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American-Rails.com Blog

Here is your one-stop shop for learning about all of the newest additions or changes happening at American-Rails.com. Listed below is every page that is either new or which was updated within the last few days. Simply click on the link "Continue Reading..." under each heading to visit the page in question. With new articles added on a regular basis be sure and either check back here often or subscribe to the website's RSS feed to keep up with the latest.

Jun 14, 2024

The Wootten Firebox: Designed By John E. Wootten

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The Wootten Firebox was designed by John Wootten in 1877 to burn low-grade, anthracite coal slag known as culm, which led to the creation of the Mother Hubbard or Camelback locomotive.

Continue reading "The Wootten Firebox: Designed By John E. Wootten"

Jun 14, 2024

Nickel Plate Road #765: Hosting Excursions Since 1979

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Nickel Plate Road 765 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire. Today, it is owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Railway Historical Society.

Continue reading "Nickel Plate Road #765: Hosting Excursions Since 1979"

Jun 14, 2024

The "Fleet of Modernism": PRR's 'Blue Ribbon' Streamliners

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The Fleet of Modernism was a term describing the Pennsy's first streamliners from the General to the Liberty Limited.

Continue reading "The "Fleet of Modernism": PRR's 'Blue Ribbon' Streamliners"

Jun 14, 2024

Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261: An Ambassador To The Great CMStP&P

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Milwaukee Road #261 is a 4-8-4 locomotive part of its S-3 Class built by Alco in 1943. Today, it is in owned by the Friends Of The 261.

Continue reading "Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261: An Ambassador To The Great CMStP&P"

Jun 14, 2024

EMD's "F7", The Iconic Cab Locomotive

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The F7 was another extremely successful early cab design. It saw the highest sales during a five year production run of nearly 4,000 units.

Continue reading "EMD's "F7", The Iconic Cab Locomotive"

Jun 14, 2024

EMD's "GP15" Series: A 2nd-Generation Light Road-Switcher

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The GP15, and variants GP15T and GP15AC, were second-generation designs that offered reduced horsepower for switching and light-duty tasks.

Continue reading "EMD's "GP15" Series: A 2nd-Generation Light Road-Switcher "

Jun 14, 2024

Discover Pennsylvania's Charming Scenic Trains (2024)

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Pennsylvania train rides offer the greatest collection anywhere in the country except perhaps California. The state has a rich and long-standing history with railroads dating back to the 1820s. To learn more about all available train rides in PA please visit this page.

Continue reading "Discover Pennsylvania's Charming Scenic Trains (2024)"

Jun 13, 2024

Rock Island Diesel Roser: All-Time

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Discover the Rock Island's all-time diesel roster here, which included a mix of models from all major builders, as well as rebuilds.

Continue reading "Rock Island Diesel Roser: All-Time"

Jun 12, 2024

New Haven Railroad (New York, New Haven & Hartford)

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The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (New Haven) served New England for nearly 150 years before disappearing into Penn Central and later Conrail in 1976.

Continue reading "New Haven Railroad (New York, New Haven & Hartford)"

Jun 11, 2024

Shay Locomotives: Ephraim Shay's Classic Geared Design

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The famous Shay locomotive was designed by Ephraim Shay and built by the Lima Locomotive Works beginning in the 1870s.

Continue reading "Shay Locomotives: Ephraim Shay's Classic Geared Design"

Jun 09, 2024

Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway: "Links East and West"

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The Toledo, Peoria & Western was a linear route connecting central Indiana and Illinois.

Continue reading "Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway: "Links East and West""

Jun 02, 2024

Heisler Geared Steam Locomotives, A Charles Heisler Design

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The Heisler geared steam locomotive was developed by Charles Heisler in the 1890s. The geared design sold nearly 1,000 examples.

Continue reading "Heisler Geared Steam Locomotives, A Charles Heisler Design"

Jun 01, 2024

The "Auto Train": A Unique And Popular Amtrak Service

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The Auto Train, which began as the Auto-Train Corporation in 1971, is one of the carrier's most successful services despite early troubles. The popular train takes patrons, and their cars, 855 miles from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida.

Continue reading "The "Auto Train": A Unique And Popular Amtrak Service"

Jun 01, 2024

The Climax Locomotive: A Charles Darwin Scott Design

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The Climax was a geared steam locomotive designed by Charles Scott in 1884. It ultimately became quite successful and was a serious competitor to the Shay.

Continue reading "The Climax Locomotive: A Charles Darwin Scott Design"

May 31, 2024

C&NW Diesel Roster: All-Time

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This page covers the Chicago & North Western's complete, all-time diesel roster.

Continue reading "C&NW Diesel Roster: All-Time"

May 30, 2024

Geared Steam Locomotives, Tackling Steep Grades

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Geared steam locomotives vary from standard rod-driven designs by using gears for propulsion. Read about the different models and how they were developed.

