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Tom’s Montana Protest, week 3: Pipestone Ballast

Posted 7 years ago by tdanneman
A BNSF ballast train loads at Pipestone Ballast. (click to view larger) I’ll be sharing one photo of my trip every week until I head out to Montana once again. I guess I look at it like my way of holding a protest, or going on strike, until I get my way and I depart for Big Sky Country. Along the way, I will try to give everyone some information and other tidbits about each photograph. So come along and join me in my protest! After photographing the Paradise Local near Quinns, we m...
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Tom’s Montana Protest, week 2: The Paradise Local heads to St. Regis

Posted 7 years ago by tdanneman
A three-car Paradise local rolls through Quinns, Mont. I'll be sharing one photo of my trip every week until I head out to Montana once again. I guess I look at it like my way of holding a protest, or going on strike, until I get my way and I depart for Big Sky Country. Along the way, I will try to give everyone some information, and other tidbits about each photograph. So come along, and join me in my protest! The Paradise Local finished up its switching chores in Paradise and highb...
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Steam in the northwest corner of Wales

Posted 7 years ago by Tom Murray
Welsh Highland Railway Garratt number 87 at Pont Croesor, Wales My wife and I traveled to Europe this past spring and summer. Our journey took us to Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the three Scandinavian countries (plus neighbor Finland, where Marcia has relatives), and Switzerland, and included a brief side trip to visit friends in Belgrade, Serbia. For the most part, this wasn't a rail-oriented trip, but Marcia's happy to ride trains, so it wasn't hard to persuade her that...
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Larger than life, Bennett Levin enjoys sharing the railroad experience

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Wrinn
Bennett Levin enjoys time on board the Susquehannock passenger excursion on Oct. 1, 2011. A pair of NS light helpers pace the rear of the excursion train descending into Altoona, Pa. from Horseshoe Curve on Oct. 1.   Descending Pennsylvania's famous Horseshoe Curve on board an excursion train last Saturday, it is easy to ladle out praise like K4s once devoured coal here. There's admiration for the original builders of this, one of the mightiest railroad engineering feats of ...
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Tom’s Montana Protest: Montana Rail Link’s Paradise Local

Posted 7 years ago by tdanneman
A Montana Rail Link GP9 awaits the call to duty in Paradise, Montana.   Well, I’m back from Montana. What a wonderful trip it was! Of course, we saw trains, but we also caught plenty of fish, and we even camped a couple of nights. It simply was one of the best all-around trips I’ve had. It was made even better by being able to spend time with my brother and friends. At various times, we had a group of seven of us, including Kent Johnson (Classic Toy Trains and Model Railroad...
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Narrow your horizons

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Wrinn
The Southeast isn't known for its narrow gauge heritage. Slim-gauge lines here were primarily industrial in nature. The last of these is Palmetto Brick, near Wallace, S.C., which operates a 2-foot-gauge clay-hauling railroad. But this week and weekend, the 31st National Narrow Gauge convention is meeting here in Hickory, N.C., in the foothills, to discuss, praise, and adore railroads with rails less than 4 feet 8 1/2 inches apart. More than 1,000 narrow gauge enthusiasts are here fro...
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On the Southern loops, Norfolk Southern is a busy railroad

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Wrinn
The general consensus is that the loops that enable Norfolk Southern to climb the Blue Ridge near Old Fort, N.C., are less busy today than in the past. Before the 1982 NS merger, Southern sent more traffic up and down the mountain that stretches a 3-mile climb over impossible grades into a 13-mile spiral staircase with 2.2 percent grades. NS rerouted it via Knoxville, Bristol, and Roanoke. But you couldn't tell that by my visit to the region on Wednesday. It was as busy as I've ever se...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Photos made in the footsteps of Al Kalmbach

