Finding Holes In AMAZON PRIME

Not everybody is sitting around waiting for the Amazon DRONE to win the war.

But in the meantime they have lots of folks who are not very happy with Amazon .Start with publisher Hachette, who claims the retailer charges more for its e-books than it should, or refuses to ship non-virtual copies in a timely fashion. There’s also its shareholders, who are miffed that Amazon’s earnings weren’t as strong as they’d hoped for in the second quarter. Read lots more horror stories like class action suits.

Webgistics01

Riding to the rescue is Webgistix, which was founded in 2001 by Joseph DiSorbo, and was acqiured last year by Japan’s own e-commerce giant Rakuten. That company competes directly with Amazon for online sales and product fulfillment. Rakuten uses Webgistix for North American logistics, which includes everything from supply chain management to to freight oversight, and has recently launched its own two-day delivery service.

Webgististix claims to offer an alternative to Amazon’s hyper-competitive environment. And that appeals to some online retailers. 

Logistics and fulfillment are a complicated part of e-commerce. They involve everything from storing and locating items to figuring out the most expedient method for shipping them, as well as providing merchants with actionable information about the selling and shipping process.

Webgistix Fulfillment Centers
Webgistix Fulfillment Centers

 

The Webgististix network of centrally located fulfillment centers makes it easy to get your orders delivered to your buyers as fast as possible. Our fulfillment centers include:

  • 5 Locations in New York, Las Vegas, Atlanta,Reno and Scranton where Webgistix operates warehouses focused on B2C order fulfillment.
  • Fast and economical shipping using SmartShip a proprietary shipping analysis that gives you an inventory placement map based on your buyers and the Webgistix nationwide network of fulfillment centers.
  • Real time views into inventory at multiple locations and stock replenishment levels using SmartStock technology and services that streamline inbound inventory processes.
  • Tours are Available for qualified prospective clients. Hey does Amazon give tours?

Webgistix’ personal client support is what distinguishes us from other order fulfillment providers.

With a bare-essentials service there’s no client support to speak of…

With a bigger service you’re just one name in ten thousand…

But when you become a Webgistix client, you are assigned a personal support representative based in the same facility that you store your products. Most of our clients end up knowing their representatives by first name and in fact, consider them an integral part of their own team.

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8 Things To Remember When Starting With EDI

Oh my goodness! I’m faced with choosing an EDI solution! Where do I turn? I just don’t know any of these companies. It is often a daunting task for many businesses, especially those who have little or no experience with EDI. Many companies become familiar with the technology only after being informed by a major trading partner of the need to be EDI compliant. Here are a few key points to consider when choosing an EDI solution:

Your Checklist
Your Checklist

What’s still holding back rail service?

Pictured above, The Belt Railway is the largest intermediate switching terminal railroad in the United States, employing approximately 520 people. The Belt has 28 miles of mainline route with more than 300 miles of switching tracks, allowing it to interchange with every railroad serving the Chicago rail hub. The Belt’s Clearing Yards span a 5.5 mile distance among 786 acres, supporting more than 250 miles of track.

When I looked at my inbox and saw an article from Larry Gross at JOC.COM about “What’s still holding back rail service?”, my first thought was Chicago. I was right, He cut right to the chase. Blamed last winter on the polar vortex. Now, I have some great Winter stories on Chicago too. Belt Railway on it’s back, Indiana Harbor Belt stuck in snow, etc.

But then Larry climbed out of winter and points out some of the rest-of-the-year problems with Chicago. Not going to repeat his excellent explanations. Instead, I’m thinking of new ideas today.

Limited space for trains are a problem. Even the Circus Train can’t find a good parking spot for a show in Chicago. Then crowded highways for intermodals to get out of Chicago.

I route an article on Chicago Bypass. No, I’m not going to go out and suggest we bring back the Peoria & Eastern. Once upon a time it was “quicker via Peoria,” 210 direct, unobstructed miles on the Peoria and Eastern between Peoria and Indianapolis instead of 350 miles via Chicago and congestion. Much has changed in the quarter century since the P&E was an unbroken route. For over a century the railroads had an overcapacity problem, one solved by the mid-1990s by increasing traffic and decreasing route-miles.

