A SOLI Original Document.
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THE NEMO LINCOLN & RAND RAILROAD: A REPORT.
(c) Copyright 1987, 1990 Robert J. Hustwit
Below is a map showing the scheduled stops along the N.L.& R.
The N.L.& R. was founded by Robert J. Hustwit. Hustwit Named his
railroad for Jules Verne's (Captain) Nemo, of the classic 20,000
Leagues Under the Sea; for Lincoln Island, which is the name the
castaways of Verne's Mysterious Island gave to their new home; and for
Ayn Rand, whose philosophy expressed in Atlas Shrugged had a profound
impact on Hustwit.
The Railroad has a long history of exceptional service, profitability,
and attention to detail. Run-down equipment is quickly taken out of
service and either repaired or junked. The N.L.& R. almost invariably
has good-looking, clean equipment running at all times.
The diversity and quality of the N.L.& R.'s rolling stock and motive
power is unparalleled. Mr. Hustwit has bought the best that railroads
around the world have had to offer. As he refuses to repaint any
equipment not in need of it, you will see the names and trademarks of
many different railroads on the N.L.& R., even though the equipment is
now owned by Hustwit. Old-time steam locomotives, as well as the more
modern steam, run right along with today's most modern diesel
equipment on the N.L.& R., as Hustwit found that an efficient
operation can profitably use both. Over the years, Hustwit's
operation has attracted some of the finest railroad people, including
the world's best mechanics. Excellent working conditions, good pay,
and pride in their railroad keep the best people associated with this
fine line. There is no union on the N.L.& R., everyone works on a
merit system as an independent contractor. Because of Hustwit's
disdain for unionism, many other railroads still will have nothing to
do with the N.L.& R. Harassment from union "gangs" was common until
a prominent leader of these thugs, who had reportedly beaten the
family of an N.L.& R. employee, permanently injuring the father and
terrorizing the rest of the family, was found hanging from a tree in
Stobbs' Landing. Union harassment stopped there, and rumors that
Hustwit himself had hunted the man down and killed him only added to
the lore surrounding the N.L.& R. and Hustwit. His negotiating
abilities are legendary, his ability to bluff, bully and cajole are
marveled at. To this day, people still wonder how Hustwit got
permission for his railroad to use the interchange yard at all-union
For the most part, though, the old days of confrontation are gone for
the N.L.& R., and after years of service, the N.L.& R. is known and at
least tolerated by other lines. It has consistently out-produced them
and has always shown a profit.
There are eight distinct locations served by the N.L.& R. railroad:
1. The Town of Danielson
2. The Town of Smith and Smith Yard
3. The Farm Community of Holmes
4. The Main Yard at Harding
5. The City of Vivian and Vivian Yard
6. The City of Charlestown
(Served by the VHBRR)
7. The town of Stobbs' Landing
8. The Interchange Yard at Ingersoll
Each of the three yards serve their communities as well as providing
staging points for through freight and passenger service to other
yards. In addition, the yard at Smith serves Danielson.
Hustwit gave the area its name, The Verne Valley, in honor of Jules
Verne. Even though the entire area covered by the name is not a
valley, the name persists.
When Hustwit first arrived in the area, there was a small iron mine on
a mountain overlooking the site where Smith was later established.
Some distance away, at the bottom of the mountain and through a
valley, was a small beach where ships brought in supplies which were
then hauled by mule train over the tortuous 100-mile route up the
mountain. This same convoy of mule-drawn wagons would then haul the
ore back down the mountain to a waiting ship at the beach. Seeing the
opportunities in inexpensively transporting the much-needed ore to
market, Hustwit formed the N.L.& R., of which he was the sole owner
and stockholder. The N.L.& R.'s original purpose was to make the iron
ore produced at the mine above Smith available to an ever wider market
by transporting large amounts to the beach, now called Charlestown,
where it would be taken by ship to other markets. As the ability of
his railroad to deliver ore increased, the size of its operation and
its need for men also grew. Hustwit established the town of Smith to
serve the needs of the mining community, and opened the first business
Not surprisingly, the entire area rapidly began to grow. Coal was
found in the heart of Smith. The area around the iron mine formed
into a community which Hustwit named Danielson. After this, Hustwit
founded Holmes, which, because of its location, seemed a natural area
for the larger yard and staging area which was fast becoming a
It soon became obvious that trucks and ships were not enough to carry
away all the riches that the area could produce and Hustwit's railroad
could haul. The N.L.& R. now wound its way through the hills and down
to Charlestown, following much the same route as the earlier mule
drawn wagons. As goods piled up waiting for ships and trucks, it was
evident that a natural, though expensive, project was to extend the
main line of the railroad to Ingersoll, a large city over 200 miles
away, with a huge interchange yard serving the entire nation. When
this portion of the main line was completed, two things happened.