Continue reading "Geared Steam Locomotives, Tackling Steep Grades"

May 30, 2024

2-10-0 "Decapod" Locomotives: Introduced On The LV

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The 2-10-0 Decapod was developed by the Lehigh Valley although constant design problems resulted in few railroads fleeting the steam locomotive.

Continue reading "2-10-0 "Decapod" Locomotives: Introduced On The LV"

May 28, 2024

EMD's "F45" and "FP45" Locomotives: The 'Cowl' Carbody

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The FP45 was a late-era passenger diesel built for the Santa Fe, followed up by the F45 freight variant built between 1968-1971.

Continue reading "EMD's "F45" and "FP45" Locomotives: The 'Cowl' Carbody"

May 23, 2024

EMD "GP38," "GP38-2," and "GP38AC"

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The GP38 series continued the builder's dominance during the 1960s and 1970s as combined the three sold more than 3,000 examples.

Continue reading "EMD "GP38," "GP38-2," and "GP38AC""

May 22, 2024

"Afternoon Hiawatha" (Train): A Twin Cities Streamliner

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The Afternoon Hiawatha was Milwaukee Road's original Hiawatha, renamed in the late 1930s when an additional train was launched.

Continue reading ""Afternoon Hiawatha" (Train): A Twin Cities Streamliner"

May 22, 2024

B&O 2-8-8-4 (EM-1) Locomotives: Specs, Roster, Photos

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Baltimore & Ohio's 2-8-8-4's, the EM-1's, were the largest, most powerful, and newest steam locomotives the railroad ever owned. Sadly, none survive.

Continue reading "B&O 2-8-8-4 (EM-1) Locomotives: Specs, Roster, Photos"

May 21, 2024

2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives, First Tested In 1866

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The 2-8-0 was a highly successful steam design first developed just after the Civil War. As technologies improved the 2-8-0 became larger and more powerful.

Continue reading "2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives, First Tested In 1866"

May 19, 2024

"Sunset Limited" (Train): History, Route, Schedule

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The Sunset Limited was SP's legendary train serving New Orleans and Los Angeles. It survives today as a prominent train under Amtrak.

Continue reading ""Sunset Limited" (Train): History, Route, Schedule"

May 15, 2024

4-6-6-4 "Challenger" Locomotives: Another UP-Inspired Design

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The 4-6-6-4 Challenger was a late model steam locomotive which was incredibly powerful.

Continue reading "4-6-6-4 "Challenger" Locomotives: Another UP-Inspired Design"

May 14, 2024

Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Katy)

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The Missouri-Kansas-Texas, better known as the "Katy," was a southern Midwest line that connected St. Louis with much of east Texas.

Continue reading "Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Katy)"

May 13, 2024

"Cab Forward" Steam Locomotives: SP's Unique Design

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The Cab Forwards were unique, odd, and extremely powerful steam locomotives that enabled crews to safely operate through the Sierras.

Continue reading ""Cab Forward" Steam Locomotives: SP's Unique Design"

May 13, 2024

The "Alphabet Route" (Railroad Consortium)

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The Alphabet Route, the alternative connection between Chicago/St. Louis and New York/Boston was a marketing tandem of several classic railroads.

Continue reading "The "Alphabet Route" (Railroad Consortium)"

May 11, 2024

M-497 "Black Beetle" Jet-Powered Train (Railcar)

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The M-497, otherwise known as the Black Beetle, was an experimental turbojet train tested by the New York Central in 1966. It was scrapped in 1984.

Continue reading "M-497 "Black Beetle" Jet-Powered Train (Railcar)"

May 11, 2024

Camelback Locomotives: "Mother Hubbards" and "Camels"

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Camelbacks were unique steam locomotives that featured the cab sitting directly over the main boiler. Read more about the history of them here.

Continue reading "Camelback Locomotives: "Mother Hubbards" and "Camels""

May 10, 2024

2-8-4 "Berkshire" Locomotives, Born From The 2-8-2

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The 2-8-4 is often regarded as the Berkshire type due to its first test runs carried out in the Berkshire Mountains in the 1920s on the Boston & Albany.

Continue reading "2-8-4 "Berkshire" Locomotives, Born From The 2-8-2"

May 09, 2024

4-4-2 "Atlantic" Locomotives: Designed For High-Speed Service

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The 4-4-2 Atlantic type could be found in widespread use typically in passenger service. Learn more about its history and how it was developed.

Continue reading "4-4-2 "Atlantic" Locomotives: Designed For High-Speed Service"

May 08, 2024

Nickel Plate Road Diesel Roster (All-Time)

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The Nickel Plate Road's all-time diesel roster can be found here, from its early switchers to modern road-switchers.

Continue reading "Nickel Plate Road Diesel Roster (All-Time)"

May 07, 2024

4-4-0 "American" Locomotives: The Common 19th Century Engine

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Learn about the history of the 4-4-0 American type and how it could be found in use all across the country.

Continue reading "4-4-0 "American" Locomotives: The Common 19th Century Engine"

May 06, 2024

Wabash Diesel Roster (All-Time)

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The information covered here details the Wabash Railroad's all-time diesel locomotive roster.