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
My final post in this series came from a wonderful conversation with Kevin Keefe, former Trains editor and now the vice president of Kalmbach's editorial division. As we were talking about the blog, Kevin helped me find some photos that Al Kalmbach himself had made of trains in Waukesha and Milwaukee where the rail lines are still active today. Then I began searching for modern-day photographs of my own that might complement what Al Kalmbach had done six decades ago. The results appear in th...
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Kathi’s Swiss Rail Adventure, part 3: A little more fanning and a ride on a funicular

Posted 7 years ago by Kathi Kube
Earlier in my trip to Switzerland, I had enjoyed train rides through the countryside, a ride in a cable car, a zipline, a trottie bike, and an amazing journey to Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe.On this day, we slowed down a bit and visited Harder Kulm, which is very near Interlaken Ost. (In fact, my first day wandering around the station, I found the tracks not knowing what they were, just amazed they seemed to travel nearly vertically right up the mountain. All week the weather had been drea...
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Kathi’s Swiss Rail Adventure, part 2: Off to see a Swiss miss, who’s nearly 100 years old!

Posted 7 years ago by Kathi Kube
The next morning was one I was most excited about. We were headed for Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe. The railroad to the station, which at 11,333 feet is the highest elevation train station in Europe, was built nearly 100 years ago. Specifically, Adolf Guyler-Zeller began building Jungfraubahn in 1894, and finished it in 1912. I'm impressed enough with what it takes to build a railroad these days, but tunneling up and into the Alps 100 years ago and in killer conditions to create a tourist...
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Welcome back old friend; I have missed you

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Wrinn
Ears pinned back, Southern No. 630 rolls at 40 mph on Sunday on the NS main line at Chattanooga, Tenn., on one of the first trips of NS's new 21st Century Steam program. Photo by Jim Wrinn   I saw something I thought I'd never see last week: A steam train rolling down the Norfolk Southern main line with the company's CEO, a slew of vice presidents, and guests on board. That feeling of amazement actually began before the first wheel moved. As we strode to board Tennessee ...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Your burning question about TRAINS answered. Yes, we use rail service — indirectly

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
  This month, 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 questions we get most often from readers of this magazine is: Does TRAINS use trains?The answer, I'm happy to report, is a qualified yes. I say "qualified" because Kalmbach itself does not ship by rail. But our printing company, Quad/Graphics, does re...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: It’s not always sunny in Waukesha

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
  This month, 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.?I've really enjoyed this chance to revisit some great photo locations and rediscover how fascinating the local railroads are in TRAINS' backyard.Yet I feel I may have misled you with this series of sunny-day photos, made possible by a blissfully pleasant August. The t...
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Trains magazine art director railfans the Montana Rail Link, part deux

Posted 7 years ago by tdanneman
A short Montana Rail Link ML (Missoula-Laurel) freight negotiates the curves through Lombard Canyon. Leading the MRL are two SD70ACe’s and an SD40-2XR. Photo by Tom Danneman You may remember that I took a short trip out to see the Montana Rail Link back in May. It's time for me to head to Montana again, and I'd like you to follow along! My brother, a friend, and I will be flying out to Big Sky Country on September 8, and we'll be there through September 18 to catch some acti...
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Hitting the road this weekend. Destination? Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Posted 7 years ago by Jim Wrinn
I'm going to Tennessee this weekend to help an old friend celebrate a landmark birthday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the earliest and most successful preservation groups in the Southeast, and to celebrate, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is putting on a show Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The museum's most recent achievement, the restoration of Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630, will be the featured attraction on short mainline trips from TVRM's Grand Junction depot ...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Canadian Pacific splits the crossing in Brookfield

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
This month, 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.? We're back on Canadian Pacific's former Milwaukee Road main line in Brookfield, just north of Waukesha. This hill near the tracks is a favorite local spot to watch CP trains. At midday on August 19, this candy apple red Soo Line SD60 blazed east leading coal train No. 800. G...
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Kathi’s Swiss Rail Adventure

