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Tips for Planning a Train Ride

There are many exciting train ride adventures you can plan for you and your
family. Taking the time to see what your options are will help to ensure you
all enjoy it. There are train rides you can take to get to various destinations
such as AmTrak. This the most popular type of passenger train available. They
offer day trips as well as long distance rides that span several days. There is
plenty of room to move freely on these types of train rides. You will also find
dining cars and sleeping cars so you can be comfortable.

You may discover that there is not train route heading in direction you want to
be traveling. If this is the case you can look into other types of train rides
that may be more recreational. There are several options that you will have
depending on where you travel to. For example in Colorado there are wonderful
train rides that take you through the mountain areas.

Before you commit to a train ride, think about what it is that you want to
experience. If you are looking for a historical venture than look for older
steam locomotives that are still being used. If you want to enjoy the sites
while on the train consider what types of landscaping you are interested in
seeing.

Find out how long the train ride is going to last so you can be prepared for
it. Children may have a harder time spending hours on a train ride so make sure
you pack them snacks, drinks, and fun activities to help pass the time. Pay
close attention to departure times and find out if you need to check in prior
to boarding the train.

Some train terminals are very large and it can be difficult to figure out where
you need to be. Always arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to find out
where everything is. You don't want to get stressed out or end up missing your
train ride because you were having trouble getting to the departure area.

Most train rides have guidelines about what you can carry on with you. Make
sure you pay attention to this information because you don't want to be told
you can't board the train with the items you have brought along. Try to limit
you carry on items to one or two small bags.

Some people discover they get car sick when they ride on a train, even thought
they have never experienced this before. This often happens when the individual
is watching the landscaping rapidly moving by as they look sideways out of the
windows. It can also happen if you are riding in sits that face backwards of
the direction that the train is traveling. Bring along crackers to settle your
stomach and ask to change sits if you think it will be a problem for you.

The cost of tickets for various train rides depend on your travel plans. Some
of the recreational trains have a constant price while AmTrak and other types
of train rides vary depending on where you are traveling to and the travel
dates. You can check the prices of train rides online in order to get an idea
of what the prices are. It is a good idea to reserve your tickets in advance.
This way you can be sure there will be enough room on board for those in your
party.

If you aren't comfortable ordering tickets for your train ride online, you can
get a phone number to place the order over the phone. Make sure you inquire
about refund policies in case you need to reschedule your train ride for any
reason.

Riding a train instead of driving to your vacation destination can be a great
way to ensure that the parents get to enjoy it too. It can be hard to meet the
needs of children while traveling while you are driving. A train ride helps you
avoid such issues so everyone can relax. Taking part in a train ride at various
destinations while you are on vacation is a great way to spend some time
relaxing and getting to see the area. With so many train ride options you are
sure to find something that will fit your schedule and your budget.

Ways to Save Money on Train Rides

Riding on a train can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. There are
plenty of ways you can get the train ride you want for a great price. This
doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality or comfort either. Before you start
shopping around identify what you expect to get from the train ride. This will
help you plan what you want to have as part of your ticket price.

If you are taking a ride on AmTrak you need to consider how long of a ride you
plan to be on. If it will be for several days then you need to look into
purchasing a sleep car. Some people are content to just sleep in their seat in
order to save money. However, this can quickly become uncomfortable and you
have to remember that other people around you will be awake.

Only purchase the size of a sleeping accommodations that you will need. Some of
them hold two people while others hold up to four adults. Consider sharing the
cost of a sleep car with a friend or acquaintance that will be traveling as
well. Keep in mind that many of your meals come with the cost of the sleep car
so you won't be spending too much on meals. You may find it is to your
advantage to pay for a quality place to rest.

The seat you select on many train rides is going to affect your price. There
are business class, first class, and coach options. If you really want comfort
than you will be better off with one of the more expensive options. Yet coach
really is comfortable as well and you can get a better rate on an upgrade when
you arrive than if you purchase it in advance. Some train rides charge more if
you want to have a window seat as well.

Take along your own drinks and snacks if you want to save money on Amtrak or
any other type of train ride. You will find it quickly adds up when you start
buying sodas and chips from them. Many train rides offer you the chance to buy
alcohol, but you can expect to pay a high price for it. You will save plenty if
you refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages on the trip. Sorry, they generally
won't allow you to bring your own beer!

Look for discounts offered online and in magazines as you will be surprised by
what you find. Recently AmTrak offered $100 towards food and drinks, including
alcohol for specific travel arrangements. Sometimes they offer free rides for
children under a certain age or you buy one ticket for full price and get the
next one for half price.

Many of the recreational train rides offer discounts if you take the earlier
trains of the day. This will mean you also beat the crowds for the busier
departures of the day. Weekday tickets are often less expensive than those for
the weekend so try to be flexible with the date of your travel plans. Avoid
train rides around the holidays and during peak tourist seasons as you will pay
more for your tickets.

Some train rides will come with discounts if you are a frequent rider. This
information can be looked into at the time when you plan to buy the tickets.
Sometimes there are discounts if you belong to particular clubs or you are in
the military. You may be able to get a family discount if you buy several
tickets at one time.

There are many great ways you can save money on train rides so look into it
before you pay full price. It is silly for you to get the same experience as
someone riding on the train next you for a lower price but that is how it
works. Contact the railway directly and ask about such offers available. The
internet is also a great resource for finding ways to quickly save money on the
cost of the train ride you wish to experience.

Traveling by AmTrak

The most common way for people to travel by train is with AmTrak which was
established in 1971. Many people think AmTrak is owned by a particular railway
company. However, the 21,000 miles that it travels across are owned by various
railway companies. AmTrak is actually owned by the United States government and
they contract with the various railways to use their tracks.

They offer a comfortable way for people to travel to various destinations
without having to drive. There are sleeping cars and dining cars for long trips
that you can take advantage of to make the trip more enjoyable. More than 25
million people travel each year by AmTrak. The routes are offered through 48
states and some areas of Canada.

Even though traveling by AmTrak takes longer than flying, many consumers find
it to be less hectic. Since you can get up and move around it is a great way to
travel with children. The cost of traveling by AmTrak varies by the route and
the time of year when you want to buy tickets. Many frequent travels by railway
take advantage of earning points each time they travel. This reduces the cost of
future tickets they buy to rid AmTrak.

The internet is a great place to take a look at the various routes offered by
AmTrak. You will find many holes in their service areas so it may not be
possible for you to use this mode of transportation for particular trips. Other
locations offer everything you need including rental car services from the train
station should you need it.

You can purchase tickets to ride AmTrak at any of the different train stations
or online. The more flexible your travel dates are the better price you can get
on the tickets. Generally you will pay less for AmTrak tickets during the week
and more on the weekends. Around the holiday season you will find prices
generally increase as well.

There are several different classes of seats available on an AmTrak train, and
you will pay more for the most comfortable. First class and business class
seats offer you the most room but they are the most expensive. Coach seats can
be reserved if you want a specific area such as a window seat. The cheapest
AmTrak fares are on the unreserved coach seats.

The sizes of the sleeping quarters are also different prices so you want to
take a look at them in advance. There are only a set amount of sleeping
quarters available and you don't want to end up without one or one that is too
small. You also don't want to have to pay for a larger sleeping area than you
need because it is just a waste of your money. AmTrak offers sleeping quarters
that comfortably fit two adults, four adults, or two adults and two children.

Your purchase of sleeping quarters on an Amtrak train include various meals.
Make sure you take a look at the meal options so you can select the right
travel package to meet your needs. If you don't purchase sleeping quarters you
can purchase a variety of different meals while on board. Many people pack
snacks and sandwiches to help reduce the cost of meals during this mode of
travel.

It is important to check in for your AmTrak departure approximately one hour in
advance. This gives you time to figure out where you need to be, get through
security, and check in your luggage. You can have a maximum of two carry on
bags so make sure they meet the size guidelines. AmTrak is very strict with
these carry on guidelines due to the limited space available in many areas of
the train.

