Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hamlet Depot and Museum-Truly A Treasure For Us All

Hamlet Depot and Museums in Hamlet, North Carolina is a beautifully restored depot of the former Seaboard Air Line Railroad located by today's CSX tracks.  Depot museums are a great community builder.
Many comment about how much care the railroads took when building their structures.  The depot was where many people gathered.  The arrival and departure of the train was an event.  Many depot museums, such as Hamlet, are still functioning Amtrak stations.
Today's depot museums reflect this attention.  Many enthusiasts enjoy visiting.  These depots stand as a safe place for railfans to watch passing trains.  Museums such as Hamlet often have historic railroad equipment on display, as well.  This helps visually link us to our railroading heritage.
The depot's helpful staff often know the best places to eat and stay in the community.  Depot museums such as Hamlet Depot and Museums in Hamlet, NC are truly a treasure for us all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Passenger Train-Best Seat In The Land

Rolling hills catch my eye, the train rolls by.
Towns become cities.  Stop in and say, "Hi"
I see America.  Buildings small and grand
Another town, on down the tracks. Best seat in the land

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Railroad Logo Sketches-Little Sketches, Big Message

I enjoy sketching railroad logos when I go to railroad events.  It is great to see the excitement on a fan's face as the pencil lines develop into the symbol of their favorite railroad.
Many of my fans draw trains, and I love to show them how simple my tools are.  It is very encouraging to explain that how I practice is by drawing everyday.
One of the most fun things I do is trim the last color, give them the logo and say, "Here you go."
As they say, "Wow," I can only hope that railroading is held even more dear.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chicago South Shore and South Bend-The Little Train That Could

Today's Chicago, South Shore and South Bend carries the nickname "Connecting Industry-Delivering Value"  The South Shore Line connects South Bend, Indiana and the steel mills at Gary with Chicago.
Chicago South Shore and South Bend is firmly rooted in Chicagoland history.  The railroad carried the nickname "The Little Train That Could."  Its strength stood in its commuter business, its online coal customers and steel traffic, and its key connections with America's railroads into Chicago.
Today, the South Shore Line commuter trains are operated by Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and freight operations are maintained by South Shore Freight, an affiliate of Chicago based Anacostia and Pacific. In 1925, the railroad came under the control of storied Chicago based railroad and utility magnate Samuel Insull, who invested in electrified railroads and helped contribute to America's electrical infrastructure.
Electric locomotives were purchased early on by the South Shore.  The railroad's interurban lines carried the infrastructure.  The railroad's 800 series locomotives manufactured by General Electric were the last electric locomotives to operate in mainline freight service in the United States.

The Flanged Wheel-A Marvel of Engineering

A double-stack intermodal train makes its way through Davis on the Capitol Corridor.  I wave to the engineer as the priority freight continues on its way across America.
Railroads are a key link in the supply chain of the goods we need every day.  Today's train's cargo consists of containers, loaded at the Port of Oakland, bound for Union Pacific's Global 3 Intermodal Facility just outside of Chicago.
Railroading is truly a marvel of engineering that is a product of foresight.  Today's modern train retraces much of the same route built by the original Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860's.  
The flanged wheel carries a train the same way it did nearly 200 years ago.  That is truly an invention that has stood the test of time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Railfanning Is Educational and Fun

Southern Pacific Heritage Locomotive at Dunsmuir, CA Railroad Days in 2010

Railfanning has emerged as a popular hobby around the world.  It is great to see fans young and old   sharing experiences as trains go by.  Many railfans attend railfests and join historical societies and model railroad clubs, as well.
Railroads often bring special equipment to their rail facilities to celebrate their communities and achievements.  At these events, we are all safely able to enjoy the essence of the railroad and the role it plays in the communities it helped build.  Many of these events give young and old the change to safely get up close to the rail equipment they love and even get behind the controls of a locomotive simulator.  Locomotive simulators teach hands on knowledge, teach rail safety, and spark the imagination of many future engineers.
Many railfans share the Operation Lifesaver and Play It Safe safety awareness programs with their friends.  These programs remind us not to trespass while watching trains and taking photographs.  Operation Lifesaver and Play It Safe maintain highly visible campaigns at the many events we all attend.
Many railroaders of today love to take their time off to enjoy railroading.  This sends a positive message for the industry.
Many railroaders of yesterday love to share their experiences of railroads past and present.  Their words and stories engage us all.
In the enthusiasm of our youth about trains, I see future engineers, IT developers, transit architects and CEOs to name a few.
Railfanning is educational and fun.  I am grateful that railroads bring so many of us together.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bicycles and Amtrak California-Sustainable Transportation That Works

Bicycles and Amtrak California are sustainable transportation that works.  My hometown of Davis, California is a bicycle friendly community, and Amtrak California caters to commuting bicyclists.
Students, super-commuters and tourists find the Davis train station to be an easy bicycle ride from all points across Davis.  Many Amtrak California riders even take their bicycle with them aboard the train.
The Davis train station provides ample space for parking your bicycle, as well.  It's always great to ride your bicycle when you take the train.