What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

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What is your Favorite Class 1 Railroad?

BNSF
2
25%
Canadian National
1
13%
Canadian Pacific
2
25%
CSX
0
No votes
Kansas City Southern
0
No votes
Norfolk Southern
2
25%
Union Pacific
1
13%
 
Total votes : 8

What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:53 pm

Based on the recent post about CSX, and some discussion between CaTTwoman and myself, I figured I would ask this question:

What is your favourite Class 1 Railroad?

A Class 1 Railroad is the largest class of railroad, and covers the biggest lines only. The cutoff for what makes a Class 1/2/3 railroad changes over time due to market changes and inflation, so I will not go into the specifics here.

My favourite Class 1 is BNSF, as they are consistently work hand-in-hand with Amtrak and BNSF has some rich history with the lines that merged to form BNSF (i.e. Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Santa Fe, and the Burlington Route.)
Plus, BNSF has a program for railfans that encorages railfans to work with law enforcement and for law enforcement to work with railfans to keep an eye out for vandals, track issues, and busted equipment. The prgram is free for all interested, and I am a card carrying member myself.

There are 7 current Class 1's in the US and Canada: (Some lists also have Amtrak, as well, but this poll is freight lines only)
BNSF
Canadian National
Canadian Pacific
CSX
Kansas City Southern
Norfolk Southern
Union Pacific


If you would like, an explaination as to why the Class 1 that you voted for, would be appreciated. If you would like you could rank the Class Ones as well, or just your favourite(s) and least favourite.

My overall favourite is BNSF, with Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern tied for second (I just can't rate any of those four above each other).

I am not too big of a fan of Kansas City Southern, although I do appreciate their outreach to the public via their Holiday Trains.

Dead last in my ranking is CSX. I am sure that most here have read of some of the problems we have had personally with CSX, so retyping them would be redundant.
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby Marquette » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:20 pm

I'd have to say CP. Never had a problem with the workers or the police, and I've spent good time walking their lines in greater Vancouver. I also like BNSF, they're pretty good and friendly and accomodating, and don't mind at all when you go out along their lines and into their yards, if you're careful and have printed out their railfan-observer card.

Dead last is CN, they're like a Canadian CSX... but only since the Illinois Central takeover. Back when I was in my teens, I used to go down to CN's big yard in Vancouver, and they'd let me climb onto the snowplow, even took me in the loco for switching and wayfreight runs a few times. Now, they'll shoot you for looking at their trains.

But overall I have a preference for regionals and shortlines - generally, they're much more railfan-friendly. Southern of BC is a prime example. Super-friendly. BC Rail used to be like that too, before CN took over. The ex-BC Rail employees still working there LOATHE CN.
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:51 pm

Norfolk Southern for me. Mainly it's because that's all I see. And also because I don't know the history of the different railroads. Sooooo, I guess I'll start digging around about NS so next time someone asks this question I can have a more educated opinion : )
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:14 pm

ConducTTor wrote:Norfolk Southern for me. Mainly it's because that's all I see. And also because I don't know the history of the different railroads. Sooooo, I guess I'll start digging around about NS so next time someone asks this question I can have a more educated opinion : )


We have a lot of books and magazines on rail history, so we have a lot of knowledge of railroads, BNSF (and predecessors), Chessie System (and predecessors, Norfolk Southern (and predecessors, and Union Pacific (and joined railroads) in particular.

If anyone has noticed, I put "2010" in the title of this thread, as I intend for this question to be asked in future years, to see if attitudes and feelings for Class Ones change over time.

Just because a railroad is local, does not mean that it has to be one's favourite, but if often helps...
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby gabbysuz » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:48 pm

Well I guess I have to vote for Canadian Pacific.

The nearest class 1 railroad to me is UP, I really enjoy watching the trains roll through Eugene, but I enjoyed
it much more when it was SP. Don't forget UP's lawyers stopped the merger between Santa Fe and SP a long time ago, I would have enjoyed watching Santa Fe and SP paint schemes more than just the yellow blur. Also since SP did operate the shortline
to Coos Bay along the coast, now owned by the port of Coos Bay, not operational, and probably years away from getting it
back operating again.

