America's Trains Suck Because Most Americans Don't Ride Them

Last week’s horrific Amtrak crash surfaced new concerns about the US’s neglect of its rail infrastructure, with blame falling on Congress for failing to allocate enough money to upgrade the system for safety. The truth is that trains would be the safest way to travel in this country—if more Americans embraced a future… » 5/21/15 5:10pm Thursday 5:10pm

A Supersonic Hair Dryer Blasts Ice and Snow Off Train Tracks

To ensure a locomotive pulling a heavy load has enough grip when a winter’s blast covers the tracks in ice and snow, engineers at GE’s transportation division have spent the last five years perfecting what can be described as a supersonic hair dryer that blasts tracks clean just inches in front of a train’s front… » 4/29/15 12:20pm 4/29/15 12:20pm

The Massive Proving Ground Where Extraordinary New Trains Are Tested

General Electric’s development team just completed a year of field-testing for the new Evolution Series Tier 4 locomotive. Some of the tests took place at the Federal Railroad Administration’s high-altitude testing circuit near Pueblo, Colorado at an elevation of 5,000 feet. These photographs capture the train’s… » 4/16/15 8:00pm 4/16/15 8:00pm

A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Falling On Train Tracks

The number of deaths linked to drunk passengers who wander off the platform and onto the tracks has steadily increased over the years. But a new study of these falls shows that many of them occur in the same way—and that there might be a few simple ways to prevent some of them. » 3/30/15 11:05am 3/30/15 11:05am

Beautiful Lonely Railroads Winding Through America's Landscape

Railroad tracks have been a constant presence in the ever-changing American landscape since the 1800s. Whether they are carrying cars of people and goods, or have fallen into disrepair, the site of train tracks is familiar site to all. For photographer John Michael Sanderson, the railroad and its surrounding… » 1/26/15 11:05am 1/26/15 11:05am

The Spectacular Sight of Subway Cars Being Dumped Into the Ocean

Of all the things you'd expect to find at the bottom of the ocean, a small village of old New York subway cars may not cross your mind. But for over a decade, subway cars have been discarded into the Atlantic in an environmental effort to create artificial reef habitats for fostering sea life. Photographer Stephen… » 1/19/15 11:34am 1/19/15 11:34am

Terrifying documentary on the fire bombs roaming America's railroads

Boom is a terrifying documentary on a problem that you may not be aware of: America has been invaded by hundred of thousands of moving fire bombs—freight trains with old, cheap tanker cars designed to transport corn oil filled with dangerous flammable oil. Logically, accidents are happening, people are dying, and oil… » 12/15/14 8:06am 12/15/14 8:06am

What Really Happened to the MTA's 60 Million Leftover Subway Tokens

It's been over a decade since the MTA did away with subway tokens, those dirty metal bits of New York-ness that seemed unremarkable until, suddenly, they were gone. Since then, rumors have swirled about the fate of the 60 million tokens once in circulation—where were they? Now, we have an answer. » 12/10/14 4:00pm 12/10/14 4:00pm

The World's Ugliest Christmas Sweater Includes a Working Toy Train Set

Try as you might this holiday season to find the ugliest Christmas sweater imaginable, you're not going to be able to top YouTube's bd594's creation this year. It's got an ugly argyle pattern, a tacky Christmas tree, blinking lights, and the pièce de résistance?: a working toy train circling the gaudy creation. » 12/08/14 12:30pm 12/08/14 12:30pm

Trains Could Get Lasers To Burn Slippery Wet Leaves Off the Tracks

Each autumn, leaves fall to the ground by the billions. Slightly annoying if you have a backyard but really annoying if you run a railroad company. It turns out those leaves are a slippery menace on train tracks. That's why Dutch Railways is testing a high-energy solution: Train-mounted lasers. » 12/05/14 2:45pm 12/05/14 2:45pm

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Is the Ultimate Thanksgiving Flick

If you are going to sit down tonight and watch a post-turkey movie with the assemblage of humans who share your genetic matter, I highly recommend Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The 1987 John Hughes flick is funny and touching. Watching John Candy play a well-meaning but obnoxious slob is like watching Michael… » 11/27/14 8:00pm 11/27/14 8:00pm

Subway Etiquette Posters From 1970s Japan Are Just as Relevant Today

Don't smoke in the train station. Don't spit your gum on the floor. And please, god, don't splay your legs out like no one else is around you. These sound like basic rules of today's public transit, but they're actually messages that graced the walls of Tokyo's subway forty years ago. » 11/27/14 9:00am 11/27/14 9:00am