37,000 freight cars move through the Chicago area every day (CREATE brochure). Some 25% does not originate or terminate there (“Freight Rail Futures,” Chicago Department of Transportation website). That is over 9,000 cars a day, easily 90 or 100 trains, merely moving through the area.

Indiana Harbor Belt's Gibson Yard in 1950
Indiana Harbor Belt’s Gibson Yard in 1950


Do they all have to go through Chicago? Is Chicago always on the shortest, most direct route? Obviously not.

There is a deeply encrusted practice of “long-routing” to increase the originating road’s cut of revenues. Obviously it requires a longer route, with the obvious disadvantages of greater travel time, more expense, less reliable service, and poorer use of now scarce rail resources.


Running everything through Chicago is defended in rail circles on grounds of more frequent connections and keeping crews in position. Those are usually compelling advantages, to be sure, but not always. Bigger is not necessarily better.

Maybe Chicago has seen it’s time as the “intermodal capital”? Again, does all rail freight have to go through Chicago?

UnionPacificIntermodal

We recently wrote about Union Pacific Intermodal Is Really Rolling Along. Let’s think of ways to better accommodate more intermodal.

Louisville and Indianapolis provide some ideas. Like I said above, we are not going to go out and suggest “new” railroads. That is like tilting windmills. The “grand highway” to Indianapolis is NOT a railroad, it is Interstate Highway 65. But I-65 does not start in Chicago. Instead it starts East of Gary, Indiana. Gary has more railroads running through it than you can shake a stick at. Lots of nearby land for intermodal terminals too. Now how can we bypass Chicago? The obvious way is CN’s old Elgin, Joliet & Eastern. Before you say, what would this save? Just drive Interstate 90 going East of Chicago and observe all the trucks turning South on Interstate 65.

Elgin Joliet & Eastern
Elgin Joliet & Eastern

Yes, I know all about railroad mileage and short hauls. Maybe we need to initiate something I will call: a “Negotiated Switching Rate”. This way no railroad gets hurt. Have the government throw some ecology money in there to save the environment.

Can’t believe Western railroads, with a little help, could not block their trains better to cut down on some of the Chicago switching.

Florida Is Buzzing With News About All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Railway

About the neatest story, especially for the big critics is that All Aboard Florida is paying for bulk of rail crossing improvements in South Florida. There is a video and a great story in Sun Sentinal.

Officials say those improvements, such as new lights and gates – should put municipalities in a good position to qualify for quiet zone status at 115 crossings in Palm Beach County, 67 in Broward and 19 in Miami-Dade.

The company is adding a second track to the Florida East Coast Railway and rebuilding dozens of South Florida crossings to safety levels needed for passenger trains.

Cities will still have to pay for smaller upgrades that All Aboard Florida’s project won’t cover. That could mean something as simple as a $100,000 raised median to prevent cars from jumping into opposing lanes at crossings.

The private company expects to spend about $800 million to build the first phase of its passenger rail service, with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It plans to run 32 trains daily – 16 each way – starting in late 2016.

Miami-Station-Design-4-jpg

Miami-Dade officials approve All Aboard Florida’s Miami station plan

The Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved All Aboard Florida’s land use plan to construct a nine-acre multi-modal station and transit-oriented development in downtown Miami.

The transportation hub will include a mixed-use development with residential, office and commercial uses, and a retail concourse, and will serve as a connector between All Aboard Florida’s passengers and Miami’s existing public transport systems, All Aboard Florida officials said in a press release.

The company selected Boston-based Suffolk Construction for pre-construction and construction management services for the station, which will be located in the downtown’s western area. Construction is anticipated to begin in late fall.

The passenger-rail system will be elevated 50 feet to align with existing public transportation systems and with retail spaces located beneath the track. The design will allow through-streets to remain open to traffic and create an atmosphere of walkability, All Aboard Florida officials said.

