Merci Train – Forty and Eights

Scottsdale, Arizona.

After World War II, it was no secret that Europe had a long road to recovery and in 1947, more than 700 American box cars containing about $40 million dollars in relief goods provided by principally individual Americans were delivered to France and Italy to help the formerly occupied nations recover. Two years later, in February 1949, forty-nine French railroad box cars filled with thousands of gifts of gratitude were shipped to the United States. There was one boxcar for each of the 48 states and a boxcar to be shared by Washington D.C. and the territory of Hawaii. The rail cars were French box cars, military transport freight cars dubbed Forty-and-Eights because they were rated to carry 40 troops or 8 horses. Continue reading

McCormick Stillman Model Railroads – Trains Too Small To Ride

Scottsdale, Arizona.

In early May, I wrote about the miniature trains and the railroad museum at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (here) and promised that I’d feature a post on the model train displays housed in a separate 10,000 square foot (929 sq m) building.  Hosted by four clubs, there are three displays and several other railroad oriented exhibits. The opening photo features a sculpture of a train engine breaking through the building wall. Some of these images may look familiar as I featured a sampling of theme for the May 21, 2020, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge here. This post features more facts about the museum, and photos not previously published as well. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Pastimes

Scottsdale, Arizona.

This week, the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is being hosted by Sue (Mac’s Girl) from her blogging site, The Nature of Things. She writes, “With so much time being spent at home, many of us have been looking for new pastimes or taking up old ones in order stay occupied or even sane…. It could be something that you are trying for the first time or a hobby or interest that you have enjoyed for many years. Feel free to dig into the archives or take a picture to illustrate a current pastime.” You can read her entire challenge post here. I could have focused on some of the pastimes that have occupied my time over the years, but instead have decided to focus on a hobby that has always interested me, but I’ve never taken the time or had the space to get started. Continue reading

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park – Little Trains Equal Big Fun

Scottsdale, Arizona.

Notice: This post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time, the park is closed to visitors. Please stay safe and follow your state or country’s guidelines for travel in your region. More information on the park’s current status can be found here.

In early January, Lynn and I visited McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona. During the Christmas holidays, the park is all decked out with lights and features evening train rides through the park. On any given weekend, the park is quite busy (in normal times, anyway,) and there are lots of activities for kids and adults alike. Though the engine and train cars in the opening photo are full size, the fun happens on little trains. Continue reading