Note: Beginning with August 2020, all programs were via Zoom unless otherwise indicated.
You can view recordings of our Zoom based live presentations by clicking on the link below: https://www.youtube.com/@stevenkalka8421/videos
The program featured a DVD presentation on rail action in Rochelle, Ill. Activity included Union Pacific, BNSF (former Burlington Northern) and CNW before the merger.
The April RRE Membership program featured Cora Sowa performing the honors. The program highlighted a cross country private car excursion to Los Angeles for the May, 2022 NRHS Convention. This was Part II of a two part presentation.
The March 24 RRE Membership program featured George Chiasson with Part II of the Illinois Central, mostly just before it became part of the Canadian National system.
The February 24 RRE Membership program featured a DVD presentation on the San Francisco Municipal Railway. We looked at the Post War period featuring the "Iron Monsters" of Market Street and the Muni PCC cars on the various street car lines.
The January 27 RRE Membership program featured Cora Sowa performing the honors. The program highlighted a cross country private car excursion to Los Angeles for the May, 2022 NRHS Convention. This was Part I of a two part presentation.
Dec. 30th - CN, CP, and TH&B; Railroading in Hamilton, Ontario Canada during the 1950's-1970's DVD.
Dec. 11th - Annual Meeting and The Pennsy off The Beaten Track DVD.
Peter Ehrlich presented The Best of Pittsburgh Streetcars and Norflok Southern Steam.
Oct. 21st - Railroads of Western New York.
Oct. 1st - Open House at Williamson Library in Grand Central Terminal.
We presented the Long Island Rail Road Part 2 DVD featuring the best of 2019.
George Chiasson, Jr. presented Illinois Central.
We presented the Metropolitan Line London Underground Part 2 DVD.
We presented the LIRR Volume 1 2019 DVD.
Ken Bronstein presented the Mount Washington Cog Railway. It included DVDs.
Cora Sowa presented Greater Pittsburgh Area Infrastructure.
We presented 2 DVDs; New York Centrals Along the Hudson and Footage of a Cab Ridefrom Croton-Harmon to grand Central.
Steven Kalka presented the New York City Area.
Peter Ehrlich presented rail from Prague, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Pandemic Railfanning, rescheduled from January. It began with 2020 in Review: a news segment of rail and transit events in the New York City Area, including New Jersey Transit heritage units. Railroad Review is next: Visits to the Reading & Northern, Delaware-Lackawanna, Massachusetts Central, Housatonic, Batten Kill and New York & Atlantic and more. The last part was Look Back into History: railroad and subway slides taken in the NYC area in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sheldon Fosburg presented his third video on the London Underground. This presentation was the Metropolitan Line.
Michael Ditkoff presented two DVDs from his library. The first was Grand Central Murder. A Broadway star is murdered at the terminal. Inspector Gunther tries to uncover the murderer but there are so many suspects. Starred Van Helfin and Sam Levene. The second DVD was shot from the LIRR engine pulling a train from Jamaica to the Long Island City over the rare mileage of the former Lower Montauk Branch.
Author Dave Morrison, a retired LIRR branch manager, discussed his book about the railroad’s Babylon Branch, which serves 15 stations from Valley Stream to Babylon and carries 18 million annual riders over its 20 miles right-of-way. The branch has been totally electrified since 1925 and has not had any street crossings at grade since 1979. There are three signal towers and four junctions for other branches on this line. Two railroad museums are housed in former branch station buildings in Wantagh and Lindenhurst.
George Chiasson presented his Pennsylvania and midwestern travels. Taken in June 2019, the show included Pittsburgh Light Rail; Ohio Railway Museum near Columbus; Delmar Loop Trolley and MetroLink in St. Louis; Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar; Railways to Yesterday trolley museum in Orbisonia, PA, and more!
There were two films. • A Great Railroad at Work- How does a railroad run? This short film focused on the New York, New Haven and Hartford lines during World War II. Narrated by broadcaster Lowell Thomas. • Reading Company 1949-1952, passenger service in Reading and the Lebanon Valley. This movie featured the 16MM films of George Gerhart. The following were included: Early Reading Rambles, Mainline steam and diesel passenger trains and local trains with mail handling.
