Extra Board

Welcome to Trains & Railroad of the Past’s Extra Board! We explore a different perspective of classic late era railroading every month. Extra Board welcomes your submissions. We’re looking for about 1500 words accompanied by two or three photos. Each photo should be no smaller than 14 inches (or 1024 pixels) across at 72 dpi (no verticals, please). Brief caption information must accompany each photo. Please send your inquiries to the Webmaster for consideration.

MoPac Memories

December 11, 2017

MoPac Memories

Although the Missouri Pacific was never a high priority for us, we managed to photograph, either together or separately, operations of this railroad in six of the nine states in which it had a major presence before or within a few years after its merger with the Union Pacific in late 1982.

Arkansas & Ozarks Railway

June 7, 2017

Arkansas & Ozarks Railway

The colorful Arkansas & Ozarks Railway picked up where the Missouri & Arkansas Railway left off, beginning operation under Salzberg management in 1950. Just ten years later, the line would be shut down and abandoned due to severe flooding and mounting losses.

The Original Ma & Pa

March 8, 2017

The Original Ma & Pa

Many railfans are drawn to railroad operations that use antiquated equipment and pass through scenic countryside, qualities which the original Ma & Pa had in spades. Being close to major eastern population centers, the Ma & Pa was accessible and became an early favorite among railroad enthusiasts.

Chessie System M&K Memories

January 3, 2017

Chessie System M&K Memories

The Baltimore & Ohio in the Chessie System era remained a busy conduit for freight, especially across the M&K Division in West Virginia. Join photographer Dave Ori for a colorful look back.

1960 and Steam Still Ruled

October 18, 2016

1960 and Steam Still Ruled

An article in the April 1960 Railroad Magazine sure caught my attention and prompted youthful thoughts of a possible adventure. According to the story, thirty-one steam locomotives were still very busy on the 39-mile Sydney & Louisburg Railway hauling coal at the northeast end of Nova Scotia in Canada.

Railfanning G&W at Retsof

August 18, 2016

Railfanning G&W at Retsof

It may be hard to believe but there once was a time when the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad was a single 14.5 mile railroad in western New York state, not the owner-operator of more than 120 railroads that has spread fleets of orange colored locomotives to three continents.

Classic Maine Central

April 26, 2016

Classic Maine Central

If it weren’t for the paper industry, you probably would never have heard of the Maine Central Railroad. Railfans found the railroad to be a great target for their cameras. The motive power was well-maintained and painted in a very attractive scheme.

Looking Back at the Soo Line

March 7, 2016

Looking Back at the Soo Line

Most of the Soo Line’s trackage runs through the rural landscape of the lightly populated upper Midwest. That belies the importance of this rather quiet railroad that never really acquired the celebrity status of other carriers.

Crazy for Conrail

January 18, 2016

Crazy for Conrail

If the Penn Central merger that brought the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central together was a disaster, what would you expect to get when you add five more ailing bankrupt carriers? That’s what the managers of Conrail were faced with on April 1, 1976. There is one thing for sure, it was one of the most interesting times to be a railfan!

A Time for Turbines

November 9, 2015

A Time for Turbines

It sounds like the roar of a jet engine coming around the sharp curve at Summit’s west end and coming into view with a heavy eastbound drag is what appears to be another snub-nosed diesel in UP livery. It looks like a diesel carbody, but sounds like an airplane struggling to become airborne.