fure of railroading

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by joesho, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. joesho

    joesho Member

    latley theres been some pretty depressing stuff on the gauge i was wondering what do you think the future of railroading holds,is it good or bad??. your opinion please
  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    So long as there isn't a ban on coal-fired power plants, Asian imports, or domestic automobiles the railroads will be around for a long time to come.
  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Also with the shortage of truck drivers. I believe rialroads are making a come back due to high fuel prices. I know here in East Tennessee, CSX and NS has been laying new track!

  4. Alan Bickley

    Alan Bickley Member

    Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, England, I have seen a recruitment advertisement in a local paper for railhead operatives as Direct Rail Services (DRS) are starting a new contract at the Army Logistics centre at Bicester (What was the largest military transport installation in western Europe)!
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    From a passenger railroad perspective...

    Railroads are vital to the area where I live. As much as people like to complain about delays and other hassles when taking mass transit, here in the New York City area things will grind to a standstill if any of the several passenger systems develops a major problem: NYC Subway, PATH, Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, Amtrak Northeast Corridor, and NJ Transit.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    In addition to the shortage of truck drivers, the safety record of the trucking industry has made the costs for insurance coverage sky rocket. If the railroads can really get their "act together" to move freight quickly and efficiently, they can virtually take over the cross country freight market and rlegate most trucking to local deliveries. The problem is they have to quit thinking in trms of waiting to get a train load of freight before leaving and instead think in terms of scheduled departures with the trailers making the train that get to the intermodal yard in time to be loaded. When the railroad delays departure of a train for a few late loads, the entire schedule suffers.
  7. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I used to live in hackensack nj, and there was a marked increase in rr both friegth and passenger rolling through that town in the last couple of years.

    There are at least 3 different light rail projects in central and southern nj that i know of ... so i think the rails are gonna be here for a while.

  8. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Here in Switzerland we probably have one of the most dense RR nets in the world - and still they are building new lines. These are either high-speed lines (mainly for passenger transport) and even new LOOONG tunnels through the Alps (also for high-sped freight). The political objective is to bring as much road freight traffic onto the railroads as possible - be it piggyback trains or intermodal.

    It's clear: You need much less energy and personnel to move a given tonnage by train than by trucks. And this helps environment protection a lot, of course.

    Yep - trains are here to stay! :thumb::thumb::thumb:

  9. japrail

    japrail New Member

    If you can go by the number of people of all ages that visit the many working historic steam loco museums around Australia I would say things are looking pretty good.

    So called Puffing Billy in the State of Victoria is the states No1 tourist destination, the huge Queensland Rail Museum in that State has many thousands of visitors every year, kids marvel at the great HO layout on display.

    I firmly believe that while we have trains we will have kids that are fascinated by them, regardless of all the modern gadgets that consume young people these days I cannot see model railroading going the same way as other hobbies, eg Amateur Radio which is on a sharp decline.
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    If you get into news archives you will find 2 things going on in the US rail industry right now that have made the news.announce1

    1. There is an increasing number of small investor groups buying up unused trackage and stating short line operations.:thumb:

    2. Some of the big boys in the industry are reopening lines and in some cases relaying track where they had pulled it because of increased demand.:thumb: :thumb:

    DOT released figures last spring that said the trucking industry is short some 800, 000.....yes i wrote 800, 000 drivers. One of my son in laws and his father both are OTR drivers. They both think that figure is low and that if the DOT is successful in forcing all truckers to use the "electronic log book" (no more cheating)(son in law's dad admits he sometimes runs 3, yes, 3 log books:curse: ) that the figure will be off by more than double.

    Given information like this I'm forced to conclude that the US rail industry's future looks.......PRETTY DARN GOOD!

  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well the railroads returned from near extinction to a strong transportation system.Make no mistake the railroads carry a wide variety of commodities.
    For those that think modern railroads are bland I suggest spending time track side and you will see how much freight is being moved by rail in 50 foot boxcars.Also reefer cars are making a comeback as well..
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Just ot give you an idea of where rail traffic is right now, the Cajon Pass AVERAGES 100 trains per day 7 days a week!
  13. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Rail traffic is booming on all counts, and this is a pretty good time to get a job working on the railroad. Freight traffic is at an all-time high, commuter passenger service is popping up in metropolitan areas, and the streetcar is having a renaissance in cities of all sizes. Amtrak has suffered in the hands of an airline exective in charge of Department of Transporation and a president who thinks trains are obsolete, but the future looks pretty bright in general for the railroads--and the past only looks brighter from today's perspective. As railroads grow in the public eye, the history of railroading, railroad museums, tourist trains, and hobbies like model railroading will expand. Or so I prognosticate!
  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Railroads are a solid industrty. Really all that changes much are the loads carried.

    Here in America passenger traffic almost disappeared due to American love of automobiles and personal mobility, while bulk freight items rose dramatically.

