Second Avenue Subway extension to the Rockaways proposed by city council member


Getting from Manhattan to Rockaway Beach isn’t exactly an easy commute via public transportation. There is the A train, which runs from Inwood all the way down Manhattan’s west side before traveling through Brooklyn and finally through Queens; and then there is the LIRR, but if you’re on the Upper East Side, things get a little tricky.

According to Metro, Queens City Council member Eric Ulrich has put forth an ambitious (and nearly impossible) idea to extend the Second Avenue Subway to Rockaway Beach, using the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Avenue station as a connector to the defunct LIRR’s Rockaway Beach line.

The idea to extend one of Manhattan’s subway line’s to the Rockaways isn’t new and has been studied since the 1960s, however, the consensus has always been that it would be too costly to carry out. While an extension would be convenient to many if actualized, the cost and amount of time it would take to get such a project complete, alone make it virtually impossible to carry out. After all, Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, which would extend the line to Harlem and add three new stations at 106th, 116th, and 125th streets, is projected to cost around $6 billion, which most people agree is too expensive.

Another problem with Ulrich’s idea is that it would require the LIRR to turn over the Atlantic branch to NYC Transit, making things inconvenient for riders who depend on the LIRR to get to Downtown Brooklyn and the Financial District.

Can this line be shared?????

It’s safe to say this one will remain a mere pipe dream.

Extend the Second Avenue Subway to the Rockaways? [Metro]

As Second Avenue Subway prepares for its debut, cost of phase two is scrutinized [Curbed]



Special Guest Blog By Ken Kinlock

(Photo of Jeffrey Immelt from 2009 Annual Report)

Time magazine called this era “The Decade From Hell,” and “when you are going through hell,” Winston Churchill advised, “keep going.”

As we navigated these uncharted waters, we had several goals:
(1) keep GE safe and secure;
(2) execute and position our infrastructure businesses to perform through the cycle;
(3) create financial flexibility;
(4) and protect the GE franchise and brand.

GE built leadership franchises in Energy, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Aviation, Transportation, Water and Consumer Products. GE has grown our earnings by almost 10% annually for two decades with high returns and strong cash flow.

GE is repositioning GE Capital as a smaller and more focused specialty finance franchise. GE’s competitive advantage is in value-added origination and risk management.

Reducing GE’s ownership stake in NBC Universal (NBCU) was a
difficult decision, but it offers important benefits to the Company.

GE expects 2010 earnings to be flat with 2009. In 2011 and beyond, we expect GE to generate solid earnings growth, even if the economic recovery is uneven. GE will achieve this growth while generating substantial “free cash” that could further enhance investor returns.

GE wants to help lead an American growth renewal. GE is investing
more in technology than at any time in company history. GE is rebuilding manufacturing capability. GE is one of the country’s biggest exporters, with $18 billion in export-related revenue.

(In millions) 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Energy Infrastructure $ 37,134 $ 38,571 $ 30,698 $ 25,221 $ 21,921
Technology Infrastructure 42,474 46,316 42,801 37,687 33,873
NBC Universal 15,436 16,969 15,416 16,188 14,689
Capital Finance 50,622 67,008 66,301 56,378 49,071
Consumer & Industrial 9,703 11,737 12,663 13,202 13,040
Total segment revenues 155,369 180,601 167,879 148,676 132,594
Corporate items
and eliminations 1,414 1,914 4,609 2,892 3,668
Consolidated revenues $156,783 $182,515 $172,488 $151,568 $136,262

Segment profit
Energy Infrastructure $ 6,842 $ 6,080 $ 4,817 $ 3,518 $ 3,222
Technology Infrastructure 7,489 8,152 7,883 7,308 6,188
NBC Universal 2,264 3,131 3,107 2,919 3,092
Capital Finance 2,344 8,632 12,243 10,397 8,414
Consumer & Industrial 400 365 1,034 970 732
Total segment profit 19,339 26,360 29,084 25,112 21,648
Corporate items and
eliminations (3,904) (2,691) (1,840) (1,548) (372)
GE interest and
other financial charges (1,478) (2,153) (1,993) (1,668) (1,319)
GE provision for
income taxes (2,739) (3,427) (2,794) (2,552) (2,678)
Earnings from
continuing operations 11,218 18,089 22,457 19,344 17,279
Earnings (loss) from
discontinued operations,
net of taxes (193) (679) (249) 1,398 (559)
Consolidated net earnings
to the Company $ 11,025 $ 17,410 $ 22,208 $ 20,742 $ 16,720

