Volume 22, Number 09 September, 2019 

More Thoughts on a Composer and Rail Fan

I did not anticipate a sequel to last month’s article about Antonin Dvorák. However, I found his life story and his relationship to trains to be intriguing. Dvorák spoke of trains in a conversation recalled by his student Josef Michl, after the two of them saw a train near the small country property the composer owned in Vysoká, just South of Prague:

“I [Dvorák] especially like the huge and clear ingenuity with which the locomotive is constructed! It consists of many parts created by many different components.

Each of them has its importance; each of them is right in place.

Even the smallest screw is in the correct place, being used to hold something.

Everything has a purpose and role and the result is amazing. Such a locomotive can be put on the track and filled with water and coal. One person moves a small lever and the big levers start to move too. Even though the carriages weigh a few thousand quintals, the locomotive runs as quickly as a rabbit with them!”

Dvorák was nine and living in Nelahozeves when he witnessed his first train, carrying miltary personnel, in the spring of 1850. It was on a branch of the main line from Prague to Dresden. Once freight started being carried on the line in 1851, Dvorák's curiosity in the latest form of transportation was piqued.

The impact of Dvorák's train-spotting hobby on his music is ... well ... mostly intangible. But there are shared qualities between what Dvorák saw as the precision and elegance of a steam locomotive’s design, construction, and function with one of his own carefully crafted scores. At its best (and there are a surprising number of gems in his music catalogue), a Dvorák score is designed to sound natural, uncomplicated, spontaneous and ‘right’ on its chosen instrument – these are honest, hard-working qualities achieved through both inspiration and perspiration.

Keep ‘em running,
Madison Parker
Tel: 630-542-9062 (mobile)



---- We have had the opportunity to see and hear Union Pacific Big Boy 4041, a one-of-a-kind locomotive, this past summer. Unfortunately, not everyone had the opportunity to see, hear and smell (in other words) SENSE this monster engine. But this is your chance to get introduced to another one-of-a-kind engine. It is the premier locomotive of the Haberkamp Railroad. Fred Haberkamp will be our presenter for the evening of sharing tales and anecdotes of the genesis of this engine. Pictures will also be shared.

----- If you are looking forward to this monthly CAGRS meeting scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd, 2019, at 5:30 PM, plan to attend the dinner and meeting at the Holiday Inn in Itasca, please RSVP to Madison Parker at no later than Tuesday, 17th, 2019. This enables us to provide the restaurant with an accurate count for dinner so we have the right amount of food. Your continued cooperation is vital to keeping expenses down and is appreciated. Make your reservation NOW while you are thinking about it. The fee is $21 cash or check per person.

Don't forget, the presenter for this meeting will be Fred Haberkamp on the subject of the Haberkamp Railroad.


A CAGRS member, Len Berghaus, has acquired a substantial collection of S-scale (American Flyer) railroad items over the years.

He needs to sell his large collection, as he in down-scaling his home. He has many "steam" and "diesel" locomotives, as well as many pieces of rolling stock, transformers, turnouts, accessories, and track. These items have been well maintained over the years.

Please call him if you or (anyone you know) may be interested. His cell number is: 708.288.8820.


1. This is your copy of the Seniors' Discount List that Joe Lienau presented at a recent meeting. Don't forget that you will need to ask for the discount. Don't assume that you will automatically get it.

2. A PDF file of pictures of some of the CAGRS members attending the Sanfilippo Residence tour.