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August 2021

Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

From the editor: Of Quick Response codes and bridging the gap(s)


By Pat Foran, Editor

The August edition of Progressive Railroading is our first-ever interactive issue — “interactive” via QR (Quick Response) codes, which you’ll see at the end of feature articles and on advertisements. The codes “bridge the gap from print medium to digital channels,” as Progressive Railroading Publisher Kirk Bastyr puts it.

One of our digital channels is RailPrime, a digital subscription offering we launched in February. Designed to unpack all things freight rail (and some things outside the rail piece of the freight transportation puzzle), RailPrime serves as a complement to our monthly magazine and Daily News offerings. 

During RailPrime’s first six months, we’ve covered a wide range of topics and issues, offering different takes on the potential CP-KCS and CN-KCS combinations, the technology revolution and the workforce evolution. We’ve posted freight-rail developments and updates that aren’t available in press releases.

We’ve also focused (and will continue to focus) on the short-line industry. In recent weeks, RailPrime’s coverage of the sector has included: 

• “Short lines are learning the ‘SmartWay’ to be green” (Aug. 2); 

• “Swindall strives to ensure Indiana Rail Road remains a crown jewel among short lines” (July 26); 

• “PSR can be a plus for short lines, Northern Plains Rail's Mack says” (July 19); 

• “Rail Logix strives to be more than a typical short line” (July 13); and 

• “Finger Lakes Railway selects steel ties for Geneva Yard upgrade” (July 8).

For a glimpse into RailPrime’s short-line coverage to date, visit:

The aim of RailPrime is to provide our audience with information that, in the aggregate, can’t be found anywhere else. Over time, and as we expand our coverage, I hope more logistics professionals, shippers and other links in the freight transportation chain turn to us for what we’re offering. Rail doesn’t exist in a vacuum and the other links don’t, either. 

An annual subscription to RailPrime costs $199 while a monthly subscription can be purchased for $19. For more information or to subscribe, visit

Questions about RailPrime? Progressive Railroading? Our Daily News? Reach me here: Or here: 414-228-7701 x522.

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