Jim Fergusson’s Railway and Tramway Station Lists

Jim’s Site contains an expanding series of lists aiming to record all passenger stations and stopping places for various railway and tramway systems throughout the world. This includes relocated and restricted use stations (e.g. for private use, workmen, sports events, armed forces, etc), where information has been found. Information is given either on an “all time” basis or for a particular date or period. All lists give stations and stops in geographical sequence for each line.

He also has a lot of cool trivia

A. Some favourite station names:

USA:

Old Armchair Bridge
No Name
Champagne Fountain
Garden of the Gods
Call of the Wild
Haunted House
Foody
Rough & Ready
Shoe Heel
Horse Thief
Young Man’s Butte

UK:

Bat & Ball
Flowery Field
Hall i’ th’ Wood
Westward Ho!
Messrs Sanders & Co.s Orchid Sheds

Canada:

Road to Herb Lake Gold Mines
Ha! Ha! Junction

South Africa:

Jumbo Halt

Phillipines:

Singalong

B. Longest Station Names

Baltimore & Ohio South-Western & Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis Junction (69 letters – USA)

Longest single word:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychrwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (58 letters – Wales) However, this is a fabricated name to encourage tourism. Timetables only show Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

Minami-Aso-Mizono-Mareru-Satohakusui-Kogen (37 letters, Japan).

Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta Halt (28 + 4 letters, India)

C. Shortest Station Names

Contenders:

I can find no station names composed only of a single letter or number. The village of “Y” in France, the world’s shortest place name, unfortunately never had a railway station. There are many stations only referred to by numbers, but the number always follows the words “Station No. ….” or “Stopping Place No….”

There are many station names composed of 2 letters. “Ii” in Hawaii is my favourite.

D. Statistics

(all time passenger routes, including lines now closed to passengers, excluding metros, tramways and modern light rail systems and interurban railways). * AAR maximum total (1920: 252,845) plus additions for extra state by state mileages in earlier and later years and 1% allowance for lines closed/opened before/after state maximum mileage

Passenger Route Mileages World: 850,000 miles (1943 Rly Year Book 790,000 + 10% lines closed before/opened after )

USA:

All time 260.000 miles (RRs) *
16,000 miles (Interurbans)
Today 26,000 miles (23,000 Amtrak + 3000 commuter lines)

UK:

All time 21,250 (21,000 NR + 250 LT)
Today 10,500 (10,250 NR + 250 LT)

Passenger stations and stops:

World:

All time 300,000 (tentative guess!)

Europe:

All time 100,000 (75,000 Dr Koch 1931 + UK + closed/opened before/after + halts not included)

USA:

All time 100,000 (RRs, assuming average 3 miles between stations/stops)
35,000 (Interurbans, assuming 2 stops per mile)

Today 1,600 (500 Amtrak + 1,100 Commuter, excldg Metro, Light Rail & Heritage)

UK:

All time 12,000 (Based on Quicks Chronology, 16 x 2 x 372 pages)

Today 2,800 (2,500 NR + 300 LUL/DLR, excldg other Metro, Tramways & Heritage)

Most common station name in USA:

The contenders are:

Riverside
Springfield
Summit
Taylor(s)

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Social Media in the Acquisition Process

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By now, we all know that organizations are taking full advantage of social media to closely connect with customers and to promote their products and services. But several articles and studies show that social networks are now a top purchase-evaluation tool for decision makers. Professionals connect to vendors on social media sites, and a many say that social media plays a role in every stage of the acquisition process. Just IT spending is expected to reach more than $3.5 billion this year. Influential buyers seek as much useful–and current–information as possible. They chat with peers and vendors who can help them make the right choice.

Read more about Social Media in the Acquisition Process

New Haven Railroad Wooden Box Cars

Until 1941 the New Haven Railroad had no all steel box cars — in fact, as late as 1940 the newest box car had been built in 1912 and many were older although many had been rebuilt.  All had steel underframes but all were 36 foot cars rather than the more common 40 foot cars.  When the Great Depression began the New Haven had over 17,000 wood box cars – most of 60,000 lbs. capacity but some 80,000 lbs. capacity rebuilt cars.Image
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Insourcing and the Supply Chain

We all know what Outsourcing is, but now a new trend is popping up: Insourcing. The definition of insourcing is simple but the ramifications are complex.
We recently wrote about agile manufacturing and used an example of General Electric’s historic Appliance Park (picture below) in Louisville, Kentucky — a plant that was on the verge of shutting down just four years ago. They are “re-shoreing” electric water heaters and when you look at the total system costs (including the supply chain), they will be cheaper than “made in China”.

