March 1944 (2)

Pacific Paratrooper

Ki-61 Tony Ki-61 Tony

1-2 March – 4 B-17 armed transports from the 54th Troop Carrier Wing/375th Squadron made supply runs to the US Army 1st Cavalry Div. on Los Negros.  They dropped weapons, ammo, barbed wire and blood plasma, then proceeded to strafe the enemy positions.  The next day, the same was done by 3 more B-17’s.  The B-17 “Cap’n & the Kids” piloted by Capt. A.J. Beck was intercepted by 4 enemy fighters, including a Ki-61 Tony.

4 March – the remaining Japanese forces launched a series of suicidal charges, but they did not succeed.  Lombrum, at Seiddler Harbor was made into a large naval base for future operations.  Mamote airfield on the eastern side of Los Negros started repairs and expansion .  It was in use by 16 March for the 13th Air Force, the US Navy and the RAAF.  A causeway was built to link the 2 islands…

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Are American Passenger Railcar Standards Too Tough?

The Arts Mechanical

Some people think so.

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/07/13/when-will-the-feds-stop-outlawing-railcars-used-by-the-rest-of-the-world/#more-170503

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20160706_The_mechanics_of_the_SEPTA_crisis__Why_cracks_can_form.html

Videos like this might help to maybe back up on that thought.

The reason that American rail passenger cars are so robust is a legacy of the 19th Century and the use of wooden passenger cars.  In the 19th Century accidents that created a phenomena known as “telescoping”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telescoping_(rail_cars)

Telescoping is caused by one railroad car riding up inside another, like this.

http://s30.photobucket.com/user/Barndad/media/MtUnionwreck.jpg.html

In this case the more robust diner rammed through the older sleeper that hadn’t had the ends reinforced.  If they had been the results would have been a derailment like below, rather than a telescope.

The Master Car Builders and the Association of American Railroads have been working on preventing such accidents while lowering car weights for a long time.  That development includes full scale tests like the ones below.

This has been very successful in lowering the casualties in the…

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Snarky Puppy & Christian Scott @MarseilleJazz streaming live @ARTEconcertDE

New York City Transit to close L line subway tunnel for 18 months

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) will close its Canarsie Tunnel under the East River for 18 months to repair Hurricane Sandy-related damage. The closure is slated to begin “no sooner than 2019,” the agency announced yesterday.

The decision to move forward with a full year-and-a-half tunnel closure instead of a one-track, three-year closure was made based on “detailed operational review,” NYCT officials said in a press release. The agency also held four large-scale community meetings to gather public input on the closure options.

The tunnel carries NYCT’s L line trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan and was badly damaged during the 2012 storm that ravaged the East Coast. About 225,000 riders travel between the boroughs each weekday.

“While the MTA always looks to avoid service disruptions, there is no question that repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel are critical and cannot be avoided or delayed,” said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast in the release. “Throughout this process we have committed to engaging the community and listening to all concerns so that we can address them as we prepare for this necessary work.”

As part of its community outreach, MTA officials visited all 11 community boards along the L Line, which were “overwhelmingly in favor of the full, shorter-duration closure,” according to the agency. Of the comments MTA received directly through email, social media and at meetings, 77 percent were in favor of the full closure.

About 80 percent of riders would experience the same disruptions with either option, added NYCT President Veronique Hakim, noting that the shorter work period allows the agency to offer contractor incentives to finish the work as fast as possible.

“We think it is better to have a shorter duration of pain than a longer more unstable process – and risk unplanned closures – by leaving one track open during construction,” said Hakim.

The Canarsie Tunnel was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Hurricane Sandy. All tunnels required major rehabilitation and repair. Some of that work was completed during night and weekend closures.

However, MTA previously closed the R line’s Montague Tunnel under the East River for 13 months and the G line tunnel under Newton Creek for two months to complete the renovations.

The Canarsie Tunnel suffered extensive damage to track, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7-mile segment of both sides of the tunnel. Bench walls throughout those sections must be replaced to protect the structural integrity of the two tubes that carry trains through the tunnel, MTA officials said.

During the rehabilitation process, the agency also will make improvements to stations and tunnel segments closest to the under-river section. New stairs and elevators will be installed at the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn and the First Avenue station in Manhattan.

In addition, three new electric substations will be installed to provide more power to operate additional trains during rush hours.

The agency must advance the procurement of design and construction services for the project to ensure federal funding, according to MTA.

