Monthly Archives: July 2009

East Valley Model Railroad Club Picnic

The East Valley Model Railroad Club will be hosting their annual picnic at the LA Live Steamers, 5202 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park.

Admission for the event is $5.00 per person and you are requested to bring your own food.  The LA Live Steamers will be operating their layout, so you can ride on their layout.  In addition to the operating model steam trains, there will be a host of other model railroad activities and fellowship.

Date: Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Time: 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Location: 5202 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park

Visit the LA Live Steamers website here

Stories of Our Lives : The Glendale Train

When you live on the tracks, there is no “wrong side” nor is there a “right side.” You simply live on the tracks; we always did.

We loved the trains; we had missed them the four or five years we had lived in the country, away from them. During those years, while shopping in town, we sometimes caught sight of one of the new streamliners, which thrilled us; occasionally an old steam engine would chug through bringing back memories of the railroad shanties along the tracks where we lived in Missouri.

We didn’t miss the shacks, but we missed the sight of Uncle George and his son Frank pumping the handcar down the track on a clean-up run after a storm. We missed the puff of the train’s engine, the sound of its lonesome whistle and the sight of that single headlight, like a one-eyed monster roaring down the line on the last night run.

(Read article here)

CSX Transportation Urges Awareness and Caution Near Rails and Tracks Over July 4th Weekend

With the July 4th holiday weekend and summer recreation approaching, CSX Transportation (CSXT) is urging people to play it safe around railroad tracks and property by using common sense safety to avoid injuries and fatalities.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), injuries and fatalities associated with trespassing on railroad property are a significant and growing problem. More than 870 people died or were injured in railroad-related trespassing incidents in 2008 and the total number of accidents and fatalities has surpassed 9,000 in the last ten years. As people turn to traditional summer and holiday activities such as fishing and swimming, fireworks and increased all-terrain vehicle (ATV) usage, accidents can happen.

CSXT developed “F.A.S.T.” as part of its ongoing safety commitments, urging public awareness of basic guidelines when it comes to Fishing, Fireworks, ATV, Safety and Trespassing near rails and tracks

(Read article here)

L.A. harbor line acquires low-emission engines

The heavy-metal clash as rail cars slam together is like a symphony to Andrew Fox, and he can hear just how well each note is played as trains assemble on the railroad he runs.

On a recent morning, Fox winced only once.

“It can be too hard or too soft. You can just tell when it isn’t quite right,” said Fox, president of Pacific Harbor Line Inc., which operates inside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Even during a global recession that has slowed cargo traffic at the local ports to its lowest level in at least five years, there have been very few sour notes for Pacific Harbor Line. With routes that, end to end, measure only 18 miles combined, it is one of the nation’s smallest short line railroads. But it is also one of the most important.

The railroad’s job is to break down trains as they arrive and send their cargo containers to the ports’ nine terminals. It also assembles trains that haul freight to much of the nation, connecting to the Union Pacific and BNSF transcontinental rail lines.

“We’re like the valet parking for the harbor,” Fox quips.

(Read article here)

Old locomotive returns to Santa Maria

A 125-year-old steam locomotive, once used to haul sugar beets in the Santa Maria Valley, has found its way back to the Central Coast.

Once known as Union Sugar No. 1, the tank engine returned to Santa Maria Thursday, just miles away from the former site of the Union Sugar plant in Betteravia where it hauled beet gondolas for four years.

Now owned by the Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum, the 35-ton piece of machinery was delivered by truck to Steve Soares Trucking, the company that brought the locomotive down from Northern California, on Betteravia Road.

It will be kept next to a restored caboose at an Engel & Gray facility, also on Betteravia Road.

(Read article here)

New rail corridor between L.A. and Las Vegas could doom maglev project

Reporting from Los Angeles and Las Vegas — A potential corridor for passenger trains between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area has become part of a federal initiative to modernize the nation’s rail networks and develop high-speed service between cities.

Thursday’s announcement, however, might doom a 30-year-old proposal to build a high-tech magnetic levitation, or “maglev,” train from Anaheim to Las Vegas if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gets his way.

Reid, who no longer supports the maglev project, said during an event to publicize the rail corridor that he would try to scuttle $45 million in federal funds earmarked for the proposal. The maglev project and a conventional rail line proposed by a private venture are trying to develop separate high speed passenger trains that would parallel oft-congested Interstate 15. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Thursday that a swath of land along much of I-15 has been declared a federal high-speed rail corridor — one of 11 such zones in the U.S. Projects proposed in those corridors are eligible for federal assistance, grants and loans.

Federal officials say the development of a successful high speed rail system between Southern California and Nevada would dramatically reduce delays and traffic accidents on I-15.

(Read article here)