The New METRO, in partnership with the City of Houston and Mayor Annise D. Parker, proclaimed May 22 as “Rally Around the Rails Day” at a press conference at the Northline Transit Center, located on the future North Light-Rail Line. With active construction under way on three new METRORail light-rail lines, “Rally Around the Rails Day” was a citywide grassroots initiative that encourages Houstonians to patronize mom-and-pop businesses located along the construction zones. “Development of additional METRORail lines in our city means more jobs for thousands of local contractors, construction workers and engineers, but we also need to ensure these corridors stay thriving by supporting the small businesses located along the lines,” said Mayor Parker. “We need Houstonians to rally around the rails so we can continue to build a successful transit system for Houston.”
Category: Light Rail / Commuter
KANSAS CITY, MO — Speaking at the Northern Flyer Alliance’s Passenger Rail Symposium in April, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo stressed the need for long-term planning to create market-driven passenger rail corridors. At the symposium, at Kansas City’s Union Station, was held to create a venue for public officials, business owners, community leaders and other stakeholders from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to discuss the expansion of passenger rail as a fiscally sound approach to the region’s transportation issues. With population expected to grow by 100 million in the next 40 years, America’s economic competiveness in the 21st century will require its highways, airports, railways and public transit systems to work together seamlessly in a way that moves people and goods faster and more efficiently, Szabo said. “Progress doesn’t happen overnight – it becomes a reality after each state lays a solid foundation through good planning and analysis,” he said….
Amtrak and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have agreed on the scope of a feasibility study for new Amtrak service between Bossier City-Shreveport in Northwest Louisiana and along the Interstate 20 corridor to Dallas and Fort Worth. TxDOT and Amtrak officials joined members of the East Texas Corridor Council in March to recognize the start of work to study new service by conventional trains with a maximum speed of 79 m.p.h.. Amtrak will estimate order-of-magnitude capital requirements and operating costs needed to provide state-sponsored passenger rail service, with trains making up to seven intermediate stops and operating up to two daily round-trips. The study will consider potential schedules, operating costs, revenue and ridership, railcar and locomotive requirements, and capital needs for infrastructure improvements. Union Pacific Railroad, which owns much of the route, will determine rail capacity. The rail segment between Marshall, TX, and Fort Worth is served now by…
Another commuter rail line appears headed for North Texas. The Federal Transit Administration gave the okay in March to start preliminary engineering and design for TEXRail, a proposed $758 million commuter line along 37 miles of the Cotton Belt corridor stretching from far Southwest Fort Worth to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. TEX Rail would join two other area commuter lines – Trinity Railway Express and Denton A-Train – in the Southwest’s fastest growing passenger rail market. The FTA notified the Fort Worth Transportation Authority by letter dated March 23 that it had given the go-ahead. The T, however, must secure a federal grant for about half the project’s cost before dirt can move. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is seeking additional public and private funds for the project. TEX Rail, if approved, could begin service by 2016.
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F is for Fantastic
Logging is king on the Chester & Beckett Railway in the 1930s and 1940s. The model railroad is a stunning fictitious depiction in F (1:20.3) and Fn30 narrow gauge of the former railroad operated by the Boston & Albany that ran west from Chester, MA, to Beckett. The layout measures 18’ x 21’ x 18’ and features a granite quarry, common in the Berkshires during the day. Structures, most of them scratch-built, represent the period modeled, and scenes are nestled in rugged wilderness. The 15-year-old layout, which won Best of Show at this year’s Amherst Railway Society Railroad and Hobby Show, is featured in a short photo essay.
On the Road
The hardest working couple in model railroading spend half of each month traveling to train shows where they set up shop on a dozen or more eight-foot tables. By the time they finish stocking cases, filling bins and plugging in the cash register, their plot of concrete in whatever convention center, community hall or fairgrounds they call home for the weekend looks like a brick and mortar store. Meet Deb and Dave Zucker of Deshler, NE.
NMRA region conventions this summer are trying new things and bringing in some of model railroading’s top talent to generate interest…
The Denver Zephyr that ran between Chicago and the Mile-High City was the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy’s top passenger train…
Texas and California are fighting for high-speed rail despite pressure from administrators and lawsuits. THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Adding a little clutter to right of ways adds realism without overdoing it on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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The 51st Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in January packed more than 18,000 in the “Big E” in Springfield, MA, and new HO- and N-scale locomotives grabbed plenty of attention.
PIKO SmartControl light DCC System
Model railroaders seeking an affordable, easy-to-use DCC system for smaller layouts should consider the PIKO SmartControl light Basic Set. The set is designed for use with HO, N and TT layouts and has advanced features not seen in other entry-level DCC systems.
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Railroad in Focus