Railroad Short Lines & Regionals – Bryant family, Buckingham Branch


In 1987, at the age of 53, Bob Bryant bought a railroad.

He’d been a railroader for more than three decades, but wasn’t fulfilling a dream of owning his own line. He didn’t stumble upon a lucrative business deal that would yield millions. Bryant’s reasoning was simple: It centered around a love for his community and close family ties.

Those values and others — hard work, integrity and respect for others among them — served as the foundation upon which the Buckingham Branch Railroad was built. They helped make it possible for the Bryant family — Bob, his wife Annie, son Mark and daughter Lois — to buy, then grow the central Virginia operation from a 17-mile CSX Transportation branch line to a 275-mile short line employing nearly 100 people, whom the Bryants treat as extended family. And they will remain key to ensuring the railroad continues to grow and succeed in the years to come.

See more about the history of the Buckingham Branch. Read about how railfans like the Buckingham Branch.








If you’re seriously interested in obtaining long term employment in the construction field, we have a great opportunity for you. Come to our workshop with a serious, ready to go to work, attitude!!

When: Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

Where: Asbury Chapel A.M.E. Church – Louisville

1801 W. Chestnut St. – Louisville, KY 40203

Extending an Invitation to Veterans, high school students (seniors), graduates, G.E.D. recipients, and Ex-offenders. Volunteers, Clergy, Not for Profit Organizations, Academia/Government Officials, Business Owners/Operators and the general public

For More Information call

(812) 590-3005 OR (502) 376-4131

Sponsored By: Operation Pride and associate members Men Building Men and Man Up

SCM Control Tower Start-Up


We have been gathering a list of issues that need to to be resolved before building a Supply Chain Control Tower: SCM and IT partnership; Visibility; Strategy and expectations; Foundation for the tower; and Team-building. Here’s a recap of what we know, what we need, and where we might go.

SCM and IT partnership
The supply chain functional teams are expecting support from Information Technology. Up to now, many IT organizations have not been heavily involved with a lot of the supply chain; for example, the Procurement system could be a package that is supported directly by the vendor. How about bringing the teams together by emphasizing IT network management skills? IT manages complex wide-area networks using state-of-the-art applications. SCM will rapidly understand that IT brings real value to the party.

Scott Koegler wrote about “Combined Data and Visibility”. He pointed out that the number of systems or software applications that make up the supply chain within a single company is likely to be more than 1 and could easily be as many as 20. If that’s the case how is it possible to actually achieve what we’ve been calling visibility? He quickly dispelled the notion that all data for the SCM Control Tower can come in real time from the EDI system. So a conclusion is that the SCM Control Tower will need what is called “middleware”.

What Golfer Will Win The US OPEN?


Graeme McDowell Pinehurst #2 favors his golf game. This guy can only play well on REAL championship courses.

Matt Kuchar based on recent performance.

Bubba Watson the Master’s Champion, but not as consistant as Kuchar.

Rory McIlroy (except for those who insist that Tiger Woods will get off sick call or that Phil Mickelson will find a new putter or learn to use the one he has).

Yes the winner might come from some of the other great players. This is only one person’s picks, but who can really tell?

See all about the golf courses that have hosted the US Open.

Obama is Going to Cooperstown


No, he is not going to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame

President Barack Obama says he’s heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame to stress how tourism can lead to good-paying jobs.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he’ll be in Cooperstown, New York, on Thursday, May 22 2014.

Obama also is urging Congress to spend more to modernize U.S. bridges, roads and ports. He says first-class infrastructure attracts first-class jobs.

Obama warns that almost 700,000 jobs are at risk if Congress doesn’t authorize more transportation dollars by the end of summer.

No details of the visit, but you will be treated to all sorts of stories and statistics before the week is out. Wonder how he will get there? Probably his new helicopter. It could land on Doubleday Field where the Annual Hall Of Fame game is played and where baseball was rreputedly invented and first played. One thing for sure, he won’t take a train to Cooperstown.

