Blogs

    Posted 2 days ago by Steve Sweeney
    Trains is sponsoring the 20 th annual Wheel Rail Interaction conference. As official media partner for this event, we want to start our coverage by offering five really good reasons for attending: 1.) Wheels and rails are important. Train wheels...
    Posted 9 days ago by Jim Wrinn
    After departing Bulls Gap, Tenn., train 976 swings through an S curve on the east side of town with Southern 2-8-0 No. 630 leading a public passenger excursion part of Norfolk Southern's 21st Century Steam program on April 6, 2014. Photo by Samuel Phillips...
    Posted 10 days ago by Paul Burgess
    Federal Railroad Administration announced today its intent to regulate crew sizes of both freight and passenger trains. In October 2011, a Union Pacific freight locomotive assisted Amtrak passenger locomotives pulling train No. 5, the California Zephyr...
    Posted 11 days ago by Samuel Phillips
    I've had many people inquire about locations and chasing information regarding the 21st Century Steam excursions powered by Southern 2-8-0 No. 630 in Grundy, Va., this weekend, and figured a blog post containing information might be helpful to many of...
    Posted 14 days ago by Fred Frailey
    For BNSF Railway, the winter just now fitfully fading away in the upper Midwest was one for the record books, or at least the recent record books. I was in North Dakota this week, curious to see if any of the congestion remained. I found very little of...
    Posted 19 days ago by Jim Wrinn
    We're looking at the backhead of the locomotive with the engineer's seat on the right, the fireman's seat on the left, and the open firedoor in the middle. HARTFORD, Wis. – The back of antique automobile museum is about as ironic of a place as...
    Posted 23 days ago by Fred Frailey
    In a blog titled Amtrak’s Best Train? We’ve Got a Winner , I wrote that the Coast Starlight between Los Angeles and Seattle has become the premier U.S. passenger train. And I promised, in the due course of time, a bake-off between it and VIA...
    Posted 24 days ago by Jim Wrinn
    Union Pacific steam crew pulls Big Boy No. 4014 out of its museum berth and into the parking lot at the Los Angles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, Calif. On Nov. 14, 2013. The next step for the locomotive: A trip in April from southern California to the...
    Posted 25 days ago by Fred Frailey
    Well, finally! It's 6:10 p.m., we are still 200-plus miles from Toronto and 16-17 hours late on VIA Rail's Canadian. But at last it looks like winter outside. This is as good as it gets on a train. Outside, the snow is falling pell-mell. The sight is...
    Posted 25 days ago by Fred Frailey
    "I have a best case scenario." It's Mickey Keating, the Park car attendant, who has bounded up the steps into the dome. "If we keep moving along nicely, we can make Toronto by 10 tonight." Okay, that's twelve and a half hours late. But Mickey continues...
    Posted 26 days ago by Ron Burkhard
    “And so the narrow gauge gets in the blood and will not out,” wrote Trains Editor David P. Morgan in the October 1969 edition that served as a heartfelt tribute to the Colorado narrow gauge. His statement applies to so many of us to this very...
    Posted 26 days ago by Fred Frailey
    Had breakfast in the dining car this morning with Susan. She boarded VIA Rail's Canadian at Rivers, Man. Hmmm, I said, we were due there about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Four-thirty, Susan replied. What time did we get there, because I must have been...
    Posted 27 days ago by Fred Frailey
    Backing out of McGregor, Sask. UPDATED 5:30 PM CST I dreamed last night that the ground was uneven when I tried to walk. Then I was in an airplane and discovered we were flying below the level of buildings we approached. We'll crash for sure, I...
    Posted 29 days ago by Fred Frailey
    The relationship between a writer and an editor is an intimate one, almost as intimate sometimes as between a man and a woman. But it’s a different sort of intimacy. We writers and editors argue and fight, yes, but to succeed, we must share the...
    Posted 30 days ago by Jim Wrinn
    St. Marys GP16 switches freight cars. Paul Pleasant photo . It’s the time of year when I start thinking about getting out more often and exploring railroads across America. At Trains , we just finished our annual tourist railroads and railroad...
    Posted 30 days ago by Fred Frailey
    And it is the Coast Starlight. Simply put, it has everything. The Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Auto Train, my runners-up, each have much to commend them. But the Coast Starlight just overwhelms the opposition and wins on points. Let's start with...
    Posted 1 month ago by Jim Wrinn
    The 2014 Trains staff, from left, Editor Jim Wrinn, Associate Editor Steve Sweeney, Assistant Editor Brian Schmidt, Editorial Assistant Diane Laska-Swanke, Production Editor Angela Pusztai-Pasternak, and Senior Editor Matt Van Hattem. This is a post...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    When a railroad makes the front page of the Wall Street Journal, it’s almost never the cause for celebration at corporate headquarters. It means you have screwed up big time. Now it is the turn of BNSF Railway to do the front-page perp walk. ...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    I’ll be frank with you: I am one of those people I used to despise. But it’s cold outside, I need to exercise to keep the pounds I took off last summer from coming back on this winter, and so I go to Tysons Corner Mall in Virginia for 90 minutes...
    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 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    The situation facing Canadian grain farmers is almost Biblical. Their 2013 crops of wheat, canola, barley, and other grains was 40 percent greater than that of 2012 and far above average. Moreover, the harvest was a bountiful surprise forecast by almost...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    In journalism we call it a slow news day, and at such times we try to think of anything we can write about. I don’t know the term securities analysts use on these occasions, but it obviously was such a day last week for two Canadian analysts, who...
    Posted 1 month ago by Arthur J. Miller Jr.
    When news reports revealed no CSX representatives accompanied the Midnight Rider film crew, railroad, and film professionals knew immediately the film crew was trying to steal a shot. When George Clooney's Leatherheads production worked on Norfolk Southern...
    Posted 1 month ago by Fred Frailey
    Fireball explosions, dozens of deaths, congressional hearings, emergency orders by regulators, potentially unsafe tank cars, incendiary stories by the score in newspapers . . . none of this has seemed to affect the ardor of crude oil producers and refiners...
    Posted 1 month ago by Chase Gunnoe
    The former C&O mainline in West Virginia and its increasing crude oil business As a relatively young photographer in the hobby, I’ve watched and made pictures of trains for slightly less than ten years. One of my initial interests was studying...