Fred Frailey Blog
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    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    The biggest foe of any small railroad is weather. Nothing a Hurricane Irene or a 100-year blizzard and snowmelt can do to a Class I property will matter much in the long term. It’s pennies per share on the bottom line. BNSF Railway proved...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    The cardinal is one of the finest and prettiest creatures on God’s earth. I guess I’m partial to the bird because my hair used to be that color. However, the uppercase and italicized Cardinal is the least and lowest of Amtrak’s long...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    I began toying with this thorny question yesterday, presuming my own conclusion about the two long-distance trains I have ridden most recently. The more I thought about it, however, the less certain I became about the outcome. So follow along...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    The VIA Rail Canada Canadian of legend stretched to 40-plus cars on occasion. At least, that’s what I used to hear. But I now think those megatrains were just that, legends rather than realities. Three years ago, when I asked the people who should...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Leave it to this one-time tabloid reporter to write a tearjerker. But before I get to that, the old adage that a late train just gets later applies only when there’s competition for the track. Union Pacific doesn’t have a lot of train...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Two nice things happen while train 14, Amtrak’s northbound Coast Starlight, stands at the Santa Barbara, Calif., station today. First, the sun comes out. This means we should have a good view of the Pacific Ocean from there to Surf, 68 miles...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    I left those who read my previous dispatch (“The Summer of Service Disasters on Amtrak”) hanging on the end of a limb. The southbound Texas Eagle had left Dallas headed north — that’s right, Wrong Way Corrigan we were. But it was...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    I’m seeing a lot of sold-out long-distance trains this summer. The train I’m on today, the Texas Eagle , sure looks like one of them. Amtrak is all but assured to have record ridership in fiscal 2011, which ends Sept. 30. But this good...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Railway Gazette International reports that the first of 10 locomotives destined for delivery to Australia later this year has rolled off the factory floor, in China. This cannot be good news for U.S. locomotive makers, who have been kept in business...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    My taxi to Washington Union Station was making the final turn to its destination when it hit me. Really hit me. Like ouch! Then hit me again. And again. No, I was not having great ideas or magnificent insights into the problems of the world. What hit...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Off we go again, on another victory lap around North America by train. Largely I’m retracing the path that resulted in the article, “Amtrak at Its Best (And Worst)” in the August issue of Trains . One difference this time...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    Today I embark on a 15-day trip by passenger train around North America, much like what I wrote about in the August issue of Trains. The difference is Washington to Chicago; I’ve leaving DC via the Capitol Limited and returning on the Cardinal...
    Posted over 3 years ago by Fred Frailey
    As is their habit, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse today strode up and down the North End Subdivision of CSX, 123.2 miles of action-packed railroad extending from Richmond, Va., to Rocky Mount, N.C. For those of you who haven’t met the Four...

August, 2011