Boston to Replace Metro Fleet

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MASSACHUSETTS Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has issued requests for proposals to replace the 44-year old trains on its Red Line and the 32-year old cars on its Orange Line at a cost of around $US 1.3bn.

The train replacement project is designed to increase capacity on the two metro lines and is part of a wider program approved by state governor Mr Deval Patrick to improve two highways and replace a road bridge in Boston.A pre-bid meeting will be held on December 3 for the procurement of the trains. MBTA requires 152 cars for the Orange Line, plus 74 cars for the Red Line with an option for an additional 58 cars.

MBTA says it wants the new cars to provide improved reliability, accessibility and energy efficiency. It wants increased capacity and additional seating compared with the existing trains, wider and electrically-operated doors, four accessible areas per car, LED lighting, modern HVAC systems and advanced passenger information and announcement systems. MBTA expects to award the contract by winter 2014-15, and has stipulated that final assembly should take place in Massachusetts. Following extensive pilot train testing, Orange Line car delivery is scheduled to begin in winter 2018-19 with the delivery of the Red Line cars following in autumn 2019.

 

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Interconnects Are The Market

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It’s fair to say that VANs were responsible for bringing EDI to current volume levels of transactions. It is also fair to say that interconnects between VANs were the path to their success. Traditional VANs and their interconnects built the market, now they are the market for newer technology (VAN2).

Yes, it’s possible that users could all migrate away from the use of VANs….someday. In April 2012, we wrote about “Do We Need VANs”. Many EDI specialists have done everything they could to eliminate the use of VANS. By doing so they saved tens of thousands of dollars in charges by moving to FTP and AS2 connections. But there were a few customers that required the use a VAN, and so they could not completely get rid of them.

In June 2013, we studied the subject of who regulates VAN interconnects: “EDI VANS are Undefined At Best”. The answer is… NOBODY.

Read more: http://ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10222-interconnects-are-the-market#ixzz2lsPVd8lU

Home Delivery: Big in the News

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Amazon again! A partnership with the US Post Office to deliver seven days a week to the home. Think they will expand Amazon Fresh to NYC too. Been running it on the West Coast already. Amazon is the attention getter, but there is more to home delivery than just Amazon. Consumers have been receiving products delivered to the home since the advent of the merchant class.

It’s not just Post Office, UPS and FedEx in this business. Some of the real deals in the home delivery market: Corey, RDI Logistics, and OnTrac, have been in the business a long time. OnTrac is getting famous working for Amazon.

What about those of us who find “home delivery” a real pain? I live in a gated community with no concierge or doorbell. Nothing more annoying to find a “sorry we missed you” note in your mailbox. FedEx is the worst to deal with: even if they have my phone, they just leave a note and expect you to travel to an inconveniently located distribution center. I fight them every time and make them re-deliver and use the phone. A lot of Europe has a better (for me) alternative: Kiala . Their motto is “My parcel, when and where it suits me”. In my case, they deliver to a newsstand in my area and send me a text message when my package arrives.

Black Friday!  When Will it get over with? Millions of customers with credit and no money will descend on shopping malls and major retailers in pursuit of discounted “tchotchkes”. Then all the stores are now open “early” (like on Thanksgiving). It’s just another WalMart Day! Too bad we can’t just bring Thanksgiving back.

Return of Albany’s “Night Boat”

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Picture (undated, from the Library of Congress) shows the “Night Boat” from New York City docked in Albany. Everything is different in the picture except the Livingston Avenue Bridge in the background that still carries AMTRAK between New York City and Chicago.
Up until 1941, The “Night Boat” from New York City to Albany could carry 2,000 passengers. It ended an era in American history of grand boats with staterooms, ballrooms, etc running up and down the Hudson River. Passengers could be young couples on a weekend trip, couples evading detection by spouses, “ladies of the evening”, etc. There was even a Broadway farce in the 1920’s called the “Night Boat“.
But by 1941, everybody was in a hurry. You could make the trip by car, train or even airplane. Saratoga horse racing and gambling was slowing down as more options opened up near NY City. So when it went down the tubes, few cared about the “Night Boat”.
The first “crack” in the monopoly of the Hudson River steam boats was in the 1860’s when Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Hudson River Railroad (part of the great New York Central Railroad) started running trains, first only in the Winter. At their beginning, trains stopped at Rensselaer with passengers walking across a foot bridge. A NY Central subsidiary, “The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany” solved that problem with the Maiden Lane Bridge into downtown Albany (now gone) and the Livingston Avenue Bridge (originally a freight bypass).
Now, New York State is considering changes to gambling laws, and guess what? A “gambling” boat between NY City and Albany might become legal.
Not going to get into the topic of Saratoga and gambling (other than horses), but it could help Rensselaer too. Imagine a “class” hotel there!

