Category: Information

Big Boy #4014 Cab View

Ed Dickens and UP #4014 descend the Cajon Pass.

While moving along side of the I-15 freeway, UP #4014 carefully starts her descent on the 2.2-3% grade in the Cajon Pass in Southern California.

Cameraman filming the cab action has to consider himself the luckiest man in the world!

The magnificent scenery in the Cajon Pass is the result of the San Andreas Earthquake fault where the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains meet. Thousand of years of geologic movement has uplifted and moved the land to create the rock formations.

Union Pacific Big Boys stats:

  • Operated from 1941-59
  • Bearing full load weighed a total of 1.2 million pounds
  • Only 25 ever made
  • 4-8-8-4 configuration
  • Top speed of 80 Mph

Let us know if you have had the opportunity to view Big Boy up close. We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 28, 2020 — 4:29 pm

Lincoln’s Funeral Train Memorial Day Run

Abraham Lincoln’s passing was one that sent a shockwave through our post civil-war nation. Arguably one of our most prolific and important presidents, Lincoln nonetheless had one of the most extravagant funerals our nation has ever seen.

President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865

Known by historians as “The Greatest Funeral in the History of the United States” the services took place in Washington D.C. beginning with an honor guard transporting his body to The White House on April 15th 1865, and ending with a prayer service for the Lincoln cabinet on April 24th.

But that was not where his body was to be laid to rest. Lincoln was bound for his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, and a one of a kind funeral train was put together to be pulled by the now historic steam locomotive ‘The Leviathan’. The train was to take the same route Lincoln took to Washington for his first inauguration!

At least 10,000 people witnessed the departure of Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington D.C.!

The Leviathan is no longer with us unfortunately, but a gentleman by the name of Dave Kloke, both a railfan as well as a Lincoln admirer set out to change that. In 2009 he finished a 10 year hobby project to recreate the funeral train in its full glory!

The Leviathan was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive also known as the American type!

In celebration of memorial day in 2015 Lincoln’s replica funeral train took another turn on the rails, showcasing not just an important piece of American history in its own right, but also displaying a piece from a golden era of American locomotive ingenuity!

Did you get a chance to see The Leviathan in all her glory this memorial day? We’d love to hear your experience if you did!

Note: Towards the end of the video you get a tour of the inside of the funeral car!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 24, 2020 — 5:40 pm

Bucket List – White Pass & Yukon Railway

Hard to believe this breathtaking railway was built in just two years!

If you’ve ever been to Skagway, Alaska, you no doubt have ridden this iconic railway out of the port of Skagway up the mountain to White Pass Summit, passing Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch.

Built in 1898, the White Pass & Yukon Railway offers 49 mile round trip excursions with some of the most breathtaking views of the the Alaskan territory ever seen. The line starts at tidewater in Skagway and works its way up the mountain crossing wooden trestles, shear rock faces, and culminating at the 2865 foot White Pass Summit and eventually connecting Whitehorse, Canada.

From the vintage railcars, you can view the original Klondike Trail worn into the rocks,” a permanent tribute to the thousands of prospectors who journeyed this way in search of fortune during the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.”

Let us know if you have ever had the chance to ride the classic White Pass & Yukon Railway. We love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 24, 2020 — 2:38 pm

Union Pacific #844 Sunset Run To Cheyenne

 UP #844 is seen making a mad sunset dash for home!

After touring Arizona and New Mexico for her Centennial Tour, UP #844 to seen here heading back to the Union Pacific Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Check out the furious running gear action as UP 844 High Balls at speeds of up to 75 -80 miles per hour!

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Union Pacific
  • Power type: 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive FEF-3 class Northern
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Locomotive and tender weight: 907,890 lbs
  • Tractive effort: 63,750 lbf

Let us know you have ever seen UP 844 barreling down the tracks! We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 19, 2020 — 8:34 pm

Durango & Silverton RR K-37 #493

The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum covers approximately 45 miles of track between Durango and Silverton, Colorado and operates year round.

