Required Attire for a Remote Workforce

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Ever wonder how your telecommuting colleagues really live? Turns out, many of them actually do work in their pajamas. They also tend to love their work-life balance – to the point where they’d take a pay cut to maintain the status quo. This is a “must read” for both remote workers and for their office-bound managers.

Remote workers fall into one or more of these classifications:

  1. Road Warrior (slang) a person who travels extensively on business.
  2. Telecommuter is a term used for corporate employees who work from home offices for at least part of their normal working time, using computers and other telecommunications equipment. They are usually considered as a separate category of worker from owners of home based businesses, consultants or other self-employed entrepreneurs who operate from home.
  3. Home worker who is not necessarily a corporate employee. Could be a consultant or other independent.

We concentrated on the have our own survey results from LinkedIn. Some of our questions are similar to those asked on surveys by CIO Insight and Staples, but some are different. We used several LinkedIn Groups involved with EDI,  Supply Chain, IT related and a “neutral” Group (university alumni). The questions (polls) we asked were:

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Abandonment of Train Service to Troy, New York

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The picture above is the Green Island Bridge between Green Island and Troy

Trains in Troy operated over the Troy Union Railroad (TURR)
Congestion in Troy, New York led to the formation of the Troy Union Railroad in 1851, owned jointly by four roads. It opened in 1854. One of the lines was eventually bought by the D&H RR (Rensselaer & Saratoga RR), two were merged into the New York Central RR (Troy & Schenectady RR and the Troy & Greenbush RR),
and the fourth became part of the Boston & Maine RR (Troy & Boston RR).

In other major cities, early 1900’s grade crossing elimination programs rebuilt the right-of-way above or below the streets. Similar plans were drawn up for Troy, but never were built. Numerous streets required a gate guard, to flag the crossing or drop the gates. The track ran part of the way in the pavement of Sixth Avenue, and steam road locomotives inched their way past parked cars. This looked like industrial trackage but was a passenger main.

Around 1959 D&H and NYC wanted to run the Boston & Maine into Albany, but they couldn’t make an agreement with the operating brotherhoods to allow B&M crews to run to Albany. It wouldn’t work out if a D&H crew had to take the train over that distance. The B&M wasn’t about to put any more money into maintaining that service west of Fitchburg, and this was another good reason for them to dump it. Either way, the B&M would have had to either run via Troy Union Railroad to the NYC at Madison Street or to the D&H via the Green Island Bridge, and they would have still needed most of the TURR with all of its crossings, and the Green Island Bridge. A route via Mechanicville would not have worked, either. All three railroads wanted to be shed of the entire TURR, not only the station, and the best way to get regulatory approval was to let the expenses pile up and then dump the whole thing.

Efforts to discontinue trains to downtown Troy, abandon the Troy Union Railroad, and cut the high costs to New York Central, Delaware & Hudson and Boston & Maine were hampered by the “Rutland Milk“. The Rutland Milk took a winding route through northern NY State and Vermont, then was delivered to the NY Central Harlem Division at Chatham for delivery to NY City. The last run over the Rutland’s “Corkscrew” division to Chatham was in May, 1953 (they had no other business on that line). After the “corkscrew” was shut down, Rutland Milk ran via B&M & NYC using trackage rights from Troy and Rensselaer to Chatham. The Rutland had no ownership in the Troy Union Railroad – they operated as B&M trains between White Creek and Troy. In 1959-1960, tracks in downtown Troy were torn up except one for the “Rutland Milk” . This track came out in 1964, after abandonment of the Rutland.
The tunnel for the tracks was between Congress and Ferry Streets.

Join a group devoted to the Troy & Schenectady Railroad  http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/T_SRR/

The Troy and Schenectady Railroad: What If It Still Existed Today?

