New York Central Fire Brigades

PenneyVanderbilt

New York Central had several fire departments composed of volunteers from railroad employees. Some locations like West Albany and Selkirk had actual fire trains. Other locations had a single car. Beech Grove Shops on the Big 4 in Indianapolis had a home made fire engine pulled by a tractor. Several cars were available for the Adirondack Division as the road passed through a forest preserve. These cars had lots of the backpack pumps, called Indian Pumps. In 1950 West Albany was still a big railroad facility as evidenced by the West Albany Fire Brigade.

See more great stories like this one.
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/a-collection-of-short-stories-about-railroads-book-two/

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Amsterdam, Chuctanunda and Northern Railroad

PenneyVanderbilt

Here’s an old map of Amsterdam (courtesy of Russ Nelson) which shows the Kellogg’s Branch (Amsterdam, Chuctanunda and Northern Railroad) leaving the New York Central mainline which runs on the East side of the Mohawk River.

Across the Mohawk River, is the West Shore Railroad.

Another, more detailed, map of the Kellogg Branch from Gino’s Rail Page, shows the entire extent of the branch. Careful! It’s BIG

In the Amsterdam, New York, area, a short spur leaves the old New York Central mainline and goes up a hill to the upper portion of Amsterdam. Once this was a separate railroad. It has continued as a branch under Penn Central, Conrail, and now CSX.

It is known as the Kellogg Industrial or by CSX as “CP-173 -to- QCG1.60”.

Here’s what the branch looks like:

CP-173: Chicago Line: Kellogg’s Yard QCG0.00
New York State Route 5 Undergrade Bridge QCG0.33
Chuctanunda Creek Bridge…

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Creating Magic Systems

Myths of the Mirror

pixabay

Writers of speculative fiction—whether fantasy, paranormal, superhero, or science fiction—are dealing with supernatural or hyper-scientific systems that stretch our reality and knowledge of the known.

As writers, our job is to create realities where these systems are understood by the reader and feel natural and integrated into the speculative world. A reader’s immersion requires that our systems are cohesive, logical, and well explained.

Brandon Sanderson (Elantris, Mistborn) refers to these systems, regardless of whether they are fantasy or science fiction, as “magic systems.” Both adhere to the same storytelling principles in order to bring the magic/technology to life.

He distinguishes between “soft magic” and “hard magic” and suggests that they lie on a continuum.

The far end of the soft magic continuum is full of “wonder” and has few rules. The magic users have mysterious abilities and can do whatever they wish with little limitation. Wizards and…

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Letters to the Power Plant #55 — Computers at Dell

Power Plant Men

After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going.  This is the fifty fifth letter I wrote.  Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.

10/18/02 – Computers at Dell

Dear Northern Buddies,

I hope everything is going well with you guys.  This has been an interesting week for me.  First of all, on Monday I spent half of the day at one High School, and the other half at another one teaching the Teachers how to use PowerPoint (It was what they called “Staff Development Day”).

I brought my daughter along with me (Elizabeth), because she is the real PowerPoint Guru in my family.  She was able to answer the “harder” questions…

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