Cora Sowa presented an eclectic program. The program will be a tour of railroads in and around St. Louis, beginning with the magnificent Union Station (now a hotel and shopping center.) It continued with an exploration of the railroad bridges across the Mississippi River and the historic waterfront. Photos from the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Convention in May, 2018 takes us to the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri and on a tour with the Terminal Railroad around the St. Louis trainyards. The R&LHS trip ends, after an interesting detour to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, with a visit to the Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, Illinois, across the river from St. Louis.
We were unable to present a program because we were ZOOM bombed. Additional security precautions were taken for future meetings to reduce the chance of invasion.
The program was an Erie Lackawanna Railroad film by Emery Gulash
The program was an Erie Lackawanna Railroad film by George Meyer. Lackawanna electric MU's, diesel powered passenger and freight trains as well as the Hudson River ferry operation and several steam-powered "Specials" including the Nickel Plate 759 trip Hoboken to Binghamton and return will be featured.
Steve Kalka presented a potpourri of rail photos taken on various club conventions and personal trips from coast to coast in the US and Canada.
Michael Ditkoff presented his third annual program on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (now owned by the Union Pacific.) In 2018, he presented the Durango & Silverton Railroad, which was built by the D&RGW. In 2019, he presented his second Colorado program, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO, also built by the D&RGW. Afterwards, he showed slides of Rio Grande Scenic Railroad between Alamosa and Antonito; and Alamosa and La Veta, also built by the D&RGW. This railroad is operated today by the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad.
year, Michael’s program covered riding the rails of former D&RGW
lines in 2019. He rode Amtrak’s California
Zephyr round trip on the
shortcut to Salt Lake City through the Moffat Tunnel as far as Grand
Junction. The next day after returning to Denver, he drove to
Glenwood Springs and paralleled the railroad as much as possible for
photography back to Georgetown. The next morning, he rode the
Georgetown Loop Railroad round trip between Georgetown and Silver
Plume. In the afternoon, he drove to Canon City along the former
Joint Line operated by the Santa Fe and D&RGW. The next morning,
he rode the Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad as far as Parkdale - - in the
engine, on a regular excursion. The tourist railroad operates on the
now closed Tennessee Pass. The Pass is the original route to Salt
Lake City. The last portion was slides of the Colorado Railroad
Museum, in Golden, a Denver suburb.
Sheldon Fosburg continued his presentation of the London Underground. The first presentation, the Central Line, was at the November 2018 meeting. At the meeting, the Northern line was covered. The program covered the history of the line from the days of steam engines all the way to the early 21st Century. Some footage from World War ll was included when food trains stopped at stations to give sustenance to the public sheltering in the stations during Luftwaffe runs over London. Included in the show was rolling stock which entered service in the 1990s.
Andrew Grahl presented a wide-ranging program beginning in Pennsylvania - York Railway, SEPTA, Reading and Northern, Pennsylvania Northeastern. Next stop is New York - CSX, New York & Atlantic, Providence & Worcester, and old Kodachrome slides of 1950s to 1970s commuter rail. Continuing further east to Cape Cod we will see FL9s. Turning west, Andrew takes us to Toronto in the winter. Returning to the United States, we go on a road trip to Kentucky to see a F unit haul a steam engine to its new home in Ravenna.
Morrison spoke about his recently released book, Grand Central
Terminal and Penn Station: Statuary and Sculptures. The statuary at
the top of Grand Central Terminal and the statue of Commodore
Vanderbilt, as well as the cast iron eagles at Penn Station.
We presented the Al Roberts Memorial slide night. Andy Grahl narrated the Lehigh Valley and Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal slides. I narrated the Long Island Rail Road slides and added my own LIRR experiences.
Gary Grahl presented a Super-8 movie program - Streetcar Extravaganza! The program included the following systems: New York City's last trolley, the Queensborough Bridge Railway and its successors; the brand-new Kitchener Waterloo ION; the also-brand-new St. Louis Loop; the Kansas City Streetcar; Cincinnati Bell Connector; Memphis Area TA; Norfolk's The Tide; and, Detroit's short-lived Washington Boulevard Trolley, People Mover and the new Woodward Avenue Q Line.
George Chiasson presented the Santa Fe's "North" route, used by Amtrak's Southwest Chief, from Kansas City, KS, to Rio Puerco, NM., the connection to the famed "Transcon" route that is used by BNSF's east-west freight operations. Included are copious scenes along the Topeka, Emporia, Newton, LaJunta, Las Vegas, Glorieta and Gallup Subdivisions, including Santa Fe, BNSF, Amtrak and Albuquerque's Rail Runner passenger service in its early years.
