Friday, September 16, 2011
Double-stacked containers make their way through the Allegheny mountains at Altoona, PA. These tracks were once part of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Keystone of America. This vital rail-line connects the Midwestern gateways such as Chicago and Kansas City with the Eastern Seaboard at Newark and Philadelphia.
The Containers, stacked two-high, are not only an innovation, but a promise for a cleaner tomorrow and a highways that we all can share. America's railroads keep that promise as they continue to innovate and move the goods we all need.
This Bessemer & Lake Erie SD9 moves coal toward North Bessemer, Pennsylvania. The steel industry and steel making process go hand in hand with the Bessemer & Lake Erie railroad. As coal comes in and steel goes out, so it rides on the proud orange engines of the B&LE.
This Seaboard Air Line GP40 leads a hot shot intermodal train out of Miami. The train will eventually make its way to Washington, DC on this crisp winter day. Carloads will be added and taken set out at Hamlet, NC as this train makes its way north.
Seaboard Air Line magnets and prints available at http://www.customtrains.org/
This Central of Georgia E8 gets underway with the eastbound Nancy Hanks II out of Atlanta. The units head towards Savannah with summer vacationers headed towards a relaxing vacation on the coast. The sun shines on the coast as the train arrives, and summer vacation begins.
Central of Georgia magnets and prints available at http://www.customtrains.org/
We can hope for the containerization and piggyback loading of more and more freight. Through projects such as Norfolk Southern's Heartland and Crescent Corridors, more and more truckload capacity can be handled by train. This creates jobs for America.
This, however, does not take jobs away from the trucking community. It is merely preparing for a future that would not be able to handle the amount of traffic and goods what would need to be shipped on our already congested highways. This type of forward thinking and preparation today leads to a better tomorrow. There will always be a need for trucks, and there will always be a need for trains. In symphony they work together, moving our goods. From loading dock to rail hub, across the rail network to your door. This is railroading and trucking in concert, and, hopefully, a better commute both today and tomorrow.
Norfolk Southern and NYK magnets available at http://www.customtrains.org
This Delaware & Hudson GP39-2 races toward Binghamton. In tow is a hotshot piggyback train. The Delaware & Hudson of late has fallen on hard times, and these GP39-2's are, perhaps, some of the most reliable engines in the fleet. A meet upcoming pairs a set of southbound Alco's in the new D&H blue, relegated to a drag freight, as there performance, although beloved to the fans, was not quite what D&H had hoped for. As this piggyback train rolls north, we can hope for Delaware & Hudson's immediate future, a railroad about to change hands several times.
Delaware & Hudson magnets and prints available at http://www.customtrains.org/
This Illinois Terminal GP7 leads a local at Springfield, IL. The Illinois Terminal was once an electrified traction company and later became a part of Norfolk & Western. Today this route is part of Norfolk Southern.
On this cloudless day, this GP7 moves a cut of box cars out of Springfield to online customers that have arrived from Granite City, St. Louis and beyond.
Illinois Terminal magnets and prints available at http://www.customtrains.org/
Thursday, September 15, 2011
A Southern Pacific E9 prepares to Depart Dunsmuir, California with the Shasta Daylight. It is a sunny day in the Cascades as the train prepares to head along the shores of Lake Shasta and southward towards the Sacramento Valley. This is the heyday of the passenger train.
Southern Pacific magnets and prints available at http://customtrains.org/
Today I drew a Gulf Mobile & Ohio coach. It is ready to roll on the Ann Rutledge out of St. Louis Union Station.
Gulf Mobile & Ohio magnets and prints available at http://customtrains.org/
An Iowa Interstate GP8 hauls a string of grain hoppers at Council Bluffs, IA. The train traces the footsteps of the old Rock Island railroad on today's regional. This route, once contemplated for purchase by the Union Pacific as a gateway to Chicago from Omaha, is today a thriving regional railroad.
Iowa Interstate magnets and prints available at http://customtrains.org/
An Illinois Central Gulf SD40-2 leads a northbound freight at Kankakee, Illinois. In an impending thunderstorm, the train prepares to set out some cars and then make the rest of its trek northward to Chicago. Carloads from Memphis will be set out before the train continues, hopefully before the impending rain starts to fall.
Lehigh Valley magnets and prints available at http://customtrains.org/
When I see a train, I think of where it is going and where it has been. I think of the crews that have moved it across America. I see all of the different cars and the different cargoes that roll across the land, each headed to a different destination. I think of a train as an eclectic mixture of America, of manufacturing and commerce.
I think of a train as a masterful invention that stands as strong today as when it was introduced. I think of it as the most efficient and cost effective way to move goods. Railroads are key to America and the world. Trains are truly a part of our transportation solution as we roll into the future.
Norfolk Southern magnets and prints available at http://customtrains.org/index.html
Alaska Railroad's beautiful lines graced their FP7's, among its many locomotives. These dual-duty locomotives pulled the trains on the Denali-trek towards the Northern lights and Mount McKinley from Anchorage to Fairbanks and bank. These trains, later pulled by GP49's, are now pulled by SD70MAC locomotives, testifying to an increase in horsepower resultant in the popularity of these trains.
Custom Trains FP7 magnets and prints available at http://www.customtrains.org/
Monday, September 12, 2011
The double-stack container car is a marvel of the modern railroad. Entering the railroading scene in the 1980's, these cars made it possible to stack truck-trailers two high, effectively doubling the capacity of piggyback truck trains.
As we enter the modern era of railroading, more and more focus is placed on the flexibility of shipping goods directly in truck trailers and/or trucking containers versus trans-loading freight into box cars at warehouses.
The double-stack car, which enables trucking containers to be stacked two-high, allows up to two-hundred truckloads to be shipped on a train that would, in the past, only be able to haul one hundred standard trucks. This is but one of many innovations of the modern railroad.
New York Central was known as the Water Level Route. From New York City to Buffalo and beyond, the New York Central followed the Hudson River and the shores of the Great Lakes. This route, slightly longer than rival Pennsylvania Railroad's from New York to Chicago, did not provide the punishing grades over the Alleghenies.
Today's train, however, is bound for the Adirondacks of Northern New York. The grind of these Alco's will be echoing over the mountain grades, proof that whenever there are railroads, mountains eventually need to be crossed. Railroading and mountains, it seems, go hand in hand.
New York Central magnets and prints available at:
Conrail was a cornerstone of freight traffic in the Northeast. Locomotives such as this SD40 hauled merchandise such as manufactured goods from the mills of Pennsylvania to the markets of the Northeast, Midwest and to the gateways of the Southeast and South Central United States.
Conrail hauled agriculture products from across America to from hubs such as Chicago and Decatur to necessary markets in the Northeast.
Coal from the mines of Pennsylvania traveled across the Conrail system to the mills of America and to the ports of the Eastern Seaboard for export. Much of Conrail is now part of today's Norfolk Southern, with a smaller portion being a part of CSX Transportation.
Conrail magnets and prints available at:
The Reading Railroad had a rich history of hauling anthracite coal. From the mines to the mills and growing city centers of a growing Pennsylvania, so grew the Reading Railroad. Coal from the ground helped to build America in the steel industry and helped fire the factories and houses that so many workers called home.
The Reading also provided the passenger service to the growing getaway of Atlantic City, where families took there weekend vacations not so far from home. These moments in the summer sun and the familiarity of this railroad earned it a household name as one of the four railroads on the Monopoly board and in the hearts of Americans.
The Reading, truly a railroad that built America, and a railroad that earned a spot in the hearts of us all.