“This is definitely a project we want to see happen in the core of downtown. We are optimistic that the project will take us to the next level of urban living,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.

All Aboard Florida is a Miami-to-Orlando passenger-rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries Inc.

West Palm Beach Station
West Palm Beach Station

 

The Sun-Sentinal talks about the new West Palm Beach station for All Aboard Florida

All Aboard Florida’s modernistic new train station is expected to help revitalize a ragged stretch of downtown between Clematis Street and City Place, officials said Monday as plans for the new stop were unveiled.

Renderings show a 60,000-square-foot complex with lots of glass, an elevated lounge above the tracks and signature V-shaped trusses at the station, located west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks between Evernia and Datura streets. The design complements stations underway in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. A fourth station is planned at Orlando International Airport.

Then We Have An Editorial from a Realtor About How A “Transportation Workshop was Bogus

What was falsely advertised as a Transportation Vision Workshop on July 10 in Viera was nothing more than trolling for comments so railroad promoters could adjust their sound bites and sell their boondoggle to taxpayers.

Real workshops build good policy using the interplay of group expertise. In contrast, the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization hosted a marketing presentation, not a discussion. Its plan promotes an ill-conceived 110-mph passenger rail blasting through Brevard, increasing congestion at U.S. 1, and diminishing property values along Indian River. As we Realtors know, buyers say that Brevard’s potential will be stifled until the railroad moves west.

Crowley's Port Everglades Terminal
Crowley’s Port Everglades Terminal

Finally we have a story about how Crowley Customers are Realizing Benefits of New FEC Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Port Everglades

The opening of Florida East Coast Railway’ s (FEC) new, state-of-the-art intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) adjacent to Crowley Maritime Corporation‘s Port Everglades, Fla., terminal is providing Crowley customers with more efficient cargo handling and faster deliveries now that containers no longer need to be trucked via interstate highways to and from an off-site rail terminal. Additionally, the strategic location of the 43-acre, near-dock station is allowing Crowley to handle bigger, heavier break bulk and out-of-gauge cargo more efficiently and cost effectively because of the shorter distance required for transit to the railhead.

DART, DFW Airport prepare for Orange Line extension opening

Exciting times in Dallas. KC Jones recently reported on Texas Central Railway’s plan to build a Dallas-to-Houston bullet train is gaining speed.

Now the Train To The Plane is ready to open. See a picture above of the new station.

The rest of the story now
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport are making final preparations on the last segment of the Orange Line, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 18.The airport built the station as part of its construction at Terminal A, the first of the legacy terminals to be renovated. The partnership will enable DART to open the light-rail extension four months ahead of schedule, according to a press release.The five-mile extension links Terminal A and Belt Line Station, with service continuing to major regional destinations including Irving-Las Colinas, Dallas Market Center and downtown Dallas.Regional leaders believe that light-rail service connecting the airport to the DART network will help attract businesses and conferences to the area. It also will serve airport employees; DFW Airport is one of the region’s largest employment centers.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) gets you around Dallas and 12 surrounding cities with modern public transit services and customer facilities tailored to make your trip fast, comfortable and economical. Our extensive network of DART Rail, Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and bus services moves more than 220,000 passengers per day across our 700-square-mile service area.
The DART Rail System provides fast, convenient service to work, shopping and entertainment destinations in Dallas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland, Irving, Plano and Richardson. Plus, the TRE commuter line links DART customers to DFW International Airport and downtown Fort Worth.Free parking is available at most rail stations, and most are served by DART bus routes specially timed to make transfers between buses and trains quick and easy.Popular shopping and entertainment destinations near DART Rail stations in Dallas include NorthPark Center and Upper Greenville Avenue (Park Lane Station), West Village (Cityplace/Uptown Station), Mockingbird Station (Mockingbird Station), the Dallas Museum of Art (St. Paul Station), American Airlines Center (Victory Station), the entertaining West End Historic District (West End Station), Fair Park (Fair Park Station and MLK, Jr. Station), the Dallas Convention Center (Convention Center Station) and the Dallas Zoo (Dallas Zoo Station).Popular destinations in surrounding cities include the Renaissance Hotel and the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts (Galatyn Park Station in Richardson); Downtown Plano, the ArtCentre of Plano and the Courtyard Theater (Downtown Plano Station); the Granville Arts Center (Downtown Garland Station); Downtown Irving (Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station); the Farmers Branch Historical Park (Farmers Branch Station); Downtown Carrollton (Downtown Carrollton Station); the University of Dallas (University of Dallas Station); the Irving Convention Center (Irving Convention Center Station) and Las Colinas (Las Colinas Urban Center Station).

