Steve's Railroad Pages

Railfanning Notes

Some of my favorite railfan sites and adventures, along with some notes on the technical aspects of putting this stie together.

Railfanning Notes

Some of my favorites

Favorite railroad museums

  • York, U.K.
    National Railway Museum

    Without a doubt the finest railroad museum I have ever visited, indicative of a country that truly appreciates its railroad heritage. It simply looks like a museum, and includes a sweeping range of displays and rolling stock. I skipped the Cathedral to spend the day here.

  • Sacramento, Calif.
    California State Railroad Museum

    This is a close call, and is a very close second to York. I found it a hair less accessible than York, but was otherwise equally impressed in all aspects of this incredible display.

  • Honorable Mentions
    • Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton: near-great but needs to grow a bit to be more than just a tribute to the Lackawanna's shop complex.
    • B & O Railroad Museum, Baltimore: A stirring tribute to the B&O's Mount Hope shops and an excellent all-round, one-of-a-kind collection.

Favorite tourist roads

  • North Conway, N.H.,
    Conway Scenic Railroad

    First class operation start-to-finish.

  • Sheepscot Station, Maine,
    Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington

    Rebuilding a two-foot gauge former common carrier with live steam and great people.

  • Shannonbridge, Ireland,
    Clonmacnoise and West Offaly Railway

    A tour of a working bog-harvesting facility; while kind of like an open pit mine in terms of tearing-up the environment, efforts at mitigation and an open, welcoming attitude make it worthwhile.

Favorite railfan spots

  • Selkirk Yard
    : well of course!
  • The Barge, Albany
    : there just aren't enough Amtraks west of Albany, but it's nice to watch the bridge swing for Captain JP's cruises.
  • Amsterdam (N.Y.) Amtrak Station
    : a nice curve to the west frames photos coming and going.
  • Pennsylvania Station, New York
    : from 9th Avenue and 32nd Street, a view down into the inner workings.
  • Union Station, Washington, D.C.
    : from the public parking garage looking out over the approach to the station, see inbounds, outbounds, and switching moves.
  • Horseshoe Curve, Altoona, Penn.
    : even non-railfans/railroaders know its something special.

And a rule to remember

All of the iron and steel and electrons are nice, but it's the people that make the railroads run.

General Site Comments

  • All of the pages are written long-hand, without the use of an HTML editor (these pages are written on a PC using any available ASCII text editor, preferably one with line numbers: when possible, I use the Unix or Linux environment, where I use Emacs). For DOS, there is a nice text editor called "Programmers File Editor," PFE, available (as of June 2010) at the PFE Home Page

  • The pages are generally formatted for an 800 by 600 video display; whenever possible, provisions are made to insure that these pages will also appear well on a 640 by 480 display. Some pages with wide graphics or tables will scroll at 800 by 600 (e.g., the GG1 page requires 1024 by 768; the Selkirk Yard map is nearly 2000 pixels wide (and pops-up in its own window)).

  • Every effort is made to insure that all pages will read equally well (although not necessarily identically) on all browsers (and across all platforms as well, such as "smart phones").

  • The standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)[*] are always the standards followed, as opposed to guidelines of any particular browser supplier. All pages conform to W3C XHTML 1.1 specification, are validated using the W3C HTML/XHTML validator, and are so marked.

  • For additional programming information, see DocSteve Web Coding Service

Key Links

revised 6 June 2010 Go to Railroad home page
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