Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

SilverRail: A RailCon

Many of my friends are spending this weekend at Con-Volution in the Bay Area, but Lisa and I attended a railroad convention instead. We spent all day today in Carson City at the first ever SilverRail Railroad Photography Exhibition. This amounted to a one-day railroad fan convention with maybe as many as 50 people attending, with dealers in the lobby of the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall (a converted church), and the programming being a series of presentations on various rail-related subjects. For example, there was a presentation about the last days of electrified freight operations in Marysville-Yuba City on the Sacramento Northern. (The wires came down a few months before I was born in 1965.) There was another about the obscure Mina Subdivision of the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) Railroad, which branches off the mainline at Hazen, ten miles east of Fernley.

Silver Rail

SilverRail is a smaller version of a long-running event called Winterail that had been held in Stockton until last year; it has now moved to Corvallis, Oregon. Many of the presentations today are reprises from past Winterail shows, but that didn't matter to me because I've never been to Winterail, although I'd heard of it.

We were pleased to see all of these presentations. Many of the people who did them I recognized as well-known railroad photographers whose work I've seen before, and I was happy to meet those who attended in person. I also cleared up something that had chewed on my mind ever since I read that a particular rail photographer had been a school teacher in Yuba City -- had he ever taught my class? The answer is no, although it's possible that he coached a basketball or flag football team against which my school played when I attended Central Gaither Elementary School near Tudor, California, and he definitely knew my elementary school English teacher.

Kuma & the Fish

There were two meal breaks in the schedule. For lunch, we eschewed the available-for-purchase box lunches and went down to Mom & Pop's Diner where we had Second Breakfast. Ever since the Carson Nugget remodeled and ruined their diner, we've been looking for a good place for breakfast in downtown Carson City for our periodic trips here, and now we've found it. Kuma Bear liked the fish tank next to our table. The fish gave the bear fishy stares.

The dinner break found us joining a large number of the people from the show at the Firkin & Fox, where we chowed down on pretty good pub grub. I'm glad we had one of the tech team from the event with us, though, because we would otherwise have been late for the final session, except that they couldn't start until he came back from dinner.

This was the first SilverRail fair, but I hope it will not be the last.
Tags: "kuma bear", lisa, nevada, trains

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