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CP+NS logo contest

Posted 2 days ago by Steve Sweeney
Steve Glischinski's Nov. 18 blog post on what possible names a Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern combination could take brought some startling possibilities. Of course, that got us thinking: "What would the logo for that look like?" Luckily for you dear Trains readers (and especially for us artistically challenged editors) the Trains Art Department developed a list of possibilities displayed below. They are the brain children of Tom Danneman, Rick Johnson, Scott Krall, and Drew Halverson. Seei...

Which Railway Interchange vehicle got the most attention at the show?

Posted 3 days ago by Jim Wrinn
We're wrapping up our February issue, and inside it is a 10-page photo story on this year's big trade show in Minneapolis, Railway Interchange.  We saw three vehicles there that garnered the bulk of visitors' attention.  Which one do you think got the most attention? Look for the story about the show in the February issue of Trains magazine. ...

Say it ain't so, Norfolk

Posted 9 days ago by Brian Schmidt
CP and NS trains meet in Binghamton, N.Y., in July 2014. Photo by Amanda Oakes The followers of Trains Magazine's Facebook page are speaking out on the proposed Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern "business combination." On Tuesday, CP confirmed it had sent an offer letter to NS executives outlining the benefits of such a deal. Immediately after, Trains' Facebook followers sounded off:Robert Burns IV: That's all anyone thinks about is the "steam" and the "heritage units." Big whoop. I lik...

CP+NS merger: Where would the new headquarters be? Here’s our best guesses

Posted 9 days ago by Jim Wrinn
When Canadian Pacific announced that it was interested in acquiring Norfolk Southern, I wondered where such a combined company would be located. It’s a good question to ask. The two outfits are on opposite sides of the continent, and they are in two different countries. But everybody has to be somewhere, so if this combination goes through, they’ll have to land here or there. By tradition, the victor usually keeps its headquarters and shuts down the offices of the vanquished. That g...

There was nothing dull about Fenner Stevenson

Posted 15 days ago by Jim Wrinn
The tourist railroad and railroad museum world lost a great family member this week. Fenner Stevenson was the heart and soul of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad deep in Iowa. As general manager, Fenner nurtured and developed this tourist line near the famous Kate Shelley Bridge, complete with steam, diesel, and electric railroading. He worked tirelessly to create a railroad museum at Boone that everyone could be proud of. He and his son, Travis, also on the railroad staff, were a great fat...

The tour of Germany: Some final thoughts

Posted 21 days ago by David Lassen
I’ve been back from the magazine’s anniversary tour of Germany for about a week now, still digesting and savoring the experience as I worked through the inevitable backlog that comes from being out of the office for 19 days. (In addition to our 11-day tour, I used some vacation time to visit Berlin and Prague.) Before the tour slips too far into the past, however, I wanted to offer a few more thoughts on the experience. From a railfan perspective, the Harz steam railroad was, for m...

Trains at 75: Happy birthday to us — the first issue

Posted 22 days ago by Jim Wrinn
If I could go back in time, I would love to ask our magazine’s founder, Al Kalmbach, why he chose the image he picked for the first issue of Trains in November 1940. The irony is that for a magazine called “Trains” it depicts no locomotive, no speeding passenger express, and no plodding freight hog. The black and white cover subject was a close up of a steam locomotive water tower, the spout raised, counterweights down, its well-weathered wooden body showing evidence of the com...

Of living time machines … in Colorado

Posted 28 days ago by Jim Wrinn
We’re rumbling along the 3-foot gauge rails near Osier, Colo., in a beautiful wilderness that, thankfully, is unspoiled, non-commercialized, and truly the home of the deer and the antelope. A group of us who love mountain railroads and steam locomotives have come to play. Ahead of us are two narrow gauge Mikados built for this part of the Denver & Rio Grande Western almost a century ago. They roll off the miles effortlessly as they have almost continuously since Baldwin outshopped the...

The tour of Germany: The Harz of the matter

Posted one month ago by David Lassen
Well, that was pretty amazing. We’re only at the midpoint of the Trains 75th Anniversary tour of Germany, but for spectacular railroading, it’s going to be hard to top the Harz Railway, the meter-gauge steam operation in the Harz Mountains where we spent Monday and Tuesday.Here’s a quick look at our visit to the Harz. (No doubt it deserves more, but with our tour still ongoing, time constraints dictate a relatively brief post.) Imagine the Durango and Silverton — excep...

Colorado calls

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
I’m off to one of my favorite places in the world this week, Colorado. The very mention of the state evokes visions of narrow gauge Mikados fighting for every inch of rail, Rio Grande F7s summiting the Rockies, and UP action on the Moffat Road west of Denver. It is every railfan’s dream come true with plenty of freight and passenger action and amazing stories. I’ve been a visitor since 1987, and for the last 10 years or so, I’ve made an annual pilgrimage to enjoy some asp...