Troy and Schenectady Railroad once crossed an Interstate Highway

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The former Troy & Schenectady line was still operating when the Northway (I-87) was built (1960’s) and there still was a grade crossing on the Northway a short distance south of the “Twin Bridges” over the Mohawk River (this was probably one of only a very few grade crossings on an Interstate Highway in the United States). It wasn’t there long, as the line was cut back within a couple of years to an industrial site just east of Route 9. You can still see where the line passed under Route 9 perhaps a mile north of Boght Corners.

During the period that the line crossed Interstate 87 (ETT has a typo “89”) at Dunsbach Ferry, the following instruction appeared in the Employee Time Table under “special instruction 103 public crossings at grade: Manually controlled traffic signals:” “Trains or engine must stop in rear of stop sign and a member of crew must operate pushbuttons in manual control box. After traffic signals have been operating for at least twenty seconds train or engine may proceed over crossing, signals must be restored to normal position after movement over highway has been completed.”

See more about the T&S Railroad

UPDATE in 2012:

Railroad and trolley historian and author  Gino DiCarlo has done some research and actually found pictures of this crossing.

See his article on “CROSSING THE NORTHWAY

 

Update June 3, 2012 from Gordon Davids:

The T&S Branch highway grade crossing was in place and active on opening day of I-87 in 1959. Traffic signals hung over the highway, and cross bucks were on each side of the road.

The state engineers told us at the time that the railroad was up for abandonment, and the state wasn’t about to spend the money necessary for a grade separation. They got a waiver from the Public Roads Administration (pre-FHWA) to permit the crossing for a limited period. I think they had to extend the waiver a few times.

I looked on Google maps street view today, and saw an aluminum pole alongside the northbound highway and an aluminum instrument case still in place just south of it. I’m sure that they were part of the highway signal system that protected the crossing.

Find out about Achievements and Fairpromise

 

Partnering With Suppliers, Vendors and Customers

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In Lean Supply Chain Management and in Virtual Supply Chain Management discussions there are many references to “partnering”. Partnership means much more than just: purchasing parts from a supplier; contracting for services from a vendor; or selling products to a customer. In a partnership, both of you are “teaming” to help each other succeed.

It is not usually a formal partnership in the legal sense, but instead is an ad hoc  “virtual partnership.” Many times this is referred to as ”collaboration.” It is all about sending new customers or other beneficial resources, like cost savings, to your partner; and receiving benefits in return.

What is a Social Supply Chain?

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Social supply chain is using “social media technology” all across the entire supply chain : from supplier’s suppliers to customer’s customers. It means integration of social media technologies (collaboration, sharing) to connect and encompass the participants across the whole supply chain.

The customer-facing side of companies is getting busier. Customers use social media to connect with their peers from a marketing standpoint to promote and advertise their services and capabilities. Social media is now particularly important  in customer service environments. Consumers are able to communicate with customer service departments through Twitter and Facebook.

In the supply chain, companies have begun using social media to work with suppliers, vendors and customers. As an example, they can have discussions on issues and arrive at a concensus.

Circus Trains: The Second Greatest Show on Earth

Circus Trains: The Second Greatest Show on Earth

The circus and the circus train has always fascinated small children and grown-up railfans alike. Circus transportation has changed significantly in the last forty years. The second greatest show – that of moving the
circus by rail, begins even before the last performance begins.

If you ever thought of running away to join the circus,  meet New Britain native Joe Colossa. He didn’t run away, but joining the circus was an almost predetermined destiny for this fourth-generation circus worker. Colossa is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train master. He is like the ringmaster, but for the train.

ec-bp

ec-bp

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ec-bp was established in 2005 as the advocate for lowering the barriers to the adoption of EDI, and our email newsletter has been published every month since that time. Our focus has expanded beyond EDI to encompas the full gamut of supply chain practices and technologies. In addition, our readership  has grown to become the largest of any similarly focused publication, and has expanded to include more than 90,000 professionals involved in nearly every aspect of the supply chain.

Today’s supply chain is more than simple transport of EDI documents. The complexity of maintaining compliance with trading partners, managing the ever increasing amount of data, and analyzing that data to drive constant improvement in processes and service take supply chain professionals far beyond the basics of mapping EDI documents.