Amtrak will acquire new mainline passenger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace its aging National Network locomotive fleet. Seventy-five Charger locomotives are being built for Amtrak’s Long Distance train service as part of an $850 million order that includes options to purchase more to accommodate use on some state-supported routes and future growth. “These new locomotives will offer increased reliability, more hauling power, improved safety features and lower emissions,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson in December. The locomotives will offer the latest safety systems including Crash Energy Management and Positive Train Control. Capable of speeds up to 125 mph, the locomotives will be powered by a 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 diesel engine capable of 4,000 horse power with modern control systems and Alternating Current (AC) propulsion. The diesel engine will come equipped with the latest Tier 4 emissions technology, reducing nitrogen oxide by over 89 percent and particulate…
Despite a delayed launch, the first Trinity Metro TEXRail commuter train arrived on time at D/FW International Airport in the wee hours this morning with a handful of riders. The train’s arrival at Terminal B well before dawn marked the end of an 11-year journey to link downtown Fort Worth to the airport. The first train to run fully across the 27-mile line departed Fort Worth T&P Station at 3:25 a.m. and arrived at the airport at 4:17. The train originated at Fort Worth North Side Station and reached the former Texas & Pacific Station, the western terminus, at 3:14 a.m. “I think it’s going to be great for the community, great for the airport, great for Fort Worth,” Steve Crum, the train’s first rider, told CBS 11 News. “It’s a long time coming, well deserved.” The $1 billion commuter line, which runs on the former Cotton Belt railroad through…
Installing Positive Train Control (PTC) on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was among 11 projects in 10 states that received grants from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) this week to assist with deploying the safety systems. The FRA awarded $46.3 million for the projects, marking the second time funding was provided in Fiscal Year 2018 for PTC systems deployment projects under the Consolidated Appropriations Act and via the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program. Overall, FRA has awarded $250 million in funding. All funding will benefit passenger rail, with about 31 percent – or $14 million – benefiting rural projects. Up to $9,157,600 is earmarked for PTC installation for the Southwest Chief on BNSF Railway through Colorado and Kansas. The Colorado Department of Transportation project, in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Transportation and BNSF, includes the design, installation and testing of I-ETMS PTC wayside technology on approximately 179 miles of…
George H.W. Bush, the nation’s 41st president, will be transported to his final resting place in a funeral train headed by the very locomotive he drove 13 years ago. Union Pacific No. 4141, an SD70ACe known as the “George Bush 41” locomotive, heads a 13-car funeral train that will transport Bush’s body from Spring, TX, to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station for burial Thursday. Bush will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol through Wednesday, then be flown to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before burial at his family plot at the museum. A 13-car funeral train headed by No. 4141 leaves UP’s Westfield Auto Facility on Thursday at 1 p.m. and is expected to arrive College Station across from Texas A&M’s Kyle Field at 3:25 p.m. The Westfield Auto Facility is not open to the public. No. 4141 rolled…
A pair of top Texas museums that recognize railroading’s past for much of the year will offer a glimpse into present day model railroading at train shows over the Oct. 27 weekend. For much of nearly two decades, shows at the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and Texas City Museum have been a rite of passage each fall in the Lone Star State. The timing couldn’t be better. After weeks of rain – including record rainfall in some parts of the state – the weather is supposed to be warm and sunny. The New Braunfels Railroad Museum’s 10th Annual Fall Train Show Oct. 27-28 at the New Braunfels Civic Center will feature more than 60 vendors from Texas and beyond, displaying over 300 tables filled with new and vintage model railroad equipment. The show will feature hourly drawings for prizes donated by vendors and local sponsors, as well as a silent…
Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express will stop in 22 communities and eight states on 27 dates, starting with its departure from Shreveport Yard in Shreveport, LA, after an employee function on Nov. 21. Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) recently announced the schedule for the 18th annual Holiday Express, a charitable fund-raiser for the railroad. At each stop, visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. Each event is free and open to the public. Over the past 17 years, the project has raised well over $2 million to purchase gift cards, which are donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop. The gift cards are used to purchase warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community. “KCS is proud to continue this long-standing tradition of bringing joy to communities throughout our network…
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The fourth generation of leadership took charge at Wm. K. Walthers Inc., in September when Phil Walthers handed off to daughter Stacey Walthers Naffah. Managing the company into model railroading’s future prompted Naffah to take the helm. Like her grandfather, Naffah is operating a hobby business at a time when technology competes for the world’s leisure time. She believes the answer may be to get the next generation of model railroaders involved by meeting them on their own turf.
One Final Ride
Thousands waving American flags and snapping photos on their cellphones lined rights-of-way from Spring to College Station, TX, on a cold gray day to bid farewell to the nation’s 41st president as he took one last ride on the rails. A 13-car Union Pacific train that had been 10 years in planning and headed by his namesake locomotive carried the body of George H.W. Bush to his final resting place, next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara, on Dec. 6 at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
State of the Hobby: Readers rate the state of model railroading good based on value, selection and quality…
Steam returns to the Alamo City with the restoration of the Texas Transportation Museum’s 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0…
Project layout: Scenery and technology bring to life the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific HO-scale shelf layout.
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Learn more behind the making of Main Street in Downtown Norwood on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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Locomotives and rolling stock once again dominated new offerings announced by manufacturers at the NMRA National Train Show. Among them were ScaleTrains.com’s new SD40-T2 Tunnel Motor locomotives that feature see-through radiator grilles.
Walthers Layout Control System Switch Machine
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