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 Post subject: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
This is from a rather liberal political site, but I think it's worth reading here.

I suspect this paragraph in particular will ring home for some of us.

Quote:
Billionaires also spend money funding ‘green’ groups that are anti-development and anti-rail to use them for troops fighting pro-rail policies. The rails to trails movement has become an aggressive player in this, now going after working railroads for conversion into trails. NIMBY movements also fight railroads, for obvious reasons.


https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1 ... 19-08%3A00


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 165
The article seems very life like but I'd argue both sides of the aisle have responsibility for today's atmosphere. Remember the 70s and how bad it was for railroading as an industry, that was a conservative Congress lead by a mess of a president. Unions in the 50s under liberals pushed railroads to the edge and back again. There is no one group responsible, we all did something horrifically wrong to cause this dilemma. In regards to the situation unfolding in NY it's rather a crisis of ignorance rebounded by politicians who should not even be in public office to begin with. I guess money really does buy everything including the federal government.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Minneapolis, MN
The DailyKos website is a BLOG and NOT a legitimate news source. It is a source of liberal leaning public commentary. I would not rely on anything from the site as fact-checked or 100% reliable.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Springville, PA
My $.02

I think it's the "green groups" that have been or are being brainwashed by outdated politicians with special interest agendas . I planned a trip into NYC a couple of weekends ago from Pennsylvania. For the first time I decided to take the train from an "out in the country" station outside the city instead of driving into the NYC having to deal with traffic, pay $10.50 tunnel toll, and, getting raped for $50+ at a parking garage for the day. Instead, I calmly drove to NJT station in rural NY. Parked for free. Took a leisurely 45 minute train ride into NYC and got off the train in Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. Spent entire day in NYC. At the end of the day, I took the train back out of NYC and back to my car. Total cost for transportation both ways, $28.00. I will never drive into the city again!! Why would anybody be against this mode of transportation??? Less expensive both economically and environmentally (as in green?) I really wish the trains ran farther out. Another example. I spent an entire week in Switzerland. Didn't have to rent a car and traveled all over the country with a rail pass. All on rails (and a boat) Wake up America!! Trains ARE the way to go!

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Bruce Mowbray
Springville, PA


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 240
Mr. Mowbray - I too prefer to take the train into town. The thing is, it is not as economical when one is with a group. Parking and toll costs are fixed per car so, if you have around three in a car, it is often cheaper per person than taking the train. Of course, your break even point depends on the cost of where you park. Also, with the weekend schedule, depending on the time of day it can be much quicker to drive in than to take a local all the way in or to wait for the next train going out.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 742
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Trains are the way to go if you can't walk or bike to your destination. A major part of the problem is the way people live in the current age. In the pre-industrial age and early industrial age, most people lived within walking distance of their workplace. The invention of the electric trolley permitted people to live a greater distance from their workplace and developers built planned communities and the streetcar lines that connected them with the city center.

Introduction of the automobile and better roads increased decentralization and the distances involved. Urban planners changed their design models to fit the automobile. Indeed, many suburban "communities" are not considered walkable because of this. You have to drive to run errands or get to and from work. This has direct implications on the health and well being of people-most people do not get the recommended amount of physical activity on a regular basis. This is partly why our country has issues with things like obesity and stress.

Three years ago, I reassessed my living situation and decided to move from the apartment community I was living in out in Oro Valley to downtown Tucson. My apartment was about $750 a month and was fifteen minutes from my parents. My grandparents lived about fifteen minutes away in a retirement community. Once my grandparents passed, it made less sense to live that far from work and my other activities. When I commuted in to work, the express bus took 45 minutes each way and my pass was $40 per month. As most of my activities are downtown and I have another ten years or so to work before I am eligible to take full state retirement and had the financial means to purchase a residence, it made more sense to me to move downtown. I found a townhouse not four blocks from my office for sale at a reasonable price and bought it. I walk to work every day, and most days I walk home for lunch. If I want to go to the library, it's a block past the office. If I want to go to the YMCA, it's a block past the library. If I want to go out to eat, I walk four blocks to the streetcar stop and can take the streetcar up to Fourth Avenue. If I need groceries, I walk to the downtown market which has a fine selection of groceries and prepared foods. If I want to take Amtrak someplace, I walk about ten blocks to the train station. I still keep my bus pass as it relieves me of the need to think about how I will pay my fare.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:04 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1753
@Cameron Wolk:


"Remember the 70s and how bad it was for railroading as an industry, that was a conservative Congress lead by a mess of a president."

Presidents of the 1970's:

Richard M. Nixon: Megalomaniac; paranoid tendencies exaggerated by the shenanigans in Chicago that very well may have flipped Illinois to JFK in 1960.

Gerald R. Ford: Ineffectual guy who gave us "WIN" buttons-former college football star that managed to allow himself to be parodied as clumsy oaf by Chevy Chase on SNL (pretty sure Chase never played a down)

Jimmy Carter: Largely a tone-deaf disaster; HOWEVER he did sign the Staggers Act in October 1980 and should be given credit for that.

No Congress in the 1970's was "conservative".


(it is my personal opinion that de-regulation occurred because the experience of running Conrail convinced the feds that there was no possible way to run a railroad profitably under the laws and regulations that accrued since 1887; giving rise to what Samuel Huntington described as "The Miasma of the ICC".

Still be the point is well taken, there are political agendas against rail-and there's no Dagny Taggart on the horizon.

