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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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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