On Logging . . . .

The Erie Lackawanna Railroad Logbook

This is a train log that logged trains that traveled along the line that went from Chicago through New York State and Pennsylvania, then New Jersey, and which finally ended up in New York City. It defines my youth – in the 1960’s, the train tracks were pulled up in Newton, NJ, and the old train station then fell into disrepair. This particular logbook is unused – and it has columns perfect for a Ham Radio Log.

Newton, NJ Station – Erie Lackawanna Spur Line

The Erie Lackawanna tracks crossed south of Rochester, NY, where I spent my first year out of college at Kodak – and where I lived in Fairport – a town right on the Erie Canal. South of this train line – I went to college at Lock Haven State College in Lock Haven, PA.

The Erie Lackawanna train traveled from Pennsylvania to New Jersey – here at the Delaware Water Gap

There is a famous viaduct bridge that carried the trains across the Delaware River to NJ and then more or less following where Route 80 is. During High School – after we all had cars – we would skip school and climb around the bridge – it was open and you could crawl around the viaduct parts and look down at the Delaware River. I know I partook in “Senior Skip Day” – where I didn’t get in trouble. I pretty much stayed out of trouble – heck – all my life – heh heh.

Chicago to NYC along the Erie Lackawanna (click on the map for a better view. Newton is in that little offset at the bottom right)

I will use this hardbound logbook for my 300 Free Range QRP DX QSO’s. It is in great shape, but the cover has some dings – so its not a collectors piece, and I will ceremoniously write entries using a pretty cool fountain pen:

This will most likely be my “last logbook”, because I expect that getting to 300 entities from any combination of entities on the DXCC and IOTA lists will take a good 20 years. I base this on making Honor Roll in 11 years – but where I had full power and a big antenna (at one point). I also believe that the amount of CW DX will dwindle over these years.

Maybe – like the logbook shown above, or the railroad station in Newton, NJ – I will become a true relic of a bygone era?

Here is one last bit of nostalgia – a 1962 ARRL MiniLog – purchased in Braintree, MA at a Radio Shack – for $.30:

Time marches on!

4 Comments on “On Logging . . . .

  1. You might be right about the gradual dwindling of CW.

    But, I recently looked at my own log after understanding your 300 challenge. ~3.5 years after my own reboot into using a KX3 and a dipole, I was surprised to find that I have well over 300 DXCC + IOTA entities, all on CW. (There’s a dozen or so more that are spread between RTTY, SSB, and FT8) That’s without really focusing on IOTA operations. (I’m paying far more attention now.)

    So, don’t aim too low! You could be surprised, in a good way.

    Of course, in my case not all were confirmed with paper cards. That’s a great challenge unto itself.

    No snazzy fountain pen, either.


    • Thanks Clarke – it will be interesting to see how fast I can get to 300 – this time around I am in no hurry – but will turn on the radio on daily. I will also help keep CW alive as much as I can – by being on the air and calling CQ DX if I have to (with QRP I usually answer other’s CQ’s).

      I remember the Merrit Parkway – and I have a childhood friend who lives in Wallingford. I also remember a nice little town on the Connecticut River – forget its name, but Cheshire is another town that way that I remember.


      • Well, our town is right on the Connecticut River. But, although not what you’d call large, it’s probably not one you’d recall a couple decades after visiting once or twice. The more memorable towns are down river some.

        On further review, I find that I’m actually over 400 combined between IOTA and DXCC. Here’s a fun fact I didn’t notice until this morning – of the IOTAs I’ve worked, I’ve had 100.00% verification via LoTW. Those IOTA guys are very serious, it seems.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: On Logging . . . . — The Free Range QRP DX-er – Tom Filecco

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