Extra Board

Welcome to Railfan & Railroad Extra Board, a monthly exploration of the passion for trains from many perspectives. Extra Board welcomes your submissions. We’re looking for about 1500 words accompanied by two or three photos. Each photo should be no smaller than 14 inches (or 1024 pixels) across at 72 dpi (no verticals, please). Brief caption information must accompany each photo. Please send your inquiries to the Webmaster for consideration.

Changing Seasons on the Halton Subdivision

November 8, 2019

Changing Seasons on the Halton Subdivision

It is not very often that old branch lines, especially lightly used ones like Canadian National’s Halton Subdivision, get a new lease on life and are upgraded with centralized traffic control.

Santa Fe on the Bay

October 18, 2019

Santa Fe on the Bay

As freight traffic moved away from the city in the 1970s and gentrification took over downtown in the 1980s, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe’s base at China Basin remained the sole holdout of a once busy freight handling operation.

Anthracite Country Alcos

September 18, 2019

Anthracite Country Alcos

Reading Company had a wide variety of locomotives from Alco, rostering 118 units of nine different models. These locomotives were purchased between 1926 and 1967, and ranged in size from 300 to 3,000 hp.

Covered Wagons to the Future: FL9s in Connecticut

August 21, 2019

Covered Wagons to the Future: FL9s in Connecticut

We knew it was coming to an end; we just didn’t know how quickly. A sense of urgency accompanied each trip to New Haven territory. Every frame fired off felt like a small victory. The anachronism was surreal, these ancient covered wagons following a path to the future.

How The West Was Done: Part 2

July 19, 2019

How The West Was Done: Part 2

Mike Schafer concludes the tale of his epic July 1969 exploration across the American West with future Railfan & Railroad founding editor Jim Boyd.

Rumford Branch Revival

July 19, 2019

Rumford Branch Revival

Now operated by Pan Am Railways, the fortunes of the old Maine Central Railroad have always been tied to the paper production industry.

Big Boy Returns

June 18, 2019

Big Boy Returns

Union Pacific did the impossible when it pulled Big Boy 4-8-8-4 no. 4014 from a museum display in 2014 and embarked on an ambitious five year rebuild and restoration to return the largest operating steam locomotive in the world.

My Time in Attica

June 3, 2019

My Time in Attica

In June 1989, I made the first of what became yearly pilgrimages to Attica, where Conrail and D&H roamed, where pushers still shoved tonnage up the 1.15 percent hill east of town, and not far from where a quaint little tourist line still chuffed through the countryside with the word “Attica” in its name.

A Visit to Strasburg

May 28, 2019

A Visit to Strasburg

Nestled in the heart of scenic Lancaster County, historic Strasburg, Pa., is home to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Strasburg Rail Road, one of the stops on our 2019 Fall Heritage Tour.

CSX in the Florida Panhandle

May 16, 2019

CSX in the Florida Panhandle

With the arrival of Precision Scheduled Railroading, CSX has doubled down on efforts to streamline its system, and once again, the fate of CSX’s operations in western Florida is up in the air.