Category Archives: Innovation

San Clemente approves plan to turn historic Miramar movie theater and bowling alley into events center

Orange County Register via California Rail News

A plan to renovate San Clemente’s historic Miramar Theater property – shuttered since 1992 – has won the approval of the city’s planning commission.

Commissioners voted 6-0 Wednesday, June 7 to approve permits so the owners can incorporate the former movie theater, built in 1938, with an adjacent former bowling alley built in 1946 as a single project – an events center with restaurants.

Both buildings occupy the 1700 block of North El Camino Real. The city designates them as historic landmarks in the city’s North Beach area.

The plan is to turn the former 7,836-square-foot cinema into a 435-seat performance and events center and convert the former 5,200-square-foot bowling alley into five specialty-cuisine restaurants with shared seating.

There would be 50 restaurant seats indoors and up to 150 seats in a landscaped outdoor dining area facing El Camino Real. The restaurants could cater for the events center.

Man Saves the Day by Delivering Pizza to ‘Hangry’ Passengers on Stalled Train

From TIME via California Rail News

A pizza deliveryman saved the day by trekking out to a stranded Amtrak train and delivering pizza to the hungry passengers.

Jim Leary heard on Sunday during a routine shift at Dom’s NY Style Pizzeria in Newport, Del. that some passengers on a stalled train less than a mile away had ordered pizza. That didn’t faze Leary, who says he has delivered pizzas to passengers on airplanes and boats throughout his 17-year career.
“I was like, ‘hell yeah, I gotta hook them up,'” Leary, 46, told TIME. “I know they gotta be hungry.”

Firm hired to develop LaGuardia’s AirTrain

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces Parsons Brinckerhoff will develop plans for the AirTrain which will run along the Grand Central Parkway providing a link to Willets Point.

The engineering firm behind the Second Avenue Subway line has been awarded the $14.6 million contract to develop the initial plans for the AirTrain connection to LaGuardia Airport.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that multinational engineering and design firm Parsons Brinckerhoff was selected to conduct preliminary engineering work on two AirTrain stations at LaGuardia linked to a complex at Willets Point with easy transfers to the No. 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road.

“The new AirTrain will improve passenger experience, reduce traffic congestion and serve as a key part of the modernization and transformation of LaGuardia into a world-class airport,” Cuomo said. “LaGuardia Airport is an essential part of New York’s economy and transportation network, and by providing additional transit options, we will support new economic opportunities and growth throughout the region.”

Parsons Brinckerhoff will create a conceptual design for both the train right-of-way and the stations, and develop cost estimates for the project, conduct a detailed ridership analysis, analyze public-private partnerships and other options to identify the most advantageous financing plan for the AirTrain. The firm will also evaluate expanded parking and centralized car rental operations at the new Willets Point Complex.

Reliable and efficient rail service, to and from the airport, is critical to manage on-site airport parking, improve drop-off and pick-up activities at the terminals, and reduce congestion in and around the airport, including the Grand Central Parkway and neighborhood streets, according to Port Authority officials.

“LaGuardia Airport is the only major airport in the region without direct rail transit access,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said. “With passenger demand expected to reach 34 million annually at LaGuardia by 2030, providing mass transit access to the airport is fundamental to transforming it into a world-class facility that supports future growth, while reducing roadway congestion and resulting emissions.”

Like any NY City project, the critics are coming out of the wood.

Read the full story in the Queens Times Ledger

San Diego County Tests New Projects April 29-30

During the weekend of April 29-30th Rail service was shut down in San Diego County for work on several rail related projects. One of these projects was for testing the new 3rd track and switches at the Oceanside Transit Center. Here is a Coaster trainset on the new 3rd station track on April 30th running past the new station platform. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

The CSX Railroad Must BE NIMBLE!

Coal likely won’t be a major traffic/revenue for CSX anymore. Coal revenue losses, which have been mounting since 2011, are expected to total $2 billion by year’s end.

