Trains November 2018


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in questo numero

2 min
get out there

So my wisdom for this note is this: Get out there and watch more trains. Get out there and ride more trains. They’re changing constantly, whether you or your peers realize it, and what is normal or average today will be the thing of regrets in just a few years. Get out there. I took a step in this direction in July by correcting a long-standing deficiency in my North American railroad repertoire: The Powder River Basin of Wyoming. After years of hearing friends talk about their experiences there, I spent two days north of Douglas, where the main line is four tracks wide and the action is nonstop. Before I left on my trip, I asked those who’d been before if I’d be bored, knowing that coal traffic is off from…

4 min
jim shaughnessy’s legacy

When I learned of Jim Shaughnessy’s passing, I felt deep personal sadness — Jim was a friend of mine. My father and Jim had corresponded since the 1960s, and I’d grown up seeing Jim’s photography in books and magazines. His work in Donald Duke’s book “Night Train” made an early impression on me. When I began working on books in the 1990s, Jim reached out and generously offered to provide me with illustrations. Jim liked what I was doing and appreciated seeing his photos in print. As time moved on, Jim began lending me his original negatives and color transparencies, and with my more recent books, I personally scanned his materials. This gave me the opportunity to see more of Jim’s work than has ever reached print. Jim’s classic photos have…

2 min
corridor convenience

THIS MONTH: BWI AIRPORT, MD. LOCATION: The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport station is a convenient spot for some fast-paced Northeast Corridor train-watching during your next airline layover. Shuttle buses between the airport terminal and station are frequent and free. Those staying in Baltimore or Washington, D.C., can go directly to the station on a MARC Penn Line commuter train or by driving. There is ample paid parking at the station’s own garage. Maryland Transit Administration light rail runs to the airport terminal, too, and you can catch a shuttle bus to the station. TRAIN-WATCHING: Amtrak and MARC Penn Line commuter rail operations are straightforward with more than 100 trains on weekdays. Trains are easily found throughout the day with published timetables and mobile apps. Conventional Amtrak trains are made up of the…

1 min
the jordan narrows

If you like sweeping curves, fast moving trains, and communing with nature, the Jordan Narrows is the place for you. Located halfway between Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, the Jordan Narrows is a complex geological region where the Traverse Mountains to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west meet at Point of the Mountain, a narrow river canyon separating the Salt Lake and Utah County metropolitan areas. The first railroad to build through the narrows was the narrow gauge Denver & Rio Grande Western in 1882, a route converted to standard gauge in 1889. Interurban carrier Salt Lake & Utah Railroad built through the Narrows in 1913. Today’s Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Utah Railway, and Amtrak run trains through the narrows via UP’s Provo Subdivision. The Utah Transit Authority…

1 min
csx streamlines intermodal network

CSX Transportation is streamlining its intermodal network to center on more profitable longer-haul service linking major markets, railroad officials say. To reduce complexity and improve fluidity in Chicago, CSX is focusing domestic steel-wheel Chicago interchange with BNSF Railway and Union Pacific on five destinations in the East: Chambersburg, Pa.; Kearny, N.J.; the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal in North Baltimore, Ohio; West Springfield, Mass.; and Syracuse, N.Y. Those terminals will serve nearby markets via dray moves over the highway. Baltimore will be served via Chambersburg; Philadelphia via North Kearny; Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio, plus Detroit, via Northwest Ohio; Worcester, Mass., via West Springfield; and Buffalo, N.Y., via Syracuse. BNSF, UP, and CSX also will shift Southeast intermodal interchange to Memphis from Chicago. CSX informed customers in August about numerous changes…

1 min
a grande time

August 1968. If you were in narrow gauge country along the Colorado-New Mexico border, it was a sad time: Rio Grande did the inevitable and ended its steam freights over Cumbres Pass, thus ending Class I railroad use of steam in the U.S. on a regular basis. Fortunately, that saga had a happy ending when the two states created the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to keep 64 miles of the 3-foot-gauge San Juan extension running between Antonito, Colo., and Chama, N.M. On Aug. 25-26, 2018, Trains and the tourist railroad collaborated to recreate the last eastbound and westbound freights as closely as possible for a 50th anniversary event: For the weekend, K-36 No. 488 impersonated inoperable sister No. 483, which was on the 1968 westbound doubleheader with No. 484, 19…