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Trains March 2017

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.
how do i live without you?

These are both scary and exciting days. Fear and worry stems from seeing all of those stored hoppers in yards, on branches, and on short lines, the rusty rails to loadouts in Kentucky and West Virginia, the line of idled units in Roanoke, Va., and North Little Rock, Ark. The excitement comes from trying new things and figuring out what works. That’s a tough one to accept, but it has to be. Coal will not be back in the proportions we were used to seeing in the past We’ll salute our friends in the operating and accounting departments of so many railroads large and small who are working to cut costs with every means possible. It’s only natural to watch your nickels and dimes in a tight situation. But that approach…

2 Min.
railway post office

THE JANUARY ISSUE The January 2017 issue is one of your best. The photos in the “Gallery” section [pages 68-75], in particular, are superb. I enjoyed some of Scotland’s finest a few years ago at a lovely pub near the stone column under the Forth Bridge. Also, riding VIA Rail’s Canadian from Toronto, Ontario, to Vancouver, British Columbia, is an event not to be missed. In addition, while Editor Jim Wrinn properly states in his editorial, “Here’s to a Better 2017” [page 4], wishing, hoping, and railroading as usual won’t assure it. The articles, “Uncertainty to Reign Supreme in 2017” [“News & Photos,” page 6] by Bill Stephens and “Shrink or Grow? That’s the Big Question” [page 16] by Fred W. Frailey should be read, re-read, and memorized by anyone who cares…

2 Min.
one shot shows (almost) all you need to know about brightline

Go ahead, pinch yourself. Full-throated, private-rail-passenger service is getting close to a return in the United States with Brightline trains. Another big step before revenue service came on Dec. 13, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla., when Brightline’s first trainset of passenger coaches and locomotives rolled on to home rails. Railfans watching the train’s moves from the Siemens’ Sacramento, Calif., shop saw little as the train moved over Union Pacific and CSX Transportation tracks ahead of schedule, and almost always in darkness until close to Jacksonville and Florida East Coast milepost 0. The first trainset will be followed eventually by four others. When the railroad’s trains begin running, Brightline will be the first privately owned and operated intercity passenger train of the type last run by the Denver & Rio Grande Western when the Rio Grande…

3 Min.
one word: plastics

SHALE GAS MAKES “... THE UNITED STATES ... ONE OF THE MOST COST-COMPETITIVE PRODUCERS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.” — JOHN BARRETT, CHEVRON PHILLIPS Back in 2005, the U.S. petrochemical industry was saddled with the world’s highest production costs. There were dire predictions about the industry’s future, including talk about plastic imports coming to the U.S. in bulk ships Then along came the fracking revolution in North America. It unlocked plentiful supplies of natural gas, whose byproducts are the primary feedstocks for plastics production. It also reduced producers’ energy costs. The shale gas play has propelled the United States from one of the highest-cost ethylene/polyethylene producers to one of the most cost-competitive producers anywhere in the world,” John Barrett, general managerglobal supply chain for Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., said at the RailTrends 2016 conference…

4 Min.
feds to step in after class i labor negotiations break down

Labor relations are taking center stage this year after negotiations between unions representing nearly 145,000 railroaders and the nation’s largest rail companies fell apart in December. On Dec. 5, Rail labor’s Coordinated Bargaining Group — which includes the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a union representing conductors, the American Train Dispatchers Association, and others — asked the National Mediation Board to assist in talks with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee. The carriers’ committee represents all five U.S.-based Class I railroads and more than two dozen subsidiaries. Both sides have been negotiating for more than two years to hash out the details of a new contract that would address healthcare, compensation, and workplace rules. “Our members have earned, and rightfully expect, a fair contract settlement that recognizes the fact that the industry continues…

5 Min.
good, and not-so-good, news

Wick Moorman is now settled into his new job as Amtrak president. In mid-December, several Trains Magazine writers had a chance to question Moorman for more than an hour. In addition to me, Bob Johnston and Fred W. Frailey peppered Moorman with questions. Some good news and some not-sogood news emerged from the interview. When he was president of Norfolk Southern, my interviews were always on deep background, meaning that I could use the information but never hint that it came from him. He said that allowed him to be totally honest without worrying about being too blunt. Sometimes, if I needed direct quotes, we would agree on what those quotes would be. For this interview, however, we told him that arrangement wouldn’t work. We needed everything on the record until…