Sunday, May 31, 2009

GreenFrog Videos - Northeast Vintage Diesels

RailfanX - We love vintage diesels! These old warriors have tons of character. This looks like a winner from GreenFrog. We'll let you know more once we get our hands on a copy. Until then enjoy the preview.

GreenFrog Videos - Norfolk Southerns Dayton District

RailfanX - New Greenfrog video on the NS Dayton sub in Ohio. Looks kinda cool. Xavier likes this one. Enjoy the HD preview.

Logansaan videos added to the RailfanX video bar

RailfanX - We have added the compilation videos of Logansaan to the video bar. Take a few minutes to watch some of his wonderful work. Great shots and outstanding music that really sets the mood. Click once to open a small version in our Blog, or click again to launch @ Youtube. Enjoy!



"The so-called 'Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009' actually goes far beyond antitrust issues and makes major changes to rail policy. If enacted, this bill would impose new and conflicting regulations on our industry, subjecting railroads to oversight by not only the Surface Transportation Board, but the Department of Justice as well. This bill is an ill-considered, piecemeal attempt to artificially bring down rail rates for a few companies at the expense of consumers and other businesses.

Railroads are advocating for a more comprehensive approach to rail reform that fairly meets the needs and concerns of shippers and the freight railroads. The railroad antitrust bill flies in the face of these good faith efforts and must be stopped.

S.146 would hamper freight railroads ability to invest back in their systems resulting in less infrastructure investment and network growth. The ultimate cost, we fear, is jobs.

Today's bad economy is already making it tough on railroads. Circumstances will only deteriorate under additional regulatory weight."



How Rail Can Relieve Congestion

Traffic congestion is significant and getting worse in urban areas throughout the United States. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) just reported that the amount of time the average commuter spends in traffic congestion has nearly tripled in just 20 years. This represents more than $63 billion in congestion costs and 5.7 million gallons of wasted fuel due to idling in traffic jams.

There is every reason to believe that traffic will continue to grow along with population and the economy, yet the nation can no longer add sufficient capacity to urban freeway and arterial street systems to accommodate traffic growth. This means that, as bad as traffic congestion is now, it is likely to get much worse.

Trucks perform a vital role in our economy, but their volume is increasing at an even faster rate than automobile travel. Trucks suffer as a result of overly-congested highways as much or more than anyone else. With truck traffic projected to rise nearly 80 percent by the year 2020, sufficient road space is simply not likely to be available to handle potential truck volume.

The Potential of Freight Rail: Our nation's freight railroads can reduce gridlock (for cars and trucks) by handling additional freight traffic that would otherwise move entirely on the highway. A single intermodal train can haul up to 280 truck trailers (equivalent to more than 1,100 automobiles in traffic); other types of trains can carry as much freight as 500 trucks (the equivalent of approximately 2,000 automobiles in traffic). This carrying capacity is an important potential resource in the battle against highway congestion. Indeed, many trucking firms have already entered into cooperative partnerships with freight railroads to transport their trailers over long distances on intermodal trains.

Scenarios: This report reviews the potential for reducing future traffic congestion by

moving more of the long, heavy trailers to intermodal freight trains that largely bypass busy urban streets and freeways.

If 25 percent of truck traffic were shipped instead by freight trains, by 2025 the following benefits could be achieved:

• The average person traveling during peak periods would save 44 hours per year (equal to more than to five 8-hour work days) as the reduced truck volume eased traffic congestion. In the most congested urban areas, annual savings could exceed 100 hours. Nationally, we would save 3.2 billion hours of delay.

• Fuel consumption would be reduced because of faster speeds and more fluid traffic flow on the less congested roadways. Diesel and gasoline fuel consumption in 2025 would be an estimated 17 billion gallons lower than it otherwise would be - equivalent to more than 250 gallons annually per motorist.

• The savings in travel time and fuel would yield significant economic benefits. A typical household would enjoy $620 per year in reduced congestion costs, equal to $44 billion overall, in urban areas nationwide.

