Browsing Tag: BNSF


    Freight Cars: Train Talk Ep. 13

    October 18, 2019

    Hello everyone and welcome to Train Talk! In the 6th episode of Train Talk, I discussed
    different types of freight trains. I did not, however, discuss all the different
    types of freight cars, and there are many. So today, I’m going to talk about all of
    the common freight cars you can see out on the mainline today and what purposes they
    serve. Let’s get started! Box cars are some of the most basic and versatile
    freight cars you will see on the main lines today. They are quite simply, a box on wheels with
    sliding doors on each side for loading and unloading. While they were in the past used for hauling
    finished products to market, they are now primarily used for hauling raw materials to
    factories. Everything from coffee beans to paper can
    be found inside of a box car. Some boxcars have also been modified with
    refrigeration units on one end. These are called refrigerator cars and are
    used for transporting fresh produce, all while staying nice and cool. Another very important type of freight car
    is a hopper car. Hopper cars exclusively carry uniformly shaped
    raw materials such as coal, grains, or even plastic pellets. These materials are loaded from the top of
    the car and discharged through hatches on the underside of the car. Hopper cars come in two types: covered and
    open top. The covered hoppers also have hatches in the
    roof of the car so they can be loaded. Materials that can be damaged in transit by
    being exposed to the open air, such as grains, are carried in covered hoppers while materials
    that do not need the extra protection, such as coal, are carried in open top hoppers. The next type of freight car is a gondola
    car. These cars are similar to an open top hopper
    car, except that they have a flat bottom with no hatches and the sides of a gondola are
    typically much shorter. However, you should note that the only real
    distinction between a gondola and a open top hopper car is that a gondola car has a flat
    bottom with no openings. For example, some gondola cars used to haul
    wood chips have sides that are actually taller than most open top hoppers. Gondola cars must be loaded and unloaded from
    the top. They almost exclusively carry raw materials
    such as rocks and scrap iron, but occasionally they carry larger finished products. Gondolas are often used for carrying large,
    heavy steel coils, usually with a rounded protective covering over the top. We’ve moved slowly from freight cars with
    sides and a roof to open top cars with shorter sides, so the next car we’re going to talk
    about has no sides at all. These cars are called flat cars. Flatcars are used for carrying larger items
    that need to be tied down. They can carry everything from construction
    equipment to tractors, and even airplanes in some cases. However, one of the most common types of flat
    car you will see is called a center beam. Center beam flatcars have a raised central
    beam running the length of the car. The beam is used for tying down materials. These cars are used pretty much exclusively
    for hauling wood products like boards of plywood. In addition to the basic types of flat cars,
    modified flat cars are also used for carrying truck trailers across the country as part
    of intermodal trains. Tank cars are used for transporting various
    liquids. They are loaded through a round opening located
    on top of the car and unloaded through piping located on the underside of the car. These cars transport a variety of different
    liquids including crude oil, refined petroleum, paints, and more. Now, we come to one of two types of cars that
    exclusively carry finished products. The first is a car known as an Auto Rack. These cars are used for carrying brand new
    automobiles. The cars are very tall and have either two
    or three levels for storing vehicles. Modern auto rack cars also have a roof and
    sides for protecting the vehicles as they are being moved. Some of these cars are also articulated. Finally, we come to the last car for this
    episode, the well car. Well cars are similar to flat cars, but they
    are used specifically for hauling shipping containers, and are modified just for this
    purpose. These cars, when loaded with shipping containers,
    are used for intermodal freight service, “inter” meaning between and “modal” as in the
    different modes of transportation. These are the most common freight cars you
    will see today because the shipping containers they haul are so versatile. They can easily be moved from one form of
    transport to another and they carry most of the finished good you buy in the store: furniture,
    televisions, games, home appliances, and more. While they are the most common type of freight
    car on the railroad today and their use is not likely to decline any time in the near
    future, they cannot completely replace more traditional types of freight cars, as these
    are all essential to the national freight rail network. Well, that does it for this episode of train
    talk. Thanks for joining me! There are some unusual types of freight cars
    as well, but these are often just modified versions of the basic freight car designs
    I mentioned in this episode. If you enjoyed the video, let me know by liking
    it and leaving a comment below. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure
    to check out the episode of train talk on different types of freight trains. For those of you who haven’t already, be
    sure to subscribe to the channel so you are notified every time I release a new video. That’s it for now. Until next time, I’m Mike Armstrong. I’ll see you down the line! Thanks for watching.


