Business Case for Enterprise Social Networks


How do we justify a Social Supply Chain? Companies are not going to have any MORE Information than they have now, but they will use it differently/better because of what is happening with social technologies. Much of this information is beyond the four walls, but he wall between employees, vendors and customers is falling down. Thus highly socially networked companies that take advantage will find themselves in a more favorable position and see improvements over less networked companies. This means increased working capital, decreased inventories and better service levels.
The challenge in going “social” is to copy the real-world relationships found in today’s supply chains. Take a look at Facebook. Why did they succeed where others like MySpace did not? One thing that Facebook found is that a Facebook user’s social network better reflects real-life interactions. Facebook is successful because it crashes the barriers between people who have already demonstrated the desire to communicate with each other in the real world.

Metro North Railroad New Haven Line Crash Disrupts Busy Rail Line


Officials toured the scene of a two-train collision in Connecticut that injured dozens of people and halted rail traffic from New York to Boston on Friday.

Area hospitals reported seeing 70 people after the rush-hour collision. Two remained in critical condition on Saturday.

“The damage is absolutely staggering,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal told reporters on Saturday after a tour of the scene. “Ribbons on the sides of cars are torn away like ribbons of clothes. Tons of metal tossed around like toy things. The insides of cars are shattered.”

An eastbound Metro-North train derailed at 6:10 p.m. on Friday and was struck by a westbound train between the Bridgeport and Fairfield stations, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters on Saturday.

Investigators from the NTSB arrived in Connecticut at about 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and planned to begin documenting the scene of the crash, Weener said. Investigators planned to spend between seven to 10 days on scene, and will conduct interviews with the train’s crew members, passengers, and witnesses.

Metro-North, which runs between New York City and its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut, is one of the busiest commuter rail services in the U.S. There are four tracks on that segment of the New Haven Line, an MTA statement said, but two are out of service for replacement of overhead wires.

There was “extensive damage” to the track and the wire from the collision, MTA said. The train cars will remain in place until the investigation is completed.

Amtrak cancelled all NY to Boston trains, but later added limited service New haven-Boston.

Until they clean it up, there is no acceptable detour in place. One exists, but it is only single track. Norwalk to Danbury, Danbury to Derby/Shelton on the Maybrook Line, Waterbury Branch to Devon on the Waterbury Line. However, the Maybrook Line is currently out of service for political/financial reasons. Besides, it is not electrified and Metro North does not have significant number of diesel locomotives to operate. In the meantime, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (parent company of Metro North) has rounded up lots of busses to “bridge the gap” between Bridgeport and Norwalk.

 On average, two people PER DAY die on Interstate 95 between Maine and Florida. How many Interstates are there? The section of I-95 between New Haven and New York City is one of the worst. Just do the math. The railroad is much much safer. Airlines? Usually 100% fatalities in a plane crash.
Bangladesh Railway 1 track/grade crossing every 100 feet/chicken cages tied to the roof.

Full Metro-North Rail Service Expected Wednesday

Tue May 21, 2013 4:28 am (PDT) . Posted by:

“Gary R. Kazin” gkazin

I knew they could do better than two weeks. That was a worst-case estimate; better to do that than say they can do it in four days and need five…

Full Metro-North Rail Service Expected Wednesday
Published: May 20, 2013

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Monday that it expected full commuter rail service to return by Wednesday morning, less than a week after a collision near Fairfield, Conn., involving two Metro-North Railroad trains injured more than 70 people and jammed a crucial transit corridor for much of the Northeast.

“We are confident that the reconstruction work, inspection and testing will be completed in time for a normal rush hour on Wednesday,” said Howard Permut, the president of Metro-North Railroad, who had estimated as recently as Sunday morning that service would be disrupted “well into the coming week.”

Full article:
http://www.nytimes. com/2013/ 05/21/nyregion/ after-crash- metro-north- riders-face- morning-commute. html?ref= nyregion

Be A Successful Shipper


Taking some ideas and attitudes that have been around for a while I developed this document for a 3PL logistics provider in Zimbabwe. It really applies to any company who ships or any company who hires a 3PL to ship for them. With everything going on in Supply Chain Management (control towers, etc) and the “Omni-Channel Revolution” underway, we can at least make our shipping process more effective.

