Thursday, September 1, 2016
I myself like to draw trains when I ride Amtrak. I like to watch the cities, towns and beautiful scenery go by. I like to stop for caramel corn at Union Station.
I like to visit with those who have ridden the trains all of their life. Every town has a story of its own. People disembark. To visit family and friends. To head home.
All the same, people board the train. Their journey just beginning. It is time to see America. The conductor asks where they are heading. He places their ticket marked Denver or Chicago above their seat. They are now a fellow passenger on this journey.
We are now exploring America together on Amtrak. We are fellow travelers on this journey. A journey aboard a train. It is the train that unites us. America truly has a deep love for the train. Amtrak truly is in all of our hearts.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
To baseball games, to see people it knows
Carolina says all aboard, on trips near and far
And it takes the train, instead of the car
Carolina takes the train, from here to there
And travels in more comfort, than if it went by air
Carolina takes the train, and says choo choo
Carolina takes the train, and you should too
Wherever it goes
To baseball games
To see people it knows
America says all aboard
On trips near and far
And it takes the train
Instead of the car
America takes the train
From here to there
And travels in more comfort
Than if it went by air
America takes the train
And says choo choo
America takes the train
And you should too
Friday, August 19, 2016
For the last eight years, I have been grateful to see Amtrak under the stewardship of Joseph Boardman.
Today, I am equally grateful to see that leadership pass into the hands of Wick Moorman. In both Joseph Boardman and Wick Moorman, I hold a trust in men who hold the passenger train sacred. They themselves understand the importance of connecting America’s communities by rail. That so many beautiful vistas can only be seen by train. As well, that rail is the most economical and efficient way for many of us to travel.
In seeing the guidance of Amtrak handed to Wick Moorman, I know that Amtrak’s service will continue to thrive. I have confidence that for years to come we will all be able to witness America’s sacred beauty by rail.
Wick Moorman truly brings the promise that future generations will enjoy the magic of the passenger train. In the handing of Amtrak from Joseph Boardman to Wick Moorman, I truly see Amtrak going from strength to strength.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Throughout America, carload after carload of freight is generated by our short line industry. It is critical that each and every one of these carloads enter into our rail network and arrive safely at its destination in a timely manner.
I would like to thank the men and women of our short line industry for seeing to it that our system of short lines is well maintained and efficiently run. I would also like to thank Linda Bauer Darr and the men and women of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association for providing the short line industry with the tools it needs.
Thank you, as well, to the men and women of Congress for working together to give the short line industry the much needed 45G tax credit.
The 45G tax credit is about getting the job done. As railroading has so much cost below the rail, this tax credit truly works. I am grateful so many have come together for so many years to keep the 45G tax credit in place to ensure carload after carload of freight enters our railroad system to keep it working.
Thank you so much to Senators Mike Crapo and Ron Wyden and Representatives Lynn Jenkins and Earl Blumenauer for working together to support the short line industry in creating the permanent Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act. The railroad industry is truly grateful for your work. Thank you.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
The early 1980's were a sea of Union Pacific SD40-2s with the occasional C30-7. SD60's and Dash-8's were just beginning to arrive.
One day, as a double-stack train raced through Del Paso Heights, to my excitement I saw a recently acquired Missouri Pacific SD40-2. I watched as the blue locomotive headed east under the I-80 overpass and out of sight. That was the first I saw of Missouri Pacific as a California railroad enthusiast.
Many of us, myself included, have boarded the Amtrak Southwest Chief and California Zephyr from Galesburg’s venerable depot. At that, I would like to take a moment to say, “Thank you,” to the City of Galesburg for making a much needed expansion to their town’s Amtrak station.
We all enjoy riding Amtrak, and with much needed improvements to stations, cities such as Galesburg ensure that our Amtrak experience is truly second to none. Thank you Galesburg.
Amtrak was designed to serve the communities of America. Each community working together with Amtrak makes a teamwork of service to Amtrak’s riders. With Galesburg’s improved station, that teamwork is truly winning.
Galesburg’s expanded station was financed in part by funds set aside for Amtrak in Illinois Jobs Now! and by funds for Rural Transportation Assistance in a Federal Transportation Administration 5311 Grant. With projects such as the Galesburg Depot expansion, we truly can look forward to a greater Amtrak of today and tomorrow.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Today I drew Arkansas and Missouri Railroad RS1 #20. This RS1 has pulled Arkansas and Missouri's excursion trains from Van Buren. Arkansas and Missouri is a member of American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
I just finished drawing #Amtrak B32-8WH #515. Locomotive #515 is a fan favorite as it is used in Auto Train Service between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Saturday, April 16, 2016
I just drew Amtrak AEM-7 #915. Amtrak AEM-7 #915 has been donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania by Amtrak.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
I saw America
From Amtrak today
Along the way
The morning glistening
To the Zephyr's song
Each moment listening
From my window's view
Mountains touched the sky
A welcoming wave
From the passerby
Across sparkling deserts
And rivers wide
At their side
With each salute
Across the land
Thank you Amtrak
I saw America so grand
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Today I drew Reading and Northern's Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway SD50 #426. Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway operates on the tracks of both the former Jersey Central and Lehigh Valley. Reading and Northern is a member of American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and is known as "The Carolina Route."