    The Fruit Train – Learning for Kids

    September 24, 2019

    (toot toot train sounds) (toot toot train sounds) (toot toot train sounds) Here comes the fruit train! (toot toot train sounds) (toot toot train sounds) Apple Orange Banana Strawberry Grapes Pear Pineapple Lemon Watermelon Raspberries Blueberries Bye yummy fruit train!

    Postcards: Railroad Legends
    Articles, Blog

    Postcards: Railroad Legends

    August 29, 2019

    (slow orchestral music) – [Voiceover] The following
    program is a production of Pioneer Public Television. (slow orchestral music) This program on Pioneer
    Public Television is funded by the Minnesota Arts and
    Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the
    vote of the people of Minnesota on
    November 4, 2008. Additional support provided by Mark and Margaret Yackel-Juleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural
    education retreat center in a beautiful prairie
    setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota, The Arrowwood Resort
    and Conference Center, your ideal choice for
    Minnesota resorts, offering luxury townhomes,
    18 holes of golf, Darling Reflections Spa, Big Splash Waterpark,
    and much more. Alexandria, Minnesota,
    a relaxing vacation or great location for an
    event, Easy to get to, hard to leave. (slow orchestral music) – Welcome to Postcards,
    our weekly look at the arts, history,
    and cultural heritage of western Minnesota and beyond. I’m your host, Dana Johnson. This week we’ll learn
    about steam engines with local engineers from
    Willmar and ride the rails with Twin Cities and
    Western Railroad. First, Tom Steinman,
    Elmond Ekblad, and Bob Feichtinger
    share with us their legendary
    tales from the track. (moderately slow guitar music) (steam train whistle blows) (diesel train horn blares) – The railroad had
    a certain romantic fascination, I think,
    with a lot of kids. – Well, it’s probably
    an odd term to use, but I think most
    railroad men would agree that there was a certain romance with the steam engine,
    you got to love ’em. – [Elmond] It was the idea
    that you were on the move, there was something
    about a steam engine that when you got it going,
    if you worked it right, it put out a sound
    like a sewing machine. (steam engine chugs) When you get in a diesel,
    it’s just like getting in a truck and
    going, there’s no, there’s no momentum there that there is when you
    have a steam engine. – Diesel is much more
    comfortable, of course, but there was something
    romantic about a steam engine. – Not only the thrill of
    that, either, but the thrill of the people off the track,
    children, they just love the steam engines, they’d
    come out along the track. A lot of places
    where we see new kids would be, we’d
    always have candy, there was always a
    lot of entertainment. My interest in working
    on the railroad, I guess I would have
    to say it was a moment in Fulda, Minnesota, when
    a locomotive engineer looked out of his cab down at
    me, as a little five-year-old, and tossed a pack of
    Black Jack gum down there. And when I saw
    that, I told myself, “I would really like to be an
    engineer driving locomotives.” And that stuck with
    me for my entire life. And so in a way I sort
    of was living a life of something that started
    when I was just a young boy. – [Bob] Well, I started,
    I started right after I got out of the
    military, up in St. Cloud. And then I came to visit
    a friend in Willmar, and he talked me
    into hiring out here on the engine train,
    engine service. – [Elmond] Then he
    asked me if I wanted to go railroading,
    and I said “Yeah.” Well, he says, he says,
    “How old are you?” I says, “I’m 16.” Oh, he says, “You gotta
    be 21.” (chuckles) Well, the next year, then
    he came, and the boss down at the roundhouse,
    they come back to me again and ask me if
    I want to go railroading. And I says, “Yeah, but age.” He says, “We’ve
    taken care of that.” I found out later
    that they’d filled out a birth certificate, in
    place of me being born in 1918, they showed
    1915. (laughs) So I went to work, I was only
    17 years old in place of 21. – [Tom] Actually, my first
    job on the train itself was a fireman, and
    the fireman was the assistant to the
    locomotive engineer. I guess you could call
    it an apprenticeship. And you had to get
    the steam engine out of the roundhouse
    in the morning, get it ready for the
    engineer and the conductor and the crew to get on, and then when the day’s work was
    done, it was your job to take the steam
    engine to the roundhouse and, as we would call it,
    put it to bed for the night. And after going out
    and about in the world, uh, 1977, I came
    back to the railroad, and I made a career
    of it, and I just recently retired after
    34 years on the railroad. – [Bob] There were many
    interesting things. Four, five o’clock in the
    morning, the sun come up, you’d be going across
    the countryside, you’d see animals,
