TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Saturday essay: First things first

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, March 1, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

The model train platform is down for another year. But that doesn't mean it's out of mind.

The brand-new, eight-line N-gauge platform performed flawlessly this past Christmas season. Two light-rail vehicles traversed the city; there was a switcher engine that ferried freight cars around its periphery. A full freight line wended its way up and down the mountainside; below, a coal line and another freight line ran in the mountain's shadow and beneath it through two tunnels. And two long-haul passenger lines were, at least for this model railroader, the large platform's pi è ce de r é sistance.

But as any engineer in miniature will tell you, no train platform ever really is “completed.” And almost from the day it went up for its month-long run, new ideas — improvements here, additions there — were being calculated for their practicality and aesthetics.

More realistic tunnel portals will be easy and fun to design and build. But a long, curved and very high trestle for one of the freight lines will be a junior engineering challenge and take scores of hours to build.

That said, sitting all boxed up and begging to be run for the next eight or so months is a just-obtained Southern Pacific diesel that will pull a consist of 10 passenger cars. Its red, orange and black paint scheme will be striking next to the blue and gray of the Baltimore & Ohio line that will run alongside it.

Of course, all of this will have to wait a bit. After all, I've a greenhouse to get ready for spring.

— Colin McNickle

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. So, where’s the I-70 ‘Welcome to Pennsylvania’ sign on the Pa.-W.Va. border?
  2. The Fiat Chrysler mess: Government’s virus
  3. Mon-Yough Tuesday takes
  4. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  5. The wind ruse: A failed policy
  6. At the VA: The waiting dead
  7. Sunday pops
  8. Grabbing guns: Obama overreach?
  9. Saturday essay: The vounteers