Railroads Illustrated Annual 2019 is now on sale. Take advantage of the pre-order sale price of $22.00, good through August 31, 2019. You’ll want to add this edition to your railroad library as this year’s annual commemorates the historic first run of restored Union Pacific “Big Boy” 4014. You’ll also find RRI’s traditional Day in North America photo section as well as classic railroad features contributed from a number of talented photographers. Every issue brings readers stunning pictorials coupled with lively text exploring contemporary and classic railroading. Full-length feature articles complement lavish photographs offering a breathtaking look at railroad operations across North America. Here’s a preview of what’s inside…
The Return of Big Boy 4014
Who would have thought that a Big Boy steam engine would come back to life? And why restore one when you have two other legendary steam locomotives in your heritage fleet? But Union Pacific made the ultimate steam dream come true, restoring No. 4014 just in time for the 150th anniversary celebration of the Golden Spike. Follow 4014 on its original rails through Utah’s Wahsatch range and across Wyoming.
Day in North America — March 9, 2019
A Railroads Illustrated tradition, starting back in the days of CTC Board magazine. We present the 2019 version of Day in North America from March 9, 2019. Railfans went out to catch the action, rain, snow, or shine, and sent in their results, capturing a slice of a typical day of railroading from coast to coast.
Trains Where Trains Shouldn’t Be
On streets, in back alleys, over weeds — these are places where you don’t normally find trains. Searching all across North America, you’ll be surprised at how many odd locations accommodate railroading. Small industrial switchers all the way up to the big road locomotives are hard at work in these compact areas, either downtown or in neighborhoods. If you’re getting bored taking shots along typical steel highways, this is inspiring.
Elevating Railroad Photography
If you’re tired of climbing hills, mountains, or up trees, or if you find locations where there’s no elevated spot for photography, it’s time to consider a drone. This is quickly becoming a popular option in railroad imagery. Just like digital cameras, the clarity has vastly improved. As you continue to fine-tune your skills in navigating the drone, you’ll wind up shooting some pretty neat photos. Consider “elevating” your rail photography!
General Electric’s Game Changer —
The Dash-8 Locomotive
General Electric stands at the top in locomotive sales. Their Dash-9s, ES44s, and Tier 4 units rule today’s mains. The turning point was the Dash-8 locomotive line. Available in four and six-axle versions, crews enjoyed the 4,000-hp strength and the later North American “comfort” cabs, which are now standard. After serving their initial railroads, many Dash-8s found a second home with Canadian National. Here’s a peek at CN’s Dash-8 usage.
Outside — Railfanning in the Lower 48
“Outside” to Alaska residents means the lower 48 or anywhere but Alaska. You can get some pretty amazing train photos in Alaska with stunning mountain backdrops, but if you’re looking for variety, you’ll have to take a trip “outside.” You can cover a lot of ground in the central U.S. with numerous railroads concentrated in small areas. No drive is too long. Here’s a bucket list of roads checked off by one fan.