Blogs

  • Blog Post: TRAINS cover breaks new ground

    by Matt Van Hattem, Senior Editor If you’ve ever stopped to glance at the cover of a fashion magazine (admit it — we all have), you may also know that the “photo” is often a composite of different pictures of the same model, knit together seamlessly with the magic of photo editing software. At Trains...
  • Blog Post: Trains Magazine and Amtrak to hold town hall meeting in March

    Response to the town hall meeting that Amtrak and Trains are co-sponsoring March 6 in Chicago has been nothing short of excellent. With only a few days since the February 2010 issue to hit mailboxes and the announcement was posted to Trains ’ News Wire Monday afternoon, we’ve already pre-registered 102...
  • Blog Post: Don Phillips reflects on Trains-Amtrak town hall meeting

    Special guest post from Don Phillips, Trains columnist I am tempted to say that there was good news and bad news out of the Trains Magazine-Amtrak meeting in Chicago Saturday . There was indeed one item of terrible news and a few items that could be bad if we learn the details. More about that shortly...
  • Blog Post: A ride on the Northeast Corridor: Always something new

    Posted by Roy Blanchard New Jersey Transit Train 3930 runs express from Trenton, N.J., to New York Penn Station, covering the 50 miles in 70 minutes. It departs Trenton at 8:09 a.m., arriving at Penn at 9:19 a.m. with three station stops: Hamilton, Princeton Junction, and Newark. For those of us in Philadelphia...
  • Blog Post: Taking the Talgo to Vancouver for the first time

    Is this a glimpse of what’s ahead for Wisconsin and other states? Precisely at 7:40 a.m., on Monday, Amtrak Cascades train No. 510 gently eased out of Seattle’s King Street Station, heading north to Vancouver, B.C. This was my first experience with these articulated, lightweight trains that run between...
  • Blog Post: 76ers star Evan Turner takes the train

    Posted by Kevin P. Keefe, publisher Baseball players and writers like to tell nostalgic stories about the days when players rode trains to all their games, mostly from the halcyon days of the 1930s and ’40s before the airlines came into their own. These stories are fun, but they always leave the impression...
  • Blog Post: Riding the cab of Amtrak's Acela

    Guest post from Trains magazine Publisher Elfrieda Abbe I peered out the windshield of Acela train No. 2212, as Doug Hartig (pictured at right), Amtrak road foreman of engines for the Mid-Atlantic Division, prepared for the noon run from Washington, D.C., to New York City, arriving at 2:55 p.m. Not...
  • Blog Post: Amtrak's future: The short-distance network

    Amtrak and states that support its short-distance trains earned bragging rights over the past seven years. Between 2003 and 2010, ridership on this network of trains exploded, rising 77 percent. The honor roll goes like this: Chicago-St. Louis trains, up 192 percent in ridership; Chicago-Carbondale,...
  • Blog Post: Blues in the night: The whistle to end all whistles

    To my way of thinking, the wail of an Amtrak locomotive horn whistling in the distance is as good as it gets. It’s how we should all be beckoned to heaven. Next to an Amtrak whistle, every other locomotive horn emits just an out-of-tune screech. But for years I’ve been frustrated in my desire...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: July 6

    The recently remodeled Sixth Street bridge stands tall over the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. Canon EOS 30D, 7/6/2011, 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 125, 70mm. Drew Halverson photo Last night was one of those difficult evenings because the weather was perfect, but the railroads weren't very busy. So...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Slaying Duplainville

    Amtrak's westbound Empire Builder, piloted by legendary hogger Craig Willett, flies by Duplainville, Wis., on a cloudy July afternoon. Canon EOS 30D, 7/12/2011, 1/1000 sec, f/9, ISO 200, 34mm. Drew Halverson photo I'm back on the saddle today and quite happy after slaying the proverbial...
  • Blog Post: Riding through the floods Part 1: Bob Johnston’s Empire Builder notebook

    Guest blog series from Bob Johnston Covering the passenger rail beat is always a challenge, but sometimes you stumble across more opportunities than you bargained for. That was especially true this past May and June, when massive flooding turned a train trip to North Dakota into...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Catching up!

    July 22 A Union Pacific distributed power unit pushes the rear of a westbound coal train on the Adams line in Merton, Wis. Canon EOS 30D, 7/8/2011, 1/1250 sec, f/8, ISO 250, 141mm. Drew Halverson photo What I like: The black-and-white treatment. This motif isolates the gleaming rails...
  • Blog Post: Riding through the floods Part 3: Bob Johnston's Canadian notebook

    Guest blog series from Bob Johnston Covering the passenger rail beat is always a challenge, but sometimes you stumble across more opportunities than you bargained for. That was especially true this past May and June, when massive flooding turned a train trip to North Dakota into a week-long rail...
  • Blog Post: Riding through the floods Part 4: Toronto to Chicago by rail… and taxi

    Covering the passenger rail beat is always a challenge, but sometimes you stumble across more opportunities than you bargained for. That was especially true this past May and June, when a simple train trip to North Dakota turned into a week-long, international rail odyssey after Mother Nature unleashed...
  • Blog Post: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: A historic Wisconsin depot

    Throughout the month of August, I want to try a photography project that focuses on the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. How many different pictures can be taken in a circle extending 10.27 miles from downtown Waukesha, Wis.? In this photo, Amtrak's Empire Builder passes one of the oldest...
  • Blog Post: In Amtrak's 40th anniversary display train’s dust, observations on the exhibits, glassy-eyed fans, Amtrak’s young bucks, and a question about the future

    Uniforms, posters, models, china, and more fill out Amtrak's 40th anniversary display train. Jim Wrinn photo MILWAUKEE – Amtrak’s 40th anniversary display train spent last weekend at the downtown Milwaukee depot at the corner of St. Paul and Fifth. The railroad opened the train...
  • Blog Post: A great way to get new people interested in trains

    Riders enjoy their trip on Amtrak’s Piedmont as part of a daylong event in Greensboro, N.C., devoted to passenger rail, cosponsored by Trains magazine. Matt Van Hattem photo Here’s a great idea to promote more interest and awareness of trains among the general public: Take the folks...
  • Blog Post: 2011 Trains photo contest winners

    For this year's photo contest, we were looking for creative use of light and shadow. Overall, the quality of photos submitted was very high, making the task of choosing the winners even harder than usual. Take a look at the winners below and please leave your comments. Thank you. Grand Prize...
  • Blog Post: Fighting the good fight in Michigan

    People who fight for better passenger-train service never get combat pay, but they deserve it. That’s a conclusion I reached last Saturday after attending the annual meeting of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers ( www.marp.org ), which is celebrating its 40 th year. Founded by John...