Gino’s Rail Page, Blog and Trolleys…..Capital District, New York


If you are interested in railroads or trolleys around the Capital District of New York State, or up into the Adirondacks, then you need to follow him. His BLOG just announced that the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad is purchasing the former Delaware & Hudson Palmer Branch in Corinth. (S&NC is the railroad that we follow because of their extension to Tahawus)

His Railroad Page  has lots of great sections, including the Troy & Schenectady Railroad.

He has a great trolley page too.

Gino has published a book on Capital District trolleys, and is a musician (who hasn’t quit his day job)


Who Sits Where in the Supply Chain Management Control Tower?



We recently wrote an article on Supply Chain Control Towers. Now, who is going to staff the control tower? Logistics was conceived by the military to get the right amount of supplies to the troops at the right time, supply chain management takes a bigger approach of looking further back into the life of a product to its manufacture and even product design while integrating what were once thought to be unrelated disciplines: marketing and customer service.
The Global Supply Chain Forum has identified eight key processes that make up the core of supply chain management: (1) Customer Relationship Management (provides the structure for how the relationship with the customer is developed and maintained); (2) Customer Service Management (the company’s face to the customer); (3) Demand Management (coordinates all acts of the business that place demand on manufacturing capacity): (4) Order Fulfillment (integration of the firm’s manufacturing, logistics and marketing silos); (5) Manufacturing Flow Management; (6) Procurement (supplier relationship management); (7) Product Development and Commercialization (integrating customers and suppliers into the product development process in order to reduce time to market; (8) Returns.

Dropship and the Logistics Provider


In 2012, I wrote about the end delivery process in drop shipping. Next, my target was to walk back up the chain and find a company that was manufacturing something then shipping it.
I searched for someone to interview who is involved with drop shipping from a manufacturing standpoint. In return for providing me with answers to some of their business processes, I offered some free publicity. Some of the questions about the sophistication of the business processes I hoped to get answered:

Are any of your contracts executed electronically? In other words, does customer send you an electronic purchase order or is done verbally/FAX? If electronic, how is it done? EDI? Other? Is either a shipping advice or payment done electronically? How do you communicate with your factories? Voice, FAX, email, or some type of electronic file sharing over Internet? Now, how do you ship? I need some type of introduction to your vendor, customs broker, shipping company. What type of electronic interface do you have with them?

Instead of getting a manufacturer, I got a third-party logistics provider. Sort of like going fishing for trout and catching a bass instead. So his responses to my questions were:


EcoMuseum of Transportation at Breil, France

The museum just opened for the season (till September 30). The weekend was busy with members getting everything in shape.


Trolleybus is a FIAT-MENARINI type 2411 ex San Remo, Italy n° 1133 owned by the Tramophiles of Nice Cote Azur (a partner in the EcoMuseum)


This big electric locomotive (type CC) lives at the museum. It is the French counterpart to the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1.


The last tram that ran in Nice (for 53 years until the new trams arrived) lives here too.


This little guy (called a shunter) moves equipment like into the shop


Breil is the junction of a French railroad from Nice and an Italian railroad from Ventimiglia, Italy. From Breil to Tende and on to Cuneo it is an “international” railroad operated jointly by France and Italy.

Like many museums, there is a “steam department”, but their locomotive driving wheels cannot pass inspection. The facilities for reworking no longer exist in France, so they would need to go to Germany or Poland. Lots of $$$!

There is a great HO Scale railroad in the visitors center. It’s prototype is the Nice to Cuneo and Ventimiglia to Cuneo railroads. They are in the process of converting the locomotives to radio-controlled.


Supply Chain to Supply Circle


As a Supply Chain Manager, everybody is expecting you to perform miracles and save your company. You are expected to come up with some great programs. Would one of the Top Ten SCM Innovations make your CEO happy? Let’s try instead and give you some simpler ideas.
Manufacturers can create value, cut costs, and reduce exposure to rapidly changing commodity prices by improving their resource productivity. This means using fewer resources for each unit of output. SCM managers are looking for opportunities beyond their own operations. Collaboration with suppliers and customers can keep used products, components, and materials in circulation. Hence the term “Supply Circle”.

Inaccessible New York: Behind The Scenes At Grand Central Terminal « CBS New York


Evan Bindelglass,     Check this great article on Grand Central  out!

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As we continue our tour of spots in New York that are off limits to the general public, what better place to profile than the Grand Central Terminal, which just celebrated its centennial.

Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest rail terminal. It covers 49 acres, going from 42nd Street all the way up to 97th Street, with Park Avenue essentially built on much of its roof.

