Notes on Chicago transit

Posted 11 years ago by Andy Cummings
I made the trek to Wrigley Field (1060 West Addison in Chicago, as every Blues Brothers fan knows) Sunday to see the Cubs take on my Minnesota Twins at one of the last remaining old-style ballparks in the country. I'll leave the baseball commentary to the pros (we lost 3-2), but a few observations on Chicago transit from one who grew up far from any commuter territory:1. Metra is a phenomenal way to travel. The seats are comfortable, the trains run on time, and it's a thrill to fly over the Kenn...

The reel world: Pelham rocks, but suspend your disbelief

Posted 11 years ago by Matt Van Hattem
By Matt Van Hattem Senior Editor   Like lots of other subway fans, I went to the movies this weekend and saw “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” I’m a big fan of the original 1974 movie, so I had more than a bit of skepticism walking into the theater.  I came out satisfied enough, I suppose. The new movie stands on its own, although I’ll take the smarmy dialogue of the original over the remake’s psychological probings into the characters.  Yes, there is a lot of implausibility, t...

Lessons from NARS 2009

Posted 11 years ago by Andy Cummings
In any political debate, you tend to hear the loudest voices above all the rest. This is an obvious point, but I have a reason for making it. Two weeks ago I attended the North American Rail Shippers conference in Chicago, a gathering that brought in major rail shippers and senior railroad management from all seven Class Is alike. Among the speakers were the following: • Craig Boroughf, director of transportation of U.S. Gypsum, which ships some 10,000 carloads of Sheetrock annual...

Ode to the SD40-2

Posted 11 years ago by Andy Cummings
In a documentary photography class I took in college, the professor talked at length about a photo's "form" and its "function." To the uninitiated, "form" refers to an image's artistic and aesthetic qualities, while "function" deals with its utility; its ability to tell a story or capture a feeling. Truly great documentary photographers seek to combine both into their work. As we railfans often do, I was recently pondering my favorite diesels, and it occurred to me that the SD40-2 is the ...

Are there really just seven mainline steam locomotives left?

Posted 11 years ago by Jim Wrinn
Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765's recent outings at the Hoosier Valley Railroad in Indiana and its planned appearance at Train Festival 2009 in Michigan in July got me onto a subject that was disturbing to one who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s halcyon days of mainline steam excursion: How many mainline steam locomotives are really out there in the United States today? The best answer I could come up with is, sad to say, seven. First off, some criteria. When I say "mainline" I mean a locomotive ...

Update: Elevated rail system in Honolulu

Posted 11 years ago by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
Honolulu City and County Mayor Mufi Hannemann will get his wish at the end of the year: The city will break ground and begin building the first 6.5 miles of its 20-mile system stretching from East Kapoli to Ala Moana Center, Honolulu's largest shopping mall ["City Rail," Trains October 2008]. Service for the first segment is slated to begin in 2012, and final completion in 2018. They chose an elevated system, since they want to avoid any road traffic congestion which exists ...

*Free* train simulator

Posted 11 years ago by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
It's not often you hear the word free, and there are no strings attached. Here is a link to a free train simulator game you can download: openbve.trainsimcentral.co.uk/ This Web site has user information, a forum to pose questions, and a blog by the developer. No, I haven't tried it. Come on, people, I have work to do! We do receive rail simulator games for review on occasion for the Products section of Trains magazine. I'm not a gamer myself, but others have told me the...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy