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The Tide is a 7.4 mi (12 km) light rail line in Norfolk, Virginia, connecting Eastern Virginia Medical School, Downtown Norfolk, Norfolk State University, and Newtown Road. Service began on this line on August 19, 2011, as the first light rail system in Virginia. It’s shown here, less than a year old, in downtown Norfolk on a beautiful July 17, 2012.

Welcome To 21st Century Railroading!

“I have never subscribed to the theory that today’s railroading is a dull, monotonous industry only slightly more captivating than a conveyor belt. It is true that we live in an age when specialization is rare and conformity is the norm. but that doesn’t make today’s rail scene less interesting. The railfan acronym “ETTS” – everything turns to, well to be polite, something undesirable – is a myth perpetrated by those unwilling to accept change as a good thing. Everything changes over time. Why resist or detest it?

Some of you have good reason to be skeptical that a trackside observer can be kept entertained by the constant parade of unit trains of autos, coal, oil, or stacks. Those of a certain age who were fortunate enough to have known railroading’s final days of steam and its early days of dieselization as well as the colorful parade of passenger trains and the relaxed pace of unique branches and independent short lines surely must miss such sights.” Jim Wrinn – Trains Magazine; September 2014

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Trains 21 is NOT a railroad dictionary or encyclopedia. Trains 21 is a media essay on today’s railroading as well as a journey into the fascinating world of transportation and the impact it has on all of us.

Trains 21 could easily have been called “Trans 21,” the trans being short for transportation. However each mode of American transportation be it trains, planes, trucks, buses or ships each deserves their own spot in the limelight and their own individual websites to document and illustrate the uniqueness of each mode.

The goal of Trains 21 is to illustrate and educate those who want to know about the day-to-day operations of the present day railroads in America. Yes, I know that railroading today isn’t what it was in the 20th century but whether or not you like what you see on the rails today, I understand your feelings and I urge you to get out by the tracks and record it because you never know when it‘ll be gone….

In many ways Trains 21 isn’t about, but rather by the people, the machines and the technology that make the transportation industry possible.

Trains 21 is NOT a destination but rather a journey. A journey into the heart and soul of railroading. That said I invite you to join me on this journey and I hope that you’ll find something that you can enjoy and maybe even relate to along the way.

As well, I invite you to join in the conversation. Comment, like, suggest and even add links as long as they’re relevant to the subjects. I don’t mind you promoting yourself and/or other resources, in fact, I highly encourage it. And if you have decent quality media and/or information that you’d like to share please let me know. I always welcome new writers and contributors. You’ll be fully credited and maybe even financially compensated.

Who am I?… Call me AC. It’s a pleasure to meet you and I’d like to welcome you aboard this journey into today’s American railroading! – AC