BNSF Forges More “Funnel” Double-Track

In early October, BNSF placed in service approximately 2.5 miles of second main track near the community of Westmond, Idaho, closing the gap between two larger sections of double-track main line on one of the busiest and often congested segments of the company’s Northern Corridor.

It’s Full Steam–and Diesel–Ahead at White Pass & Yukon

It’s been a busy year of expansion and improvements at the White Pass & Yukon Route. The hugely popular tourist railroad, based out of Skagway, Alaska, was sold on July 31, 2018, to a joint venture involving cruise line Carnival Corporation and Rail Management Services, an affiliate of Survey Point Holdings.

HDR’s Infinity Loop Earns National Award

A revolutionary track design to stage and process more trains more efficiently through loading and unloading terminals was recognized at The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2019. ACEC’s Grand Award was given to Omaha-based HDR, Inc., for its patent-pending Infinity Loop.

BNSF testing double-length grain trains

BNSF is experimenting with the process of combining two empty unit grain trains into one and sending the double-length train east out of Auburn, Wash., over Stampede Pass.

More growth planned for UP-CP Can-Am Corridor

The past two decades have been a time of steady growth for Union Pacific’s only route to the Canadian border, running from Hinkle, Ore., north through Spokane, Wash., to Eastport, Idaho. Capacity improvements performed over the past several years, and more scheduled for 2019, are evidence of UP’s commitment to accommodate new business through this seldom-mentioned international gateway.

What if Shasta blows its top?

To an industry that routinely faces the aftermath of flooding, mudslides, avalanches, hurricanes and even earthquakes, the concept of service disruption due to an erupting volcano seems almost unthinkable. But according to a recent study, and judging by the not-so-distant history of volcanoes in the U.S., some railroads are in fact quite vulnerable to such disasters, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

Saving lives where road meets rail

Forty-five years of Gem State safety effort is reaffirmed by crew members and state troopers climbing aboard a pair of Union Pacific locomotives at Coeur d’Alene Junction, Idaho, on the morning of Sept. 13, 2017.

BNSF, MRL move 10,000th Boeing 737 fuselage

An aviation milestone has been achieved thanks to a half-century of railroad transport. Spirit AeroSystems announced on Feb. 14 that the 10,000th 737 fuselage had left its factory in Wichita, Kans., and was en route by rail to Boeing’s massive assembly plant in Renton, Wash.

Gust Melonas 3rd from left in 1908 near Stevenson WA

A rail landmark for the Melonas men

BNSF has honored three generations of railroaders with a new siding in Washington State.


Another tunnel, another time

As I stated in my blog about Hunter Harrison earlier this year, the numerical “success” he was credited with during his time at Canadian Pacific would not have been possible without the hard work, tough decisions, and massive investments in property made by his predecessors.