Rich Taylor presented a digital slide show on the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad. This road provides a bypass around New York Harbor for homesteading from the West and South to New England.
Michael Ditkoff continued his travels on the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. The second part of the program remained on the former D&RGW. The San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad operates the Colorado Scenic Railroad between Alamosa and La Veta; and Alamosa and Antonito;
Mitch Dakelman presents 16- millimeter movies of the 3rd Avenue elevated line, Chicago- Milwaukee North Shore line, Milwaukee street cars, World War II era industry films and cartoons.
Cora Sowa presentws a digital slide show on railroading in the Ozarks, including rail activity along the Arkansas River, the Branson Scenic Railroad and classic streetcars in Fort Smith, Ark. The photographs were taken during the 2014 NRHS National Convention.
The program will be an Erie Lackawanna DVD from the library’s collection.
The program was a 1953 16mm movie of Croton Harmon.
President Sheldon Fosburg presented the Central Line of the London Underground (known officially as the London Transport Board.) Note: What Americans call a subway is called the Underground or the Tube in London. Subway across the pond means an underpass. The DVD consisted of the History of the Central Line from the LU's earlier days in the 1860s to the early 21st Century. They actually used steam engines in the early days.
Gary Grahl, assisted by Rick Carbone, presented Gary’s Super-8 color movies of the new (last May) CT Rail Hartford Line with a front-of-engine and platform view of every station from New Haven to Hartford and Springfield, many from opening day. 2) Yes, Pittsburgh has a subway! A light-rail line running from under the Allegheny River, underground through downtown, then across the Monongahela River bridge to Station Square. 3) The Pittsburgh area also features a great trolley museum in Arden/Washington, with great examples of equipment ranging from the interurban era to the time of the PCC.
Bob Gambling presented Long Island Railroad excursions and rarities from the late 50's to early 70's. The program includes a slide show featuring Engine # 60 steam excursion to Montauk, rare mileage fan trips on Budd cars, MP 54 equipment from Hicksville to Huntington, double decker and MP 70 equipment at Valley Stream.
George Chiasson Jr. presented “The Other New York to Washington Route.” It will consist of images of the busy CSX (and former Conrail) freight corridor from North Bergen, NJ (essentially New York) to Washington, DC, which replicates the B & O's famous "Royal Blue Route."
scenes were in geographic order from New Jersey to Philadelphia over
the River Line, Harsimus Cove Branch, Lehigh and Trenton Lines,
followed by CSX's Philadelphia Subdivision to Baltimore and the
Capitol Subdivision to Washington.
Peter Ehrlich presented digital slides of his adventures as a steam locomotive chaser during the 1980s and 1990s in California, North Carolina and elsewhere. His subjects included Southern Pacific “Daylight” #4449, Union Pacific 4-8-4 #844 and 4-6-6-4 “Challenger” #3985, Southern Pacific P-8 4-6-2 #2472, and Norfolk Southern’s A1218 and J611.
Michael Ditkoff presented his first slide program ever on the Durango & Silverton Railroad. He chased the train a short distance and rode the train roundtrip last June. Afterwards, he drove to Leadville to ride the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railway. He will showed slides from his engine and caboose trips to an elevation of 11,000 feet.
Mitch Dakelman presented a wide ranging 16 millimeter program: 1) “Within the Oval,” a New York Central employee training film circa 1948. (2) “The Railroaders,” a Canadian rail industry film circa 1957, (3) Groucho Marx in a “You Bet Your Life” TV episode featuring Ward Kimball, the expert model trains engineer employed by Walt Disney and (4) A rail related cartoon.
Andrew Grahl’s program began with a look at Brightline, Florida’s new passenger service as it was being constructed in 2017. Railroads of the south followed with slides of freight and passenger trains taken from NC to GA in 2017. Lastly, Then and now, slides of newsworthy local rail subjects and Kodachromes of similar subjects taken in the 1950s.
Paul Gawkowski presented Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Albuquerque and the Crescent from New York to New Orleans, the New Mexico Rail Runner between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and streetcars and light rail in the South and Southwest including New Orleans, Tucson, Phoenix and LA's Expo Line extension to Santa Monica and Gold Line Foothill extension to Azusa.
