Stuart’s Hat Trick powers the Utica Comets past the Binghamton Senators


Colin Stuart was pretty sure it was a first.

“I think that was my first AHL hat trick,” he said.

He was right. The Comet captain scored three times for the first time in 493 American Hockey League games to lead the Utica Comets to a 5-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators before a hooting and howling crowd of 3,286 at Friday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The win broke a three-game losing streak on a night the Comets honored eight members of the Clinton Comets, the Eastern Hockey League power of the 1950s and 1960s.

And the game was the first of three in as many days for the Comets, who won for just the second time on home ice (2-8-1-1) and are 7-14-1-1 overall.

Now, the Comets get right back to work, visiting the Penguins, – now leading the East Division with 33 ponts – in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then coming back home to play Lake Erie Sunday.

“Three in three is taxing,” Stuart said, who added an assist for a four-point night. “But it’s one step at a time. We can’t take any nights off.”

Obviously it was a big night for Stuart, who has had seven two-goals games in his AHL career, the last for Rochester against Binghamton in 2012, and now has eight goals and 11 points. It also was for goalie Joacim Eriksson, who had two stop a couple of breakaways and point-blank shots and made 42 saves, 18 in the first period.

“Yoke was pretty good,” Coach Travis Green said. “He kept us in it in the first period.”

Cal O’Reilly and Darren Archibald scored the other goals, both also added assists, and Pascal Pelletier and Benn Ferriero had two assists apiece for the Comets.

“The team as a whole played well,” Stuart said.

The Senators now are 14-8-0-3 and two points out of first in the East, but are 0-3-0-3 in their last six games. They got a first period goal from Derek Grant and took the lead briefly on Mark Borowiecki’s score early in the second, but the Comets recovered with the kind of all-out effort coach Green says is essential for them to succeed.

But Stuart, the team captain, was the headliner. His first goal came on the power play at 7:48 of the first period, when he knocked in a rebound of a Pelletier shot that Archibald also got a piece of. His second gave the Comets a 4-2 pad early in the third period and came on a dart from the left circle after he took a sharp lead pass from David Marshall. The third put the game away at 17:54, with O’Reilly getting him the puck on the doorstep after Ferriero outhustled a pair of Senators to control it deep in the Binghamton zone.

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The Utica Comets paid tribute to their professional forbears before their 5-2 American Hockey League victory over the Binghamton Senators at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Friday.

Clinton Comets Archie Burton, Jack Kane, Dave Armstrong, Bordy Smith, Tim Hook, Tom Mitchell, Pete Prevost and the late Ian Anderson were honored prior to the game and celebrated warmly by the crowd.

Their jersey numbers and likenesses will hang permanently in the Aud in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Clinton team, the Mohawk Valley’s original professional hockey team and five-time Eastern Hockey League champions.

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Railroads On Parade


Used to be a great model train exhibit at Grand Central every Christmas sponsored by Citibank. After the Citigroup / Citibank layout contract was no longer renewed, Clarke Dunham moved the entire layout to his museum, “Railroads on Parade” in Pottersville, NY which is open to the public by admission tickets during the ‘summer season” (Memorial Day through the fall). Pottersville is just off the Northway I-87 in the southern part of the Adirondack Park, maybe 45 minutes north of Saratoga Springs, NY and well worth the trip.

See more about the Pottersville area on the Tahawus WebSite. Check out some great model railroads.

Metro-North Response to Spuyten Duvil accident


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced that MTA Metro-North Railroad is making immediate improvements to reinforce safety at critical curves and movable bridges along its right of way.The improvements were directed Friday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter to the MTA and by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in an emergency order issued late last week.

The emergency order directs Metro-North to take immediate steps to ensure its train crews don’t exceed speed limits, modify its existing signal system and provide two employees to operate trains where major speed restrictions are in place.

The order also requires the railroad to provide the FRA with a list of main track locations where there is a reduction of more than 20 mph in the maximum authorized train speed by tomorrow. In addition, Metro-North must identify appropriate modifications to its existing automatic train-control system or other signal systems to enable adequate advance warning of and adherence to such speed restrictions.

The modifications will help prevent another over-the-speed-limit event if a locomotive engineer fails to take actions to appropriately slow or stop a passenger train, FRA officials said in a press release.

The FRA’s order followed the Dec. 1 accident in which a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, N.Y., killing four passengers and injuring as many as 70 others. In its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that just prior to the derailment, the train was traveling 82 mph as it approached a 30-mph curve.

“Metro-North is taking important steps to improve safety for its customers and employees, and I expect the railroad will continue searching for ways to improve its operations and fully restore its commuters’ confidence,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast in a press release.