The remainder of the 2009 Annual Report is available EASILY:

Are we going to see Subway fare hikes sooner than expected?

Brooklyn Eagle

Comptroller DiNapoli warns of MTA finance trouble
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Bus and subway riders aren’t happy with the news from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli about the possibility of higher transit fares coming sooner rather than later.

In an eye-opening report released late last week, DiNapoli, whose job is to monitor stat expenditures, concluded that if new funding sources are not found for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency may be forced to raise transit fares and bridge tolls well before the next planned increase in 2019.

MTA had already announced plans to raise fares by 4 percent in 2019.

But straphangers might have to dig deeper into their pockets to ride the buses and subways a lot sooner, according to DiNapoli.

John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, said DiNapoli’s report comes at a time when the transit system is in great need of repairs and rebuilding.

Raskin, whose organization advocates for improvements in bus and subway service in behalf of riders, called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to come up with additional financial resources for MTA.

“If Gov. Cuomo doesn’t pass a new revenue source to fund the MTA, the only way to fix our subways and buses will be with fare hikes and service cuts, which are regressive plans that hurt working people the most. Gov. Cuomo should move quickly to pass a progressive source of MTA funding, like congestion pricing, so we can restore reliable transit service without passing along the bill to the New Yorkers who can least afford it,” Raskin said in a statement.

DiNapoli came up with his conclusion after conducting an in-depth analysis of the MTA’s financial plan. He issued his report, called “Financial Outlook for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” on Nov. 9.

“Maintaining, modernizing and expanding the largest mass-transit agency in the nation is critically important to the future of the New York metropolitan region. In the absence of adequate funding, the system could fall into further disrepair and riders could face unplanned fare hikes. The state and city need to find solutions to prevent these possibilities from becoming reality, and the MTA must make the best use of its resources,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

The need for funding is paramount, according to DiNapoli, who said that while MTA has invested more than $120 billion in capital improvements since 1982, the need for repairs is outpacing the funding.

The subway system is in particular need of rebuilding, DiNapoli noted. Signals, power, stations, pumps and emergency ventilation equipment need to be restored, he said. In addition, MTA has had to delay the purchase of new subway cars. Nearly a third of subway cars are more than 30 years old and approximately 40 percent of signals 50 years old.

While the system struggles to maintain equipment, there has been a sharp growth in subway ridership during the past 15 years.

In July, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced a two-phase Subway Action Plan. The first phase, expected to cost $836 million, is aimed at stabilizing and improving the subway system. MTA has suggested that the state and the city split the cost. But DiNapoli noted that the state and city have not reached an agreement to share the costs.

Within such an agreement, MTA has had to draw on its reserves to begin Phase 1 of the Subway Action Plan, DiNapoli said.

MTA is also counting on the federal government to fund almost one-quarter of its capital program, according to DiNapoli, who said there is a great deal of uncertainty on whether these funds will actually be allocated. President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the New Starts program, which would have funded approximately one-third of the estimated cost of Phase 2 of the construction of Second Avenue Subway.

According to MTA projections, the agency will be operating with a balanced budget through 2019. But the agency is projecting budget gaps in the following years, starting at $112 million in 2020 and growing to $493 million in 2021.

The budget shortfalls are being projected even with plans in place to raise transit fares in 2019 and 2020.

When asked by The Wall Street Journal to respond to DiNapoli’s report, Lhota told the newspaper that the report was tantamount to “fearmongering.”

