Signs You Have the Grit You Need to Succeed

Grit is as difficult to develop as it is important. Learn how to build this skill and give yourself an edge in life.

Grit is that “extra something” that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.

Developing grit is all about habitually doing the things that no one else is willing to do. There are quite a few signs that you have grit, and if you aren’t doing the following on a regular basis, you should be.

1. You have to make mistakes, look like an idiot, and try again, without even flinching.

2. You have to fight when you already feel defeated.

A reporter once asked Muhammad Ali how many sit-ups he does every day. “I don’t count my sit-ups,” he responded. “I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, cause that’s when it really matters.”

3. You have to make the calls you’re afraid to make.

Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because we know they’re for the best in the long-run: fire someone, cold call a stranger, pull an all-nighter to get the company server back up, or scrap a project and start over.

4. You have to keep your emotions in check.

5. You have to trust your gut.

There’s a fine line between trusting your gut and being impulsive.

6. You have to give more than you get in return.

7. You have to lead when no one else follows.

It’s easy to set a direction and believe in yourself when you have support, but the true test of grit is how well you maintain your resolve when nobody else believes in what you’re doing.

8. You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that exceed expectations.

9. You have to focus on the details even when it makes your mind numb.

10. You have to be kind to people who have been rude to you.

11. You have to be accountable for your actions, no matter what.

People are far more likely to remember how you dealt with a problem than they are how you created it in the first place. By holding yourself accountable, even when making excuses is an option, you show that you care about results more than your image or ego.



Bernie Is a Movement, and That Movement Cannot Be Stopped

If there was any doubt before, there can be no longer: Bernie Sanders is a movement, and that movement will not and cannot be stopped. Despite the Democratic National Committee, the big Democratic donors, the SuperPAC; despite the pollsters and pundits and the Washington insiders and political operatives — despite an establishment that doesn’t want to recognize what has happened to America and why this movement is essential to reclaiming our democracy and economy — Bernie will prevail and the political revolution will grow. Americans are joining up and joining together. Sooner or later – hopefully, sooner rather than later — we will succeed.

Largest US truckload carrier sends warning on rates, ELDs

The largest U.S. truckload carrier is sending a clear message to shippers pressing for lower rates: Think about how tight truck capacity could be in 2017, not how abundant it was in 2015.

The bidding season for transportation contracts in early 2016 is proving “a constant battle with our shippers,” Richard Stocking, president and COO of Swift Transportation, told analysts Wednesday. In those battles, he urged customers to take a long-term view and eschew tactical, transactional thinking.

“We seek to do business with shippers who are interested in strategic, long-term partnerships and we remind them that a short-sighted mentality on their part at this juncture will likely have an effect on our mentality over the next several quarters as the ELD story plays out,” Stocking said.

Stocking referred to electronic logging devices, which the U.S. government will require truckers to use instead of paper logbooks to record daily and weekly work hours by December 2017. Swift Transportation switched its fleet and drivers from paper to electronic logs in 2011.

The ELD mandate is expected to drive an as yet unknown number of truckers out of the business, either because they can’t afford the devices, dislike being told they have to use them or simply can’t make money operating under the legal restrictions that ELDs will make easier to enforce.

Among shippers, “there is lots of concern about ELDs and how soon (they) will affect capacity,” Stocking said. “We have already picked up business from some shippers who have not invited carriers (to bid) who have not put a plan in place to become ELD compliant,” he said.

Shippers aren’t waiting for the federal deadline. Some are demanding carriers give them a “time frame to become 100 percent compliant” with the mandate as a prerequisite to a bid.

“We believe that picks up speed and steam in 2016 and more importantly in 2017. We’re seeing a flight to quality” carriers with ELDs by shippers, Stocking said in a mid-quarter conference call.

And quality, he suggested, ain’t cheap. “With any strong strategic partnership there is give and take, but we believe our key partners recognize the value and stability that a sizable, reliable and technologically advanced carrier with enhanced equipment safety features like Swift brings to the table,” he said. “We are encourage them to think long-term and not short term.”

In the short-term, shippers have more of a pricing advantage than they have enjoyed in several years.

Truckload capacity swung from “tight” in 2014 to “abundant” in 2015 as new trucks and trucking companies entered the market. Those trucks ran into depressed demand as inventories expanded, replenishment cycles lengthened and consumers took gas savings to the bank.

Added capacity and lower demand pulled down spot market truckload rates in 2015 and slowed the rate of increase in contractual prices. That trend was evident as the growth of the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index slowed from 7.9 percent in January 2015 to 1.1 percent last December.

Shippers also face cost pressures as corporations look to trim waste and spending in a slow-growth economy. But if Swift’s assessment of the ELD effect proves correct, those who seek too much advantage this bid season may find themselves at a disadvantage next year.