    probably some farmer didn’t know he had a
    fox in his backyard. The sun coming up, and… The crops waving in the wind. It was very picturesque to see. Just every trip was different,
    every trip was different. Something unusual or
    different would happen. It was, you never
    knew what to expect. – [Elmond] Craziest
    thing I’ve ever seen is, we come into
    Charlesville, Minnesota, that’s between here
    and Breckenridge. And we seen some
    cattle on the track, and we figured, well, that’s
    kind of usual, you know. But we got a little
    closer, then I could see there was a red bull,
    and this red bull, he kinda stood and
    looked at us, and then when we got, I’d say,
    about a hundred yards from it, he started
    putting his head down, you know, and he
    got a little closer. He started using
    his hoof, and was, he was, he was gonna
    show us who was boss! Well, we hit him, and we
    just pulverized him. (laughs) And then, we had a new brakeman, and he had never, had never
    worked on a trip before, and the first thing he
    did, he put his head out the window, and wanted
    to see what happened. Well, good thing I grabbed him and pulled him back in,
    because one of the legs of the bull went right
    by and broke the window, and he maybe would have
    got killed. (laughs) That was pretty
    unusual. (chuckles) That’s one thing I
    never did forget. – [Tom] With the Barnum
    and Bailey Circus trains, when the train would
    actually park at Midway over in the Twin Cities,
    it was quite an event. The animals in their
    cages would be, wagons, wooden-wheeled wagons, and the elephants
    would head down the main streets of St.
    Paul or Minneapolis, headed to their big circus tent or the state fairgrounds
    from the railroad siding, where they would park the
    train, ’cause everybody wanted to come and see the circus
    heading down the street from the railroad
    yard, off to the tent. (diesel train engine roars) – [Elmond] Willmar is one
    of the best railroad towns, smaller railroad towns in
    Minnesota, and it’s been noted for that, as kind of a
    headquarters, because trains went to St. Cloud and
    they went to Sioux City, and we had locals
    going out of here, they went to a lot of
    towns, it was kind of a hub. And people always,
    even people that lived in West Coast, they always
    talked about Willmar. – I can’t imagine a town like
    Willmar without a railroad. This railroad that
    runs through Willmar, the railroads that run through other towns in
    western Minnesota, are the through points of a lot of products that
    are passing through, from the West Coast
    of the United States to Chicago and the East
    Coast, and vice versa. (connecting train cars clang) – [Elmond] And I like to,
    and I like to be busy, and I like to have a challenge. And the biggest challenge we had on the railroad was the weather. We had to put up with
    all kinds of weather. Snowstorms and, we went
    out and plowed snow, you know, or left
    Willmar and the snowbanks were four
    or five feet high, but if we could get a
    pretty good speed on, we could go quite a
    ways through a drift. – [Tom] 1997 was
    memorable in Willmar for being a winter of
    ferocious blizzards. And in particular I remember,
    one memorable night, going to Clara City,
    that we not only went into the snowbank, but
    we went through the snowbank and came
    out the other end. And the train was
    covered in snow by the time we came
    out the other end. (diesel train hums) I guess the fondest
    memories come from the camaraderie
    of the other, fellow employees I
    worked with, and talking about the good trips
    we had, and of course grumbling about the
    bad trips we had. – You miss the men, and
    that’s why to this day I have coffee with
    Elmond and some other railroad men, you
    miss the camaraderie. – [Elmond] I never
    had any trouble with the men working
    with me on the railroad. They were very cooperative,
    and out in a snowstorm, they tried to get
    signals to me so I could see ’em when we
    didn’t have radios. But between the
    brakemen and myself, it seemed like there
    wasn’t a situation that we couldn’t get
    through some way. – If I would have to tell
    anyone one particular thing that has had a lasting
    memory for me as an employee of the railroad, was
    the predictability that I was gonna
    have a job tomorrow. I was very fortunate
    that I was able to spend my entire
    career with one employer. Most of the towns
    across America are here because the railroad came
    through that part of the state. In southern Minnesota and
    particularly in Willmar. Willmar was a major
    stopping-off point for trains, there’s a
    lot of grain shipped out of Willmar, a lot of
    ethanol, and a lot of lumber and
    fertilizer that travels through Willmar on
    its destinations, either near Chicago
    or south to Iowa. A lot of these cars
    and the entire train, which is called a
    unit train, will stay in one piece all the way
    to its final destination. And if it’s grain,
