Passenger Rail

Passenger Railroads is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

SP #4449 Drone Chasing Columbia Gorge April 2018

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SP #4449 Drone Chasing Columbia Gorge April 2018

Railfan Dan
Published on Apr 20, 2018

I present to you the magnificent SP #4449 steam locomotive on a secret BNSF excursion run!

From April 9th through April 12th the #4449 made four round trips on the Fallbridge subdivision from Vancouver to Wishram and back once each day. This was done for the filming of an upcoming IMAX movie called "Train Time" by The Stephen Low Company.

All the rolling stock on this train is BNSF passenger cars with no passengers except #4449 crew and BNSF crew, it was simply a train to be filmed. Film crews chased the train for all four days with a giant IMAX camera and on the fourth and final day with a helicopter which can actually be seen near the end of this video. This footage was filmed on April 10th as well as April 12th with some locations the same between both days.

All footage is in...
Gearing Up for The First Distanced Holiday Season, Amtrak Recommends Booking Thanksgiving Tickets Early
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This Thanksgiving travel season, Amtrak is ready to help customers travel safely and comfortably to reconnect with friends and family. Amtrak is delivering a new standard of travel that includes enhanced cleaning protocols, contactless amenities, social distancing on board and in stations, required face coverings and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak customers can avoid traffic and enjoy free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat.

Amtrak limits bookings on reserved trains to allow for physical distancing

WASHINGTON – This Thanksgiving travel season, Amtrak is ready to help customers travel safely and comfortably to reconnect with friends and family. Amtrak is delivering a new standard of travel that includes enhanced cleaning protocols, contactless amenities, social distancing on board and in stations, required face coverings and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak customers can avoid traffic and enjoy free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room...
Commuter Activity: Geneva, IL
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Got a shot of a commuter train on my lunch hour. It's pushing the train east into Chicago.

Amtrak: Additional funding needed soon to avoid additional service and employment reductions
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WASHINGTON – Following regular discussion with Congress about our federal funding needs for Fiscal Year 2021, Amtrak submitted a letter to Congress formalizing our ongoing request for up to $4.857 billion this fiscal year for Amtrak and our partners.

From the letter, Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn notes “we have seen that our ridership is not returning as quickly or at the levels that we had hoped for, and we updated our forecast for FY 21. We now anticipate needing up to $4.857 billion in FY21 to support the company and our employees through this unprecedented situation.”

Additionally, as Congress considers programs for stimulating the economy, Amtrak has identified $5.193 billion in additional investments as part of an economic recovery proposal to help the nation recover from the impacts of the pandemic, for a total federal investment of $10.050 billion. This includes critical...
Amtrak Partnership With RB, The Makers Of Lysol®, Further Strengthens Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Hygiene Protocols
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A leader in germ-kill products helps rail customers travel with confidence

ORANGE, Calif. – Since the onset of COVID-19, Amtrak has led the way in ushering a new standard of safe travel. Today, The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which manages the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service, is building on its commitment to the safety and wellbeing of travelers by announcing a partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol. As part of this new partnership, germ-kill experts and microbiologists from RB will help Amtrak strengthen its comprehensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for Amtrak trains, stations and Metropolitan Lounges. The partnership will launch in stations served by Pacific Surfliner trains, before expanding across the Amtrak network.

“We’re excited to be selected as one of Lysol’s first rail partners as we roll out the use of their disinfection solutions in stations served by the...
Buy A Roomette And Bring A Companion For Free For Travel On The Amtrak Auto Train
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OCTOBER 1, 2020

Skip the traffic and Get Carried Away

WASHINGTON – For those looking for a unique adventure or visiting family and friends, customers can travel in the comfort of a private room with the latest flash sale for the Amtrak Auto Train. When one person purchases a Roomette, one companion can join them for free. The sale is available for purchase from Thursday, Oct. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 11. The offer is valid for travel from Oct. 4 – Dec. 17, 2020.

The Auto Train offers daily, non-stop service from Lorton, Va. (near Washington, D.C.), and Sanford, Fla. (near Orlando). Customers can skip I-95 and travel with their vehicles, including cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles and even small boats or jet-skis. This is the only such service in the U.S. and eliminates nearly 900 miles of driving between the Northeast and all points in Florida.

For customers seeking both privacy and savings...
Amtrak: Delivering A New Standard Of Travel
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is leading the way by setting a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and cleaning measures. In an effort to simplify and safeguard the travel experience, several cleaning, contact-free and convenience measures have been implemented into every part of the customer journey — from time of booking to the moment of arrival.

