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.

Nov 29, 2022

Texas Scenic Train Rides: A Complete Guide (2022)

Texas offers three top-notch excursions including the Texas State Railroad, Grapevine Railroad, and Austin Steam Train.

Continue reading "Texas Scenic Train Rides: A Complete Guide (2022)"

Nov 29, 2022

Class 3 Railroads (USA): List, Revenue, Definition

A close-up look at several Class III railroads, or "short lines." These systems are in vastly greater numbers today as Class Is continue to shed trackage.

Continue reading "Class 3 Railroads (USA): List, Revenue, Definition"

Nov 29, 2022

Class 2 "Regional" Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics

Class II railroads, also referred to as "regionals," are the second-largest such companies within the industry. The information here covers most of these lines.

Continue reading "Class 2 "Regional" Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics"

Nov 29, 2022

Class 1 Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics, Overview

In railroad jargon, Class 1 railroads refer to the largest companies in the industry and all six in North America are highlighted here.

Continue reading "Class 1 Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics, Overview"

Nov 29, 2022

4-6-4 "Hudson" Locomotives

The 4-6-4 Hudson was developed by the NYC in the 1920s hence its name. Read more about its development and which lines used this type.

Continue reading "4-6-4 "Hudson" Locomotives"

Nov 29, 2022

Railroads In The Postwar (1950s): Facts, Statistics, Photos

The 1950s was not a good decade. While diesel locomotives replaced steam passengers continued to leave and freight also declined as mileage shrank.

Continue reading "Railroads In The Postwar (1950s): Facts, Statistics, Photos"

Nov 29, 2022

Westinghouse Air Brake

The Westinghouse Automatic Air Brake was one of the most important early advancements in railroad safety and operation, developed in the 1860s by George Westinghouse.

Continue reading "Westinghouse Air Brake"

Nov 29, 2022

EMD "SD70ACe" Locomotive

The SD70ACe series is a variant of the original SD70 and first released in 2003.

Continue reading "EMD "SD70ACe" Locomotive"

Nov 28, 2022

Maryland Christmas Train Rides (2022): A Complete Guide

This article offers information regarding the organizations highlighting Christmas-themed train rides in Maryland.

Continue reading "Maryland Christmas Train Rides (2022): A Complete Guide"

Nov 28, 2022

Alabama Christmas Train Rides (2022): A Complete Guide

This article highlights locations in Alabama which host Christmas-themed train rides.

Continue reading "Alabama Christmas Train Rides (2022): A Complete Guide"

Nov 28, 2022

GE "U25B" Locomotives

The U25B burst on the scene in 1959, taking both Alco and EMD by surprise. It saw decent sales numbers and helped put Alco out of business by 1969.

Continue reading "GE "U25B" Locomotives"

Nov 28, 2022

East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company

The East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company is a historic narrow-gauge coal-hauler dating to 1856 located in Pennsylvania.

Continue reading "East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company"

Nov 28, 2022

Missouri Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

The earliest Missouri railroads date back to the Pacific Railroad of 1849. The state's mileage peaked at over 8,000 in 1920 and today about 4,000 remains in use.

Continue reading "Missouri Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Nov 28, 2022

EMD "SD90MAC" Locomotives

The SD90MAC was the pinnacle of the horsepower race with GE. Released in 1995 and rated at 6,000 horsepower it was riddled with issues.

Continue reading "EMD "SD90MAC" Locomotives"

Nov 28, 2022

Colorado Scenic Train Rides: A Complete Guide (2022)

Colorado has a rich history with railroads related to its legendary mining trade. As such, there are several heritage excursions and museums found there today. Learn more about Colorado train rides and railroad museums here.

Continue reading "Colorado Scenic Train Rides: A Complete Guide (2022)"

Nov 28, 2022

EMD "SD80MAC" Locomotives

The SD80MAC was a variant of the SD70 built in 1995 for Conrail. Only 30 were built with a rating of 5,000 horsepower.

Continue reading "EMD "SD80MAC" Locomotives"

Nov 28, 2022

Kansas City Southern Railway

The Kansas City Southern is the smallest Class I in terms of size and net earnings, carrying a history dating back to 1890.

