• 1980s Lady

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Mountcastle
I see that a few people have posted some great little videos of No. 18 from 1989. Back then she still had her original pilot, her old whistle and that odd-looking thing on top of the bell. A video taken at Curriers shows that the coaches were in the process of being repainted that year, and that passengers were still permitted to walk through the cab at that point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqWWT892 ... re=related



These videos reinforce my personal opinion that No. 18 looks much better with a black smokebox and without that plank in front of the smokebox.

Too bad there don't seem to be any videos of No. 14 posted anywhere, except for one silent film of poor quality from the early 70s.
Last edited by Mountcastle on Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by JT76
Come to think of it, i have never heard 14....

I agree i think 18 looks MUCH better in these videos, that plank has got to go its hideous. I also like the blacked out look, without all the painted rails, smoke box, etc. I think this with a simple old school "A&A" on the tender would be awesome!

Also, what is the deal with the whistle, i had no idea that the current whistle is not original. What did it come off of? why did they change it? where did the old one go?
  by Mountcastle
The whistle currently used on engine No. 18 is the whistle that had been used on No. 14, although I think I recall reading from a posting thread on that subject in this forum that No. 18's old whistle is actually a Canadian national whistle, and whether or not the whistle currently in use is original to No. 14, I can't say for sure. But Pat would know.

At any rate, the whistle currently in use sounds nicer than the whistle heard in these videos, and for me, at any rate, it has become the "signature sound" of Arcade & Attica steam. Still, it would be interesting if they would switch them around from time-to-time, although it's probably much easier to say that than to do it.

And we are certainly in agreement about No. 18's paint scheme. That grey smokebox doesn't look good, at all, when it gets dirty, whereas when painted black, the grime doesn't so much adversely affect its appearance. And yes, that plank in front detracts from the locomotive's appearance.

A couple of goofs: I orginally posted the first link twice. I've corrected that; the second link now takes you to the video I meant to feature. Also, the third video was shot in 1992, not 1989. The first two were shot in 1989.
  by jgallaway81
Ironically, MountCastle started the original thread on the whistles of the A&A: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 42&t=57197

It seams my backup-hosting account has failed so the pics aren't available from my post right now... presently I intend to get them back online under one of my image hosting accounts.

As for the discussion regarding 18's paint, I respectfully disagree. While I much prefer the silver smokebox (but not the silver firebox) the graphite, when clean, is quite pretty. I find the differing colors more photogenic. Further, while the black hides the grime better, thats a cheap way out... the real way to solve that is to ensure she is given a rubdown everyday... or better yet, get better firing techniques that help eliminate such sooty conditions.
  by Benjamin Maggi
jgallaway81 wrote:... or better yet, get better firing techniques that help eliminate such sooty conditions.
OR, they could just convert their trains to diesel powered and avoid the hassle and dirt associate with live steam engines! :wink:

I split in my opinions on her current appearance. I don't like the plank in front, and somewhere on this forum I even asked about it because once it is highlighted in white paint it really stands out and is strange looking in my opinion. [http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 57#p657157] However, as for the smokebox, I much prefer silver. Looking at the all black pictures and movies I have, the engine just looks more "run down" and "average" with the all black look. Fine for an everyday work horse, but come on! This is a dollied up passenger pulling locomotive. While I wouldn't say that it should be painted Crescent Green or B&O Blue, I think the silver smokebox makes it look regal.

And, I too may be in the minority, but I like the trim picked out in orange. (OR, at least I did when the coaches were orange). I am not sure what I like now that the coaches are green. It doens't matter all that much, anyways, as my favorite look was #14 in the all-black with picked out yellow trim (or maybe faded orange?) from the 1980s. That was when I first met and fell in love with the A&A. How is that for a flip-flop! :-D
  by Mountcastle
Of course, we all miss No. 14. I liked her best in her shiny black paint and yellow-orange 'fancy' lettering from the 1960s. If I'm not mistaken, back then, they painted the smokeboxes of both locomotives in a darkish graphite, which I imagine looks much nicer than either black or the light grey they use today. It certainly looks nice on model trains. :wink:

The silver they used in the mid 1990s was absolutely garish, however, and they were wise to abandon it. I hope it never returns. There was nothing 'regal' about that misplaced "Durango & Silverton" look.

Okay, Jason, thanks for the link to the post thread I began about the whistles: having read through it again I see why I'm unclear as to what whistle is from where! Yikes. There's enough information and speculation there to make one's head spin for days. One thing is sure: the whistle heard in these videos is not the whistle in use today. The whistle used today is marked CNR and so must be the one that was donated so that the owner could hear what it sounded like. Good thing he did, because it sounds amazing. This whistle was certainly used on No. 14 before she was taken out of active service. And it seems clear that 14's original whistle is currently in the hands of someone who restored it but was never paid for his work. But where the whistle in these videos comes from...if it isn't original to No. 18...who knows.
  by JT76
mehh i dont know, after listening again the late 80's whistle "fits" 18 better than the current one. The CNR whistle, while sounding great, just sounds too "big" for 18... maybe i am alone on this one? The first time i rode the A&A was in 1993(?) I believe.. i was very young at the time maybe 6 or 7, im pretty sure it had the current whistle at the time.
  by Mountcastle
You're probably right: the sound of the whistle heard in the videos may well represent a more authentic sound for No. 18. The whistle currently in use is apparently inauthentic to either of the steamers. From what CNR locomotive it came from, it seems, is anybody's guess; although it would be interesting to find out.

Does the whistle in use sound too big for No. 18? Well, to me that whistle will always sound like No. 14 no matter where it came from and, therefore, like the Arcade & Attica Railroad, itself. For years, No. 14 was exclusively in use and the sound of that whistle was always present. It is, as I've said--for me, at any rate--the 'signature sound' of the A&A. As I watch these videos and listen to that other whistle, it seems like some other railroad, really. Without that unmistakable whistle, it doesn't seem as familiar.

The experience will be different, however, for those who first rode on the A&A after 14 was removed from service and who got used to the sound of the other whistle on No. 18 year after year. That period would be 1989 to at least 1992. Whether the whistles were switched in '93 or '94 I can't say; I only know that by the Summer of '94, the whistle currently in use was in place.

And I look forward to hearing it again in a few months time.