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Long Island Railroad will run the “Cannonball” this summer

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The Long Island Railroad is announcing plans for the first non-stop express service direct from Penn Station to Westhampton Beach this summer.

A 94-minute, non-stop ride to the East End is in the offering for the looming summer beach season as the LIRR has announced plans to run its Cannonball train non-stop from Penn Station every Friday from May 24 through Labor Day. The one-seat ride will skip Jamaica and head straight to Westhampton with subsequent stops at Southampton East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Montauk. The Friday train will depart Penn Station at 4:07 p.m. with westbound service — including a stop at Jamaica — departing Montauk at 6:37 p.m. on Sunday nights.

“There’s no better way to get from Manhattan to the Hamptons,” LIRR President Helena E. Williams said in a statement. “Our customers have long asked for a one-seat ride from Penn Station to the Hamptons and we are listening to them. This move eliminates the need to change trains with baggage at Jamaica.”

With a 34 percent increase in summer ridership last year, the LIRR is hoping to boost service along the Montauk Branch. The speedy ride east will cost passengers $27, and passengers have the option to reserve a seat for an additional fee. Previously, such Cannonball service had originated at the Hunterspoint Avenue Terminal in Long Island City with many riders picking up the train at Jamaica, and the new service does away with the transfer. For Hamptons-bound travelers, the Cannonball train has been a mainstay since the 1890s, and it remains both the longest route and the only one with a name operated by the MTA.

Some historical notes:
The Cannonball did operate from Penn Station for many years – the only thing “new” is skipping Jamaica.
Someone with the right timetables might find the timing issue of 94 minutes to Westhampton being “new” a bit overblown.
The East End Service was extremely popular with the Smart Set in the 1960s – and there were lots of very rich and very well-known celebrities riding LIRR trains (I remember Zsa Zsa Gabor screaming at us in Southampton ticket office one Sunday afternoon because the parlor cars to NY were sold out). I also  remember Dick Cavett talking about people he met riding  the LIRR Parlor Cars on his late-night TV shows too. This was a big deal in the days when the other railroads were degrading and discontinuing passenger services as fast as possible – to the point of some pretty big ,marquis names musing about why other railroads weren’t emulating the LIRR!
This was a time when some of the movers and shakers would ride the LIRR Parlor Cars, but have their helicopters sent on ahead “for emergency” rather than the later system of turning parts of the North Shore into scene reminiscent of “Apocalypse Now!” which might contribute to the feeling that the modern Hamptons-set is worthy of all the denunciations they get (Sorry – it’s not about making money – it’s how they spend it harassing others in this discussion).
The MTA takeover meant that the LIRR was a “transit” operation and not for premium, smart-set, celebrity driven (encouraged?) marketing doomed the service and ended up with it being deliberately degraded.
Hampton Jitney had the “right” political connections and its owners contributed hefty campaign contributions to push this along, and today’s service, while busy, has neither the potential nor the cachet that the LIRR once offered.
So historically, celebrity, money, influence, and politics are all fairly central to the operation of the “Cannonball” and other East End services of the LIRR during the past fifty years.
Cheers,
Jim Guthrie

Pulling Steam Locomotives by Hand

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Recently we published a blog on New York Central Shops at Harmon, NY.

In another connection, we recently found the picture of the Niagara Steam Locomotive being pulled. Then David Keller posted this Timkin ad.

The idea being that Timken Roller Bearings were so good that a locomotive could move with ease.

The whole trick was getting it rolling from a dead stop.  THAT needed some mechanical help.  Once the locomotive began to roll, THEN the girls were able to pull the locomotive!

Don’t think the ad was filmed at Harmon. Probably wherever Timken was. Canton, Ohio???