Continue reading "Kansas City Southern Railway"

Nov 27, 2022

EMD "SD75" and "SD75I" Locomotives

The SD75M/SD75I models built during the 1990s as a spin-off to its successful SD70 line. More than 400 sold but did not seriously compete against leader GE.

Continue reading "EMD "SD75" and "SD75I" Locomotives"

Nov 27, 2022

Railroads In America, U.S. History

An informational and educational resource guide covering American railroads. Learn more about what was like to experience America by rail.

Continue reading "Railroads In America, U.S. History"

Nov 27, 2022

EMD "SD70," "SD70MAC, and "SD70M-2" Locomotives

The SD70 series was first introduced in 1992 and has been very successful for the builder, allowing it to remain competitive against GE.

Continue reading "EMD "SD70," "SD70MAC, and "SD70M-2" Locomotives"

Nov 27, 2022

EMD "SD60" Locomotives

The SD60 replaced the troubled SD50 in the mid-1980s. While it saw high sales the model could not restore the builder's dominance.

Continue reading "EMD "SD60" Locomotives"

Nov 27, 2022

EMD "SD50" Locomotives

The SD50 was first produced in 1981 and the model proved to be the builder's downfall as it was plagued with engine and microprocessor problems.

Continue reading "EMD "SD50" Locomotives"

Nov 27, 2022

2-8-0 "Consolidation" Locomotives

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"

Nov 27, 2022

Colorado and Southern Railway

The Colorado & Southern operated across the southwest from Colorado to Texas. It became part of the Burlington but retained its name through the 1980s.

Continue reading "Colorado and Southern Railway"

Nov 27, 2022

Colorado Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines

Once upon a time Colorado railroads included everything from narrow-gauge mining railroads to several fallen flags. Learn about the state's history with trains here.

Continue reading "Colorado Railroads: Map, History, Abandoned Lines"

Nov 27, 2022

2-8-2 "Mikado" Steam Locomotives

The 2-8-2 Mikado was a steam locomotive design developed in 1883 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Japanese Railway, hence its name.

Continue reading "2-8-2 "Mikado" Steam Locomotives"

Nov 27, 2022

GE "U36C" and "U34CH" Locomotives

The U36C was the most powerful U-boat the company cataloged in the early 1970s. It was somewhat successful with sales reaching into the 200s.

Continue reading "GE "U36C" and "U34CH" Locomotives"

Nov 26, 2022

EMD "SD45" Locomotives

The SD45 series was cataloged during the same time as the SD40 series. However, it featured an updated, 20-cylinder prime mover.

Continue reading "EMD "SD45" Locomotives"

Nov 26, 2022

EMD "SD40" and "SD40-2" Locomotives

The SD40, SD40-2, and their variants were first released in 1966 and became an instant success with more than 5,000 manufactured.

Continue reading "EMD "SD40" and "SD40-2" Locomotives"

Nov 26, 2022

Chicago Great Western Railway

The venerable Chicago Great Western Railway operated across the upper Midwest serving Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Kansas City.

Continue reading "Chicago Great Western Railway"

Nov 26, 2022

4-10-2 Steam Locomotives

The 4-10-2 Overland was a unique design used only by the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific, introduced in 1925. It proved to be rather unsuccessful.

Continue reading "4-10-2 Steam Locomotives"

Nov 26, 2022

"Doodlebug" Rail Cars (Trains)

Doodlebugs became a popular early motorized rail car used by the industry to reduce expenses associated with passenger operations on light branch lines. Most were retired by the 1960s.

Continue reading ""Doodlebug" Rail Cars (Trains)"

Nov 25, 2022

EMD "SD38" and "SD38-2" Locomotives

The SD38 series cataloged for a decade starting in the late 1960s found few buyers although not due to reliability issues.

Continue reading "EMD "SD38" and "SD38-2" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

4-12-2 "Union Pacific" Locomotives

The 4-12-2 "Union Pacific" was named for the only railroad which operated the design. It first entered service in 1926 and remained so until the 1950s.

Continue reading "4-12-2 "Union Pacific" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

EMD "NW2" Locomotives

The NW2 was an early diesel switcher that was very popular due to its reliability and small size. More than 1,000 examples were sold.

