The Electric Trains humble beginnings:


In 2002, I got together with my train buddy Duke York to play a few train songs for a local model RR club's annual Christmas Holiday train event. We had so much fun, we invited a few more players along for the next year. We discovered the concept of a band just playing Train Songs was so fun and infectious, what could we do.....The Electric Trains. The core band was myself, Duke and Jim Romanow. We played a lot.....all over New England, clubs, outdoor concerts, RR Excursions, RR Museums RR Conferences....you name it.

We wrote a bunch of train tunes....mostly about New England train lore. We put out a fine CD "Put The Track Back" and they have been sold all over the globe!  We built a loyal fan base, and it was so much fun!

But we needed to reorganized after Jim left due to family obligations (sadly Jim passed away a year later, see below).....we added Charles and Rick Spencer (not brothers) and kept going for a few more years, but in 2013 after a great 10 year run, it was time for new projects all around and right now "The Trains" are in quiet mode....on some abandoned siding somewhere.

Will there be a reunion/reformation??...... Only time will tell......in the mean time  you can still partake of the joy as "Put The Track Back" is available from CD Baby on the Music Page.



rip Jim Romanow 7/14/50--5/8/11 - may 12, 2011

We received the sad news that long time "ETrains" guitarist Jim Romanow passed away suddenly on Sunday May 8. 2011. Jim had left the band about a year ago to spend more time with his family. He was a major driving force in the creation of this project. His understanding of popular music and what made a good band tick was second to none. His snappy electric guitar playing is all over our cd "put the track back" and his song "Electric Trains" says it all.

He will be deeply missed by our entire musical family.... our hearts go out to his wife and children and everyone that had the great fortune to know him.

Rest in peace, buddy.






Here are a few CD reviews for "Put the Track Back"
"Put The Track Back" - Into Your CD Player!
author: Ed Goss
A fine freshman effort from the (almost) legendary Connecticut band The Electric Trains, "Put The Track Back" is bound to please fans of American roots music, Folk, Bluegrass, and acoustic music. Containing nine original train and travel songs, along with a cover of Bob Dylan's "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry", a rousing cover of the Tom Petty mega-hit "Runnin' Down A Dream" along with a fine rendition of the traditional tune "Good Mornin' Mr. Railroad Man" this album will make you smile. Well recorded, with close harmonies and some really fine pickin', "Put The Track Back" is a great car CD for those long trips where you need something to tap your feet to. I'm looking forward to more from the boys, and urge anyone who gets a chance to see them live to not miss it. it's just fun - and what better recommendation can I make? Buy this CD NOW!
Ed Goss - CDBaby (Jul 5, 2010)

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

Probably the coolest job I ever held was working in a used book store while a teen-ager. The job didn't pay worth beans but I was and still am a bibliophile and thus was in heaven. You meet a few characters in such stores, but the most striking I ever came across were the trainophiles. They issued, of course, from the nearby aerospace outfit, Northrop Aircraft (where I'd later spend a tempestuous quarter century), and of course it made perfect sense that engineers would be attracted to engineers. Those cats were hard-core and hunted down train books like the fanatics they were, and I've always admired that kind of single-pointedness.

The Electric Trains are now extending their own monophilia in Put the Track Back, a track by track love affair with the iron horses that still exert such a powerful fascination for a significant percentage of the American public (which is why, dear reader, you feel that thrill of elemental righteousness when spying a juggernaut steam engine in a Sergio Leone spaghetti western). Every song here is a paean to the Pullmans, porters, and passenger marvels that represented freedom and exploration in the U.S. saga. Naturally, expect Dylan's It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry and Petty's Running Down a Dream as well as the hallowed traditonal Good Mornin', Mr. Railroad Man.

But the main of the CD is a very cool down-on-the-tracks collection of tunes composed by The Electric Trains themselves, including a song that should one day find it's way to companioning Ghost Riders in the Sky: their own Ghost Train. The group is a threesome, contemporary lads to boot—well, not exactly spring chickens—but, holy Jehosaphat!, does it ever sound like the members just came off the stage at Grand Old Opry on Workingman's Git-Down Night. And when I say "git down", I'm not referring to jigs and reels but the fact that there's dust, grit, and an honest elementality to their music. A far as I can determine, this is their debut disc, but it speaks of years of playing together and the sort of urbanely striking fare you'd look forward to seeing roll into town.

"put the track back"

The Electric Trains is the name of a roots music trio from CT, consisting of Jack Collins, Jim Romanow and Duke York. What is so special about this ensemble is that in the last ten years they have specifically devoted themselves to songs about the history of transportation in America.  Each and everyone of their songs sings about the circumstances that can occur while traveling in their homeland America , be it by train, by truck or by car. For this they write some numbers themselves on the topics, they also cover songs by others and they perform traditionals. A striking fact here is that all three write songs but not together each one, in this way, makes his own contribution to the song repertoire of the Electric Trains.
 
The group was founded in 2002 as a due by Jack Collins and Duke York. The idea for this arose when Jack Collins, as a member of a train club that annually organized exhibitions of model trains, decided that it would be nice to play, during these exhibits, some music that was fitting the theme. Their idea met with a lot of approval from the many visitors to the exhibitions  and so the group grew to the current membership and they played these shows annually.
 
The train shows ended in 2008, but the trio diligently  continued their new hobby and making transportation songs their trademark. These songs are offered on various styles, ranging from folk to blues to rock and country. The cover songs on their new CD "Put the Track Back" are "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, it Takes a Train to Cry" by Bob Dyland and "Running Down a Dream" by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers ( in 1989 on their debut record "Full Moon Fever"). The only traditional on this disc is "Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man" a song of which the Ry Cooder version was the most familiar for us and which was already on his 1972 "Boomer Story" CD.
 
The Electric Trains provide these covers in a version which is entirely their own and true to their style, but is is primarily their own songs that enchant us. We love for instance blues rocker "East Thompson, 1891", "Circus Train" and "Ghost Train", three songs rooted in the imagination of Duke York. And the Jack Collins composition "Dead Horse" and Jim Romanow's "Electric Trains"  which are easy to listen to, accessible folk rockers.
 
All in all a striking recording in a thinly populated genre and very nice to listen to on your ear buds while on a train ride.
Valsam - Rootstime (Jul 10, 2010)



            A few show reviews:

Willimantic — 05/09/2008

Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum opens for 2008 season

Railroad enthusiasts rejoice, the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum at 55 Bridge St. in Willimantic opened for the season on Saturday, May 3. This year’s kick-off featured the fine art of various types of metalworking techniques, with demonstrations in blacksmithing as well as pewtersmithing. Music was provided by the Barbershoppers Quartet and, appropriately, “The Electric Trains,” a band that has an entire afternoon’s repertoire of traveling songs.
Susan Dziedzic - Reminder News (May 13, 2008)

 

"The Electric Trains specialize in railroad songs ranging in style from folk to blues. The band was very popular with last weeks Third Thursday Street Festival.

The crowd enjoyed the spontaneity of the band, and the fun they had playing together spilled out to the audience.

The tunes were infectious, and few could resist singing along."
Kitty LeShay - The Broadcaster Aug, 05

 

 

Listen here!

Join our Email list

We'll keep you in the loop.

Here's Jack's FaceBook thing

http://www.facebook.com/jackcollins.5243