ERA members Andrew Grahl, left, and his father Gary travelled from New York City to be at the launch of the ION LRT on June 21. Kate Bueckert (CBC)

ERA members Gary Grahl and his son, Andrew, were first in line to ride the ION LRT from the Fairway Station Friday morning. “We’re interested in new forms of transportation and this is one of them,” Gary said. “We travel all over North America to try to ride on the first day of operation. That’s today.” Overall, a complete LRT ride from Fairway Station to the Conestoga Mall station takes about 45 minutes, according to ION staff. Read More

Expect to see more pictures from Andrew of the ION launch in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin. In the meantime, here are some links for learning more:

Thanks, members, for your overwhelming response to the ERA’s 2019 Annual Convention in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas this Labor Day weekend. We are now fully booked and registration is closed.

On another note, our sister organization, the Metropolitan New York Bus Association (MNYBA), will run its annual five-day trip August 10–14. This year’s bus trip from New York will go to Pittsburgh and features a day trip to Cleveland. There will be a visit to the acclaimed Pennsylvania Railway Museum in Strasburg and plenty of opportunity to ride the scenic Pittsburgh and Cleveland light rail systems. The brochure for the trip is not ready yet, so if you’re interested in booking, please contact Gary Grahl at gg1bronx@yahoo.com ASAP for details and pricing.

The ERA will begin using this website to publicize trips for our other sister organization, the Motor Bus Society (MBS), which also has trips of interest to rail enthusiasts. MBS is going to France October 12–19 and will visit the extensive urban rail and bus systems in Paris, Strasbourg and Lyon with travel on the world-famous TGV high-speed trains on several days. This exciting trip is already sold out!

The dates are final and the itinerary has been set: our 2020 International Tour will be to Greece and the Balkan countries! We will arrive in Athens on May 9 and depart from Belgrade on May 24. We will be visiting Athens, Sofia, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Osijek and Belgrade. Pricing and more detailed information will be sent out this Fall. As always, adding three nights before the arrival day and/or three nights after the departure day will be possible. Plan now to attend another exciting international tour!

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The Metropolitan New York Bus Association and the ERA welcome you aboard a comfortable Coach Tours bus for the MNYBA’s annual five-day bus and rail extravaganza. Our venue is the familiar DoubleTree Hotel at One Bigelow Square, near many PAT bus lines and the Steel Plaza subway station. Please join us for a great summer mini-vacation in western Pennsylvania and Ohio!

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For its 2019 Annual Convention, the ERA will visit three transit hotspots of the Southwestern U.S. for the first time — Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.

Amtrak’s Sunset Limited from Tucson to El Paso. Carl Jackson, who managed the construction and launch of the El Paso Streetcar, will be the keynote speaker at our Annual Banquet in the DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown El Paso hotel, our El Paso Headquarters.

The American Southwest is new territory for ERA annual conventions. And it is only our third convention featuring Amtrak intercity travel. You will not want to miss this special convention, so book today! More details here

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Ticket sales for the convention are now closed.

Metropolitan New York Bus Association

Trolley Museum of New York

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Details on this MNYBA-sponsored trip to Westchester and the Trolley Museum of New York will be forthcoming on this page in the next few weeks. Please check back!

Our friends at MBS will be touring France for their Fall 2019 Convention, and everyone from the ERA is invited. They will cover three major French cities in an eight-day program. The tour will include first-class travel on France’s high-speed trains, bus transfers to and from railway stations and hotels, and a short ride in a historic bus as part of a visit to the Paris-area transport museum. There will also be general sightseeing opportunities provided to introduce the group to Paris and Lyon. More details here

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Some of the 372-pages of rare photos, many in color, featured in “The Elevated Railways of Manhattan.” On the cover, a 1945 view looking north to the Houston Street station on the Bowery section of the Third Avenue El. ERA Library Collection

“The Elevated Railways of Manhattan” counted as the 2013-2014 issues of Headlights for members. It traces the colorful history of New York’s elevated railway system from its earliest steam days until its demise. There are 372-pages of rare photos, many in color, and never-before-seen rosters of incredible detail. Now in its second edition, this is a must-have collectible for classic rail enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. The gorgeous El book by Eric Oszustowicz is only $59 plus $6.95 shipping.

