Blogs

    Posted 6 months ago by Fred Frailey
    A hurrah for the Republican congressman from suburban Orlando and frequent Amtrak critic. Maybe I need to revise my opinion of the man (for what I said about Mica in July, go here ). Amtrak has pledged to end its food service losses, which amounted to...
    Posted 4 months ago by Fred Frailey
    Last week I wrote about the problem that has brought a big piece of the costly process of installing Positive Train Control (PTC being collision-avoidance technology) on 60,000 miles of railroad to a grinding halt. That problem is the conflict between...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    “It’s sealed,” a securities analyst emailed me today about the fight to control the future of Canadian Pacific. Institutional Shareholder Services had condemned the stewardship of CP by its present board of directors and recommended...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    Developments last week deepened Amtrak’s dilemma about how to sustain its Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief. The states of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico told the passenger train company they won’t ante up the $10 million of so needed...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    The one thing we can all agree on is that Fred is not perfect. I have been persuaded by you that I could have cast “CSX fillets the Auto Train for supper” in a less-combative tone that would have engendered a more civilized discussion. So...
    Posted 11 months ago by Fred Frailey
    Edited April 23, 2013 By early next year or even sooner, Union Pacific will begin experimenting with locomotives fueled by natural gas. This follows tests that began last year on Canadian National and BNSF Railway’s announcement that it may decide...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    Guess what everyone is doing at Canadian Pacific HQ in Calgary? The place is like a besieged city that has sent up the white flag and now waits for the invading army to enter the gates and plunder. So yes, copier machines are running off copies of...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    I spent much of this week watching trains on the CSX North End Subdivision, between Richmond, Va., and Rocky Mount, N.C. Usually, you can count on spotting on this heavily trafficked, mostly single-track line the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, their...
    Posted 5 months ago by Fred Frailey
    Where is the National Transportation Safety Board when we need it? A critical collision has occurred in the railroad industry. It seems that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 has broadsided the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. For weeks...
    Posted 7 months ago by Fred Frailey
    From a friend (a senior VP of a Class I railroad) comes this bit of mind candy: “Railfans care about the locomotive. Railroaders care about what’s behind it.” My instinctive reaction is wholly negative. What a put-down! Then I...
    Posted 10 months ago by Fred Frailey
    Amtrak’s board of directors has extended Joe Boardman’s contract as president for two additional years. Boardman, who turns 65 in December, will remain at Amtrak’s helm until at least November of 2015. That’s fine with me. It’s...
    Posted 2 months ago by Fred Frailey
    Okay, where was I? In A traveling man’s further adventures , I wrote that I flew from Washington, D.C., to Chicago to ride the Pullman Rail Journey train, attached once a week or so to the rear of Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. Pullman is the...
    Posted 2 months ago by Fred Frailey
    I’ve been wondering, as you may have: How many serious incidents involving unit oil trains should you expect? The goal may be none, obviously, but we know a lot about railway accidents, and statistics provide answers. Something I read on the RBN...
    Posted 8 months ago by Fred Frailey
    I would never call John Mica stupid. The Republican congressman from Florida, representing the northern suburbs of Orlando, has been active in politics for almost four decades, first in the Florida House of Representatives, then as chief of staff to a...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    Hunter Harrison has wasted no time putting his imprint on Canadian Pacific. My friends at that railroad say he is already a making changes large and small. To my knowledge no one has been dismissed. That will come later. Harrison has been making his way...
    Posted 7 months ago by Matt Van Hattem
    Putting together the illustrations for Trains magazine’s new “Railroad Maps” publication provided a great opportunity to delve into the extremes of North America’s railroad network. Inside “Railroad Maps,” you’ll...
    Posted 2 months ago by Fred Frailey
    The U.S. Department of State’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement tells us what a lot of people already suspected: TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is largely irrelevant to the future of the oil business in the U.S. and Canada...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    There was quite a dustup Thursday on Trainorders.com when webmaster Todd Clark published what he believed to be an internal Amtrak memo about changes coming to the Auto Train in about two weeks. I asked Amtrak for comment and thus far gotten no response...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    Wow, I’m never leaving on vacation again. You folks really kicked up the dust in response to my blog two weeks ago (see “Where Is The Southwest Chief Headed?” Sept. 3). The back and forth dialogue was furious and sometimes ferocious...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    I’ve been called to account for my column in the April issue of Trains Magazine that argues Hunter Harrison would make a better chief executive officer of Canadian Pacific than the incumbent, Fred Green. The arguments against my opinion piece...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    Those of you who read Trains Magazine may have run across my column in the April issue, wherein I ridicule the moves afoot to put inward-facing cameras in locomotive cabs. Actually, that’s not really correct. I sought to beat the living hell out...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    My email inbox this week contained a press release from the National Association of Railroad Passengers, denouncing a “partisan political attack” on a proposed high-speed electrified railroad between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas. Letters...
    Posted 7 months ago by Fred Frailey
    I don’t mean that literally. But some (many) readers of my blog are under the impression that Amtrak decides which long distance routes to run and how many trains to run on them. No fewer than six of you who responded to my most recent piece, “Amtrak’s...
    Posted 3 months ago by Fred Frailey
    The folks who run the big freight railroads are a frightened lot these days. If they are not, they ought to be. Three times in six months, unit crude oil trains have derailed and cars of oil exploded. Forty-seven people are dead . . . so far. The railroad...
    Posted over 1 year ago by Fred Frailey
    "Do not be dissuaded by a few detractors," Ray LaHood, the soon-to-be former secretary of transportation, told the U.S. High Speed Rail Association this week. LaHood spoke after learning that Florida Republican congressman John Mica will again try to...