Cool It! – The Heritage of Refrigerator Cars  

Most of us think nothing of going to the grocery store and selecting choice meats, lush vegetables, and fresh fruits whenever we want irrespective of supply limitations or the short duration of specific growing seasons. Advances in refrigeration make that possible and the railroads jump-started that process prior to the American Civil War. The first …

50 Years of Amtrak

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue could accurately describe May 1, 1971, Amtrak Day One. On that date the entire US long-distance passenger network became nationalized.  The only really “new” element on that date was the partially-completed organizational structure to manage that new unwieldy public entity. The “old” and “borrowed” distinctions were the …

The History of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway

With less than 1000 route miles to its name, the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle was very much an underdog of mainline railroads. It was however a critical link for rail operations in the Pacific Northwest. Never intended for a prolonged existence, the railroad was jointly operated by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific for eventual …

The Modern Era (1970-2021)

Following the Transitional Era, railroads were no longer the primary method for moving people and goods; they now had to adapt by shedding unprofitable services and aggressively embrace new freight car designs, partner with shippers to advance unit train operations and improve diesel-electric motive power designs. Working in concert with trucking companies, railroads developed trailer …