I will always have a place in my heart for CN and CP, but mostly CN, because when I was 12, stopped at Boston Bar on the
mainline, My Dad and I were invited up into the cab of a wide nose unit, on a 30 car empty mixed freight, and the engineer
showed us all the controls, and invited us on a cab ride on the mainline from Boston Bar to Spences Bridge, a good distance, through some of the most fantastic scenery I've ever seen, and my still my favorite place to this day for watching trains, the Fraser river Canyon, if anyone wants a fantastic railfaning / camping vacation, you could do much worse than travel to Vancouver and head east !
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:01 pm

gabbysuz wrote:Well I guess I have to vote for Canadian Pacific.

The nearest class 1 railroad to me is UP, I really enjoy watching the trains roll through Eugene, but I enjoyed
it much more when it was SP. Don't forget UP's lawyers stopped the merger between Santa Fe and SP a long time ago, I would have enjoyed watching Santa Fe and SP paint schemes more than just the yellow blur. Also since SP did operate the shortline
to Coos Bay along the coast, now owned by the port of Coos Bay, not operational, and probably years away from getting it
back operating again.

I will always have a place in my heart for CN and CP, but mostly CN, because when I was 12, stopped at Boston Bar on the
mainline, My Dad and I were invited up into the cab of a wide nose unit, on a 30 car empty mixed freight, and the engineer
showed us all the controls, and invited us on a cab ride on the mainline from Boston Bar to Spences Bridge, a good distance, through some of the most fantastic scenery I've ever seen, and my still my favorite place to this day for watching trains, the Fraser river Canyon, if anyone wants a fantastic railfaning / camping vacation, you could do much worse than travel to Vancouver and head east !


Actually it was the federal government that stopped the merger between SF and SP, not UP. Nothing that I have read from the time period, from the announced SPSF railroad until the Justice Dept and ICC turning down the merger of anything along the lines of UP taking part in trying to stop the merger. (I have all of the issues of Trains, and most of Railfan and Railroad from the late 1970's through the 1990's, and I am quite sure that any legal action of UP would haved made at least one of those magazines.)

There were many mergers that were shot down in the preceeding decade that were based on anti-trust rules and laws, and the basis used for the stopping of the SP and SF merger was that there was going to be too many businesses that would be limited in transport choices.(a monopoly) If the attempted merger took place a decade later, it probally would have been approved, as even though the Stagger's Act was passed in 1980, the real effects of it would not be felt until the early 1990's.

The SPSF failure was a classic example of what happens when government regulates one form of transportation too much and is lax on other types. (Remember, railroads pay taxes that fund canals, airports, and highways; and regulations have always been tighter on routes and rates for railroads than other transport methods). I will not go further into this (Regulation of the railroads) as that would involve diving into politics, which is against the rules of the board.
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:30 pm

BNSF

Here are some BNSF photos from our vacation:
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby ConducTTor » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:18 pm

Nice. I see BNSF doesn't mess around with little BO-BOs!
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby CaTTwoman281 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:37 pm

ConducTTor wrote:Nice. I see BNSF doesn't mess around with little BO-BOs!

BO-BO?

As in Clowns?
Image
or

BO-BO as in 4 axles?
BNSF GP38-2
Image
BNSF does still have a number of 4 axle diesel-electrics, mainly used for smaller trains, yard, and odd-job work; although some are seen on mainline heavy trains. We saw a few 4 axle units, and are trying to see if we have any photos of them from our vacation.
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Re: What is your favourite current Class 1 railroad? 2010

Postby Marquette » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:01 am

You can still see GPs of the BNSF in the northwest... lots still in cascade green from the BN days... got a number of pics last time I was down in Skykomish, WA (former western terminus of GN electrification, nowadays Superfund site). Also around here in Vancouver you can see BNSF geeps.
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