Blogs

  • Blog Post: Book Review: Requiem for Steam, by David Plowden

    Reviewed by Roy Blanchard, with some help from the German Requiem by Brahms I. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) David Plowden’s most recent book, the aptly titled Requiem for Steam , is clearly written by a man who mourns the passing of steam locomotion...
  • Blog Post: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The real-life train in TRAINS’ front yard!

    On Tuesday, August 16, something happened I never thought I would see. A train actually visited the offices of Trains magazine. It was the first time ever. Flagg Coal Co. No. 75, an 0-4-0 tank engine built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1930, arrived on a flatbed truck at around noon and stayed in the parking...
  • Blog Post: Hitting the road this weekend. Destination? Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

    I'm going to Tennessee this weekend to help an old friend celebrate a landmark birthday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the earliest and most successful preservation groups in the Southeast, and to celebrate, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is putting on a show Saturday, Sunday,...
  • Blog Post: Welcome back old friend; I have missed you

    Ears pinned back, Southern No. 630 rolls at 40 mph on Sunday on the NS main line at Chattanooga, Tenn., on one of the first trips of NS's new 21st Century Steam program. Photo by Jim Wrinn I saw something I thought I'd never see last week: A steam train rolling down the Norfolk Southern...
  • Blog Post: Saving railway history, one vacation at a time

    Docent Bob Ross describes the route of the Rio Grande San Juan Extension. Ross is one of the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec who gives his time to the railroad. Jim Wrinn photo Sublette, New Mexico's buildings and sign shine because of the work of the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec...
  • Blog Post: In search of steam (and vintage diesels) on a western road trip

    My father, to whom I owe my interest in railroads, was a long-time subscriber to both Trains and Model Railroader . He and I made many trips during my childhood to watch trains at various places in central Massachusetts, where I grew up. But he didn't take many photos of trains, so the two below, which...
  • Blog Post: Remembering 'Nubes'

    Jim Neubauer (1933-2013) inside the cab of Dardanelle & Russellville 2-6-0 No. 9 at North Freedom, Wis. Photo by Mike Schafer Nobody loved riding a steam locomotive and writing about it like Jim Neubauer. A lifelong steam devotee, he made a point of climbing aboard and sometimes even firing just...
  • Blog Post: So where can a Big Boy go?

    Distinguished observers like to point out that Big Boys only ever operated in revenue service on the Union Pacific in select mountain areas, mostly Utah and Wyoming. It was what they were designed to do – all they ever did. A kind of logic dictates the original routings are the only ones Union...
  • Blog Post: New Zealand: Land of Variety

    Above: Map and statistics from KiwiRail Annual Report 2013 Before my wife and I traveled to New Zealand for the first time in 2012, I had studied the online timetables of KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, the passenger arm of the country's national railway, and I had identified other rail operations that...
  • Blog Post: Inside the Barriger Library: Check out our Flickr site of historic rail photos

    In the 1930s, a lone switchman walks along the Illinois Central’s tracks near Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The First Regiment Armory appears in the background. John W. Barriger III Photo. John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, St. Louis Mercantile Library, UMSL. Seen any good railroad...