Passenger Train on the Peoria & Eastern Railway


Robert Thompson of Peoria, Illinois bought a schedule of the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway Company dated Time table no 14 Sunday, Sept 26, 1954 . it has the New York Central passenger train #12 leaving Union Depot (pictured above, built in 1899) at 2:05 PM
2:07 at CB&Q crossing
2:12 at Bridge junction
2:19 at Wesley Junction
2:20 at Wesley
2:25 at Grove
2:30 at Pekin Junction ( from mile marker 0.00 to 8.8)
ending at Illinois Central Junction (mile marker 9.2)then NYC No. 13 coming the other way from 12:45 PM to 1:10 PM

See more about the Peoria & Eastern Railway

Chicago CTA RED LINE reopens October 20th


City of Chicago and state of Illinois officials are gearing up for the Oct. 20 reopening of the Chicago Transit Authority‘s (CTA) Red Line South, which will mark the completion of a $425 million modernization project.

The 10.2-mile stretch between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street will reopen on schedule after being closed for five months during the rebuilding of track and eight stations along the line, which serves Chicago’s South Side, CTA officials said in a press release.

“The reconstruction of the Red Line South is an historic investment in both the Red Line — the backbone of the CTA rail system — as well as the many communities it serves on Chicago’s South Side,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This brand new railroad will provide faster and more comfortable commutes, and is an important step toward creating a 21st century transit experience for commuters.”

The CTA was the first U.S. transit agency to entirely remove and replace such a large stretch of railroad in a tight timeframe and with an extensive alternative service plan, CTA officials said. Originally opened in 1969, the Red Line South was reconstructed from the ground up, including all rails, ties, ballast, drainage systems and signaling equipment.

The improvements are expected to trim up to 20 minutes off the round-trip commute between 95th Street and downtown Chicago, CTA officials said.


In France, Tram work started on Nice Line 2 – October 16, 2013


Tram work started in Nice today on Line 2 –  building work began this morning on a second tram line in Nice, France. Crossing the town from east to west, it’s supposed to be ready in 2017. Marché d’intérêt national is the starting point on work and was site of work opening ceremony by Mayor Estrosi.

Even before the full completion of the line 2 is line 3 which could be achieved in 2018 towards the Allianz Riviera, the new 35,000 seat stadium that just opened. Currently Bus 95 runs to the stadium with “tram-like” frequency, but lots of people prefer to drive and traffic jams are huge.


Trust for Public Land to plan conversion of railroad track into Queens Highline


Engineers, architects and planners are about to spend the next year figuring out whether 3 1/2 miles of abandoned railroad track can be transformed into Queens’ version of the High Line. In case you missed it, the old New York Central West Side Freight Line was “transformed” into the High Line.

The experts will perform engineering studies to test the deteriorating track beds, which have been abandoned for more than 50 years; they’ll meet with residents and merchants, and they’ll determine whether the massive project is workable as they develop plans.

Two city-based firms — WXY architecture + urban design and dlandstudio — edged out a field of more than two dozen applicants for the right to envision the park, which would run along the old Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach railroad tracks from Rego Park to Ozone Park.
It is 3 1/2 miles long and would become a biking and walking trail.
While it would involve the neighborhood and has a lot of local support, a lot of people think the rail line should be re-activated and provide better transportation to New York City.
The Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach Branch diverged from the LIRR’s Main Line in Rego Park at about 66th Avenue at what was called Whitepot Junction. It ran south through the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, across Jamaica Bay and through Broad Channel, and on to the Rockaway Peninsula, where one spur continued east and rejoined the LIRR in Far Rockaway, and the other went west and dead-ended at Beach 116th Street at the Rockaway Park station.
There was a plan to attach the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch line to the IND subway. However, the Depression forced the IND to shelve that plan…but not before installing signage in some of its stations pointing to a Rockaway connection that was never built!
Frequent fires on the wooden trestle crossing Jamaica Bay impelled the LIRR to close the old line. It was purchased by New York City, which rebuilt the tracks and began subway service to the Rockaways in 1956.
The northern end of the line above Liberty Avenue remained in service until 1962, when declining patronage convinced the LIRR to close it down.

Supply Chain Management Control Towers are Amazing Things


Any business that manufacturers and distributes globally must have end-to-end supply chain visibility today. This means more than just the “four walls” of the factory. It means all your suppliers: the status of their shipments to you and expected delivery. Your shipments to customers. Even the weather and political risks along the route. You must be able to adjust the whole cycle almost in “real time”.