In the meantime explore more about Cooperstown.

The realities of today’s IoT market


The Internet of Things (IoT) is being touted as the next frontier for manufacturers that want to connect not only with their physical resources but also with their customers. By tying into the IoT, companies can instantly access real-time information on assets halfway across the globe and make faster and better-informed decisions. But despite the potential benefits of the IoT, industry analysts suggest that the technology may not be a good fit — or even fit at all — for the average manufacturer.

 Growth — or lack thereof — of radio frequency identification (RFID) as a parallel to IoT’s adoption challenges. Industry hype around RFID has lasted for years, but factors such as cost and project size have prevented adoption from climbing as fast as vendors suggested. Manufacturers are still asking, “Why can’t we just keep using barcodes?” In light of this, the onus really falls on vendors to prove the value of IoT investment to their customers.

It’s a classic market problem: Vendors who are interested in [IoT] have this notion that, ‘why wouldn’t you want to instrument everything you have?’ The buyers, however, are still unsure why they should change how they detect and respond to problems. They’re wondering if they really need to be able to monitor things in real-time”

Most companies who are consumer focused — manufacturers, distributors, retailers — certainly see it as an eventual opportunity, but, right now, a lot of [IoT] is very experimental. IoT has the most potential in asset management and production monitoring.

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

You already know that IoT is a term used to loosely identify items that have been imbued with enough intelligence and communication abilities to send messages across the internet. First of all, this means that these items are not human in the ways we normally think of humans using computers to send information via the Internet. But that doesn’t mean that some of these ‘things’ can’t be humans, or at least humans carrying with devices that do the communicating for them. The connections and the information are triggered by conditions as they change.

That information is transmitted using some kind of message format. It’s likely that the vast majority of those messages will not be in EDI X12 format. Some will exist in proprietary formats created to meet the specific needs of the devices, and I expect a larger portion will use some sort of XML format simply because of the ease of creating the content. But there’s no reason that ‘things’ that are already part of the supply chain and would normally be encoded in X12 format documents could not be produced in exactly the same format and thereby easily incorporated into existing processes.  See more on EDI and IoT

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

RFID has been around for a while and has always (still does) had a slow uptake with regard to supply chain integration. That’s both sad and understandable. RFID came along before current connectivity options were widely available. It requires specialized readers, and has very short distance requirements for communication. But most importantly, consumers were still afraid of what it meant. Some even went so far as to call it the ‘mark of the devil’ believing it would become embeded in every person and allow unwanted tracking and identification.    See more

The automotive industry especially seems to have a lot of promise because of the number of cars that are sold and in terms of the value of having connectivity. Watch for more on this and how the “Battle for the Dashboard” is progressing.This contest sounds like the “Battle of the Bands”. See the kickoff to this contest with Apple’s Entry



Should Herkimer Diamonds Be An Official State Symbol?


The bluebird. The sugar maple. The garnet. And now the Herkimer diamond?

The Mohawk Valley’s famous quartz crystals could soon join the ranks of those other state symbols if pending legislation is approved to name them the official mineral of New York. The measure already has passed the state Senate, and is awaiting Assembly action.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta, has been in this position before; but Seward hopes this time it won’t die in the Assembly.

“This is a great way to highlight the uniqueness of the Mohawk Valley,” he said. “I just see all plusses in pursuing this.”

Several area business owners and officials agreed the bill would be nothing but good for the tourism if it passes.

“To have it more well-known than it already is can only enliven the economic activity in the area,” said Renee Scialdo Shevat, owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines in Middleville and Gems Along The Mohawk, a visitor center located in Herkimer.

John Scarano, executive director of Herkimer County’s Chamber of Commerce, said Herkimer diamonds act as the tourism pull for the southern portion of the county, just as Old Forge calls people up north.

“We’ve got the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, and the symbol of diamonds are on the county and chamber websites,” he said. “The name is out there; it’s synonymous with industry and tourism.”