First, the Verne Valley began marketing to the nation; second, the
ability it gave people to travel comfortably and economically on
Hustwit's clean, well-run passenger service, caused them to flock into
the area. While the area west of Holmes didn't attract many settlers,
the area to the east, closer to Stobbs' Landing, attracted land
speculators and buyers, many of whom eventually settled in the area
called Vivian. Another small yard was established by Hustwit at
Vivian, and as the area continued to grow, the main yard at Harding
was built to handle all of the traffic.
Danielson and Smith are tied together geographically, as well and
economically. As more modern mining techniques came to the fore,
fewer and fewer workers were needed to produce more and more ore in
the huge coal mines at Smith. While this increased the need for ore
transport, it was about to drastically cut the need for other services
in the area. In addition, the iron mines at Danielson could not
profitably produce ore any longer. In fact, it looked as if the whole
Smith/Danielson area, rich in minerals, might go bust, while nearby
mines prospered. Then oil was discovered in Danielson, and the boom
was on again: the future of the area secure. Danielson's oil
industry, along with Smith's coal and ore industries have formed the
nucleus of what is now a growing community.
Holmes, while it grew along with the traffic in iron ore, coal and
oil, never became the central yard Hustwit had envisioned. Instead,
it slowly matured into an agricultural center, supplying beef and
grain to the area.
Vivian is another story. Even though it is over two hours' from
Vivian to the "outside world" at Ingersoll, many have chosen to use
the N.L.& R.'s daily passenger run to and from that huge metropolis as
a commuter train. Vivian is also the headquarters for the N.L.& R.
The port of Charlestown has prospered over the years and features the
only non-N.L.& R. motive power to be found in Hustwit's empire.
Vivian Flores owns the Vivian Harbor Belt Railroad. Her distinctive
colors identify her locomotives, as well as her headquarters. The
VHBRR also features the only electrical motive power to be found
anywhere in the Verne Valley.
Stobbs' Landing has expanded and serves both an industrial community
and a small port where goods are shipped and received across lake
All of the towns, yards, and cities along the N.L.& R. as well as the
N.L.& R. itself, were given their names by Hustwit. Each has a short
story behind it.
The Nemo, Lincoln, & Rand Railroad
Hustwit always felt that the character of Captain Nemo, created
by Jules Verne, represented the pinnacle of self-sufficiency and
integrity to which he aspired. Lincoln, the name given to Verne's
Mysterious Island, represented the individual's ability to create a
civilization based on his own values. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged was
the catalyst for Hustwit at the age of 15 because of the philosophical
base it gave him. This, coupled with admiration for and understanding
of Nemo and the castaways of Lincoln Island, were major formative
inputs, and so the N.L.& R. was named.
was named for Gordon Smith. Early in Hustwit's railroading
career, Smith demonstrated an exceptional knowledge of the ins and
outs of running a railroad. Hustwit has, from time to time, consulted
with Smith, and used many of his inputs in building the N.L.& R.
was named for Hustwit's English grandmother, Annie Stobbs
was named for Hustwit's oldest son, Daniel.
was not named, as many have assumed, for either Sherlock Holmes
or Larry Holmes (Hustwit is a boxing enthusiast), but for John M.
Holmes, an Englishman. He was a mechanical engineer and friend of the
Hustwit family. Holmes had a great influence on Hustwit's life,
giving him an early interest in science and mathematics, as well as
was named for Cyrus Harding, another Jules Verne creation, this
time in his novel Mysterious Island. Harding was a civil engineer,
and, like Captain Nemo, a man of ingenuity, integrity, and character.
the newest settlement in the Verne area, is named after Vivian
Flores, Hustwit's wife, best friend, and companion. Her support and
assistance have proven invaluable in the growth of the railroad.
was named for the small seaside town of Charlestown, Rhode
Island, where Hustwit spent his childhood summers.
was established before Hustwit started the N.L.& R., but he likes
to think that it was named after Robert Green Ingersoll, a late 19th-
century American philosopher, writer, and orator of great talent, wit,
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