To read DiNapoli’s full report, visit

GE Could Sell Grove City and Erie locations in divestment process

Butler News

By: Home/News/News Wire/GE

Transportation’s break-up scenarios
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GE Transportation’s break-up scenarios

Trains Industry Newsletter

ERIE, Pa. — GE Transportation will soon be sold or partnered away from the parent company. Wall Street analysts even seem to notice, along with historians, that the move brings an end to one of GE’s oldest businesses. But what may happen next? What follows is Trains News Wire’s informed speculation about the possibilities.

Complete shut down
Yep, GE could sell all of the business assets Gordon Gekko-style, with Building 10 in Lawrence Park, Pa., becoming a giant indoor zip line course. Why? Because they can.

PROS: [Crickets chirping.]

CONS: The locomotive (and heavy duty machine) market is at the bottom of its business current cycle, so a sale would bring the lowest possible prices on physical assets. One unanswered…

View original post 1,367 more words

Virgin Hyperloop One set to develop GCC ultra-fast tube


US-based Virgin Hyperloop One, a startup developing super high-speed transportation systems, is working on an ambitious plan to connect the entire Gulf region through an ultra-fast tube transportation system, which will operate at a velocity of 1,100 km per hour.

The company has already signed an agreement with the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Philanthropic Foundation (also known as the Misk Foundation) for this hitech transportation system and to train Saudi youth on engineering and technical skills, reported Arab News.

On behalf of the Misk Foundation, the agreement was inked by Bader Al-Asaker, secretary-general of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Philanthropic Foundation, known as the Misk Foundation.

The proposed ultra-fast tube transportation means that a vehicle would run through a tube at a velocity of 1,100 km for an hour, which could quickly connect countries in the region, revealed Josh Giegel, the founder of US-based Virgin Hyperloop One.

“It will be two to three times faster and cheaper than the high-speed train,” he stated.

The details of the project, such as routes of operations inside as well as outside the kingdom, will be discussed with the Saudi parties shortly, Giegel told Arab News.

He pointed out that such ultra-fast transportation was also ideal for inland transport.

Within a span of two years, Giegel said Hyperloop One has assembled a team of more than 300 world-class experts, and built a campus in downtown Los Angeles, a test and safety site in the Nevada desert, and a 100,000-sq-ft. machine and tooling shop in North Las Vegas.

Pointing out the interest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in empowering Saudi youths under the Vision 2030 program, Giegel said his company had agreed to offer internships for Saudi youths in Los Angeles and train technicians and engineers in relevant fields.

“We are ready to train them in their own fields and update them with the latest technology in the digital world,” he added.

New York vintage subway trains return for holiday season

NEW YORK — The vintage holiday trains are back for the holidays!

With the holiday season among us, the New York Transit Museum is taking us back in time with vintage train cars and vintage buses.

Holiday train rides will be around on Sundays running Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24.

In honor of the Second Avenue Subway’s one-year anniversary, this year’s Holiday Nostalgia Train will be running along the F line between 2nd Avenue and Lexington Avenue/63rd Street and via the Q line between Lexington Avenue/63rd Street and 96th Street on the Upper East Side.

On the F line, trains depart at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. while from the 96th Street subway station, trains will depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.

The so-called Shoppers Special train is made up of R1/9-style cars, also known as city cars, which served as the foundation for the modern subway train. The cars, which ran on the lettered lines, are teeming with atmosphere. Have a seat on the rattan chairs, read the newspaper under incandescent bulb lighting, stay cool under the big ceiling fans, and get a read on your final destination from the roll signs.

Nostalgia busses will also be in service from Dec. 4 to Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Special Guest Blog By Ken Kinlock

(Photo from a friend. Interior of Building 273 in Schenectady)


Years 2004-2006
When I review the annual reports of the General Electric Company, they combine the industrial manufacturing, services and media businesses of General Electric Company (GE) with the financial services businesses of General Electric Capital Services, Inc. (GECS or financial services).

