Fred Frailey Blog
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    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    I don’t hold myself out as an expert on China or of Chinese railways. But finding myself in Beijing this week, what better to do than start my learning curve by experiencing that nation’s burgeoning railroad system? So I spent a day between the Chinese...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    My column in the February TRAINS (“7 Ways to Become a Better Railfan”) prompted a lot of responses, but none more interesting than the one from a Union Pacific engineer. Doug Smith was a railfan as a kid, enjoyed a career in the military, and then...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    I’ve been delving into my stash of the government’s railroad accident reports. Most of them are mundane. By that, I mean they clearly document common safety shortcomings, such as trains striking maintenance of way equipment, forgetting orders to meet...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Alco PA graveyards These photos are a downer. In 1970 I came upon most of Santa Fe’s PA fleet on some spur tracks in a southwest suburb of Chicago, awaiting the torch. They weren’t protected by a fence or anything, so I climbed aboard one. Sat...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Country depots You have to be of a certain age to understand this, but I’ve walked into 1,001 of them unannounced, and was never treated discourteously. I think of myself as an introvert, but never did I fear opening a depot door and walking in...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Anyone named Toby I immediately like. Toby Kolstad is a columnist for Progressive Railroading magazine, which makes me like him more, because I write a column, too, for another magazine. We columnists should stick together — you know, one for all,...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Union Pacific just thought it was testing acceleration, braking, drawbar stress, radio continuity, and all of that when it dispatched that 3½-mile-long intermodal train from Dallas a week ago, en route to Long Beach, Calif. Good guess, guys, but no...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Last week, Amtrak’s California Zephyr made it onto NBC Nightly News by arriving at Chicago Union Station 19 hours late. Anchor Brian Williams called that blizzard-whipped edition of the Zephyr “the trip from hell.” It’s a good thing for Amtrak that...
    Posted over 4 years ago by Fred Frailey
    The 1996 merger of Southern Pacific into Union Pacific mothballed the Tennessee Pass line from near Glenwood Springs to Pueblo, Colo., and caused tracks east of Pueblo almost to Kansas City to be torn up or shortlined. But that same merger brought...

January, 2010