Supply Chain Management and Logistics Risk

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As supply chains grow in size and importance, your company will need to pay closer attention to production facilities around the world. What if a disaster forced a shut down at a critical plant thousands of miles from your headquarters? Do you have a process in place to deal with it?
You need to first of all establish procedures for each plant and for each possible type of disaster. This includes lower-tier suppliers too (your extended supply chain). Know how each plant interacts with the “grand plan” of your supply chain, as well as with other components of the supply chain. Not knowing this could surprise you with a “domino effect” where the loss of one plant shuts others down for lack of parts. Work with suppliers to educate them about your disaster plan. Conduct reviews with them. When you are building your plan, concentrate on recovery and alternatives.

Just what kinds of disasters are we planning for? You name it and it has probably happened somewhere in the world. We know, of course, about natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, snow. Add to this list terrorist attacks, health epidemics, theft (physical or data), all the way to pirates capturing your ship.

Read more about Supply Chain Management and Logistics Risk

Did You Ever Really Look At A Barbie Doll?

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Research has been carried out showing the physical implications of Barbie if she were a human being. Data and diagrams showing the difference in proportions between the famous Mattel doll and the average US woman have been presented alongside a realistic rendering of the toy. Some of Barbie’s physical features mean she would be restricted in terms of movement. For example, her feet would be too small to walk on, so she would have to crawl on all fours. Barbie’s long wrists mean she would be physically incapable of lifting anything. And with a neck twice as long and 6 inches thinner than the average woman, she would be unable to support her over-sized head. The study was created to show women just how unrealistic the dolls they grew up playing with are.
 
Courtesy of Riviera Radio in Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Masters Golf Tournament: Lot of History

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In the picture above, Gene Sarazen (at right) putts out while Craig Wood looks on. Despite his two major championships, Wood is probably most well known as the victim of Gene Sarazen’s famous double eagle in the 1935 Augusta National Invitational (now known as the Masters Tournament). The shot left the two players tied at the end of regulation and Sarazen went on to victory in a 36-hole playoff.

Sarazen’s double eagle (“albatross”) was on the par 5 15th hole. It was called the “shot heard ‘round the world.” He holed out a 4 wood from 235 yards to a tough green well protected by a creek in front.

As a 20-year old he won the U.S. Open at Skokie in 1922, shooting a 68 in the final round, the first player to shoot under 70 to win. He added the PGA Championship at Oakmont later that year.  Repeating his victory in the PGA the next year, Sarazen won numerous tournaments in the ensuing years – his total eventually reaching 39 PGA Tour victories. In 1932,  he won the British Open at Sandwich, then the U.S. Open at Fresh Meadow, for a historic double in the world’s two major Open Championships. In 1933 he added a third PGA at Blue Mound in Wisconsin.

The 1935 Masters had a very strong field of 64. All four of the reigning U.S. national champions were entered – Olin Dutra, Open; Lawson Little, Amateur; Paul Runyon, PGA; and Charlie Yates, Intercollegiate (NCAA). There were also nine former National Open champs, including Bobby Jones, and two former British Open victors.

Wood went on to become a big name later. In 1941 he won the Masters becoming its first wire-to-wire champion with rounds of 66-71-71-72=280 and a three shot victory over Byron Nelson. He followed his Masters success by winning the 45th U.S. Open at The Colonial Club in Fort Worth, Texas. His score of 284 beat out another former nemesis Denny Shute by three. This was the first time someone had successfully captured the first two major championships of the year. In 1954, the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club changed its name to the Craig Wood Golf Course in honor of its native son.

Check Out the Latest in Social Media

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In the last several months, there have been many significant changes in Social Media. Shown below is a summary of these changes and the impact they are having on the whole Internet and all of our lives.

The onset of Social Media has altered the whole communications pattern. Used to be the company was in control of communications. Yes, an unhappy customer could write a letter or call an 800 number. But the manufacturer could keep a problem bottled up and fix it their own way. Now, a problem can come out of the closet in minutes and spread all over the Internet.

But crisis management is only part of the story. Add in customer service, marketing and market analysis. There is a definite ROI for businesses. We can point to specific campaigns run on social platforms such as the Orbitz Travel Ticket Giveaway. It used to be all about “engagement” with customers, now ROI is visible. You get as many page clicks on Social Media as you get from a Google ad …..and at no cost!

Social media is no longer just a platform for communication. It can be used very effectively in combination with sales channels, digital or physical, and be directly linked to revenues. An example is how Coca-Cola used Facebook to create flavors of their Vitamin Water.