Tag Archives: Railways

Rail Transport: Chicago’s Vulnerability To Strikes

Wall Street Journal (December 19, 2022) – In recent years, the city’s railyards have seen severe bottlenecks as the supply chain choked up nationally. With $3 trillion in goods traveling through Chicago every year, the city is the busiest rail hub in the U.S. WSJ breaks down how important rail is to the region, and how vulnerable the system is to a work stoppage like a strike.

Illustration: Adele Morgan

Views: The Scarborough & Whitby Railway Route In North Yorkshire, England

ScarboroughTourist – The Scarborough & Whitby Railway was a railway line from Scarborough to Whitby in North Yorkshire, England. The line followed a difficult but scenic route along the North Yorkshire coast.

The line opened in 1885 and closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching Axe. The route, now a multi-use path, is known as “The Cinder Track”

The track was subsequently lifted in 1968, although speculation about a potential potash mine near Hawsker meant that the track from there to Whitby remained in place until 1972.

The line is now used as a bridleway for cycles, pedestrians and horses, known as the “Scarborough to Whitby Rail Trail”, “Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track”, or simply “The Cinder Track”.

In the 1980s an area of the former line in the Northstead district of Scarborough was briefly used as football and cricket pitches.

In 2018 plans to spend £3.5 million to repair and improve the Cinder Track were backed by the borough council. The plans would see the route resurfaced, drainage improved and the creation of a new management body to oversee the development of the track. There is also the possibility of introducing a visitor centre, cafe and pay and display parking to generate ongoing funding to maintain the route. Work upgrading the track began in January 2020 and the first stage is now complete.

Morning News: NATO Allies Gather, Eastern Europe, Belgrade-Budapest By Rail

We’ll have the latest as Biden and European allies gather in Brussels for a high-stakes Nato summit. Plus, Estonia calls for Nato to build up a permanent force in Eastern Europe, a flick through today’s papers, and Monocle’s Balkans correspondent, Guy De Launey, boards the Belgrade-Budapest railway.

Public Transit: Seattle’s $54 Billion Railway (Video)

This could be the most ambitious public transit project in America.

SEATTLE has become one of the most attractive cities in the United States.

The tech boom has helped bring in some 1,000 new residents every week. Of course, all those new Seattleites need a way to get around, and things are getting crowded.

In response, the city has been expanding its rail system, and fast. The latest project, Sound Transit 3, will invest $54BN over the next 25 years to expand the network five-fold.

With the passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, American cities are getting a chance to rethink their public transit systems with fresh infrastructure funding.

And Seattle’s expansion might be the country’s most ambitious project yet.

Train Travel: Guildford To Aldershot In England

Michael Portillo resumes his tour of the Home Counties in the picturesque and historic county town of Guildford. His 1936 Bradshaw’s guide commends its ‘fine old castle keep’ and guildhall but makes no mention of its hilltop cathedral.

Michael meets head guide Janet Matthews to discover the origins of the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site in the south of England since the Reformation – begun in 1936. He finds splendid architecture and modern materials have combined to produce a gloriously open building full of space and light. Michael climbs its 160 foot tower for a panoramic view of Surrey.

Michael’s next stop is Chilworth, from which he follows his guide to Newlands Corner on the slopes of the North Downs. At this popular beauty spot, the famous crime writer Agatha Christie disappeared, sparking a massive search and a tabloid frenzy. A Christie biographer pieces the puzzle together for Michael.

Heading west across the county, Michael reaches the Georgian market town of Farnham with its 12th-century castle, once home to the bishops of Winchester. Intrigued by his Bradshaw’s reference to a famous Farnham painter, WH Allen, Michael joins the artist’s great-great-niece in the castle’s splendid gardens to learn more about him. A kind Farnham artist encourages Michael to commit the castle to canvas in his own way. After a luxurious night at the castle, Michael crosses into Hampshire to reach Aldershot. At the home of the British Army, he hears how in the years leading up to the World War II, the town began to receive conscripts for military training.

Swiss Trains: Gornergrat Bahn In Zermatt (8K Video)

The Gornergrat Railway is a cog-wheel railway in Zermatt, in the Swiss canton of Wallis (Valais in French). The valley station is at 1,604 m above sea level and is right in the middle of Zermatt itself. The Gornergrat Railway brings passengers up to the 3,089 m high summit of the Gornergrat.

Train Travel: ‘Chur To St. Moritz, Switzerland’ On Albula Railway (Video)

The world heritage listed Albula Railway. With it’s 55 bridges and 39 tunnels, it is one of the most spectacular narrow gauge railways in the world. The centerpiece is the 5866m long Albula tunnel, which at 1820m above sea level, is the second highest alpine tunnel in Switzerland. Our journey starts in Chur, the terminus station of the SBB normal gauge line from Zürich.

Train Journeys: ‘Orleans To Reims’, France (Video)

Michael Portillo travels from the chateaux of the Loire Valley to the heart of the Champagne region at Reims. Beginning in historic Orleans, Michael follows his Bradshaw’s guide to the magnificent stained-glass windows of the Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, which tell the story of the heroine of France, Joan of Arc. The image of the saintly teenage warrior endures as a symbol of resistance, and her life is celebrated in an annual parade. Michael meets her modern-day incarnation. Among the spectacular Renaissance palaces and fortresses of the River Loire, Michael is intrigued to discover a castle much modernized during the 1930s, which became a refuge for a British royal couple embroiled in scandal. The wedding of the former king, Edward VIII, and the American divorcee Wallis Simpson at Chateau Cande in the summer of 1937 was shunned by the British establishment. Michael takes a spin around the track at Le Mans in a French-built car that won two endurance races during the 1920s. At Versailles, Michael visits the opulent palace and neighbouring Trianon Palace Hotel, where his Bradshaw’s guide describes the signing of the Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War. Arriving in the capital, Paris, Michael heads for Montparnasse, where wildly creative artists and writers of the 1920s and 30s spawned new art movements. Michael joins a life-drawing class at an art school with an impressive legacy. Backstage at the Folies Bergere, Michael asks the ‘enfant terrible’ of fashion Jean Paul Gaultier about his homage to the black American dancer of the 1920s Josephine Baker. East of Paris in champagne country, Michael finishes his journey in style with a tour of the cellars at Domaine Pommery and a glass of fizz with the owner.

Railway Travel: Interlaken To Grindelwald In Switzerland (Video)

The Bernese Oberland Railway  is a narrow-gauge mountain railway in the Bernese Highlands of Switzerland. It runs, via a “Y” junction at Zweilütschinen to serve  Interlaken  and  Lauterbrunnen  and Grindelwald. The railway is rack assisted (that is although an adhesion railway, rack and pinion operation is used on steep sections of the line to assist traction).