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Trains April 2021

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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 Welcome to our annual issue devoted to America’s short lines and regional railroads. While we don’t exclude short lines and regionals during the other 11 issues, this edition gives us the chance to take a good long look at the challenges and opportunities that face the industry and to spotlight some of the more than 550 short lines across the continent.. Without these carriers, rail service to many communities would be nonexistent, industries would not be able to compete, and jobs would be lost. We’re truly pleased to carry the story of the new Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad on the Ohio River. It’s always great to see a new railroad take over unwanted track, and to do it with such style and aplomb should delight us all.…

3 min.
kevin corbett

KEVIN S. CORBETT BECAME PRESIDENT AND CEO of NJ Transit on Feb. 14, 2018 — after initially turning down a request from Gov. Phil Murphy to take the job — when the agency was far behind schedule in implementing positive train control. Corbett, with a background in transportation infrastructure at multinational engineering firm AECOM, managed a turnaround that enabled the agency to complete PTC installation on Dec. 18, 2020, meeting the federal deadline. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Q When you became CEO, NJ Transit was beset with problems, including train delays, a shortage of engineers, and PTC. What was your first day like? A I did not realize just how bad a shape New Jersey Transit was [in] until I got here. The first day I was…

3 min.
rail accidents plummeted ahead of introduction of ptc

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD TOOK a victory lap in January over the implementation of positive train control, the safety system that it first recommended after the head-on collision of two Penn Central commuter trains in 1969. “Over the next five decades we investigated one crash after another that could have been prevented had PTC been implemented,” NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said on the safety agency’s webcast. “In total, we investigated 154 accidents that took the lives of 305 people and injured 6,883 others.” Former NTSB Chairman James Hall said it took a “tombstone mentality” to prod Congress into action and to move the rail industry forward, particularly after the 2008 collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight killed 25 people in Chatsworth, Calif. But the NTSB figures significantly…

1 min.
new york’s moynihan hall makes debut

MORE THAN THREE DECADES after the idea was conceived, and three years after work began, New York’s Moynihan Train Hall opened on Dec. 31, 2020, providing a welcome alternative to the subterranean maze that is Penn Station. The $1.6 billion project includes Amtrak ticketing and baggage claim; its Metropolitan Lounge for first-class and sleeping-car passengers; and a luxurious “ticketed waiting room” for Amtrak and commuter passengers. Because of the layout of Penn Station’s tracks and the Train Hall’s location in the Farley Post Office Building, west of Penn, not all Penn Station tracks can be accessed from the new building. As a result, NJ Transit passengers still board from Penn, while Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passengers can use the new building. Early reactions have been generally positive, with the New…

1 min.
news briefs

CANADIAN PACIFIC’s experimental hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive should be operating in the Calgary area in 2022, CEO Keith Creel told the MIDWEST ASSOCIATION OF RAIL SHIPPERS. The railroad’s goal, he said, is to prove the concept, “and then we’re going to hand that to the [manufacturers] and say, ‘Now, build it for the industry.’ “Once the prototype is operating, he said, “there’s going to be a lot of momentum and energy behind it. And it will just be the first of many.” Chicago’s METRA announced an order for 200 new bilevel cars, with an option for up to 300 more. The cars, to be built by ALSTOM at its Hornell, N.Y., plant, will replace but be compatible with the gallery-style cars that have been a Chicago commuting staple since the 1950s. The…

4 min.
a house near the tracks

bybillstephens@gmail.com @bybillstephens Blog: TrainsMag.com/obstower I wonder how many of us came to like trains because we grew up in a house near the tracks. This is not to be confused with a House By The Tracks, whose porch literally backs up to the main line with trains thundering by at all hours. Such close quarters are more likely to produce contempt for railroads than affection for trains. No, I am thinking of a home where you can hear trains blow for a crossing and where the sound of working locomotives can waft through open windows as you try to fall asleep on a summer’s night. A house where if the wind carries the slightest hint that a train is approaching, you’re close enough to pedal off to the tracks and arrive in plenty of…