The answer is a Supply Chain Management Control Tower. Our plan is to operate one that will serve multiple companies. It will be “Cloud” based (meaning not limited to a specific computer site). It will offer “Software as a Service” to clients.

We will be using top-of-the-line elements to operate it. IBM software, operations hosted by PROSOFT GROUP (an industry leader), marketing through the National Technology Sales Engine headquartered in Chicago.

A new term is appearing in the supply chain arena: “Supply Chain Control Tower”. Just as an airport control tower coordinates airplanes landing and taking off, a Supply Chain Control Tower coordinates inbound and outbound distribution flows. Sure sounds more professional than a “dashboard”.

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.

Our Supply Chain Control Tower is up and running. Yes, the idea makes a lot of sense, but what are the benefits?
How do we make full use of our resources? What else do we need to add to it? If you take a look at an airport control tower, it usually is a boring place. Yes, they work around the clock but all you see is a super smooth operation. Operators viewing screens and talking calmly into headsets. When it is not “boring”, they usually throw visitors out. Our goal with our SCM Control Tower is to be a “boring” place.

We have been talking a lot about Supply Chain Management Control Towers. Yes, transportation (usually under logistics) is included in the control tower.

In many companies, transportation is outsourced to a 3PL, 4PL or 5PL provider. This provider is an expert at hooking your company up to any required transportation resources. Your provider already has some excellent tools available. A popular concept since the 1990’s has been the “Load Control Center” (LCC). We are looking at outsourcing, but yes, excellent software is available if you do it yourself.

You are in the process of staffing your SCM Control Tower.This group will be drawn from different areas of your company (different “silos”) and different skill sets (for example, a “hazmat” expert). Is your SCM Control Tower going to be a team building melting pot or a boiling cauldron of dis-function? You could draw the brightest and most hard working employees in and outside of your company; but if they don’t get along, it could wreck your business.

A couple of other things you might be interested in:

Supply Chain Control Tower Software

Supply Chain Software

Freight on the FJ&G (Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad)


Some great stuff from the FJ&G Group on YAHOO

Neat picture complements of Gino DiCarlo
A lot more on his blog and see his WebSite:
 The Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad (FJ&G) was at one point a 132 mile steam engine and electric interurban railroad that connected its namesake towns in east central New York State to Schenectady, New York. It had a successful and profitable transportation business from 1870 until the 1980s carrying workers, salesmen, and executives of the very large number of glove manufacturing companies in the area to the New York Central (NYC) station at Schenectady. From here they could catch trains south to New York City (NYC) or west to Chicago. It also handled freight and had freight interchange with both the NYC and the Delaware and Hudson railroads. Passenger business declined starting before the Great Depression and particularly during it. Following a determined and expensive effort to recapture passenger business by acquiring five ultra modern high-speed Bullet interurban cars in 1932, the FJ&G abandoned passenger service in 1938. Freight business continued on for a few more decades, was later taken over by the Delaware-Otsego Railroad management and then eventually abandoned.
Now for the comments:
Next from Saul B. Kalbfeld
Here are odd some sightings on the line. Some, I’ve mentioned before. I once saw a long string of PFE mechanical reefers in the Gloversville yard. I don’t remember the year but they were probably loadings for the MCA plant. In 1955, the railroad built a temporary siding where Rt. 30A crosses the ROW in Gloversville during highway construction, originally state route 147, now 30A. Many covered cement hoppers were spotted there. Too bad I didn’t have a camera then, but I was only 13. Supposedly the original broadcast tower for WTEN in Broadalbin came in on 50′ flats, but this has not been documented.

Cars used to be regularly spotted along the team track along Fulton St. in Gloversville, next to the Daniel Hayes building. There was also a busy team track where the line crossed Rt. 30 in Vail Mills.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been away from the Gloversville area since 1969, moving from Albany to Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am a member of GHS class of 1960. I remember the post war golden age when the mills and shops were busy. Considering how busy the line was then, I’m now amazed how poor the physical condition of the railroad was. Light rail, worn ties, no tieplates, bad drainage, no ballast. The seeds of doom were sown for when heavier cars became common.

Also, I read with amusement, an article in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago regarding a proposal to revive the line to Johnstown.  This is some kind of fanciful dream. For starters, the deck truss over the creek outside Fonda is 113 years old and would not pass any inspection. I can only see this happening if customers in the Johnstown Industrial Park were ready and waiting for service.

