Author: Bruce E. Kelly


Crew Size is About More Than Safety

In his commentary posted on May 1 and published in the May issue, Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono said what few others have been willing to say regarding the subject of how many

POVA Dedicates Locomotive to Former CMO

Short line Pend Oreille Valley Railroad (POVA), headquartered in Usk, Wash., dedicated newly painted GP9 102 on Jan. 26 to its former Chief Mechanical Officer, Brad Byrd, who passed away in 2023. Kelly Driver,

  • M/W

BNSF Completes Sandpoint Jct. Connector (Updated)

A four-year, multi-faceted project to widen a single-track chokepoint on BNSF’s Northern Corridor at Sandpoint, Idaho, is now complete, following the cutover of new track during a 16-hour work window on Aug.


Water By Rail a No-Go for Now

Forty years ago, in September 1983, Southern Pacific launched a new service to haul crude oil from well sites in central California to a refinery south of Los Angeles. Some called it

Amtrak’s recent winter meltdown was not the first time the passenger railroad faced widespread delays during the holiday travel season. On Dec. 31, 2021, Train No. 8 was some nine hours late when it passed Hauser Jct., Idaho, where the temperature was only 10 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s mild compared with the sub-zero weather the Empire Builder routinely faces on the northern plains. (Photo and Caption by Bruce Kelly)

What’s Triggering Empire Builder Service Setbacks?

Severe winter conditions were blamed for Amtrak suspending a number of its long-distance and regional trains across the nation’s Northern Tier and Midwest during the Christmas holiday week. Then came West Coast cancellations in the wake of heavy rains and flooding during the first week of January.

  • News

Severe Winter Weather Cancels Empire Builder

Amtrak’s long-distance Empire Builder trains originating in Seattle, Portland, and Chicago on 12/20 and 12/21 have been cancelled due to severe winter weather that is expected for large segments of the route. 

  • M/W

BNSF’s New Sandpoint Bridge Opens for Business

Fifty years after Burlington Northern consolidated the traffic of two predecessor routes onto a single line featuring a nearly mile-long bridge near Sandpoint, Idaho, successor BNSF has opened its long-anticipated second bridge. The first train to officially cross the new structure was an empty coal train at 9:00 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2022.

  • M/W

BNSF Sandpoint Bridge Enters Home Stretch

Contractors working for BNSF Railway installed the final deck girder segment on the nearly one-mile-long bridge across Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho, during the first half of August. Under construction since


Will CP Enter the U.S. Northwest?

Imagine waking one day to hear the news that Canadian Pacific Railway, in its quest to expand market reach, has acquired hundreds of miles of Union Pacific trackage in the northwestern United States. Relax. No such deal has been announced—at least not yet.