If you have never traveled by train, you may want to schedule your next trip
aboard the AmTrak. You will find it a comfortable way to travel but not always
the fastest. Still, if you have plenty of time to get to your destination it is
more relaxing than driving.

Training Crossing Safety Tips

One of the most common types of train accidents happens when vehicle are
attempting to cross the train tracks while a train is in the area. There are
signals that are to be activated when a train is approaching a crossing, but
they have been known to malfunction from time to time. Many people don't pay
attention to them either as they assume if they can't see the train they still
have time to get across the tracks.

It is a good idea to always stop at any train crossing just in case the signals
aren't working properly. Take the time to look and to listen for a train
approaching. If you have any indication that one may be coming your way, don't
attempt to cross the tracks. You don't want to take such a risk. If there are
no gates present at the train crossing you should stay behind the painted line
on the road. This way you aren't in the line of rocks or other debris being
thrown your way as the train passes by.

The number of people who don't pay attention to the signals at a train crossing
is unbelievable. They often believe they can beat the train and they don't want
to be held up waiting for it to cross in front of it. While some people have
been able to successfully beat the train, others aren't so lucky. The impact
from a train in that type of scenario is too much to walk away from without
injuries or death occurring. Your life if worth more than a few minutes of your
time.

It is important to realize that there may be a second train closely behind the
first. Many train related accidents occur when people at the signal lights
decide to go forward even though the lights are still flashing. They assume
that since the train has completely gone by them they are safe to proceed.
Don't put yourself at risk of being hit by another train that my be following
behind the other one.

You may think it only happens in the movies, but occasionally vehicles due die
out as a person is going across the railroad tracks. Don't sit there and try to
get it across. Instead you need to get out of the car and a safe distance away.
Use a phone to call the local police department so they can notify the railway
company about the incident.

Approximately every 90 minutes there is a train wreck in the United States
involving a train and a vehicle. Don't let the next one involve you when it is
very easy to protect yourself against such accidents. Remember that it takes a
train approximately one mile of distance to be able to stop when they are
traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour.

It can be frustrating and annoying at times if you frequently have to wait for
trains before you can continue on your way. Yet it is important to plan ahead
for such delays and to be prepared for them. It isn't an event match up when
you consider the power and strength behind a train compared to your vehicle.
Always pay attention to the signal lights when they are on at a railroad
crossing. You also want to go the extra mile and pay attention just in case the
signals aren't operating correctly.

The Rail Tracks for Trains to Operate Along

Trains are a very resourceful type of transportation that move thousands of
tons of materials annually. There are also trains that transport people to
various locations for business or leisurely travel. This is all possible with
the use of rail tracks that guide the train along the determined route.

In order to ensure a smooth ride for the train as well as one that is safe for
the passengers, ballast is laid which looks like gravel. Some people think this
is used to give it a nice look because it is a shade of light pink, but the
ballast serves a useful purpose. It allows water to drain from snow and rain to
keep it off the tracks.

Railroad ties are placed on top of the ballast which look like long wooden
planks. They go across the train tracks in the opposite direction of the rails.
This helps to keep the rails in place properly so that there isn't any risk of
the trains being pushed off the rails due to inaccurate alignment. The rails
can contract and expand due to the weather and the ties help them maintain
their shape.

Many railways are switching from wooden ties to those made out of concrete. The
wood is known to rot out and this means a great deal of time has to be spent
repairing them. Even though the concrete ties are more expensive than those
made from wood, they don't have to be replaced very often so it does save money
in the long run.

It is believed that these concrete ties provide the train with a smoother ride
and that protects the freight as well as keeps all of the train cars in good
working condition. They are heavier than the wooden ties though so it takes
longer to get them in place. It also requires heavy duty devices to secure them
in place that won't break the concrete.

The rails must be placed the exact width from each other necessary in order for
the train to be guided along them. They are made from a very heavy type of steel
and held in place with long spikes. The steal has to be heavy in order to be
able to hold up to the heavy weight of the loads the train carries.

Many railway companies invest in welded track because this allows them to place
more weight on the rails with less damage. In the long run it will cost them
less in repairs and maintenance. In many instances these welded tracks also
allow for the trains to move along at a faster speed.

Switches in the rail tracks allow for a train to move from one set of tracks to
another. They are commonly used as a type of bypass when you have two trains on
the same stretch of track but heading different directions. The switch allows
one train to go around the other while the other continues in the normal path.
This type of rail design allows several trains to be on the same tracks at the
same time. It is important for switches to work properly or the risk of two
trains crashing into each other is possible.

Some areas of the train tracks feature built in signals that activate the
safety signals at the upcoming railroad crossings. These areas of the track are
insulated to help prevent any malfunctions in the signals. When cars are ready
to cross the railroad tracks it is these signals that will prevent them from
going across when it isn't safe.

It is vital to the railway industry that the tracks are always ready to for
trains to safely move across them. Regular inspections of each section of the
tracks helps to ensure this process. Various railroad companies have gangs that
work to offer regular maintenance for the train tracks and to take care of any
emergency repairs that need to be made.

Statistics Relating to Train Accidents

Most trains go about their travels without any incident. They are responsible
for transporting equipment, goods, food, and even dangerous chemicals and
weapons. Trains offer a reliable mode of transportation that has been in place
for decades. It is one many people don't often think about because so much of
what happens takes place behind the scenes.

Trains are made from durable steel so being involved in an accident with one
can be deadly. Too many times drivers of cars don't pay attention to the
signals at the crossings or they think they can beat the train. Since a train
can't slow down and stop immediately, there is nothing that can be done to
avoid the accident. The train isn't able to move from the trains in an effort
to go around the vehicle.

This type of accident can also result in the trail derailing, meaning it leaves
the tracks. This can result in damages to what they are hauling and to the crew
on the train. If the train is carrying dangerous materials or harmful chemicals
then the risk of damages to people in the area also increases. Train accidents
also occur due to errors made by the engineers, inclement weather, excessive
speed, and worn out tracks.

In order to help reduce the amount of train related accidents, the FRA has been
working hard to educate the public about the dangers of trains. Ironically, you
can hear a train coming from a mile away when you aren't in the area but
believe it or not you may not be able to hear it if you are right by it. This
is because of how sound travels. Never walk along the railroad tracks.

It is important for those in vehicles to closely monitor railroad crossings.
Too many people assume that because they can't see the train coming they have
the ability to make it across. The more modern railroad crossings include gates
that come down in a way that cars can't go around them to take away this option.

Railroads have to be committed to providing save railcars to be traveling. They
need to properly inspected and weight limits need to be followed. The tracks
also need to be inspected on a regular basis and the necessary improvements
made. This will prevent derailments which can be very dangerous and even fatal.

The FDA also looks into all train accidents to find out what could have been
done in order to prevent it. They log all train accidents to look for patterns
of the crew, speed, what was being hauled, and the location where the accident
took place. Being able to identify patterns in such incidents in a great way to
help make positive changes to prevent future train accidents from taking place.

Another reason why the FDA looks into each train related accident is to
determine who is at fault. The railway company will be liable if it is
determined they were at fault. However, a railway company won't be liable if
individuals failed to stop at railroad crossings that were working properly.

Hopeful as awareness of train accidents continues to increase there will be
less of them. The technology that is available to help monitor train locations
will also reduce the number of trains wrecking into each other, help monitor
railroad crossings and keep tracks in good condition. We rely heavily on our
trains to carry goods, people, and hazardous materials to various locations. It
is important though that every effort is make to make that journey a safe one.

The Threat of Trains being Used for Terrorism

Trains carry goods and materials to various locations around the world and it
is considered to a very safe mode of transportation. Yet there is the
possibility that trains could be used for terrorism. This is because they often
engage in transporting thousands of tons of chemicals, explosives, and nuclear
waste as well as items that consumers want to be able to purchase from
retailers.