Now a summary from Paul Larner
 The FJ&G served two  small cities a few villages with a full service, meaning to say any type of car in general service for any particular time period might be found on the FJ&G.  The most common obviously were box cars and coal hoppers in the hey day years, followed by gondolas, tanks, flats, B&O auto carriers, reefers, stock cars.  Hides were hauled in low grade XM boxes; glue stock in equally low grade gondolas.  Tanks carried fuel oil, gasoline and liquefied gases; covered hoppers had been on the line since their inception carrying cement, then feed products and later plastics and fertilizer components; flats carried gas or chemicals in cylinders, lumber, poles, farm equipment, steel.  And so it goes.
Now some facts from John:
 I can’t speak for the pre DO years, but during the DO years I followed the FJ&G closely and kept a log book of cars at industries whenever I saw them. I will try and put a list together at some point in the next month or so. But as a quick example…The Gville coal shed got salt hoppers from Sterling Salt (Retsof)that consisted of both Sterling Salt cars and plain IMCX and GNWR cars. It also got both green Cargill Salt covered hoppers and yellow Cargill hoppers. Once I saw a Southern covered hopper with clay unload at the Gville coal shed and once I saw a D&H hopper with coal unload at the Gville coal shed, I might have seen a second D&H coal hopper unload there.

Fairbanks Feed got both boxcars and covered hoppers. I recall an Illinois Terminal covered hopper and some NW covered hoppers. There was also at least one NW boxcar and a Buffalo Creek boxcar to name just some of the cars that came there. Near the end there was a PC and LV covered hopper delivered to Fairbanks.

You could see any of the classic modern 50ft paper cars at the Leader Herald. CN, CV, DWP, MEC, CP green, and most versions of BAR scheme including the Red white and blue vertical scheme showed up.

The various hide unloading spots would typically get 40ft and 50ft Midwestern cars. UP, BN, GN, SP&S,CB&Q, FRISCO, IC, ICG, GM&O, ATSF. These were all classic cars, most with the various slogans on them.

Hussmann got great looking 50ft or 60ft boxcars. For a long time they got mostly those great looking bright red ATSF rib side plug door cars, many in fairly fresh paint. Later on they got BN, WP, SP, SSW, and Rio Grande cars so the source of the inbound shipments must have changed.

Coleco got a lot of those great looking bright red Dupont Alathon (polyethylene)center flow covered hoppers and lots of grey ACFX center flow covered hoppers (pool PVC). They got other hoppers but the 2 listed were the main types. Outbound they used exclusively FJ&G boxcars after those ex PC cars arrived.

The lumber place in Broadalbin used the DO and CACV all doors for the brief time they were loading. Broadalbin got a lot of 50ft Southern waffle side cars. I assume they were for Fiber Conversion based on the volume but they could have had furniture for Mohawk. The sawdust place also exclusively used the FJ&G ex PC cars for outbound loads after those cars arrived.

More comments from John
This stuff is incredible. As a kid I spent a lot of time near the Kingsboro Ave crossing. Actually seeing what that siding looked like with coal cars is really neat. In the later years there was an occasional lumber or insulation car spotted there for Northville Building Supply.
Hussmann’s previous name was Mohawk Cabinet. Mohawk also made commercial refrigeration units as a predecessor to Hussmann. The units in the grocery store had “Mohawk” on the nameplates. So did Mohawk originally make furniture and then evolved into refrigeration units hence the name cabinet? Or was that a completely different company in your picture?
Is the successor Mohawk Cabinet Company that came after Hussmann still in business? I see they have a website and were or are using the Hussmann building. I thought that venture never got off the ground.
 Comment from Gordon Davis
Having been on the raw-material end of the tanning industry a comment on cars used in  hide & skin transport.
These were almost always nearly life-expended stock for they were used only for that traffic which tended to be a bit oderifrous and salt impregnated.  They were returned empty.  If I needed something for an outbound shipment (processed bovine hair) I had to order ‘clean’ stock.
WTEN Tower: The July 2, 1965, and the August 20, 1965 editions of the Leader-Herald state that the tower was shipped out by rail in thirty-foot sections when it was dismantled.  This must have been some accomplishment, as the tower was 1,340 feet high and contained a 60-foot antenna on its top.  That leaves 1,280 feet to be shipped by rail.  In thirty-foot sections, that’s roughly 43 sections.

Utica Comets Defeated In Opening Game

ImageThe Utica Comets made their debut Friday night. It didn’t come off quite the way they’d have liked. Despite outshooting the Rochester Americans, 31-21, the Comets dropped a 4-1 American Hockey League decision Friday, and will go to Albany Saturday evening looking for their first-ever win.