Contact William B. Cassidy at and follow him on Twitter: @wbcassidy_joc

NY: Only Bid $10M Too Much for Schenectady Train Station

SCHENECTADY — The proposed new downtown Schenectady railroad station will cost significantly more than expected, about $10 million more, based on the only construction bid submitted and opened on Thursday.

Whether the bid result will delay the start of construction isn’t yet clear.

Jersen Construction of Waterford submitted the sole bid for construction of the project, which is seen in Schenectady as a further component of downtown revitalization efforts.

The review of the bid is being handled by the state Department of Transportation, though federal funds would pay the majority of the cost.

The bid was much higher than the $15 million total transportation officials had hoped to see. It was not immediately clear whether that would prove to be a major obstacle to the start of work, which was scheduled for this spring.

The current regional federal transportation plan has a budget for the station of $14.6 million. Jersen’s bid totaled $24.9 million.

DOT could put the project out to bid a second time, hoping to get more responses and a lower cost, or it could see whether the project could be redesigned to reduce the cost.

“Everything is on the table,” said DOT spokeswoman Carol Breen.

DOT just received the bid, and needs time to review it before making further comments, Breen said.

Rebidding the project would delay work by a couple of months in a “best case scenario,” she said.

The new station has been in the planning stages for years. It is currently going forward under the auspices of Amtrak, the national rail passenger service, after a series of shifts among government

agencies over who will own and maintain the facility.

The new station would replace a 1970s-era station that many visitors find dingy and uninspiring.

The design of the new station was inspired by the architecture of the former Union Station, which was built in 1910, in a far grander style than the current station. Union Station was demolished to make way for the current station.

If the project goes forward, work is expected to take at least 18 months. A temporary station would be built, followed by demolition of the old station and then construction of the new facility.

Discussion about Schenectady’s new railroad station will be high on the agenda as the Empire State Passengers Association holds its annual meeting this Saturday at Proctors. The meeting is customarily held in Schenectady because of its central location, but plans for the station are expected to be a focus of discussion.

“We are certainly going to be highlighting Schenectady, with construction of the new station,” said association President Bruce Becker.

Between construction of the new station and completion of a second track between Schenectady and Albany, passenger rail advocates like Becker think a new Schenectady station would lead to a boost in business.

The $91 million second track project, currently under construction, is expected to reduce delays and increase reliability between Schenectady and Albany. It will allow two-way traffic to resume in a 17-mile corridor where the single track has allowed only one train at a time ever since old tracks were torn out in the 1960s. That work is being done by an Amtrak contractor under a separate contract from the new station.

Currently, most people taking the train to or from New York City drive to the Rensselaer Amtrak station, which is the ninth busiest passenger station in the United States. It handled 764,000 people in 2013, according to Amtrak, while the Schenectady station handled 61,000.

Becker thinks riders’ behavior patterns could change, to the Schenectady station’s benefit, were it to be built.”All across the country, whenever there’s a new station rail ridership gets a boost,” Becker said Thursday. “We think people will come to Schenectady to take the train.”

Local officials also believe more people will take a train into Schenectady, once the Rivers Casino opens in 2017.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086,

Downtown Miami Tri-Rail Station ‘in Jeopardy’ in Tallahassee

Over the past year, Tri-Rail executives and local politicians fought to cobble together $45 million in public funds to connect commuter trains to downtown Miami, where frustration over traffic and sparse mass transit is at a tipping point. But now they’re worried those efforts may implode in Tallahassee.

With the legislative session ending Friday, the Florida Senate has yet to pass legislation that Tri-Rail representatives say is crucial to their plans to run public passenger trains along the Florida East Coast Railway and into a terminus for All Aboard Florida’s express, inter-city Brightline cars.

Representatives of the two rail services say they need legislation clarifying who is liable should a crash occur on rail lines shared by public and private passenger cars in order to safely operate on the same line. Otherwise, All Aboard and Tri-Rail worry they might be held liable for a crash in which they had no involvement.

A sweeping transportation bill including the railway liability legislation passed weeks ago in the House of Representatives. But with just one day left in the session, Tri-Rail representatives still need to tack the language onto a companion bill in the Senate and hope the bill passes. If it doesn’t, there probably won’t be a next year, since All Aboard’s MiamiCentral station is already under construction.

We’re at the end of the legislative session, and I’m struggling to figure out a way to move forward. If this fails, in all honesty, I can’t figure out how that would work.

Jack Stephens, executive director South Florida Regional Transportation Authority

“With this [legislation] in jeopardy, it throws the entire project — as far as I’m concerned — in jeopardy,” said Jack Stephens, executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the public entity that oversees Tri-Rail. “We’re at the end of the legislative session, and I’m struggling to figure out a way to move forward. If this fails, in all honesty, I can’t figure out how that would work.”