    most commonly it goes all the way to Seattle or
    Long Beach, California. Other trains go to
    the Mississippi River to be unloaded on barges. It’s a diesel-electric
    locomotive, and they’re extremely efficient. They’re so much more
    efficient than trucks hauling products across
    the country that a lot of trucks now are hauled
    on railroad flatcars rather than a
    tractor-trailer rig going across the country on the
    interstate highway system. In 1920, as I recall, I think 2,000,000 people
    worked on the railroad. And in 2010, it
    was 200,000 people. So that’s one-tenth
    the number of people. But the railroads are hauling
    more than they ever have. There’s an efficiency
    there that was missing for many, many years
    until the 1980s. Trains are bigger, they’re
    longer, they’re faster, and there’s fewer
    people that are on the trains and
    repairing the track. (moderate tempo piano music) – [Elmond] The reason
    why I think this one is special, because this
    was the first engine, steam engine, that
    had pulled the Empire Builder
    through the mountains. This was a, it wasn’t
    big, it’s not small according to today,
    but it was big enough, and was the first one,
    on the Empire Builder. The superintendent, he
    said we could have it, so we built a
    track from the yard out here at a
    curve, and hooked… Right where it stands right now. This historical society
    would not be what it is today if we hadn’t gotten
    that locomotive moved out here, because
    that, people go by and they see that locomotive,
    they’ve never been in Willmar, and
    they’ll still stop in. – When I was a young boy, the passenger
    trains did operate. My hometown,
    Chandler, Minnesota. I can remember it just
    like it was yesterday. My mother would take me
    down to the train station, and I would get on the
    train, and actually it was a steam-engine-powered
    train, and I would go to Iona, Minnesota, to
    stay with my grandparents. And it was 14 miles,
    and it cost seven cents. And my mother would pin a
    little note on my pocket, and the note would
    say to the conductor, “Please make sure Tommy
    gets off at Iona.” And then she would give me
    10 cents for the ride back. Well, those days are long gone. (moderately slow guitar music) – To find out more
    about these stories and other local
    history, visit the Kandiyohi County Museum
    in Willmar, Minnesota. Now let’s hop on board with
    Twin Cities and Western Railroad and learn about its impact
    on local communities. (train rumbles and hums) – [Ken] I love it
    all, ’cause you learn something new every day,
    every day is different. Every day is a
    different day, you know. And you work with
    different people all the time, and
    it’s, it’s just fun. – Oh yeah, when I was
    in, like, a little kid, I always wanted to be
    a railroad engineer, and then I end up working
    on this section here. Didn’t fall far from
    the tree, I guess. – It’s pretty much
    different every day, but this is, what
    we’re doing now is one of the more
    routine jobs that we do. – [Dana] Twin Cities and
    Western Railroad has been a major part of transporting
    goods across Minnesota. President Mark Wegner
    provides rail service across southwestern Minnesota,
    into the Twin Cities. – [Mark] Well, the history
    is, it was originally built by the Hastings and
    Dakota back in the 1870s. The Hastings and
    Dakota became part of the Milwaukee Road,
    and Milwaukee Road built the Pacific
    extension in 1909. So this line here was
    part of a main line from Chicago to
    Tacoma, Washington. At one point it
    boasted 80-mile-an-hour
    passenger trains. (train wheels
    rumble on the track) The rail industry
    started to decline in the, after World War
    II, a gradual decline, which accelerated during
    the 1960s and ’70s, and by 1980 the Milwaukee
    Road declared bankruptcy. They abandoned from
    Montana to the West Coast. The Montana to the
    Minnesota border was acquired by the
    state of South Dakota, and the Milwaukee
    retained from Ortonville into the Twin Cities,
    as part of their system. They were sold in 1985 to
    the Soo Line, and in 1991 the Soo Line sold the
    segment from the Twin Cities out to Appleton to the
    Twin Cities and Western, and hence we were
    formed July 26, 1991. We serve south-central
    Minnesota, basically our draw area is maybe 30 miles either side
    of the main line. We go through Glencoe,
    Olivia, Montevideo, out to Appleton,
    along 212, primarily. We are like a spoke
    in a great big hub. We connect in St. Paul
    to the Canadian Pacific, the Burlington
    Northern Santa Fe, the Union Pacific,
    which serve the North American continent,
    so we’re basically giving our customers a
    gateway to the world. (train chugs and hums) – Today we’ll be spotting
    in the grain cars for these elevators,
    and we’ll go out to the Renville
    sugar-beet plant, and get them empty
    for their sugar. And today we got some
