The Links Page - IrwinsJournal.com
© 2000-2016 by George Irwin, Ellison Park, NY || Last Updated: 03 Aug 2016
Here are a few of my favorite links. All links have been checked as of the "last update" date but please let me know if you come across any "dead" links, or worse, "redirects" (don't ask!)
Model Train Manufacturers
Micro-Trains® Line, Inc. - The official information from Micro-Trains, includes current month car photos!
Kadee® Quality Products - The "big brother" to Micro-Trains... its PS-1 boxcar in HO Scale turned heads all over model railroading when it was introduced.
American Model Builders - Laser kits for N Scale buildings.
Atlas Model Railroad Company - Track, locomotives, structures and frieght cars are offered by one of the oldest and largest manufacturers in N Scale.
Bar Mills Models - From the Great State of Maine, and master modeller Art Fahie comes a line of laser cut wood billboard kits suitable for N and other scales. Also the virtual home of Art's "Niagara and Pearl Creek" N Scale railroad.
Intermountain Railway Company - Intermountain makes freight cars, kit and ready to run, in N, O and HO Scales.
Kato USA - Best known for their high quality limited run locomotives and passenger car sets, but also carries an extensive line of track.
Microscale Decals - So no one does the car you want? Maybe you can do one yourself with some paint and decals from these folks.
Westerfield - Freight cars are like a science to Westerfield. Sure, they're just in HO, but they are exactingly researched and exquisitely modeled! You won't just buy a kit, you'll gain a history of the car! Also the place to order ORERs on CD-ROM-- very highly recommended!
Walthers - Distributor, mnaufacturer and retailer.
Model and Prototype Train Resources
Adirondack Scenic Railroad - The former New York Central Adirondack Division line that threaded through the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York is being slowly and lovingly restored by this tireless non-profit organization. As of the Year 2000 there are passenger train excursions from Utica to Old Forge, a distance of more than 50 miles! And they're not stopping there-- the charter is to make it all the way to Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. Find out how you can help.
The Belmont Shores Club - This club would be the stuff of legend simply for being th cradle of the N-Trak movement, but it's also probably led to the founding of more model railroad suppliers than any other organization in modeling history as well. Take the layout tour and see how many famous model sites you recognize!
Ken Harstine's "Boxcars and Freight Cars of North America" - More than 4000 of them!
Cyberspace World Railroad Links - Links courtesy of the National Model Railroad Association and rrhistorical.com. This page will keep you surfin' for a while! I use it in my research for the UMTRR.
George Elwood's Fallen Flags Railroad Site - Possibly the single most comprehensive library of prototype photos anywhere on the net. 'Nuff said.
Ian Cranstone's Canadian Freight Cars Page An excellent resource for equipment rosters "North of the Border". Also check the Canadian Freight Car Gallery
The Golden State Model Railroad Museum - 10,000 square feet of N, HO and O scale model railroads located in Point Richmond, California, just north of San Francisco. Need I say more? Worth a trip from anywhere, but especially from anywhere in the Bay Area. And a very friendly bunch to boot!
Model Railroads and Freight Cars" - A young researcher recommended this short compendium to me, and how can I resist? There are some PDF downloads cited here.
N Scale Enthusiast (Formerly The N Scale Collector) - The official home page of the magazine that is for anyone who has more than one N Scale item, whether it runs or sits proudly on display.
NTrak - Website for standards and other information about a "modular way" to be involved in the hobby. There are a number of NTrak clubs around the world and this site can help guide you to one.
Penn Central Railroad Online - A site about the oft-maligned result of the merger of the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads. Not being updated at present.
QStation - One of my favorite proto sites, devoted to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe but more importantly its predecessors. Find the story and photos of the "BN Cityview Trailers" here.
Railserve - With links to 19,000+ other model and prototype sites, so they say...
Rob's Pennsy Page - And quite possibly the single largest website anywhere devoted to a single railroad. Includes a freight car roster, equipment diagrams, and more prototype information.
RRPictureArchives.net - Quite possibly the single largest repository of prototype photos yet... as in, FOUR MILLION images!
Rensselaer Railroad Heritage Home Page - This is the home of the fabulous New England, Bershire and Western, one of the top ten model railroads of all time in my opinion. I've made the 450+ mile round trip to see this extensive HO Scale recreation of the New York and Vermont landscape, circa 1950's, at least a half dozen times. It's worth a trip from anywhere to see the real thing, or if you can't get there take the time to peruse the site. And I'm honored that there is a place for the UMTRR on their links page!
