The Rail Philatelist December 1999 Newsletter
Volume 4 …………… PRICE $1.00 (10 ISSUES FOR $8.00)………………. Number 9 December 1, 1999Dear Fellow Rail Philatelist:
STILL MORE "ALL ABOARD": After two months of waiting, I finally received the special $34.95 "All Aboard" package the Post Office advertised so extensively (actually I ordered 10!). It was worth the wait since each set included a "Free" First Day Program. The basic package consisted of a sheet of the "All Aboard" stamps ($6.60), a set of five uncacheted FDCs ($2.70), a booklet of 20 postal cards ($6.95) and a set of five 11 in. X 14 in. prints ($19.95). With a total list price of $36.20, the $34.95 price may be the best bargain the post office has ever offered even without the free program (a $5.95 value according to the ads). The prints weren’t available in Cleveland, but certainly are suitable for framing to hang in your stamp or train room. If you didn’t take advantage of this special, there may still be time. Call the Stamp Fulfillment Center @ 1-888-372-0171 and ask for offer #407895. (These items were all listed in the USPS ad included as my August "STAMP OF THE MONTH".)The "All Aboard" stationery items listed last month showed up in my local post office branch November 10 along with a smaller padded mailing envelope (#98400051@$2.49) and a $20.00 Phone Card (Item # 0869) featuring the "Super Chief". Don Kesler e-mailed "My local post office (Lawton, OK) had the following additional "All Aboard" items:
98330174 $39.95 Matted, framed All Aboard sheet
98330182 $125.00 Matted, framed, numbered limited edition All Aboard sheet with 1st day cancel postmark, bronze medallion, and cert. of auth." (ED: These were on sale at Cleveland APS).
He also listed a couple items mentioned above. Thanks, Don! By the way, not many of these stamps have actually shown up on my mail - are they too pretty to use? Less than 20% of the orders I’ve received have had "All Aboard" stamps on them. I’ve used them on my Oct. & Nov. newsletter mailings but am still using up 32c "Celebrate the Century" stamps on most of my other mailings.
TRAVEL: I’m not doing any traveling this month, but a couple thoughts remain from my October report. I consider the Pennsylvania trip a social success even tho it was a financial disaster (spent three times what I sold!). They always make a big hoopla about the Aspen turning here in Colorado, but a few patches of gold among the dark green evergreens don’t hold a candle to the semi-rainbow of colors on a sun-drenched Northeastern hillside in October. That plus the visits with family and friends (and the train watching) can make any trip a success. On the way home, I pulled off in Ogalla, KS to see a new switcher at a grain elevator. Turned out to be a remote controlled SW-9M just acquired from a Ford plant - still had the Ford logo. A friend from Gillette, WY sent me a BNSF employee newsletter POWDER RIVER REFLECTION with an article on distributed power stating "By the end of October, it is estimated that half of the coal traffic will implement integrated distributed power (IDP - ed: locomotives at both ends of the train). ... It is not used on empties as power is brought to the head end for the westbound trip. IDP allows for greater flexibility of locomotive capabilities. In addition to fuel efficiency, IDP cuts train forces for better control of slack and reduces the likelihood of breaking in two. It optimizes the distribution of power and braking control over the length of the train, providing faster and smoother starting and stopping. It also provides for greater hauling capacity and better rail adhesion." That answers most of the questions I had. Thanks, Frank. THE COLORADO TIMETABLE for November reports that the Union Pacific will install 210 miles of new rail, 295 miles of secondhand rail, 531,000 wooden ties and 488 miles of sledding (whatever that is - maybe ballast?) on the old Kansas Pacific line into 2001 so maybe all that construction won’t be done by my next trip after all. The UP just spent $327,000,000 completing 108 miles of triple track between North Platte and Gibbon, NE using 280,000 concrete ties and 35,000 cars of ballast! TCT also reported that Montana Rail Link F45 #391, business car 101 "Silver Cloud", domecar 2105 and Iowa & Missouri Rail Link domecar 104 were returned home via UP freight service so that answers the passenger cars I saw in the UP freight train on my way to California in September - I love to clear up a mystery! Just goes to show how important literature is in any endeavor.
BITS AND PIECES: (1) Thanks to Keith Downing of England for pointing out that neither Aland nor Nepal have any train stamps of record (yet). (2) The "1950s Celebrate the Century" sheet features a subway token on the Yankees-Dodgers World Series stamp (#3187j) so all the sheets from 1900s thru 1950s have some railway connection. The 1960s is the first one that doesn’t to the best of my knowledge. (3) Harry Hackert writes "You bring back a lot of memories. I was a ball bearing salesman ... spent a lot of time at the Conrail Altoona Traction Motor Shops."(4) Norm Wright indicates that the new ATA Railway Stamp Handbook will have about 700 pages including my 30 page RAILWAY PHILATELY exhibit (copied from my web page) as an Appendix and 42 illustrations of train stamp album pages Norm selected from the collection I bought in Cleveland.
RAIL THOUGHT OF THE MONTH: "Like two (trains) passing in the night". I recalled this old saying as I watched two Union Pacific trains pass in the day in the middle of Nevada during my California trip last September.
RAIL FACTS AND FEATS: The first permanent public railway to use steam traction was the Stockton & Darlington which opened on Sept. 27, 1825. The 7.84 ton LOCOMOTION could pull 53.7 tons at a speed of 15 mph. It was designed and driven by George Stephenson (1781-1848). (See Cambodia #1448, Gambia #779, Great Britain #749, Grenada #1232,1852,2020d,e,f, 2023, Hungary #2697, N. Korea #SGN2320, Laos #855, Maldive Is.#1365, San Marino #596, Tuvalu#253/4,Uganda#731,Vietnam #2271).
STAMP OF THE MONTH: Before the advent of modern greeting cards, post cards such as the one shown here carried well-wishers messages for all the holidays. This colorful embossed card features a steam passenger train in Sacramento Canyon. It brings you my best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity throughout the holiday season and into the new millennium!
May all your signals be green,
DEC 4-5 - GREAT AMERICAN TRAIN SHOW - DEL MAR FAIR - DEL MAR, CA
DEC 11-12 - GREAT AMERICAN TRAIN SHOW - ORANGE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS - COSTA MESA, CA