About every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train, according to Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit organization that provides public education programs to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings. In 1972, there were approximately 12,000 collisions between trains and motor vehicles annually. By 2009, the number of train/motor vehicle collisions had been reduced by over 84% to approximately 1,900. Following are railroad safety tips and facts offered by Operation Lifesaver: Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection. All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespass and highly dangerous. By the time a locomotive engineer sees a trespasser or vehicle on the tracks it’s too late. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length…
Professional railroad photographer Ken Fitzgerald of Benbrook, TX, has been shooting trains since the 1970s, when the Santa Fe hired him to document incidents along the line. He currently contracts with BNSF Railway, Union Pacific and the Fort Worth & Western to take publicity shots, as well as document corporate initiatives. Most recently, he completed a four-year project to photograph BNSF’s trackage improvements in Abo Canyon, which also was featured in Trains Magazine. He also will be recording construction on the Tower 55 makeover in Fort Worth. A native of Long Island, NY, the 56-year-old Fitzgerald took his first railroad photo at age 11 of a New Haven FL9, which would become his favorite locomotive. He’s spent many hours on the Danbury Branch of the New Haven, where he got to know crews and would ride in cabs of FL9s and RDCs. Fitzgerald moved to Oklahoma in 1971. He’s been…
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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