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November 23, 2020


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Very nice. I still remember seeing my first "Warbonnet" paint scheme in 1990 at the yard near Grand Avenue. Canyon Diablo is worth a trip but go prepared, I had a 4x4 truck at the time and needed the ground clearance.

Notice what’s missing on all the old train photos? Graffiti. I bet 99% of the rail cars in the USA are tagged. If you buy a model train these days, you can get rail cars with graffiti.

Hi. The photo that is labeled as a picture of the Santa Fe El Capitan is actually Amtrak’s Southwest Limited sometime in the mid ‘70s. You can see the cars painted in Amtrak colors.

These are beautiful images. I am particularly fond of the F-series locomotives, which IMO mix sleek and modern with retro at once. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad still runs these locomotives on a 12-mile section of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western track through the Royal Gorge. The 2-hour trip pulls the 1950s-era rolling stock through some of the most stunning scenery of the canyon, including across the famed Hanging Bridge.

Once again, thanks for the great pictures. I learned to appreciate the value and joys of rail travel too late; only on on my first trip to India, where rail travel has penetrated deeply into the fabric of life, perhaps more than in any other country. At any given point during the daytime, India has over 2000 passenger-carrying trains operating (not counting suburban commuter trains). On every subsequent trip to India, that's how I've moved about the country (they go almost everywhere) and where I've met countless interesting people, from the Bombay-Delhi expresses to the steam-powered, rack-and-pinion Nilgiri Mountain Railway (not, amazingly enough, primarily a tourist train!). Would that we still had something remotely like their system here.

Great photos Rogue. Reminds me of my youth when dad was an engineer for the Northern Pacific which ultimately became the Burlington Northern. In the 50's he took us on a couple of trips to Staples Minnesota, his turn-around from the Twin Cities. Amazing to sit in the engine and ride the rails with him. So long ago, but the photos help jar it all loose. Nice.

I have three photos I took at the Mesa Southern Pacific depot, long ago, to contribute to this: The depot building, a diesel-electric locomotive parked at the depot, and one of SP's signature bay-window cabooses.

Nice photos, Joe. Thanks.

If you're done looking at trains, there's a great discussion taking place back at the Deliverance thread.

Biden and trains


Sorry for the radio silence. I have multiple Seattle Times deadlines this week and may not be able to write a column for a few days. Thanks for understanding.

You sure struck a nerve with your last ST column. 700+ comments.

All, check out the links to previous railroad posts by Rogue; there are more photos. (The links are in the intro to this piece.)

Rogue, I'd like your thoughts on why the railroads don't seem to be doing R&D on moving more of the nation's goods in a timely manner, i.e., getting trucks off the roads.

Several problems are at work.

Except for BNSF (owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway) the major railroads are under constant pressure from Wall Street to deliver short-term profits. Wall Street frowns on the investment needed to grow traffic and aggressively market to shippers.

The culture of American railroading is also lazy and unwilling to do the things necessary to take traffic from trucking (which is subsidized by road building.


I wonder what it would take to "wake the railroads up." It seems to me there is a goldmine waiting to be tapped.

Left out is the White Mountain steam train It was beautiful. Rode it as a kid in the early 70's.

Thanks for commenting, but I didn't include tourist lines.

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