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Acrobat PDFs of every Headlights since 1996 are now available for purchase online. Cover photo by John Pappas

Acrobat PDFs of every Headlights since 1996 are now available for purchase online. Use our online order form to select the date or dates you want and we will e-mail PDFs of each issue you order. These high-resolution PDFs have the same content as the limited-edition printed copies sent to ERA members.

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Our timeliest issue of Headlights yet, covering the opening of the El Paso streetcar and the ERA’s 2018 Tour of Southern Germany. Photos by John Pappas and Ron Yee

The El Paso streetcar opened for service on November 9, 2018, making this our timeliest issue of Headlights yet. This is an historic system that refused to die, and John Pappas thoroughly covers every aspect of its fascinating rebirth. In addition to John’s lush photography, there are exclusive photos of the restoration and testing of the PCC cars, and a detailed track map of the system by Sandy Campbell. This issue also includes highlights from ERA’s 2018 Tour of Southern Germany with photogaphy by Ron Yee and John Pappas. Every picture is beautiful. A few extra copies of this amazing issue are available for only $20 each, including shipping, or just $8.95 for the PDF.

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Ron Yee takes a colorful look at “Aruba’s Oranjstad Streetcar,” John Pappas documents the last remaining European PCCs in “Twilight for Western European PCCs” and “Granada Metro Follow-up” by Randy Glucksman presents the final opening of this much-delayed system. Photos by John Pappas, Ron Yee and Randy Glucksman

Weighing in at 96 pages, Headlights 2017 is bursting with three spectacular articles, starting with Ron Yee’s colorful look at “Aruba’s Oranjstad Streetcar.” Although they look like vintage trolleys from 100 years ago, these fascinating trams are powered by state-of-the-art hybrid batteries. Next, John Pappas writes about the “Twilight for Western European PCCs.” Travelling city by city, he has documented the last remaining European PCCs in exquisite detail before they vanish forever. We conclude this issue with “Granada Metro Follow-up” by Randy Glucksman, picking up where Headlights 2016 left off with the final opening of this much-delayed system. A few extra copies are available for only $20 each, including shipping, or just $8.95 for the PDF.

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Eric Oszustowicz answers the question of how the Second Avenue Subway might have turned out had it been finished 86 years ago, and John Pappas compares the new streetcar systems of Cincinnati, Kansas City and Granada. Cover photo by John Pappas

Headlights gets a new look for the first time in 20 years, and some members are calling it the best issue ever published. Eric Oszustowicz, author of “The Elevated Railways of Manhattan,” answers the question of how the Second Avenue Subway might have turned out had it been finished 86 years ago in “The 1931 IND Plans,” his exclusive examination of actual SAS blueprints. Then John Pappas compares the new streetcar systems of Cincinnati, Kansas City and Granada in our gorgeously illustrated cover story, “A Tale of Three Cities.” Also included are three detailed track maps by Sandy Campbell. A few extra copies are available for only $20 each, including shipping, or just $8.95 for the PDF.

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A modern day pictorial survey of the surviving streetcar systems of Japan as seen by ERA members during a comprehensive tour in May 2014. Text and photos by John Pappas

The special 2015 “Traction in Japan” issue of Headlights by John Pappas is still available! It provides a modern day pictorial survey of the surviving streetcar systems of Japan as seen by ERA members during a comprehensive tour in May 2014. With 92 pages of spectacular photography by Mr. Pappas, Ron Yee and Michael Glikin and design by Sandy Campbell, this is the most comprehensive edition of Headlights ever printed and has been met with overwhelming praise from members. A few extra copies are available for only $20 each, including shipping, or just $8.95 for the PDF.

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We have added full issues of almost every Bulletin since 2002 through last year for viewing online or PDF download. Composite image by Sandy Campbell

We have added full issues of almost every Bulletin since 2002 through last year for viewing online or PDF download, including our special 2004 NYC Subway Anniversary edition. There are even covers from the current year, which we add to each month, and these issues become available at the end of December. More details here

We have added free PDFs of every Headlights index from 1950–1977 for viewing online or download. Composite image by Sandy Campbell

We have added free PDFs of every Headlights index from 1950–1977 (1971 was the Toronto book by John Bromley) for viewing online or download. Thank you John Swindler for your invaluable scanning work! More details here

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