Continue reading "Wabash Diesel Roster (All-Time)"

May 05, 2024

Santa Fe's Raton Pass (Railroad): Thru The Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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The Santa Fe's famous Raton Pass, located mostly in New Mexico, was part of the railroad's original main line between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Continue reading "Santa Fe's Raton Pass (Railroad): Thru The Sangre de Cristo Mountains"

May 03, 2024

Boston and Maine Railroad: "Route Of The Minute Man"

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The Boston & Maine, whose slogan long read "Route Of The Minute Man," was an important New England line for more than 1480 years.

Continue reading "Boston and Maine Railroad: "Route Of The Minute Man""

May 02, 2024

Pennsylvania (PRR) Steam Roster: Post 1906

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Featured here is the Pennsylvania Railroad's complete steam locomotive roster, post 1900. The information includes general road numbers, types, and retirements.

Continue reading "Pennsylvania (PRR) Steam Roster: Post 1906"

May 01, 2024

C&O 4-8-4 "Greenbrier" #614 Locomotive

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Chesapeake & Ohio #614 is one of the railroad's classic 4-8-4 "Greenbriers." Read about the unit's history.

Continue reading "C&O 4-8-4 "Greenbrier" #614 Locomotive"

May 01, 2024

Western Maryland Railway (WM), "The Fast Freight Line"

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The Western Maryland honored its slogan well as the Fast Freight Line. It connected Baltimore with Connellsville and Elkins.

Continue reading "Western Maryland Railway (WM), "The Fast Freight Line""

Apr 30, 2024

The "Super Chief": The Train Of The Stars

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The legendary Super Chief was the flagship of the Santa Fe railroad and used the theme of the Southwest Native Americans. It disappeared upon the startup of Amtrak in 1971.

Continue reading "The "Super Chief": The Train Of The Stars"

Apr 26, 2024

"Cincinnati Limited" (Train): New York - Columbus - Cincinnati

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The Cincinnati Limited was once a top PRR train, and arguably the best between New York and Cincinnati. Established in the 1920s it survived until Amtrak.

Continue reading ""Cincinnati Limited" (Train): New York - Columbus - Cincinnati"

Apr 26, 2024

Clinchfield Railroad

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A brief history of coal-hauler, the Clinchfield Railroad; a classic system connecting Kentucky with South Carolina. Today, its route is still used by CSX.

Continue reading "Clinchfield Railroad"

Apr 24, 2024

SP&S 4-8-4 #700 Steam Locomotive

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Spokane, Portland & Seattle #700 is a 4-8-4 locomotive built during the 1930s. The Northern was later restored in the 1980s and now calls Portland home.

Continue reading "SP&S 4-8-4 #700 Steam Locomotive"

Apr 23, 2024

Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad

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The Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad was a classic shortline in the West Virginia hills that is fondly remembered by railfans.

Continue reading "Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad"

Apr 21, 2024

Alco "C628" Locomotives

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The burly Alco C628 was briefly successful before proving far too heavy. Find out where the few surivors are now.

Continue reading "Alco "C628" Locomotives"

Apr 20, 2024

Columbus and Greenville Railway

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The Columbus & Greenville Railway is a line that dates back to the late 19th century. Today, part of the route remains in regular service as a shortline.

Continue reading "Columbus and Greenville Railway"

Apr 19, 2024

Western Pacific Railroad

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The Western Pacific was a small classic railroad linking Salt Lake City with Oakland. In 1982 it became part of Union Pacific.

Continue reading "Western Pacific Railroad"

Apr 19, 2024

EMD "GP35" Locomotives

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The GP35 followed the GP30 in 1963. Another second-generation model that sported a new prime mover and other components it sold incredibly well.

Continue reading "EMD "GP35" Locomotives"

Apr 18, 2024

Alco "C415" Locomotives

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Learn about why the Alco C-415 was an unsuccessful attempt by the builder to remain relevant in the locomotive market.

Continue reading "Alco "C415" Locomotives"

Recent Articles

  1. The Wootten Firebox: Designed By John E. Wootten

    Jun 14, 24 11:34 PM

    15239082u62800097.jpg
    The Wootten Firebox was designed by John Wootten in 1877 to burn low-grade, anthracite coal slag known as culm, which led to the creation of the Mother Hubbard or Camelback locomotive.

    Read More

  2. Nickel Plate Road #765: Hosting Excursions Since 1979

    Jun 14, 24 10:43 PM

    682034872230u52006.jpg
    Nickel Plate Road 765 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire. Today, it is owned and operated by the Fort Wayne Railway Historical Society.

    Read More

  3. The "Fleet of Modernism": PRR's 'Blue Ribbon' Streamliners

    Jun 14, 24 09:43 PM

    prr_fom.jpg
    The Fleet of Modernism was a term describing the Pennsy's first streamliners from the General to the Liberty Limited.

    Read More