With a full-time medical director and public health and safety team who have been on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have studied, analyzed and made improvements to the Amtrak travel experience – from beginning to end – for the safety and health of our people and travelers.

Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and launch new initiatives to support personal safety. For more information, follow Amtrak on social media, sign up for Amtrak Guest Rewards and visit...
Amtrak Police And California Operation Lifesaver Recognize Lodi Cop Who Rescued A Man Stuck On Railroad Tracks
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

66-year-old wheelchair user was in direct path of oncoming train

LODI, Calif. – The Amtrak Police Department (APD) presented a Lodi, California Police Officer with the prestigious “Life Saving Medal” for her swift and heroic actions that saved a man’s life within seconds of being hit by an oncoming freight train. Officer Erika Urrea, a 14-year veteran of the force, was honored at the Lodi Police Station during an award ceremony on Monday hosted by APD and California Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit railroad safety education organization.

On Aug.12, Officer Urrea spotted a man in a wheelchair stuck on the railroad tracks near Lodi Avenue. As the crossing gates activated and were coming down, Urrea got out of her patrol car and ran to assist. After unsuccessfully attempting to free the wheelchair, with only seconds to spare, she physically pulled the man out of the chair and the two fell backwards just a few feet away from the oncoming 250-ton freight...
Homewood Improvements Will Make It An Even Better Home For Amtrak And Metra Customers In Illinois
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SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

Full access from both sides of the tracks, tunnel, station and platform work under way following ceremony
HOMEWOOD, Ill. – Improvements to Amtrak and Metra customer facilities at the shared station in Chicago south-suburban Homewood were celebrated this morning by federal, state and local officials formally beginning a combined $29 million construction project that will continue through spring 2022.

Now underway on the west side of the tracks owned by Metra and CN Railway, Amtrak is using $15 million of federal funds it receives for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to replace the stairway and augment the stairs with an enclosed ramp, allowing all customers to access the tunnel under the tracks to both the Amtrak and the Metra train platforms.

Metra electric trains and Amtrak diesel-powered trains operate on separate tracks with different platform...
Amtrak Provides Real-Time Look At Seat Availability
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SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

WASHINGTON – To provide customers with an extra level of confidence and security while traveling, Amtrak has made a few updates to its website and mobile app. Now, when booking, customers can easily see how full their reserved train will be (i.e. 20 % full). The percentage is displayed in real-time when customers search for their train.

When searching for travel, customers will see a volume percentage next to each route. This will give customers the opportunity to book a route that is less crowded. The percentage shown represents the proportion of seats sold based on the total number of seats on the train. These percentage numbers adjust dynamically in real time as more passengers make reservations.

“Prioritizing health and safety, we continue to provide customers with new, innovative measures that promote physical distancing and contactless travel,” said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn. “We have studied, analyzed...
Amtrak-Led Coalition Wins Another Southwest Chief Grant
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SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

$11.5 million will stabilize and improve Colo.-N.M. segment
WASHINGTON – Amtrak, committed to the national network of long-distance, interregional trains, is thanking the Federal Railroad Administration for a $5.6 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant to stabilize and rehabilitate the route of the Amtrak Southwest Chief in Colorado and New Mexico. Combined with $4.9 million in Amtrak federal funds set aside for this service and $1 million from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), a total of $11.5 million will be invested from Trinidad, Colo., to south of Lamy, N.M.

This is the fifth federal grant for the route segment in these two states and Kansas. There is still a significant need for component renewal and restoration of...
“Operation Clear Track” Goes Virtual For Largest Rail Safety Program In The U.S. And Canada
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SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

Initiative is part of Rail Safety Week 2020

WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Police Department, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), first responders and railroads across the U.S. and Canada are delivering virtual simultaneous rail safety messages as part of “Operation Clear Track,” the single largest rail safety education initiative across the U.S. and Canada during Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s fourth annual rail safety event will be conducted virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 22, by 368 law enforcement agencies, first responders and emergency departments nationwide, each sending out a single rail safety message designed to reduce deaths and injuries along the railroad rights-of way.

“The first responders who signed up this year to electronically share our rail safety message are the same men and women who report to the scene when a railroad incident occurs,” said Amtrak Police Chief...

