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    Posted September 29, 2014 by
    JackFreer
    Location
    Portola, California
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The romance of trains

    More from JackFreer

    When the romance ends

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Jack Freer experienced some rich train history during his trip to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola,California and the Railtown 1897 Historical State Park in Jamestown,California. What draws Freer to trains is their impressive design. "For me, it's the engineering and their massive size, the complexity of some of the engines and the beauty of their design." he said.
    - slmas12, CNN iReport producer

    People around the world have been having a love affair with trains for hundreds of years. Trains first appeared in America in the 1700s with passenger service starting in the 1830s.

     

    Luxury passenger train service began in 1890 and by the 1920s Americans were enamored with train travel and passenger revenues were at an all time high.

     

    There were other ways to get to destinations but people really wanted to get there by train. It was not so much the destination as it was the journey by train that was important.

     

    Everything ends at some point. And so it is with trains. Some of those majestic passenger train engines and cars were wrecked beyond repair. Others were sold for scrap and some simply abandoned. Some of the more fortunate engines and cars found their way to railroad museums where they are restored to operate as tourist attractions once again carrying passengers. Others merely become motionless displays destined to deteriorate in place.

     

    But when it comes to trains, America’s love affair will probably never end.

     

    Photo 1 – Trying to bring new life to an old steam engine in the shops of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 2 - It takes constant loving care to keep these old engines running at Railtown 1897 State Historical Park, Jamestown, Calif.

     

    Photo 3 – An old passenger car waits for restoration in the shops at Railtown 1897 State Historical Park, Jamestown, Calif.

     

    Photo 4 – An old luxury passenger car sits empty behind the shops at Railtown 1897 State Historical Park, Jamestown, Calif.

     

    Photo 5 – The old Western Pacific engine 805-A silently sits hoping for a chance to pull the California Zephyr once again at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 6 – This old California Zephyr Silver Plate, a luxury car in its day, won’t be going anywhere soon. Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 7 – The empty passenger compartment of the California Zephyr Silver Plate car. Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 8 – Nothing has been served at the counter of the California Zephyr Silver Plate passenger car in a long time. Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 9 – More empty tables and chairs in the rear of the California Zephyr Silver Plate passenger car. Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

     

    Photo 10 – Old engine X5274 sits rusting in the weeds on a back track at the museum waiting for its turn to be restored. Western Pacific Railroad Museum, Portola, Calif.

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