Downtown Fort Worth is now just about an hour’s ride from Union Station in downtown Dallas via the TRE. Business commuters love the convenience – and if you’re looking for a Saturday adventure, Cowtown is Wowtown! From Fort Worth’s Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) or T&P Station it’s a short bus ride to the bustling Sundance Square dining and entertainment district in the heart of the city, the historic Fort Worth Stockyards Old West district, or the famed museums in the city’s Cultural District. TRE information is available at www.TrinityRailwayExpress.org.
DART has come along way both structurally and culturally. All I remembered seeing was an RDC (Rail Diesel Car) or two. The area was strongly “car culture”. Asked some of the folks I was visiting if they had used it yet. The answer: “No, but I think our neighbor’s maid rides it to work.

Connecticut to hire consultant for Bridgeport station development.

The Connecticut State Bond Commission is scheduled to approve $2.75 million for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) to hire a consultant to complete engineering, design and environmental permitting for the new Barnum Train Station in Bridgeport, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced late last week.The funds will enable the consultant to develop the station site on the city’s east side. The project will encourage transit-oriented and economic development in the city, Malloy said in a press release. Note the need for revitalization of the territory in the picture above.

“Moving this project forward demonstrates our commitment to helping municipal partners and stakeholders make their communities more accessible, more walkable centers of cultural and economic activity.” he said. “In the process, we are also building a foundation to make Connecticut a stronger and more regionally competitive state by growing jobs for residents and providing more flexible, convenient transportation options for employers and employees alike.”

The new Barnum Station project has been deemed feasible by a recent study completed with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities, ConnDOT officials said.

The design phase is expected to take 18 months to complete. Soil remediation would begin in spring 2016, construction on the station could occur in 2017 and service might start in fall 2018, ConnDOT officials said.

Ryder Cup: Is it Serious or Just an “Old Boys Club”

Poor Tom Watson has an awesome task: selecting the Ryder Cup Team.

He has a lot of kibitzers, known more nicely as “golf analysts” jumping in to help him.

Why Tiger Woods? & Phil Mickelson

Why Jim Furyk?

Is Rickie in the mix?

Then a lot of press on the End Of The Tiger Woods Era: “Tiger Woods finished his 2014 Open Championship an hour and a half before eventual winner Rory McIlroy teed off. In that moment, the Tiger Woods Era of golf officially ended.”

At Golf.com, a roundtable of writers all agreed. Eamon Lynch at Golf.com put it best, saying, “This point isn’t even worthy of debating. It’s demonstrably true that Tiger’s days as a dominant force are over, and not based solely on this week’s rusty performance. Dominance is measured in majors, and he hasn’t won one in six years.”

In golf, most people focus on the putting “yips”. That’s when a golfer gets nervous with short putts and either pushes or pulls their putts and can’t make anything. On the putting green, where it’s a touchy stroke, it makes sense to be nervous and have mental issues. 

But there are driver yips, too. And Tiger has the yips with the driver.

He doesn’t look comfortable with the club in his hand. He’s either pushing the ball way right or getting crossed up and pulling it left. Meanwhile, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, and Adam Scott, are winning majors by confidently bombing the driver and then hitting easier clubs into the green. 

Until Woods can fix that problem, he’s unlikely to win another major. And even when he does win another major, it will just be another major. It won’t be a part of the Tiger Era. That era is now over.  Got to remember, he brings a lot of fan interest.

Similar comments could be made about Phil too.

