Extra Board

Welcome to Passenger Train Journal’s Extra Board! We explore a different perspective of passenger, commuter, and rapid transit trains every month. Extra Board welcomes your submissions. We’re looking for about 1500 words accompanied by two or three photos. Each photo should be no smaller than 14 inches (or 1024 pixels) across at 72 dpi (no verticals, please). Brief caption information must accompany each photo. Please send your inquiries to the Webmaster for consideration.

The Passenger Trains of 1968

May 20, 2018

The Passenger Trains of 1968

When the first issue of Passenger Train Journal hit the street in 1968, the United States’ intercity rail-passenger network was in free fall and, with just a few notable exceptions, the mode’s future looked increasingly bleak.

State Complaints Pour in About Amtrak

May 20, 2018

State Complaints Pour in About Amtrak

This column will build on the questions I would have asked Amtrak President Richard Anderson about the mistakes and missteps of his first couple of months in charge if he would agree to talk to any reporters…

The Short, Troubled Life of Penn Central Passenger Trains

January 31, 2018

The Short, Troubled Life of Penn Central Passenger Trains

Penn Central’s managers believed that passenger service west of both Buffalo, N.Y., and Harrisburg, Pa., were financially hopeless cases. Most surviving trains either offered no amenities or provided minimal food service from snack bars.

Seaboard Coast Line Passenger Service

January 8, 2018

Seaboard Coast Line Passenger Service

For three and a half years, Seaboard Coast Line passenger trains continued the tradition of its predecessor railroads in providing excellent service from the Midwest and Southeast to southern Florida, despite dark times in the industry during the late 1960s.

My Life at Amtrak: Part 2

October 23, 2017

My Life at Amtrak: Part 2

In the fall of 1976 I moved from Amtrak’s Operations and Planning Department to the Marketing Research Department, which became my home for the next 19 years.

The South Wind

August 31, 2017

The South Wind

The Pennsylvania Railroad’s “South Wind” served Florida from Chicago by partnering with Atlantic Coast Line and Florida East Coast Railway.

Countdown to Brightline

May 15, 2017

Countdown to Brightline

Brightline is well on its way to proving that a private intercity rail passenger venture just may work and even be profitable. What gives wonder to it all is that Brightline arose from the DNA of the Florida East Coast Railroad, whose roots date from the late 1800s and was a premier passenger carrier into the latter half of the 20th century.

CZ by KZ: Amtrak’s California Zephyr

March 10, 2017

CZ by KZ: Amtrak’s California Zephyr

Amtrak’s California Zephyr nearly follows the same schedule as the original train launched by the Burlington, Rio Grande, and Western Pacific railroads in 1949.

Passenger Trains of the Lehigh Valley Railroad

February 20, 2017

Passenger Trains of the Lehigh Valley Railroad

More than 55 years have passed since the Lehigh Valley Railroad abandoned its last passenger trains in 1961. At the time it was one of the largest railroads to do so and followed the Maine Central and Bangor & Aroostook in discontinuing what had been a mature service offering sleeping and dining service along with basic coaches.

Transforming the Long Island Rail Road

February 13, 2017

Transforming the Long Island Rail Road

New York State, the MTA, and the LIRR are making a big bet that an expanded network, increased track capacity, new and improved stations and new rolling stock will improve service and remove some of the constraints on the railroad’s growth.