The PBS program Treasures of New York State covered Rails-to-Trails. Viewers went on a unique journey along the various railway corridors that have been repurposed as recreational bike and pedestrian trails. The program traced the history of such rail trails as Manhattan’s High Line and Poughkeepsie’s Walkway over the Hudson, and explored trails that are in the making, such as the proposed Queensway in New York City. Our vice president, Mike Vitiello was interviewed and appears in the program.
Sheldon Fosburg presented his first full length program for the RRE. DVDs highlighted his several trips to the Netherlands. There was one historical tape on trolley action in South Holland between 1959 and 1961. Those were the last years of trolley service (excluding regular Spoorwegen Service) between that town and South Holland.
Gary Grahl presented a Super 8 show featuring New Jersey Transit and Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor, the Ashmont MBTA transit line, action in Italy (adding to the material we saw from Rich Taylor) and concluding with New York State's Empire Service ending in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Cora Sowa presented the 2016 NRHS Convention in Colorado. The digital slide program will feature the Royal Gorge route, Durango and Silverton Railroad and the Denver light rail line.
Chiasson presented The
Pennsylvania Station, New York: Past, Present, and Future.
It includes highlights of the station’s creation, construction,
evolution of its use and relationship with local development factors
that led to its demise, preservation of its function, and struggle
Steve Kalka presented photos from the following NYRRE trips: 2008
Boston, and 2007 Maine, 2006 Berkshire, and 2009 Adirondack Scenic
Railroad including boat ride on the Fulton Chain of Lakes. Also
included was Steve’s overnight ride on VIA’s Ocean from
Montreal to Halifax in October 2015.
Taylor presented an interesting program on Swiss Railroads,
travelling in a country half the size of Maine that has 3,308 miles
of railways operated by 62 companies on four track gauges. The trip
included the Matterhorn and the Jungfrau by mountain railways, riding
the longest cable car to the Schilthorn accessed by an isolated 2 1/2
mile long interurban, and eight historic paddle steamers on four
lakes. One railway has a maximum grade of 48%, and another has one of
the steepest adhesion railways at 7% that includes extensive street
running. Our trip also included a couple visits to Italy, one on the
Fart Railway (no foolin')
Mitch Dakelman presented the legend of John Henry, an animated film on the C&O Railroad. Then there were inter urban films on Illinois Terminal and the Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Northern Lines. An aviation travelogue on New York in 1948 (showing the ELs) produced by Pam Am airways (another fallen flag) called Wings of New York followed. Finally, a Norfolk Southern film depicted the initial restoration of the famous Class J #611.
Mike Vitiello showed a Gary Grahl DVD of the LIRR in Suffolk County from the early 70s through today.
Frank DiLorenzo, a retired Metro North manager, presented the Mt. Beacon Incline.
A recently released DVD on the 20th Century Limited was shown.
Al Roberts presented Super 8 movies.
Grahl presented a DVD on the Staten Island Railway.
Gary Grahl and Rick Carbone presented Super 8 movies: Kingston NY – The tourist railroads that operate on the former NYC Ulster & Delaware RR – The Trolley Museum of New York the newly-restored Catskill Mountain Railroad (Kingston and Phoenicia segments) and the Delaware & Ulster Railroad (Arkville). Connecticut – The Hartford Line, a new CTDOT commuter line being built on Amtrak's Springfield line – a work in progress! Westchester County – Metro-North's ex-NYC Harlem Line north of the Bronx Border. Colorado rail – Pikes Peak, Denver's Ski Train (Moffat Tunnel), Royal Gorge, Leadville RR, trolleys in Fort Collins, Platte Valley and Colorado Springs, Golden RR Museum & Amtrak.
The program was a look at the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad from Denver to Salt Lake City as operated by the Southern Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads from 1996-2000.
Gary Grahl’s program was Super-8 color movies featuring Pennsylvania's Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, Connecticut's former New Haven RR Waterbury Branch and the Naugatuck RR; as well as action on the Staten Island Railway, AMTRAK Northeast Corridor and Washington, D.C. Streetcars.
