Hi all… Aaron here, the founder of Dogcaught.com. Over the past couple of years the amount of time I’ve spent creating and sharing railroad-related images has declined as my photographic hobby and business have focused on other subjects. While I still enjoy railfanning and a good train picture, I haven’t produced much of that on my own lately. In the meantime, my friend Steve Eshom has been sharing more of his work here on Dogcaught, and he continues to produce a bunch of great material with interesting stories behind the scenes.
In the last couple of days, Steve and I have made some changes and he’s now assuming control of Dogcaught.com. I felt it made sense to hand the reins over to Steve since he’s been producing most of the content lately and I trust that he’ll keep the site online and full of interesting railroad imagery. I may still post the occasional photo, but as of today, Steve Eshom runs Dogcaught.
I hadn’t visited Railroad.net in a few years, but I was recently contacted about the fact that it has re-launched. The site launched in 1996, over the years it has been a highly popular railroad forum. With over 11,000 members, the forum has been a place for users to ask and answer questions, and comment on railroad related issues. Today, in addition to the forum, the site will now be a hub for railroad industry news. It appears they’re featuring a variety of railroad-related news including Class 1s, Amtrak, shortlines, and more. I see the new design has a nice clean interface. Check it out!
A couple weeks ago was National Train Day and while I was photographing the event at Portland Union Station I was looking for unique angles and photos that were a bit different that the standard shots of the equipment amongst the crowds. We had gray and intermittently-stormy skies which let to things being wet. At one point I created an image looking down between a Superliner and SP Daylight observation car that were on display. The gray skies, wet pavement, and smooth reflective cars made for an interesting photo.
This Saturday, May 7th is National Train Day. Coordinated by Amtrak through a network of local events, National Tray Day celebrates our railroad heritage with exhibits and information about trains of the past, present, and future.
I’ll be at the event in Portland, Oregon, where the SP 4449 will join other equipment and displays for railfans of all ages. If you’re in the area, come on down to Union Station between 10am and 4pm and check out the scene. Look for me wandering around with my camera.
Find a National Tray Day event near you.
Living in Vancouver, Washington, the Amtrak Cascades trains provide a great way to head north to Seattle. It’s a trip I find myself making about once a year on average. While I usually pay a slight premium to upgrade to the Business Class service, on a trip this weekend I rode Coach. Here’s a summary of the differences… some of these you can find out from Amtrak, but some you learn from experience:
- Business Class seats are a tad wider and have a bit more legroom (they’re configured as 2-and-1 in a row whereas coach is 2-and-2).
- Business Class riders get a voucher worth $3 in the Bistro Car.
- There are (usually) newspapers available in Business Class.
- Coach seating is much like a stampede. If you board at one of the major stations (Portland, Seattle), there will be an announcement for Coach seating assignments, at which point everyone in the station runs to form a line to get a seat number. If you board at one of the intermediate stations, the Conductor will point you towards a car, which may or may not actually have enough open seats for the people that just boarded, and everyone figures it out amongst themselves. If you avoid Southwest Airlines because of their lack of assigned seats, Coach seating on the Cascades will likely bother you as well.
- The Coach cars are generally louder, since folks with kids usually don’t make the Business Class upgrade.
Enjoy your trip on the Amtrak Cascades regardless of your seating situation – but take these things into consideration when being asked about an upgrade.