Harriet Baskas

Here’s where those planes on trains are going

Yesterday I posted this photo of one of  the planes-on-a-train I spotted during my walk in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

It’s not all that uncommon to see a trainload of these green fuselages going by, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to stop and snap a (non-blurry) photo.

It took no time at all for members of the avgeek community to answer my question about where these plane came from and were heading to:

“That is a 737 fuselage headed from Wichita [KS] to Renton [WA]  where the main 737 factory is located. They go through the Cascade Tunnel along Highway 2 and down the coast line from Everett to Seattle,” wrote a StuckatTheAirport.com reader named Bruce.

Brian DeRoy, a former Boeing communicator, weighed in with more information:

“These are fuselages that come from Spirit Aerospace, in Wichita.  They ship them to the Renton factory where the wings, engines and all the interior stuff is done. Additionally, the train flat beds are specially made and, yes, need to be low enough to get through tunnels. They are a daily site here as the 737 factory cranks out more than 1 plane per day.”

DeRoy reminded me that while planes-on-a-train are not an uncommon sight here in Seattle, they shipping process doesn’t always work out perfectly: in 2014 a train with six 737 fuselages derailed in Montana, sending three future planes down an embankment. All six – made of aluminum and titanium – were eventually scrapped and recycled.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in with information.

Photo by Kyle Massick



Planes on a train

I’ve toured the Boeing factory in Everett, WA a few times, but still don’t know enough about building airplanes to tell you where this airplane part was headed.

But I can tell you that in Seattle it is not that unusual to see a trainload of these parts going through town.

I snapped this pic on a walk through Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood yesterday on the way to the beach. There were lots of other folks on the path, but no one else seemed as entertained about this train-on-a-plane scene as I was.

Hoping one of our avgeek readers can share details on where these parts end up.



Fresh – folded – art at Denver International Airport

The newest art exhibit at Denver International Airport features a zoo’s worth of miniature to life-size origami animals made by noted origami artists from around the world.

The intricate artwork is made using a variety of different mediums, including paper, of course, but also copper and canvas. Look for this exhibit in the Terminal Gallery on level 5 west of the Jeppesen Terminal, near the north security checkpoint through September.

Here are some more images of the artwork, courtesy of Denver International Airport


Love the layover: Boston’s new Yotel

I’m a big fan of the Yotel chain, having stayed in their affordable, cruise cabin-inspired hotel rooms at London’s Heathrow Airport, at the Paris CDG Airport and in New York City.

Room are on the “cozy” side (“Premium” cabins at CDG start at 97 square feet) but have everything you need : free Wi-Fi, a flat screen TV, a cool retractable bed that turns into a sofa at the touch of a button, private shower and bathroom, work space, lots of power sources and cool lighting.

My most recent Yotel stay was at the brand new Yotel Boston.

Located in the super trendy Boston Seaport neighborhood, the Yotel Boston is on one of the first few stops of the (free!) Silver Line bus that goes into the city from the airport and is right next door to the station.

Rooms look much like other Yotel rooms, but have a few fresh twists. Layouts start at 152 square feet and include an updated bathroom layout with monsoon shower head and some creative storage and roll-out work surfaces.

The public spaces are charming as well.

Guests can have a drink or a meal at the lobby bar or duck into one of the work spaces for a quick meeting. There’s a well-equipped fitness room and an already very popular rooftop bar.

The Yotel chain started out as an in-airport amenity, and now offers short-stay cabins at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. In addition to the Boston Yotel, there is an in-city Yotel in New York and branches set to open in San Francisco and Singapore.

(My Yotel stay was booked at a media rate.)





Kid Band Week at Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airport

Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World and that claim extends to Austin Bergstrom International Airport, where there are more than 20 live music shows a week.

This week is Kid Band Week (July 17 – 21, 2017; Monday – Friday) featuring local musicians and bands ranging in age from 10 to 18 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.at the Asleep at the Wheel Stage, located near Gate 10.

Here’s the line-up: