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  • Blog Post: How to illustrate train travel’s delights

    When advocates of increased investment in passenger train equipment and infrastructure make our case to elected officials, we generally emphasize the boost that this investment offers to the economy, the importance of providing mobility choices to otherwise isolated populations without easy access to...
  • 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: A Community is Formed Aboard a Train

    I have come to the end of the second transcontinental train trip produced by the nonprofit Millennial Trains Project (MTP), having just returned home to Washington, DC after sharing the final two days with the group in New York City, the journey's endpoint. MTP is an endeavor founded on the idea that...
  • Blog Post: A Fresh Model for Dining by Rail

    Part of the mission of the Millennial Trains Project is to inspire ideas for a prosperous and sustainable American future by connecting Millennials to America’s landscape and history through the experience of cross-country train travel. And nothing complements a train journey quite like good food...
  • Blog Post: Exceptional Foreign Students Share Perspectives on Train Travel

    This year’s Millennial Trains Project (MTP) — whose inspiration comes from founder Patrick Dowd’s experience with a similar train journey of purpose for Millennials as a Fulbright scholar in India — is fortunate to have on board five Fulbright scholars representing five different...
  • Blog Post: The First Maker Space on Rails

    The second annual Millennial Trains Project transcontinental journey is fortunate to host the first ever mobile maker space on board the 1956 Budd-built dome-lounge Silver Splendor (originally the CB&Q’s Silver Buckle ). Built as a dome-coach, the interior was converted so that one side of...
  • Blog Post: A Town, and a Park, Built By and Intertwined With the Railroad

    Any city or town of significant size in America’s interior that is not located on a navigable waterway was built by, and so located because of, the railroad. By and large, cities and towns located along linear pathways in the West and Midwest are arrayed along rail lines, either existing or former...
  • Blog Post: Train Travel and the (New) American Dream

    The mentors and lecturers invited to speak to this year’s Millennial Trains Project (MTP) participants have begun to instigate discussions on redefining the American Dream, the central theme of this year’s journey. And the means by which MTP is moving across the country — the train...
  • 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: 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...
  • 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: What railroad are you thankful for?

    [caption image="http://cs.trains.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/2262.EastTroy.jpg" position="left" targeturl="http://cs.trains.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/2262.EastTroy.jpg"]My daughter looks...
  • 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: Looking for railroad history in Canada’s capital

    [caption image="/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-07-48/1680.DSC_5F00_0713.JPG" position="right"]Canadian Pacific 4-8-4 No. 3100. Photo by Jim Wrinn [/caption]OTTAWA – Participants at this year’s Association of Railway Museums/Tourist Railway Association...
  • Blog Post: Pullman: Though the factory is gone, the community remains

    A Southwest Airlines 737 takes off from Chicago's Midway Airport, flying over the remains of the Pullman plant. Jim Wrinn photo CHICAGO – I visited the fabled Pullman Palace Car plant on the south side of Chicago on a recent weekend. It was the Historic Pullman Foundation’s 39 th annual...