Saturday, March 19, 2016
I just drew Copper Basin Railway GP18 #202. The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Jake With Distinction Safety award is based on the Jake award started by and named for Copper Basin Railway President LS "Jake" Jacobson in 1994.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
American Short Line and Region Railroad Association.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
I just drew Coos Bay Rail Link SW1200 #1203. Coos Bay Rail Link connects the lumber mills of Western Oregon to a connection at Union Pacific at Eugene. Coos Bay Rail Link is a member of American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Monday, March 7, 2016
I just drew Chicago South Shore & South Bend GP38-2 #2001. Chicago South Shore & South Bend interchanges with the Class 1 Railroads throughout Chicago and Northern Indiana and provides transload services and industrial switching. Chicago South Shore & South Bend is a member of American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Monday, February 29, 2016
Palmetto Railways GP16 #2001. Palmetto Railways serves South Carolina Ports Authority and is a member of American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
I just drew Santa Fe FP45 #98 that is restored at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. Santa Fe FP45 #98 is part of the Orange Empire Museum's "Run One" Program where you can get the chance to become a train engineer.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
I just drew Maryland and Delaware Railroad RS3M #1202. Maryland & Delaware connects Townsend to Centreville, Seaford to Cambridge and Frankford to Snow Hill and is a member of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Friday, February 26, 2016
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Troops of Boy Scouts ride Amtrak from across America to Raton where they disembark to head to Philmont Scout Ranch. At Philmont Scout Ranch, Boy Scouts from across America are able to network, make new friends, and learn about our vast country as they are challenged by the camp's rugged terrain.
The journey to Philmont aboard Amtrak has become a tradition passed down by generations. Troop leaders, themselves once scouts, once again make this trek aboard the Southwest Chief. This journey aboard Amtrak affords those eager to learn a chance to see the vast landscapes America has to offer. Communities along the way show that America truly is a land where we are all neighbors to each other. This is why we need trains.
I often saw their Hydra-Cushion box cars parked in our wide spot along the tracks. Cars destined for the West Valley line that headed north at our venerable station would get picked up by the local.
As the trains passed by, I would wave to the engineers and conductors. As the trains rolled onward, towards the Sierra or Oakland, I began to realize that railroads truly connected America.
Monday, February 22, 2016
My Trains of Mississippi poster is now available on eBay http://stores.ebay.com/andyfletchercustomtrains
Sunday, February 21, 2016
The other day, I drew Ashley Drew & Northern GP28 Number 1812. This drawing is a gift for former American Short Line and Regional Railroad Chairman Russell Tedder.Russell Tedder was kind enough to share with me his life’s history with the Ashley Drew & Northern.
Here is Russell’s story with Ashley Drew & Northern as told to me by Mr. Tedder himself.
“I had my hand on the throttle ( figuratively) of the AD&N for 20 years. When I arrived in '76 we had one SW1500, three SWs of different models at 1200 HP and one SW900. The 1500 and one 1200 were the consist of the daily local from Crossett to Monticello and return, 41 miles. Soon GP announced expansion that doubled carloads of paper products. After toying with swapping two 1200s for two Alco C420s, better judgment prevailed in the form of two Paducah GP10s. By 1978 tonnage had increased and the two GP10s or one GP10 and SW1500 handled the local. Later I arranged for two GP28s, one for AD&N and one for Fordyce & Princeton, still later about 1986 two more GP28s replaced the 1200s, also two CF7s, It was a Noah's Ark roster, two of each kind.
After the Rock Island went down in 1980 nearly all traffic went to MP at Monticello with trains of 80 to 95 cars each way, on roller coaster grades, handled by a pair of GP28s. At this time the AD&N hauled 70 boxcar loads of paper, plywood and lumber per day, more cars than unloaded in the entire state of Arkansas. The GP28s and CF7s were all wonderful shortline engines. Like the proverbial bunny powered rabbit, they just keep "goin' and goin'." Sadly, by 1996 changing events made the AD&N obsolete in favor of the level Arkansas Louisiana & Mississippi between Crossett and Monroe, LA, which inherited the fleet.”Thank you, Russell Tedder, for sharing your story with the Ashley Drew & Northern.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
It was truly an honor to meet Conley back in 2009 when I had just begun drawing trains after almost 10 years of not being able to draw. Bill Crisp and Conley both believed in me and loved my drawings. It definitely gave me the desire to do the 1,000s of hours of practice to get back my skills. I am often asked by many art critics where my work hangs, and I am always honored to tell them that my drawings hang in the offices and homes of railroaders and on some of the engines that pull their trains. Thank you Conley, for being there for me!!! You were the push that made me start drawing Norfolk Southern locomotives again and some of the first were a part of a dream I had that there be NS heritage engines. THANK YOU!!!!
