January 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.


  • Are driverless cars a threat to passenger trains?
    • Transportation advocates disagree with a recent report, seeing more harmony than heartbreak
  • Uncertainty to reign supreme in 2017
    • From possible re-regulation to seesawing traffic and PTC, the next 12 months look to be one interesting year for the railroad industry
  • Federal infighting delays electronic air-brake mandate
    • Government report on science behind ECP brakes stalls 2021 deadline for installing the systems on certain tank cars
  • Florida East Coast steam locomotive to come to life
    • One-time owner buys steam engine for restoration
  • A reason to be blue
    • Remembering Jim McClellan, a ‘railroader’s railroader’ who helped create, and later carve up, Conrail
  • Jack Evans’ truths about WMATA
    • Chairman of the Washington, DC, transit agency rails on problems at America’s Subway
  • No intermodal yard on Superfund site, yet
    • Massachusetts town, company disagree over safety; EPA remains neutral
Remembering Jim McClellan
Saying goodbye to a man who permanently changed railroading
Shrink or grow? That’s the big question
As volumes contract, railroads raise rates on what’s left. Long term, that’s no answer
  • Amtrak ekes out a record
    • Strong finish helps fiscal 2016 ridership and revenue
  • Improved service for ‘Downeaster’
    • New layover facility creates scheduling and operating efficiencies
  • New life for an old engine
    • EMD’s 12-710 ECO begins to take off hauling freight in North America


From the Editor

Here’s to a better 2017 | About the time you read this, 2016 will be winding down. The prospect of a new year will be welcomed to railroaders, both in the field and in the offices, as well as those trackside. The closing year was tough, as every freight traffic source, save for automotive and grain, was down.

Hot Spots

Music City’s melodious spot | Trains’ roving camera looks to 2017


Southern Pacific slim returns | For UP steam, it’s sweeter in Tennessee

Ask Trains

Signal system shunts | Disney steam locomotives
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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