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If you follow us, you know that we USED TO HAVE 3 WEBSITES

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Well, the GOD of the Internet, GOOGLE decided to KILL US

If you try and go to OLD WebSites you get a message

“This WebPage is being updated.
GOOGLE no longer supports it because it is not REMOTE ACCESS FRIENDLY
See the new WebPage at:
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In addition, WE ARE NOW ADVERTISING FREE
WELL; We Started new WebSite
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/

The new WebSite is very popular. It is much better than old ones.
New host for all this is WordPress who is great too.

At same time we got rid of paid advertising. AMAZON was taking all the money….not us.

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If you see a site with a BAD FEATURED IMAGE, please send a new one

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The Biggest Challenges That Stand in the Way of Hyperloop

From Interesting Engineering via Hyperloop One

On paper, the Hyperloop is an engineering marvel that promises to set supersonic travel underground. The system is proposed to carry people around the world at speeds nearing, and eventually exceeding, the speed of sound. The idea is to carry people inside a vacuum tube at supersonic speeds. Although it looks great on paper, in the real world, a full-scale Hyperloop may not be realized for many more years to come.

Currently, there are many problems plaguing the Hyperloop – begging the question, is it practical?

Small scale preliminary experiments reveal the Hyperloop is entirely feasible and more so, it functions extraordinarily well. However, constructing a perfect tube hundreds of kilometers long capable of sustaining a near perfect vacuum will undoubtedly be one of the greatest engineering challenges in the 21st century.

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Vacuum Trains: How they work

The Hyperloop is a theoretical transportation system currently undergoing prototype testing from various companies, perhaps most famously, by Elon Musk.

The idea is to reduce the pressure in a tube and then place a sort of train within the system. Reducing the pressure results in a few benefits; One, air resistance is removed, and two, the pressure gradient can be used to propel the trains at great speeds.

Reintroducing atmospheric pressure behind the capsule forces the air to propel the train down the pipe as air rushes back in to equalize the pressure gradient. The method is sufficient enough to propel the capsule at speeds nearing that of sound. However, Elon Musk envisions a variant of the idea where a special turbine engine will propel the capsule down the track.

Although many people attribute the invention of the vacuum train to Musk, the idea has existed for almost 100 years. However, larger scale vacuum trains were never constructed – and with good reason. The trains are prohibitively expensive and there are unavoidable dangers brought on by the extreme environments required to devise a functional system.

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Important things to note

The proposed system of the Hyperloop will technically not be operating under a perfect vacuum. Rather, the alpha documents reveal it will remain at a pressure of about 100 Pascals – equivalent to about 1/1000th of an atmosphere (1/1000th of the pressure experienced from the weight of the atmosphere at about sea level).

However, at those pressures, the difference between a perfect vacuum and the proposed pressures the Hyperloop will operate at are practically negligible.

Comparatively, large airliners fly at altitudes with more than 200 times more air than what the proposed Hyperloop capsules will travel through. Airliners fly at an altitude of about 10 km up whereas the Hyperloop tube would have the same internal pressure level that is experienced 50 km up in the atmosphere – essentially near-space conditions.

A Boeing 747 operates at about 10 km up and experiences 200 times more pressure than the internal pressures of the Hyperloop. The Hyperloop operates at about 100 Pa, or about 1 mb (millibar). From the origin on the chart, the Hyperloop will operate at just one unit (mb) to the right – an equivalent pressure experienced at an altitude of 50 km – approaching the equivalence of space itself. [Image Source: ManashKundu]

The pressure exerted on the inside of the tube will remain at around 0.015 Psi (0.000977 of an atmosphere) – whereas the atmospheric pressure on the outside of the tube approaches 15 Psi (nearly one atmosphere). Therefore, for all intents and purposes, the Hyperloop can be assumed to be operating at a near perfect vacuum.

Now, Musk and other companies believe the technology is ready to support the weight of the entire atmosphere over hundreds of kilometers.

However, the problems still remain. It is not an impossible task, although with current technologies, it will likely remain unfeasible to develop a full-scale vacuum train for many more years to come – here is why.

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The Problems Plaguing the Hyperloop

Constructing a tube hundreds of kilometers long would be an engineering marvel in of itself. However, introducing a tube hundreds of kilometers long that operates at a near perfect vacuum which can support the force of capsule weighing thousands of kilograms as it travels hundreds of kilometers an hour is nothing short of sci-fi fantasy.

Small scale experiments reveal the fundamentals of the idea are sound. Although, in the real world, there are too many factors that cannot be accounted for with a small scale design.

In the real world, there are tens of thousands of kilograms of atmospheric pressure which threatens to crush any vacuum chamber. There is also the problem with thermal expansion which threatens to buckle any large structure without proper thermal expansion capabilities. The Hyperloop would also be stupendously expensive. There are many unavoidable problems facing the Hyperloop that threaten the structural integrity, and every human life on board. The problems can be addressed, but at a great cost.