• Air quality would improve thanks to an estimated 900,000 fewer tons of air pollution, including lower levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Train Festival 2009

Train Festival 2009

Welcome to Train Festival 2009
8 Steam Locomotives to be Operating at Festival plus HUGE Model Train Layouts, a Miniature Railroad and More
Click for More Information

UPDATE - SP Daylight no. 4449 to attend TrainFestival
Click for More Info - Tickets Now ON SALE

Coming July 23-26, 2009, the sounds of steam whistles, the clickety-clack of steel wheels on rails, the smell of coal smoke and excitement of children of all ages will take over the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. This quaint American Town is located in the central region of Michigan just outside of Lansing. All the charm of Owosso will welcome tens of thousands of visitors from all over North America and other regions of the world to TrainFestival 2009. The theme of the weekend will be Trains, Trains, Trains!

The Steam Railroading Institute has an award winning collection of railroad equipment and railroad artifacts. The museum is an interpretive experience for visitors of all ages. During the weekend of July 23-26, 2009, visitors to the museum will experience an even greater museum. Steam and Diesel Locomotives from around the country will be on display for visitors to tour the cabs, take photos, watch demonstrations and much more. Huge model train layouts will be on display including a massive all-Lego model train. Railroad vendors from around the globe will have unique items for purchase that you won’t find any where else. Families will be able to take an all day excursion or shorter one-hour train ride behind various vintage locomotives. For the thrill seeking visitor, you will even be able to pull the throttle and blow the whistle on one of these steam locomotives. Scaled down miniature trains will be hauling passengers around the grounds of the event as well.

TrainFestival 2009 will allow visitors of all ages to experience railroading at its best. With an expected attendance of 30,000+ for the three day festival, the Steam Railroading Institute will be buzzing with railroad excitement.

Railroad equipment is currently being arranged. As soon as a final list of equipment attending the event and a schedule is finalized, it will be posted here.

RailfanX- This is going to be an incredible event! Maybe a once in a lifetime type event. We are going and we'll have tons of pics and video when we get back! Drop us a line if you are going. Hope to see you there.

RailfanX- Wow... The MTH HO line is impressive! This new SD-70 ACe has all of the features that the larger O gauge models have... Fantastic sound, super details, speed control, DCC, and remote couplers! We can't wait to see what they make next. We are voting for something smaller like some SW class yard switchers (are you lostening MTH?)

RailfanX- MTH has really been doing a lot of work to their line of HO trains. These new HO J class N&W steamers are fantastic. The temptation to move to a smaller scale grows stronger and stronger...

When the journey ends

RailfanX- Logansaan has captured the rustic beauty of a pair of former SP units awaiting their fate in McDonald, Oh. We are hoping that they are scheduled to be rebuilt, but we aren't sure. Sit back and enjoy the sites and sounds (Logansaan is known for his music).

Official Broadway Limited Imports Paragon2 Introduction Video with Bob Grubba, President of BLI

RailfanX- HO models have been making big strides in details and sound recently which is making the move down from O gauge more and more appealing. BLI has introduced a new series called Paragon 2 that has many new features including puffing smoke for the steamers. Check out the video.


SoundTraxx: "SurroundTraxx Multi-Train Sound System for DCC So Advanced it's Wired to the Future!
SurroundTraxx is a major breakthrough in sound system for model trains! For the first time, a sound system has been designed with multiple trains in mind. SurroundTraxx gives you the realism of high-fidelity sound moving with the train as it travels about the layout without installing speakers onboard the engine.

SurroundTraxx begins with a multiplicity of audio speakers that are strategically placed in hidden locations around the layout. Using the latest Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology and advanced block detection techniques, SurroundTraxx faithfully reproduces the sounds made by each train on the layout and directs the sound to the speaker closest to the train's location. As a train moves along its route, SurroundTraxx makes continuous adjustments to the sound level of each speaker so that the sound appears to follow the train around the layout.

SurroundTraxx does not simply switch the sound from speaker to speaker but uses an intelligent cross fade algorithm that factors in train speed, direction, and distance between speakers. The sound makes a smooth transition as your train travels from one sound zone to the next without abrupt pops or thumps.

Sounds for a wide variety of both Steam and Diesel locomotives
No onboard speakers are necessary!
Six independent sound channels to reproduce the sounds of up to six different locomotives simultaneously."

RailfanX- This is a very neat system. We love the sound of our O gauge trains, and that is one reason we haven't switched to a smaller scale yet (even though it would fit better in our house). This should give even N scale trains sound that rivals (and possibly beats) the larger gauges. This may be a purchase for later this fall when we begin the office layout.