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Railfan for Life


Enjoy a rich journey across the American railroading landscape through the lens of our founder Hal Carstens!


New GO Transit Service


In this new book from Carstens, you’ll enjoy more than 100 pages of color photos selected by our editors spanning Hal’s trackside adventures from the last sixty years. From coast to coast, from steam to diesel (and trolleys, too), from main lines to short lines and everything in between!


THE GREEN AND WHITE CARS and lo- comotives of Toronto’s GO Transit offer an excellent commuter rail and bus service in the Toronto metropolitan area. In December of 2011, the 19th to be exact, a new service between Toronto Union Station and Kitch- ener, Ontario, was initiated. The new ser- vice has been under consideration for some time. There are two trains in the morning into Toronto and two in the evening back to Kitchener. The trains use Canadian Nation- al’s Halton Subdivision in the Toronto area and the Goderich Exeter Railway in the re- gion nearer Kitchener. Thanks to Will Gro- gan for the information. The new commuter rail service got me thinking about places where there have been losses of commuter rail service since 1960. Coming to mind are the service in Pittsburgh, in the Detroit area, and the for- mer Amtrak (originally Pennsylvania Rail- road) service between Chicago and Val- paraiso, Indiana.


Los Angeles Rail Time Line John Allen Lee recently sent an important document, the time line of the development of rail transportation in the Los Angeles re- gion. Only a few decades ago, sadness and angst prevailed because of the abandonment of the huge Pacific Electric interurban rail- way system, as well as the local narrow gauge streetcar system. But beginning in 1990 the L.A. region has seen a slow but steady growth in rail transit. July 14, 1990, was opening day for the 32-


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station Metro Blue Line light rapid transit service from downtown L.A. to Long Beach. By 1992 average daily ridership was 25,000. On January 30, 1993, the Metro Red Line heavy rapid transit opened from Union Sta- tion to Westlake/MacArthur Park, connect- ing with the Blue Line at 7th Street/Metro Center station with 26 rail transit stations in service. By 1994 daily rail ridership had in- creased to 50,000. A year later, on August 12, 1995, the light rail Metro Green Line opened between Norwalk and Redondo Beach, with a connection to the Blue Line at the Imperi- al/Wilmington station. Expansion of the Red Line west to Wilshire/Western opened on Ju- ly 13, 1996, with 42 stations serving the rail system. Daily average rail ridership was cal- culated at 100,000 1998. The next year, on June 19, 1999, Metro Red Line was extended north to Hollywood and Vine with a total of 47 stations in operation. On June 24, 2000, the Metro Red Line was extended to North Hollywood, giving the system 50 stations and an average daily ridership of 200,000. Three years later, with 62 stations in use, the Gold Line to Pasadena from Union Sta- tion opened on June 26, 2003, with connec- tions to the Metro Red and Purple lines at Union Station. In 2006 average daily Metro ridership was 250,000 and construction started on the Expo light rapid transit line between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. By November 15, 2009, the Gold Line extension from Union Station to East Los


Angeles opened with a total of 70 stations in service. In 2010 an average of 304,000 daily riders used the rail service. On June 24, 2010, construction began on expansion of the Gold Line light rail service east from Pasade- na to Azusa. Please note that the above information is


strictly limited to the rapid transit and light rapid transit rail lines. It does not include the extensive and far reaching commuter rail service. Again, thanks to John Allen Lee.


Boston: Waiting for the Trains to Come In Red Sox Nation, also known as Boston and New England, is having money problems just like everyone else. As a result, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Author- ity was faced with the choice of sharp fare increases or major cutbacks in service. The nettle was grasped and the bullet bitten and the MBTA chose to raise fares rather than slash service; that appeared to be the choice of the traveling public as well. As an exam- ple, using the prepaid Charlie Card, bus fares would go from $1.25 to $1.50; a subway ride will cost $2.00 instead of $1.70. Four- teen of the nearly 200 bus routes will suffer from a reduction in service and four routes will be eliminated. The commuter rail lines to Greenbush, Plymouth/Kingston and Needham will have weekend service elimi- nated. The Green Line trolley service on the E Line will stop short of reaching Heath Street on weekends, but will continue oper- ating to Brigham Circle and afford access to the Longwood Medical area and the adja- cent museums. Fares on the ferries will be boosted more than 30 per cent, and the Quincy ferry will not operate on weekends. Another bothersome problem for MBTA


and its riders is delay in the delivery of new commuter rail cars. A South Korean compa- ny, Hyundai Rotem USA has the $190 mil- lion contract to construct 75 bilevel cars. There is delay at the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia. The Korean company has not been responsive to pressure from the MBTA; as I recall, that has also been the ex- perience of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority on its order for new Silverliner rail commuter cars. There has been a major flap between management and labor at the car builder on the SEPTA order that has delayed delivery and slowed down the MBTA order. In the meantime, MBTA rolling stock grows older and there is the possibility that the Smithsonian will be


PLEASE SEND light rail, tran- sit and commuter rail news items and correspondence di- rectly to Prof. George M. Smerk, Emeritus Suite, Kelley School of Business, 1309 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701.


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