Recent additions and changes to this site.

During these unpredictable times since the pandemic, I have not been making too many updates to this web site. Occasionally making minor additions and updates. But I have no plans to make any major additions in the near future.

I launched this web site in 1996. This was an exciting decade for the growth of the internet and the web. And many people, caught up in the excitement, decided to create their own web sites pertaining to their hobbies or interests. Unfortunately many of those web sites have since disappeared. And Wikipedia seems to have emerged, as one of the most significant resources for "unofficial" information on a topic of interest including transportation. But I have no plans to go away.

Personally, I have been devoting more time to researching my ancestry. Which have included a few interesting observations regarding transportation.

The Vandervoort or van der Voort branch of my family immigrated in 1910 from the Netherlands, where I have always admired the railway and public transportation systems. In 1870 my great grandfather Pieter van der Voort was born in Zegwaart, Netherlands. Zegwaart and nearby Zoetermeer were small towns surrounded by farms, east of the major city Den Haag or The Hague. During the 1970's, with a growing population and a need to carefully manage land use in this densely populated country, Zoetermeer was developed into a large suburb of Den Haag. And a new commuter rail line was constructed at the same time. And Zegwaart basically became a neighborhood within Zoetermeer.

Earlier in the century, a similar approach was used in the development of Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Shaker Heights was developed with two light rail lines, connecting to downtown Cleveland. The main developers of Shaker Heights were the Van Sweringen brothers. Practical people with a Dutch last name.

My great grandfather Orlin Wells was a railroader. He was born in 1880 in Jefferson County Illinois, which was home to many Wells ancestors. Mount Vernon is the county seat there, that area was served by the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad main line which became part of Union Pacific. In 1903 he married Letta Potter. The Potter family was mainly in the area between Terre Haute and Evansville Indiana, served by the other Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad main line, which became part of CSX. The 1910 US Census mentions him as a railroad agent in that part of Indiana, presumably for the Chicago & Eastern Illinois. Shortly after then they moved to Michigan, mainly living in the Holland Zeeland area southwest of Grand Rapids. For many years he worked for the Pere Marquette Railroad, as an operator/agent at the station in Fennville Michigan. Fennville is south of Holland Michigan, on the Pere Marquette now CSX main line between Grand Rapids and Chicago.

In the mid 1970's, I started studying railroad employee timetables. And I learned that the passing siding near Fennville was identified as "Wells", I was intrigued. By then the railroad was Chesapeake & Ohio. So I wrote to the Chesapeake & Ohio headquarters about it, and I received the following response.