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 Post subject: Re: Steamtown: Understanding the NPS through Gettysburg
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:45 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 542
Paul,

And the track wasn't anywhere near being physically undermined or compromised, but I digress...

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Steamtown: Understanding the NPS through Gettysburg
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:46 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2352
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
I find Paul's report above very inline with my limited experience trying to work with the federal "system".

I'm currently trying to work my way up the totem pole within the White House and am finding that what should take a day at most takes 2/3 weeks and what should take 2-3 days at most is worth at least 1.5-2.0 months.

It's actually amazing that anything gets done.

Sad but true. Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Steamtown: Understanding the NPS through Gettysburg
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 6:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2095
choodude wrote:
superheater wrote:
But you don't have to go to some worker's paradise see how it works. Some day, I'm going to be able to write a book about my experience in and around government. Once you realize that it's intended purpose is to remain standing when everything else is not, you realize the intuitional resistance to change and criticism, the redundancies, the limited scope and intensity of the responsibilities of various positions, the procedures and routines all serve that purpose. Government is meant to be a dreadnought, not a speedboat.


I would just like to add that any large bureaucracy Public or Private tends to be the same way.

This is based on my extended family's work experiences in both large medical and technology companies.

Brian


I agree and the more heavily regulated and large an organization is, the more likely it is to deal with those demands and attempt to ensure permanent life by creating multi-level hierarchies and functional specializations, i.e., bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, I only wish I thought bureaucracy was going to go away, as these authors do.


The End of Bureaucracy Harvard Business Review by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini

(unfortunately, now behind a paywall)

https://store.hbr.org/product/the-end-o ... acy/R1806C


Even though here. they note Bureaucracy is growing, not shrinking.

https://hbr.org/2017/08/what-we-learned ... br-readers

Boston Consulting Group also thinks Bureaucracy is a anachronism.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/c ... ureaucracy


The one thing they omit in their analyses is that the bureaucrats have a "hive mind" and are dedicated to the hive. The first person I ever encountered with this attitude was a guy working in contracts @Prudential , with an advanced degree in English Lit from Johns Hopkins. He studied Machiavelli and responded to a perceived threat with the phrase "The organization (sic) has a right to survive. He earned the nickname "the troll from the dark forest"

Apparently that's not a right in perpetuity. Prudential's retirement business is now part of Empower. He left the former in June 2017.


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 Post subject: Re: Steamtown: Understanding the NPS through Gettysburg
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 6:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1262
In government it’s a good thing. You want things to move slow and take time and be debated. You don’t want quick decisions made by “emperor of the hour.”

Rail preservation groups that are non-profit organizations should be run in similar ways. A slow and steady growth all pointing towards the mission of the organization.

In the case of Steamtown “Steamtown national Historic Site was established to preserve, interpret, and protect the history of steam railroading in America” - if that’s the case I’m not sure why any diesels are in the collection but that’s another debate :)


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 Post subject: Re: Steamtown: Understanding the NPS through Gettysburg
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2095
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
In government it’s a good thing. You want things to move slow and take time and be debated. You don’t want quick decisions made by “emperor of the hour.”

Rail preservation groups that are non-profit organizations should be run in similar ways. A slow and steady growth all pointing towards the mission of the organization.

In the case of Steamtown “Steamtown national Historic Site was established to preserve, interpret, and protect the history of steam railroading in America” - if that’s the case I’m not sure why any diesels are in the collection but that’s another debate :)



As for diesels being in the collection, they are not-the NKP 514 is just a piece of machinery, and the F-Units are guests. When the F's arrived, they were supposed to be supplemental power and useful as first generation examples that interpreted the final part of the story of steam-its demise.

Unfortunately, they rapidly became a crutch along with rented DL power and created an operational dependence upon them, even though 514 required a complete rebuild, and the F's are were rapidly approaching 70 years old and required a lot of TLC. Welcome to "mission drift". In part, this occurred because the general public isn't as fixated on the head end as much as enthusiasts are-very few complain.

A working road switcher diesel or two is indispensable for Steamtown. First there's a lot of switching to be done and you don't want to divert from visitors/burn a day of flue time for that. Additionally, the Pocono Main is about 60 miles of remote railroad that in places is almost inaccessible. Being able to fire up a diesel (or two) and dispatch a rescue train, if the distressed train were to be located where there was no highway access and/or where detraining passengers was unsafe, as well for training should be regarded as a necessity.

When the late Mark Brennan was Trainmaster, he openly coveted a GP3-2. His reasoning was that a 2000 HP unit, capable without being complicated, (no turbocharger)t would be robust and reliable, capable of switching or retrieving just about any train if necessary, especially in combination with NKP 514.

Of course the use of diesels should be restricted from ordinary passenger service except for limited, special, infrequent reasons, or in emergencies. Defining that and enforcing those limits is another hill to climb.


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