On Thursday, Tri-Rail’s social-media team took to Facebook and Twitter to ask supporters to contact Senate President Andy Gardiner to support their legislation. Local politicians also called Gardiner, concerned that a project with millions in public support from Miami-Dade agencies could fall apart seemingly over a technicality.

This is a project that’s extremely important to our community.

Third-Rail Interurban Railroads

Picture above is a third-rail interurban rail car.

oneida railway (NY Central, West Shore division at Oneida Castle)

I got some great stuff a few years ago and will list below

have been hunting down info on third rail interurbans in the US, and have made up a list. This covers all that I know about so far, and the dates of discontinuance on each.
If anyone knows about more (some I have missed) or date corrections, please post back. This list does not include city operations, like NYCMTA, CTA, MBTA, LIRR, Metro North, etc., but does include, for example the P&W Norristown line.
All dates are “passenger service discontinued” dates, and not necessarily electrified discontinuance dates if they still may have had electrified freight service a few more years. I will add more details (mileage, voltage, etc.) to some of the lesser “popular” ones.

CA&E – Third rail Chicago suburban service – all service discontinued Chicago – Aurora/Elgin 7/3/57
Through service to CTA loop until 9/19/53

CNS&M mostly overhead but 3rd rail into Chicago via CTA –
last run 1/21/63

Scioto Valley Traction Co. – 600 volts 3rd rail –
Columbus, OH – Chillicothe 47 mi Columbus – Lancaster 30.8 mi
Last passenger service 9/30/30

Northwestern Pacific – 3rd rail commuter service Sausalito-San Rafael, CA with a branch to Mill Valley – main line 10.5 miles
Ended 2/28/41 (Mill Valley branch ended 9/30/40)

Oneida Railway (NY State Railways) Syracuse – Oneida – 3rd rail
Ended 12/31/30

P&W (Red Arrow) 69th St – Norristown (13.7 mi) – still in operation
Strafford Branch (Villanova – Strafford) disc. 3/23/56
Lehigh Valley Transit through service Allentown-69th St disc. 9/26/49, while overhead LVT to Norristown lasted until 9/6/51

Sacramento Northern – 3rd rail (portion of line) Sacramento – Chico, CA passenger service ended 10/31/40, lower part of SN to San Fran was overhead, but used 3rd rail over bay bridge in San Fran, which ended 1941. Also SP “Big Red Cars” service used 3rd rail on bridge until 1941. Key System (overhead except for bridge) until 4/20/58

PRSL (Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines) – 650 volt combo 3rd rail/overhead from Camden, NJ to Atlantic City (overhead in cities), also branch from Camden-Millville, NJ electrified.
Atlantic City line (electric operations) disc. 9/26/31, Millville line cut back to Glassboro 6/20/49, and last electric operations (Glassboro-Camden) on 9/8/49

WB&H (Wilkes-Barre & Hazleton) 3rd rail line disc 7/17/33

L&WV (Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley) Scranton-Wilkes-Barre 12/31/52

Michigan Railways – Kalamazoo-Grand Rapids (50 miles), also Allegan-Battle Creek, Jackson-Muskegon, Grand Rapids-Muskegon
Some lines were experimentally 2400 volts dc for a while, but this was too high for practical use (arcs, power failures, etc.) and were all cut back to 1200v shortly (in about a year) – all lines disc. 11/30/28
Were these the only third rail lines in Michigan?

Puget Sound Railway (WA) Seattle-Tacoma ended 12/30/28

New Haven Nantasket Beach Line – Cohasset-Nantasket Jn-Weymouth-Braintree (MA) 6.5 miles – center third rail (like Lionel) until 1902

Also New Haven Hartford-New Britain-Bristol (18.6 mi) plus branch to Berlin, CT (3 1/4 mi) – center third rail (v-shaped)
Reports say most 3rd rail removed in June 1905, but New Britain also mandated via injunction that all third rail service end by 8/1/1906 due to public safety

Albany Southern RR (NY) Albany – Hudson NY – third rail 37 miles + 2 miles overhead in Hudson, NY – ended 12/21/29

Central California Traction – third rail Stockton-Sacramento, 1200 volts, passenger service ended 2/4/33 with electric freight until 12/24/47, and the line in still in operation with diesel freight.

Key System (Key Route) Bridge Units travelling over the Oakland Bay Bridge between San Francisco’s East Bay Terminal (now TransbayTerminal) and West Oakland utilized 600v third rail pickup while on the bridge. Off the bridge, the articulated cars used pantograph pick-up. They lasted until 1958, with some of the Bridge Units going to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I noticed that the Key was tucked in under Sacramento Northern on your list above on my second pass. The Key was an independent private company not linked to SN or SP.

