Monday, September 24, 2012

Canadian Pacific GP38-2 Moves Grain at Calgary, AB

This Canadian Pacific GP38-2 moves a local out of Calgary, Alberta.  On a cloudless day, it teams with another geep to pick up a long string of loaded grain hoppers.  The harvest in, grain moves by the precious artery of Canadian Pacific to Vancouver for export worldwide.

A Conrail Steel Train at Cresson, PA Behind C40-8W's

A Conrail steel train makes its way through Cresson.  The C40-8W's grind their way up the grade, as the rumbling gondolas thunder on their way.  A light rain falls from the early October sky.  The finished steel makes its way out of the mills of Pittsburgh onto Eastern Pennsylvania.  Indeed a heavy train as the helpers shove up the grade in the distance.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Great Northern SW1500 Moves Apples at Pasco, WA

At Pasco, Washington, this SW1500 moves carloads of Western Fruit Express Perishable Cars.  Carloads of apples from Eastern Washington prepare to make their trek to markets across America.  The apple harvest always leads to a spike in perishables in Washington State, and this switcher is busy keeping Red Delicious and Granny Smith on their way.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Soo Line Grain Train Behind SD40-2 at Minneapolis, MN

This Soo Line SD40-2 leads a grain train at Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Grain is a staple for the Soo Line.  The four locomotives groan under the heavy tonnage on the cloudless summer day given the task at hand.  Heavy tonnage is good for the farmers of the Upper-Midwest and good for the railroad.  As the train approaches, I give a brisk wave to the engineer.  All is good with the train as it rolls onward to market.

Bessemer & Lake Erie SD9 Hauls Steel at North Bessemer, PA

This Bessemer & Lake Erie SD9 moves steel at North Bessemer, Pennsylvania.  A fresh coat of snow covers the ground as this lead locomotive grinds along with its heavy tonnage.  Bessemer & Lake Erie, one of the US Steel Railroads, serves the purpose of bringing coal into the steel mills of Pittsburgh, to the Great Lake ports and hauling the rolled, finished steel on the first step of its journey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chessie System SD40 Hauls Coal at Cattletsburg, KY

A Chessie System SD40 moves a coal train over the Big Sandy River at Cattletsburg, Kentucky.  This train has just passed through Huntington and is headed towards Cincinnati.  Just upstream, the Big Sandy flows into the Ohio, forming the tri-state boundary of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.  Another train continues on its way from the mines of West Virginia.

Rio Grande GP40 Moves Fast Freight at Salt Lake City

This Rio Grande GP40 moves a fast freight at Salt Lake City, Utah.  The GP40's helped modernize Rio Grande's fleet and showed the Grande's commitment to fast freight.  As this locomotive gets underway with a piggyback train from Western Pacific, it illustrates how railroads work together to keep freight moving on time.

Rio Grande SD50 moves Coal at Dotsero, CO

A fresh blanket of snow covers the ground at Dotsero, Colorado.  A trio of Rio Grande's new SD50's moves a coal train out of the Rockies.  There is a chill in the air, as the new locomotives work their way with the tonnage.
Rio Grande earned a reputation as "The Action Road."  It moved fast freight between Denver and Salt Lake City, connecting railroads Western railroads such as Western Pacific with Midwestern Railroads such as Rock Island.  Online coal, however, provided a good source of traffic for the railroad, as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

America is Connected by Railroads

America is connected by railroads.  Railroads past and present have helped to build our nation.  Many have railroads they grew up around.  Famous road names that they knew.  A passenger train they remember taking to the city for the first time.
Railroads are a big part of many people's memories, across America.  Railroads are a reminder of where we have been and where we are going to.  The goods we need and the merchandise we trade travels on America's rail network.  America Needs Trains.

Boston & Maine in the 1960's

It is a sunny December day in 1968 in Portland, Maine.  A train makes its way to Boston.  Forty-foot box cars glisten in the newly fallen snow.  Many are loaded with manufactured goods, headed for Western markets.
In the in 1960's, Boston & Maine is beginning to feel the pinch of trucking.  Once the premier railroad of New England, many of its routes are simply not long enough to compete with the flexibility of the eighteen-wheeler. 
The time-sensitivity of many shipments on these short routes make it hard for the railroad to compete.  A railroad such as Boston & Maine depends on serving customers by branchlines.  Many of these light-trafficked routes are more easily served by trucks.  The 1960's pose a challenge for the Boston & Maine.

Northern Pacific- "Mainstreet of the Northwest"

A Northern Pacific GP7 leads a lumber train at Missoula, Montana.  Northern Pacific, built to capitalize on the region's rich timber, mineral deposits and potential in agriculture, helped develop much of the Northwest.  Its direct route between the Twin Cities and Seattle earned the railroad the nickname "Mainstreet of the Northwest."

Indiana Harbor Belt SW1500 Makes Connection at Hammond, IN

This Indiana Harbor Belt SW1500 moves a cut of cars at Hammond, Indiana.  Belt lines, such as Indiana Harbor Belt, make an important connection between Class 1's.  Freight moving across America moves through the connection of IHB from coast to coast.

Monday, September 17, 2012

F7's on the Chicago Great Western in the 1960's

A pair of Chicago Great Western F7's head out of Chicago on the point of a long train.  Cars from eastern railroads make up the train headed to CGW's spokes of destinations across the Midwest.  Much of Chicago & Great Western duplicates lines of railroads with leaner, faster routes, finding the railroad in hard times in the 1960's.