In the wrong hands these types of items being transported by train could be
disastrous. Experts in the field of terrorism and chemicals have been able to
estimate that the access of certain ones from train cars could kill millions of
people in the area within minutes. You can be that terrorists may well be aware
of this information as well.

There is also the risk of terrorists bombing various train locations carrying
these types of materials or people. In the past there have been some types of
these incidents involving trains that are credited to acts of terrorism. You
may not realize it depending on where you live, but that are more than 300,000
miles of train tracks in the United States alone where materials travel along
on a regular basis.

The biggest concern in the amount of chlorine gas that is routinely moved by
train because it is toxic. Trucks carrying this particular type of gas have
been targeted in Iraq and that has alerted the government and railroad
companies to the heightened risk of it in the United States. This particular
gas could result in the death of thousands of people within a ten mile radius
of any such spills or leaks so it needs to be closely protected.

This type of chlorine gas is commonly used at water treatment plants to make
water safer to drink. To help reduce the amount of it on the trains, the
government has been implementing safer alternatives. Many water treatment plans
have switched from using chlorine gas to either liquid bleach or ultraviolet
light. Both of them seem to offer a very effective way to treat water without
the risk of traveling hundreds of miles with chlorine gas on the train cars.

The Transportation Security Administration has taken significant measures to
reduce the risk of trains being accessed by terrorists since the attacks on
09/11/01. Yet the cost of placing security on trains with hazardous materials
is very expensive. The cost of re-routing the materials so that they aren't in
the vicinity of residential and business locations is also expensive. That
particular idea doesn't necessarily mean that terrorists can't get to the
chemicals and then use them where they please though.

The Department of Homeland Security has implemented changes though that require
further investigation of those who work on the trains as well as maintain the
tracks. Background checks are to be conducted before a person is allowed to
work in such areas. They have also implemented saver containers to help protect
the materials from being easily accessed.

The major railways including Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific
work closely with the Federal government to ensure various safety requirements
are in place at all times. The goal of both agencies is to effectively
transport materials via train without leaving any opportunities for terrorists
to take over control of them. This is an ongoing line of defense that continues
to be closely monitored and updated.

Types of Trains

There are many different types of trains that are in use today. They all serve
different purposes in order to meet the needs of various industries. Regardless
of the type of train it is, there is a need for a powerful engine with a skilled
engineer to keep it moving along as it should. There is also the need for
railway tracks so that the train is able to move along it.

Early trains operated with the use of coal and steam but since the 1950's they
have been powered by diesel fuel. Some of them in various locations now operate
using electricity in order to reduce the amount of pollution they offer to the
environment.

The first trains were freight trains, and created to haul various types of
materials from one location to another. Each year freight trains haul thousands
of tons of materials so that businesses can use them to create products. The
railways where the majority of freight is transported is very heavy and durable
so that it can hold a large amount of weight at any given time. It isn't unusual
to see freight being hauled by more than one engine at a time in order to
effectively haul it.

To help reduce the amount of time it takes to load and unload freight hauled by
train, the use of piggybacks is common. This concept involves placing a semi
trailer on the back of a flatbed railcar. Once the freight train has reached
its destination the semi trailer is removed with heavy equipment and it is
ready for a semi truck to hook up to and take it to the final destination. This
process helps to keep the problem with not enough truck drivers to keep up with
the transportation demands in prospective.

Millions of people travel each year by the use of passenger trains. The most
popular is Amtrak which moves travelers from one location to another. There are
sleep cars and dining cars on the Amtrak for travelers to be able to spend their
time in. This is a very comfortable form of travel and one many people seem to
enjoy.

Other types of passenger trains are used for people to commute from one
location to another. Large cities such as New York have the subway which is a
type of underground passenger train. Many other cities offer passenger trains
that are above ground that get them to and from their place of employment
instead of battling with congested roads.

There are three types of speeds for passenger trains. Some of them stop at
every station along the way for people to get on or get off. Others travel at
top speeds and only stop at specific locations. Trains can have a regular
schedule they adhere to for passengers such as those someone would take to get
to work. They pickup at the same location at the same time daily. That is
unless there are delays.

Depending on what your individual travel needs are and the location where you
live, you may be very familiar with freight trains and passenger trains going
through your area. For other people though they live too far away from any
railway tracks to notice what is being transported through their town. As a
result they may not be too familiar with the amount of services these various
types of trains offer.

Trains and the Environment

While trains do offer a necessary service because they haul materials and
people, there are plenty of concerns about the damages they do to the
environment. As with any other type of industry there seems to be controversy
about where to draw the line. People in society definitely want the benefits
that come with trains transporting goods and people but are they willing to
sacrifice the quality of the air they breath in order to have it?

The biggest concern with trains and the environment is the amount of pollution
they create. Designs have come a long way on train engines in order to reduce
the amount of pollution they release. Many railway companies also continue to
plant new trees in the areas along the train tracks. These trees help to remove
the amount of carbon monoxide in the air. You may have seen pretty flower
gardens next to train crossings and they are there to help the environment as
well as to give you something nice to enjoy as you drive by.

Another type of pollution that trains are labeled with is noise pollution.
People who live in areas where trains frequently pass through often complain
about the noise. This is one of the biggest issues that has to be dealt with
when a railway company is considering laying new railroad tracks.

Businesses complain about the noise level as well because they feel it often
affects productivity and it can be annoying to potential customers and prevent
them from coming in. Changes are being implemented by many railway companies to
reduce the amount of noise and vibrations that come from the trains.

Trains consume large amounts of natural resources that can't be replaced. This
is a concern because so many trains are in operation each day. Alternatives for
creating the necessary energy are being evaluated. Some of the commuter trains
in many cities operate on electricity instead of diesel fuel. While this helps
reduce the amount of pollution in the air, it still depletes the natural
resources we have available.

However, research has shown that mass transit services such as trains in large
cities significantly reduces the amount of pollution in the air because it
removes so many individual cars from the roads each day. Instead of thousands
of people using their own vehicle to commute to and from work they all ride the
same train transit system.

Environmentalists become very upset when forests and other land areas are
cleared in order to lay new stretches of railway tracks. While the additional
routes help get materials and people to their destinations, it removes trees
and robs animals of their natural habitat. Most railways do all they can to
live the area intact and to only remove what is necessary for the train to get
through the area.

Railway companies are often accused of wasting materials that have to be dealt
with. In the past couple of decades though most railway companies have become
quite conservative with their materials. The steel they use for the railroad
tracks and trains is recycled. They also reuse up to 60% of the ballast that is
placed underneath the railway tracks.

The Federal government keeps a close eye on the activities of all the various
railway companies. They understand they are an essential piece of keeping our
economy strong, but they expect the railway companies to do their part for the
environment as well. New areas of technology are continue implemented in order
to benefit the railway companies and the environment.

It is important to understand that it takes time to develop such changes
though. Research has to be conducted to measure the actual benefits that will
be offered. The research is very expensive and implementing the changes is
expensive as well. The railways struggle to offer low prices for passengers as
well as hauling freight, but as their own expenses continue to increase with
efforts to protect the environment a large portion of those expenses will be
trickling down.

Train Museums

The emergence of trains played a significant role in the industrial revolution.
With the advances in technology that took place over time, trains have become
faster and more fuel efficient. Yet there is a place in our history books for
those older model locomotives. It is also very interesting to discover the
history behind trains in more ways than just reading about them.

If you are interested in the history of trains, you may find a visit to one of
many train museums offers you plenty of information as well as great pieces of
older equipment to look at. Technology has come a long way in regards to
trains, and it can be fascinating to take a look back at the various types of
tracks and trains from a century ago.

In addition to seeing those old time locomotives, you can see the actual
materials that they train tracks were once made from. Hours and hours of hard
work went into men digging the area with shovels to lay the materials for the
train tracks. While the process is somewhat easier today, there is still plenty
of hard work that goes into building, repairing, and maintaining railroad tracks.