Built between 1881 and 1882, The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is the oldest continuously operating steam engine line in the United States!

Located in the San Juan Mountains, it became quickly apparent the true value of the line became its scenic beauty. She is a true narrow gauge railroad with her track gauge at 3 feet.

Notice the front of #493 has a snow wedge where the cow catcher would normally be!

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Durango and Silverton Railroad
  • Locomotive: #493 Rio Grande Class K-37
  • Power type: 2-8-2 locomotive
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Train type: Excursion
  • Engine Weight : 223,550 Lbs
  • Year Built: 1924

If you’ve ever taken a ride on the Durango & Silverton or a train like this let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear your experience on this classic piece of history!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 19, 2020 — 2:58 pm

The Scenic Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon provides a magnificent destination for this classic short line.

Built back in 1901, the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad built a short line to the rim of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for tourists.

In addition, in order to house the tourists, they built the famous El Tovar Hotel in 1905 just 20 feet from the rim of the canyon. The views are spectacular.

Quick Facts about ALCO #29

  • Train Name:Grand Canyon Railway
  • Power type: 2-8-2 locomotive consolidation
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Locomotive type: Freight/Passenger
  • Year Built: 1901

ALCO locomotive #29 has a history dating back to 1906 when it was built for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad to haul iron ore.

As of the end of the 2019 season, Locomotive #29 is now inactive and undergoing its federally mandated 15 year repairs.

Let us know if you have ever had the chance to take this excursion. We would love to hear about your experience!

The post The Scenic Grand Canyon Railway appeared first on Train Fanatics.

Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 18, 2020 — 4:55 pm

Military Train – Repositioning Tanks

Ventura County Railroad delivers M1Abrams Tanks and M109 Palidins

The VCRR is seen here headed to Oxnard, California to deliver a mixed cargo of 46 M1Abrams tanks along with a assorted number of M109 Palidin self propelled 155mm howitzer guns.

The M1 Abrams tank weighs 60 tons and cost an average of $6.21 million dollars each to produce. Known as the “Cadillac” of tanks, the M1 Abrams travel distances of up to 265 miles!

At a maximum speed of 42 MPH with a 120mm cannon and other heavy machine guns, the M1 Abrams tank is a beast!

The M1 Abrams tank has served all over the world including the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. There were roughly 8,800 produced.
Seeing tanks and weapons being transported by train is not all that uncommon. Military hardware is constantly being repositioned between rebuilding facilities as well as bases for training purposes. One of the most popular training facilities is located in the Southern California desert at Fort Irwin.

Let us know if you have ever witnessed a military train. We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 16, 2020 — 7:43 pm

Durango & Silverton In The San Juan Mountains

The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum covers approximately 45 miles of track between Durango and Silverton, Colorado and operates year round.

Built between 1881 and 1882, The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is the oldest continuously operating steam engine line in the United States!

Located in the San Juan Mountains, it became quickly apparent the true value of the line became its scenic beauty. She is a true narrow gauge railroad with her track gauge at 3 feet.

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Durango and Silverton Railroad
  • Train Name: Rio Grande Class K-28
  • Power type: 2-8-2 locomotive
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Train type: Excursion
  • Engine Weight : 223,550 Lbs
  • Year Built: 1924

If you’ve ever taken a ride on the Durango & Silverton or a train like this let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear your experience on this classic piece of history!

The post Durango & Silverton In The San Juan Mountains appeared first on Train Fanatics.

Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 14, 2020 — 5:27 pm

Military Move – Humvee’s

Rare combination of regular freight and military equipment.

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad military move shows Humvee’s being transported after being manufactured in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The HUMVEE is considered a lightly armored vehicle which largely replaced the iconic military Jeep.

Humvee is the colloquial term for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).