    coal, coke on there and coal, and empty
    sugar cars, and then we go out to Granite Falls,
    the ethanol plant, we service that daily, and… (train bell rings) (train horn blares) – [Mark] The unique
    thing about the Twin Cities and Western
    is, we do connect with three major railroads
    in the Twin Cities, so our customers
    have competition to go on the North
    American continent, which isn’t always true
    of other railroads. They’re captive to
    one single railroad. I think the railroad
    will be important because the
    steel-on-steel technology, steel wheels and steel rails,
    is very low resistance, hence we achieve some great fuel economies for
    the tonnage we move. Moving one ton of
    freight 435 miles on one gallon of
    fuel is often quoted. We’re roughly anywhere
    between four times to 10 times more fuel
    efficient than trucks, depending on whose
    study you look at. But I think the nation
    didn’t realize how important the railroads were
    up until about 2003, when gas started to
    go up and diesel hit five dollars a gallon,
    then all of a sudden everybody wanted to ship rail. So if you think there’s
    an unlimited supply of oil in the world,
    yeah, we’ll go away, but I don’t think
    that’s the case. – [Dana] Twin Cities
    and Western Railroad also owns the
    Minnesota Prairie Line. Julie Rath talks
    about the efforts of the Minnesota Valley
    Regional Railroad Authority, and their efforts to
    restore the tracks. – And I’m sure it was
    founded on the basis to provide services
    for the ag community. We have an elevator
    right behind us, and I don’t know the
    year of that, but it says “number two” on it, so
    it’s got quite a history. And it’s a vibrant
    corridor for the communities that are along here. There are 16 communities
    in the five counties that are dependent
    on this rail service, and the actual railroad itself was revitalized again in 2002. It had various owners and
    actually went inactive for two years, and
    then the five counties took the ownership
    back and formed the Minnesota Valley
    Regional Rail Authority. You know, our rail line starts at Norwood Young America
    and goes all the way to Hanley Falls, that’s
    94 miles of track. And we’re currently
    doing a rail restoration, a rehab project, and so
    we’ve done 24 miles so far, and so we’re getting
    there inch by inch. We always say, “I think
    I can, I think I can,” and we will get that done. Well, we have a big
    vision in that area, we have a group in
    the Redwood area that’s called Tatanka
    Bluffs, and our goal is to use the rail for vintage
    passenger rail service, to bring people out
    from Hopkins Depot for the weekend,
    bring your bike with, and explore the southern
    part of Minnesota, for biking, camping,
    horseback riding, to see where Minnesota
    history really happened. And we think that’s
    key, ’cause a lot of the historic sites
    that you learn about in your sixth-grade
    history are really here, and we want to share that
    with students, especially. There’s a big plan
    for the future, and it’s all dependent
    on this railway. I mean, it’s pretty
    unique, aside from Amtrak, you just don’t hop on a train. So if we can get this
    vintage rail service put together, that was
    a very good attraction for some of the people
    that are forming the history learning
    center concept, just because it’s a
    unique experience. It’s more authentic
    travel, as you could say, and it takes the past and
    brings it into the future. We’re seeing increased
    traffic as we do the rehab. This past year we had
    just under 7,000 cars, carloads that were
    shipped on our line. Our funding that
    we’re receiving, either through the
    state of Minnesota or federal government,
    is a huge investment in this type of
    transportation corridor, which is key to the area. And for us to have that
    kind of investment, we need to make sure
    that we can leverage those dollars for
    future development, whether it’s new manufacturers
    that come out here, I see this as a
    renewable-energy corridor because of the amount of biomass that we have in our
    five-county area. And so personally, right
    now we’re working on several bio-renewable
    fuel projects that are dependent on this
    rail getting restored. And what we’re doing
    is replacing rail that’s from 1880, 1912, which is 80 or 85-pound rail,
    with 115-pound rail. The new train cars are
    286,000 pounds, and so we need a heavier rail for
    them to run on, for safety. – Well, I guess I’m
    kind of a historian by nature, and
    realizing that railroads were the cause of
    many town formations in Minnesota particularly,
    yeah, I did follow the rail industry, and
    if you look at some of the towns where the
    rail has disappeared, you know, the towns are
    kinda disappearing as well. So here, fortunately, we’re able to run a good
    railroad, which in turn injects vibrancy into
    the communities we serve. So, and we continue to do that. – Well, it’s
