Flanked by a few Amtrak locomotives, President Joe Biden and Amtrak executives paid homage to the past and shared Amtrak’s bold vision for the future on the 50th anniversary of the passenger railroad. Streamed live from Gray 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on April 30, the ceremony highlighted the remarkable contributions of Amtrak employees past and present as well as ambitious plans to expand and improve rail service for the future. “Today we have a once in a generation opportunity to position Amtrak, and rail, and intercity rail, as well in general to play a central role in our transformation of transportation and economic future,” President Biden said. CEO Bill Flynn, who has lobbied strongly for government funding since taking over leadership of the Amtrak in April 2020, said the railroad’s survival the next half-century depends on a long-term commitment. “America needs a rail network that offers frequent, reliable, sustainable…
Category: Light Rail / Commuter
Gary Thomas, president/executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, has been named Outstanding Public Transportation Manager of the Year by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). “I am honored to be recognized for doing what I love,” Thomas said. “DART is an integral part of the community, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to see how we are moving people connecting them with education, healthcare and career development.” Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson said Thomas’ “Contributions have helped North Texas become a national model for regional transportation collaboration.” Dallas Congressman Pete Sessions noted the “Federal Transit Administration regularly references DART’s projects for their innovation, service delivery, and project management.” Award recipients must have a proven track record for advancing the public transportation industry; demonstrate ability toward responsible, long-range planning; illustrate a disciplined-approach toward sustainable growth and expansion; and embrace innovative uses of technology, resources and collaboration to make public transit more accessible….
Denton Country Transportation Authority officials hope that increased ridership on the A-train that resulted in 3 percent growth for the agency October-December 2012 is a preview of what will come when construction starts later this year to widen I35 between Dallas and the Red River. According to a fiscal-year, first-quarter report released in February, ridership on the A-train improved 42 percent during the same period compared to the previous fiscal year. Also, ridership maintained its upward climb in January, with the A-train carrying 43 percent more than in January 2012. DCTA officials attribute the growth to recent service changes. In August, the agency added midday rail service closing the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. gap in the schedule, as well as expanding Friday night and Saturday service. In January, a weekday evening southbound departure was added to the schedule to better serve university evening classes and later work schedules. “Our…
AUSTIN, TX – With double the ridership on its light rail line, Austin’s Capital Metro closed out 2012 with a ridership increase that exceeds the nationwide pace of mass transportation growth. Capital Metro reported today that the agency posted ridership growth of 4.7 percent in 2012, almost double the increase for national public transportation. Capital Metro increased trips 1.5 million over 2011 to finish the year with more than 34 million boardings. Nationally, public transportation ridership increased by 2.6 percent during the first three quarters of 2012, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). MetroRail hit a milestone of its one millionth passenger trip, and ridership increased nearly 50 percent in 2012 over 2011. Ridership has increased in part due to extended evening service on Fridays and Saturdays, which is now averaging 2,200 trips per weekend. MetroRail ridership has tripled since service began in 2010. “We are attracting new…
From news releases and online reports Dallas Area Rapid Transit opened two more rail segments today, extending the Blue Line to Rowlett and the Orange Line farther into Irving and closer to DFW International Airport. DART has built more than 40 miles of track in the last three years to enhance transit accessibility throughout the Dallas area. The first Blue Line train arrived at the downtown Rowlett station at 4:20 a.m. At 85 miles, DART Rail is the largest electric light rail system in the nation. The Downtown Rowlett Station marks the first expansion of the Blue Line since it reached Garland in November 2002. The 4.5-mile, $360 million segment completes the build-out of the northeast corridor and increases access to and from the largely residential community. “Rowlett residents had the foresight and wisdom to invest in alternatives to driving around this sprawling region,” said John Carter Danish, chair of…
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Just about every weekend, Ron Natinsky mans the Model Train Garden, unofficially the OBGT (Our Big Garden Train), on a small plot a stone’s throw behind the Butterfly House at the Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas. It has been his labor of love for four years, since agreeing to donate his time and what was left of his G-scale collection to create a public garden railroad experience. Each year, about 25,000 people visit the railroad at Fair Park.
Expanding a small oil company
On the N-scale Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad, the Ozark Oil Co. has provided small-batch petroleum products for Whitehurst, Pine Ridge and Van Buren since 1961. Until recently, two small tanks were enough for Ozark to manage its customer base. But the arrival of Walthers’ Cornerstone Oil Storage Tank Kit signaled additional capacity to meet growing demand.
‘Loose car’ deliveries
Incorporating “loose car” deliveries is applicable for railroads large and small in modeling railroads in any era. An example is a small family-owned lumber company in Houston. The lumber transfer and storage facility near downtown is on the former Southern Pacific Sunset Route mainline and receives regular deliveries of centerbeam cars. It is a perfect fit for anyone looking to model a modern small industry served by a big railroad, either on a permanent layout or a module.
The Rocky Mountain Train Show returned with gusto in early April after being sidelined in 2021 because of the pandemic. …
Canadian railroads make the grade on Amtrak’s annual host railroad report card, but some U.S. freight railroads fell short. …
The Monon’s Thoroughbred was the Hoosier Line’s racehorse and the “lifeline of Indiana” on the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railway. …
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS AND THE BUSINESS PULSE OF THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY!
Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad
Product News & Review
Athearn EMD SD70ACu Locomotive
The Cowcatcher reviews Athearn Trains’ newly released HO-scale SD70ACu diesel locomotive in the March/April 2022 issue. The Canadian Pacific model sent for review is highly detailed and rugged, with plenty of gusto to pull a lot of cars.
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