September 2016

Trains magazine covers the broad spectrum of railroading with authoritative content, dazzling photography, and a mix of content designed to appeal to everyone from the casual enthusiast to the seasoned professional railroader.

offers something for everyone who has a spark for railroading: Railroad news, insight, and commentary on today's freight railroads, passenger service, transit, locomotives, technology, preservation, fan opportunities, and more. You'll also see images and read stories from railroading's glorious past, and explore the bright future of railroading. It's all in the pages of Trains magazine.


  • BNSF’s Transcon tragedy
    • Investigators, railroad officials sifting for facts about head-on collision between two trains in Texas
  • Yes, Virginia Avenue, there is a new tunnel
    • CSX expects to open new bore by the end of 2016 as work reaches one-year milestone
  • Crew size debate heats up once more
    • Railroads are fighting a proposed rule to keep two-person crews in locomotive cabs on most trains
The fine art of omission
An industry or union seldom lies, but they do know how to mislead you
Bring back Alfred Perlman
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leaders. Where are they today?
  • Where are the SD70Ms now?
    • Union Pacific’s famous 1,000-unit largest locomotive order ever — 16 years later
  • EMD sends SD70ACe-T4 units on tour
    • Looks like UP, runs on CSX, labeled for Electro-Motive
  • When the railroad speaks
    • Squeaks, squeals, and sound-wave patterns help engineers find problems and measure performance
  • Can’t believe it’s not coal
    • Specially charred wood pellets may be future fuel for steam engines
  • ‘Comets’ lead to more ‘San Joaquins’
    • Investment in commuter coaches pays dividends for Central California corridor service
  • Four heritage diners sidelined
    • Fleet has little margin for error until Viewliners arrive


From the Editor

A new American Freedom Train? | The American Freedom Train of 1975-1976 (pages 46-53) was an amazing celebration of the nation’s 200th birthday. America’s 250th anniversary is coming up in 10 years. Now is the time to begin planning a new Freedom Train, a rolling showcase of the country and its railroads.


Stormy visit to the Windy City | Cass fires up its Pacific Coast Shay

Hot Spots

Fun in Fullerton | Southern California’s urban railfan oasis

Ask Trains

‘American Orient Express’ | Distributed power braking | Low-level platforms
Big Boy

Big Boy

All about the world's biggest locomotive


Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

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