So, the Class I needed to develop a strategy to radically change the structure and operation of the coal-dominant railroad for the long term. Enter the “CSX of Tomorrow.” Formally launched in late April and expected to take several years to implement, the strategy calls for realigning the network to de-emphasize coal traffic and optimize the volume-growth potential of the more promising intermodal sector and solid merchandise segment; deploying more high-tech equipment and information systems; pursuing service excellence; and developing a workforce of the future.

csxmap

The idea— and hope — behind the CSX of Tomorrow (CoT): help spur volume growth and increase profitability in the intermodal and merchandise franchises, and yet preserve the business value of coal as it becomes a smaller part of the company’s portfolio.

The Class I aims to develop a Team of Tomorrow (ToT), or a more diverse, versatile and highly skilled workforce. CSXers believe such a team can up the ante on working collaboratively, making decisions quickly, embracing new technologies and finding ways to boost productivity.

The Network of Networks: You Mean THE CLOUD

Today I spent on a project from 2013: Supply Chain Control Towers

Far greater minds than mine have defined Supply Chain Control Towers? There are many definitions but Capgemini offers a good, broad definition that many would agree with: “A supply chain control tower is a central hub with the required technology, organization, and processes to capture and use supply chain data to provide enhanced visibility for short and long term decision making that is aligned with strategic objectives.”

Yes, I wrote about Supply Chain Control Towers and Transportation Control Towers

First thing today I get a message from India. Company wants to know more about Supply Chain Control Towers. Then I read mail (uuuggghhh). Get a blog from Lora Cecere, The Supply Chain Shaman.. She knows more about Supply Chains than I ever will. But she is allied with ALL the vendors in the industry. I trust them as far as I can throw them.

scmcontroltower2

But she has a great idea: A Netword of Networks

I simplify that to “THE CLOUD”

Back the Control Towers. She and I agree on a lot. Difference simply is I want EDI to be the main communications tool (other than voice-to-voice). She wants to also introduce many existing communications tools from her great vendor community. I feel EDI is proven and can communicate ANYTHING. She wants to introduce things like HADOOP, SPARK, BLOCK CHAIN to the process. ADOBE may be her great friend. All I know about them is their opening remark if I contact them. “What is your credit card number?” Still confident in the international banking system to think BLOCKCHAIN is a lot of B..S We use BNP Paribas and know it’s capabilities.

scmcontroltower3

I am sure Lora and I will work out our differences. So confident that I have signed up for her Webinar in January.

This is a guest blog from my boss, Ken Kinlock. He is “The Man” about Control Towers

Gotthard Base Tunnel In The Alps Begins Passenger Service

Regular passenger train services through the Gotthard Base Tunnel begin. The longest rail tunnel in the world, it is the centrepiece of the planned AlpTransit rail network that will speed people and cargo through Switzerland and under the Alps. It was inaugurated on Jun 1.

The 57km (35-mile) tunnel is expected to service 65 passenger trains per day reaching speeds of 250 kmh (155 mph), along with up to 260 freight trains. It cuts the 3.5-hour travel time from Zürich to Milan by an hour and reduces the journey from Zürich to Lugano to one hour 40 minutes.

A parallel service, running hourly, begins in the same month on the original Alpine railway link, which involves countless bridges and loop tunnels and passes through the old 15 km (9.3 mile) Gotthard tunnel, which was built in 1882.

Engineers broke through the final barrier in the new Gotthard in Oct 2010. With rock cover up to 2,300 metres (7546 feet) in depth, it is also the deepest rail tunnel in the world. It has overtaken Japan’s 53.9 km (33.5 mile) Seikan rail tunnel as the longest in the world and pushed the 50.5 km (31.3 mile) Channel Tunnel linking the United Kingdom and France into third place.

This Hyperloop VR app is a good reminder of how claustrophobic Hyperloop pods will be……The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink

Considering the engineering and financial challenges of building a working Hyperloop, it’s not a given that the technology envisioned by Elon Musk will ever come to fruition. However, it is certain (in my opinion, anyway) that any working Hyperloop pods are likely to be claustrophobic as hell. Now, I know some companies involved have tried to waylay these fears with talks of augmented reality windows and calming lighting, but I honestly don’t think these will make a difference. You’ll still know you’re getting into a tiny pod that’s completely sealed off from the world — and this virtual reality Hyperloop app shows it.

