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Trains June 2020

TRAINS IS THE #1 MAGAZINE AMONG RAILROAD ENTHUSIASTS! EACH ISSUE IS PACKED WITH PROBING FEATURES, RAILROAD NEWS, EXPERT COMMENTARY, CUTTING-EDGE INDUSTRY REPORTS, DETAILED MAPS AND SPECTACULAR PHOTOGRAPHY COVERING RAILROADING’S INFLUENTIAL HISTORY AND EXCITING FUTURE.

Land:
United States
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Erscheinungsweise:
Monthly
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2 Min.
shortline surprise: why we love ‘em!

jwrinn@kalmbach.com @TrainsMagazine @trains_magazine One of the first things I learned as a child about train-watching was the difference between Class I railroads and short lines. There was the uniformity of the big guys and how the little ones were truly unique. Class I railroads of the 1960s and 1970s in the Southeast were relatively homogenous. Short lines of the same era were individualistic. To a large degree, that’s not changed in the decades since. It’s one of the reasons why we love short lines, and why we devote this issue to them each year. I was reminded of this fact earlier this year when my friend David Schaaf sent me a photo of an Iowa Pacific E8 being used in March as a switcher in Alamosa, Colo. The unit was amazingly being used to place…

1 Min.
on the web

TrainsMag.com TRAINS NEWSLETTER Sign up on our homepage for a free weekly email newsletter to learn what’s in our latest issue, get hot news, watch videos, sign up for trips and events, and more. Photo by Tom Danneman TRAINS BLOGS Check out what Trains’ staff and contributors say about railroads and train-watching. Photo by Bill Stephens LOCOMOTIVE ROSTERS Subscribers can download PDFs of the latest locomotive roster data for North America’s Class I railroads and Amtrak. Photo by Brian Schmidt TRAINS NEWS WIRE Subscribers can access all the latest railroad industry news and updates to stories daily. Photo by David Lassen Follow us on facebook.com/TrainsMagazine twitter.com/TrainsMagazine @trains_magazine TRAINS Magazine (issn 0041-0934, usps 529-850) is published monthly by Kalmbach Media Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI, 53187-1612. Periodicals postage paid at Waukesha, Wis., and at additional offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to TRAINS, P.O.…

9 Min.
railroading battles the covid-19 outbreak

PASSENGERS AND COVID-19 Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada, commuter operations have ridership, finances decimated AS THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 VIRUS brought disruption to most aspects of life in North America, rail passenger and transit carriers cut operations to address a dramatic decline in ridership, and with it, a rapidly expanding financial hit. Amtrak slashed service on corridors. VIA Rail Canada reduced its corridor service to the bare minimum — one round trip a day on each route — shut down its long-distance routes, and reduced remote services to one round trip weekly. Commuter and transit rail system ridership plummeted by 90% or more, leading to new “essential service” schedules — sometimes reflecting weekend frequencies on weekdays, sometimes even greater reductions. The drop in revenue led Amtrak to ask for $1 billion in federal aid,…

4 Min.
the volume conundrum

bybillstephens@gmail.com @bybillstephens Blog: TrainsMag.com Go to rail-industry conferences, and you’ll notice a split between shortline and Class I railroads. Short lines say they chase every carload. The publicly traded Class I railroads say they don’t chase volume. These different approaches are enough to make you wonder if shortline and Class I leaders are from different planets. The big question is why? After all, the more cars you can hitch behind your locomotives the better off you are — no matter how long your railroad may be. If you’re scheduled to run a train, your costs per car go down and your revenue goes up with each car you add to the end of the consist. Only when you realize that short lines and Class I railroads look at the world so differently — and…

4 Min.
unintended consequences

briansolomon.author@gmail.com @briansolomon.author Blog: briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/ Podcast: TrainsMag.com One of the defining changes to Class I railroading over the last half century has been the gradual transformation from traditional carload shipments to longdistance intermodal runs and unit trains. Mike Lacey, a fifth-generation railroader whose railroad operations career spanned five decades, offers eye-opening observations. He provides perspective on how railroad safety efforts, when combined with employee reduction, produced unintended consequences, contributing to the decline of carload traffic. “My great-great grandfather was a track foreman at Corey, Pa., for the Atlantic & Great Western [an Erie Railroad component]. My great-grandfather was an agent for the Pennsy at Corry. Between them, my grandfather and father had 84 years service with Erie at Meadville, Pa. In 1968, my father got me a job laying welded rail for the Erie Lackawanna in Ohio,…

4 Min.
what to watch in 2020 and beyond

SD40 FINALE In northwest New Mexico, Escalante Western has been shuttling coal for years using three vintage SD40-3s built for Baltimore & Ohio in the late 1960s, but this is scheduled to end later this year. The company is part of Western Fuels Association and the trains operate primarily on a segment of BNSF Railway’s Lee Ranch Subdivision that connects to BNSF’s Gallup Subdivision at Baca. Western Fuels announced in early January that the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Authority will close its Escalante Generating Station, the destination for the Escalante Western coal trains, by the end of 2020. While the trains operate several times a week, they have to contend with BNSF coal trains loading at the same mine, which can alter their schedule. CP SD70ACU FLEET Canadian Pacific’s two orders of SD70ACUs…