The New Haven Railroad was going to run commuter service on it’s Main Line utilizing the outer two tracks which would have been divided from the two middle “high speed” tracks by fence. Their Nantasket Beach service was going to be the prototype for this expanded service. This early electrification was probably the reason for the underground loop at Boston’s South Station, and never came to pass.

Baltimore & Hamden (Md.) used center 3rd rail for a short time in the mid ’80s, but it was soon replaced by real horses.
I think this was before Hamden became part of the City of Baltimore.

I don’t think that Southern Pacific – Interurban Electric Rwy. used 3rd rail shoes. I think they used the 1,200 Volt catenary across the Bay Bridge.

Don’t forget the Altantic City & Shore, which used third rail where operating on trackage rights over the PSRL.

As far as the Bay Bridge goes, although the Key System trains ran until 1958, the other two lines to use the bridge discontinued service in 1941, just a few years after the bridge was built. The SN used the 600v third rail to cross the bridge to slow them down, as they used 1200v catenary elsewhere. The IER cars never used the third rail, but had 1200v catenary over the bridge for just that short time span, if I’m correct. Even so, they were very heavy and much slower than the other two lines.
In Michigan, in addition to the lines I mentioned, was the Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon Railway. It ran on third rail (except in the cities) from Grand Rapids to Muskegon, with a branch to Grand Haven. This was a sister line to the L&WV, also financed by Westinghouse. Not sure of the mileage, but it quit on 4/18/28.
There was also the Baltimore & Hampden (MD), which used 3rd rail, but I can find very little documentation about that line.

What about Staten Island Rapid Transit? Even though it’s under the MTA NY City Transit umbrella now, and operates using modified R44 subway cars, it’s technically part of the national rail network and was owned for years (and electrified) by the Baltimore & Ohio.

Giving this long dormant topic a “bump”, I was recently rereading “The Electric Interurban Railways In America” by Hilton and Due and found the following brief entry on a New York State line named the “Keeseville, Ausable Chasm and Lake Champlain Railroad”:

“In 1890 this little road (6 miles) was opened to connect Keeseville, center of a resort area, with the main line of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad at Port Kent. It was electrified in 1905 with a third rail-probably the smallest third-rail line in America. The electrification was removed in 1911, but the railroad survived until 1924.”

Are there any I have missed?


Comets Drop to Albany Devils at Times-Union Center

The Utica Comets rolled into Saturday night’s game versus the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center with an all-time record of 72-0-4-0 when leading after two periods. They left with 72-1-4-0 record in such games when the Albany Devils scored three times in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit entering the third period.

Chris Higgins (1-0-1), Taylor Fedun (1-0-1), and Darren Archibald (1-0-1) handled the scoring for the Comets, while Joe Cannata made 27 saves in the loss. The Comets penalty-killing unit was a perfect 3-for-3, including killing off a 5-on-3 power play in the first period.

With a large contingent of loud supporters in enemy territory, the Comets kicked the game off on the right foot with a goal on their first shot of the game. On a two-on-one, Alexandre Grenier slipped a cross-slot pass through a defender to Chris Higgins. Devils’ goaltender, Scott Wedgewood, was late getting to the other side of the net, and Higgins deposited his sixth goal into the gaping net. T.J. Hensick was credited with the secondary assist as his breakout pass set the stage for game’s first marker.

After the Devils tied the game at 1-1 13 minutes into the second period, the Comets regained the lead four minutes when Taylor Fedun scored his sixth goal of the season. Fedun received a pass from Alex Friesen and flipped an innocent looking shot on net from the point. The puck fought its way through traffic and snuck its way past Wedgwood’s leg pad for the 2-1 lead.

The Comets took the 2-1 lead into the third period, where before tonight, guaranteed the Comets a point. Entering tonight’s game the Comets were 72-0-4-0 as a franchise when leading after two periods, and a perfect 21-0-0-0 this season. That changed.

The Devils struck three times in a span of five minutes in the first 10 minutes of the third period. In his second game with the Devils, Nick Lappin scored his first career American Hockey League goal 4:45 into the period, and then Jim O’Brien collected his second of the evening at the 6:38 mark. Under five minutes later, Ben Thomson scored his fifth of the season, the goal served as the eventual game-winner.

With Cannata pulled for the extra attacker the Darren Archibald jammed home a rebound with 1:22 to play to claw the Comets to within one. The Comets pressured again late with the empty-net, but could not find the equalizer.

With the loss, the Comets record dropped to 30-21-5-3.

The Comets three-in-three weekend concludes Sunday afternoon with the Comets lone trip to Providence this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. With at least a point in 23 straight home games, the Providence Bruins are just two games shy of tying the AHL’s record for consecutive home games without a regulation loss.