I am going to not discuss the last category because it will DISAPPEAR soon. Nor will I discuss NBC. During these years GE invested in other lines of power generation, such as wind power, and developed product services. As a result, Energy revenues have grown signifiantly over these years and the business is positioned well for continued growth in 2007 and beyond. GE also continued to invest in market-leading technology and services at Aviation, Water and Transportation;

The Plastics business was hit particularly hard during these three
years because of additional pressure from significant inflation in
natural gas and certain raw materials such as benzene. As a result
of these factors and the 2006 sales of GE Supply and Advanced
Materials, we do not expect this segment to experience significant
growth in 2007.

Per-share dividends of $1.03 were up 13% from 2005, following an 11%
increase from the preceding year. In December 2006, the Board of Directors raised our quarterly dividend 12% to $0.28 per share. GE has rewarded shareowners with over 100 consecutive years of dividends, with 31 consecutive years of dividend growth.

Of interest to many of our readers, the principal pension plan had a surplus of $11.5 billion at December 31, 2006. GE will not make any contributions to the GE Pension Plan in 2007. To the best of our ability to forecast the next five years, GE does not anticipate making contributions to that plan as long as expected investment returns are achieved.

Selected Segment Operating Results (in millions)
2006 2005 2004
Infrastructure $47,429 $41,803 $37,373
Healthcare $16,562 $15,153 $13,456
Industrial $33,494 $32,631 $30,722

Selected Segment Profit (in millions)
2006 2005 2004
Infrastructure $9,040 $7,769 $6,797
Healthcare $3,143 $2,665 $2,286
Industrial $2,696 $2,559 $1,833

HHHmmmm Jeff has learned what the word “RECAST” means

Now to break it down

(In millions) 2006 2005 2004
Aviation $13,152 $11,904 $11,094
Aviation Financial Services 4,177 3,504 3,159
Energy 19,133 16,525 14,586
Energy Financial Services 1,664 1,349 972
Oil & Gas 4,340 3,598 3,135
Transportation 4,169 3,577 3,007
Aviation $ 2,909 $ 2,573 $ 2,238
Aviation Financial Services 1,108 764 520
Energy 3,000 2,665 2,543
Energy Financial Services 695 646 376
Oil & Gas 548 411 331
Transportation 781 524 516

GE’S TOTAL BACKLOG of firm unfilled orders at the end of 2006
was $46.5 billion, an increase of 29% from year-end 2005,
reflecting increased demand at Infrastructure. Of the total backlog,
$32.2 billion related to products, of which 63% was scheduled
for delivery in 2007. Product services orders, included in this
reported backlog for only the succeeding 12 months, were
$14.3 billion at the end of 2006. Orders constituting this backlog
may be cancelled or deferred by customers, subject in certain
cases to penalties.


Special Guest Blog By Ken Kinlock

(Featured photo is Burlington Northern locomotive made by GE Tansportation Systems)


GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of technology to the energy industry, providing a comprehensive range of solutions for oil and gas, traditional and renewable power generation and energy management.

GE Healthcare is a global leader in diagnostic and interventional medical imaging, information and services technology. The pending acquisition of
Amersham plc, a world leader in diagnostic imaging agents and life sciences, will transform GE Healthcare into the world’s most comprehensive
medical diagnostics company.

America’s first broadcast network, NBC is a diverse, international media company with the Number One-ranked U.S. television network, 29 owned and
operated stations, cable channels CNBC, MSNBC and Bravo, and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo. NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment have agreed to merge and form NBC Universal, creating one of the world’s fastest-growing media companies.

GE Transportation comprises Aircraft Engines and Rail, two industry-leading business units whose products and services span the aviation, rail, marine and off-highway industries with jet engines for military
and civil aircraft, freight and passenger locomotives, motorized systems for mining trucks and drills, and gas turbines for marine and industrial applications.

GE Infrastructure is a high-technology platform comprising some of GE’s fastest-growing businesses. They offer a set of protection and productivity solutions to some of the most pressing issues that industries face: pure water, safe facilities, plant automation and sensing applications for operating environments.

