Archbishop James Provence
Essential Resources for Finding Great Railroad History
Between hobbyists and aspiring conductors, you’ll find that passion for the railroad industry hasn’t died. In fact, thanks to states like California, where dinner dates can whisk couples through some of the state’s most beautiful parts, you’ll find that interest in the industry is thriving. In the early days of railroad history, trains meant greater access to parts of the country that may have seemed like a dangerous trip. People from all over the world view trains as their access to exploring the rest of their world.
Railroad historical societies do a great job of discussing the history of trains, and their impact on politics and the economy. In California, the State Railway Museum is one of the most effective resources for knowledge. There are museums all across the nation, such as New York’s MTA museum. These places allow visitors to explore the history of the railways that have affected this great nation.
You might also consider joining a few forums, or bookmarking some blogs that discuss new train routes and technology. There is a great deal of research into how to make trains more effective, especially with new advances such as so-called “bullet trains” that can travel at speeds that exceed 200 miles per hour.
Some of these forums also have conductors on them, which are excellent resources to learn more about train routes and the inner working of trains. These key people understand the trains they operate inside and out, so they’re happy to share that passion with avid fans.
Aside from forums and websites, you’ll find that magazines and train publications are important resources as well. They may contain interviews of key historical figures, or in-depth journalism about a certain line or important moment.
If you really love trains, there are a variety of resources still available for you to learn more about them. The community is quite dedicated, and isn’t just hobbyists and future conductors. Lots of people, especially children, have a deep fondness for locomotives. Kids love videos, though, so YouTube is an excellent place to get a lot of free content about trains. You can find slideshows, documentaries and footage of trains on the go. You can even find maintenance videos, which are useful when you want to see the inner workings of a train for yourself.
With the Web, you can go from being a casual observer of trains to a true fan in a matter of weeks. It’s just a matter of how far your passion will take you.
Bio: Archbishop James Provence retired from the church, and currently resides in Vacaville. James Provence is a volunteer docent at the California State Railway Museum in Sacramento, and an avid reader of history.