But, golf is a star-driven game. They drive interest, boost television ratings and generate endless buzz and anticipation.

Woods and Mickelson are struggling. Is this the time to hold a Ryder Cup without either of them representing the United States – say, in September in Scotland.

If we look at PGA statistics on who makes the cuts: Rickie Fowler is right up there and with his style, he is popular. Then look at his runner-up record. Jim Furyk is up there too, but he doesn’t have the popularity. Counterbalanced by the fact he doesn’t have the “bad golf days” that many others do.

“Tiger Woods changed the game and interest in it,” said Pat Rishe, professor of sports economics at Webster University. “We got spoiled by all he did when he was winning. He created a spike in golf that we’re unlikely to see again.”

That spike has gone away with Woods’ personal problems in 2009 and recent physical ailments, said Rishe, and so has a lot of enthusiasm for the average person to pick up the game.

Rishe added that it will likely take another American golfer on a winning streak to bring the interest back.

“A Rickie Fowler or a Dustin Johnson could help,” he argued. “But it will take someone with the ‘It’ factor, someone with the style and who’s attractive to the average person.”

 

WOW I have stirred up a hornet’s nest:

Just saw that:

Jack Nicklaus would pick Tiger Woods for the U.S. Ryder Cup team

 

With the third major championship of the season in the books, the Ryder Cup picture is coming into focus at a rapid rate. Perhaps no player has benefitted more from the current points system than Rickie Fowler. He was as a co-runner-up in the last two majors following a tie for fifth at the Masters in what have been the only three double-point events. Following a deep dive into all things Team USA, we will double back and take a snapshot at Team Europe.

Tickets Punched

Dating back to the Masters, U.S. captain Tom Watson shared that the PGA of America felt 4,600 points would be necessary to secure one of the nine automatic spots for the U.S. squad. If that holds up, there are seven Americans currently in the safety zone.

Bubba Watson (6,828.138) and Jimmy Walker (5,510.205) have long been locks. They were joined by Dustin Johnson (5,133.807) and Matt Kuchar (4,764.065) when last we checked in.  Bubba remains first in the standings, with Watson second, DJ fourth and Kuchar seventh.

At the risk of sounding like a cable news network on an election night, we are ready to project three more members to the podium to accept their spot on Team USA.

• Rickie Fowler (5,403.253) – Catapults all the way to third with his T2 at Hoylake on the heels of his T2 at Pinehurst. He was a bubble boy at seventh upon our previous review following the U.S. Open. The king of the flat bill will attract a fun group of views to Gleneagles in a few months. Though he’s only won once on the PGA TOUR and hasn’t hoisted a trophy at all this season, he will be a solid inclusion to captain Watson’s squad.

• Jim Furyk (5,259.594) – Joins Fowler as a player on the team who hasn’t bagged a win this season, but has a pair of runner-up finishes joining a solo fourth at The Open Championship. As mentioned in prior previews, it’s very debatable as to if Furyk’s experience in this event is good or bad given his personal record (9-17-4) and the struggles of Team USA in recent years.  No matter, he resides in fourth place and can mail in his clothing sizes.

• Jordan Spieth (4,781.827) – Barely ahead of Kuchar in sixth, Spieth should avoid the stress of sweating out a captain’s pick that would be sure to come. Young blood like Fowler and Spieth could be the key to a U.S. revival in Scotland. Joins Fowler and Furyk as non-winners in 2013-14, which is in interesting trend.

The Pile

The gap between Matt Kuchar in seventh and Jason Dufner in eighth place is pretty enormous — essentially a victory — with Kuchar leading Dufner by 1,247.72 points. Knowing that nine places are reserved for the automatics, places 8-18 are all within striking distance of an automatic spot with a win down the stretch. Those players are Dufner (3,516.345), Zach Johnson (3,450.894), Patrick Reed (3,301.393), Phil Mickelson (3,252.838), Brendon Todd (3,250.483), Chris Kirk (3,226.483), Ryan Moore (3,118.872), Webb Simpson (3,086.070), Keegan Bradley (3,016.698), Harris English (2,966.569) and Kevin Na (2,878.818).