    In my part of Colorado, the coal trains to feed the power stations go by roughly every 40 minutes, 24 hours per day, every day of the year. In between are the other bulk carriers and mixed freights. With the takeover by Home Depot of the DIY industry, the lumber, plywood and building supplies loads have increased dramatically on the local rails.

    I miss passenger trains, though. There is no better way to see the countryside than from a train. :thumb:
  15. Seaboard

    Seaboard Member

    I'm hearin train horns every 20 to 25 minutes on the CG mainline, It's one of the busiest in the Atlanta area. From the years of living here the trains are making an astonishing comeback. I see new refer cars from Florida and FEC trains comein from the south when I saw none in the past. something bout the railroads has changed downhere.
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Railroading in America is on the rise. Here are a few things to think about:

    -In the late 1950s, there were branchlines going everywhere. For the railroads, they were required by their unions to have a minimum crew size (3?). Therefore, they'd send a locomotive down a branchline to pick up one or two cars, and then bring them back to the yards. How are you going to compete with trucks? They call haul the same amount of freight with less manpower. The trucks were also more fuel effiecient in that they were operating at design specifications (speed & tonage) while the locomotives were running inefficiently slow and light. and my next point...

    -Railroads must pay 100% of the taxes & maintanence on their trackage while the truckers only pay a small % do to sharing of the costs with other drivers (through gas taxes). This further tilts the local service in favor of trucks.

    -After the war, the quality of cars was really improving allong with the recovering economy that had been terrible in the 1930s. This meant more people had reliable cars to travel great distances...and we began building a highway system. This kills what short distance business was left over from the advent of the automobile. My town, Cincinnati, dropped its street cars in the 1950s.

    -The emergence of the airline industry after WWII began to really cut into the long distance passenger business, and the glory trains (Daylights, 20th Cent limited, etc...) began to suffer/die.

    -With the flight to the suburbs, the dense population centers were dissappearing and suddenely a trip to downtown Dayton from Cincinnati went from a 2-4 hour drive to a 30min drive for a nothern suburban nieghborhood on I-75. It'd take at least that long just to get to the station! Why take a train?

    Some reasons why the revival:
    -our economy is booming which means there's more freight to ship

    -the price of labor has skyrocketed which hurts the trucking industry dramatically.

    -the increase in fuel prices has affected trucks more than mainline freight trains. This is because 200 trucks use far more fuel driving from LA to Chicago than a 2 SD-90s on a freight train.

    -While the population density isn't rising (due to urban sprawl), the traffic density on the highways is going up due to the average person spending more time on the road as they mover further away in an increasingly large city. The highways can't handle it. Locally, traffic engineers (I know a few...I'm a Civil engineer) feel that we need to add about 5-8 additional lanes on I-75 before 2025...unless we add some light rail. Hence light rail/subways are becoming an increasingly desirable alternative to people that spend hours in traffic or to people that want to minimize the hit their wallet takes for highway improvements.

    -With the type of economic growth we've had, business travel is more popular now than 50yrs ago. This is good for all forms of travel (car, rail, plane). With passenger trains becomming even faster now than they were in the 1950s, and the driving time during business hours involving ever more traffic jams, medium distance rail travel has become a better & better alternative (Washington DC to NY). Air travel can't compete with it on $$ or on time.

    -further, road travel's costs the most dependent upon fuel costs while rail is the least. Therefore, rail gains to increase its advantage in medium distance business and long distance freight as the price of fuel rises. If the cost rises enough, it can compete on a $ basis with air travel for some long distance travel...but the time factor is alot to overcome.

    -If some of the additional high speed links are built, the reduction in travel times serves well to reduce the time it takes to get to cities at medium distance apart and would allow the passenger business to even potentially compete on some short distance IF the fuel costs continue to go up.
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I'm still having difficulty getting used to this. I learned about railroading from older books. In the 60s, 70s, and even early 80s, second, third or fourth mains were being pulled up. Now, I usually hear of second or even third mains being added.
    Worse. It was a 5-man crew that was usually required.
  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Engineer, Fireman, Conductor, and 2 flagmen? Engineer, Fireman, and flagman in the cab...flagman and conductor in the caboose? Did the unions continue to require the 5th man on desiel-powered trains of the 1960s?
  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Engineer,Fireman,Head brakeman,rear brakeman and Conductor.The 5th man was needed in trains over 30 cars that would be doing en route switching such as a inter division transfer run.
  20. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    The 5 man crew was needed..We had lots more switching in the 50s and 60s..Remember steam was still alive and well in the mid to late 50s.The fireman was also a extra pair of eyes that could reply hand signals to the engineer if the switchman was on the engineers blind side.
    Even today a lot of locals and yard crews use a 3 man crew for efficient switching...

Share This Page