Why Did The Penn Central Railroad Fail?

The Penn Central was born amid great expectations and promises on February 1,1968 by the merger of the New York Central System into the Pennsylvania Railroad on that date.

Neither railroad had been forced through the trauma of bankruptcy and reorganization.

With incompatible computer systems ,signal systems, operating styles, and personalities at the top, the new railroad remained essentially two in operation though it was one in name.

1.) PC was forced to pay $125 million for the bankrupt New Haven, which had a negative cash flow.

2.) PC was required to operate well over one half of all the passenger service in the US, which by that time had a monstrous negative cash flow. Amtrak only partly relieved this in 1971, as PC was still saddled with commuter service in the New York and Philadelphia areas.

3.) Freight rates and abandonments were rigidly regulated, preventing PC and others from adapting to market conditions.

4.) The “red” and “green” teams were more interested in “oneupmanship” than creating a viable enterprise. No thought had been given prior to the merger, for example, on compatibility of computer reporting systems.

The merger between the New York Central RR and the Pennsylvania RR was like a shotgun wedding. Both bride and groom hated each other. Yet, there was no other option but to join hands in unholy matrimony, and if this wasn’t bad enough, the bride and groom had to accept the New Haven RR as an unwelcome boarder in their honeymoon suite.

Read More About The Wreck Of The Penn Central Railroad

https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/penn-central-a-wreck-of-a-railroad/

Public-Private Partnerships Will Not Save U.S. Infrastructure

Streetsblog USA via California Rail News

Although the White House has been talking up private infrastructure investment as a replacement for public funding, a panel of experts told Congress that, even with perfectly executed public-private partnerships, the federal government still needs to provide its own support — especially for projects, like transit lines, that aren’t guaranteed to generate toll revenue for profit-seeking investors.

This morning, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao appeared before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee. Chao didn’t reveal much, but she did say that the White House will release a statement of “principles” about infrastructure later this month before handing off an actual infrastructure plan to Congress sometime later this summer.

Whether that’s actually going to happen is anybody’s guess. So far, the administration has given two substantive clues about its infrastructure agenda. One is a budget proposal that guts transit programs. The other is a campaign white paper that recommends using tax cuts to promote private financing of public infrastructure projects.

Featured image: Virginia’s HOT lanes were held up in the U.S. Senate this week as an example of public-private partnerships done right. But is this what you really want out of the transportation system?

Memorial Day 2017

An important day in our lives

Pacific Paratrooper

MEMORIAL DAY.

WHO DO YOU SAY THANK YOU TO?

Should you care to see Memorial Day posts from past years ____

Michael’s Tree – planted by Lavinia & Rick Ross in honor of my son, Michael USMC.

2016

2015(1) and 2015 (2)

2014

2013

#######################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Jacob Baboian – Watertown, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO

Thomas Coughlin – Portland, OR; US Army, WWII, Corps of Engineers

Lamar Day – Salt Lake City, UT; US Navy, WWWII, PTO, USS John Pope

Edward Flora – Mishawaka, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, A/674th Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Earle Garlinger – Roswell, NM; US Army Air Corps, WWII, (Ret. 21 years)

Harold Kline – Charlotte, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 737th/454/15th Air Force

James O’Leary – Manchester, NH; USMC, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis

Michael Sadlo – Hollywood, FL; USMC, Pfc

Everett Smith – Broad Channel, NY; US Army…

View original post 32 more words

Texas High-Speed Rail Project Moves Forward

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth via California Rail News

Texas Central, the Dallas company planning to build a high-speed train between Dallas and Houston, has reached a deal with a major global consortium to design and build the project.

An official announcement is expected within a matter of days

“We have a world-class design builder that has just signed on to come and build this for us,” said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central.
The 59 year-old Aguilar has been on the job at Texas Central since December. He brings decades of experience with huge infrastructure projects, including the Cantarell offshore natural gas field in Mexico, the London Underground and the world’s largest solar thermal energy plant in Ivanpah, Calif.