The vehicle was first manufactured in 1983 with over 281,000 being produced at a cost of $220,000 (2011 dollars) each with maximum armor.

Each Humvee comes in at approximately 5,200 lbs and measures 15 feet in length by 7 feet wide.

Thousands have been deployed across the Middle East including Afghanistan and Iraq. They were originally designed for personnel and light cargo transport behind the front line, not as a frontline attack vehicle. Troops liked the all terrain capabilities and off road performance.

The WSOR is a 802 mile Class II railroad that traverses areas between Wisconsin and Illinois. It hauls mostly commodities including wood, grain, consumer goods and chemicals.

Let us know if you have ever seen a military transport train. We would love to know what they were hauling!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 11, 2020 — 3:37 pm

Nickel Plate Road #765 Excursion In Ohio

The NickelPlate #765 excursion in Ohio.

NKP #765 is capable of speeds up to 80 miles per hour!

The NKP765 was one of 80 Berkshire Class locomotives built that rode the Nickle Plate Road. All of them were considered high speed freight and passenger locomotives.

The Nickel Plate Railroad was built in 1880 as the Valley Railway transporting coal to Cleveland, Akron, And Canton, Ohio, from the Tuscarawas River Valley.

“Nickel Plate Road” was the name given to this project by the local newspapers and surveyors because it was the first railroad built for cash without issuing stock ahead of time! Thus it was referred to as the “Nickel Plated” road because of its substantial financial backing. The name stuck!

Quick Facts

  • Power type: 2-8-4 Steam Locomotive Berkshire Class
  • Builder: Lima Locomotive Works
  • Build Date: 1944
  • Drivers: 69 inch
  • Locomotive and tender weight: 802,500 lbs

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 9, 2020 — 6:51 pm

Durango & Silverton #493

The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum covers approximately 45 miles of track between Durango and Silverton, Colorado and operates year round.

Built between 1881 and 1882, The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is the oldest continuously operating steam engine line in the United States!

Located in the San Juan Mountains, it became quickly apparent the true value of the line became its scenic beauty. She is a true narrow gauge railroad with her track gauge at 3 feet.

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Durango and Silverton Railroad
  • Train Name: Rio Grande Class K-28
  • Power type: 2-8-2 locomotive
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Train type: Excursion
  • Engine Weight : 223,550 Lbs
  • Year Built: 1924

If you’ve ever taken a ride on the Durango & Silverton or a train like this let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear your experience on this classic piece of history!

The post Durango & Silverton #493 appeared first on Train Fanatics.

Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 7, 2020 — 2:40 pm

Strasburg Railroad From Above

The Strasburg Rail Road dates back to 1837, when it was completed, and was a horse drawn railroad until they purchased their first Norris-built 4-2-0 steam locomotive in 1851.

The Strasburg Railroad is a classic short line railroad in the Strasburg and Paradise townships of Pennsylvania.

Locomotive #475 regularly serves the surrounding farming communities with affordable rail transport as well. This includes rail to car transport of feeds, grains, and other bulk transfer items.

The Western & Norfolk #475 locomotive is:

  • built by Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • Build date 1906
  • Now owned by Strasburg Railroad
  • Has driver diameters of 56 inches

Additionally, the Strasburg Railroad celebrated its 175th year of existence in 2007!

Let us know if you have ever taken an excursion ride on the Strasburg Rail Road! We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 7, 2020 — 1:39 pm

NKP #765 In The Cuyahoga Valley

Set in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Nickel Plate Road provides fantastic scenery!

Nickel Plate Road’s S-2 Berkshire type 2-8-4 steam locomotive #765 gives us a great display of the golden age of steam! Now serving as an excursion train, she is part of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad which is one of the top 10 excursion railways in the United States.

The Nickel Plate Railroad was built in 1880 as the Valley Railway transporting coal to Cleveland, Akron, And Canton, Ohio, from the Tuscarawas River Valley.