    allowed the elevator in town here to
    expand, which increases the employment base,
    which brings more families to the communities, which
    increases the schools, and grocery stores,
    retail trade, everything is improved
    because of the rail. – The builders of the
    railroad tended to plant towns anywhere between seven
    to 10 miles apart, basically a day trip
    with a horse and buggy, to bring the grain
    into town, so that’s kinda how the
    towns were planted. We see ourselves as
    renewing the towns’ economic bases, we
    have relationships with the economic development
    agencies, things like that. If we grow jobs in
    south-central Minnesota and grow the communities we
    serve, then we’ve done our job. – [Dana] In 2008, Twin
    Cities and Western was named the Short Line
    Railroad of the Year. With its ability to reach
    the corners of the country, it’s no wonder people enjoy
    being part of this rail service. – [Josh] I don’t know,
    it’s something that not everybody gets to do. You know, you can
    tell people stories about this stuff
    that they don’t know anything about, so
    they’re kinda interested in hearing what you have to say. – [Julie] I believe
    that we will have additional expansion
    happen in the future. Winthrop is an
    excellent example, about 20 miles to the
    east of us, that has had, because the rail’s
    getting closer to that, the community can actually
    see, feel, and touch the improvements, and are
    planning for the future. They’ve added a new
    fertilizer facility, they’ve had a new, um… WinField Ag Solutions
    moved to the community, combining into a larger
    distribution center. The ethanol plant
    expanded, with the hope that the rail would expand. And yeah, UFC’s
    congregated there, so they’ve got great
    things going on. Dairy Farmers of America
    is doing an expansion, they’re all dependent
    on transporting
    their goods by rail. (train horn blares) (diesel train engine rumbles) – Local author
    Brent Olson shares his memories of
    traveling by train. – I like railroads. It’s funny, but even though
    my hometown of Clinton hasn’t even had a railroad
    for 20 years or more, railroads have a large
    place in my memory. An early memory is
    dropping my sister off at the station in
    Willmar for a trip to the West Coast to
    stay with cousins. I can still picture her
    walking across the tracks, carrying a small suitcase
    and a large guitar. It wasn’t long after that, that I had my first
    experience on a train. I was about 12,
    and I was supposed to catch the train
    from Minneapolis to Morris after a
    stay at a church camp. It was my first time
    traveling alone, and I bet it (laughs)
    really showed. A chubby, blond preteen
    clutching his ticket and sitting on the
    edge of his seat must have looked like
    a tempting target to the bum who kept
    coming over to me and telling me
    that if I came out behind the station,
    he would sell me something really
    good, really cheap. Now, I was dumb, but
    maybe not quite that dumb. I tried to ignore
    him, and when I saw a gaggle of nuns come
    in and sit in a swirl of black and white, I
    went and sat with them. That experience didn’t
    turn me into a Catholic, but it did lead me to
    my fondness for nuns. Despite that, I do
    still love trains, possibly because
    when my wife and I were married, we took
    every cent we had in the world and spent it
    on six weeks in Europe. A lot of that time
    was spent on trains, playing an endless game of
    gin rummy and occasionally glancing out the window
    at the passing scenery. The rocking of the cars,
    the chance meetings with interesting
    people, odd foods at train stations
    in odd countries, along with the constant company of a beautiful young
    woman, made the trip something that remains
    green in my memory. I am a lot older now, and contemplating
    another train trip. The odd food isn’t nearly as big a temptation, but
    not having to drive in strange traffic
    is a big incentive. I do still have the same
    traveling companion. Some things, like
    trains, go on forever. Or close enough. – That’s all for this week. For more information,
    go to our Web site, at Join us again next
    week on Postcards. – [Voiceover] This program
    on Pioneer Public Television is funded by the Minnesota Arts
    and Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the
    vote of the people of Minnesota on
    November 4, 2008. Additional support provided by Mark and Margaret Yackel-Juleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural
    education retreat center in a beautiful prairie
    setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota, The Arrowwood Resort
    and Conference Center, your ideal choice for
    Minnesota resorts, offering luxury townhomes,
    18 holes of golf, Darling Reflections Spa, Big Splash Waterpark,
    and much more. Alexandria, Minnesota,
    a relaxing vacation or great location for an
    event, Easy to get to, hard to leave. (slow orchestral music)