Continue reading "EMD "NW2" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

EMD "SD35" Locomotives

The SD35 was an early second-generation road-switcher. It was the most powerful in EMD's catalog when released during the mid-1960s.

Continue reading "EMD "SD35" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

New York Central Railroad: Map, Logo, History

The New York Central, known as the "Water Level Route," was pieced together by Cornelius Vanderbilt and battled rival Pennsylvania for generations.

Continue reading "New York Central Railroad: Map, Logo, History"

Nov 25, 2022

"Super Chief" (Train): Schedule, Interior, Route

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 ""Super Chief" (Train): Schedule, Interior, Route"

Nov 25, 2022

EMD "SD24" Locomotives

The SD24 was company's first second-generation model of the "Special Duty" series (six axles), first released in 1958.

Continue reading "EMD "SD24" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

GE "U18B" Locomotives

The U18B was a late model U-boat released by GE, intended for specialized light duty service.

Continue reading "GE "U18B" Locomotives"

Nov 25, 2022

Railroad Glossary

This page offers a railroad glossary and highlights the many different terms and descriptions of the industry.

Continue reading "Railroad Glossary"

Nov 24, 2022

EMD "SD18" Locomotives

The six-axle SD18 was a disappointment during a time when the company dominated the diesel market. Less than 100 were built.

Continue reading "EMD "SD18" Locomotives"

Nov 24, 2022

EMD "SD9" Locomotives

The SD9 was the six-axle version of its popular and successful GP9. It proved the bestselling first-generation road-switcher EMD cataloged.

Continue reading "EMD "SD9" Locomotives"

Nov 24, 2022

EMD "SD7" Locomotives

The SD7 was the builder's first six-axle road-switcher that debuted in 1952, a few years after the GP7.

Continue reading "EMD "SD7" Locomotives"

Nov 23, 2022

EMD "GP60" Locomotives

The GP60 was cataloged during the late 1980s. It was the last four-axle road-switcher EMD offered.

Continue reading "EMD "GP60" Locomotives"

Nov 23, 2022

EMD "GP50" and "GP59" Locomotives

The GP50 was a late model, and powerful Geep cataloged during the 1980s that saw few sales as railroads turned away from four-axle road-switchers.

Continue reading "EMD "GP50" and "GP59" Locomotives"

Nov 23, 2022

"Olympian Hiawatha" (Train)

The Olympian Hiawatha was Milwaukee Road's home-built streamliner that connected Chicago and Seattle debuting in 1947. It was canceled in 1961

Continue reading ""Olympian Hiawatha" (Train)"

Nov 23, 2022

Reading Railroad: Map, Logo, History, Timetables

The Reading Railroad known in later years by its slogan, "Bee Line Service," is historically remembered as a successful anthracite coal hauler.

Continue reading "Reading Railroad: Map, Logo, History, Timetables"

Nov 23, 2022

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

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" Locomotives"

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Recent Articles

  1. Texas Scenic Train Rides: A Complete Guide (2022)

    Nov 29, 22 06:50 PM

    Texas offers three top-notch excursions including the Texas State Railroad, Grapevine Railroad, and Austin Steam Train.

    Read More

  2. Class 3 Railroads (USA): List, Revenue, Definition

    Nov 29, 22 06:45 PM

    A close-up look at several Class III railroads, or "short lines." These systems are in vastly greater numbers today as Class Is continue to shed trackage.

    Read More

  3. Class 2 "Regional" Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics

    Nov 29, 22 06:42 PM

    Class II railroads, also referred to as "regionals," are the second-largest such companies within the industry. The information here covers most of these lines.

    Read More

  4. Class 1 Railroads (USA): Revenue, Statistics, Overview

    Nov 29, 22 06:40 PM

    In railroad jargon, Class 1 railroads refer to the largest companies in the industry and all six in North America are highlighted here.

    Read More

  5. 4-6-4 "Hudson" Locomotives

    Nov 29, 22 01:07 PM

    The 4-6-4 Hudson was developed by the NYC in the 1920s hence its name. Read more about its development and which lines used this type.

    Read More


SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!