Below are the most compelling problems engineers must still address before any full-scale vacuum train system will carry a human life.

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Pressure

Continuously lingering above the near perfect vacuum tubes of the proposed Hyperloop is thousands of kilograms of atmosphere.

Before the Hyperloop becomes operational, the transportation tubes that will stretch hundreds of kilometers across the US will have to support the entire weight of the atmosphere above it. Essentially, the weight will accumulate about 10,000 kg per meter squared. That is, for every square meter of tube, there will be over 10,000 kg crushing down on it.

Since the proposed Hyperloop will extend 600 km with a diameter of about two meters, it will maintain a surface area of about four million meters squared. Given one square meter will experience 10,000 kg of force, the Hyperloop will have to endure nearly 40 billion kilograms of force over its entire surface.

A small compromise in the structure of the tube would result in a catastrophic implosion. If the tube became punctured, external air would tear into the tube, shredding it apart as it violently rushes in to fill the void. The effects would be similar to a railroad tank car vacuum implosion – only many times more violent.

<a href="http://” target=”_blank”>Read full article for more problems

Additional Pittsburgh-Harrisburg rail service subject of study

Tribune-Review via California Rail News

Greensburg’s stately but normally sleepy train station bustles for a few minutes twice a day as passengers board and disembark Amtrak trains during brief stops.

The state Senate wants to see what it would take to triple that activity by adding two daily passenger trains to the route linking Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

I think it’s a great idea. Because I have said for years, we should have trains back and forth,” said Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield.

She especially likes the idea of regular train service between Pittsburgh and Greensburg, allowing commuters to take the train instead of using the Parkway East and braving the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

“We’ve been a little crippled because we have to go through those tunnels all the time,” Ward said. “I think the studies will show there will be plenty of passenger traffic on that train.”

The route currently has one passenger train, the Pennsylvanian , which travels from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg — and on to New York City — every morning and back each evening. It had 222,940 riders from October 2015 through September. Rail advocates believe it would have many more if a train or two were added to the schedule.

“We believe that there’s a lot of unmet demand between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg because there’s only one train a day,” said Mark Spada, president of Western Pennsylvanians for Passenger Rail. “We believe that the train is running at its realistic capacity. It really holds down the potential ridership because you only have a choice of one daily train.”

The Pennsylvanian route has been debated for years. PennDOT would make the final decision about whether to add trains, and there are many obstacles, spokesman Richard Kirkpatrick said.

“We welcome (the Senate) review, but there are challenges facing Pennsylvania as it weighs that second cross-state train,” he said.

The biggest issue is cost. The state pays Amtrak $2.1 million a year to run the Pennsylvanian, and early estimates show adding one train could cost another $3.7 million to $6 million annually.

There might not be enough riders to justify that cost, Kirkpatrick said.

It takes more than five hours to take the Pennsylvanian from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, which is about two hours longer than by car. Many cross-state travelers opt to drive rather than buy a $49 ticket for a longer trip, Kirkpatrick said.

There’s also a logistics problem.

Although Amtrak owns the Pennsylvanian, Norfolk Southern owns the track, which freight trains use. It might be difficult to fit extra passenger trains into the busy freight schedule, Kirkpatrick said.

A second Amtrak train on the route was canceled in 2006 when Amtrak stopped carrying mail, Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said.

“We welcome any discussion regarding additional Amtrak service,” Tolbert said.

Google’s Idea for a New Silicon Valley

NY Times via California Rail News

Google and other technology companies have been criticized for contributing to the sharp increases in housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area — and not doing much to address the fallout for the hundreds of thousands of lower- and middle-income workers who can no longer afford to live there. The Diridon station plan does not immediately address this problem: It calls for office space for 15,000 to 20,000 workers and only 2,500 units of housing, according to the mayor.

But through a web of public transportation it could connect Silicon Valley to more affordable areas.

By 2025, Diridon station would host Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains and, if fierce opposition by the state’s Republican Congressional delegation is overcome, a high-speed rail line already under construction in the central valley, which would allow someone to live in Fresno and get to San Jose in less than an hour.

Andrew Cuomo Is Hiding from NYC’s Subway Nightmare

From Vice.com

The real reason the country’s largest subway became such a total disaster.

What do you do when your political brand is based on old-school competence, but you literally can’t keep the trains running on time? For New York governor Andrew Cuomo, presiding over a subway system that’s become a total nightmare, the answer seems to be: Hope your constituents think it’s someone else’s fault.

Cuomo’s public image has never been about an inspiring message or firing up a passionate base. He lost more than a third of the vote as an incumbent in a Democratic primary in 2014 after pushing deep cuts to school aid, declaring war on unions, and tacitly supporting a Republican takeover of his state senate. Nor is he one of those happy retail politicians who derives popularity from attending local events, shaking hands, and flashing a friendly smile.

