GRAPEVINE, TX – The Grapevine Vintage Railroad announced today that “Puffy” will ride again. The tourist railroad’s 117-year-old steam engine No. 2248, affectionately known as “Puffy,” will return for a series of short excursions beginning Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. The locomotive, a former Southern Pacific 4-6-0, has undergone extensive repairs since being sidelined in December 2010. Puffy will head short excursion trains each Friday evening until Thanksgiving, when the North Pole Express begins holiday runs. GVR’s GP7 diesel locomotive will assist. GVR crews have been working in earnest for several months to return Puffy to the road. A piston, rings and cylinder cap were machined to fix damage during a run to Hodge Yard in Fort Worth almost three years ago. At the time, the failure was the second in two years that forced the locomotive out of service. In September, Puffy could be seen making short test runs from the shop in Grapevine. Puffy, built…
Category: Top News
InterMountain Railway Co., a top producer in model railroad cars and locomotives, sustained only “minimal” damage to its corporate facility from floods that have ravaged Colorado in recent days, the company announced Tuesday. Executive Vice President and CFO Frank Angstead said floods damaged only the first floor of InterMountain’s three-story Longmont, CO, facility. Several homes and businesses in the city were damaged or destroyed by flooding that has affected 17 counties in Northern Colorado. On Wednesday, the foothills of central Colorado’s front range received 6-10 inches of rain in 12 hours. Water flowed eastward toward Longmont and other communities on the east side of the mountains. By midday Thursday the rivers and streams in the area had breached their banks and created a Federal disaster area. Waters crested in Longmont on Thursday night but additional rain continued to flood the area through Saturday. After waters had receded on Monday, InterMountain…
The demand for public transportation rose last year as Americans took 10.5 billion trips, the second highest ridership since 1957, and 154 million more trips than the previous year, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail ridership each increased as U.S. public transportation recorded more than 10 billion trips for the seventh straight year. Ridership in 2012 was the second highest since 1957. “Every mode of public transportation showed an increase in ridership,” APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said. “Public transit ridership grew in all areas of the country – north, south, east, and west – in small, medium and large communities, with at least 16 public transit systems reporting record ridership.” “Considering the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on some of the nation’s largest systems, this record level of ridership is truly significant,” said Melaniphy….
By Tim Blackwell/Cowcatcher Magazine Freight trains will soon run on the Texas State Railroad. Iowa Pacific Holdings, operator of several freight and tourist railroads, inked a deal in early August with American Heritage Railways to assume ownership of the Texas State Railroad. Terms were not disclosed. According to Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis, the Chicago-based short line will supplement tourist runs with freight service between Palestine and Rusk, TX. “We are very excited about this opportunity to build on the substantial achievements that American Heritage has made, in cooperation with the Texas State Railroad Authority, in improving the Texas State Railroad’s infrastructure and in developing the tourist ridership,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are already taking steps to continue this progress by further developing passenger services, reconnecting the railroad with the national rail network at Palestine, and implementing freight service.” TSRA President Steve Presley said Iowa Pacific’s freight ability…
Ownership and operations of the Texas State Railroad could change hands within 90 days if a deal is reached between American Heritage Railways and Iowa Pacific Holdings. Texas State Railroad Authority agreed Thursday to pursue the proposed acquisition of the railroad from current operator AHR to IPH. TSRA President Steve Presley said that the companies have discussed terms for the Chicago-based short line freight and tourist railroad group to take over the cash-strapped TSR. “I would say we’re within 60-90 days of having a closing,” Presley said. IPH, according to published reports, wants to bring commercial freight operations to the line while maintaining tourist operations. The company is talking to Union Pacific about accessing a 3-mile stretch of line from the Palestine Depot to an interchange point. President Ed Ellis told a local radio station that IPH is interested in creating a transload facility for rail/truck transfer to move oil and timber industry products….
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Just about every weekend, Ron Natinsky mans the Model Train Garden, unofficially the OBGT (Our Big Garden Train), on a small plot a stone’s throw behind the Butterfly House at the Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas. It has been his labor of love for four years, since agreeing to donate his time and what was left of his G-scale collection to create a public garden railroad experience. Each year, about 25,000 people visit the railroad at Fair Park.
Expanding a small oil company
On the N-scale Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad, the Ozark Oil Co. has provided small-batch petroleum products for Whitehurst, Pine Ridge and Van Buren since 1961. Until recently, two small tanks were enough for Ozark to manage its customer base. But the arrival of Walthers’ Cornerstone Oil Storage Tank Kit signaled additional capacity to meet growing demand.
‘Loose car’ deliveries
Incorporating “loose car” deliveries is applicable for railroads large and small in modeling railroads in any era. An example is a small family-owned lumber company in Houston. The lumber transfer and storage facility near downtown is on the former Southern Pacific Sunset Route mainline and receives regular deliveries of centerbeam cars. It is a perfect fit for anyone looking to model a modern small industry served by a big railroad, either on a permanent layout or a module.
The Rocky Mountain Train Show returned with gusto in early April after being sidelined in 2021 because of the pandemic. …
Canadian railroads make the grade on Amtrak’s annual host railroad report card, but some U.S. freight railroads fell short. …
The Monon’s Thoroughbred was the Hoosier Line’s racehorse and the “lifeline of Indiana” on the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railway. …
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS AND THE BUSINESS PULSE OF THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY!
Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad
Product News & Review
Athearn EMD SD70ACu Locomotive
The Cowcatcher reviews Athearn Trains’ newly released HO-scale SD70ACu diesel locomotive in the March/April 2022 issue. The Canadian Pacific model sent for review is highly detailed and rugged, with plenty of gusto to pull a lot of cars.
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