“Nickel Plate Road” was the name given to this project by the local newspapers and surveyors because it was the first railroad built for cash without issuing stock ahead of time! Thus it was referred to as the “Nickel Plated” road because of its substantial financial backing. The name stuck!

Nickel Plate #765 was one of 55 Berkshire class locomotives that the Nickel Plate Road acquired during World War II in addition to the first 15 Berkshire (2-8-4) locomotives that were purchased in 1934.

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Ohio
  • Train Name: Nickel Plate Road #765
  • Power type: 2-8-4 Steam Locomotive Berkshire Class
  • Builder: Lima Locomotive Works
  • Build Date: 1944
  • Drivers: 69 inch
  • Locomotive and tender weight: 440,800 lbs

If you’ve ever taken a ride on the Nickel Plate Road #765 or a train like this let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear your experience on this classic piece of history!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 5, 2020 — 3:04 pm

Norfolk & Western’s Queen Of Steam J611

Rotating camera angles give you a since of being there!

The folks all turned out to see N&W J#611 known as the Queen of Steam in Asheville, North Carolina.

After building up enough steam, the wheels finally take hold and J 611 is off and running. A little wheel slip occurs as she crosses a bridge along her journey.

Polished and shaped like a black bullet with maroon stripes, she is clearly one of the best surviving passenger “streamliners”.

A powerful machine, the J 611 boiler is rated at 300 psi. and could pull 15 cars at 110 miles per hour!

Some quick facts about Norfolk and Western’s J-Class #611

  • Manufacturer: Norfolk and Western Roanoake Shops
  • build date: 1950
  • Wheel alignment: 4-8-4
  • Drivers: 70 inches
  • Locomotive and tender weight combined: 872,600 lbs
  • Maximum speed: 110 MPH

Let us know if you have ever seen this magnificent machine rolling down the tracks. We would love to hear your comments!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 2, 2020 — 5:01 pm

Santa Fe Super Chief Visits Neighbor

G – scale train set up to run between two houses!

Locomotive Santa Fe #202 Super Chief is all dressed up in her War Bonnet colors to pay a visit to the next door neighbors!

This G-scale layout is part of an
extensive collection which starts in a bedroom and makes its way around the house, into the yard, neighbors garage and back again. At $25 dollars per four foot track section, it makes for quite an investment of money just for the track itself, not to mention the LGB brand locomotive and cars. The layout is powered by a DCC power supply and can be controlled from a tablet.

The G scale (gauge) of these model railroad tracks:

  1. Gauge One scaled at 1:32 to model standard gauge trains in real life at 4 ft 8 1/2 inches
  2. G Scale / G Gauge 45mm (1.772 inches)
  3. H Scale at 1:24 used to model narrow gauge railroads at 3 ft 6 inches.
  4. If you have or are a G-scale rail enthusiast, please let us know your comments!

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    Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 1, 2020 — 8:03 pm

The Historic Grand Canyon RR

The Grand Canyon provides a magnificent destination for this classic short line.

Built back in 1901, the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad built a short line to the rim of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for tourists.

In addition, in order to house the tourists, they built the famous El Tovar Hotel in 1905 just 20 feet from the rim of the canyon. The views are spectacular.

ALCO locomotive #29 has a history dating back to 1906 when it was built for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad to haul iron ore.

Locomotive #29 is considered a “consolidation” wheel arrangement of 2-8-0 whereby they added 2 extra driving wheels instead of having a read truck under the cab. This provided extra heavy pulling power needed for ore loads.

The Grand Canyon Railroad acquired Locomotive #29 in 1989 and began running excursions on the 64 mile journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon from Williams, Arizona. As of the end of the 2019 season, Locomotive #29 is now inactive and undergoing its federally mandated 15 year repairs.

Let us know if you have ever had the chance to take this excursion. We would love to hear about your experience!

The post The Historic Grand Canyon RR appeared first on Train Fanatics.

Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: May 1, 2020 — 7:37 pm

Revenue Run For Big Boy #4014

Caught on a hot July day, Big Boy 4014 was seen rolling with a manifest of covered hopper cars towards Egbert, Wyoming.

During World War II, since metal and fuel was in short supply, the Big Boy class locomotive was conceived to eliminate the need to double head up the Wasatch Mountains. UP originally ordered 20 class 4000 engines in 1941 and then 5 more in 1944 at $265,174 per engine. Adjusted for inflation, it is estimated that this would have totaled a whopping $107,620,056 or more in today’s dollars, each engine individually running $4,304,802!

Union Pacific Big Boys stats:

  • Operated from 1941-59
  • Bearing full load weighed a total of 1.2 million pounds
  • Only 25 ever made
  • 4-8-8-4 configuration
  • Top speed of 80 Mph

Let us know if you have had the opportunity to view Big Boy up close. We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: April 23, 2020 — 5:25 pm

Big Boy #4014 Makes Slow U-Turn

Big Boy #4014 makes use of its articulated design across the diamond!

Big Boy #4014 was designed as an articulated locomotive for tight curves. The U-turn shown here pushes the limits on how tight the curve can be without slipping off of the rails.

Big Boy has a compounding of the steam meaning the steam is used once on both sets of driving wheels front and back. The articulated locomotive has the front boiler sitting on a front pilot wheeled truck that allows the otherwise ridged boiler to pivot around curves that would normally be too tight.

Since the Big Boys were built 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds each, the hinged design allowed them the flexibility to negotiate the curves.

Some Union Pacific Big Boy stats:

  1. Operated from 1941-59
  2. Bearing full load weighed a total of 1.2 million pounds
  3. Only 25 ever made
  4. 4-8-8-4 configuration
  5. Top speed of 80 Mph

Let us know if you have had the opportunity to view Big Boy up close. We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: April 17, 2020 — 2:56 pm

Rotary OY On The Cumbres & Toltec RR

Clearing the line with the OY rotary!

The Cumbres Pass in Colorado rises to an elevation of more than 10,000 feet. Supplying the power to get the job done are the Denver & Rio Grand Western K-28 locomotives #487 & #484.

Some quick facts about #487 & 484

  • Builder – ALCO American Locomotive Company – 1923
  • configuration – 2-8-2
  • Drive diameter – 44 inches
  • locomotive weight – 140,000 lbs
  • Past operators: Denver & Rio Grande Western, White Pass & Yukon, and Durango & Silverton

The “O” was the designation given to all non revenue producing equipment when the line was part of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. At one time, the D&RGW railroad had 26 pieces of 3 foot narrow gauge equipment including wedges, flangers, and rotary plows.

The states of New Mexico and Colorado purchased the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1970 and renamed it the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railraod.

Let us know if you have ever had a chance to take an excursion on the historic railroad. We would love to hear about your experience!

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: April 14, 2020 — 3:49 pm

BNSF On The Southern Transcon

BNSF criss crosses the wide open spaces of New Mexico and Arizona

When you think of a model train layout, you may think of beautiful scenery that some of the BNSF subdivisions inspire.

Set against the hills in New Mexico, the crew of the these two BNSF consists get to see some of that beautiful landscape as they navigate the bridge.

Both consists are made up of what are commonly referred to as “intermodal” cars. The average intermodal train lengths average 8,200 feet long.

The first consist crossing the bridge has 2 designated power units weighing in at approximately 400,000 pounds with 4,400 horse power each.

The second consist waits for the first to mostly clear the bridge before adding the weight of its 4 locomotives (1,600,000lbs) to the structure.

As of November, 2019, the railroads in general employed around 198,500 people.

Let us know if you have like to the scenery shown here. We would love to know your thoughts.

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Source: Train Fanatics

Updated: April 14, 2020 — 10:34 am