Military Railfans

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Re: Military Railfans

Postby kevin.brackney » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:30 am

NJT4115 wrote:Anyone drive trains for the Military/Navy?


Me too (Army Reserve). The last time was October 2005 at Ft. Hood, TX. Are you from the UK or the EU? Locomotive engineers in the U.S. do not "drive" trains; they RUN trains, and/or OPERATE/RUN locomotives.
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby NJT4115 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:06 pm

kevin.brackney wrote:
NJT4115 wrote:Anyone drive trains for the Military/Navy?


Locomotive engineers in the U.S. do not "drive" trains; they RUN trains, and/or OPERATE/RUN locomotives.

I'll keep that in mind :)
Attention Ho-Ho-Kus passengers, the next westbound train to Waldwick, stopping at Waldwick, is now arriving on Track 3. Please watch the gap when boarding the train.

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Re: Military Railfans

Postby JWright » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:36 pm

I'm another military veteran, US Navy Reserve 1965-1985, including a tour in Vietnam in 1968.

I noted with interest the earlier mention of the USCGC Eagle. In 1999 I was a volunteer crewman aboard the Barque Star of India owned by the San Diego Maritime Museum. We had opportunity to sail in company with the Eagle and we exchanged crew members with them. I wasn't part of the sail exchange but we later got to climb on the Eagle while it was tied up alongside.

I'm currently a volunteer at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, CA and we are in the process of acquiring a former Southern Pacific low hood GP9 that was last in service with the Marines at Camp Pendelton. I believe the transfer from there to Campo is going to take place next week...
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby kevin.brackney » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:54 am

JWright wrote:I'm currently a volunteer at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, CA and we are in the process of acquiring a former Southern Pacific low hood GP9 that was last in service with the Marines at Camp Pendelton. I believe the transfer from there to Campo is going to take place next week...


Would that be the 1401? If so, I ran that locomotive at Roswell, NM in 1996 while serving with the 757th TC Bn (Army Reserve). My unit was at Roswell supporting an air defense exercise. While most of the rail traffic was handled at Ft. Bliss, German units off-loaded their equipment at Roswell. We also had USAX 1880 on site, but did not use it during the two weeks I was there.
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby JWright » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:36 pm

kevin.brackney wrote:
JWright wrote:I'm currently a volunteer at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, CA and we are in the process of acquiring a former Southern Pacific low hood GP9 that was last in service with the Marines at Camp Pendelton. I believe the transfer from there to Campo is going to take place next week...


Would that be the 1401? If so, I ran that locomotive at Roswell, NM in 1996 while serving with the 757th TC Bn (Army Reserve). My unit was at Roswell supporting an air defense exercise. While most of the rail traffic was handled at Ft. Bliss, German units off-loaded their equipment at Roswell. We also had USAX 1880 on site, but did not use it during the two weeks I was there.


It is indeed the 1401. It was declared surplus and the museum was able to purchase it from DMRO. The museum information page on the locomotive is at http://psrm.org/roster/diesel/d-3709/index.html.
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby JWright » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:16 pm

The pictures of the move of GP9 1401 (ex SP 3709) from Oceanside to Campo are here: http://johnwright.smugmug.com/Trains/Pa ... &k=vmNhwsz
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby Kuyahoora Valley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:30 am

Navy 1987-2007, CDR, Ret, Desert Shield/Storm, OEF, OIF

Ships USS THOMAS S GATES (CG-51), USS JOHN S.McCAIN (DDG-56) and USS BATAAN (LHD-5).

Coolest Navy railfanning moment was a cab ride on Maine Coast ALCO C-420 367 in 1994, crossing the Kennebec River bridge in Bath Maine right next to the McCAIN, which was getting fitted out at Bath Iron Works at the time. I was a plankowner. Had the Weapons Officer with me who became a close friend, became a railfan, just retired from the Navy as an O-6 and now works for Norfolk Southern.
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby cl6066 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:21 am

British Army, Lcpl, Royal Army Medical Corps-Combat Medical Technician, Operation Herrick/OEF 7/11
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733d ROB

