News & Reviews News Wire Preview April and May Trains 2024 content

Preview April and May Trains 2024 content

By Trains Staff | April 2, 2024

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Up in April …

We’re always adding new content to our website! Here’s a sneak peek at a few items coming up soon.

‘Be the Engineer’ for a day: An unforgettable ride

The words “Be the Engineer!” drew my attention to a Nevada Northern Railway advertisement in Trains Magazine. This opportunity is a fundraiser for the museum and costs above $1,000 for a 2- or 4-hour unique experience. (Your cost depends on which of several options you choose). They offer lessons in operating a steam engine, a diesel-electric, or both together as a package. Some of the expense may be tax-deductible as a charitable donation.

A black steam locomotive leads green passenger coaches
For his “Be the Engineer” program on the Nevada Northern Railroad, the author drew No. 93, an Also 2-8-0 built in 1909. Bob Lovell

Five mind-blowing facts — Walt Disney’s railroads

It is no secret that Walt Disney loved trains. His passion for railroads runs to the time of his youth and can still be seen throughout today’s Disney empire. For Walt, as you will see, railroading was an early job — one that made him little money — but one that put him in touch with trains. Later in life trains became a creative outlet and a means of escaping the stress of building and operating a major movie animation studio. Walt ultimately placed his railroad affections at the forefront of his amusement park — Disneyland — and garnered one of America’s iconic lines as its corporate sponsor. When Disney went to Florida, trains played a starring role in the Magic Kingdom.

Let us take a train ride through Walt Disney’s railroad love affair with these five mind-blowing facts.

Steam locomotive at Victorian passenger station. Five mind-blowing facts — Walt Disney’s railroads.
When you visit Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom at Disney World the first experience upon entering the park is the elaborate and ornate Main Street Station. Trains were a significant part of Walt Disney’s life and he shared this love affair through the trains within his amusement parks. Here, No. 3, the Roger E. Broggie, a 4-6-0 built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in May 1925, pauses at Main Street Station in the Disney World Magic Kingdom on Aug. 30, 2014. Disney World is located outside Orlando, Fla. Disneyland, the original Disney park, is in Anaheim, Calif.  Stephen C. Host

Last chance to ride VIA’s Budd RDCs

The days of the five serviceable Budd RDCs (Rail Diesel Cars) remaining on VIA Rail Canada’s roster may be numbered. As Siemens Venture equipment displaces the stainless and LRC coaches (and F40s and P42 locomotives) on the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, the aging RDC fleet assigned to train Nos. 185 and 186 between Sudbury and White River, Ontario, will likely become surplus.

If you want to experience the last of VIAs Budd cars, now is the time to act.

Under overcast skies a silver and blue two car passenger train reverses past a red brick depot
White River Ontario is Milepost 0 on the White River Sub. We have just disembarked with our baggage and are waiting for our motel shuttle as train No. 185 reverses east on the passing track heading into the yard to be tied down for the night. Douglas J. Fear

Coming in May …

Motorcar rides on California’s historic Placerville Branch

If history had played out differently, our motorcar ride this summer day in the wooded foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada would instead take place aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr, instead of on Fairmont “track speeders.” The track would belong to Union Pacific, not a joint-powers authority. It’d be home to stack trains and AC engines.

That’s because this route that eventually became Southern Pacific’s Placerville branch — or a segment of this route, at least — would have been part of the first transcontinental railroad.

Surrounded by trees, two yellow motorcars rest on a single-track rail line
Motorcars are one of several factors bringing new life to Southern Pacific’s historic Placerville branch, including the volunteer-run Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad, whose Santa motorcar consist arrives at Willow Creek in Folsom, Calif., on Dec. 9, 2023. Bill Buchanan

Ingenious locomotive wraps from around the world

When railroads need (or want) to put short-term or deeply intricate designs on their locomotives, a vinyl wrap is often the best option, balancing cost and maintenance time constraints while still allowing some truly memorable liveries. As seen in this article, not all wraps are created equal, and they convey different meanings.

Metra train with red and white stripes on nose
Metra 100 in the RTA wrap shot at LaSalle Street Station. Courtney Aubrecht
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