Utica COMETS finally whip the Amerks!

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Pascal Pelletier scored the game-winning goal for the Utica Comets with 3 minutes, 43 seconds left in the third period in a 3-2 win American Hockey League win over the Rochester Americans on Friday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.

Comets goalie Joacim Eriksson had 24 saves. Rochester started out leading in the first period, but Alexandre Grenier and Patrick Mullen tied the game up by the end of the second period.

Edited the next morning (November 24).

Success!!! Comets win their first home game, and with a 2-0 shut out, no less!!! Yannick Weber and Darren Archibald did the scoring. Maybe the Mayor should hold a ticker-tape parade for the Comets, or at least present them with the keys to the city!

In other hockey news, Clinton Comets hero and “enforcer” Ian Anderson died at age 75. Anderson, a native of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and a longtime resident of the Town of Kirkland, played 285 games over five seasons with the Comets. He had 33 goals and 212 assists in those five seasons, including 12 goals and 59 assists in 1967-68, when the Comets (57-5-10) lost only five times, believed to be the lowest number of losses in the history of modern professional hockey.
 

Commuter Train has Door Light Problem

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On October 22, 2013, an inbound Metro-North trains delayed where all three lines (Hudson, Harlem, New Haven)

come together. One of them fouled up traffic because of a “door light” problem. You all will recognize the character in the picture.

Focus on HUBS – One of Three Types of EDI Customers

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A HUB is just one type of EDI customer. Hubs are characterized by high volume, lots of partners, high availability and high accuracy. The concept of the “Hub” is simple. These are the companies who reach out to their trading partners and request those partners to trade electronically.
Let’s characterize the three types of EDI customers:

(1) Hubs

(2) Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements)

(3) Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSB) (a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”).  An ECSP is what we previously called VAS (value added services) such as SPS Commerce.

EDI data has historically been exchanged between business partners through value-added network services (VANS), employing a simple hub-and-spoke model, the business partners being the spokes and the VAN operators assuming the central hub role. While being quite effective in the pre-Internet era, VANS are hardly competitive anymore. However, more recent approaches to the reliable exchange of EDI data like EDIINT AS/2 create new issues: While eliminating the VANS’s high volume costs, Internet-based point-to-point approaches like AS/2 dramatically increase the one-off setup costs by requiring all participants to assume server roles, not just a single dedicated hub. While acceptable for large companies, this is bad news for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Baseball Hall of Fame Celebrates a Big Anniversary in Cooperstown

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COOPERSTOWN —

Baseball’s Hall of Fame is going to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a series of events throughout the 2014 season.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said in a release on Tuesday that there will be four events, including one on June 12, the day of its official opening in 1939.

The legends game at Doubleday Field and a golf fundraiser will take place Memorial Day weekend May 23-35, when there will also be a race promoting healthy living and a parade.

The birthday weekend of June 12-14 will focus on the events the day the Hall was commemorated and will also honor the museum’s members.

Induction ceremonies for new Hall of Famers takes place July 25-28. Festivities conclude on Aug. 2 with a concert.

Picture above is “Call For Philip Morris”  advertising star Johnny Roventini visiting Cooperstown. Have one of Yankee announcer Mel Allen going down Main Street in Cooperstown driving a Cadillac convertible. Will post when I find it.  Both photos from my manager when he went to summer camp near Cooperstown.