Postby RailVet » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:34 pm

Steamer69: In 2012 you wrote that you had information on a variety of units, to include the 733d ROB. I have someone looking for information on this specific unit but it's very hard to come by. I have a copy of the unit card from the Center of Military History containing bare bones information (activation, inactivation, etc.) but not much detail. I visited the National Archives in College Park, MD, but the only thing on the 733d was a letter from the battalion commander appointing a captain as a company commander prior to the unit departing CONUS and that was IT. I tried the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress and although there were three files from vets of the 733d, they contained little useful information. As far as I've been able to determine, no history of the 733d was ever written. The son of a deceased 733d vet plans to visit Europe in 2014 and wants go to the places his father went during the war but I am turning up little information on exactly where the unit went and specifics about what it did. What do you have on the 733d?
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby cristinarosales » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:10 pm

This is pretty cool. I can't believe how many vets are in this forum. I have to admit that I am impressed. At least 4 pages of nothing but people who have served their country. I commend everyone here and appreciate the sacrifice and service for your nation. I was only in the National Guard, but I think it still counts. I did my 6 years and got out. I did end up getting called back during my little 2 year gap and ended up spending 12 months in the desert. Luckily I was in Kuwait for some reason instead of on the front line, so I at least feel blessed about that.
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby RailVet » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:17 pm

Willie: When I was in basic training in early 1975 my company's senior drill sergeant warned us not to believe "those lyin' a$$ recruiters" and yours just gave you empty promises. (Typical.) USAR railway units are very scarce and unless you lived within driving distance of one, there was no way you'd ever come close to joining such a unit. Where did you live at the time?

Regarding the "service and sacrifice" mentioned in another post, I say the thanks goes to the taxpayers who paid for me to enjoy two tours in Germany, to include almost 4 1/2 years of living in a resort town on the Mosel River, skiing in the Alps, going to wine fests, and traveling throughout Europe and elsewhere. When I came back to CONUS I attended night classes to get an MBA, the tuition for which was 75% financed by taxpayers, too. Life's a b****, ya understand...
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby Watchman318 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:52 am

I spent eight years in Strategic Air Command, '74-'82. I guess I always had the defective gene for railfanning, but didn't really get back into HO scale and everything until '83. But I hate to fly, so in '78 when the AF sent me back to Texas to cross-train from being a Security Specialist to being a Law Enforcement Specialist, I flew to TX and took Amtrak back eastward. In '81, when they sent me TDY to Lowry AFB, I flew to Denver and then took Amtrak back to Boston after the temporary duty.
I had another Amtrip in '89 when an old buddy (also a railfan) retired from the Navy at Newport News. I rode the train southward from BOS, and he met me at Richmond or another place along the route. I stayed with some friends of his (also railfans and ham radio operators like me and Fred) while he out-processed. Before we drove his truck back to MA, I helped him get measurements on some platform aggregate cars that were used somewhere in that area. (I'd never seen them before, and Fred eventually kitbashed a few, years before anyone produced commercial HO models of "rock cars." I held the "stupid end" of the tape while he measured and took photos.)
My last Amtrip was in '94, when an old buddy from my AF days got married, and I went out to the Rochester area for the wedding. They had an outdoor ceremony, and Conrail cruised past behind the house at least once during the afternoon. :-D

I can recall seeing some kind of road switcher at Griffiss AFB, NY, my first duty assignment. I have a vague recollection that they might have been moving coal hoppers to supply the base steam plant, but I'm not sure on that. I do recall one of the SAC B-52 simulator cars (actually a set of cars, from what I just read on another site) being on a siding at the base.
My last assignment was Pease AFB, NH. I recall a concrete ramp at the end of the siding into the base, something I think would have allowed end-loading or -unloading flatcars, but now I can't even recall if there was track into the former POL area. The "tank farm" wasn't far from the building where I worked, but it now appears to be pretty much gone, along with a lot of other things.

Wish I'd known then to get some photos of all that. :-(
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Re: Military Railfans

Postby Deval » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:17 am

I remember this very well from my time down at Fort Hood.

Fort Hood sent 1880 to Roswell in both 1995 and 1996, and I spent most of the summer chasing German and Dutch Army Trains thru Texas.

kevin.brackney wrote:Would that be the 1401? If so, I ran that locomotive at Roswell, NM in 1996 while serving with the 757th TC Bn (Army Reserve). My unit was at Roswell supporting an air defense exercise. While most of the rail traffic was handled at Ft. Bliss, German units off-loaded their equipment at Roswell. We also had USAX 1880 on site, but did not use it during the two weeks I was there.
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