Posted 7 years ago by Kathi Kube
Switzerland has too many charms to name, but it's definitely also a railfan's paradise. In October 2010, I had the very good fortune to go to Switzerland as part of a tour the Swiss government arranged to try to raise awareness of Switzerland as a tourist destination, especially for railfans. I'll be describing my trip here in several installations. At first blush, it was easy to see why a railfan would want to go to Switzerland, besides the country's well-known charms. Switzerla...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: A Waukesha water wonder

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? On a summer day, few places are more relaxing than Frame Park in Waukesha, and Canadian National's main line goes right by the park's edge. This park is the closest active railroad track to the Kalmbach office, a little more than 3 miles away. It's fu...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Canadian Pacific’s waterfront running

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? There are few places in southeastern Wisconsin more pleasant or relaxing to watch trains than the village of Pewaukee (just northwest of Waukesha), where Canadian Pacific's Chicago-Vancouver main line skirts the bank of Pewaukee Lake. The 2,400-acre lake has ...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The most elusive train of all

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 spur off the Waukesha Industrial Lead. The industrial lead is an isolated piece of trackage that was once part of Chicago & North Western's main line from Milwaukee to Madison. The lead bra...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Canadian Pacific’s dual main lines

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? Today, we're on the eastern fringe of my 10.27-mile circle, in Elm Grove, Wis., along Canadian Pacific's Chicago-Twin Cities main line. You're watching eastbound coke train 852 wheel around a sweeping curve on its way from Roseport, Minn., to intercha...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Twilight photo in the city of churches

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? Waukesha may not have a skyline the way, say, New York or Chicago does, but this small Wisconsin town has a collection of distinctive and photogenic church steeples, and I'll often try to work them into my train pictures.Part of this is personal interest, too...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Morning photo on the Wisconsin & Southern

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? We're at the small grain elevator of Williams, 6 miles west of downtown Waukesha on the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad's line from Waukesha to Janesville. This former Milwaukee Road trackage is now the regional railroad's Waukesha Subdivision. Even...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Eat and photograph by the tracks

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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.? Like many cities around the country, Waukesha has an old train station that has been converted into a restaurant. (My boss, Jim Wrinn, likes to ask: How come they never turn restaurants into train stations?) Waukesha's former Chicago & North Western depot...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The real-life train in TRAINS’ front yard!

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
On Tuesday, August 16, something happened I never thought I would see. A train actually visited the offices of Trains magazine. It was the first time ever. Flagg Coal Co. No. 75, an 0-4-0 tank engine built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1930, arrived on a flatbed truck at around noon and stayed in the parking lot for 2 hours, while people took turns admiring the locomotive and climbing into the cab to learn more about this unique machine.TRAINS Editor Jim Wrinn had actually fired this locomoti...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Time for work

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 great railroad elements of Waukesha is that a local freight still originates in town. Canadian National bases morning and evening jobs out of downtown Waukesha. The crews share one locomotive and on weekdays they come on duty 12 hours apart, signing on...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Two trains at once — a photo I’ve waited 10 years for

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 some places I have not thought much about or photographed frequently since I first moved out to Wisconsin about 10 years ago. Back then, everything was new and exciting, and every new place seeme...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Ode to the pole line

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 the pictures!I have a question for all of you. Would you rather see photos that clearly illustrate what this area is like, although the lighting and composition might be more "standard" ...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: A historic Wisconsin depot

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 train stations in Wisconsin. We're in Brookfield, the town that borders Waukesha to the northeast. The wooden depot you see in the distance was built in 1867.Milwaukee's Hiawatha trains on...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Junction and journey

Posted 7 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
Throughout the month of August, I want to share photographs of the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. How many different pictures can be made in a circle extending 10.27 miles from Waukesha, Wis.?In today's picture, you're seeing a train navigate through the only railroad junction left in Waukesha, Wis. This is Wisconsin & Southern road freight T003, which originates in Horicon, Wis. (the operating hub of the regional railroad's northern division) and runs to Janesville,...