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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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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 8 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,...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Sunrise silhouette

Posted 8 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.? I woke up way before my alarm clock the other weekend, got in the car, followed some muffled scanner transmissions, and found Canadian National local L510 putting its train together at North Duplainville, Wis. This local shuttles cars from CN's classification...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The Kalmbach office you might not know about

Posted 8 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.?Three days into the project, and I'm about to break my own rule. Today we're venturing 16 rail miles east of Waukesha to the town of Wauwatosa, Wis.Here's why: Although trains do not literally run through Kalmbach Publishing Co.'s backyard today, at one time they actually did! O...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Crossroads of Canada

Posted 8 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.? Spend any time train-watching in southeastern Wisconsin and at some point or another you will wind up in Duplainville, which is 5 miles north of Waukesha. I've dubbed this location the "crossroads of Canada," since there is a diamond here, where Canadian National's main line ...
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Riding through the floods Part 4: Toronto to Chicago by rail… and taxi

Posted 8 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 her fury across the Upper Midwest (part 1). Now, I'm trying to get home after a week of alternate routes, rental cars, and unplanned train rides (part 2).  Highways and airlines alone d...
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Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Milepost 0

Posted 8 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
Last month, Drew Halverson embarked on a fantastic photography project, taking a different railroad photograph each day and sharing the results with you. He did a great job coming up with new and creative ways to photograph in familiar locations. This month, I thought I would try a photography project of my own with you that involves finding out more about the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. The TRAINS office is 20 miles west of Milwaukee in a suburb called Waukesha. TRAINS moved to ...
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Riding through the floods Part 3: Bob Johnston's Canadian notebook

Posted 8 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 adventure that had me riding trains in two different countries, going hundreds of miles out of the way. Here's a blow-by-blow account of a week-long adventure that contributed to the researc...
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Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: What a ride!

Posted 8 years ago by D-Halv
Top of the morning! Today marks the end of my month-long photo journey. It's been a challenge but fun, and I can walk away knowing that I found plenty of new photo opportunities in the Milwaukee area. Thanks for following along and sharing your comments. Check back later this week for a full recap! July 29 A FedEx MultiModal crosses the mouth of the Menomonee River on this hot BNSF detour train in downtown Milwaukee. The train heads south to Chicago. Canon EOS 30D, 7/29/2011, 1/6 sec, f/18...
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Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Wisconsin & Southern makes an overdue appearance

Posted 8 years ago by D-Halv
Two Wisconsin & Southern MP15 switchers haul the Milwaukee Job out of Canadian Pacific's Muskego Yard on a warm summer night. Canon EOS 30D, 7/1/2011, 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320, 70mm. Drew Halverson photo It's been a while since the Wisconsin & Southern has been featured in my photo project. It's been too long. I wasn't able to get trackside yesterday, so I'm taking a photo from the backup folder. This photo is at a new location and of a new train, so it counts! And,...
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Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Canadian National races through the night

Posted 8 years ago by D-Halv
A southbound Canadian National train races through the night at Duplainville, Wis. Canon EOS 30D, 7/26/2011, 10.0 sec (Bulb), f/8, ISO 200, 18mm, handheld shutter release. Drew Halverson photo After a great round of golf (I shot an 89 and whopped up on Trains Art Director Tom Danneman, Senior Graphic Designer Scott Krall, and Single Copy Sales Director Jerry Burstein), I decided it was time to try another night shot. Being near Canadian National's Fond du Lac, Wis.-Chicago main line, I had ...
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Grab a bowl! I’m ladling out locomotives

Posted 8 years ago by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
Locomotives are a veritable vegetable soup. If it wasn’t for Jim Kerr’s Official Locomotive Rosters and Kalmbach’s Railroad Reference books, I don’t know what I would do. Between reporting marks and locomotive types, railroads made texting cool before we had a name for it. E and F units, in particular, tend to boggle my brain. So, let’s hash them out, or dice them up, or just julienne this locomotive buffet. Let’s begin with the Es. EMC built 6 models of th...
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Notes from Train Festival: What you might have missed even if you were there

Posted 8 years ago by Jim Wrinn
It's been a couple of days now since Train Festival 2011 concluded in Rock Island, Ill., and I finally have had time to adjust to not baking in 100-degree heat on a daily basis while thousands of people mill around hot, heavy metal and fawn over live steamers and model railroads. I've also become reconciled to fact that there's not a steam train running every afternoon at 2 p.m. For shame! So, from the air-conditioned, steam train-less comfort of my office, here are a few thoughts an...
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Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Lovin' the low, wide angle

Posted 8 years ago by D-Halv
Two Canadian Pacific (ex-SOO) SD60Ms haul autoracks at Maple Street en route to Chicago. Canon EOS 30D, 7/25/2011, 0.5 sec, f/22, ISO 100, 18mm. Drew Halverson photo With only one week left in my month-long photo challenge, I'm finding it difficult to find new vantage points in my familiar territory. However, I wanted to hit a popular location, in this case Maple Street in downtown Milwaukee along Canadian Pacific's C&M subdivision, and try a shot that isn't a typical wedge, fea...
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Drew's Fantastic Train Photo Adventure: Catching up!

Posted 8 years ago by D-Halv
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, the locomotive's silhouette, and its exhaust. What I don't like:  Those "lovely" high tension wires adjacent to the Adams line for miles. What I learned:  When th...
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Riding through the floods Part 2: What do you do when train cancellations put you inside the story you’re covering?

Posted 8 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
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 adventure that had me riding trains in two different countries, going hundreds of miles out of the way. My discretionary train-riding soon gave way to booking trips of necessity, as travel options quic...