JANUARY 2020: Adam Twombly explores the final days of the isolated Black Mesa & Lake Powell, a privately-operated line in northern Arizona built to connect a coal mine to an electric power plant in the heart of Navajo country. Ron Flanary and Sam Phillips take us to Appalachian coal country and an unusual mountain switchback that continues to move coal for CSX. Emily Moser wraps up her two part series on the history and future of Detroit’s Michigan Central Station, while Frank Keller takes us to the Alaskan frontier to shoot a rare plow extra.  All this and more in the January issue of Railfan & Railroad!

This Month

January 2020

Volume 39, No. 1


Black Mesa Finale

by Adam Twombly — The low price of natural gas forced the closure of the coalfired Navajo Generating Station in the northern Arizona desert, spelling the end of the line for the isolated Black Mesa & Lake Powell Railroad.

Hagans Junction

by Ron Flanary and Samuel Phillips — Built by Louisville & Nashville, this unusual mountain switchback continues to move coal for CSX.

Michigan Central Station: Part 2

by Emily Moser — Following a long postwar decline, Detroit’s grand gateway was left for ruin, until an unlikely savior came along.

Needle in a Haystack

by Frank Keller — Chasing a rare snowplow run on the Alaska Railroad is a grand adventure across America’s final frontier.

Portraits of Railroading

by James D. Porterfield — A dozen fresh faces answered this year’s call for entries, each presenting an artistic look at the world of railroading.


Departures/commentary: Alexander Benjamin Craghead

Railnews/top news stories and photos from our readers: Eric Berger

Transit Currents/transit news: Bob Gallegos

Capitol Lines/news from Washington: Don Phillips

Railroadiana/new product, book, and video reviews

Timetable/railroad event listings submitted by our readers

LocoNotes/diesel spotters: Kenneth M. Ardinger

Through My Lens/trackside adventures and memories: Kevin EuDaly

On The Menu/railroad dining, art, and culture: James D. Porterfield

ScanMan/the world of railroad radio: Vincent Reh

Markers/editorial commentary and musings

Parting Shot

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