Instead, a key selling point for Cuomo has been a promise of barebones effectiveness. Or, as the man himself explained in a 2015 New Yorker profile: “Show me, it’s show-me time. Show me results. Build a bridge, build a train to LaGuardia, clear the snow, save lives. Huh? A little competence.”

It’s precisely this “a little competence, huh?” shtick that makes the disastrous state of New York City’s subways so dangerous to Cuomo—and why it’s vital for him that city residents continue to not realize that it is he, Cuomo (and not his nemesis, Mayor Bill de Blasio), who controls this mess.

How bad is the subway situation, exactly? A woman recently got her head stuck in a train, and people just kept walking past her. These people resorted to taking their shirts and pants off after being stuck in an underground tunnel for 45 minutes. This guy missed his graduation and had to settle for some passengers giving him a makeshift subterranean ceremony because his train was delayed for almost three hours. Signal malfunctions, crowding, and track repair delays have become commonplace, and there are now 70,000 delays a month—nearly triple the number five years ago. The results, beyond people losing their minds, include lost wages from tardiness and missed medical appointments.

And all of that’s before the pending shutdown of the L train upends thousands of people’s lives.

Seizing on those who understandably assume this stuff is the province of the local mayor, Cuomo recently proposed an adorable bill giving himself control of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) that he already oversees. “Who’s in charge [of the trains]?” he asked last week. “Who knows! Maybe the county executive, maybe the president, maybe the governor, maybe the mayor.”

It’s super weird that Cuomo isn’t sure who controls the transit system, since this winter he orchestrated a multimedia self-promotional tour to take credit for opening the “Second Avenue subway.” This included a fawning profile in the Times in which he invoked Robert Moses, and a celebration in which the MTA’s Tom Prendergast gushed about how proud he was to serve the governor. Never mind that the project was over budget, overdue, and basically amounted to the addition of three subway stops. For this particular development, Cuomo was not confused as to who controlled the subways. (He was right then: The governor not only appoints the head of the MTA, but also a plurality of its board. The MTA is chartered by the state, and even the agency’s own website says the governor appoints the members.)

Cuomo’s real coup has been dodging a full-fledged media scandal over this stuff, due partially to a quirk of geography.

Some excellent journalists are out there covering Cuomo’s administration, holding his feet to the fire on everything from his double talk on political corruption to a water poisoning crisis in upstate Hoosick Falls. The vast majority reside and work in Albany—which is great when a major event or story occurs in the State Capitol or nearby. In those cases, reporters are able to experience it directly and viscerally (and then go a short distance and report on it). Many times, the big stories requiring context and reporting involve the legislative process, and the Albany press corps are experts at condensing this super boring but important minutia.

The problem is when a Cuomo story happens hours away from the people keeping tabs on him. In the case of the ongoing subway nightmare, the reporters experiencing (and covering) these hellish commutes, the ones who know precisely how the MTA works on a day-to-day basis, are not necessarily in position to put pressure on Cuomo in Albany.

While the governor has received his share of unpleasant criticism over this fiasco, he still seems to be evading a total bulldozing in the press. Which means many people still don’t know where to point their fingers.

Speaking of Albany reporters covering the legislative process, some dogged ones noticed earlier this month that Cuomo tried to slip in a provision in the dark of night that would replace the honorary name of the Tappan Zee bridge from that of one former governor, Malcolm Wilson, to that of another: Cuomo’s father, Mario.

Ultimately the provision was stalled (though perhaps just temporarily), when members of the state assembly declined to vote on it.

While the effort by Cuomo was roundly criticized, with one sharp observer calling it an “incredibly classic Cuomo/Albany story” and a “ridiculous farce,” perhaps it could still spawn an idea that actually serves the public. If the governor is so keen on blessing major infrastructure with his family name, Albany leaders might just oblige—by naming the current transportation mess after its rightful owner.

The Andrew Cuomo Subway System has a nice ring to it.

Amtrak Says It Won’t Pay For LIRR’s Emergency Penn Station Plan. It’s Unclear Who Will.

GOTHAMIST from California Rail News

Amtrak does not want to front the bill for at least eight weeks of Long Island Railroad schedule changes, fare reductions and ferry and bus alternatives during this summer’s emergency Penn Station repairs, president C.W. Moorman confirmed in a letter to the MTA on Wednesday. The news comes a week after the MTA outlined a contingency plan of unknown cost, insisting the burden will not fall on commuters.

“The LIRR has no basis to seek compensation for such costs from Amtrak,” Moorman wrote. He added that Amtrak estimates its contribution this summer to be between $30 and $40 million, and that the MTA’s call for reimbursement would violate the authority’s contract with Amtrak (the MTA rents terminal space from Amtrak at Penn Station).