    Railroad Thermite Welding
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad Thermite Welding

    August 28, 2019

    Railroad Thermite Welding and several Trains. Lots of train action so watch all of the video to see everything and Please Subscribe to me!

    Troubles in Coal Hit Railroad Employees
    Articles, Blog

    Troubles in Coal Hit Railroad Employees

    August 28, 2019

    SPEAKER: Basically, the
    railroads are a story of us. It’s important for people to
    know because it’s being lost. My name’s Adam Fotta. I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve done a lot
    of things in life, even though I’m not that old. I had my first job
    at 10, which I don’t know if they allow anymore. So the railroad was hiring
    out of Grand Junction. And it offers good money,
    benefits, health care, so I jumped on it. And it was a hope
    for a better future. It was the hope for
    the American dream. It’s no more than
    anybody else wants. But it’s the best
    job I ever had. best job I ever had. It finally felt like
    we were middle class. Coal was partially responsible
    for me chasing work because as coal slowed
    down, so did the work. And a lot of rail
    traffic is actually coal traffic, for power
    plants, exporting, things of that nature. As it hit the oil and
    gas and then it hit us. And the coal started dropping
    off immediately after that. Just absolutely amazing
    to see basically 200-year industry just
    shutdown overnight. They encourage employees to
    take pictures of the trains. And they put it on
    the company calendar. Some guys think this is
    corny and dopey and stuff. But I think it’s fantastic. It’s great. And it’s pride in what you do. This furlough affected
    me extremely hard. My wife was diagnosed with
    cancer at the same time that I was furloughed. Found out she
    definitively had cancer and I got furloughed
    at that same moment, as we were stuck in
    traffic and people were honking their horns. And that was kind of
    like, wow, this is bottom. It’s hard being optimistic
    about it all the time because I don’t know
    if the coal industry is going to– I think this
    might be a permanent change in this country. I hope that we
    figure things out, find the balance between
    the economy being viable, the environment. I’m hopeful to going back to
    work somewhere for the railroad and kind of getting my life
    back and get my debt paid down and getting my wife healthy. That’s all I want.

    Railroad Crossing Gate Hits Truck
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad Crossing Gate Hits Truck

    August 25, 2019

    Hey All Train Fans Out There. The Gate Hits The Truck and A Train Goes By, Then More Of The Gate. Be Sure To Watch The Whole Video To See All The Good Stuff and SUBSCRIBE!