The railroad also must submit to the FRA for approval an action plan that ensures the safety of its operations for passengers and employees by Dec. 31. The plan must contain target dates and milestones for implementing necessary signal system modifications.

“Last year was the safest on record for our nation’s rail industry,” said FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo. “Even with a 43 percent decline in train accidents nationwide over the past decade, we must remain steadfast and vigilant to ensure passengers and employees are safe.”

Meanwhile, Metro-North officials announced the improvements they’ve made to date. Signal crews have installed new protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of the derailment, which will warn train engineers of the approaching speed reduction and will automatically apply the train’s emergency brakes if speed is not lowered to the 30 mph maximum in the curve.

The signal improvement at Spuyten Duyvil was done simultaneously and in coordination with work to restore track, power and signal systems there after the derailment, Metro-North officials said.

By tomorrow, all Metro-North trains will enhance communication between train engineers and conductors to ensure trains are operated at safe speeds at four other critical curves as well as at five movable bridges, they said. Conductors will stand with engineers at each train’s control cab through the critical curves to verbally confirm that speed limits are adhered to. Where the train layout prohibits the conductor from reaching the engineer in a locomotive, they will communicate by radio. They also will communicate by radio at the five movable bridges.

Metro-North engineers are developing new signal protections to automatically enforce speed restrictions at the other four critical curves by March, and at the five movable bridges by September, Metro-North officials said.

The railroad also has surveyed its tracks and will reduce the maximum authorized speed at 26 locations in order to eliminate all locations where the speed limit drops by more than 20 mph. Signs will be posted along the right-of-way to alert engineers of reductions in maximum authorized speed at the four curves by Dec. 16.


All about Electronic Commerce Service Providers


Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP) are a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”). An ECSP is what we previously called VAS (value added services) such as SPS Commerce. Can be referred to as a “VAN2” if it moves EDI messages over the Internet.
Let’s characterize the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes; Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP). A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Let’s take a typical ECSP and describe their service offerings by reviewing their respective WebPages:

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Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North Railroad Accident: “Are We There Yet?”


Been a week since this trategy and a lot has happened.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation continues but shouldn’t be too long before publishing. It is unlike the Canada process (that recent oil train iwreck n Québec) which usually takes a year.

U.S. transportation officials ordered the Metro-North Railroad on Friday to quickly overhaul its signal system and temporarily put an extra worker in the driver’s cab on some routes that have major speed changes, including the one where a speeding commuter train derailed this week, killing four people

The emergency order by the Federal Railroad Administration was a reaction to Sunday’s wreck in the Bronx, where a train flew off the tracks after hitting a curve at 82 mph, nearly three times the 30 mph speed limit. The lone train operator told investigators he nodded at the controls and didn’t apply the brakes until it was too late.

The order gives the railroad until Dec. 31 to provide the Federal Railroad Administration with a plan and target dates for modifying the existing signal system so that trains will automatically slow down in places where the speed limit drops by more than 20 mph.

Until those signal changes are made, the order will require the rail line to put at least two qualified workers in the operator’s cab on sections of track where speeds vary.

On some routes, this may mean that a conductor can head to the cab and accompany the engineer for a few minutes when the train is approaching a slower zone. On others, there will have to be an extra crew member who makes the whole trip because the operator’s cab is not accessible from other train cars.

The extra workers will be required until the railroad upgrades its existing signal and automatic control systems in a way that will deliver “adequate advance warning” of speed restrictions, federal officials said.

On Wednesday, three days after the Manhattan-bound Hudson line train tumbled off the rails in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring more than 70, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that an alerter system had been installed in the locomotive pushing the train, but not in the front cab, where the engineer was positioned, properly, at the time of the crash.

The train was in a “push-pull” configuration, common on Metro-North. In such arrangements, trains are pushed by a locomotive in one direction and pulled in the other.

The authority said a “push-pull” model kept the noise and exhaust of a locomotive as far as possible from the halls of Grand Central Terminal, though diesel trains typically switch to an electric mode as they approach. There is also generally no way for trains to turn around there, the authority said.

The alerter system sounds an alarm after 25 seconds of inactivity, and applies the brakes automatically if an engineer does not respond within 15 seconds.

It is not clear how long before the crash Mr. Rockefeller became inattentive, or whether the alerter system could have prevented the derailment or reduced its severity. It appears likely, though, that if Mr. Rockefeller had experienced a similar episode for an extended period on a northbound trip — when he would have been stationed in the locomotive — the siren might have sounded. In effect, trains configured and equipped like the one in the derailment employ the “alerter” system on only half of their runs.

