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.

North Carolina’s Successful Alternative Approach to Rail

November 28, 2018

North Carolina’s Successful Alternative Approach to Rail

It may not be as well-known as other state-sponsored rail programs, but North Carolina’s approach to rail is one of the most innovative and unique in the country.

All Aboard PTJ’s White River Rocket

November 28, 2018

All Aboard PTJ’s White River Rocket

Friends and colleagues gathered in Chicago at the end of September for our special event. The White River Rocket was the first-ever chartered train on Metra, operated for White River Productions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Passenger Train Journal.

Celebrate our 50th Anniversary on board the White River Rocket

July 2, 2018

Celebrate our 50th Anniversary on board the White River Rocket

Join us in Chicago on September 29 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Passenger Train Journal with a special charter on Metra to Joliet, lunch in Joliet Union Station, and a special evening slide show program at Chicago Union Station.

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.