Dan Catenacci scored the first goal of the game, Luke Adam scored twice, and Kevin Sundher also scored for the Amerks, and Matt Hackett played a strong game in goal. The Comets were down 2-0 in the first, 4-0 after two before finally getting the first goal in their history when Pascal Pelletier popped a shot home as he came across the crease with 6:32 to play in the game.

Hey! The Rochester team has been around since pussy was a kitty. Comets are the new kids on the block.
Read more:

Florida East Coast News


Lots of exciting things happening on Florida’s East Coast. The Port of Miami is getting ready for the expanded Panama Canal. A new high speed train will run between Miami and Orlando. Here’s some of the related stories.

The Florida East Coast Railway (“FECR”) recently took delivery of two refurbished locomotives (436 and 425). (Number 436 pictured above) These locomotives have a new paint scheme that recognizes breast cancer awareness. “These locomotives provide a visible example of FECR’s support to find a cure for breast cancer,” said FECR’s CEO Jim Hertwig.  “The locomotives were painted in honor of our employees, customers, suppliers, and the communities we serve who have fought for the cure. The locomotives will operate in local service along our network.”

All Aboard Florida won’t stop along the Treasure or Space coasts when passenger service starts to speed between Miami and Orlando in late 2015.

Platforms for passengers may someday be in those east coast communities and at more distant points across the state.

But first, backers of the $1.5 billion private venture by the subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries want to know they’ll have a chance to recoup their investment before adding stops.

That didn’t prevent members of the Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee this week from expressing a desire for the private venture to start making plans to expand the service west to Tampa and north to Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.

People who now drive from Central to South Florida could within two years hop on a train for a three-hour trip instead, thanks to deals being reached this week.

Owned by Florida East Coast Industries of Coral Gables, All Aboard Florida is planning stops at Orlando International Airport, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The trains would run on a 230-mile route. Its customers are expected to be business travelers and tourists and a one-way ticket could cost about $100.

Passenger rail company All Aboard Florida expects to spend a total of about $2.4 billion to connect Miami to Orlando by private train and to develop the real estate along the track.

That total includes about $320 million spent on real estate development alone, according to sources who asked not to be named. The commercial development is expected to include offices, retail, residences and entertainment.

The real estate piece is particularly important to All Aboard-parent Florida East Coast Industries, which expects to generate revenue, in part, by leveraging its expertise in developing and managing commercial real estate. FECI also has separate companies that plans to leverage the rail to generate additional revenue. FECI subsidiaries will offer various services including locating cell phone towers along the right of way; and third-party management to government and private companies with land and resources on and around the right-of-way.

If it comes to fruition, All Aboard Florida will be the first private intercity passenger rail service in America since 1971, when government-subsidized Amtrak took over passenger train operation nationally.

For the first time in eight years, Florida East Coast Railway has an operational, direct rail line into PortMiami, opening the door for retailers, which can now reach much of the U.S. market in no more than four days.

PortMiami has been without on-dock rail service since 2005 when Hurricane Wilma destroyed the Port’s rail bridge. But thanks to a federal grant the tracks have been upgraded and regular service is scheduled to begin next month.

The new PortMiami-FEC partnership will allow shippers to reach 70 percent of the U.S. population in four days or less by linking the Port to the national railway system. The connection is part of an overall plan to maximize the growth in freight business projected as part of the Panama Canal upgrade to be finished in 2015.

“The Real Walmart”?!? Six Big Fibs in Walmart’s New Ad Campaign

ImagePicked this up from the Daily Kos, too good not to see.

Walmart is good: good for its employees, its customers, its suppliers, and even for the environment, says the company’s new ad campaign and website, dubbed “The Real Walmart” as a retort to the company’s critics.

But alas, the facts say otherwise. On inspection, each of the major claims in the campaign turns out to be “The Fake Walmart.”  Let’s examine each of these glowing pronouncements, along with the murky reality that lies behind it.
1. The Claim:  “Opportunity: That’s the Real Walmart!” exults one of the ads. “Over 75 percent of store management started as hourly associates.”

