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Trains December 2020

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

jwrinn@kalmbach.com @TrainsMagazine @trains_magazine It’s hard to imagine with American freight railroading so robust that it was on the ropes 50 years ago and only found redemption 40 years ago with deregulation. In this issue, we pause to reflect on the day that railroading fell apart — the fateful day the Penn Central went bankrupt. We look back at the inside story behind the medicine it took to revive an industry — getting heavy-handed regulation of the business. For those of us old enough to remember, those were difficult days, and there was a question mark about the future of even the best lines. For younger readers, Rush Loving’s stories in this issue will enlighten you. PC’s bankruptcy and deregulation were pivotal events that set the stage for what we have today.…

3 min.
collision leads ntsb to again call for in-cab cameras

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD has renewed its call for installation of inward-facing cameras in all locomotive cabs in the wake of a 2019 collision of two CSX Transportation trains in Ohio. The engineer whose train ran through a stop signal and sideswiped an oncoming train near Carey, Ohio, had a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit, likely was drinking on the job, and also had traces of marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, the NTSB says. Video and audio recordings from the cab would improve accident investigations and rules-compliance monitoring, the safety board said in September. The probable cause of the Aug. 12 collision, the board found, was the engineer’s alcohol impairment. A contributing factor: the design of the positive train control system, which does…

1 min.
bnsf ceo will be first woman to lead a class i

KATHRYN FARMER will become the first woman to lead a Class I railroad. She becomes CEO of BNSF Railway on Jan. 1, 2021, replacing retiring Carl R. Ice. Farmer, 50, currently executive vice president, operations, has spent her entire career with the railroad, beginning as an intern, and was hired as a management trainee in 1992. She has held leadership positions in operations, marketing, and finance. “I am humbled and honored to be asked to lead this incredible company and its dedicated employees — men and women that I have worked alongside for almost 30 years,” Farmer said in a statement. “We are well-positioned in our approach to safety and meeting our customers’ expectations while having the necessary capacity to grow with our customers. … I look forward to continuing BNSF’s success.”…

1 min.

J. DAVID INGLES, whose 47 years with Kalmbach Media included serving as editor of Trains magazine from 1987 to 1992, died Oct. 4 after a brief illness. He was 79. The son and grandson of railroaders, Ingles was a lifelong rail enthusiast. He grew up in Homewood, Ill., and Dearborn, Mich. After college and a stint as a newspaper reporter in Springfield, Ill., he joined Trains in 1971 as associate editor. He became editor upon the retirement of David P. Morgan, a position he held until he became the magazine’s senior editor. He retired from Trains as senior editor in 2005, but continued in that role for Classic Trains until 2018, when he transitioned to contributing editor, the position he held at the time of his death. His 47 years at…

4 min.
is a reliability revolution under way?

bybillstephens@gmail.com @bybillstephens Blog: TrainsMag.com/obstower If you believe that unpredictable service is the No. 1 reason railroads have lost traffic over the years, then you have to be encouraged by the new high-tech systems that are improving safety and, in a welcome side effect, may also help usher in a new era of reliability. Spend enough time trackside and eventually you’ll encounter all the ways trains are delayed: brake problems, wheel issues, dragging equipment, broken knuckles, track and signal problems, and, worst of all, derailments. These largely preventable failures take an immense toll on service. Delays cascade outward from the problem train, affecting both oncoming and following traffic. Suffer a derailment and your main is shut for at least 12 hours. The upshot is that mainline delays can cause cars to miss their connections, add a…

4 min.
of holidays and trains

briansolomon.author@gmail.com @briansolomon.author Blog: briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/ Podcast: TrainsMag.com The first snow that dusts the rails brings me back to my youth. I consider myself extremely fortunate to share in the nostalgia for winter holiday trains. As a child growing up in the Northeastern United States, the winter holidays always meant a time to experience trains in motion. As Christmas approached, we would unpack the Lionel trains that my father enjoyed as a child and set them up in traditional fashion around our tree. This set the tone for the trains we would experience on the run up to the New Year. Among the cars we had were a set of traditional heavy weight passenger cars — with the black-and-white silhouettes of imaginary passengers within — that were hauled by a cast-metal Pennsylvania GG1 electric, complete with…