If you live in the California area, you will find many of the very best train
museums are featured around the state. The Golden Gate Railroad Museum, located
in Redwood City, is a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving the history of
steam locomotives and the history of trains around the San Francisco area.

In the heart of Golden, Colorado you will find another one of the best train
museums. They offer more than 100 different historical locomotives and boxcars
from various eras. This is also one of the oldest train museums as it was
established in 1959.

One of the oldest and largest train museums is found in Cairo, Egypt. It is
simply called the Rail Museum and it was founded in 1933. This particular train
museum continues to be upgraded and expanded to offer as much history about the
train industry as possible. There are more than 700 items on display here
including locomotives, train parts, rails, documents, and early maps of the
first railway routes.

Taking a close and personal look at the history of trains on display at the
various museums will give you a new appreciation for this particular mode of
transporting both people and materials. It is hard to believe when you look at
the trains of today that that the concepts behind them almost didn't get off
the ground in the 1800's. No one really believed it would become a viable way
to get around the world. Today more than 60 million people travel on trains
annually and there are more than 300,000 miles of track.

The internet is a great resource for helping you to locate the different train
museums you may want to visit. You can find out about the various exhibits they
offer, the cost of admission, hours of operation, and directions. If you travel
often for business or pleasure you may want to choose a couple of great train
museums to see during your free time. There are hundreds of great train museums
located around the world so it is nice to know you won't have to travel to just
one specific location in order to take a trip back in time.

Train Movies

One of the most magical movies featuring at train is the Polar Express. It
brings back the joy we felt as children waiting for Santa Claus. This makes it
a remarkable movie that appeals to people of all ages. Even though it is a
Christmas time movie, many people enjoy watching it anytime they want to feel
carefree and happy. The movie is computer animated which gives it a very unique
design.

The film Polar Express features one of the best actors around, Tom Hanks who
plays five different characters. This film tells the story of only those who
truly believe in Santa Clause can help save his ability to bring presents to
children all over the world. The boy is asked to go to the North Pole with
Santa Claus in an effort to show him what really exists there.

A great deal of the movie takes place on the Polar Express, the name of the
locomotive that magically takes Santa Claus to and from the North Pole. The
steam engine featured in the movie is based on a real one that is in a train
museum known as the 1225.

Tom Cruise has been well known for various movies over the years, but none of
them compare with the popularity of Mission Impossible. In fact, it has two
very successful sequels under its belt. There is plenty of action in all of
them, but the most memorable takes place in the first Mission Impossible movie.
Cruise is seen in some tough stunts that he makes look realistic on the top of a
speeding train.

Many of the early westerns feature amazing scenes with various types of trains
in them. It isn't uncommon for gunfights to be taking place on top of these
moving trains. In fact, it is very possible that the scenes for that popular
Mission Impossible movie were developed from this core idea that had been in
the movies so many years ago.

Some movies don't feature the train in them for very long, but the train still
plays an important role in the movie. The Harry Potter series is very popular
and you will find the children ride the train to and from Hogwarts at the
beginning and the end of every movie. In many ways this train has become a
trademark of the shows. It also signifies their movement from the normal world
to the world of magic.

By the title, you may think the movie Derailed featuring Jennifer Aniston is
going to be about a train disaster. Yet this is a very intriguing movie that
details the delicate webs of lies and deceptions that can take place for money.
Her character plays a manipulative woman who pretends to fall for married men on
the commuter train. When they meet at a hotel room and intruder rapes her.

Later in the movie you find out the rapist is really her husband. Everything is
a set up to make the men she meets on the trains feel sorry for her. They are
also willing to give her money not to tell anyone about their affair,
especially their wives. You will be on the edge of your seat watching the story
unfold as it has many twists and turns.

Of course we can't talk about train movies without including Planes, Trains,
and Automobiles. This is a hilarious comedy with Steve Martin and John Candy.
The story is about a businessman who is desperately trying to get home to spend
Thanksgiving with his family.

There are plenty of movies out there featuring trains. Some people enjoy the
entire movie and others place it on their favorites list simply for the action
involving the trains itself. Trains are such an important part of our society
and our global economy that it is only fitting they find their way onto the big
screen to offer us quality entertainment.

The Duties of a Train Control and Signal Inspector

There is plenty of work to be done behind the scenes to ensure trains are able
to operate correctly. One of the jobs with the most responsibility is that of a
train control and signal inspector. They work hard to ensure the signals at all
of the railroad crossings are working properly. This is to ensure the safety of
those on the train as well as those attempting to cross in their path.

Regular maintenance and testing of all the different controls and signals for
railway crossings need to be completed. Most of the time each inspector will
have their own area they are responsible for. They also conduct additional
testing when they receive information from the train crews, passengers in cars,
or law enforcement that there may be problems with particular signals working
correctly.

Train control and signal inspectors are also responsible for implementing
safety training and education programs for their employees and for those who
will be crossing the tracks. Many accidents involving trains can be eliminated
if people have the right information about the risks involved in not paying
attention to train crossings.

Since there are many intersections where there are signal lights but no rails
that come down, people often try to beat the trains. The goal of these
inspectors is to eliminate people taking such risks. As funding becomes
available they make sure the new rails are installed at the most dangerous
train crossings.

In order to base their training information on, train control and signal
inspectors are often called to the scene of accidents to document their
findings. All of this information is compiled to offer accurate data that can
be used for intervention and prevention of future problems with train controls
and signals.

As advances in technology allow, train control and signals are continually
updated. An inspector in this role has to have the skills and training to keep
up on this information. Most employers in the railway industry offer this
ongoing training, but certification in various areas is required in order to
secure such employment in the first place.

In addition, someone in this role needs to be in good physical condition. It
can require long hours on the job in order to remedy potentially dangerous
situations and to evaluate accident scenes. It can result in long walks along
stretches of railroad tracks in the extreme heat or cold. In some areas, the 
train control and signal inspector will have to climb down into bridge areas to 
get to the mechanisms they need to test or repair.

These types of inspectors also have to be detail oriented because there is
plenty of paperwork to complete on a regular basis. The demands of the job can
be tough because you really never know how long a particular job is going to
take. A routine inspection may turn into an all day event if things aren't
working as they should. Paying attention to the little things is very important
because lives could be lost if the inspector doesn't take the job seriously.

The role of a train control and signal inspector is very important. It allows
numerous lives to be saved by ensuring the right equipment is in place and
working correctly. They also offer training and education programs to make sure
people are aware of the dangers of not obeying these signals. While this type of
job is very challenging it also offers plenty of rewards to those who want to
make trains save for everyone.

The rate of pay for a train control and signal inspector varies by location. It
is generally a very high paying job though because of the amount of risk
involved in being where the trains pass and being exposed to chemicals and
other items during derailments or train wrecks. Most railway companies require
an inspector to have a four year degree in some area of science as well as
experience in the field of railroad technology.

Types of Jobs Relating to the Railroad Industry

There are many different jobs that fall under the umbrella of the railroad
industry. While we are all familiar with the engineer and crew to move the
train, there are plenty of other people that help make sure it all falls into
place. It is possible to secure a job in any of these areas as long as you have
the right qualifications.

There is plenty of paperwork to be completed in the railroad industry.
Everything from securing contracts to haul materials to payroll have to be
completed. Office jobs like these are generally found at the central office for
the railroad. There are also those who operate machinery to load and unload the
materials to be transported by train. They often work long and hard hours to
ensure everything is securely in place and that the trains are able to leave on
time.

The tracks for the trains have to be kept in perfect condition to help prevent
accidents from occurring. There are many different levels of work that a person
can be trained to do. Many employees that work on the tracks have a specific
area of specialty. It may be laying railroad ties, welding, supervising a gang
of workers, cleaning the tracks, and hauling the necessary materials.

Unfortunately, accidents do continue to take place involving trains, and so
there are inspectors that work for the railroads to identify the reasons why
such accidents occur. This information allows them to make changes to their
operations and to provide additional training. Each accident involving a train
should be viewed as a learning experience. It is also an opportunity to be able
to prevent other train accidents from happening due to the same types of
circumstances.

