Welcome to the RRPictureArchives.NET contributor site of Stephen Gose.
Howdy. I live in Beaver Bay, Minnesota( mileposts 5-7 Northshore Mining mainline, are the mileposts where my hangouts are up at the tracks - The Conveyor Belt Road - as I sometimes call it). I grew up back in the 70s and 80s, in St.Louis Park,MN, with the Minneapolis, Northfield, & Southern Rwy's Belt Line, out my bedroom window/behind our house at Park Manor Jct. I was fascinated with trains by the time I was 4 years old. Sure I did the model railroading bit too, but it was the real trains that grabbed my interest. Also had the Burlington Northern's Willmar line to the north 4 city blocks, and both Milwaukee Road and CNW mainlines to the south a couple miles. St.Louis Park in the 70s, was an excellent time for a kid enthralled with trains, to grow up. And being a boy with this mindset, the MN&S was an excellent shortline railroad for me to grow up with. I had a railroad book my grandparents gave me, and it talked about 'the Standard Railroad of the World', the Pennsy. I used to think the MN&S was 'the Standard Shortline Railroad of the World'. I just couldn't help from being drawn to that railroad. And the MN&S fit me perfectly. I loved the Hancock Air Whisitles, the amber 'spark-O-matic' warning lights on the Int'l car cabooses flashing thru the neighborhood at night, the end cab switchers, the pair of big and humming SD39s that usually only came out at night and the familar faced railroad men that waved from the engines and cabooses when I ran up to the tracks to watch the trains go by. With all the MN&S's personality, INDEPENDENT attitude and charactor, it was right up my alley. It wasn't until the early 80's, that I had an understanding that there were actually people called railfans. A mega CNW fan/modeller/photographer named Harding Hanson, whom we both went to the same church in SLP, told me one day after church that I was a railbuff. I vivdly remember asking him what a railbuff was? So from that point on, I was no longer just some kid who plain loved trains. I had this goofey title to go along with it. After I recieved my drivers license, I started to frequent the Friday railfan nights at Woodcraft Hobbies in Mpls, who Harding Hanson was a long time attendy. But early on after my understanding of being a railfan, I still didn't know that part of being a railfan meant taking pictures of trains. And here my dad was a part time commercial photographer with a dark room in our basement, and had a movie camera, on the side of being a heavy duty diesel sales specialist for trucking and heavy equipment operators ( and who did business with the MN&S's mechanical dept at Glenwood Jct too ). I had everything I needed to be a young railroad photographer. By the 1990s, I used to get so jealous when I would find out about little kids, who were already taking pictures of trains at such a young age. If only I would have realized to do this when I was just a kid back in the 70s. But my dad wasn't a diehard railfan( other then helping me with the model railroad ), so I suppose it helps to have a railfanning dad. My dad was a fan of sailboats, ore boats and the DM&IR's Edna G. I could have tons of photos and movies of the MNut$ to share to people nowdays. Oh well. Since the MN&S was sold out to the Soo in '82, I never did get to realize my dream of working for the MN&S when I got out of high school. But aside from being interested in railroad operations, I have also been very interested in locomotive design/mechanics too, so that helped me to cope with the MN&S being gone all these years. And as far as being a fan of shortline railroads, I discovered there were alot of neat traditional shortlines despite the MN&S being gone. My favs being: Aberdeen & Rockfish, TO&E/DQ&E, The Bay Line, DWP, McCloud River, the B&A, L&NW, P&S, Montour, M&E, and the Susy Q. And there are lots of neat after market shortlines and regionals today, with the Reading & Northern,MM&A, Alabama & Gulf Coast, Penn Eastern Lines, Wisconsin Northern, Evansville Western, PGR and IAIS being some of my favorites of the post de-regulation regional railroads. And of course I live with the ex-Reserve Mining/Northshore Mining mainline just over the hill from my house, and so NSM is naturally my favorite non-common carrier railroad. It wasn't until the fall of 1984, that I realized that maybe I should start to take railroad pictures. And even though I would check out railroad books and model railroad magizines at the Library since I was a kid, and frequented Woodcraft Hobby shop on Lake Street in Mpls with my dad, I didn't purchase my first copy of Trains Magizine there, until November 1987. My first photographs I took of a train were black & white that I developed in my dad's darkroom, of a Soo SW9 sitting at my neighborhood train watching spot, 29th street grade crossing, with a short High Line local in the fall of '84. But I didn't bother much with taking pictures of the Soo on the MN&S, because for years I despised the Soo for wrecking the MN&S. And by the late 80s, I had discovered that I more enjoyed shooting vidoe tape of trains rather then pictures. Why take pictures, when you can record them on video and get the full effect. But I still took pictures of trains, but I never did get into slide film. Now I have the digital camera, and it has given me a whole new outlook of taking pictures of trains. Can't wait to get a digital movie camera too, to replace the 8mm. So anyways, because I was more into video taping trains, my backlog of photographs is kind of sparce. But I plan to get all my prints from the 80s and 90s, saved onto cds, and post alot of it here. Anyways, thats my railbuffing life in a nutshell. Aside from being a railbuff, I have also worked as a carman and conductor for the Soo(ironically), and got to work all the S00 - MN&S jobs out of Humbolt and Northfield. I had a blast getting to work with former MN&S old heads Stanley Yantes, Larry Brocklemeyer, and John Brandt. I also pulled a stint with the Minnesota Commercial. But due to unavoidable health problems with my legs, caused by a delayed birth defect with my age, I had to unfortunately quit from being a conductor. And I love working the ground. In my book, being a conductor and brakeman is where the action is at, with railroading work. After railroading, I got into trucking, and have owned 3 Kenworth semi tractors so far. Anyways, hope everyone enjoys the pictures, and check my live links below. Cheers, Steve
Feel free to join these yahoo groups I started: Aberdeen & Rockfish, Wisconsin Northern, Progressive Rail and The SD Roundhouse : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aberdeenandrockfishjct/,
Here's my Yard Limit photo gallery: http://yardlimit.railfan.net/gallery/sg/index.html
Some of my favorite yahoogroups: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Iowa-Interstate/,
And here are the websites of some of my favorite current day railroads:
http://www.readingnorthern.com/, http://www.aberdeen-rockfish.com/index.html, http://www.inrd.com/, http://www.merail.com/, http://www.nysw.com/, http://www.iaisrr.com/, http://www.mmarail.com/, http://www.raritancentralrr.com/, and the SRNJ: http://members.aol.com/facedown77/srnj-index.html, plus EMD's of course: http://www.gmemd.com/en/home/
And a few excellent eastern states/New England- photo sites and fallen flag photo sites: http://www.railfanreading.com/FallenFlags/FallenFlags.htm
And lastly, here is Jerry Cvek's, wonderful DM&IR photo gallery, and Graig Bass's excellent photos from California :
You may browse my collection of pictures via the menu located on the left hand side of the page. I hope you enjoy the collection and thanks for stopping by!