December 2017

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.


  • Coal bump in 2017 is not long slump’s end
    • Familiar foes of low-priced natural gas, poor demand, and big reserves have yet to go away
  • Porter 0-4-0T set for cosmetic restoration in Snoqualmie
    • Move from park is expected to give engine new life
  • Siemens and Alstom join forces
    • French, German companies to merge in $18-billion deal
  • ‘Heartland Flyer’ hang-ups
    • State leaders debate how to grow endangered Amtrak route
  • Trump’s policies aid freight railroads
    • Early trend sees coal as biggest beneficiary
  • The absurdity of a number
    • Obsession on operating ratios damages the credibility of railroads. Here’s a case study
  • Getting it right with railroad preservation
    • Attention to details and classy presentation make a difference
  • A bleak year ahead for builders
    • 2018 may be the lowest in years for production; rebuilding gathers charm
  • Metra turns back the clock
    • Agency’s first F40 wrapped in a 1977-like scheme
  • Innovation on display in Indy
    • Railway Interchange 2017 brings out the latest and greatest in the railroad field
  • Navigating Amtrak in winter
    • Slimmed consists and spectacular weather offer challenges
See a photo gallery of Bob Johnston's "grand circle" trip


From the Editor

It’s a small world after all | I have been a fan of John Helbok’s photography for more than 40 years. I met John and his son, Oren, when I was a teenager enjoying the steam-powered railroad in Virginia where they spent summers in the late 1970s. John is a good photographer, and his work deserves wide exposure.


Obituary: Jerry Joe Jacobson, Preservationist

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Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

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