In order for anyone in the railroad industry to be able to effectively do their
jobs, they have to be trained. There are plenty of great jobs in this field if
you have the skills to effectively teach other people. This can be classroom
training, on the job training, or a combination of both. The better trained
each employee is that works in the train industry, the more efficient
operations will flow and the fewer accidents will result.

Depending on the size of a railroad company and the areas in which they travel,
there will be different jobs available. Since engineers and other crew are only
allowed a set amount of hours of operation, it may be necessary for a driver to
deliver a new crew to a location and pick up the other crew. These drivers need
to be reliable and willing to work any hours or drive in any type of weather
conditions.

The pay for the different jobs in the train industry vary by skills and
education. Entry level positions generally start at minimum wage or higher. As
you are able to show your work abilities you should be eligible for periodic
raises. Many railroad companies offer their employees the chance for
advancement and even offer to pay for the training they need in order to have
the right qualifications.

The specifics of how to apply for any railroad jobs and the job description can
be found by contacting the railway company or visiting their websites. You will
find the internet offers you plenty of great information as well as links to
training programs you can enroll in. Operating a train or working in another
area of this industry can offer you a good paying career.




Qualifications to Operate a Train

Being in charge of operating a train is a huge responsibility, and one that
requires plenty of training before it is possible. The specific requirements
depend on the type of train that is being operated. It may be a cargo train,
passenger train, or one that carries hazardous materials. There are commuter
trains as well in various cities to help reduce the amount of traffic on the
roads.

There are some specific requirements though that apply to all types of trains.
To help prevent the risk of problems while navigating a train, those on board
must pass written testing, continue to engage in training offered by their
employer, and pass a complete health exam annually. Those in charge of
operating a train must have very good eyesight and hearing in order to fill the
requirements of the job.

It is now required for all personnel operating a train to pass a background
check and to show that they are a citizen of the United States in an effort to
reduce the chances of terrorism involving trains. Many employers are also
requesting a complete mental evaluation as well.

A full understanding of English both in the written and verbal forms are
required. There are many different types of crew members on a train with the
engineer being the one in charge. It takes more training, education, and
credentials to hold such a position.

Various tests many be given to determine if someone is a good fit for a job
operating a train. These tests are designed to evaluate their ability to make
quick decisions, their navigational skills, their ability to follow
instructions, leadership, and communication skills. All of these are very
important for being successful at operating a train properly.

Any individual that wants to become an engineer has to be at least 21 years of
age. There are plenty of areas of the job that need to be taken seriously when
operating a train as a crew member or as an engineer. The train needs to be
carefully inspected prior to taking a trip. The crew has to know how to
manipulate the train in response to the load and weather conditions.

A great deal of the training for operating a train has to do with technology.
Most of the controls are in place with the best possible technology behind
them. Having a solid understanding of how a train operates and how to use
computers is very helpful for anyone wishing to pursue such a career choice.

You will find excellent programs and most colleges to build a solid foundation
in the area of engineering. Once you have earned a degree from an accredited
school, you can contact the various railroad companies to find out about the
available jobs. They will likely have you take part in their own training
programs to teach you the specifics of how they operate their equipment. They
will also want to ensure you know proper safety procedures to follow.

The average annual earnings for a train engineer is $61,850. This is very good
pay for a job that requires plenty of attention to details. The forecast for
jobs in the area of operating trains is one that is going to be lower in ten
years than the demand for it now. While there will likely be more trains in
use, it is believed technology will allow them to operate faster and more
efficient so fewer humans will be needed in order to operate them.

Steam Locomotives

The first steam locomotive was introduced in 1804. Everyone was very excited
about what it could offer in regards to moving materials and even people. By
today's standards though the first steam locomotive was nothing impressive. The
top speed was five miles per hour and it could haul up to 15 tons of material.
Yet you have to remember that this was before automobiles so the steam
locomotive offered fast speeds and more power than anything else during that
period of time.

As time went buy steam locomotives were able to become more powerful and move
faster. This was due to new designs for both the steam engines and the tracks.
From observing what wasn't working inventors and scientists were able to
implement new strategies that were quite effective.

One thing you will immediately notice about the steam locomotives is their
unique wheel design. This was done to resolve the problem of keeping a steel
train in steel rails without slipping. Each steam locomotive actually features
two sets of drive wheels. Even with the usefulness of steam locomotives, it
took plenty of time to build them as well as to lay the tracks. The first
railroad wasn't ready for operation with the steam locomotives until 1825.

Steam locomotives were the main type used for the railways from the early
1800's until the 1950's. It was at that time the majority of them were replaced
by engines running off of diesel fuel. Steam locomotives are large, powerful
pieces of machinery that were made from steel and heavy iron. The majority of
them can only be found in various train museums today. There are still a few
early steam locomotives in use for various types of recreational trains out
there.

If you visit steam locomotives featured in the various museums you will quickly
notice all of the differences they offer. Each one was custom made for the
railway company it was going to be delivered to. This is way the controls can
be found in various locations, the sizes of the smokestacks are different, and
even the type of steam whistle to let people know about approaching trains are
different.

The concepts behind steam locomotives were very advanced for the 1800's, but as
technology advanced they were replaced by faster trains that could run on diesel
fuel. Still, they are a vital part of the foundation that was built long ago for
the railway industry. It is rumored that one day in the future steam locomotives
will be making a come back. The cost of diesel fuel continues to rise and it
does create a large amount of pollution for the environment.

Of course these new steam locomotives would have all of the latest features.
Don't expect to see a couple of people shoveling fuel into the compressor in
order to generate enough steam to power it. All of the movement would be able
to be done by the use of advanced parts that would allow this process to be
automated.

There is plenty of history to be found in the steam locomotives of the past.
They provide us with useful information about the early development of the
industrial revolution. The fact that early inventors were successful in
building these steam engines with limited technology or information is amazing.
It just goes to show you that great ideas can happen at any time.

Santa Fe Railroad

One of the most popular railways in history was known as Santa Fe even though
its official name was Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. From 1859 until 1996 this
railway provided numerous services for hauling materials and maintaining miles
of railroad tracks. It became one of the largest and most profitable railway
companies during its prime.

The Santa Fe Railroad took a very entrepreneurial approach to their services.
They purchased large areas of land from the government and then built their
railroad tracks through them. They took the remaining land and sold it to
businesses and individuals looking for a place to build a home or to operate a
farm. They knew that by bringing people to these areas they would soon need
supplies to be brought to them via the railway.

In addition they implemented the concepts of adding buses and ferries to their
passenger railway services. Since they couldn't always reach the passengers by
train they had locations set up where people could use the ferry or the bus to
reach the train as part of the price of the train ride. This idea was an
immediate hit and increased the number of people that began using the Santa Fe
railroad for their transportation needs.

In 1872 the Santa Fe railroad took advantage of the cattle industries in both
Colorado and Kansas. They were able to ship live cows on their trains as well
as to transport meat from the processing and ship it to other areas. Some
businesses felt this concept was a double dip for the railway while others felt
it was genius idea that offered them plenty of profit without having to built
more train tracks to reach it.

Yet the real money for the Santa Fe Railroad came with the discovery of gold in
the mountains of Colorado around what is today Leadville and Cripple Creek. The
railroad was able to bring supplies to the area for those looking to strike it
rich. They also hauled the gold for the various companies mining it and charged
a hefty price for doing so.

With the earnings that the Santa Fe railroad was making from the gold rush,
they decided to expand their railway tracks into new territory. They faced many
challenges getting them built along Raton Pass into New Mexico. There were
simply too many hills and mountains to make this an easy job.

Between 1965 and 1945 Santa Fe had become the most profitable railway in the
country. They started out with only 62 miles of track and had grown to more
than 13,000 miles. As the years went by Santa Fe continued to be a very
profitable company, yet they had many competitors to contend with as well. This
bit into their profits and they decided in 1983 to merge with Southern Pacific.