The first time I met Conley was at a train show in Decatur, Illinois. Conley mentioned to me that the railroaders of Norfolk Southern St. Louis Terminal were forming a Facebook page and that they all enjoyed my work. He asked if I would join their Facebook group. This gave me the confidence that there were fans who enjoyed my work.
The next thing I knew, I heard from people who had had my train magnets on their refrigerators for twenty years. People had learned to read with my ABC’s of America’s railroads were now grown up and worked for the railroad. It was truly exciting to become a railroad artist again. I don’t think I would have discovered this without Conley Wright reminding me that there truly were so many people out there who knew and remembered my work. Thank you so much, Conley.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
I had always been fascinated by Duluth Missabe and Iron Range's arrowhead logo and its Mineral Red and Yellow paint scheme. It was exciting to stand in Minnesota and finally see this great railroad.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Today I drew Indiana Rail Road SD40-2 #4004. Indiana Rail Road is an American Short Line and Regional Railroad member that connects with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. Indiana Rail Road operates all-rail intermodal service in conjunction with Canadian National between the West Coast Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert and Indianapolis. http://www.inrd.com/documents/news_releases/2013-01-16_INRD_Intermodal.pdf
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Seattle was a stopover on my trips to Essex, Montana. As I watched the Burlington Northern trains headed east, I thought of them about to make their conquest of the Cascades and then the Rockies. My visits to Seattle were filled with anticipation.
The Waterfront Trolley ran along the pier alongside Burlington Northern's trains. As the Empire Builder passed by, I thought of the passengers, about to make their cross-country trek. Perhaps some were headed to Essex or Whitefish or East Glacier.
Seattle became one of my favorite places to watch trains. It still is to this day.
Tacoma Rail. Tacoma Rail is an American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association member that is part of Tacoma Public Utilities & serves the Port of Tacoma.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
These inventions led to the industrial development of the world we lived in. They led to the development of our country. Communities grew and cities blossomed along the path of the railroad.
Railroading led to the development of time zones. Railroads spanned the continent. Localized time conflicted with transportation in a world that was on the move.
Today, we see railroads innovating software and data systems for its new locomotives. Improved signaling and control systems move our trains more safely in an era when it is necessary to move more and more freight more efficiently by rail for the sake of the environment we live in.
Yet we see in railroads the simplicity of its technology, the genius of its original invention, the flanged wheel and the locomotive, devices that allows thousands of tons of freight to negotiate our mountain passes safely and effectively. Genius is the railroad, an invention that stands so effectively and elegantly through time. This is why we need trains.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Folkston, Georgia has historically been one of America's busiest railroad intersections. Its celebrated crossroads is known by all as "The Folkston Funnel."
Monday, February 8, 2016
Grand Trunk Western maintained one of its principal yards at Durand. Grand Trunk Western is part of today's Canadian National.
For decades, Indiana Harbor Belt has connected the railroads serving Chicago. Headquartered at Hammond, Indiana, the trains of Indiana Harbor Belt maintain a flow of freight as it moves across America's rail network.
Throughout its history, the Indiana Harbor Belt has been jointly owned by railroads connecting throughout Chicago. This neutrality is important, as the Indiana Harbor Belt works as a bridge between all Chicago Railroads through America's busiest railroad hub.
In 1961, Indiana Harbor Belt was owned in part by Chicago and North Western, New York Central and Milwaukee Road. After decades of mergers, at present day, Indiana Harbor Belt is owned 25.5% by Norfolk Southern, 25.5% by CSX and 49% by Canadian Pacific. source http://www.dhke.com/ihbarchive/ihbhst.html
Indiana Harbor Belt also plays the important role delivering first and last mile traffic into our freight rail system. A principal customer for Indiana Harbor Belt is the US Steel plant at Gary, Indiana.
Indiana Harbor Belt truly "Connects With All Chicago Railroads." It is important that it maintains this role.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Many railroads in that day had expansive names of cities and regions of America that they never quite reached. Very successful railroads such as the St. Louis and San Francisco did not venture past the lower Midwest. Even the Missouri Pacific and the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific only made it as far as west as Denver.
Thus, I admire the Milwaukee Road for its extension to the Pacific. In the words of William Clark, "Ocean in view, O the Joy."
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Today, we can often forget that Amtrak was born from our railroad systems. Amtrak was created as a solution for America’s passenger rail service, and it is held in high esteem by its riders, its workers and America as a whole.
This locomotive is the last of a six locomotive poster celebrating the early E-units of Amtrak. I have been working on these locomotives for just over a week. Often, I draw engines in a series that can be compiled to make a themed poster.
Delaware and Hudson also participated with many of America's railroads in painting elegant Red, White and Blue locomotives for America's Bicentennial. Delaware and Hudson's "I Love New York" box car was painted as part of a greater campaign to promote tourism first to New York City and then to New York State as a whole.