The Herkimer diamond, a faceted quartz crystal, draws thousands of tourists, from both in and out of state, to a couple of mining sites each year. While here, they spend money to prospect for their own stones and to visit other local businesses. Mine owners say it’s not just a local draw, however.

“You can take a Herkimer diamond any place in the world and people know what it is,” said Ted Smith, owner of the Ace of Diamonds mine and campgrounds.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140509/News/140509266#ixzz31hMAkrm2

Where’s Your Recovery Plan?


When the norm for computer operations was locating all computing resources within a single location IT concentrated on maintaining frequent and accessible backups to the company data. Copies of the backup were moved offsite. Some organizations even created replication sites where they installed duplicate (but usually smaller) systems that could be brought online by restoring the offsite backup in the case of a local disaster that rendered the main facilities unavailable. For a lot of companies, the process and practice has changed… mostly for the better.

For those of us involved in the supply chain, the definition of disaster is very different from what many companies consider to be disasters. When problems occur with our trading partners in different parts of the world they cause a ripple effect that can be just as damaging to business as can a local flood or power outage. So even if our company has migrated its operations to cloud based infrastructure in which little if any computing infrastructure is located within our physical walls, disasters that are more like flash-floods can surprise us and cause significant problems for our businesses.

Gov. Cuomo proposes $4.9 billion plan to harden New York’s transportation network against future storms


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled a coordinated transportation resiliency program designed to help prepare the state for future emergencies, reduce the impact of future storms on vital transportation infrastructure, and improve the long-term reliability and resiliency of the public transportation network.

The governor plans to submit the plan to the Federal Transit Administration, which has made $3 billion available for resiliency programs in regions affected by Hurricane Sandy. The New York plan includes projects worth $4.9 billion. The state’s applications exceed available federal funding because the projects represent the extensive need New York faces in trying to protect its vital infrastructure, said Cuomo in a press release.

At Cuomo’s direction, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Moynihan Station Development Corp. jointly prepared a plan that considered transportation needs and priorities on a regional level to protect against stronger and more frequent storms in the future.

A key element of the plan is protecting commuter-rail access into Manhattan, by hardening Penn Station’s existing rail service and providing alternate service to Penn Station for MTA Metro-North Railroad riders in the event of a single-point failure along its network through upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

“Our response to the billions in damage Superstorm Sandy caused our transportation system is to build back stronger, better and smarter than before,” Cuomo said in a press release. “These projects build on the state’s commitment to transforming our infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, and coastal protections to better protect New Yorkers from future disaster.”

The Penn Station access would give Metro-North an alternate means to enter midtown Manhattan if its four-track mainline through the Bronx or the Harlem River Lift Bridge were disrupted for a prolonged period. An outage would halt commuter-rail service in New York’s northern suburbs and southeastern Connecticut, with a devastating impact on the regional economy, said Cuomo. The project’s estimated cost is $516 million, of which $387 million is eligible for federal funding.

The River-to-River Rail Resiliency project  would protect the East River Tunnels and Penn Station, which are used by MTA Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. The project’s estimated cost is $321 million, of which $241 million is eligible for federal funding.

The plan also proposes to harden other infrastructure and improve network resiliency for all forms of transit in New York. Other projects would mitigate flood risk at MTA New York City Transit subway yards and bus depots by hardening structures; seal entrances to subway tunnels and ventilation plants; and make the World Trade Center site more resilient against water intrusion. 

In addition, the governor’s plan includes projects designed to improve the PATH rapid transit line through Manhattan, the John F. Kennedy International Airport AirTrain station at Howard Beach in Queens and the Staten Island Railway.

Electronic Invoicing Laws In Latin America Are Ever Evolving


The rules regarding electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) in Latin America are both constantly changing and different than anywhere else in the world. Brazil utilizes Nota Fiscal, Mexico mandates CFDI, Argentina elects for eFactura while Chile count on DTE. While the laws pertaining to e-invoicing in those four nations share similarities, each country tweaks their e-invoicing laws on a regular basis.