16-34 a
Diamond & square 16-34 b
Square 35-52 a
Square 35-52 b
Square 53-59
Stubby 1, HB shanks
Pentagons 34-50 a
Pentagons 34-50 b
Pentagons 51-59
GM shanks

Bill Bunch's photo of some Santa Fe tags with explanations

In 1988 I took my camera on a few nailing outings.  Here are seven photos:

(--1--)  A round raised 23 in a moss-covered discarded tie on the abandoned portion of the Arcade & Attica in Upstate NY.  This tie was found near Varysburg, NY May 1, 1988.

(--2--)  A rare type (64) 19 in a tie on the abandoned Marcellus & Otisco near Syracuse, NY.  April 17, 1988.

(--3--)  A Lehigh Valley 11, also from a discarded tie, on an abandoned branch in Cayuga County.

(--4--)  Me looking over some discarded ties on an old Erie branch April 16, 1988 near Conesus, NY.  I found a 10 in one of those ties.

(--5--)  An 1881 date nail in an abandoned siding in Xermamenil-Lamath in France.  August 26, 1988.

(--6--)  Two dates in one tie:  1888 and 1945.  Magnieres, France, August 26, 1988.

(--7--)  My Delaware, Lackawanna & Western set.  This is the basic set.  I have only one rarity from this line:  the small head 11.

Some more photos:

(--8--)  A square raised 18 in a tie on the New York Central, at the intersection of the Hojack branch of the NYC and the Auburn-Fair Haven branch of the Lehigh Valley.  October 29, 1988.

(--9--)  A square indent 14 on the New York Central, east of Waterport, NY.  November 28, 1987.  That is Steve Worboys' foot and my hammer.

(--10--)  Margaret Morrow on the bed of the Erie near Springwater, NY November 14, 1987.  THIS is my kind of railroad!  There were lots of good nails in ties cast off the embankment.

(--11--)  An abandoned track in northern Italy, near Motta di Livenza.  July, 1987.

(--12--)  A 30 in a tie on the abandoned Italian line.

Here are two black & white pictures from the 70's:

(--13--)  Glenn Wiswell and John Evans at the February 1977 Temple, TX TDNCA show.  These two authored the 1976 book Date Nails Complete, which remained the best book on the hobby for 23 years.  I'm still waiting for those outfits to become fashionable again!

(--14--)  A close up view of a Santa Fe bullseye 4.  This is one of the rarities from the Santa Fe.

Stone sleepers

Most of you know the word "sleeper" and the British word for "tie", but for these blocks, the word "tie" cannot apply.  Below are links to photos of stone sleepers from the Camden & Amboy RR---1830's.  Before ties were invented in 1832 railroads would spike the rails to stone blocks, and use metal rods to maintain gauge.  These photos were taken by David Markunas of sleepers on the Camden & Amboy RR in New Jersey.

(--1--)  (--2--)(--3--) (--4--)(--5--) (--6--)(--7--) (--8--)(--9--) (--10--) (--11--) (--12--)(--13--) (--14--)(--15--)

Abram Burnett has sent me this photo of a stone sleeper recovered from Mineral Point, PA.  (click here)

He wrote me this about it:

        This was used by the Allegheny Portage RR, which was built over the spine of the Alleghanies between Altoona and Johnstown, PA, in the 1830s.  See those two hand-drilled holes on top of the stone?  Locust pegs were driven into the holes, and the spikes were then driven into the Locust pegs.
        Here's the story on it...  About a dozen years ago, I was hi-railing some train dispatchers over the Pittsburg Line Think we set on at ConPitt Jct, which is a dozen miles west of Johnstown.  As we were coming around the big curve just west of Mineral Point, this thing just happened to catch my eye.  It was teetering at the top of the cut embankment.  I stopped, grabbed my camera and climbed up the side of the cut for a picture.
        While I was there, the Track Supervisor (who had an authority to follow me on No. 1 track) pulled up behind my vehicle.  A deal was cut... we pushed the sleeper down the embankment and he sent some machinery out to pull it out of the drainage ditch and load it (est. 700 pounds.)  The following Tuesday, a truck brought it to Harrisburg.  My cost was three cups of coffee and a dozen doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts.  Good trade...  but I'm sure the Track Supervisor cashed in the points thusly earned many times over, as he deserved to do.
        Two years ago the commuter agency in Baltimore was doing some enhancements on its light rail line, and discovered about a hundred "sleepers" at Timonium, Md.  Interestingly, they had been part of a switch, and there were some unusual stones in the lot.  After the area was cleaned and photographed, and some of the more remarkable stones removed to the B&O Museum,  the area was opened and the public was allowed to remove whatever they wanted.
        You might observe some Adobe "art work" in the picture of my sleeper.   Mr. Adobe touched out a 4x4 post on the Clematis arbor, augmented the Pyracantha bush a bit, and even helped the Ivy to flourish.

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