Category Archives: Art

Old Pictures From An Early AMTRAK

In posters from the era, trains were pitched to passengers as the most modern and aspirational way to travel.


With taglines in the 1970s encouraging travellers to ‘get off your wheels and on to ours’ Amtrak showcased a series of vibrant adverts depicting the freedom of the network


President Ford on an Amtrak train in the 1970s surrounded by supporters and the press


Staff members known as Red Caps at Santa Fe Depot in Fort Worth, Texas, move sacks and parcels between the baggage car and depot. Red Caps helped passengers with baggage navigate through the station; here they wear a jumpsuit introduced in early 1972 and their trademark red hats. The baggage car features the Phase II paint scheme introduced in 1975.


A color photograph showing the TurboTrain stopped at Petersburg, Virginia, during its 1971 national tour. This type of train was primarily used between New York and Boston until its retirement in 1976


Passenger service representative Patty Saunders speaks with travellers in a first-class Metroliner club car – known as Metroclub. In her role, Saunders assisted customers on the train and served them food and beverages at their seat. The first class Metroclub had roomy, individually reclining swivel parlour chairs and there was also a phone booth available to passengers

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“A ‘CENTURY’, Late by Daybreak”: NYC Niagara #6024 races ‘Lake Effect’‏

(From an original 11″ x 17″ Pen & Ink drawing I created on December 11, 1982
for my personal Christmas cards that year, three decades ago.   —Nate Clark)

Before the waters of Lake Erie freeze in winter, there is a dramatic bit of Mother Nature’s meteorological mischief that that great body of water can trigger. People residing along Erie’s southern perimeter refer to these regional storms — less than affectionately — as “Lake Effect”. Dry, arctic winds sweeping across the open expanses between Erie’s shores draw up massive quantities of moisture from the warmer lake. This great burden is transplanted inland in dark, brooding clouds and then dumped onto the Snow Belt Region stretching from New York State through northern Pennsylvania and into Ohio.

The New York Central Railroad frequently had to contend with such wintry conditions on its main line along Lake Erie’s southern shore. On this route, the Central’s famous Twentieth Century Limited was, for many decades, the flagship of the company’s renowned passenger train fleet.  It ranked high as the preferred conveyance between New York and Chicago for business leaders, movie stars, dignitaries and other famous people in the days before jetliners.

A premier train required premium power, and during the mid-1940s, the NYC acquired a fleet of 27 ultra-modern steam locomotives to propel ‘The Century’ and other important trains. Named for the powerful waterfalls they emulated, each of the the 411-ton NYC Niagara-class locomotives produced more than 6,000 horsepower and could gallop at speeds into the triple digits, when necessary.

Nighttime in Lake Erie’s basin is giving way to a feeble winter dawn east of Conneaut, OH in 1949 as one of those mighty Niagaras has her “ears pinned back” like a racehorse, leaning through a gentle curve with exhaust steam raking sharply back over the train. Rugged, yet fine-tuned machinery is straining heroically to ‘make up’ lost time on the train’s schedule in the approaching face of a howling Lake Effect snow squall near the Pennsylvania-Ohio state line.

Though the holiday travelers aboard the Pullman cars chasing the engine’s tender may have little hope of being into Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station on time on this trip, the crew members in the cab of engine #6024 are still doing their utmost to make the schedule shortfall “off the advertised” as small as possible.  You can bet that urgent messages have been sent down the adjacent telegraph lines toward Cleveland and Toledo to have the route along the four-track, water-level main line cleared of slower trains to let the tardy westbound Century flash by.

The Enterprise Opens The Door To The FLITs (The Enterprise Opens The Door To Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Other Social Media)

OK, give up? What is a FLIT? Just a shorthand way of describing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media.

Businesses didn’t exactly like FLITs until just recently. They used firewalls to block them from the employees computers. The C-level execs didn’t want employees wasting their time during business hours. CIOs flew their “security” flags. But the light bulbs went on in the Executive Suite. “Maybe we can leverage the social networks for our financial gain”. They saw value in tweeting out company news, linking up with outsiders who can help us, gathering supporters around a Facebook page.

So now what exactly is Enterprise Social Media??? Simply, it is a using the social platforms (the FLITs) for workplace networking and collaboration. It’s “coming out party” was Enterprise 2.0.

Enterprise 2.0 is the strategic integration of Web 2.0 technologies into an enterprise’s intranet, extranet and business processes. Enterprise 2.0 implementations generally use a combination of social software and collaborative technologies like blogs, RSS, social bookmarking, social networking and wikis. Most enterprise 2.0 technologies, whether homegrown, free or purchased, emphasize employee, partner and consumer collaboration. Such technologies may be in-house or Web-based. Companies using YouTube for vlogging or a private Facebook group as a modified intranet, for instance, are implementing a form of Enterprise 2.0.

So what does all this translate to? (1) use of social media tools to market the business and its products to customers; (2) promote employee collaboration, productivity and innovation; (3) hook up social media tools into enterprise collaboration platforms in order to integrate social media into the regular workday experience.

Businesses are seeing challenges because now the customer has a voice too. They get to comment on the company, the products, service levels, supply chains, employees. So giving a voice to people who did not have one before may change the whole way we work.

Now how does all this relate to the Supply Chain? If social media is strong enough to tighten the bonds between brands and consumers, can’t it firm up each link in the supply chain? As a start, access to real-time data can help supply chains run ultra lean because proper analysis can lead to producing just enough product to meet consumer demand.

Social media can be used within the “extended supply chain” of the procurement, logistics, fulfilment and manufacturing teams. Whether these roles are in house or outsourced social media can help to break down silos of these functions to get people connecting. One example might be to film a video on packing a skid and showing it to all the extended companies logistics operations. Then each operation can critique to maybe find a better way. Bringing the supply chain teams together through social media is the greatest way to stimuate innovation in the supply chain.

Another great idea for social media is to search members to find a subject knowledge expert. This is used extensively by General Electric with their internal social media tool COLAB. Users have created over 50,000 communities with over 100,000 experts signed up to answer questions and manage information. Everything is behind the firewall except for ‘pinholes’ to external destinations which allow external vendors, suppliers and customers to collaborate on specific projects. There are 30,000 external users who come in through the firewall pinholes to participate in specific communities. The system is so large that GE have their own internal cloud,

Other tools like SharePoint offer a Facebook-like profile page. It is helps users find the right experts in the company and even share documents with them.

Some references where you can find more:

From Silos to Streams

What Does Social Media Mean to Your Supply Chain?

Social Media in the Enterprise

Revolution – rock n roll

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Shut the gate, shut the gate
Right in the face of the enemy you hate
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Iron minds, long marches,
Picket arches, barricades
Shut the gate, shut the gate
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Power brokers, men with guns,
Electrocuted, maimed, stunned,
it is invariably just too late
Shut the gate, shut the gate
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Fire at will, how many to kill
they will keep…coming still,
Diabolical, abominable nanny state
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Right in the face of the enemy you hate
Just keep going, never ever stop
Thick headed forces, penny will drop
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate

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This author is one of our favorites. I hope you enjoy too.

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Sun rises, day warms
warmth turns to scorching heat
Shades, cooler climes, for lucky few
Rest toil, digging soil, human stew
Body melts, soul shivers
Sweat flows like a river
fixing rust buckets at noon
Why the day doesn’t end soon
Unforgiving Helios prolongs stay
Some of us will die today

20140313-040536 pm.jpg

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