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Trains November 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.
railroading’s obsessions

The operating ratio is but one metric that is important. I learned what it meant early on as it was bandied about the pages of this magazine 50 years ago. Other measurements are important too: return on investment, velocity, customer satisfaction, just to name a few. Woe be to the railroad that obsesses about one to the exclusion of all others. Balance, as in all things, is critical. Of course, this isn’t the first time the railroad industry has become fixated on one aspect of the business. Not long after passage of the Staggers Act that deregulated the industry the railroad business went on a binge, selling branches and secondary main lines or abandoning them at a pace before unseen in the 20th century. Pieces of Class I railroads that were sacred, Southern…

4 Min.
railway post office

RAILROADS AND MUSIC The song in Craig Sanders’ feature, “Writing of ‘City of New Orleans’” [pages 34-39, September], is perhaps the finest musical passenger train tribute. However, here’s a trivia question: What passenger train received not one but three musical titles? The answer is Louisville & Nashville’s Pan-American with “Pan- American Blues” by DeFord Bailey, the “Pan-American Boogie” by the Delmore Brothers, and the “Pan-American” by Hank Williams. Bob Chapman Highlands Ranch, Colo. I’ve loved the song “City of New Orleans” since I first heard it. It’s a song that makes me smile and brings a tear to my eye at the same time. I’ve ridden the City of New Orleans in both its Illinois Central and Amtrak service, and the song truly captures the emotions and feelings that arise from a good train…

2 Min.
changes snarl csx

As sweeping operational changes created service problems on CSX Transportation that worsened in July and August, the words didn’t quite go with the music. Shippers complained about erratic and delayed service that resulted in production slowdowns, outright plant shutdowns, and diversions of shipments to trucks and Norfolk Southern. Intermodal customer J.B. Hunt warned of delays of 72 hours or more at terminals in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Yet CSX’s weekly carload reports showed traffic holding relatively steady — and its intermodal traffic actually grew. Federal regulators increased their scrutiny of CSX to determine the extent and severity of the disruptions. The Surface Transportation Board told CSX to avoid tinkering with operations in the key Chicago gateway. It also scheduled a Sept. 12, 2017, hearing on CSX’s problems while rejecting a…

1 Min.
chicago bypass route stopped

A Chicago bypass is officially back to the drawing board after the Surface Transportation Board rejected an application by Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc. for its proposed Indiana-Illinois-Wisconsin route on Aug. 31, 2017. The three-member panel that broadly regulates railroads’ finances and operations wrote that Great Lakes’ application was incomplete almost entirely because of lack of financial information. But the board also said the company’s extreme lack of cash in the bank also played a role. “[Great Lakes’] current assets of $151 are so clearly deficient for purposes of constructing a 261-mile rail line that the Board will not proceed with this application given the impacts on stakeholders and the demands upon Board resources,” board members wrote. With its decision, the board not only rejected Great Lakes’ request for permission to purchase property…

2 Min.
harvey hits houston hard

No idea. That’s the only estimate railroads operating in south and east Texas had in early September for when they’ll completely restore service after Hurricane Harvey deluged Gulf Coast portions of the state in feet of water over several days in August. BNSF Railway called the storm a “major disruption to rail service” and said that all train service in and out of the Houston area, and operations at switching facilities, had been halted without an estimate when service would resume, though most trackage re-opened shortly after Labor Day. Hurricane Harvey dumped as much as 50 inches of rain on the most severely affected areas from the time it made landfall Aug. 25. A BNSF representative told Trains that railroad workers had to wait until storm waters receded before beginning repair work. Union…

1 Min.
check off penn station

Blame something, anything for a train delay out of New York Penn Station, but chances are better now that bad track isn’t the reason. Amtrak officials announced on Aug. 31 that they finished rebuilding various Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit platforms and tracks into and leading to Penn Station, bringing an end to eight weeks of work regional media dubbed the “summer of hell. Amtrak replaced Track 10, four diamonds near Tower A, and made additional track repairs to ensure a uniform terminal speed of 15 mph, as it had been prior to the reconstruction. Speeds had been reduced to 10 mph. The schedule for all Penn Station Amtrak trains was restored Sept. 5, notably the Crescent, which returned to Penn Station after originating and terminating at Washington Union…