Bruce E. Kelly, Contributing Editor

Bruce E. Kelly, Contributing Editor

Railway Age Contributing Editor, Bruce Kelly, has produced photography and writing for rail publications since 1982. He was associate editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine 1988-1996. Since 1997, he has worked in the digital prepress department of a commercial printing company in northern Idaho.

Thursday, 05 May 2016 11:04

Fighting fire with fire trains

From the May 2016 issue of Railway Age: Specialized equipment and training help protect assets from wildfire damage. Every summer, particularly in the Western U.S. and Canada, fires triggered by lightning or human activity are an ordinary occurrence. During recent summers, however, wildfires have put railroads increasingly in the crosshairs.

April 2016 will be remembered decades from now as the month when Rollin Bredenberg retired as V.P., Capacity Planning & Operations Research at BNSF Railway.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 09:08

Is PTC a prelude to crewless trains?

An assistant to the president of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company once said, “… let us direct our thoughts toward what would be required in the way of equipment or system for the safe operation of a train with no person at the controls. It is obvious that such a step must be made if we are to approach crewless train operation. It is equally obvious that the crewless train would have no one to look at wayside signals and therefore we should begin thinking in terms of an overall system that does not require wayside signals.”

Aside from unconfirmed reports of isolated tie damage to one Idaho short line, and moments of suspended service on both short lines and Class Is, the dozens of wildfires raging throughout the Northwest have, so far, caused no widespread damage to railway property. That’s remarkable considering the fact that one of the fires, the more than 280,000-acre Okanogan Complex in north central Washington, has been deemed that state’s largest wildfire in recorded history and is currently considered the number one fire priority in the nation. More than 1,200 firefighters are tackling that blaze alone, coming from as far away as Arizona, the East Coast, Australia, and New Zealand.

Monday, 03 August 2015 11:07

Drought relief, by rail

Could emergency service that’s been used worldwide be applied on a massive scale for California?

Thursday, 09 July 2015 11:29

Gearing up for winter

Tools and techniques both new and old help railroads cope with weather extremes.

Friday, 12 June 2015 10:12

BNSF helps suppress Spokane wildfire

A wind-driven wildfire that grew to at least 30 acres on the west side of Spokane, Wash., on June 11 was quickly knocked down by two helicopter drops, fire teams from six agencies—and the rapid deployment of a BNSF Railway Fire Train.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 30, 2015 celebrated the completion of extensive restoration work on the historic brick depot in Sandpoint, Idaho, which serves as Amtrak’s only scheduled stop in the Gem State. In attendance were Idaho Senator Shawn Keough, a spokesperson for U.S. Representative Raul Labrador and Amtrak Director of Government Affairs-West Robert Eaton.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:29

BNSF plans second bridge over Idaho chokepoint

One of the more challenging capacity constraints affecting BNSF's Northern Corridor is the 4,769-foot long bridge across Lake Pend Oreille outside Sandpoint, Idaho, not far from where BNSF and Montana Rail Link (MRL) converge. BNSF is now looking into the bold concept of building a second bridge, nearly a mile long, adjacent to the existing one.

Earlier this year, congestion and trackwork on its Northern Corridor forced BNSF to increase transit times for intermodal shipments between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago, a move which has driven some customers to ship via Union Pacific. Now, a segment of Northwest perishables traffic is looking elsewhere as well.

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