Our senior Cinematographer, Mr. Allan Roberts, presented the very best in capturing urban and high-iron NYRRE railfanning. In today's world, the eyewitness accounts of Steam in action captured on Super-8 color film with sound is a novelty.
program, presented by Mr. Mitchell Dakelman, was 16mm movie films
featuring the Chicago North Shore Line in the 1950s, Norfolk and
Western steam action, Elizabethan Express (United Kingdom) and the
1939 New York World's Fair.
Peter Erhlich presented a digital slide show featuring San Francisco’s Muni F line and cable cars, followed by the LYNX light rail system of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Richard Taylor presented a digital slideshow featuring his recent trip to Germany and Austria and its various railroads (including steam) and transit systems.
After the annual business meeting, a George Meyer DVD on the Pennsylvania Railroad of the 1940s through 1960s was shown.
Sheldon Fosburg presented a VHS tape of the railroads of Holland. Our audience also enjoyed a rare VHS presentation from the films of the late Adrian Ettlinger on the New Haven Railroad entitled “End of the Line” taken in 1946.
Steve Kalka narrated a digital presentation of slides from a wide variety of railroad activities with the Electric Railroader’s Association to New York’s Southern Tier and our organization’s trip to Steamtown.
Gary Gahl presented films about railroads in the New York metropolitan area.
The program was a slide presentation by Mr. George Chiasson covering the pre-Hurricane Katrina action of freight and passenger trains on the CSX between New Orleans, LA and Jacksonville, FL.
Gary Grahl presented a Super-8 color movie presentation which included Amtrak in the Bronx, rail systems in Atlanta, Georgia, Pennsylvania tourist railroads.
Steve Kalka gave a digital-slide presentation of Toronto and Montreal in Canada and New Hampshire, Chicago and Philadelphia in the United States.
The program was "16mm Film Night." Mitchell Dakelman presented films from the collection of the late Benjamin T. Young and featured a sound-film of the Canadian National Railway from 1955.
The program, by Ms. Cora Sowa, featured a digital presentation on the Alaska Railroad.
Our January meeting featuring, Mr. Richard Taylor, played to a “packed house” as we enjoyed a “postcard quality” digital presentation of the railway system of the Isle of Man. It was one of the finest photo programs ever presented at our club.
In addition to the annual Holiday Party, the entertainment was a video entitled "Grand Central Terminal – An American Treasure."
Our president, Al Roberts presented a Super-8 sound film show of some variety entitled "Trains, Planes and Steamboats." It included Canadian National 4-8-4 6218 performing on her final winter runs on snowy weekends in February of 1970 out of Montreal and March of 1971 out of Toronto. Next, in more pleasant weather, we travelled the beautiful Hudson aboard the mighty 1924-built side-wheel steamboat "Alexander Hamilton" to Poughkeepsie. The last leg was aboard a 1928 Ford Tri-motor airplane -- out of Port Clinton, Ohio to small islands in Lake Erie in 1975.
Gary Grahl presented a Super-8 film program entitled "Summertime Railfanning in Northern New England" featuring action on Amtrak, New England Central, Green Mountain Railway, Vermont Railway, Conway Scenic Railway, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway (under steam) as well as several other tourist lines.
The program, presented by Mr. Stuart Werner, featured the railroads of Israel as seen during the National Railway Historical Society's three-day tour in 2011.
Veteran rail photographer and film collector Mitch Dakelman featured "The Coming of the Streamliners" (1930s-1940s) in 16mm film and slides.
Paul Gawkawski presented operations on the Cumbres & Toltec and the Durango & Silverton railroads in Colorado as well as a trip to China to ride the Beijing High Speed Rail System. Also included was a Peruvian visit to Machu Pichu, the lost city of the Incas.
President Al Roberts featured a selection of silent Super-8 films showing an Electric Railroaders' Association fantrip as well as some action on the Hell Gate Bridge featuring EP-5 "Jets" and EF-4 freighters. The New York Central Railroad's Hudson Division was also on display with E-8 diesels and the Golden Spike Ltd. pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 #759.
Mr. Richard Taylor presented a narrated slide program on his 1999 visit to Switzerland where he toured several meter-gauged railways including the 239-mile long Rheattan Railway which runs through eighty-four tunnels on its route to Tirano, Italy.
On February 28th, well-known travelling book author and expert photographer, Karl R. Zimmermann treated us to a colorful tour, behind steam, through the "wilds" of Colorado.