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Trains November 2015

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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7 Min.
once upon a railroad magazine

TRAINS Came along 75 years ago this month, in Al Kalmbach’s vision as the National Geographic of railroading, just in time to document the most complete transformation of any industry in history. Everything — with the exception of the gauge — has changed. Likewise, Trains has changed over the years, most significantly staking a significant claim on the Internet in the past 20 years, but its one constant is its role as an information and excitement exchange for far-flung serious enthusiasts and passionate professional railroaders. Constant change is difficult to accept, but it has led to a truly sustainable railroad business in the 21st century that still merits attention. I tell people that the staff and I are fortunate to cover this truly golden age of railroading — a world of…

2 Min.
rpo

RAILROADING BLUNDERS In author Dan Machalaba’s article, “Railroading’s Biggest Blunders” [pages 46-57, September], I disagree that the Milwaukee Road’s Pacific Extension was a blunder. Author and railroader Todd Jones made a convincing argument in his informative article on www.TrainWeb.org entitled “Milwaukee Road in the 70’s: What really happened?” that the “gateways” or interchanges the Milwaukee Road gained as a condition of the Burlington Northern merger actually increased traffic on the Pacific Extension even while traffic was drying up on the eastern end of the system. Jones concluded that poor management doomed the line. I agree with him. The demise of the Milwaukee’s Pacific Extension was a waste of a fine railroad line. Richard Anton Held Long Lake, Minn. I enjoyed the article on 13 flubs, but found some problematic. I think Trains editors should…

5 Min.
coal’s light continues to dim

“Coal Keeps the Lights On.” The large black bumper sticker with bright yellow lettering and a drawing of an illuminated light bulb on the rear bumper of the pickup truck is hard to miss. The driver is stopped at a grade crossing in Weber City, Va., for a Norfolk Southern coal train. Not that many years ago the crossing was blocked multiple times each day by 90-and 100-car trains. But this train has a paltry 10 loaded hoppers behind a single unit. Things have clearly changed. According to the Association of American Railroads, coal made up about 39 percent of all freight tonnage and nearly 19 percent of revenues for U.S. railroads in July 2014. For years, coal has been the costeffective fuel of choice for electrical power generation because of the…

2 Min.
central maine & quebec to expand south

More than a year after the Central Maine & Quebec Railway took over what was left of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, the upstart regional is expanding again in southern Maine. In early September, the Maine Department of Transportation announced it had picked the Central Maine & Quebec over the Maine Eastern Railroad to operate the 57-mile Rockland Branch. The Maine Eastern, a subsidiary of the Morristown & Erie, has operated freight and passenger service on the former Maine Central line between Brunswick and Rockland since 2004. The new railroad will take over Jan. 1, 2016. Central Maine & Quebec President and CEO John Giles says he believes his company will be able to expand traffic on the line, just as it has done on the former MM&A. “We see potential,” Giles…

4 Min.
railroads move forward through uncertainty

Every year, rail consultant Anthony B. Hatch produces a detailed report on freight railway capital expenditures for the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association. Hatch’s 2015 report, as usual, goes beyond just capital expenditures because such spending affects every aspect of railroading. There is no way I could give complete coverage to the report in the short space of this column, but I can hit the high points. This year, Hatch sees railroading in a period of turmoil. He says 2015 “has brought more uncertainty than any year in recent rail history.” A few of his examples make his point. Safety is the hot-button word in the capitals of the U.S. and Canada, he says, and the Amtrak wreck near Philadelphia, although it did not involve freight rail “in any way whatsoever,”…

2 Min.
railroaders and enthusiasts look to cuba

As relations thaw between two Cold War foes, more Americans are looking to explore what Cuba has to offer just 90 miles from Florida. “[Interest] has jumped a thousand percent in the last few months,” says Chris Skow, tours manager for the Californiabased Trains & Travel International. Although the U.S. embargo on Cuba currently prohibits leisure travel, Americans can voyage to the communist nation so long as their trip falls under one of 12 categories, including education and religion. In years past, travelers had to get a special license from the U.S. Treasury Department before going, but since January 2015, the government has ended that practice. Skow last organized a trip to Cuba in 2013, but hasn’t gone back because interest had started to drop since there were fewer American-built steam locomotives operating…