The tour of Germany: Cologne, and the busy bridge.

Posted one month ago by David Lassen
Our Trains Magazine tour of Germany is off to a spectacular start. After assembling in Frankfurt, our group of 43 received its first taste of the German railways, the Deuche Bahn, with a trip along the Rhine River to Cologne, where we stayed almost in the shadow of the famous Cologne Cathedral — once the world’s tallest building — and just a few hundred yards from the main train station. This also meant we were adjacent to the Hohenzollern Bridge — reputed, believably, t...

Why we love the Clinchfield

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
Erwin, Tenn., was in the not too distant past one of the most difficult places to reach by car. Even today, with modern four-lane Interstate highways in the East Tennessee region, the few additional mountain roads in and out of the headquarters city of the Clinchfield Railroad are steep, twisty, and slow. It was in this challenging environment that railroaders of great talent on the throttle and the air brakes ran this railroad, a veritable Rio Grande of the Appalachians, a north-south through r...

Railway Interchange's outdoor display is filled with goodness

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Trains gang, Steve Sweeney, correspondent Steve Glischinski, and I spent Sunday at the outdoor exhibits for North America's largest railroad trade show. It was a better than expected showing of locomotives, freight cars, and on track equipment. In the span of a few hours we toured Electro-Motive Diesel's new Tier 4 SD70, Greenbrier's new DOT 117 tank car, and a surprising track inspection vehicle. We were at BNSF Railway's Northtown Yard. It was filled with dozens of displays...

10 things we’re looking forward at Railway Interchange

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
 The Trains staff is off to the Railway Interchange show Sunday-Tuesday in Minneapolis. It’s the big biennial North American trade show. About 10,000 people will show up. Think of it as a state fair for railroaders. Think of it as the toy store for the industry. You can join us for a live look Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and Monday from 1-4:30 p.m. with our Trains livestreaming camera at Meanwhile, here are 10 things we look forward to at the event. &nbs...

Thank you, Wick!

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
Today is Wick Moorman’s last day as executive chairman at Norfolk Southern. It is no secret that he has done a lot for all of us who love history, tradition, and pride in being a railroad, both fans and NS employees. We all know that under Wick’s tenure, the business train got tuxedo-painted F-units for power, 20+ modern units got historic predecessor paint schemes, and steam excursions returned with not one, but four locomotives. Those were dramatic steps for a company that long had...

Standing tall at Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard

Posted one month ago by Jim Wrinn
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – My wife is from Nebraska, the daughter of a railroad family, the Union Pacific in particular. When we began dating, she was aghast that I’d never been on the U.S. 30 pilgrimage to the world’s largest yard at North Platte. Bailey Yard, she assured me, is a must see. And, of course, she was right. We made a whirlwind trip to western Nebraska earlier this month, and our base of operation for a couple of days was North Platte. We took in a Husker football game...

Wondering about 'Blunders'

Posted 2 months ago by David Lassen
Our article, "Railroading's Biggest Blunders," in the September 2015 produced a significant response from readers — more than all other articles combined that I've worked on since joining the magazine in July 2014. Many nominated additional blunders worthy of consideration, which have been filed away in case we decide to do a sequel. (And based on the strength of many of those suggestions, I think there's definitely a place for "Son of Blunders." And many clearly felt at least some of our...

Two park engines that won’t make you cringe

Posted 2 months ago by Jim Wrinn
UP 2-8-0 No. 480 in Memorial Park in North Platte, Neb., has a sign out front, left, to tell its story to visitors. Jim Wrinn photo. I usually steel myself before visiting any park engine display. Over the years I have come to expect the worst from steam locomotives that were retired from active service, put in city parks more than a half century ago, then left to rot and ruin over the course of the years. That, happily, is not the case in North Platte, Neb. This city has not one but two displ...

The magic of the night

Posted 2 months ago by Jim Wrinn
Burlington E5 No. 9911 idles in darkness at the Illinois Railway Museum. Jim Wrinn photo. On Saturday, the final night of the Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums conference, I spent a few minutes at a special event of the host Illinois Railway Museum. It was the organization’s big, grand finale for the year, an evening of night operations on the property at Union, Ill. Three signature trains were in operation, and there also was a nice covey of diesels parked outside the ...

Britain's RSA moves to address membership issues

Posted 2 months ago by David Lassen
All rail organizations, it seems, struggle with issues of aging and declining memberships. It’s a problem our correspondent Chase Gunnoe wrote about in this recent Trains News Wire article, one that led the National Railway Historical Society board of directors to consider, and ultimately reject, a significant organizational restructuring. It’s also one Britain’s Railway Study Association is attacking in fairly aggressive fashion. The 105-year-old RSA is, to be sure, a diffe...

