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Trains June 2018

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
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2 Min.
a bright spot for passengers

I went to south Florida in January to find out. I witnessed Brightline test runs between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, a distance of about 50 miles. It’s impressive. From its modern stations and brand-new rolling stock, to its numerous amenities and garish colors, it offers a unique first-class experience. I also came to understand why Brightline’s creators think they’ll succeed in this market: The area is heavily populated and suffers from serious highway congestion. Even with Tri-Rail commuter trains on another route, it’s ripe for a transportation alternative. The day I visited the shops (to film a video tour for www.TrainsMag.com), I was delayed by not one but three car wrecks on Interstate 95. The railroad’s public relations rep was an hour late, also on account of heavy traffic. Brightline…

1 Min.
railway post office

INDEPENDENT SHORT LINES The six short lines discussed in the feature, “The Independents” [pages 24- 31, April], are certainly standouts in the crowd as they seek out ways to improve service. They not only maintain customer satisfaction, but also take care of all their maintenance issues. The regionals and short lines still do what I remember watching the Class I railroads do while I was growing up. I enjoy railfanning the independent short lines and even those that are part of a larger holding group. Two of the lines that I follow closely are the Arkansas & Missouri and Arkansas-Oklahoma railroads. Both have unique challenges and interesting equipment rosters. From the vintage Alco C420s and modern Electro-Motive Diesel SD70ACes of the A&M to the classic GP30s of the AOK, it’s enough to excite…

4 Min.
‘varnish’ stripped from amtrak?

Those mainline excursion tickets you hold may be for a trip that will never happen. The near future for so-called “private varnish” remains uncertain after a late March announcement by Amtrak that the railroad will discontinue booking excursions and special trains. Amtrak managers have unofficially committed to keep talking with the private car community, but have left room for few exceptions to the policy. “We must narrow our focus to running a great core railroad: safe, on time, clean cars, friendly service, and great customer-facing technology,” Amtrak’s notice read, in part. A March 28 memorandum from the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners urged its members contact lawmakers and opinion leaders about the significance of private cars, just hours after Amtrak announced it would do away with the off-timetable moves. Association…

2 Min.
regulators show concerns about traffic slowness

Federal regulators are concerned about deterioration in railroad service metrics amid complaints from shipper groups. Those groups’ leaders say the railroad industry is mired in a slowdown that is delaying shipments of goods from automobiles to grain. The Surface Transportation Board in March asked Class I railroad CEOs to explain service problems and whether their railroads have the resources to meet current demand. Regulators also asked CEOs to outline their operational outlooks for the rest of the year. The board’s request came in response to letters from grain shippers and automakers that painted a picture of slow and erratic service across North America. Randall Gordon, president of the National Grain and Feed Association, blames the service decline on the industry’s pursuit of lower operating ratios. “This, in turn, has resulted in the systemic…

1 Min.
news briefs

President Donald Trump has appointed Ann D. Begeman to serve as acting chairman of the Surface Transportation Board. Begeman is serving a second 5-year term as a member of the board following her nomination by President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2016, and her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 9, 2016. Begeman first joined the board on May 2, 2011. Her term expires Dec. 31, 2020. As part of a network-wide $3.3-billion infrastructure program, BNSF Railway will lay a fourth track through Needles, Calif., in 2018. The 4-mile section of quadruple track is expected to boost the capacity of existing triple track on the railroad’s Needles Subdivision of the Southern Transcon. That improvement project is in addition to $230 million in other projects planned in California this year. The…

1 Min.
news photos