Federal Railroad Administration Announces Rail Inspection Technology Rule to Improve Track Safety

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“This rule will allow railroads to use the latest technology to continually monitor safety, which is a big step forward in strengthening safety and reliability on our nation’s railroads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Friday, August 28, 2020

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today submitted to the Federal Register a final rule allowing railroads to use ultrasonic inspection technology, augmented with global positioning system (GPS) technology, to employ continuous rail testing. These updated regulations are expected to improve safety...

IDOT, New Siemens Ventures Passenger Cars

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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun taking delivery on 88 new Siemens “Venture” single-level passenger cars. According to WSP USA Senior Engineering Manager Art Peterson, who supplied these photos to Railway Age, the first four arrived in Chicago in mid-August, and four more are en route.

The Siemens/IDOT contract dates to November 2017, when Caltrans and IDOT amended a $317 million contract for new passenger cars, replacing Nippon Sharyo with Siemens, which partnered with Sumitomo Corp. of America to fulfill a delayed multi-state order. The revised contract involved 137 single-level passenger railcars—49 for Caltrans and 88 for IDOT. Under the original terms of the deal, Sumitomo had subcontracted construction of bi-level cars to Nippon Sharyo of Japan. The revised pact substituted...

Metro-North Welcomes Visitors Back to Grand Central With Live Pianist

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July 08th, 2020


Metro-North Welcomes Visitors Back to Grand Central With Live Pianist

Trains pulling in and out, train departure announcements echoing through the concourse, and the ambient hustle and bustle of visitors all make up the typical Grand Central Terminal soundtrack. To help ease back into the daily routine, New York’s most iconic transit hub launches a dedicated Spotify channel featuring a variety of playlists for commuters and visitors to enjoy as they return to everyday life. Grand Central Terminal has teamed up with some of the city’s most iconic musical institutions to offer its visitors an enjoyable experience as they start their day, ride the train home, grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Titled GCTtracks, this new channel is free and accessible on Spotify by searching ‘Grand Central Terminal’. The four introductory playlists are curated by Steinway & Sons, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts...

Proposed Surface Transportation Bill Would Triple Funding for Amtrak

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A week after Amtrak officials said the railroad needed $1.4 billion to survive the ongoing pandemic, House Democrats revealed a plan that would triple federal funding for intercity passenger rail service. The funding proposal is part of a new surface transportation funding bill that would invest more than $500 billion in highway and rail projects over the next five years. The current surface transportation act, dubbed the FAST Act, was signed into law in 2015 by President Barack Obama and expires this year.
California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section
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California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for Burbank to Los Angeles Section

CHSRA Press Release:
May 26 2020 Sacramento

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is releasing the project-level draft environmental document for another project section in Southern California. The document, which covers the approximately 14-mile Burbank to Los Angeles Project Section, will be available for public review and comment starting on Friday, May 29.

The Burbank to Los Angeles project section connects two key multi-modal transportation hubs in Los Angeles County, a new Burbank Airport Station in Burbank and the existing Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) in Los Angeles. These stations are intended to provide links with regional and local mass transit services as well as connectivity to airports and the highway networks in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Basin. This project section is also an important component of...

Amtrak Continues Testing on New Acela Fleet

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Amtrak Continues Testing on New Acela Fleet

Amtrak’s new Acela fleet, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, continues to progress with its high-speed testing at Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., as the first Acela prototype completed another milestone by traveling at speeds up to 165 mph, although the train’s initial top operating speed will be 160 mph.

The first Acela prototype traveled from Alstom’s facility in Hornell, N.Y., on Feb., 17 and is expected to undergo six more months of dynamic testing, which will include the trainset’s pantograph, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, slip/slide and wayside protection, brakes, and train control management systems. Once complete, the trainset will return to Alstom for installation of its interiors.

Judge Reinstates Charges Against Engineer in Philadelphia Train Wreck That Killed 8

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Judge Reinstates Charges Against Engineer in Philadelphia Train Wreck That Killed 8

The ruling revived the state’s case against Brandon Bostian, a former Amtrak engineer, who has been charged with more than 200 crimes, including eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A judge on Thursday reinstated charges against a former Amtrak engineer who was driving a speeding train that derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight people.

Full story:
Some photos of my railfanning around the East Bay 2020
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New Years eve found me driving up Santa Fe Avenue in the central valley

Rolling Into 2020
by lennycarl08, on Flickr

Loaded and Waiting
by lennycarl08, on Flickr is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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