One has to like Dufner and ZJ’s chances of being on the team at Gleneagles, either by hanging on for an automatic bid or nabbing a captain’s pick. It remains to be seen if guys like Reed, Todd, Kirk, Moore, English or Na would pack the punch to earn a nod from Tom Watson should they fail to earn their way on the team. Gut reaction is that they wouldn’t. Mickelson, Simpson and Bradley would also warrant consideration.

If Then, But What If?

Shall we consider a few scenarios?

• Should everything remain as it is, with Dufner and ZJ picking up the final automatics, that would be very good news for Bradley, Mickelson and potentially Tiger Woods. Team USA would be so strong before Watson made his first selection that it would be easier to stomach the risk of Mickelson and Woods. Bradley is almost a no-brainer.

• Let’s assume only one of the two between Dufner and ZJ earn a spot on points, with the other automatic berth going to someone other than the names mentioned in the scenario above. For giggles, let’s say Ryan Moore. Because ZJ and Dufner pair so well together, it’s likely the missing player steals one of the three captain’s picks. Bradley still makes sense, but it gets complicated from there.

• The Armageddon scenario for captain Watson would be if someone off the radar wins the PGA Championship and takes the ninth spot, while a guy like Brendon Todd finishes strong enough to land eighth place. Then what? Unless he finishes strong at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, it’s bad news for Tiger Woods. It would also get dicey for Mickelson. Up until this point in the season, ZJ would seem the better pick than Dufner. Watson could go with the Mickelson/Bradley pairing and let Zach Johnson find another partner, or vice versa with Dufner. See? Messy.

Crackers, the Animal!

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room — El Tigre.

Captain Watson seems to be clarifying, or backpedaling, from his stance that a healthy Tiger Woods will be on the team. Now, Tiger needs to be healthy and in solid current form, which is the absolute right thing for everyone. Let’s face it, someone has to make up for the points Jim Furyk is going to lose.

The tough call is determining what will be considered good form. Woods’ 69 in the first round of The Open Championship was promising, but in the end he never played a hole that really mattered. It would stand to reason that captain Watson would want Woods to play some holes on the weekend, either in the WGC-Bridgestone, which has no cut, or the PGA Championship, while also contending for a shot to win a golf tournament. It can’t be a good thing for his first shot that actually matters in 2014 to come on the first tee at the Ryder Cup.  How about at least a top 10, and not one from the back door, in the WGC-Bridgestone or the PGA?

While not as big of a question mark as Woods, Mickelson is without a top 10 on the PGA TOUR in 2014 with a much larger sampling of tournaments.

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

Are there any dark horses remaining?

To be frank, it would take something pretty special for anyone currently outside of the top 20 to edge their way onto Team USA, but it’s not impossible.

• Charley Hoffman (1,991.023) — In 26th place and jumps off the page as a guy who’s played well all season. Adding to that, he’s in the field at the RBC Canadian Open this week and is widely considered to be among the favorites. Should he pick off a win at Royal Montreal, his odds increase greatly.

• Steve Stricker (1,434.607) — Currently 39th and the man with his own plan. If he wins the PGA Championship, one would have to think he’s on the team.

King O

There are two things that we know for sure aren’t the case. The first is that I don’t get to pick Team USA. The second is that the points end after the PGA Championship, and not The Open Championship. Ignoring those two fairly important facts, Captain O would use the three picks on Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore. There it is. On the record.

Defending Champions

As for the Team Europe, standings for the Ryder Cup are pulled from two different lists — the World Points List and the European Points Lists. Yes, it’s about as confusing as the metric system. The top four players on the European Points List are automatically in, and then the top five players on the World Points List not already exempt via the European Points List are in. Following that, Paul McGinley rounds out the team with three picks.

The top four on the European Points List are Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson and Henrik Stenson. The five on the World Points List not otherwise exempt from the European Points List are Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn and Luke Donald. Under this scenario, it would seem likely that Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Francesco Molinari would be among the favorites the three captain’s picks. Perhaps the final major will decide that, but Poulter and G-Mac would likely fill two of the three seats.