The merger was never completed though as it was denied by the Interstate
Commerce Commission. They felt that this merger would result in too many
duplicate routes being in place by the railways. Many people were surprised
when Santa Fe merged with one of its biggest competitors in 1996. Burlington
Northern has always been well known for acquiring other railway companies. With
this acquisition though their name took a change as well and became known as
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).

Yet both of these individual companies found that they were offering the same
services, had similar goals, and wanted to offer the best possible training for
their employees. They found they both had some strengths and some weaknesses but
by joining forces they could emerge as the very best railway company in the
world.

Today BNSF is the most profitable railway in the business as they are able to
offer competitive rates and they have thousands of miles of train tracks to
incorporate various routes. They work hard to educate the public about safety
issues and concerns. They also offer competitive wages and require all of their
employees to engage in regular training.

Mystery Trains

Trains have a very exciting feeling that comes with them. If you enjoy solving
mysteries then you may find a mystery train is a fun way to spend your time.
You can make reservations with a group of your friends or you can go alone and
meet new people who share your same interests. Mystery trains generally operate
at night so that you can spend your time in an atmosphere that fits well with
the scenario being played out.

Many of us remember the popular board game of Clue where you had to guess who
committed the murder, what room it was conducted in, and with what weapon. Many
of the mystery trains are set up with a similar type of layout taking place.
Some mystery train games only last for the evening while others may last for
two or three days. It all depends on how much time you want to invest in this
fun activity.

Some of these mystery trains take place is places you would love to visit
including the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, and even New York. If you aren't
interested in helping to solve the crime but you would like to see it take
place, you can find mystery trains that offer a fantastic dinner. The murder 
mystery is performed while you enjoy your food by actors up on the stage. 
Sometimes they ask for audience participation to help keep everyone interested 
but it depends on the particular production you are taking part in.

In order to get the best prices on mystery trains, look for those that run all
year long. This means that many of the local people will have already had a
chance to take part in it. It also means not everyone will be fighting for the
same tickets on set days. You will generally find mystery trains are less
expensive during the week than on weekends. Those that offer a fine dining
experience are going to cost more too because of the atmosphere and the food
offered.

Since there are so many different types of mystery trains out there it is
important that you get all of the information in advance. Find out what will be
taking place and what your role in it will be. Ask how long the actual mystery
takes to unfold so you can plan in advance for it. If the mystery train is
several days long find out about the meals and the sleeping quarters. The more
information you have the more likely it is that you will thoroughly enjoy your
mystery train experience.

Taking a train adventure to enjoy a great mystery that you take part in solving
can be a wonderful vacation. The internet is a great place to find the various
mystery trains that are offered as well as there locations. These types of
events get wonderful reviews and the mystery trains fill up fast. You will want
to plan your trip and secure reservations early in order to ensure you can
attend the one you want.

A mystery train can be a great way for a group of adults to spend a couple of
days together. It also makes a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift for a
friend or family member who is always watching those movies on TV where they
solve the crimes. This is one gift that they would always remember.

How Fast do Trains Move?

When you are running late for work and waiting for the train to finish going by
so you can cross, it doesn't seem like they are going very fast. They do travel
at fairly decent speeds though when you consider the amount of weight the
equipment is hauling. The source they depend on for energy as well as what they
are carrying determines their speed.

The first trains in the 1800's were only able to operate at a speed of
approximately five miles per day. Freight trains and passenger trains such as
AmTrak generally operate at a speed between 55 and 65 miles per hour. While
they can go faster they don't for safety reasons. The faster a train is
traveling the longer it takes it to stop if there is something on the tracks in
front of it.

Many commuter trains travel at a rate of 65-75 miles per hour. It depends on
the amount of distance between each stop. The more stops that they have the
slower they operate in order to be able to protect the equipment from
unnecessary wear and tear. The focus is always on how fast can the train
effectively go yet still offer the highest level of safety at the same time. As
new technology offers more safety benefits for everyone, the increased speeds of
trains continues to be authorized.

High speed rail trains were first introduced in Japan but they seem to be
cropping up in various locations. These are often passenger commuter trains
that can go up to 90 miles per hour without any difficulty. This concept is
just now being applied to hauling some types of freight in Japan. The United
States has considered it for hauling the postal freight but it has not been
implemented yet.

The fastest trains out there are the MagLev, which is short for magnetic
levitation. These place magnets to keep the train moving along the tracks. They
can go at top speeds of over 300 miles per hour. The MagLev is still in the
developmental stages in both Japan and Germany. It is anticipated that the
technology behind it could one day find its way to railways that commute both
people and materials. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this
concept in the future.

The fact that trains don't offer the same top speeds as vehicles and airplanes
has lead to them losing some of their contracts with businesses over the years.
Yet the train industry has proven to be reliable and effective. It also removes
the need for more trucks on the highways and more planes in the sky. Even
though trains don't offer the fastest mode of transportation, they are still
very useful for personal use and to move valuable freight for various types of
industries.

The internet is a great place to find out how fast a particular type of train
moves. Since there are so many variables it is hard to give exact answers here.
You can visit websites for particular types of trains or railways. There you
will find all of the information that is relevant to the speed of any type of
train. Keep in mind that freight trains have the most variables because it
depends on how many cars the train has and the overall weight of the materials
onboard.

Grand Central Terminal

In New York City you will find Grand Central Terminal which is a famous
landmark in reference to train stations. The terminal that is in place today
was built in 1913 and it was built specifically for electric powered trains.
Many people visit Grand Central Terminal today not to ride a train, but to take
a look at the various architectural designs it has to offer.

The most popular features include the marble staircase that never seems to lose
its beauty. There are also numerous windows in the terminal that are 75 feet
tall. You may end up bumping into many people while you are at the terminal
because many of them walk around with their heads facing the ceiling due to the
amazing paintings on it. There are plenty of starts up there where you will
quickly forget where you really are at.

One of the reasons why this is such a busy train station to day is because
there are so many large corporate offices and businesses in the area. It is
very easy for businessmen to take a train to the Grand Central Terminal and
then walk the remaining distance so their place of employment or for a meeting
taking place in one of the area business locations.

If you find yourself at the Grand Central Terminal for any length of time you
can enjoy one of the coffee shops or restaurants. There are also a couple of
bars where you can enjoy a drink. There is an excellent selection of casual
dining as well as fine dining in the Grand Central Terminal.

Don't forget to check out the market offered at the terminal as well. Here you
will find an amazing selection of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale. There
are also fresh coffee beans, baked goods, prime cuts of meat, quality cheeses,
and chocolate delights that are made right in front of your eyes. This is a
very colorful and fun place to explore when you visit the Grand Central
Terminal.

Many people want to the terminal in order to shop as there are over 50 shops
featured there. In these shops you will find clothing, shoes, electronics,
toys, a small museum, luggage, books, beauty supplies, and even locations to
get your hair and nails done. You can literally spend days at Grand Central
Terminal doing nothing but shopping and pampering yourself.

For some fun while you are visiting the terminal, make sure you visit the
Whispering Gallery. Due to the architectural design of the terminal there is a
place where you can whisper and it will echo loud like you are shouting. This
is due to the various dynamic acoustics in that area of the terminal. The
curved layout of the ceiling offers just the right elements necessary to allow
this to happen.

There are plenty of different events that take place at Grand Central Terminal
throughout the year. They offer a splendid holiday decor that you will fall in
love with. In addition to the many shops in the terminal, vendors are allowed
to set up their booths to sell wonderful handmade crafts and Christmas
ornaments. They also offer plenty of free entertainment and host art shows
during the year to help support the arts. You can easily access a calendar of
events for the Grand Central Terminal online.

Today Grand Central Terminal is considered to be a historical landmark. There
has been plenty of money invested in it to preserve the beauty of this
remarkable train station. If you haven't seen it you need to put it on your
list of places to visit while in New York City.

