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  • Blog Post: Greetings from Cumberland! There’s coal smoke, blue skies, and a hint of fall color!

    Abundant sunshine, steam locomotives, Amtrak’s Exhibit Train, and a variety of model train display and vendors are just a few of the amenities offered at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s Steel Wheels Festival in Cumberland. Steam railroading is potent in the Queen City this weekend…...
  • Blog Post: Dinner in the diner: it's tough to make it finer

    I returned to Washington, DC from a conference in Minneapolis last weekend via Amtrak. At least I intended to go the whole way by train. In the past, I would have simply booked a through reservation from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Washington, with connection at Chicago. However, for the last few months...
  • Blog Post: There's Nothing Like a Dome Car

    I had ridden Amtrak’s California Zephyr, Empire Builder, Cardinal and Adirondack routes before, and thoroughly enjoyed taking in their scenic wonders from either the Superliner Sightseer Lounge car or my coach seat. But being able to experience these four routes in a dome car took the already unmatched...
  • Blog Post: Where is Amtrak's desire to grow and advance?

    In the cover story of this month’s issue of railroad industry trade journal Progressive Railroading , several top Amtrak officials tout the company’s shift towards operating in a more businesslike manner, which the article describes as “taking a hard line on expenses, continually seeking...
  • Blog Post: Millennials Bounce Ideas Off of Amtrak Official

    Because our private cars could not be parked in Milwaukee nor easily taken back there from Chicago to pick us up, the Millennial Trains Project (MTP) participants and crew traveled to Chicago this morning aboard a reserved Horizon coach car on Amtrak’s 8:05 AM Hiawatha departure from Milwaukee’s...
  • Blog Post: The Journey Begins in the City of Roses

    [caption image="/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48-Malcolm+Kenton/3362.photo-1.JPG" position="right"]Mount Hood is seen from the south-facing window of a United Airlines Airbus A320 descending into Portland International Airport on Aug. 5. Photo by Malcolm...
  • Blog Post: Telling Trans-Regional Stories Through Train Travel

    Margaret Kargbo in the Silver Lariat dome in eastern Utah, behind Amtrak's eastbound California Zephyr . Photo by Malcolm Kenton. Stories are the stuff of railroading, as they are the stuff of our lives and, indeed, the stuff of the universe. It is writers’ and journalists’ job to tell...
  • Blog Post: A Train Journey of Discovery, Innovation and Action

    Picture yourself traversing the spectacular and storied Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited routes, all the way from Portland, Ore., to New York City, in a Budd-built short dome car, originally part of the Rio Grande Zephyr fleet, and sleeping in a roomette or double bedroom on a vintage streamlined...
  • Blog Post: Join me for a ride on Amtrak's rare mileage excursion in Pennsylvania

    We’re on Platform 7 at Amtrak’s 30th Street Station at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Nov 3. In front of us is one of the biggest Amtrak trains I’ve ever seen: 16 cars -- four Amfleet and nine Horizon coaches plus two cafe cars and office car No. 9800 bringing up the markers. On the point are Phase...
  • Blog Post: Continuing a tradition in the New River Gorge: The New River Train

    HINTON, W.VA. — Celebrating its 47 th consecutive year of New River Train excursions, the Collis P. Huntington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society runs this Amtrak-sponsored consist on CSX rails between Huntington, W.Va., and Hinton, W.Va. The annual “leaf special” traverses...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Can't we all get along?

    I thought it would be nice to take an Amtrak trip in the Midwest this fall. A train trip purely for the sake of a train trip, and go somewhere I've never been on a train before. Seems pretty simple, right? Wrong. I'd ridden the Empire Builder (and even Hiawathas ) long before I moved to Wisconsin, so...
  • Blog Post: Planes, Trains and Automobiles: One reporter’s journey to Milwaukee and back

    Chicago Union Station. Steve Sweeney For a recent business trip to Milwaukee I had to fly to make connections, meet the bosses and get a good night’s sleep before the scheduled all-day meetings. On the way home, however, I consciously chose Amtrak as a return route. It’s the first time...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...