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…
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Model Railroad Industry Division of the Hobby Manufacturers Association took time at the August NMRA convention to honor three who have made an impact on model railroading and recognize the retirement of an industry leader. Two HMA members were inducted into the Model Railroad Hall of Fame, another was bestowed the Bobbye Hall Distinguished Service award, and new officers were inducted into the MRID. And next week’s transfer of leadership at the most recognized family-run business in model railroading earned a fist bump. Phil Walthers and Stacey Walthers Naffah shared a few light moments leading up to next Tuesday’s transition at Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., which has served model railroaders since 1932. Walthers Naffah will succeed Walthers, who is retiring after 34 years as president of one of the industry’s largest distributors and direct sellers of model trains, accessories and related items. The father-daughter team…
This story has been updated since its original publication date A factory in China that manufactures model trains has closed, leaving some U.S. model railroad companies seeking a new supplier and facing delays. InterMountain Railway Co., Atlas Model Railroad Co., Bowser and Fox Valley Models announced this week that some new locomotives and rolling stock will be delayed or canceled because of the unexpected closing of one of the industry’s top manufacturers. None of the companies said what products will be delayed.
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Building for the Future
Most modern-day short lines were born on tracks that larger railroads operated as branch lines or divisions to reach their customer base. Some serve Class 1 railroads on the very tracks they once owned but were left behind after business dried up. The Northwest Tarrant & Pacific is no exception. The Cowcatcher’s freelanced shelf-style project railroad is a prime example of a small short line that connects with a larger carrier after acquiring track that was abandoned.
Timing key for TrainTopia
The story of the Bob Sanders G-scale layout that has drawn visitors to the Frisco Discovery Center since last summer takes more twists and turns than the high trestles crossing rocky canyons between Texas and Arizona.
The 2,500-square-foot layout, the property of the Museum of the American Railroad, is about two-thirds of a planned exhibit. Already it offers an expansive, multilevel experience in a theatre setting complete with sophisticated lighting and sound. But in the next few months, “TrainTopia – A Railroad Odyssey in Miniature” will begin construction on an equally impressive O-scale layout to occupy the front portion of the room. How all of this got to MAR is a good story President and CEO Bob LaPrelle likes to tell.
Going DCC simplifies model railroad operation and is easier than it looks. Just don’t sweat the jargon. If you can read you can do it…
Streetcar history unfolds at the Milwaukee Transit & Archives Museum in Cudahy, WI…
TEXRail is off to a running start and officials are already talking about expanding the line that got rolling shortly after the first of the year.
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: In CRU Call in the March/April 2019 issue, Publisher Tim Blackwell tells of how 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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