Trains January 2019


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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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12 Numeri

in questo numero

4 min
awol for steam

AFTER THE KOREAN WAR, the U.S. Army developed a plan to strengthen its Army Reserve units. The plan had enlistees go through six months of basic and advanced training, then return to civilian life with assignment to a reserve unit. That intersection between military and civilian life can lead to great anxiety. Fresh out of high school, I enlisted in January 1956. After basic training I was assigned to Supply Clerk School, at Fort Knox, Ky., starting April 22, 1956. By 1956, railfans wanting to photograph steam locomotives were having more and more difficulty. We had to travel farther and the pickings were slimmer. In this case, the Army provided the “travel” by placing me on Illinois Central’s Kentucky Division. While the rest of the IC was proceeding to dieselization, the Kentucky…

2 min
skookum lives!

FIFTEEN YEARS is a long time in many circles. Fifteen years to restore a locomotive left for dead in a creek in remote Washington state some 40 years earlier, however, doesn’t seem bad. Such is the happy ending — finally — for the famous 1909 2-4-4-2 Skookum, whose lifetime of rejection, acceptance, rejection, and redemption makes it unique among preserved North American steam power. In September, crews at the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad steamed the legendary Pacific Northwest logger for the first time in 63 years. Martin E. Hansen profiled the locomotive in TRAINS’ October 2018 issue. The engine posed for images — and featured an authentic banner draped across its boiler that had hung on new locomotives shipped from Baldwin in the early 20th century — during a Pete Lerro photo charter…

2 min
legal troubles for train crews

THREE RAILROADERS are trading the inside of a locomotive cab for the inside of a courtroom in a pair of high-profile court cases that are slowly moving through the justice system. Brandon Bostian, the engineer at the controls of Amtrak train No. 188 when it derailed in Philadelphia in May 2015, is expected to stand trial on multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment sometime in 2019. Eight people died and more than 200 were injured in the derailment on the Northeast Corridor in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation found the train was traveling at 102 mph on a curve with a 50-mph speed limit at the time it derailed. An NTSB investigation found that Bostian had been distracted by radio chatter and therefore was unable…

1 min
world’s first autonomous light rail unit debuts

THE WORLD’S FIRST LIGHT RAIL TRAIN equipped with autonomous driving technology was launched Sept. 18 in the German city of Potsdam, near Berlin. Engineering firm Siemens is behind the technology and has partnered with operator Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam to equip a light rail unit with a combination of digital cameras, radar sensors, a light detection and ranging laser-based measurement system, a GPS system, plus powerful computer systems. This creates a light rail vehicle that can travel on regular routes without a human driver. The system detects and stops for obstructions such as people, cyclists, and vehicles. The system uses a digital map of the network and the software is written so that the vehicle, once “trained,” knows a specific route and uses the array of sensors to establish where it is, where…

1 min
on the web

TRAINS BLOGS Check out what Trains’ staff and contributors say about railroads and train-watching. Photo by George W. Hamlin TRAINS NEWS WIRE Subscribers can access all the latest railroad industry news and updates to stories daily. Photo by Scott A. Hartley TRAINS INSTAGRAM Share your photos and videos with @trains_magazine. Photo by A.C. Kalmbach TRACKSIDE WITH TRAINS Submit your photo to our themed photo competition by email to Photo by David Scharenberg Follow us on @trains_magazine…

3 min
great northern’s great leaders

GREAT NORTHERN WAS BLESSED with extraordinary leadership in the decades after James J. and Louis W. Hill. Among them were a father and son, and a man who rose through the ranks. Ralph Budd (1879-1962) served as GN president from to 1919 to 1931, and was the youngest man to assume the presidency of a major railroad at age 40. In the 1920s he began another attempt to merge the Hill Lines after the infamous Northern Securities case of 1904. Ultimately, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the merger, but without the Burlington Route and its important Chicago connection — a condition GN and NP could not accept. Budd was cut from the James J. Hill cloth, observing in 1928 that the main paths to successful railroad operation “lie through reduction of costs,…