Saturday, October 10, 2015

An invitation to experience my acclaimed presentation on rail transportation in Italy

October 28, 2015 -

An invitation to cover/experience my acclaimed presentation on rail transportation in Italy.

Media Advisory:

Presentation of Rail Transportation In Italy By Joseph M. Calisi

Revised Date/Time:
                              October 28, 2015, show begins about 6 pm
                              meeting begins at 5 pm

Location           : Farmingdale State College

                              2350 Broad Hollow Rd.

                              Lupton Hall Room T101-make a left out of the 'T'

                              Farmingdale, NY 11735

Directions        : See below

Contact            : Joseph M. Calisi

Join us for entertainment to be provided by the National Railway Historical Society's New York Chapter Historian and Director, Joseph M. Calisi. The program is a photographic recap of the Electric Railroaders Association European extravaganza this past May, 2012. The group chased after trams, trolleys, funiculars, ropeways and Italian high speed Frecciarossa trains all over Northern and Central Italy. The presentation includes an update on Italian rail transportation since 2012.

Don't miss this excellent show!

Known as the International Transportation Photojournalist since 1993, I’ve contributed to the information world in print (magazines and newspapers) and electronic media (TV reporter and interviewee, radio and websites) for over 20 years.

Congratulations also go to Joseph who has added to his impressive portfolio of published work, the cover photograph of a national publication - the February, 2013 Trains Magazine – an interior shot of Grand Central Terminal in connection with the 100th anniversary of New York’s emblematic rail terminal. This is in addition to the magazine covers of Railway Age magazine - the #1 rail industry publication of the Americas over the years. Visit his website at: and transportation blog at:

An added feature is that an 11-minute documentary will be shown on the last days of mainline steam railroading in Inner Mongolia, China. This presentation garnered me a Telly Award in 2003.

Come and enjoy the show!

Meeting is in Lupton Hall Room T101 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE).

Directions are:



When coming onto the campus, go to the police or guard headquarters to get a parking permit and a campus map to find Lupton Room 101. However, an alternative is to come to the meeting and we will provide parking permits which you will then have to place on the dashboard of your car. But when you first park only park in student parking or else you will get a ticket if you are in faculty or charging stations parking.

Directions to the Campus

From the Metropolitan Area

Campus Map

By Car
Northern State Parkway - to Exit 40 (Route 110). Travel south on Route 110 for approximately 3 miles. On the right hand side you will see the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park. Turn right into the campus at the College sign.

Southern State Parkway - to Exit 32 - (Route 110). Travel north on Route 110, approximately 3 miles. Turn left at the College sign onto the Melville Road. Proceed approximately 1/4 mile to College entrance. Turn right into the College.

Long Island Expressway - to Exit 49 South (Route 110). Travel south on Route 110, approximately 2 miles. On the right hand side you will see the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park. Turn right into the campus at the College sign.

By Train
Long Island Railroad - Pennsylvania Station. Take the Ronkonkoma line to Farmingdale. Check with the Conductor for any necessary changes. Take a taxi from the Farmingdale Station to the College.

By Bus
The campus bus stop serves both the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) and the Suffolk Transit System from the same bus stop located on the east side of parking lot 4 B.

Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus Map and Schedules

Suffolk County Transportation Bus Map and Schedules

Shuttle Service:
Checkers Cab (516-777-1111) and Yellow Cab (516-849-6666)
Cost is $4 per person.

Monday through Friday
Farmingdale LIRR to Farmingdale State College (Laffin Hall): 7:00 AM, 8:35 AM, 9:10 AM

Farmingdale State College (Departs from Laffin Hall) to Farmingdale LIRR: 12:25 PM, 1:25 PM, 2:25 PM, 3:25 PM, 4:25 PM, and 5:00 PM

Monday, September 28, 2015

New Hokkaido Shinkansen High Speed Train Service Unveiled In Japan

Japan, September 21, 2015 -

The Hokkaido Shinkansen is ready to fly this coming March. With an agreement between Japan Railways JR East and JR Hokkaido subsidiaries, four new H5 model Shinkansen trainsets for the new line to Japan’s northern-most island.

The daily service pattern breaks down as follows:
·         Ten Hayabusa service trains from Tokyo to Hakodate on Hokkaido island;
·         One round trip from Sendai with two Hayate services, one of them from Morioka and the other from Shin-Aomori;
·         Sixteen 3-car emus will operate between Shin-Hakodate Hokuto and Hakodate city center, and;
·         The existing conventional line between Sapporo and Shin-Hakodate Hokuto will be increased to 12 trains from 9 per day.

In recent years, the trackage through the 53km Seikan tunnel and on Hokkaido have been dual-gauged in anticipation of the new service.

With the start of standard gauge Shinkansen, all of the 1067mm-gauge trains operating between Honshu and Hokkaido, including Cassiopeia, Super Hakucho, Hakucho, and Hamanasu trains will be terminated.

The long term goal is to provide Hokkaido Shinkansen second phase service to Sapporo by 2030 on a 211 kilometer route.

PHOTO CAPTION:  JR East's E5 Shinkansenin Tokyo station.

Trenitalia’s High Speed Frecciarossa Now Serves Bari, Italy

Italy, September, 2015 –
The network of Italy’s premier high speed train, the Frecciarossa, is now serving Bari, Italy. The infrastructure upgrade to handle 200 kilometer/hour speeds with the ETR 500 tilting train between Bologna and Foggia has been completed and service has begun.