    Rochelle Railroad Park: Train Talk Ep. 9
    Articles, Blog

    Rochelle Railroad Park: Train Talk Ep. 9

    August 24, 2019

    Hello everyone and welcome to Train Talk! Today, we are going to talk about a so called
    railroad “hot spot”, or great place to watch trains, that is located in Rochelle,
    Illinois. So let’s visit the Rochelle Railroad Park! Rochelle is a quiet little town, located about
    75 miles to the west of Chicago in the north-central portion of the state of Illinois. It is in this town where two major rail lines
    cross each other, making for a great place to watch trains. Running northwest to south east is the BNSF
    mainline. The other rail line, running southwest to
    northeast through the town is the Union Pacific’s mainline. Both of these rail lines are major components
    of the national cross country freight rail network. The BNSF line was formerly owned by the Chicago,
    Burlington and Quincy railroad, and it runs from Minnesota’s Twin Cities region south
    along the mississippi river into Iowa, then crossing the river into Illinois, through
    Rochelle, and to Aurora, Illinois, where it joins up with the BNSF’s triple track mainline
    into Chicago, known as the “race track”. The Union Pacific line is also a very important
    east-west running railroad. It was once part of the Chicago and North
    Western Railroad and begins as far west as Council Bluffs, Iowa. It passes through Des Moines, Iowa, Rochelle,
    Illinois, and then into Chicago. The final stretch of this line into Chicago
    is used by Metra commuter trains as the “Metra Union Pacific West line”. In addition to both rail lines meeting here,
    Rochelle is also important because it is the location of Union Pacific’s “Global 3”
    yard facility, one of 5 large intermodal container train yards used by the Union Pacific in the
    greater Chicago area. The yard is located on the west side of town. It is because of all this train action that
    Rochelle has become such a great place to watch trains. The Rochelle Railroad park was opened in August
    of 1998 and serves as a safe and fun place for railroad enthusiasts from all around the
    world to come and watch trains. The park is situated directly to the east
    of the railroad junction between the Union Pacific and BNSF railroads. This kind of junction or crossover is called
    a diamond because of the shape made by the rails where they meet. Because of this junction, there are over 80
    trains that pass through here in a 24 hour period, making this an especially good place
    to watch trains. In addition to a view of the diamonds and
    the passing trains on both lines, the park also features a gift shop open every day of
    the week except Tuesdays, two diesel locomotives and a demonstration piece of old fashioned
    “strap track” that are on display, and a covered pavilion with benches and radios
    set to the frequencies of both railroads, so you can hear the crews of approaching trains. The park is open 24 hours a day, so you can
    watch trains pass by here at all hours. And, for those of you who aren’t able to
    make the trip to Rochelle but still want to see the trains pass, you can go directly to
    the park’s website to view real time web cams showing the passing trains. Also not far away on the BNSF rail line is
    the old Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy passenger depot, built in 1921. While at one time Rochelle was served by passenger
    trains on both rail lines, passenger service officially ended in 1971 with the formation
    of Amtrak and since then, no regularly scheduled passenger trains have been routed through
    Rochelle. While there are now several railroad parks
    in various places in the United States, Rochelle was the first such park to be built. Historically, Rochelle was a well known place
    to watch trains among railroad enthusiasts. Over the years, it grew in popularity to the
    point where the city of Rochelle decided it would be a good idea to open up a train watching
    park as a way of building tourism. So in 1995, the parcel of land located directly
    to the east of the diamonds was purchased and construction began. The park was finally opened to the public
    on August 30th, 1998, and it has remained a great place to watch trains every day since. Thanks for watching this episode of Train
    Talk! To find out more about the Rochelle Railroad
    Park and to view the park’s webcam, please visit And, if you have any questions, comments,
    or suggestions, please leave those below! Until next time, I’m Mike Armstrong. I’ll see you down the line! Thanks for watching!

    New Railroad Crossing Installation
    Articles, Blog

    New Railroad Crossing Installation

    August 21, 2019

    Hello ladies and gentlemen this here is
    what I call progress. Up until recently this crossing here in Moore Haven
    Florida which I’ll include a Google Maps link to was just a wood and cross buck and they are installing brand-new crossing gates here. Brand brand new They still got the covers on them. These are Progress signal base you can see
    the brand new our foundation for them with the rocks and then up top, well the lights are covered but I can’t see what kind of they are. Up here see we got a
    Safetran gate mechanism lights are covered and we have a mechanical
    Bell actually, WC Hayes mechanical Bell Next, okay this is a track view South. This
    is the SCFE line. South Florida South Central Florida Express. Mile post 40
    Moore Haven Florida then here is the east side of the crossing and the same
    thing brand new. You can see the
    caterpillar over there and they’ve been burning the midnight oil here. Progress
    signal base let’s see what kind of gate mechanism we got on this side Safe Tran covered lights WC Hayes mechanical bell awesome. Over there we
    got a swing bridge which is kind of hard to see because the parking is not good so this is track view North
    there we got the relay case and here we got the the brand new crossing gates
    right over there so yeah this is going to look pretty
    all righty guys so please subscribe like share thank you very much for viewing
    over and out