The Reality:  An internal Walmart document just leaked to the press this week reveals that:

  • Hourly “associates” at Walmart start at or near the minimum wage. Performance-based pay increases can result in “promotions” in pay and title.  But even the very highest level of performance will net you an annual raise of just $.60 per hour, capped for each job title. Last year, only 18 percent of hourly workers received any pay raise at all.  If an employee is so industrious as to rise to the management level of, say, “check out supervisor,” her pay will be $1.70 more than that of the lowest paid employee.
  • And getting from the hourly wage ghetto to a salaried position is, as the Magic 8 Ball likes to say, “Not likely.”  In a typical Walmart store, there may be 200 employees and only a handful of salaried managers. Getting one of those few positions is “more like a lottery than a reliable path.”

2. The Claim:  “When our store does well, I earn quarterly bonuses!”

The Reality: Those bonuses of $100 to $300, intended to make employees work harder, don’t make for a living wage.  If Walmart really wanted to improve workers’ lives, it would allow more of them to work full time, and thus have access to health insurance and other benefits. Instead, the company keeps a tight lid on full-time work, thus denying benefits to about 70 percent of its store employees.

3. The Claim: “Walmart helps customers save on prescription drugs!”

The Reality: But at what cost to those same customers as taxpayers?  Walmart’s wages and benefits are so low that many of its workers have to rely on Medicaid and other social services to support their families, costing taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million annually per store in the state of Wisconsin, where these costs were calculated. That’s a taxpayer tab of at least $67.5 million each year for the state of Wisconsin alone.

4. The Claim:  “President Clinton praised which company for putting solar panels on its stores?” asks a cheerful young spokesmodel of passersby in another ad. They are surprised to learn that it’s Walmart.

The Reality:  The passerby’s initial assumption — that it wouldn’t be Walmart — is well taken. In fact, despite announcing in 2005 that the company would move to having 100 percent of its power supplied by renewable sources, Walmart today receives only four percent of its energy from solar and wind power.

Why would Bill Clinton say such a thing?  Call me cynical, but it may have something to do with the fact that Walmart has been a major supporter of the Clintons since Bill’s days as governor of Arkansas.  In fact, Hillary was a member of Walmart’s Board of Directors for the six years leading up to her husband’s first presidential campaign in 1992. By 1993, tax returns showed the Clintons owned more than $100,000 worth of Walmart stock. In 2008, the company made substantial contributions to Hillary’s presidential campaign, while Bill has maintained a close personal relationship with Walmart CEO H. Lee Scott.  If Hillary runs in 2016, it will be in the post-Citizens United era of the SuperPac. These are made by billionaire contributors, and there are few billionaires as billiony as the scions of Walmart — the six Walton heirs together own as much wealth as 40 percent of the U.S. population.  The candidate who has them has the atom bomb of the SuperPac wars.

5. The Claim: “Meet real Walmart shoppers!”  Here we meet a businessman, a teacher, a carpenter, a mechanical engineer, a firefighter and an accountant, all of them redolent with middle class status, who proudly shop at Walmart. “Living better,” the tag line says, “that’s the real Walmart.”

The Reality:  Walmart’s customers are disproportionately poor, Southern and elderly.  The fact that none of these demo’s made it into Walmart’s ad about “Our Customers” means not only that Walmart is a fibber, but also that Walmart is a disser of its own “real” customers.

6. The Claim:  “We work directly with manufacturers, eliminating costly markups.”

The Reality: If by “work with,” the ad means “dictate to,” then this claim is accurate.  But again, as Charles Fishman, the business reporter who wrote The Walmart Effect asks, what is “the high cost of these low prices?” Walmart’s market power is such that many of its suppliers face a stark choice:  take dictation from Walmart, or lose half or more of their business. “To survive in the face of [Walmart’s] pricing demands, makers of everything from bras to bicycles to blue jeans have had to lay off employees and close U.S. plants in favor of outsourcing products from overseas.”

Just ask Steve Dobbins, CEO of 75-year old Carolina Mills, a company that supplies thread and yarn to textile manufacturers — half of whom supply Walmart. His company grew steadily until 2000. Then his customers, with Walmart’s gun to their heads — began a hemhorrage of offshoring in order to find the dirt cheap labor necessary to meet Walmart’s low price demands. Carolina Mills shrank from 17 factories to 7 within three years. The way Walmart “works with” its suppliers has been disastrous for American workers.

In the end, what can we learn from “The Real Walmart”?

When large corporations are criticized, they squirt PR like a cuttlefish. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to fix the image than to fix the problem. This summer, reports have emerged showing that Walmart’s pay and promotion policies are miserly, and that as a result, taxpayers get stuck with a big tab. If “greenwashing” is hiding your environmental sins with PR, and red is the color of labor, “The Real Walmart” has, in response to its critics, given us “redwashing.”

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