There's a cost of driving that has been removed-the risk of becoming lost-with any smart phone you can usually avoid getting lost.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8395
Location: Baltimore, MD
superheater wrote:
(it is my personal opinion that de-regulation occurred because the experience of running Conrail convinced the feds that there was no possible way to run a railroad profitably under the laws and regulations that accrued since 1887; giving rise to what Samuel Huntington described as "The Miasma of the ICC".

Still be the point is well taken, there are political agendas against rail-and there's no Dagny Taggart on the horizon.

There's a cost of driving that has been removed-the risk of becoming lost-with any smart phone you can usually avoid getting lost.


In the same era, the Rock Island self-imploded, the Milwaukee Road was forced to retreat from the West, and other lines such as SP teetered close to the brink--but all the attention was focused on Conrail, in part because it was an interdependent network collapsing to take down an entire region and in part because it was in Congress-critters' back yards outside Washington instead of in "flyover country."

But feeding the animus against the rail industry is stuff like this:
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/csx-to-im ... 1122-00785

Conservative and libertarian critics have correctly pointed out that the overall "wars" against climate change, "the 1%", big business, etc. are actually part of a larger societal attack upon capitalism, free markets and the democratic republic structure of government we have now, undertaken by freshly indoctrinated socialists from college campuses. And the (relatively minor) antagonism against railroads is no doubt egged on by the hubris of "the second coming of rail barons," who are only moderately shielded from public outrage because the public now so rarely interacts directly with railroad companies in 2017 except at a railroad crossing.

With regard to GPS, it's been shown that about 95% or more of car trips taken are in familiar turf where the driver should have no need to navigate his or her way. An increasing dependence upon GPS, however, is truly part of the "dumbing down" of America.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:04 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3747
Location: Maine
On the lighter side of things, I visited a truck dealer in Bangor, requesting a donation to restore the 470. He told me he didn't want to support a restoration because, and here I quote, "Railroads are the sworn enemies of the trucking industry!"

Really. A historical steam locomotive restoration. Ya can't fix stupid.

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"It's only impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela


Last edited by Richard Glueck on Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 464
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
With regard to GPS, it's been shown that about 95% or more of car trips taken are in familiar turf where the driver should have no need to navigate his or her way. An increasing dependence upon GPS, however, is truly part of the "dumbing down" of America.
Thank you for providing a real life example of Dunning-Kruger, Brother Mitchell! :-)

Nowadays, people are driving "with GPS" because it is built into their phones and those phones allow them to take advantage of Waze (wikipedia) and other competing technologies. The technology is a lifesaver for those of us who have to travel in very congested urban areas!

Even though I know how to get where I'm going, I still am dependent on my phone's mapping app since when I'm driving it can accurately tell me which route has the least traffic congestion. It also shows accurate travel times for walking and taking transit.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:58 pm
Posts: 38
Richard Glueck wrote:
On the lighter side of things, I visited a truck dealer in Bangor, requesting a donation to restore the 470. He told me he didn't want to support a restoration because, and here I quote, "Railroads are the sworn enemies of the trucking industry!"


Richard,

So true...and a rather common opinion in the trucking fraternity, I have found.
Voiced by several good friends who drive the big rigs.

When BC Rail ran the railway up this way, they had their own fleet of trucks.
This was questioned by more than one railroad employee.

When I asked a BCR management type about this and why they were in competition with themselves...he laughed and said "we aren't".

The train does the long haul, and the trucks do short haul...pick-up and delivery at each end. That way we can offer the customer seamless door to door delivery.

They got a lot of business that way, as the customer had only one shipper and one bill to deal with.

I've always admired that business model..It combined the unbeatable advantage of rail haul...with the flexibility of trucks.

Perhaps co-operation instead of competition might be the lesson here..?

Dennis.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8395
Location: Baltimore, MD
Quote:
Thank you for providing a real life example of Dunning-Kruger, Brother Mitchell! :-)


There's a vast difference between using a GPS in an unfamiliar city to save you buying or printing out maps, using a GPS to check on probable traffic congestion, and needing a GPS just to get out of the neighborhood into which you just drove via the route you came in on.

I have seen the latter. They somewhat resemble the senile person who can't remember why they came into the room, what house they're in, or what day or year it is. These people, by relying completely on the screen, make a conscious decision to be unaware of their surroundings or environment.

There have been times during rail-related escapades in the West where we have managed to make the vehicle's GPS say "Off route--recalculating........... Off route--recalculating........... Off route--recalculating........... WHAT THE &*#@ ARE YOU DOING?!?!?" (Alcos on the Apache, the good spots on the Grand Canyon Railway, and abandoned Santa Fe routes, as three examples.)


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
No commentary.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world ... 12876.html

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/06/mass ... tions.html

http://theweek.com/articles/464674/8-dr ... o-disaster

http://wgntv.com/2016/05/13/a-little-em ... ake-huron/

Think of what this could mean for self-driving cars. . .


Last edited by J3a-614 on Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
In regard to GPS, I'm old school. My navigation in strange areas is on paper, though I do admit sometimes those bedsheets are a bit unwieldy to fold back up.


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 Post subject: Re: What We Are Up Against
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Minneapolis, MN
J3a-614 wrote:
In regard to GPS, I'm old school. My navigation in strange areas is on paper, though I do admit sometimes those bedsheets are a bit unwieldy to fold back up.

When I want to drive from home to nearly any place new I always consult a map first. Then I let the GPS generate a route. I have had my GPS take me 100 miles out of my way to save 4 minutes. Looking at the map can tell you whether the generated route is rational.


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