Acting MTA Director Ronnie Hakim hinted at Wednesday’s MTA Board meeting at a price tag in the millions for planned LIRR contingencies. Hakim also vowed to consult MTA lawyers about “our rights” to force Amtrak’s hand. But some Board Members were skeptical, accusing Hakim and the MTA of poor planning in assuming Amtrak would pay. Some also demanded clarification on the cost of the plan, and argued that putting time and energy into avoiding the expense would be a waste.

“We should be doubling down on seeking federal funding, and focus our legal team on addressing funding [issues] in D.C.,” she added.
Other members of the board said that they doubted the federal government would come through. Amtrak’s federal funding was cut in 2015, and Trump’s vague infrastructure plan could also spell cuts. “We would always like to talk about the receipt of federal funds,” said acting board chairman Fernando Ferrer. “I don’t engage in fantasy, so let’s be realistic about this.”
Polly Trottenberg, a mayoral appointee to the board and commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation, was more blunt.
“I will boldly say, I don’t think we’re getting the money from Amtrak and sadly I don’t think Uncle Sam is riding to the rescue either,” she said. “I think we’re going to have to accept that we’re going to be paying for this. So I have a basic question: what’s the price tag?”

All aboard for the new Rochester train station

Democrat & Chronical via California Rail News

It was only supposed to be a temporary solution. Thirty-seven years after the Rochester train station was built, construction is now near completion for a new hub for Amtrak and CSX and an enhanced traveling experience for passengers.

Together with area business owners, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, led a tour of the new train station that’s slated to be completed in a few weeks. She helped secure a $15 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to help fund the expansion.

The remodel was much needed to help grow businesses and to serve the entire community, Slaughter said.

“Our community is blessed to be close to so many major cities and this new state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant station will help move goods and people where they need to go and encourage new companies to open their doors right here in Monroe County,” Slaughter said.

The project will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once completed, it will feature 12,000 square feet of space, including a passenger concourse, platform and passenger display systems. The station will offer full access to the platform by elevators, escalators, stairs and ramps. Currently, passengers must climb up steps to board the train and passengers with disabilities need to use a lift.

Infrastructure is critical to the success of area businesses and trains are as important as other modes of transportation, Slaughter said. Many passengers prefer to take the train versus flying so they can relax and stretch out on the ride, she said.

Irondequoit resident Marlene Canavan agrees. She was waiting for her daughter, Darla, to arrive from New York City at the train station. Her daughter switches between flying and taking the train and sometimes prefers the train because it is time consuming to go through airport security. Canavan is eager to see the upgrades to the Rochester train station.

Accessibility to Rochester is important for visitors coming to the area, said Naomi Silver, president and CEO of Rochester Red Wings minor league baseball team.

Having a good infrastructure for different transportation is important for businesses in the area, said John Hart, CEO of Lumetrics in Henrietta. The infrastructure helps bring customers in, he said.

Work at Penn Station N.Y. to impact Amtrak’s Keystone service

PennLive via California Rail News

Frequent rail travelers to New York take note: Amtrak service from Philadelphia to New York is about to change slightly this summer.
As part of infrastructure upgrades to New York’s Penn Station, Amtrak has announced a short list of service changes that may impact travel from Harrisburg to Philadelphia to New York.

Acela Express service will run as scheduled.

Trips that do not make as much money like some Harrisburg trains are killed.

Going South, there are no alternatives to switch too like Grand Central.

Anderson New Amtrak CEO

Breaking news from Politco.com

Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman is stepping down at the end of the year, and will be replaced by former Delta CEO Richard Anderson, according to knowledgeable sources and confirmed Monday by Amtrak.

The two men will serve as co-CEOs until the end of December.

Anderson, a 62-year-old former prosecutor from Texas, rose through the ranks of the airline industry to become CEO of Delta in 2007, just as it was leaving bankruptcy.

By the time Moorman steps down, he will have served roughly a year and a half as Amtrak’s CEO.

Moorman is himself a private sector transportation “icon,” said Amtrak chairman Tony Coscia. Both he and Moorman said it was always their plan for Moorman to be a temporary CEO.

“When I came to Amtrak, I had a clear understanding with my wife about how long I could do it,” Moorman said. “And in fact, I have exceeded that, as she points out to me.”

One of Moorman’s tasks, said Coscia, was “to help us recruit a CEO of the company who will serve as a long-term CEO.”

Moorman called Anderson a “superlative” leader and said they’ll be serving as co-CEOs for a half year because, “The one thing he doesn’t know is the railroad business, which obviously is my background.”

“And then I’ll have some ongoing role after that to assist him,” Moorman said.

The news comes during a tumultuous time for Amtrak. It’s just starting emergency repairs to the tracks beneath Penn Station, in the aftermath of two recent derailments there.