THE MOST BORING VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER TRIED

The app has been built by Dutch ad agency INDG to support the work of the Delft University of Technology, which entered its pod into SpaceX’s Hyperloop design competition earlier this year. (They came second.) The app includes a nice exploded-view diagram that explains the basic Hyperloop mechanics, but there’s also a simulated trip from Amsterdam to Paris. (You can try it for yourself by downloading the app from iTunes here or the Play Store here.)

It’s perhaps the most boring virtual reality experience I’ve ever tried: you simply sit there and watch the odometer tick away while unexplained lights streak past you. The tedium certainly didn’t help with my itching desire to get up and stretch my legs and although I’m not sure if the VR experience exactly replicates Delft’s Hyperloop design, I do hope they at least add an aisle to their pod so passengers can walk up and down a little. At least when it’s not a VR Hyperloop journey I’ll be able to read a book.

By James Vincent @jjvincent

Transit agencies use ‘Pokemon GO’ to encourage ridership

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and other transit agencies are using the “Pokemon GO” game to encourage public transit ridership.

Several of Metro’s rail stations serve as “gyms,” where players of the game can train and battle Pokemon, the agency announced this week. Additionally, many stops serve as “Pokestops,” where players can gather equipment needed for the game.

“For those of you who aren’t too keen on walking long distances, Metro buses and trains are a good traffic-beating option with many stations near the type of community gathering places favored by the game,” Metro officials said in a press release.

Additionally, the agency created a Twitter handle dedicated to updates about the augmented reality game, which requires players to walk around their environments to capture virtual creatures.

However, Metro cautioned players to remain alert and aware of their surroundings while playing the game. On Twitter, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) and several other agencies have issued similar warnings.

Meanwhile, Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Miami-Dade Transit and others also sent out tweets encouraging Pokemon GO players to use transit to catch Pokemon.

The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink COULD Go From Jeffersonville to Louisville UNDERWATER (No. 15)

Hyperloop One Plans to Take the Ultrafast Transport System Underwater

By Kelly Tatera on June 24, 2016

It just keeps getting better.

As if the Hyperloop concept itself isn’t impressive enough, Brogan BamBrogan, the co-founder and CTO of Hyperloop One, announced the company’s plans to take the ultrafast transportation system underwater.

For a little background, tech guru Elon Musk pitched the idea of the Hyperloop transportation system back in 2013, and it’s quickly becoming a reality. Basically, the Hyperloop is a supersonic transportation system that will theoretically transport people or cargo in levitating pod-capsules at rates near the speed of sound.

Just last month, Hyperloop One, one of the companies developing the Hyperloop technology, demonstrated its first successful public display of a Hyperloop pod in the Nevada desert. Impressively, the propulsion speeds went from zero to 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers) in just 4 seconds. You can watch a video of the demonstration here.
DON’T MISS: MIT Unveils Their Winning Hyperloop Pod Prototype

Now, as if on-land Hyperloop systems weren’t futuristic enough, Hyperloop One also plans to test out an underwater system.

BamBrogan sat down with Science Friday to discuss the technology, and he claims that the company already has the capability of building an underwater Hyperloop system, but is trying to find a more cost-effective approach.

“The DNA of my time at SpaceX has got its fingerprints all over Hyperloop,” BamBrogan says. “There’s nothing new that has to be invented, but (what) we are doing is innovating and doing things to bring the cost down.”

At this point, BamBrogan says the production costs are still too high, but hopefully these costs will go down as the technology develops. Plus, he says that many people probably don’t even know how much they want the Hyperloop system since it’s new and yet to become available.

“We think we can deliver things people don’t even know they want yet, and that’s going to manifest itself in a lot of ways,” he says. “So I think we will see some above-grade systems, we’re definitely going to see tunneled systems, and we also want to see some underwater systems.”

The Hyperloop One underwater concept can be seen in the image above — exciting things to come.

JUST THINK: Not Another Ohio River RIDGE!!!