The Bluegown Blog

Welcome to my blog - everything from porn to birdwatching, via books, comics, movies, planes & trains!   All messily stacked under one roof for your reading pleasure...

By alicebg, Nov 28 2017 08:52PM

Part 1: Reliance Rock #1; Eastern & Portland #'s 6 & 8

Gravatte Central is ostensibly an all-steam layout, but in addition to the 40-odd steam locomotives in the motive power pool, there are also two diesel railcars, one electric loco and four trolleys. This series aims to present the collection in a haphazardly numerical order beginning, obviously, with #1.

By alicebg, Aug 17 2017 07:10PM

A wee while ago, as is my wont, I was browsing a local charity shop, when my eyes fell upon a DVD with the tantalising title Rare American Locomotives. The cover blurb promised 39 minutes of 'recently rediscovered' footage from the 1920s, plus a montage of British and European locos as a bonus. Mine for a quid, as indeed it soon was. Little did I suspect this E-rated disc would plunge me into a surrealist nightmare.

By alicebg, Jun 3 2017 02:53PM

Arguably the N&W's ultimate achievement was the mighty Y6 2-8-8-2 (pictured). The culmination of a long line of Mallets that had its roots in the USRA designs of the WW1 era, the Y6 successfully bucked another trend to become the last word in compound locomotives.

By alicebg, Jun 1 2017 07:14PM

Lately, thanks to my model railroading activities, I have been doing a lot of reading and video watching about the Norfolk & Western railroad. The N&W is famous for being the last major steam road to hold out against the diesel onslaught, not succumbing until 1960 (US roads were officially 'dieselized' by 1957). It's HQ of Roanoke, Virginina, became a mecca for steam enthusiasts and photographers in the 50s, not least O Winston Link, whose night portraits of the N&W in action have passed into popular legend. Link, among others, was documenting not only a dying way of railroading, but the passing of an age. However, if one studies the N&W, the most striking aspect is the road's modernity. If you ever wanted to know what late 20th-century steam railroading might have looked like, or even 21st-century steam, Roanoke provides the best model.

By alicebg, Jun 1 2016 06:24PM

(*China Crisis reference, in case you're wondering)

'Steampunk' is an ill-defined genre at the best of times, but one of its unquestioned nodal points is the extraordinary feature-length anime Steamboy. Visually stunning, thematically complex and erratically plotted, it represents almost all that is best about Japanese animation, as well as demonstrating why such productions can never penetrate the western mainstream.

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