Entries from January 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Daily Flickr Photo: Where’s My Jacket

A Cumbres & Toltec narrow-gauge Mikado, presumably awaiting a retrofit, in Chama, New Mexico, in September 2003. Photo by Bodie Bailey.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 8:57 pm

Steam as Trackside Weed Killer

Dave Polster has come up with a way to remove weeds from a railbed without using herbicides, the Esquimault News reports: steam! “Based on a UBC scientist’s study [that] determined that high-temperature steam was an effective method for killing weeds, Polster and others coddled together leftover items to create a prototype machine that put the […]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Are GO Transit’s Crew Cutbacks a Safety Risk?

A CN engineer who used to drive GO trains explains the problem behind GO Transit’s move to single-engineer operations (see previous entry). According to him and to a union representative, fatigue — and therefore safety — is the concern, with shifts as long as 12 hours and with no one in the cab to trade […]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 8:48 pm

CN Employees Give Union Strike Mandate

Reuters reports that CN’s Canadian shopworkers, clerical staff and truck drivers have voted overwhelmingly to give their union a strike mandate, but negotiations continue. The union would not be in a legal strike position until the 18th, and CN hopes to have an agreement in place prior to that date. CN’s U.S. employees are not […]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

BNSF Safety System Approved

This week, BNSF got the go-ahead from federal regulators to begin using a computerized warning system that automatically applies a train’s brakes if the GPS detects an imminent collision and the engineer fails to respond to the warning. The International Herald Tribune‘s Don Phillips has more. The system has been in testing since 2004.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Daily Flickr Photo: Rhodesian Railways Garratt

A 1964 photo of a Garratt engine pulling one leg of the train from Cape Town, South Africa to Bulawayo in what was then Rhodesia. Photo by mgjefferies.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Amtrak’s Disappearing Dining Service

Amtrak’s dining car service is the focus of this piece by ABC News’s Bill Redeker, who compares the streamlined dining service on the California Zephyr — basically, reheating prepared meals — to the “classic” dining service still in existence on everyone’s favourite long-distance train, the Empire Builder. Amtrak’s using the streamlined service to save money: […]

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 10:21 am

Lytton Accident: Photos and Video

By any reasonable account, CN’s accident last week on its mainline near Lytton, BC was minor: it was as a result of a rockslide (so not — this time! — CN’s fault); no one was killed or seriously hurt; only diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid were leaked. So, 0 for 3 on culpability, casualties and […]

Monday, January 8, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Daily Flickr Photo: Wrecked at Albia, Iowa

Two crushed engines on flat cars on a setout track — what happened? Photo by priebe86.

Monday, January 8, 2007 at 8:21 am

Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad is an oddity among American railroads: it’s not connected to any other railroad except by sea, and it still runs its own passenger service. It’s also the subject of John’s Alaska Railroad Page: John Combs has put together a serious fan site with something for everyone who wants to learn more about […]