The daily 869km round trip between Milan and Bari has been reduced by over an hour from 7 hours 43 minutes to 6 hours 30 minutes.

High speed rail is nothing new in Italy as the Italian government has been gradually upgrading the right of way and equipment since the 1970s.

The service change was made after the deployment of the new Frecciarossa1000 trains on Milan to Rome services this past June, 2015. The ETR 500 equipment was then made available on the Venice – Rome – Naples – Salerno route, and now the Milan – Bari line.

A 125 mph Frecciabianca northbound run originating was swapped out for the redeployed ETR 500 Frecciarossa equipment.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured is the Frecciarossa ETR 500 in the famous trainshed in Milan, Italy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Metro-North's 'Cosmo Cars' Still On The Job

Grand Central Terminal, September 21, 2015 -

MNR's train number 1378/7:15 pm departure that's the Stamford local, had a treat, one of the last 3 remaining trainsets of the 'Cosmopolitan' fleet of the 1970s took them home. Tonight, car #8746 was at the point on track 15.

For those that follow the travails of Metro-North's 'Cosmo Cars', the remaining M-2 fleet is still rolling but on an emergency 'as need' basis.

Yes, the air conditioning worked and people settled into their old seating patterns that's somewhat different from their M-8 counterparts.

However, the ride was as smooth as ever and yes the newer amenities such as automated announcements

and outlet power for everyone's electronic gear wasn't there.

Dan Adolphe of Larchmont in Westchester County however thinks nothing of the older vs new cars except for a few things, "I miss the bar car. I got to enjoy the camaraderie, the extra seating room, and standing up for the trip. One of the few vintage things that are a good thing." He added, "However, the bathrooms are a lot better on the new cars."

Yes, it was the good old days, even if it was just for one night.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tama, The Stationmaster Cat, Immortalized And Successor Named

WAKAYAMA, Japan, Aug. 11, 2015 (Kyodo) -

When a calico cat named Tama was named ‘stationmaster’ in a marketing move by the Wakayama Electric Railway Co in Japan during January 2007, the commuter railroad that was financially in trouble was saved by a flood of visitors that made the bottom line go from red to black a few years ago. I know firsthand of Tama and Nitama as I was in Japan last year and made a 'pilgrimage' to the Kishi Station on the Kishigawa Line in Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan.
Cats are used as a good luck charm (Maneki-neko or beckoning cat) for shop owners and the rail line. The Wakayama Electric Railway was in danger of closure due to a lack of ridership when Tama was named stationmaster in a desperate publicity move.

Now with the recent passing of the 16-year old Tama, a Shinto shrine that contains the deceased cat, was unveiled to the public and is located on the station’s platform.

The railroad is hoping to keep lightning in the bottle by ‘appointing’ a 5-year old female calico feline named Nitama (Tama the 2nd), to be the ‘next master’ of Kishi Station.

The railroad’s President, Mitsunobu Kojima, said Tama’s popularity saved not only his railroad but other struggling local Japanese railways as well. Nitama, the successor, has been ‘in training’ since January 2012 and has been appointed acting station master of the station.

My report of Tama's passing has created a bit of a stir by visitors to the Trains website looking for a photo of the feline instead of an emu in kitty motif. So here is a link to the Trains website:
and a photo of Nitama:


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Amtrak's New Haven-Springfield Line Construction Will Cause ‘Bustitution’

Hartford, Ct., August 2, 2015 –

On the heels of Connecticut Governor Malloy’s statements in a scathing letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in June, terming Amtrak’s poor management of the project that they "failed to manage budgeting and staffing for what was supposed to be a $365 million job.” He later added that the project was way over budget and significantly behind schedule.

On Friday July 31, apparently things have now changed for the line that once had 2 tracks in service. If Amtrak agrees, buses will provide gap service for about a year while the work is in progress for Amtrak service between the 2 cities in a joint statement by the state and national carrier – a significant modification of service delivery.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office was ecstatic that shovels will soon be in the ground and the project will be moving forward.
A switch allowing trains to operate on a parallel set of tracks that will be owned by Amtrak (since they own the roadbed) will allow workers to get the project done faster in the long run. The second set of rails is a feature ConnDOT was looking to be implemented by December 2016.
Photo caption: Amtrak's New Haven-Springfield shuttle pulls into Hartford Union Station in 2013.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tokyo’s Haneda Monorail Improvements Planned

Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2014 – While most travelers enter Japan from Narita International Airport, Haneda Airport which is closer to Tokyo’s downtown and sees 60 million passengers annually, is being upgraded with improved rail links. The airport has resurfaced as an international destination since a fourth runway was added as part of the Japanese government’s program to increase tourism in the country.

The monorail that’s operated by Japan Railways East (JR East) and its subsidiary Tokyo Monorail are looking to expand the 'train to the plane' system to Shinjuku (a major tourist destination), central Tokyo and Shin-Kiba with a 3 km (about 2 miles). The project is budgeted at $1.1 billion dollars.

Currently, passengers can connect from the monorail to JR East and the Tokyo subway at the at Hamamatsucho monorail terminal. The line extension would reduce the average trip time from 24 to 18 minutes and a train transfer eliminated.