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    Conductor's/Trainman's Hat--XL

    Bought this from Gifts for Railroads but it was too big. All black with black buttons and braid. Size XL 7-3/4 to 8. Price $50 OBO. Located in Seattle, WA. Local in-person pickup and cash payment only. No shipping, no PayPal, no personal checks, NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
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    Railroad Watch Question

    MODS: If this doesn't belong here, please feel free to move it. I am a new trainee at the Northwest Railway Museum for a train crew position. I was told I needed an accurate watch--as their rule book states, "with a sweep second hand and that is able to display the correct time with a...
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    Changing Class/Marker Light Colors?

    Hello. I am curious to see how train crews changed the colors of classification and marker lights in the steam and early diesel eras, but I am a bit puzzled. Photographs of steam locomotives suggest that the class/marker lights were removable, thus when it was necessary to change the color of...
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    Op/Ed: Another use for HEP Generator cars

    Which would you rather have? Either: A) Sacrifice passenger comfort just to get the train up a steep grade?, or B) Let the generator car supply an uninterrupted stream of HEP to the cars while the loco's focus solely on hauling the train up the grade? I'd prefer an uninterrupted supply of...
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    Op/Ed: Another use for HEP Generator cars

    Actually, you've got the math wrong: (Power needed to operate train up grade with HEP generators on locomotives - power needed to run HEP only = decreased demand on locomotives). My initial thought that was that eliminating the locomotives' responsibility to supply HEP would result in greater...
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    Op/Ed: Another use for HEP Generator cars

    Hello. In the world of modern North American passenger trains, Head-End Power is used to supply electricity for the cars' lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems. Introduced after the introduction of Amtrak, it supplanted the use of steam heat and electrical systems powered by...
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    The Northwest Railway Museum officially announces steam program.

    According to THIS ( the engines are coal burners (in fact almost all NP steamers were coal burners). How are they going to get locomotive-grade coal to Washington state?
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    Questions Re: Stock Cars in Winter

    Hello. Although the era of the railroad livestock car has been over for more than 40 years, they are still interesting cars. However, I have some questions regarding their operation, specifically in Winter. Stock cars are slatted to give the critters ventilation. However, what did railroads...
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    The Future of US Passenger Rail...?

    I recently found out that Amtrak is cutting onboard amenities to save money. Is this what the future of passenger rail is destined for? Will passenger rail "catch up" to freight (in terms of how much they've improved since the 1950's)? In my mind, in communities without interstate highways...
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    Should NS Restore a PRR Steamer?

    I like the news that NS is resuming steam excursion service (especially with talk of the N&W 611 returning to service), but I've always wondered--now that NS "owns" the Pennsylvania Railroad, should they restore a Pennsy steamer like a K4s or M1b? What do you guys think? Imagine--a K4s in...
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    The Future of US Passenger Rail...?

    The point is to make passenger rail accessible to everyone in the country. In other words, I want the network to be as complete as possible--in other words I want passenger trains to be more widespread and diverse as in pre-Amtrak times (when 95% of the population lived near a rail station).
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    The Future of US Passenger Rail...?

    In the March '14 issue of Trains, there is an editorial in which the author says that Amtrak is "a joke"--they have not expanded their network to any large extent since the 90's, there are still many states served by only one of their routes, they haven't invested in new equipment until their...
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    What Commodities Could Return To The Rails?

    In a recent issue of Trains magazine, there is an article reflecting how railroading has changed since the golden age. When the American public began to view railroads as a thing of the past, many commodities left the rails. Other than livestock and perishables, other commodities railroads...
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    The Future of US Passenger Rail...?

    It is a fact that America's auto obsession killed passenger train popularity. However, with the economics of car ownership becoming impractical in this day and age, fewer people are driving and America's obsession is beginning to wane. One source claims that America's love affair is shifting...
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    What Commodities Could Return To The Rails?

    Not exactly the responses I had in mind, but interesting. Although I do recognize an increase in TOFC/COFC traffic, I was thinking mainly about commodities that cannot be shipped in a corrugated metal box. Take livestock for example: Although the era of the railroad stock car has been over...
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    What Commodities Could Return To The Rails?

    Hello. It is a fact that with the coming of Interstate Highways in the 1950's, railroads began to lose many once-valuable commodities to trucking. However, in this day and age the combination of rubber tires and long distances are becoming uneconomical, and some commodities may return to the...
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    Passenger/Freight Trainline Pressures Question...

    It is a fact that passenger trains have higher brake pipe pressures than freight trains (for safety reasons nonetheless). However, I have a few questions: 1) Considering the pressure differential (which is 20 PSI) between freight and passenger trains, how are/were freight locomotives able to...
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    Average Locomotive Service Life...?

    That is true. However, back to the question on hand, I've always assumed the "average" to be 30, but then some classic 4-4-0, 2-6-0, 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 locomotives from the late 19th/early 20th century had lasted until the 1950's. I guess it all depends on the railroad company's system and...
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    Average Locomotive Service Life...?

    I still want to know one thing--how long is a typical service life for a locomotive (steam or diesel) before it is withdrawn or scrapped? 20 years? 30? Obviously service lives can get as high as 40 or 50, considering all the 40- and 50-year-old Geeps and SD's that are used in yard service...
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    Op/Ed: I Hate Misused Railroad Jargon!

    Hello. I bet I'm not the only railfan who is embarrased or offended when people with no knowledge of railroading whatsoever misuse railroad jargon. Here are some examples: The Term "Train" In its true definition, the term "railroad train" refers to a series of cars (note the plural!) pulled... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to