If you have ever heard the term Grand Central Station, this is in reference to
the subway system found beneath the Grand Central Terminal. This is an icon of
the hustle and bustle of New York City. Every effort has been made to preserve
it and to honor the vitality of the train industry.

Dinner Trains

Going out to dinner with your partner or spouse is a great way to spend some
time together. If you have jobs and children then you realize just how
important it is for you to be able to spend some quality time alone enjoying
each others company. To help make these dinners more romantic and memorable,
consider a dinner train ride. They are offered from many locations all over the
world.

If you don't have one close by that you can take advantage of any time you
want, plan a special trip to a destination that does offer dinner trains. If
you have to go out of town for work or you will be spending time traveling for
leisure, look up dinner trains online and see what is available in that area.

Most dinner trains offer an early meal as well as a late meal so you can
schedule which every suits you the best. The food options are generally limited
to a few main entrees, vegetarian meals, salads, and desserts. While you won't
find a full menu selection on most dinner trains you can expect to find some of
the very best food around. You can call in advance to find out what they menu
options are if you have any concerns.

Most dinner trains travel along very beautiful and romantic scenery. This
should be something that determines which dinner train you want to take. If you
enjoy a new adventure now and then take a dinner train along a route you have
never been on before. You are sure to find plenty of amazing sites throughout
your evening.

Some dinner trains are offered all year long depending on the routes they
follow. Those that go through extremely cold areas with inclement weather often
don't operate in the winter months. They may offer a scenic train route during
the day but not the dinner train option. You will need to call for this
information or look online for it.

It is important to make your reservations for a dinner train in advance,
especially if you don't have one locally. This way you won't be disappointed to
discover there is no room left on the train for you. Some of them offer
wonderful entertainment such as a play or music.

Others allow you to simply enjoy the evening so make sure you find out what
options you have. This way you can plan the dinner train ride that is going to
be the most rewarding for you. You may find a dinner train that offers a
romantic terrace for you to view the scenery on or that offers dancing after
dinner is just what you are looking for.

At the time when you make your dinner train reservations it is a good idea to
find out about the attire for the evening. Many of them are casual dress but
some of the fancier dinner train rides require you dress nicer for the evening.
Finding out this information in advance will prevent you from feeling
uncomfortable or out of place when you arrive.

The cost of a dinner train often depends on many factors. The more extravagant
that they entertainment and the food is the more expensive it will be. Others
are more moderately priced and they still offer you quality food and
entertainment so you can have an amazing dining experience. If the dinner train
is offered nightly then you will likely find the prices to be lower during the
week. Most people will try to schedule the weekends and it is likely that the
prices will reflect this demand. Look for special offers and discounts for
dinner trains as well. They can be found in newspapers, magazines, and even
online.

You will find dining on a dinner train to be a nice change from your usual
evening out at a local restaurant. You may find this is an experience you want
to have on a regular basis with someone you enjoy spending time with. There are
plenty of great dinner train options so make sure you take your time to find the
one that fits your dining needs as well as your budget.

Collectible Trains

Children of all ages seem to enjoy playing with trains, but may adults do as
well. They may not be playing with them though as much as they are collecting
them. There are true train collectors and then there are those who want to
simply make a fun hobby out of it. Many of them in either category or current
railway workers or they have since retired from the profession.

There are many great layouts you can create as a hobby for your train. With a
flat piece of board that is as large as you would like, you can transform it
into your own train area. There are train kits that contain smaller scale
boxcars, engines, cabooses, train stations, tunnels, and tracks. You can also
buy individual pieces in order to personalize your train collection. Many of
the tracks even come with controllers so you can switch the tracks and have
more than one train on it.

Some of the older Santa Fe train pieces are worth a large amount of money
today. This is because it was one of the largest railway companies for decades.
In recent years it has merged with Burlington Northern to become Burlington
Northern Santa Fe. The pieces of equipment for collecting that say Santa Fe on
the sides of them are collectibles that continue to increase in value.

Many of the older collectible trains from the late 1800's and early 1900's are
extremely valuable. The majority of them are in various train museums all over
the world. These early collectibles are quite heavy because they were made from
iron. After those came trains made from wood. The majority of the collectible
trains offered today are made from various types of durable plastic.

There are two types of gauging used for the tracks with collectible trains. If
you are planning to buy separate pieces you really need to make sure you get
the right gauge of equipment or it won't work on the tracks. Your two choices
are O or S scaled items. O scale items measure the distance between the outer
two rails of the track. The S scale items measure the distance from the two
outer rails so it is slightly larger.

Lionel Model Trains continues to be the biggest manufacturer of collectible
trains today. Their hottest seller right now is the Harry Potter train that
takes him and the other students to their school at the beginning of each
movie. The Hogwarts Express is anticipated to sell more than the record holding
Polar Express from 2004.

Whether you collect trains just to have or you use them to indulge in one of
your favorite hobbies, they are delightful to have. The cost of collectible
trains depends on where you purchase them and the condition they are in. You
can get new pieces from many retailers but the older items you will have to
purchase online, at yard sales, and even from antique stores. You may want to
check with your father or grandfather though as there is a good chance they may
have a box or two of them stored in the attic or the garage.

If you have old collectible trains in your home, you may want to find out what
they are worth. You may be sitting on a goldmine that is just packed up in a
box somewhere. There are some collectors out there looking for rare train
collectibles as well as museums who are always looking for more materials to
add to their displays.

Children and Trains

Children have always fallen in love with trains, both boys and girls. They seem
to have a type of magic about them. Children often get excited when they see and
hear a train passing by. It can be fun to have one going over you on a bridge or
passing one on the highway as you count the number of train cars on it.

There are many stories and programs that lend trains to the creative minds of
children. Most of us can remember reading The Little Engine that Could. This is
a timeless story about a train that kept pushing itself to reach the top of the
mountain in spite of all the odds being against it. This is a great story to
encourage children from a young age to never give up because they can do
anything they put their minds to.

Thomas the Train has become a very popular icon for children these days. This
fun blue train can be found in books and on TV. Thomas the Train is an
interactive program that encourages children to learn valuable skills including
counting and reading. There are also informative learning opportunities
including oral hygiene and getting along with others.

What may surprise you about Thomas the Train is that he has actually been
around since 1946 in Brittan. Yet it wasn't until the movies and TV shows
featuring Thomas the Train in the early 1980's that it became so well known all
around the world. The memorabilia associated with Thomas the Train has resulted
in millions of dollars in revenue. They include video games, toy trains, piggy
banks, back packs, and lunch boxes.

You will find the market is full of interactive trains for children of various
ages to enjoy. Some of them sing songs or play music. Others allow them to push
them along or they go by themselves with the touch of a button. Your child will
find hours of entertainment with trains from a very early age.

For older children, you may want to invest in a model train set. They can spend
hours setting up the track and the train in order to get it to go around and
around. There are so many great accessories that they can add to the mix that
they can personalize it to fit their style in no time.

Chances are that your child may have a particular style of train in mind that
they want. They may have a sentimental reason for wanting it based on books
they have watched, movies they have seen, or even their experiences with real
trains. This can be a great opportunity to help your child forge lifelong
memories that include their love of trains.

It is not uncommon for fathers or grandfathers to pass their trains on to their
children or grandchildren. This can be a remarkable family heirloom that your
child will always treasure. As time goes by many of these early models of
trains will continue to increase in value.

Who knows, this love of trains may result in a very rewarding career for your
child when they become an adult. The prices of trains vary depending on the
quality and the manufacturer of them. Take a look at any toy store or online to
discover what options you have to bring a smile to your child's face by giving
them a train.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe

One of the most profitable railways in the world is Burlington Northern Santa
Fe (BNSF). They have been hauling goods for more than 150 years and have one of
the best safety records in the train industry. They also offer some of the best
prices on freight out there, making it very easy for them to obtain new
contracts and to maintain those they already have in place.