The agency is developing alternative service plans and will continue to work with community, city and state agencies and other stakeholders to minimize impacts of the closure with added service, including more capacity on the M, J and G trains.

In the meantime, NYCT will continue inspecting the Canarsie Tunnel to ensure it remains reliable until permanent repairs can be performed, MTA officials said.

Second Avenue Subway Is At “Significant Risk” Of Missing December Opening

New, long-awaited subway stations along the MTA’s Second Avenue line are at risk of missing their promised December 2016 opening due to delays in critical equipment testing and the installation of communication systems, according to an independent engineer hired by the MTA to monitor the project’s progress.
“Looking at the schedule based on the project’s reports and our own field observations of the station construction program, we find that the project is not on schedule and has fallen further behind schedule in the month since our last report to you in June,” engineer Kent Haggas, who has been skeptical of the December deadline for months, told the MTA’s board on Monday.
Haggas added that the MTA needs to implement a “revised schedule” if it hopes to finish on time, a suggestion that MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast, presiding over Monday’s meeting, did not comment on.
The MTA did not respond to a request for comment on construction progress.
Haggas added that of a total 608 system tests scheduled through the end of June along the new line, only 336, or 55%, were completed by the end of last month.
Anil Parikh of the MTA’s Capital Construction Company also alluded to delays, but said he didn’t believe they would impact the December deadline. At the new 72nd Street, 86th Street, and 96th Street stations, he said, contractors are behind on installing communication systems because of “the incomplete conduit installation by the station contractors.” (Conduits being the tubes that protect electrical wiring.) In order to speed up the process, contractors are working double shifts.
“So let me get this straight,” said MTA Board member Mitchell Pally, after Parikh’s presentation. “The station contractor did not do his job.”
“That is correct,” Parikh said.
“As a result of that, we’ve told the systems contractor, who comes in after the station contractor, to do the job that the station contractor did not do,” Pally said. Parikh confirmed this.
At this point, Prendergast chimed in. “There’s no question about the competency of the systems contractor,” he said. “We’re just adding to his work. It’s the better [option]… if we’re all aimed at getting this done on time.”
The MTA has said that the Second Avenue line will serve a daily ridership of 200,000 New Yorkers, relieving congestion on the 4, 5, and 6 trains. The Q train will reroute along its length, necessitating the return of the W train to serve Astoria. The authority has also promised to fast-track further Second Avenue stations on up into East Harlem, at 106th, 116th, and 125th Street.New, long-awaited subway stations along the MTA’s Second Avenue line are at risk of missing their promised December 2016 opening due to delays in critical equipment testing and the installation of communication systems, according to an independent engineer hired by the MTA to monitor the project’s progress.
“Looking at the schedule based on the project’s reports and our own field observations of the station construction program, we find that the project is not on schedule and has fallen further behind schedule in the month since our last report to you in June,” engineer Kent Haggas, who has been skeptical of the December deadline for months, told the MTA’s board on Monday.
Haggas added that the MTA needs to implement a “revised schedule” if it hopes to finish on time, a suggestion that MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast, presiding over Monday’s meeting, did not comment on.
The MTA did not respond to a request for comment on construction progress.
Haggas added that of a total 608 system tests scheduled through the end of June along the new line, only 336, or 55%, were completed by the end of last month.
Anil Parikh of the MTA’s Capital Construction Company also alluded to delays, but said he didn’t believe they would impact the December deadline. At the new 72nd Street, 86th Street, and 96th Street stations, he said, contractors are behind on installing communication systems because of “the incomplete conduit installation by the station contractors.” (Conduits being the tubes that protect electrical wiring.) In order to speed up the process, contractors are working double shifts.
“So let me get this straight,” said MTA Board member Mitchell Pally, after Parikh’s presentation. “The station contractor did not do his job.”
“That is correct,” Parikh said.
“As a result of that, we’ve told the systems contractor, who comes in after the station contractor, to do the job that the station contractor did not do,” Pally said. Parikh confirmed this.
At this point, Prendergast chimed in. “There’s no question about the competency of the systems contractor,” he said. “We’re just adding to his work. It’s the better [option]… if we’re all aimed at getting this done on time.”
The MTA has said that the Second Avenue line will serve a daily ridership of 200,000 New Yorkers, relieving congestion on the 4, 5, and 6 trains. The Q train will reroute along its length, necessitating the return of the W train to serve Astoria. The authority has also promised to fast-track further Second Avenue stations on up into East Harlem, at 106th, 116th, and 125th Street.

EMMA WHITFORD IN NEWS Gothamist