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Railroading! 2017 Calendar

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Cross the continent and share the drama of “high iron” on Class I freight lines ranging from Union Pacific and BNSF to CSX and Norfolk Southern. Regional railroads include Montana Rail Link and Reading and Northern. Classic steam is represented by the restored Nickel Plate 765, a Berkshire-type 2-8-4, and more. Railroading! includes 24 full-color photographs and commentary describing featured railroads and rolling stock. All aboard!

Published by Tide-mark, Railroading! 2017 wall calendar opens to 13.25 x 20 inches.

Railroads and trains featured in the 2017 calendar include:

January

• BNSF Railway’s “Southern Transcon” route between Chicago and California is one of the busiest rail lines in the world. Until 1996, this route was the mainline of the legendary Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. On the Transcon just outside Kingman, Arizona (above), General Electric C44-9W locomotive No. 4367 leads an eastbound Stockton, California –Willow Springs, Illinois double-stack container train on May 5, 2012.

• BNSF locomotive No. 7241, a GE ES44DC (left) is heading a 99-car merchandise train southbound on November 7, 2014, as it passes the depot at Waxahachie, Texas. This line, which runs between Dallas and Houston, typically sees 15 to 20 trains each day.

February

• Running heavy trains across challenging terrain always has prompted Union Pacific to experiment with large high-powered locomotives, from steam through turbine to diesel.   One of the less-successful examples was No. 5016 (above), a General Electric U50C, pictured at Marysville, Kansas in March 1974. GE built 40 of the 5,000 hp U50C’s for UP between 1969 and 1971, but the dual-engine units suffered from mechanical and electrical problems and were all scrapped by 1978.

• A more successful high-horsepower experiment, DDA40X 6943 (left) is using all of its 6,600 hp to climb Cajon Pass, California, with an intermodal train in June 1973. Built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors, they were the most powerful single-unit diesels ever built, and the longest at 98 feet. Named "Centennials" in honor of the 100th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, Union Pacific purchased 47 of the units between 1969 and 1971. Today, 12 survive on static display, while No. 6936 remains on the active roster as part of the railroad's Heritage Fleet.

March

• Kansas City Southern (above) is the smallest of America’s seven Class I railroads, operating in the territory described by its name. KCS also is an international carrier, owning Kansas City Southern of Mexico and an interest in the Panama Canal Railway. In recent years, it has painted its locomotives in the bright “Southern Belle” color scheme that had been used in the 1940s and 1950s. Late on a June 2014 afternoon, KCS EMD SD70ACe No. 4154 teams up with a BNSF Railway unit to move an empty coal train past the old station at Decatur, Arkansas.

• Kansas City Southern moves large amounts of export grain from Midwestern points to Gulf Coast ports. A pair of six-motor KCS “Belle” locomotives (left) leads an empty covered hopper train north near Decatur on June 13, 2014.

April

• Montana Rail Link is one of America’s largest regional railroads, with more than 900 miles of mainline, branches, and trackage rights between Laurel, Montana and Spokane, Washington. Most of this route is part of the mainline of the former Northern Pacific Railway. Much of MRL’s traffic consists of runthrough trains of Class I railroad BNSF, but MRL also runs many of its own trains. An eastbound train, led by a pair of big EMD SD70Ace units, is seen cresting Bozeman Pass at Muir, Montana, in 2014.

• Another large western regional railroad is Utah Railway, which operates 47 miles of its own line out of Helper, Utah. Owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Utah also has trackage rights over 378 miles of Union Pacific between Ogden, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado. One of the railroad’s six Motive Power MK50-3 locomotives is seen (left) leading four more six-motor units on a coal train on UP tracks at Price, Utah.

May

• Canadian National Railway, Canada’s largest railroad, has purchased several rail companies in the United States in recent years.   One of its biggest acquisitions was the Illinois Central, once known as “The Main Line of Mid-America,” which ran from Chicago south to the Gulf of Mexico. CN Train M301 (above) is rounding a curve at Baton Rouge Junction in Hammond, Louisiana on March 21, 2008. The IC purchase in 1998 gave CN access to the petrochemical industry along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

• On its way to the Gulf Coast, Canadian National locomotive No. 2458 (left) leads a northbound chemical train across the former Illinois Central trestle at North Pass, Louisiana, on March 21, 2008.

June

• Austell, GA is a busy crossroads (above) for the Norfolk Southern Railway, one of the two Class I railroads serving the eastern United States. The Cincinnati line from the north and the Anniston line with traffic from the west converge here and continue to the south and east.  On May 25, 2013, General Electric C40-9W No. 9299, one of 1,090 units of this type purchased by NS, is leading a 117-car manifest freight onto the Anniston line.

