Entries from April 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007 at 10:02 am

Subway Map Controversies

On my map blog, The Map Room, a couple of recent posts about subway maps: Madrid’s new metro map is encountering some resistance; a designer is trying to get his new map of the New York subway into circulation. In both cases, the new maps are so different from their predecessors that, even if they’re […]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Disneyland Steam Engines, Now on Biodiesel

Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have a railroad: each has a small fleet of refurbished narrow-gauge steam locomotives running on a couple of miles of track around the park. Even though they’re steam engines, they’re also kind of diesels: the fireboxes are heated by diesel fuel rather than coal or Bunker C. Starting this […]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 8:32 am

CN Strike and Accident Update

With workers in some areas on strike or locked out and others reporting for work, the union side of the CN strike seems to be in chaos, and now the Canadian labour minister announced plans to legislate an end to the strike yesterday. The previous round of strikes had a major impact on Canada’s trade […]

Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Passenger Rail as Economic Stimulus

Speaking of Dan Zukowski, he’s impressed with new Amtrak chief Alexander Kummant, particularly for his argument (briefly made here) that public investment in passenger rail promotes economic development. Mr. Kummant’s comment signals a shift in the conversation. It’s no longer about “subsidies” for passenger trains; it’s about spurring economic development by answering demands for better […]

Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm

A Ride on the California Zephyr

Dan Zukowski rode Amtrak’s California Zephyr in August 2005, during a time when Amtrak’s future was in some doubt. That three-day trip has now been distilled into a ten-minute video: Via Dan Zukowski.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 8:30 pm

On Board the Record-Setting TGV

Philippe Hérissé was on board the special TGV trainset that broke the rail speed record last week, and begins a detailed account of his experience. In French. Via TrainBlog. Previously: TGV Speed Record Video; 574.8 Kilometres Per Hour; SNCF Hypes Imminent TGV Record Attempt; Another TGV Speed Record.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 8:26 am

Rail Runner Races Fire

A controlled burn near Albuquerque got out of control; during live TV coverage of the fire (in fact, just as they were cutting away), a New Mexico Rail Runner commuter train appeared to go right past the flames. And there was much consternation, though apparently no real risk. Via Techyum.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 8:18 am

CN Workers Reject Deal, Begin Rotating Strikes

Oops. Despite their union reaching a tentative deal with CN six weeks ago, CN’s conductors and yard workers overwhelmingly rejected the deal in a ratification vote yesterday. The vote was nearly 80 per cent against. Rotating strikes are now under way, beginning in British Columbia.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 2:53 pm

MPR on Passenger Rail

Minnesota Public Radio on Amtrak, passenger rail in the Midwest, and the possibility of high-speed rail between Minneapolis and Chicago. Rail service between major centres — especially when they’re at a great distance from one another — compares poorly to air travel in terms of both cost and speed, but along the Empire Builder’s line […]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 9:31 am

News Roundup

Rail stocks soared yesterday when it was revealed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is now the largest single shareholder in BNSF. Apparently, people think he knows something. But rail stocks have been hot for a while. Former VIA Rail chairman Jean Pelletier won another court case last month, this one a wrongful-dismissal case against the […]