Gulf Mobile & Ohio Abraham Lincoln Arrives at Chicago

It is Afternoon in Chicago, 1962.  In the distance, the Gulf Mobile & Ohio Abraham Lincoln arrives at Union Station.  A bit of a haze hangs over the train and the freight houses in the distance.  The train, on time from St. Louis, is decked out in bright maroon and red.  It runs a car short today, as the competing Interstate begins to clip passengers from the railroad.

New York Central E8's for The 20th Century Limited

A pair of New York Central E8's sit at Harmon, New York, idling.  The 20th Century Limited is about to arrive on this cool autumn day.  In the distance, a refrigerator train rolls east for New York City.  Under the clear sky, the audible sound of New York Central's finest train approaches.  The P motor prepares to be cut for the diesels to take the train onward to Chicago.

Louisville & Nashville U30CXR at Corbin, KY

A Louisville & Nashville coal train sits at Corbin, KY in 1972.  The crew prepares to move with their tonnage.  Today's lead locomotive is a new offering from General Electric, the predecessor to the Dash-7 series, an "Extra Reliable-XR Series" U30CXR locomotive. 
"Highball" sounds, and the locomotive rolls.  Another coal train makes its way toward the Ohio River. 

A Coal Train at Cumberland Behind a CSX C40-8W

On a warm afternoon in Cumberland, Maryland, a coal train rolls eastward.  The lead C40-8W passes the signal and I give a wave.  All is okay as the train passes the clear and continues on its way to Brunswick and the Chesapeake.  Each carload whines under the weight of its West Virginia coal.  The former Baltimore & Ohio mainline serving its purpose well for CSX.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Broadway Limited Heads to Harrisburg Behind a GG1

The Broadway Limited heads towards Harrisburg.  A crispness is in the air.  The lead GG1 hurries the train westward.  
The train carries strong head end traffic.  The leaves change.  Tones of red spell autumn.  Pumpkins sit on the doorsteps of the homes as the train glides along its way.  Shortly, the conductor will call, "Harrisburg!"
The Broadway will continue across the Rockville Bridge, across the Susquehanna, and over the Alleghenies on its trek towards Chicago.

The GG1, Truly a Classic

Truly a classic, the GG1.  Here we stand watching a Clocker between New York and Philadelphia.  Next, we witness the Broadway out of Penn Station.  A priority freight makes its way towards Harrisburg.  The GG1 was always up to the task.
Some say the most legendary electric locomotive of all time.  Some dare say the most legendary locomotive, period.  The debate is always open.  Brunswick, Tuscan or silver, the GG1 is truly a classic.

I Love Cabooses

Cabooses have done more than brought up the rear of the train.  They were the train's office.  A warm, welcome place to have a cup of coffee.  A bunk house to sleep on a long, winding out of the way line.  Cabooses punctuated the end of the train and hold their place in railroad history.  I love cabooses for sure.

A Conversation Aboard the Twentieth Century Limited

The Twentieth Century Limited makes its way towards Cleveland.  A discussion hangs in the diner heavy as the aroma of the fine cigars.  "What about the market?"
"Surely you can't be concerned with volume?  Take this cigar.  I simply enjoy it.  Must you be concerned with volume?
"You must be focused on the details, not on volume."  The lonely steam whistle blows out the window as the Dreyfus Hudson hurries the train on its way.
"I focus on quality, not on volume.  Take this steak.  Just the right amount of marbling.  The New York Central does a wonderful job.  Quality, my good man, quality."  The Twentieth Century Limited rolls onward to Cleveland and its destination of LaSalle Street Station, Chicago.

Headed to Memphis on the Illinois Central City of New Orleans

A businessman sits in the club car of the City of New Orleans.  He reads the morning paper and looks out at the Southern Illinois farmland, a distinct contrast from the caverns of Chicago.  Today's train takes him to Memphis.  Several contractors in Tennessee will be discussing a road project.
Bond prices are strong.  The business section now traded for the sports.  How are the Cubbies doing.  Certainly not going to make the World Series or even second place this year.  But you can't become a Cardinals man.
The whistle blows through another crossing.  Southward.  Clickity-Clack.  Maybe it is time to see about lunch.

Chicago & North Western and the Weekend Commute

A commuter stands with the Chicago Sun Times and looks up at his train.  Steam escapes on the cold evening.  The weekend is now here.  Today's Chicago & North Western train will take this commuter home to the suburbs for a relaxing weekend of a Saturday dinner party and a Sunday crossword to follow.  Little is thought about the train that takes him there, but the weekend warrior who takes the commuter home sits on the track, ready to go.

Railroads Working Together

America's railroads work together.  Often loads originate on one railroad and are delivered on another railroad.  Railroads are connected by belt-lines and shortlines.  FreightRail brings us the goods that we need in both a time efficient and fuel efficient manner.  Whether you are a customer or a shipper, America Needs Trains.

Seaboard Airline E3 Takes Orange Blossom Special

The sun shines bright. Travelers shed their winter coasts and make the trek to Florida aboard the Orange Blossom Special. It may be snowing in New York, but today, the train approaches Jacksonville, and vacation lies ahead. The glistening blue water and the carefree days of a wintertime filled with sun thanks to the Seaboard Air Line Railroad.