Blogs

  • Blog Post: Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    I was set to pondering Dan Machalaba’s September feature, “What to do about NIMBYS?” when I stumbled across this column in the Manteca Bulletin (Calif.), " Be very afraid: UP toying with monster trains ." The columnist tells us to “be very afraid” of “monster” trains. This all goes back to...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Starring Union Pacific, CITX, with special guest Miller Park

    July 8 Union Pacific No. 7261 leads Weston coal loads through Merton, Wis. Canon EOS 30D, 7/8/2011, 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 250, 161mm. Drew Halverson photos I'm soaking wet right now, after this month's first big storm. And I fell climbing the stairs at work this morning (just...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Practice makes improvement

    Union Pacific's MSSPR rolls by Habanero's Mexican Kitchen in Wauwatosa, Wis., on a clear summer night. Canon EOS 30D, 7/11/2011, 0.8 sec, f/11, ISO 250, 18mm. Drew Halverson photo Here's the first photo of the series I'd like to have back. I contemplated not even using it, but then...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: If at first you don't succeed

    Leading a locomotive trio featuring the YN2 paint scheme, CSX C40-8W No. 7834 rolls west on the Adams line in Merton, Wis. Canon EOS 30D, July 13, 2011, 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320, 84mm. Drew Halverson photo Let’s add CSX to the list of railroads featured in this monthly photo challenge! For...
  • Blog Post: Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Featuring Canadian National, Union Pacific, Indiana Rail Road, and bird poop

    What a scorcher of a weekend, with a lot of action on the local railroads! Here are a quick three, featuring Canadian National, Union Pacific and Indiana Rail Road. Please leave your comments here or on our Trains Facebook page or Twitter . I'll be sure to check in throughout the day! July 16...
  • 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: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Ode to the pole line

    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.? Thank you to all of you who have "liked" or commented on...
  • Blog Post: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Two trains at once — a photo I’ve waited 10 years for

    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.? One of the fun things about this project is that I'm revisiting...
  • Blog Post: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The most elusive train of all

    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.? You're watching Union Pacific local LPA70 switching cars on a...
  • Blog Post: It's a great time to be in railroading

    The Transportation Research Board is holding its 91st Annual Meeting this week in Washington, D.C., and I’m here looking for ideas for technology columns, seeing old friends, and meeting new contacts who can help bring the latest in the rail industry to Trains’ pages. Just yesterday morning...
  • 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: Train-watching at Missouri Valley

    The town of Missouri Valley, Iowa, is 40 miles north of Omaha, Neb., on I-29. It's the site of some of the most concentrated and intense mainline freight action you'll ever see. And I make it a point to get out there whenever business takes me to Omaha. Such was the case the week of Halloween for the...
  • 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: UP is next to test gas locomotives

    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 by 2014 whether to substantially convert its...
  • Blog Post: Rochelle Railroad Days 2013

    [caption image="/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/3583.UP3788RochelleIL6_2D00_2_2D00_13_5F00_edited_2D00_1.jpg" position="right"]The Rochelle Railroad park is transformed into a small fairgrounds for the annual Rochelle Railroad Days, now in its eighth year...
  • Blog Post: A great ride for a great cause

    [caption image="/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/4885.UP1362HarvardIL6_2D00_7_2D00_13.jpg" position="left"]The UP CARES Operation Lifesaver special at Harvard, Ill., on June 7, 2013. Photo by J. David Ingles[/caption] This past Friday, June 7, Union Pacific...
  • Blog Post: Luck

    [caption image="/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/5808.DSC_5F00_0080_5B00_2_5D00_.JPG" position="right"]A southbound Union Pacific freight passes through Speer, Wyo., on July 1 with two Chicago & North Wester-painted units in the engine consist. Jim...
  • Blog Post: California dreamin’ – railroad style

    An eastbound Union Pacific stack train climbs California's Beaumont Hill from Loma Linda to Beaumont, Calif., on Tuesday. It was followed closely by a merchandise train on the former Southern Pacific Sunset Route. Jim Wrinn photo PALM DESERT, Calif. – While much of the nation has suffered mightily...
  • Blog Post: Cajon calling: Go home

    A westbound baretable departs Summit, Calif., dawn Saturday. Jim Wrinn photo CAJON PASS, Calif. – I startle awake in my hotel room around 5 a.m. to a glowing green light on my smart phone lying next to the TV remote. I dismiss it as a late greeting from a pal or a message from my girlfriend...
  • Blog Post: A man in full

    Jim Young, the retired chairman and former chief executive of Union Pacific, is dead at 61 of pancreatic cancer. It's a vicious disease that is rarely detected before it spreads to other organs; then it is incurable. Through good care and stout heart, Jim was lucky (if you call it that) to live almost...
  • Blog Post: Is this the new 1997?

    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. For 55 of my 70 years, the problem facing BNSF, namely...
  • Blog Post: Bouncing through The Great State

    When last you heard from me, Mark the Amtrak red cap in Chicago had met my four-hours-late Lake Shore Limited and hustled me onto the Texas Eagle , which was being held for our tardy train. Also held were all the other westbound streamliners trains that afternoon. Good hustle! I was impressed. But what...
  • Blog Post: Why your next trip will induce heartburn

    I’ve said before that any train I’m on can be as late as you like. I believe my exact words were “more train-riding pleasure for the same low price.” Well, forget that. I’ve changed my mind. Even idiots like me have their limit, and mine has been breached. Any train more...
  • Blog Post: Our railroads are a MESS

    I don’t recall ever seeing so much of the railroad industry in such disarray. Examples are everywhere you look. Tens of thousands of new vehicles sit on lots in Detroit and Toledo, waiting for rail cars to take them to dealers. Canadian National and Canadian Pacific strain under their government’s...
  • Blog Post: Last-minute decisions (and the Dining Car From Hell)

    How would you solve this problem? You've used a jillion Guest Rewards points to book bedrooms on the Coast Starlight from San Jose, Cal., to Los Angeles, the Sunset Limited to New Orleans and the Crescent to Washington, D.C. The Starlight arrives in LA at 9 p.m., the Sunset leaves at 10 p.m., and therein...