The origin of BNSF is a long journey that involves acquiring many small railway
companies over the years. One that took place more than 20 years ago was with
Santa Fe, thus the changing of the company name.

As a result of these buy outs, BNSF has been able to continually expand the
number of miles of quality railroad tracks they have available. They have gone
the extra mile on their own to place railway tracks where it is difficult but
necessary even though it is expensive and there are plenty of challenges to
completing such projects.

BNSF combines the very best equipment and technology with highly skilled
employees. All of their train cars and engines are in top working condition to
help reduce down time and accidents. They also have skilled employees to
investigate railway crossings and the tracks themselves.

There is always plenty of ongoing training taking place for BNSF employees so
they can keep up on the latest technology, evaluate their strengths and
weaknesses, and continue to be motivated to strive for excellence in all that
they do. BNSF has a very rigorous employment screening process. They check
references and criminal backgrounds. They also contact previous employers to
determine a person's level of responsibility and reliability.

As a condition of employment, each person must consent to a drug test and a
physical exam. Should the drug test come back positive the person will not be
hired. They also have a random drug testing policy that all employees must
agree to during the term of their employment. If an employee files a workman's
compensation claim they are mandated to submit to a drug test as well.

The physical examination is required to ensure the individual is healthy enough
to take on the responsibilities of working for a railway company. This includes
a hearing and vision test as well. There is simply too much at risk if a person
isn't healthy enough to be engaging in the various types of employment offered
by BNSF.

If you are interested in finding out what positions they have available and the
locations, go to their website. You will find plenty of quality information
about the business as well as an application you can complete online. This is
one of the best railway companies to work for because they are dedicated to
excellence with their employees, their shipments, and the public.

They take pride in offering a diverse group of employees as well. They
appreciate the fact that each person can bring unique qualities to the
workplace. They encourage suggestions from their employees to make the railway
business safer, faster, and more profitable. Today more than 38,000 people are
employed by BNSF. Most of them find the experience to be very pleasant. They
enjoy being part of the BNSF team.

BNSF continues to strive for excellence. They are dedicated to offering quality
train services to those businesses that need goods to be moved. They are also
dedicated to providing a safe way to do it. They work hard to prevent accidents
among their employees, on their train tracks, and with people who happen to be
crossing at various train intersections.

There is always plenty going on at BNSF to help make their trains operate
faster to get the deliveries done in less time. They have won numerous awards
for their excellent service, implementing the latest technology, and always
putting safety above making a profit. They also give plenty of money back to
communities in the way of charitable events that support various causes.

The History of Trains

Today you see trains carrying cargo and people all over the world. They are
also used as efficient ways for people to commute to and from work instead of
using the roadways. Looking at the efficiency of trains today, it is sometimes
hard to imagine how different they were back in the 1800's. While many
different inventors attempted to create a train in the last 1700's they weren't
successful.

In 1825 the first locomotive was successful in its attempt to safely transport
people from two points in England. The popularity of this mode of
transportation quickly made its way to the United States in 1830. It wasn't
long before the industrial revolution was born since trains could be used to
transport materials faster and easier than ever before. By 1833 there were 380
miles of railroad tracks in the United States. Today there are more than
300,000 miles of track around the United States.

The United States government made good use of the trains during the Civil War
to move troops to new locations and to get them supplies. This was the main
reason behind adding more miles of railroad tracks from 1861 to 1865. By the
end of the war there were more than 30,000 miles of track available.

By this time railroads were considered to be the main means of transportation.
Plans were in place to continue building faster locomotives and to clear areas
for more tracks to be put into place. These early trains were powered by coal
and steam. This process of expansion in the railway industry continued into
1916 with more than 250,000 miles of track laid out in the United States.

One of the most historical locations along these miles of railroad tracks is in
Utah, and identified by a spike made from pure gold. This was to celebrate the
completion of the first transcontinental railroad. This particular location was
the connecting point between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads.
This remains a historical site today with thousands of people visiting the very
location of that golden spike.

Even with all the miles of railroad tracks by 1916, many of them are in poor
condition. It is not uncommon for many trails to derail due to these
conditions. Private owners of the railroads have invested so much money in
expansion they can't afford the repairs.

The repairs that do get done are the result of the United States government
needing to repair them in order to move men and supplies during World War I.
Even so, the growth of the railroad is significantly slowed forever around
1940. The Great Depression has made it difficult for the railroads to survive.
There is also competition now with automobiles being manufactured.

Yet the railroad industry sees renewed life in the late 1950's when the retired
steam powered locomotives and replace them with diesel engines. In 1970 the
United States government steps in again to take control of Amtrak. They still
oversee it today but most of the miles of track that they operate on belong to
other railway companies.

With modern technology, trains are able to operate more efficient today than
ever. They are used to transport large amounts of merchandise, food supplies,
equipment, hazardous materials, and even people. Trains offer a great way to
get items delivered efficiently without having to place more of a burden on the
trucking industry. Many travelers enjoy the convenience of taking a train
instead of driving themselves or riding in an airplane.

There have been plenty of advances in the area of trains and the railway
industry in the last 100 years. It will be interesting to know how things
change over the next 100 years. Luckily there are wonderful train museums that
take the time to preserve all of the history of trains from the beginning. This
way future generations will be able to look back on it as well.

The Future of Trains

Trains have certainly made advances since they were first introduced in the
1800's. Many people wonder about the future of trains. There are many different
ideas about them. Some researchers believe we will be going back to steam
locomotives in the near future as they are better for the environment and we
won't be wasting our natural resources. With the technology available today,
these new steam locomotives will be much more advanced than those of the past.

Others believe trains will soon be something we no longer use for transporting
goods or people. Of course this was the thought about trains back in the 1990's
when it was believed that by 2000 we would have cars that flew around and space
shuttle trips for common folks to the moon and back. The people with this
mentality in relationship to trains simply don't realize that they are
responsible for transporting thousands of tons of material and millions of
people annually.

You can be assured that trains will still be with us in the future but as
technology continues to grow there will be plenty of changes. There is plenty
of focus on making trains safer for hauling dangerous chemicals and nuclear
waste. This is to protect people in the event of a train wreck or a terrorist
attack. Most of the focus has shifted to providing protective boxcars that
won't allow access without codes and that are durable even if the train ends up
being in a wreck.

All of the railways continue to strive for safer trains on the tracks out
there. Even with all we know today there are still numerous accidents involving
trains derailing or hitting cars that shouldn't have been crossing at that point.

Safety features that ensure all signals are working properly at railway
crossings will continue to improve. You will also find technology allows the
trains to move faster and haul more materials so that fewer trains have to be
in operation in order to meet the issues of supply and demand.

As a result of this, the job outlook for train engineers and other crew members
will decrease. This is one area of industry that has a ten year forecast with
less people being added to the workforce. Computer technology will allow more
of the actual train operations to be done by the equipment. The materials used
to create the tracks continues to improve so there are fewer repairs that have
to be done on a regular basis.

One idea that is being used in various areas is the use of magnets to actually
hold the train in place above the train tracks. There are test tracks in
Germany and Japan that have been able to travel at speeds over 300 miles per
hour. There is still plenty of research that needs to be done in this area but
should magnetic levitation prove to be safe and efficient it could
significantly impact the railway industry.

Yet many in the train industry believe the focus should be on being able to
haul heavier amounts of material at one time instead of focusing on increased
speeds. You also have the concerns that engineers can manipulate the train out
of the way of cars, animals on the tracks, or dangerous areas where the train
isn't in good condition. The chances of trains being in a wreck at 330 miles
per hour without serious injuries or death just isn't practice. There is also
the concern about how much damage would be done to the materials on board.

It will be very interesting to look at trains 10, 20, or 50 years from now and
compare them to what we know now. Trains have a rich history that is a very
important part of the global economy. This isn't something that is going to
change any time soon. If anything you will find the train industry becoming
more successful as they continue to implement positive changes.






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