High-speed rail in Ontario, finally? Not so fast

This is in response to a blog from May 25
https://penneyvanderbilt.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/premier-wynne-announces-plans-for-high-speed-rail-in-ontario/

From CBC-CA via California Rail News

The proposed plan is a massive and expensive infrastructure program and politicians have preferred in the past to get elected by promising to expand highways in their ridings, rather than rail routes.

Paul Langan, from an advocacy group called High Speed Rail Canada, told CBC News that a lack of political will is a major reason why high-speed rail has never been built in Ontario.

In his report, Collenette also cites “political willingness to support the huge investment over more than one election cycle” as a factor in limiting high-speed rail development

Calls for high-speed rail in one of Canada’s busiest corridors have been made before and went unanswered. Will it be any different this time?

An Older Rail “Chicago Bypass”

If you have been following us for a while, we ALWAYS keep talking about a “mythological” Chicago Bypass.

As late as 1964 there was a great one: The Kankakee Belt Route is the nickname for the Illinois Division of the New York Central Railroad, which extended from South Bend, Indiana, through Kankakee, Illinois, and westward to Zearing, Illinois. It was marketed as the “Kankakee Belt” route to connect with western railroads and avoid the congestion of the Chicago area.

Today, the Norfolk Southern operates the Kankakee Belt Route (ex-Conrail, ex-NYC, Kankakee Belt Line). Sections at the east end (to South Bend) and West End (Zearing area) have been removed. The Kankakee Belt Route sees around eight to ten trains daily, from the BNSF (old AT&SF main line) at Streator, Illinois to Norfolk Southern Railway interchanges and facilities in Indiana. It still serves as a Chicago bypass.

It’s gone now although sections remain. Many of the connecting railroads have disappeared!

The Kankakee Belt Line and connections (1964)

Location Railroad
South Bend, Indiana New York Central and Grand Trunk Railway
North Liberty, Indiana Wabash
Walkerton, Indiana B&O and Nickel Plate
Hamlet, Indiana Pennsylvania
Knox, Indiana Nickel Plate
North Judson, Indiana Pennsylvania and Erie
San Pierre, Indiana Monon
Shelby, Indiana Monon
Schneider, Indiana New York Central
Delmar, Illinois Milwaukee
Momence, Illinois Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Kankakee, Illinois Illinois Central and New York Central
Reddick, Illinois Wabash
Dwight, Illinois GM&O (Alton)
Streator, Illinois Santa Fe, Burlington
Lostant, Illinois Illinois Central
Depue, Illinois Rock Island
Ladd, Illinois Northwestern, Milwaukee, LS&BC RR
Zearing, Illinois Burlington

Follow our WebSite on Chicago connections

How Home Ownership Became The Engine Of America Inequality

New York Times Magazine via California Rail News

Almost a decade removed from the foreclosure crisis that began in 2008, the nation is facing one of the worst affordable-housing shortages in generations. The standard of “affordable” housing is that which costs roughly 30 percent or less of a family’s income. Because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages, slightly more than half of all poor renting families in the country spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, and at least one in four spends more than 70 percent. Yet America’s national housing policy gives affluent homeowners large benefits; middle-class homeowners, smaller benefits; and most renters, who are disproportionately poor, nothing. It is difficult to think of another social policy that more successfully multiplies America’s inequality in such a sweeping fashion.

5 Ways To Get Around Orange, CA Without A Car

The Panther via California Rail News

The MetroLink station is behind the Marion Knotts Studios at 194 N Atchison St. The schedule and route maps are available on the MetroLink website.

The MetroLink train costs $6.75 to the Los Angeles Union Station and $13.50 for a round trip. From the Los Angeles Union Station, you can continue using public transit by hopping on subways and buses to the location desired. If you’re looking for something cheap and accessible for a longer trip outside of Orange, the MetroLink is one of your best options.