 

 

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Adams Street Freight House, South Troy and Troy History

The best spot to find out about railroads in South Troy, including the Adams Street Freight House is from the model railroad club at RPI:

NEB&W Guide to South Troy, NY – Not Modeled

TroyMap1950

Note ln their map (and ours too) how the Troy Union Railroad headed diagonally from 6th Avenue in downtown to River Street in south Troy.

 

 
 The Central had an engine facility at the foot of Adams Street. (Note the freight house extended all the way to Adams.) 
 
 The Central’s freight house still stands in south Troy. 
 
 There was a monumental structure that looked like a castle (or brewery), but it actually was Troy Waste. 
 

South End Tavern

  • This is at the extreme southern end of south Troy, just before the Menands bridge. This still stands and is notable for two things – they still have a “Ladies Entrance” (back when women couldn’t go in the bar area unescorted and now is not enforced but just a novelty). And they make excellent corn-beef and cabbage (and other food, large portions, cheap prices).
 There was a small airport up on the bluff which is now occupied by the Griswold Apartments. I understand the airport was only in operation from 1920 until 1927.

 Other sources claim it operated until the 1960’s.


It wasn’t shown on a 1928 topo, but was shown in a 1935 Regional Aeronautical Chart. It is likely to have been a Works Progress Administration project. It closed in 1964.
In Troy, there was the main Union depot downtown, one in Lansingburg at 114th St., “Ironworks” by the Burden plant, and one more, between Jefferson and Adams.
 The first Bessemer plant in the U.S. was built in south Troy. The Bessemer process was the early development of cheap steel made from iron. I’m not sure what happened to the Troy plant as it seemed that this area basically dealt with iron, not steel.
 
 
LABOR AND INDUSTRY IN TROY AND COHOES: A BRIEF HISTORY

Original text: James S. Corsaro and Kathleen D. Roe

Updated and Revised for the WWW:
Dr. Gerald Zahavi and Susan McCormick, Department of History, University at Albany, SUNY

January 2000

[DRAFT — CURRENTLY IN REVISION]http://www.albany.edu/history/Troy-Cohoes/

A bus-train connecting Troy with Amtrak in Rensselaer?

Troy-based writer-publicist Duncan Crary has posted an interesting idea on his Facebook page: Why not use a hybrid of a bus and rail car to carry passengers between downtown Troy and the Albany-Rensselaer rail station?

He’s uncovered a vehicle that performs a similar function in Japan, and railroad maintenance crews in this country already use trucks that can travel on the rails or the highway.

The advantages: The lightly used rail line that runs as far north as Adams Street is about the most direct connection there is. You avoid the rush-hour congestion of I-787 across the river and you don’t get caught in local traffic, either. The tracks exist, and the vehicle Crary cites in his Facebook posting doesn’t look like it cost very much money. No doubt there’d be a fee for using the tracks, and concerns about keeping the bus and freight train traffic well separated. Staff and insurance would be the other costs.

A link to the post is here. And a link providing more details on the vehicle is here.

And here’s a follow-up note from Crary:

I think a bus-train would get better ridership than a normal bus for many reasons. The novelty would be one. Plus, though I ride the normal bus, many people have a stigma against it. But those same folks would ride a cool Transformer bus-train.

I also believe this bus-train option could end up being a huge benefit to the Burden Iron Works Museum and could lead to the restoration of a Visitors Center in downtown Troy, connected to the Burden.

Here’s the idea in a nutshell:

We get a dual mode bus-train that leaves the Alb-Ren train station.

The bus-train gets off the track at the Burden Iron Works Museum (good for the museum. Maybe even share the parking lot there for park and ride, or the city builds another lot close by).

Bus-train gets on the streets at Burden and continues to River Street near Hedley (where the Transit Center/Parking Garage is planned for the near future). People can use that Transit Center garage for a park and ride, too, and can also transfer to other buses if need be.

The RiversPark Visitors Center is revived and is located among the street-level retail spaces at the Transit Center, so tourists can actually commute between the Burden Museum and the Visitors Center, while getting a cruise through downtown.