GE Advanced Materials is a world leader in providing customers in a wide range of industries with materials solutions through engineering thermoplastics, siliconbased products and technology platforms, and fused
quartz and ceramics.

GE Consumer & Industrial serves customers in more than 100 countries with appliances, lighting products and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services sold under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, SmartWater™ and Reveal® consumerbrands, and the Entellisys™ industrial brand.

The board and I are not selling insurance businesses out of frustration at their operating erformance. Insurance is simply not the right business for us in the future. It requires significant capital to grow, and it does not fully leverage GE’s capabilities.

We made great progress in energy efficiency. We introduced four leading products in 2003: the H System™ gas turbine; a 3.6-megawatt wind turbine; the GE Evolution™ Series locomotive engine; and the GE90-115B jet engine.

segments, we will achieve lower costs of operations in platforms
that will accommodate our future growth. The new segments
most affected by this change follow:
• Advanced Materials — plastics, silicones and quartz
• Infrastructure—water, security, sensors and Fanuc Automation
• Transportation — aircraft engines, rail and certain parts of
GE Supply
• Consumer and Industrial—appliances, lighting and industrial
• Commercial Finance — the combination of Commercial
Finance and the Fleet Services business that was previously
part of Equipment Management
• Equipment & Other Services—the combination of Equipment
Management (excluding Fleet Services) and the All Other
GECS segments

For the years ended December 31 (In millions) 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
Advanced Materials $7,078 $6,963 $7,069 $8,020 $7,118
Commercial Finance 20,813 19,592 17,723 17,549 14,506
Consumer Finance 12,845 10,266 9,508 9,320 7,562
Consumer & Industrial 12,843 12,887 13,063 13,406 13,051
Energy 19,082 23,633 21,030 15,703 10,998
Equipment & Other Services 4,427 5,545 7,735 15,074 14,768
Healthcare 10,198 8,955 8,409 7,275 6,171
Infrastructure 3,078 1,901 392 486 421
Insurance 26,194 23,296 23,890 24,766 19,433
NBC 6,871 7,149 5,769 6,797 5,790
Transportation 13,515 13,685 13,885 13,285 13,293
Corporate items and eliminations (2,757) (1,662) (2,057) (1,296) (961)
CONSOLIDATED REVENUES $134,187 $132,210 $126,416 $130,385 $112,150

Advanced Materials ($616) $1,000 $1,433 $1,864 $1,588
Commercial Finance 3,910 3,310 2,879 2,528 1,940
Consumer Finance 2,161 1,799 1,602 1,295 848
Consumer & Industrial 577 567 894 1,270 1,330
Energy 4,109 6,294 4,897 2,598 1,583
Equipment & Other Services (419) (388) (222) (212) 25
Healthcare 1,701 1,546 1,498 1,321 1,107
Infrastructure 462 297 26 45 63
Insurance 2,102 (95) 1,879 2,201 2,142
NBC 1,998 1,658 1,408 1,609 1,427
Transportation 2,661 2,510 2,577 2,511 2,233
Total segment profit 19,878 18,498 18,871 17,030 14,286
GECS goodwill amortization — — (552) (620) (512)
GE corporate items and eliminations (491) 1,041 819 935 960
GE interest and other financial charges (941) (569) (817) (811) (810)
GE provision for income taxes (2,857) (3,837) (4,193) (3,799) (3,207)
Earnings before accounting changes 15,589 15,133 14,128 12,735 10,717
Cumulative effect of accounting changes (587) (1,015) (444) — —
CONSOLIDATED NET EARNINGS $÷15,002 $÷14,118 $÷13,684 $÷12,735 $÷10,717

Now let’s next see what Jeff ended up with in 2004!

I Don’t Care At least ELON MUSK Is Doing Something

I do not care about approvals.

At least Elon Musk is doing something.

Elon Musk’s “verbal approval” for a Hyperloop tunnel between New York and Washington D.C. has been shot down by the White House. White House Advisor, Reed Cordish, has said that he was misunderstood and what Musk actually heard was “verbal government excitement.” But, that doesn’t mean the tunnel won’t happen.

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