The Rio Grande Modeling and Historical Society My go to place for information on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.
The Western Pacific Historical Society A site honoring "The Feather River Route" and providing prototype photos and modeling information.
Music is another important part of my life. A list of favorite artists would take up another website, but here are a few of whom you might not be aware. These folks are worth checking out!
Mindi Abair - Smooth sax and sultry vocals from one of the brightest stars on the jazz scene.
Bobby Caldwell - The song "What You Won't Do For Love" is just the beginning... whether it's jazz, blues big band, or standards, Bobby is a singer's singer. He's incredibly popular in Japan and doesn't tour much here, so when he's in town, see him!
Glass Tiger - Best known for their huge international hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone," this Canadian pop/rock group returned from a hiatus to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their formation and recorded new material including the touching "No Looking Back." I've always liked their combination of thoughtful lyrics and excellent musicianship, which go well beyond the hits that they had on the US Charts.
Natalie Imbruglia - Best known for her worldwide smash "Torn," fellow Aquarian Natalie is not only a talented singer and actress, but one of the most beautiful women in the world -- and that's not just me saying that. She's #1 on my "Want to See in Concert" list at present!
Aimee Mann - I've known of her since her big hit "Voices Carry" with her band 'til Tuesday and the CD "Everything's Different Now" still ranks as one of the most incredible and thoughtful listening experiences I've ever had. She is very much an independent artist now (read: no annoying record label).
Keiko Matsui - The smoothest of smooth jazz as well as forceful, sweeping numbers come from this piano master. Her CD "Dream Walk" is one of my all time favorites.
Gerry Rafferty - Sadly, Gerry left us in 2011, but his daughter Martha lovingly preserves the memory of the singer/songwriter who gave us "Baker Street" and many other less-well-known songs.
The Smithereens - Straight ahead rock and roll!!! And, hey, they're from the same town in "Joisey" that I once called home...
Weird Al Yankovic - Some people thought he'd only last for one song parody. They were wrong. Dare to be stupid.
Broadcasting Past and Present...
Jean Shepherd: Flicklives.com - A biography, bibliography, discography and tribute to my all time favorite author and radio personality-- and that of many others too. See my story "Shep" in Irwin's Journal Online for more.
The Northeast Radio Watch - If you like radio, and you think I write a lot, check out this site by Scott Fybush. It's an on-line summary of the doings in Radioland, updated weekly!
WABC MusicRadio 77 - Anyone alive in the 60's and 70's within a thousand miles of NYC should visit this site! It's a tribute to the biggest and best top 40 radio station of all time! And oh, by the way, you'll find the WABC "Tribute to Carteret High School" from 1978 on the site-- would you believe I still had a tape of it?
The Red Green Show - This long-lived show from Canada (available in the USA on some PBS stations and now on DVD) is a combination of slapstick, intellect and absurdity, all held together with "The Handyman's Secret Weapon" - duct tape. We were on hand in Toronto in October 2005 for a taping of one of the shows of the 15th and final season.
Other Favorite Links...
Did You Bring Bottles? An unofficial illustrated history of several supermarket chains in the United States. Yes, you read right... supermarkets. Get out those Green and Plaid Stamps!
Billboards of the Past Yes, they are all for sale (!) but meanwhile, they are here to enjoy, especially if you are either a model railroader or a student of advertising... or both!
I Can Has Cheezburger? aka "LOLCats" Pair photos of cats, kittens and other animals with amusing captions written in "LOLCat" (not quite English!). Repeat thousands of times. Enjoy! (Caution: Not all captions are "G Rated".)
The California Highways Page -
I'm fascinated by "Where the Old Roads Go", to quote the name of two books in my library. By "old roads" I mean the Federal system of highways that criss-crossed the United States before there were Interstates. Many of these roads still exist as they were, especially in rural areas of the country, but many, including the beloved Route 66, do not. California
was especially ruthless in "rationalizing" its portion of the Federal Highway System. This site describes the way it was in the Golden State before the age of the twelve lane highways.
U.S. Highways -
And if California along is not enough, check out this site for every Federal Highway that existed, and some that didn't! From US 1 to US 830, they are all here.
Manual of Traffic Signs - I'll bet you never knew there was such a thing...
Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society - You weren't from North Jersey if you didn't visit there at least once. Closed in 1971, it was the place to be for rides, games, and rock and roll music for decades. No less than Ken Burns narrated the PBS documentary based on the book by Vince Gargiulo, founder of the society. And for me today's "theme parks" just don't cut it.
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