This bus-train would get even more riders if the casino gets built in Rensselaer near the train station (which is a better location than the Exit 23 Noonan Farm location being talked about).

Here’s an article with video:

http://www.wired.com/2008/05/half-bus-half-t/

P.S. If Rensselaer gets the casino, I would also like it to have a cruise ship casino that goes between Rensselaer and Troy and picks up and drops off. I don’t gamble, but I’d ride the boat for fun and to get between the cities. You may recall I did a commuter cruise between Albany and Troy with the Dutch Apple. It was great:

http://duncancrary.com/DutchApple/

Let’s Support the Adirondack Scenic Railroad

We have been watching both the successful Adirondack Scenic Railroad and the campaign to do away with it and make a trail out of it instead.

Below is a great editorial on the subject.

Plans to retain the rail line between Remsen and Tupper Lake certainly is good news for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and the state tourism industry. The line has enormous potential and developers can now move ahead with plans to extend train trips with more confidence.

Just as important, this also is good news for people who might otherwise never get a peek at the vast wilderness known as the Adirondack Park.

The announcement to keep the track intact instead of tearing it up for a recreational trail, as has been debated, came last week from the state Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Conservation.

Meanwhile, the state will continue to evaluate and determine the best use of the track from Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. Options include rail only, trail only or both, rail and trail.

Do we really need a bunch of bureaucrats to study this? This is a no-brainer. Ending the rail line at Tupper Lake would be foolish.

All due respect to the good people of that community, but travelers — many will come from the New York City metro area on Amtrak and pick up the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Utica — want the final destination to be Lake Placid. It would only seem logical to keep that line in place. Certainly business owners in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake would see the sense of that.

It would not be a bad thing to consider a recreational trail, too, on the upper end. In fact, one might envision tourist packages now where outdoor enthusiasts could take the train to Lake Placid, then spend a day or two hiking or biking back to Saranac or Tupper lakes, where they could re-connect with the railroad and head home. And snowmobilers could make use of the same connection in winter in addition to the thousands of miles of back country and groomed trails that already exist in the Adirondacks.

The potential here is enormous, and we’ve already wasted an inordinate amount of time studying it. Keep the rail line open to Lake Placid, create a trackside recreational trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, and start promoting what can be one of the finest recreational opportunities in the country.

CONNECTING THE DOTS: Global Warming, Florida Power & Light, Florida East Coast Railway, All Aboard Florida

Randy Schultz of the Sun-Sentinal  recently wrote about Global Warming from the political side: “A century ago, the most important company in what passed for South Florida was Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway. Today, Florida Power & Light comes closest to filling that role.

The region and nation plan to deal with climate change. Talk radio will rant on about uncertain science, but much of American industry — including FPL — already believes in the link between human activity and global warming. Last month, writing in The New York Times, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson compared the potential failure to deal with climate change with the failure to regulate financial markets before the Great Recession.”

PanamaCanalLocks

More shipping will be coming to Miami area with the revitalized Panama Canal. A lot of what Florida East Coast Railway is doing will cut “nasty” emissions from hundreds of giant tractor-trailers growling up the Interstate.

Tractor Trailer Traffic Jam
Tractor Trailer Traffic Jam

All Aboard Florida will slow down the burning of jet fuel as Miami-Orlando planes spew it out to get up high enough to begin their descent. And then, less cars on the highway too.

Jet Plane Polluting
Jet Plane Polluting

So if we connect these three dots (Florida Power & Light, All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Railway, what conclusion do we see that will help the environment: AN ELECTRIC RAILWAY!!!

Electric Locomotive
Electric Locomotive

Electric Railroads only become cost-effective in high-traffic areas (like Europe, Japan or Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor). Listening to the NIMBY’s complaining about all the extra traffic on the railroads, I think it will qualify.

So, by “connecting the dots”, we get a WIN (for the environment), a WIN (for Florida Power & Light) and a WIN (for the railroads). And it all adds up to a WIN (for the people)