Category Archives: historic photographs


His memories of New England various,

Were by and large vicarious…

Mostly pictures he saw

with interest and awe,

His chances of a visit–hilarious!

Point of fact he was too young,

Couldn’t drive himself even some…

The eight-hour ride

Once a summer left wide,

Window for relevant magazines to come!

Still his interest grew,

Past the time when he knew…

This paint scheme was gone,

these ALCOs moved on.

But the history he wanted to view.

Found an N scale engine thus,

Painted just like this—a plus–

To re-enact

Historical fact,

Without too much fuss!

–Jonathan Caswell





Been working on the N scale

Whenever I’ve found time,

Rebuilding older trackage

So electrics will work fine…

Putting in curved turnouts

Simulating former speed,

My truncated mainline

Once hosted iron steeds!

The story goes that this was once

A high-speed mainline,

Alas, this part of the railroad is

In serious decline…

A few banked curves remain to

Remind us what once was,

The rest of the roadbed

Like that economy, went bust.

But renewing hope is out there

My imaginary line,

Hosts a  tourist train

Which looks like it does fine…

A collection of Rail Diesel Cars–

Steam engines have a few–

An array of passenger train cars,

Restoration still to do!

When rebuilding’s finished

(It’s going to run this time),

They’ll have a ceremony

So get yourself in line…

Cooking for a grand shindig

The restaurants in town,

Will serve the finest dishes

With MOXIE passed around!

They’ll serve their finest cuisine

So chug that MOXIE down!!!!

–Jonathan Caswell



A Lehigh Valley RS-3
Arrived in the mail…
N scale and weathered,
It brought back a memory trail.

Of my college days
And of a certain friend…
Stubborn branchline trains
That were run until the end.

David Fairbanks was
The church organist I knew….
Introduced by the Youth Pastor
We found the other liked trains, too!

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western
Was Dvid’s forte’…
Plus the Lehigh Valley
Ran through Cortland (NY), by the way.

David, old as my Dad, or more
Was into D,L & W steam…
Which he photographed fron youth’
For me a pleasant dream.

He took pictures of “those diesels”
But a foamer he’d always be…
Which was perhaps an acquired taste
For such as young as me!

Still he shared his bounty
With a young diesel man like me…
Copies of his pictures
And of others he’d give gladly

He had an “O-27” layout
In his basement down the stairs…
After admiring and running it
We came up to sample fresh eclairs.

He was a tidy man who never married,
Taught piano on the side for change…
If he had a lesson scheduled
My visiting time rearranged.

Last time I was up his way
David Fairbanks was gone…
But thanks to a local society
His history will live on.

He’ll be playing the organ for his Lord
For perpetuity…
And I suspect when I get there
He’ll remember me.

–Jonathan Caswell