Regional Perspectives and how they distort reality

Charlie Vlk

Richard, Richard, now you've gone and done it!!!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though, as a resident of "Cali" (it just registered to me today that the News Media is apparently recognizing that
California is no longer really part of the United States in so many ways and apparently has come up with this new way of referring to
the former state so as to not confuse the rest of the country!).

While the CB&Q locomotives may be an acquired taste, "Ugly" certainly applies to locomotives of a railroad that had beasts hauling tank cars as
tenders (and I don't mean the more-common Vanderbilt types) and the half-round haystacks which were even uglier. Why the SP was the
only* railroad that didn't even know which end of a locomotive the cab goes on!!! (*yes, I know, technically not true....)
At least the other railroad that painted most things Armour Yellow had the good sense to equip their cabooses with the CB&Q design waycar
truck... even putting them under steel cars so they would ride decently!!! Of course, some of the UP's power had faces only a mother could love too....

How thinking anything West of the Hudson or Mississippi can be considered laughably myopic but anything East of the foothills of the Rockies is "East"
is hard to swallow for those of us that don't live in "Cali"....

Charlie Vlk

As the French say, it is to laugh. The Q's major western terminal
was Denver. Granted, there was a secondary line that ventured some
distance into Wyoming and Montana, but still.... The Q was a
"western" railroad only from the perspective of easterners who think
the west starts at the Mississippi River. However, for all of us
true westerners, the west begins at the Front Range. Period. Denver
and Cheyenne are west, but only barely. I mean to take nothing away
from the Burlington, which was in many ways an admirable railroad
(though, it must be said, with some of the ugliest steam locomotives
ever conceived). But a western railroad? Emphatically not. It was
a midwestern railroad (or great plains railroad, if you maintain the
quaint illusion that Ohio and Indiana are in the midwest). The Santa
Fe, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Milwaukee Road were both
midwestern and western railroads by virtue of their very long main
lines from Chicago or Minneapolis to the west coast. By similar
reasoning, the Southern Pacific/T&NO was both a western and
southwestern railroad. The Rio Grande, Western Pacific, and Spokane,
Portland & Seattle were western railroads, as were a number of short
lines like the Sumpter Valley and the Oregon, California & Eastern.
But for Pete's sake, Mike and others, get it out of your heads that
Kansas and Nebraska, much less Iowa and Missouri, and the railroads
that served them are in any sense "western," just because they are
west of where you happen to be.

Richard Hendrickson


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