• Norfolk Southern partners with Kansas City Southern on the “Meridian Speedway” trackage between Meridian, Mississippi and Shreveport, Louisiana to move traffic between the American Southeast and the Pacific Coast. NS C40-9W No. 9871, on the head end of a train on the Speedway (left), meets another train led by a Union Pacific locomotive at Vicksburg, Mississippi on October 28, 2012.

July

• Union Pacific Railroad (above) operates 32,100 route miles in 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. One of its most famous locations is the former Southern Pacific line over the rugged Tehachapi Mountains in southern California. At sunset on a March day, a northbound UP freight has successfully negotiated the steep grades over the Tehachapis, as it rolls through the horseshoe curve in the small town of Caliente. The engineer and conductor look forward to the end of their run at Bakersfield, 22 miles ahead.

• Farther south (left) in the Golden State, Union Pacific trains use BNSF Railway tracks over another famous range to reach Los Angeles. A UP double-stack container train hurries through Hodge, California on its way to the summit of Cajon Pass, 42 miles to the west.

August

• Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 “Berkshire” steam locomotive No. 765 charges upgrade (above) on the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad at Moscow, Pennsylvania in 2015.   Built by the Lima Locomotive Works at Lima, Ohio, in 1944, and retired by the Nickel Plate just 14 years later, the big engine spent many years on static display in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Volunteers restored it to service in the late 1970s. Now owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, No. 765 has operated in excursion service throughout the eastern United States, one of a small number of large steam locomotives that continue to run on mainline routes.

• Most locomotive preservation efforts focus on diesel-electric locomotives. The Railroad Museum of New England operates restored New Haven Railroad FL9 dual-mode (electric and diesel) locomotive No. 2019 (left) on its Naugatuck Railroad. It is seen here crossing the railroad’s namesake river at Waterville, Connecticut in 2015.

September

• Since 1983, the Reading & Northern (above) has grown from a 13-mile shortline to a 330-mile regional system serving an ever-growing number of customers in nine counties in eastern Pennsylvania. The railroad’s locomotives carry “The Road of Anthracite” lettering in recognition of its important coal business. On a September 2015 morning, an R&N coal train passes a mine-loading track near Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

• In western New York, the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railway (left) has served lines cast off by larger railroads since 1965, using a fleet of historic diesel locomotives built by Alco. In 2014, an LA&L train switches the Barilla pasta plant at Avon, New York. LA&L and associated railroads Western New York & Pennsylvania and Bath & Hammondsport operate a 400-mile system in two states.

October

• The three-foot narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon (above) opened its 110-mile route between Skagway, Alaska and White Horse, Yukon Territory in 1900 during the Klondike Gold Rush.   Today’s WP&Y is strictly a passenger railroad, offering a wide array of excursions over its southern end for visitors who arrive at Skagway on cruise ships. Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia built 2-8-2 No. 73 in 1947. The engine was retired in 1964, but was refurbished in 1982. It is one of two steam locomotives that join a roster of General Electric and Montreal Locomotive Works diesels.

• The standard-gauge Alaska Railroad (left) operates on 500 miles of track between Seward and Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition to freight services, the railroad operates passenger trains for tourists, including the “Denali Star,” shown departing Fairbanks on August 28, 2015.

November

• CSX Transportation operates 21,000 route-miles in 23 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. It consists of lines from many historic railroads, all assembled in a long series of mergers. CSX General Electric ES44AC-H No. 862 (above) is operating on the former Louisville & Nashville line between Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky. Just ahead on October 12, 2012, the train will run down the main street of LaGrange, Kentucky.

• CSX locomotive No. 558, a GE AC4400CW, heads a 110-car train of empty coal hoppers rolling northbound through Birmingham, Alabama at sunset on October 28, 2012.

December

• Grafton & Upton is a 16-mile Massachusetts shortline that had been cut back to just a mile in length three decades ago. Since 2008, a new owner has restored the entire route to service and attracted additional customers. The railroad’s small roster of Electro-Motive Division diesel locomotives includes F7 No. 1501, one of a small number of streamlined cab units still operating in freight service in North America. It is seen (above) leading a freight train on an autumn day in 2013.

• Indiana Northeastern (left) has operated a 230-mile freight rail system in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and southern Michigan since 1992. In October 2015, IN GP30 locomotive No. 2230 switches cars at Quincy, Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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