It’s among the six most visited sites in New York City. Every day, 750,000 people go through Grand Central, but about 200,000 of them don’t ever board a train. Many people just go there for lunch or a tour – but not like this one.

Metro-North Railroad’s Dan Brucker served as tour guide.

Here are some of the sites in Grand Central they saw:


People will immediately recognize the massive arched windows on the east and west sides of the main concourse. Running behind those huge windows are a series of catwalks at various levels, mostly for maintenance (and the odd lucky journalist).


Among the beauties of Grand Central are the various bare-bulb chandeliers. Here are the chandeliers along the south side of the main concourse, hanging below skylights.


It is from this room that the entire railroad is kept on track. Brucker said the people in this room know where every single piece of equipment is. If a train has a maintenance issue is, they know exactly where to find its replacement.


Behind master control is a series of ladders and narrow passages that lead to a one-of-a-kind work of art and time-keeping.

It looks great from the outside, but stepping inside it was like something out of the movie “Hugo.”


190 feet below the lower level, which is itself three stories below street level, is a space that you won’t see on any map. It’s called the M42 sub-basement.

During World War II, from end to end of a space the size of the main concourse, were massive AC to DC rotary converters which provided power to the terminal.

This power station was vital to the war effort and were it taken out, it would have crippled 80 percent of troop and materiel movements in the northeast.


According to Metro-North Railroad, their lost and found is the most successful lost and found in the world. They have an 80 percent return rate.

Jim Fergusson’s Railway and Tramway Station Lists

Jim’s Site contains an expanding series of lists aiming to record all passenger stations and stopping places for various railway and tramway systems throughout the world. This includes relocated and restricted use stations (e.g. for private use, workmen, sports events, armed forces, etc), where information has been found. Information is given either on an “all time” basis or for a particular date or period. All lists give stations and stops in geographical sequence for each line.

He also has a lot of cool trivia

A. Some favourite station names:


Old Armchair Bridge
No Name
Champagne Fountain
Garden of the Gods
Call of the Wild
Haunted House
Rough & Ready
Shoe Heel
Horse Thief
Young Man’s Butte


Bat & Ball
Flowery Field
Hall i’ th’ Wood
Westward Ho!
Messrs Sanders & Co.s Orchid Sheds


Road to Herb Lake Gold Mines
Ha! Ha! Junction

South Africa:

Jumbo Halt



B. Longest Station Names

Baltimore & Ohio South-Western & Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis Junction (69 letters – USA)

Longest single word:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychrwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (58 letters – Wales) However, this is a fabricated name to encourage tourism. Timetables only show Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

Minami-Aso-Mizono-Mareru-Satohakusui-Kogen (37 letters, Japan).

Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta Halt (28 + 4 letters, India)

C. Shortest Station Names


I can find no station names composed only of a single letter or number. The village of “Y” in France, the world’s shortest place name, unfortunately never had a railway station. There are many stations only referred to by numbers, but the number always follows the words “Station No. ….” or “Stopping Place No….”

There are many station names composed of 2 letters. “Ii” in Hawaii is my favourite.

D. Statistics

(all time passenger routes, including lines now closed to passengers, excluding metros, tramways and modern light rail systems and interurban railways). * AAR maximum total (1920: 252,845) plus additions for extra state by state mileages in earlier and later years and 1% allowance for lines closed/opened before/after state maximum mileage

Passenger Route Mileages World: 850,000 miles (1943 Rly Year Book 790,000 + 10% lines closed before/opened after )


All time 260.000 miles (RRs) *
16,000 miles (Interurbans)
Today 26,000 miles (23,000 Amtrak + 3000 commuter lines)


All time 21,250 (21,000 NR + 250 LT)
Today 10,500 (10,250 NR + 250 LT)

Passenger stations and stops:


All time 300,000 (tentative guess!)


All time 100,000 (75,000 Dr Koch 1931 + UK + closed/opened before/after + halts not included)


All time 100,000 (RRs, assuming average 3 miles between stations/stops)
35,000 (Interurbans, assuming 2 stops per mile)

Today 1,600 (500 Amtrak + 1,100 Commuter, excldg Metro, Light Rail & Heritage)


All time 12,000 (Based on Quicks Chronology, 16 x 2 x 372 pages)

Today 2,800 (2,500 NR + 300 LUL/DLR, excldg other Metro, Tramways & Heritage)

Most common station name in USA:

The contenders are:


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