A steam locomotive hidden among carousels and pipe organs

Posted 2 months ago by Jim Wrinn
On the first evening of the Association of Tourist Railroad and Railway Museums conference in northern Illinois, I joined other participants at the magnificent and awe inspiring Sanfilippo Estate. This collection, housed in multiple buildings in a park-like setting in the northwest suburbs of Chicago contains an incredible collection of, in its own words, “beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world's largest re...

Carload problems, on both sides of the Atlantic

Posted 2 months ago by David Lassen
The old joke is that the United States and England are two countries separated by a single language. In railroading, it seems, the countries have two systems sharing different versions of the same problem: Carload freight. Of course, the common-language gulf being what it is, one thing that doesn’t translate across the Atlantic is the name for that problem. When rail entrepreneurs Ed Burkhardt, Ed Ellis and Henry Posner joined visiting members of Britain’s Railway Study Association...

'Wouldn’t it be great if ….'

Posted 2 months ago by Jim Wrinn
Illinois Railway Museum's Frisco 2-10-0 No. 1630 rolls on the museum's trackage. Jim Wrinn photo. UNION, Ill. — The annual meeting of the Association of Tourist Railroads and Railroad Museums begins in Northern Illinois today. Trains will be on hand to visit with friends in the business of preservation, and we’ll enjoy the hosting of the Illinois Railway Museum. The conference usually attracts 200-300 volunteers, professionals, and support industry folks from across North America a...

2015 Trains Photo Contest Winners: It's all in the details

Posted 2 months ago by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
The Trains judges enjoyed sifting through the detail photographs you submitted for the 2015 Trains Photo Contest. We received more than 700 images. Here are our top choices. Check out the winners below, and please let us know what you think in the comments section below. Runners-up ANDY INSERRA On Oct. 6, 2014, the morning sun glistens on the lap switches at Canadian Pacific’s Rice’s Point Yard in Duluth, Minn.  BARRY GASTON The flashing crossing-gate signal light at Do...

A visit to a railroad museum you may have never heard of

Posted 2 months ago by Jim Wrinn
A Burlington Ten-Wheeler built in Lincoln, Neb., is one of two steam locomotives on display at the RailsWest Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Jim Wrinn photo. COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – It is hard to be a railroad attraction in the Omaha area. There is a lot of competition. Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4024 and DD40X No. 6900 sit on a hillside overlooking the Missouri River. The Durham Museum in Omaha’s Union Station has a complete basement full of displays. Union Pacific’s o...

Fresh tiers for Canadian National

Posted 2 months ago by Brian Schmidt
It's been about 10 years since I last experienced a new locomotive model for the first time, back when EMD introduced the SD70ACe and SD70M-2 models. Those units, long since ubiquitous on some roads, are now out of production due to federal emissions regulations.So Thursday afternoon, I left the office with more than a little anticipation to see my first new locomotive model in about a decade. That model, GE's ET44AC, was ushered in by the same environmental law that has put the EMD 70-series ou...

I am no Rosemary Entringer

Posted 3 months ago by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
There is only one Madonna, one Oprah Winfrey, one Angelina Jolie. Love them or hate them, they're each a part of American history. And, there was only one Rosemary Entringer.  Rosemary, the "First Lady of Trains," as former editor David P. Morgan called her in her obituary published in the October 1977 issue, worked as its managing editor from August 1948 to her death on July 29, 1977. "It was Rosy who dotted the i's and crossed the t's, straightened out the syntax, corrected the spellin...

Hey mister, was that a heritage unit I just saw go by?

Posted 3 months ago by Jim Wrinn
Not long ago Milwaukee railfans got a treat when Norfolk Southern’s Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit came cruising through on an eastbound Canadian Pacific crude oil train. I set out for my favorite spot for an afternoon photo of an eastbound at Grand Avenue (the same location that I shot Amtrak P32 No. 503 on page 4 of the October 2015 issue). It’s a nice spot where the main line follows the Menomonee River in a southward twist and turn between the Miller brewery and Miller Par...

A trip out West, Part 3: Union Pacific’s Yellowstone connection

Posted 3 months ago by Jim Wrinn
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. – The last place you’d ever think to find the big tonnage Union Pacific is in the tourist mecca at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. We’re miles away from the heavy steel and big trains railroad that we all know. But UP has a big presence here in a historic depot, water tank, other buildings, and even an office car. For years, seasonal passenger traffic to the national park must have been good business for the UP, toting vacationers of...

A trip out west, Part 2: Feeding the stomach and head at Livingston, Mont.

Posted 3 months ago by Jim Wrinn
LIVINGSTON, Mont. – If you drive into Livingston, Mont., from Bozeman, down the road that follows the tracks, you’ll cross the old wye that took passenger trains to the gates of Yellowstone National Park and end up at the brick 1902 station that’s downtown. The old baggage area is now a wine and cheese shop, and the main portion of the depot is a museum in the summer and a special events center in the winter. But the eastern most part of the station is, I am happy to say, sti...

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