Transportation is high up on the list of what a college student needs. Orange is a central spot for all things Southern California. There’s the beach, San Diego, Los Angeles and everything in between. The only downside to it all is getting there, especially for Chapman students without a car.

“Coming into Chapman, I was so excited about all the places I could go with all the new freedom I have, but then I realized I didn’t have a car to get there,” said Charlotte McDougald, a freshman creative writing major.

Here are a few tricks some students use to get around without a car.

New York Central Song

“Twilight of American Rail Travel” means different things to different people. To me, it meant the period in the 1960’s until Amtrak when passenger service went downhill. More specifically, it was the “Empire Corridor” running along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers to New York City. Before the “twilight”, well maintained, well patronized New York Central trains ran this route.

My favorite song is

“City of New Orleans” written by Steve Goodman and sung by Arlo Guthrie. It talks about the same period, but on the Illinois Central Railroad. Lots of similarities!

“Riding on the City of New Orleans, Illinois Central Monday morning rail Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,”

Yes, rode on train like that too. Although lot of those cars were “head end equipment”.

“Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.”

Loss of that mail was what really did in rail passenger service. Always heard stories of how President Lyndon Johnson pulled the mail off trains to pay off his airline buddies for political favors. Imagine! Entrusting our mail to people who seem incapable of moving our luggage between two cities and not losing it!

“All along the southbound odyssey. The train pulls out at Kankakee. Rolls along past houses, farms and fields. Passin’ trains that have no names, Freight yards full of old black men And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.”

Yes, the Hudson Valley was in the process of change. Industry was gone and the “yuppies” (“millenials”) had not yet built their country homes. Lot of abandoned factories, rusted rail sidings.

“Good morning America how are you? Don’t you know me I’m your native son, I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans, I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.”

Yes, the New York Central, was New York State’s Native Son. It was one of the biggest factors in making New York great.

“Dealin’ card games with the old men in the club car. Penny a point ain’t no one keepin’ score. Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle. Feel the wheels rumblin’ ‘neath the floor. And the sons of pullman porters And the sons of engineers Ride their father’s magic carpets made of steel. Mothers with their babes asleep, Are rockin’ to the gentle beat And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.”

Never any offense to the train crews. Railroad problems came instead from “greed run rampant” at railroad headquarters in Philadelphia. Passengers were only the ones who hadn’t or couldn’t get enamoured with America’s “Car Culture”.

“Nighttime on The City of New Orleans, Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee. Half way home, we’ll be there by morning.”

How about changing engines at Harmon?

The beautiful (ugly to many) P-Motor is waiting for an East-bound passenger train to go 33 miles right into the heart of New York City. Does not matter how many diesels pulled the train from Chicago. The single P-Motor can pull it! Thanks to Wayne Koch for great photo.

“Through the Mississippi darkness Rolling down to the sea. And all the towns and people seem To fade into a bad dream And the steel rails still ain’t heard the news. The conductor sings his song again, The passengers will please refrain This train’s got the disappearing railroad blues.”

Even the huge Chevrolet plant in North Tarrytown would be gone by the end of the 20th Century and turned into condos!

“Good night, America, how are you? Don’t you know me I’m your native son, I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans, I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.”

Good night New York Central!

See Penney Vanderbilt’s Blog on Arlo Guthrie and Alice’s Restaurant

You will also be interested in our page on the 20th Century Limited

Why People Ride Trains: Its All About Service

ntbraymer

By Noel T. Braymer

People travel, by train or by other modes for many reasons. These include work, business, pleasure, to visit family, friends or for an once in a lifetime experience. Any mode of transportation that someone depends on a carrier is a service. People like good service and are unhappy when service is poor. Many factors make up good service with rail service. For a commuter going to work, a major factor is getting to work on time. For someone getting a sleeper on a long distance train, service includes a good meal, great scenery, working toilets and the chance to talk to interesting people on the train. For many people in between its being able to go where you want to go, when you want to be there with reasonable comfort, safety and price. This all sounds so basic, but is not always available.

Recently Metrolink started…

View original post 996 more words