While much of the safety discussion since the crash has focused on an expensive control system that remains years away from reality for the transportation authority, rail experts have said that a number of lower-cost remedies could have been put in place — and should be in the future — both inside the train and across the system governing it.

The derailment was the deadliest in New York City in more than two decades, prompting a federal investigation and leading local authorities and prosecutors to collect evidence for a possible criminal investigation into the actions of Mr. Rockefeller, who has been suspended without pay.

One potential safety improvement would be ensuring that the alerter systems were installed in every cab. The authority had said that new cars would include the systems in all cabs.

Other improvements could involve a modification of the existing signaling system in which coded electrical pulses sent through the rails are picked up by the trains and displayed as signals in the engineer’s cab.

The signals tell the engineer how fast the train can go, and if they are ignored, the system warns the engineer and if necessary can “dump” the air from the brakes, stopping the train.

In the meantime, things are returning to normal. Passenger service is back to regular strength and freight has resumed. Usually, a south-bound freight brings fruits, vegetables and stuff like that into New York. Finally got to run Thursday. It was 125 cars long. The longest freight train into New York City in recorded history. About 8 locomotives.

Spokes, the 2nd Type of EDI Customer


What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn Spokes” into “Hubs. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can’t a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.
We have been discussing the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements); Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP); A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Lets dig a little deeper into how things have changed and what would it take to do:

Boonville, New York: the sixth “snowiest city in America.”


Once again, Boonville has made the list compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Climatic Data Center and the Weather Channel as the sixth “snowiest city in America.”

Its average yearly snowfall? 193.5 inches.

There is a “Snow Belt” in New York State that runs above Syracuse and Utica. It goes East from Oswego to at least Boonville. Here’s the station at Boonville.

Find out more about Weather around the World

Ominous Weather is about more than weather. Its about our environment. Its about our social issues that need to be surfaced if we want to save our environment. See Champions of our Environment like Al Gore SAS le Prince Albert II de Monaco John R. Stilgoe Ralph Nader. We have addressed several railroad-related projects that will conserve fuel and lessen pollution. Our Window on Europe spotlights projects that can help the rest of the World.
We have other environmental sites on garbage trucks and Rapid response temporary shelters / portable housing.


Utica Comets Upseat Abbortsford Heat TWICE On Their Road Tour


Pascal Pelletier scored with assists from Colin Stuart and Yann Sauve 2:07 into overtime to give the Utica Comets a 4-3 American Hockey League victory over the Abbotsford Heat Saturday.

It was the Comets’ second one-goal win in as many nights over the Heat, who started the weekend with the AHL’s best record.

Kellan Lain scored his first two goals of the season to help build a 2-1 lead after two periods, and Stuart scored in the third to make it 3-2, but the Heat came back to tie it on Ben Street’s power play goal midway through the period.

That set up the game-winner the veteran Pelletier, the team’s top scorer with 19 points.

Joe Cannata, playing goal for the second straight night after going a couple of weeks without any work, made 33 saves to earn the victory after stopping 35 in Friday’s 3-2 win.

The Comets (6-11-1-1) play at Rochester Wednesday and return home Friday to play Bridgeport at The Aud.

MTA Metro-North Railroad accident at “Sput” (Spuyten Duyvil)



A MTA Metro-North train derailed at Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx this morning. The accident killed at least four people and injured 63. The train was en route to New York’s Grand Central Station from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The derailment occurred at approximately 7:20 a.m. Five of the train’s seven cars derailed, but none went into the water.According to Metro North, the train left Poughkeepsie at approximately 5:54 a.m. and scheduled to arrive at Grand Central at 7:43 a.m. Service has been suspended indefinitely on the Hudson Line between Grand Central and Croton Harmon.

This would have been the first Poughkeepsie train of the day, but other trains from Croton-Harmon had passed by before this one.

From the MTA: Hudson Line service is suspended between Tarrytown and Grand Central due to the derailed train in the vicinity of Spuyten Duyvil. Bus service is being provided between White Plains and Tarrytown. Station for customers wishing to travel in and out of Grand Central. Customers at stations between Irvington and Yankees-E. 153rd St. Station are urged to use the Harlem Line, NYCT Subway and/or bus service. Hudson Line tickets will be cross honored for these services.

From AMTRAK: Amtrak Empire Line Service is currently being held between New York City and Albany due to an early morning derailment of a Metro-North commuter trainin Spuyten Duyvil, New York in the Bronx. The incident occurred on property owned and maintained by Metro-North Railroad. No estimate for restoration of Empire Line service is available from Metro-North at this time. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington is not affected.


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