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.

Vintage GE in West Tennessee

December 26, 2017

Vintage GE in West Tennessee

It’s been a rough few years for fans of vintage General Electric locomotives. The southeastern U.S. was once home to several operators of GE Dash 7s and U-series diesels, but one by one they have fallen.

Northwestern Pacific: Remnants of the Redwood Empire

November 20, 2017

Northwestern Pacific: Remnants of the Redwood Empire

The second incarnation of the “new” NWP technically began in 2006, with the NCRA awarding an operating contract to the new railroad led by John Williams. However, it would be five long years before a wheel was turned and regular freight service resumed.

Meandering Along the Kansas City Southern

November 8, 2017

Meandering Along the Kansas City Southern

Few proverbial forks in the road of life work out the same either way. Where we are now has been profoundly affected by an undefinable quantity of forks, each decision at which has steered each of us on our own path in life. My path followed the Kansas City Southern.

Plaster City Alcos

October 15, 2017

Plaster City Alcos

You may not know it, but there are wide-nosed, narrow-gauge, Alco-designed, Bombardier-built, 35-year-old DL-535Es running right now in the California desert

Cartier Alcos: The Gang of Eight

October 10, 2016

Cartier Alcos: The Gang of Eight

Most Alco Centuries had long been consigned to the scrapyard in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially six-axle units. In 2002, the surival of these diesels was nothing short of a miracle. Like a phoenix, this “Gang of Eight” rose again.

Wiseguys and Wayfreights: Conrail in North Jersey

April 10, 2016

Wiseguys and Wayfreights: Conrail in North Jersey

Passing the same North Jersey landmarks that the fictional Tony Soprano made famous in the opening credits of the cable series “The Sopranos,” Conrail’s never-ending procession of trains would work their way through the crown jewel of their near-monopoly of rail service in the New York metropolitan region.

The Ironton Run

March 4, 2016

The Ironton Run

What Ironton lacks as an industrial complex it makes up for by being a picturesque residential river town, and what the DT&I lacks as a heavy duty main line it makes up for by being a very photogenic hill country branch.

Lima: Too Little, Too Late

March 1, 2016

Lima: Too Little, Too Late

Smallest of the major builders of steam locomotives and last to enter the diesel-electric field, Lima Locomotive Works built a mere 174 units in its short career as Lima-Hamilton Corporation.

Steam in the Snow

February 9, 2015

Steam in the Snow

The sun was just peeking over the tops the White Mountains as four adventurous young men from Long Island completed a grueling seven hour journey. We weren’t sure what to expect, but as we took in the sights, sounds, and smells of steam railroading, we knew we were about to take part in something special.

Orbisonia Obsession

January 1, 2015

Orbisonia Obsession

The East Broad Top seemed immobile in time while the rest of the railroad world around it was changing. Geeps and Alcos were still far away from Orbisonia, and the coal trains down from Robertsdale still carried a combine and looked like the mixeds of a few years before. The yard and shop facility at Orbisonia looked like it hadn’t changed a bit in fifty years.