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  1. It looks like you were in my neck of the woods today, KJP! Unfortunately, I was on a train about 8 miles north of there approaching Montpelier and was unable to see the 765. It is great that she gets to spend the night in the Cleveland area tonight, as she was no stranger to that city during her working career! A story about the milepost pictured in your image: many years ago Conrail had used a bulldozer to push over all of the old, cast concrete mileposts in the Bryan, Ohio area. My brother and I decided that the old 342 Milepost would look much better in our backyard than in the weeds staring up at the sky, so we transplanted to my mom's Peony garden. It is there to this day.
  2. Wonderful pictures! Several of them reinforce my hatred of the Met Life (formerly Pan Am) Building!
  3. Though I cannot vouch for how efficiently managed Amtrak is, I think it is important to use the same criteria and standards to measure Inter-city bus and air transportation, as well. Though the companies that do the flying are not, in fact, operated by the federal government, they do benefit from government largesse. If we think for a moment that Greyhound pays enough in federal road fuel taxes to support the Interstate highway system, we are sorely mistaken. Additionally, the airlines do, in fact operate at a profit as private companies but if they had to shoulder the burden of maintaining their own terminals, runways and Air Traffic Control, there is no way they would be able to turn a profit. I am afraid that Amtrak's enemies are too quick to overlook the huge amount of indirect subsidy upon which private transportation companies of other modes rely.
  4. It has become apparent that the only bullet left in the gun for those opposed to the AAF project is one of legal delay. I feel that the AAF project has a lot of merit and I hope to ride it someday. If for no other reason than to slight the clowns on the "Treasure Coast" who are so dead set against it. Screw them! I know their ringleader and have blocked her on Facebook because it is all she talks about. You would think that the prospect of more trains through their precious little corner of the world will instantly turn it into Detroit, the way they talk. Let's see some action, AAF! The longer things take, the more skeptical people become of your intentions.
  5. That is a very interesting story, Ken. Thank you for sharing it. I might add that you are a damn fine cartographer, as well!
  6. I can somewhat sympathize with them re: the drawbridges. That being said, they are still a bunch of NIMBYs who want the problem to go somewhere else. They want the trains to travel up the inland route of CSX which happens to have a poorer and blacker population along its route. I don't think that the Not All Aboard Florida people are going out of their way to be racist and elitist but that is how it comes off. When I explained to my classmate that FEC doesn't own that route and that it would be akin to asking your neighbor if you could build your new house on his lot instead of the one you already own, free and clear, she came up with the idea that FEC should just lease space on the CSX line. I further tried to explain that the inland CSX line is mostly single track north of Ft. Lauderdale. This would require much more excavation and bridgework than the FEC line, much of which used to be double track and has a great many bridges which are already two tracks wide. Logic is of no use to these people. I don't think they could be persuaded with a station stop in Stuart.
  7. I am sorry to say that a classmate with whom I graduated from High School is one of the movers and shakers in the "Not All Aboard Florida" group. Her main beef is that the bridge over the waterway in her adopted hometown of Stuart will be closed for such a greater period of time. The FEC runs about 12 trains a day across it and the AAF trains will add another 32 trains across the bridge. Add to this the fact that the bridge reportedly takes 20 min. to lower and raise and you have quite an inconvenience to owners of pleasure craft. They are also not thrilled with trains "blasting" through their town that will be of no benefit to them. I find it ironic that they hold their rally in Flagler park. A park named after the railroad baron who, almost single-handedly, opened the east coast of Florida to real estate development with the construction on his Florida East Coast Railroad.
  8. Regarding Belle Isle Park: The State of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is about to take control of this neglected gem in the middle of the Detroit River. It is truly a spectacular park that is of world-class design that belonged to a city that could no longer afford to give it the care it deserves. The DNR will be operating it as part of the State Park system and has much work to do but there are many outside of Detroit who are quite excited about what this park could become, once again.
  9. Yep. Michigan DOES suck. This coming from a life-long Michigan fan. The play of the offensive line has been HORRIBLE all season. As a result, the running game is not-existant. The Buckeyes should be able to make hay with that all afternoon. It should get ugly today and Ohio State fans will act like they are world beaters. In reality, you will be beating a team with a lot of frustratingly glaring shortcomings. Not too much to be proud of today in victory. I absolutely hate MSU but it will be the best team OSU will have faced all year. Their offense isn't much to write home about but that defense of theirs is otherworldly. A victory over them would be Ohio State's most (perhaps only) impressive victory of the year.
  10. I have said it before and I will say it again: Dayton is becoming the next Detroit.
  11. Does the road pictured above cut through the property of the former USS South Works?
  12. It will be interesting to find out if any of the geometry of the line will be changed with this latest round of work between Jackson and Battle Creek. When Norfolk Southern took over this line after the breakup of Conrail, they lessened some of the super-elevation in the curves. There has also been talk of taking some of the curvature out of some of the tighter spots since there is room where there used to be two tracks. Every little bit helps when trying to trim transit times.
  13. Ah, yes! Nothing like good old-fashioned fear to sell magazines! William Randolph Hearst would be proud!
  14. If this has been discussed somewhere on this board in the past week, I am sorry for the old info but Robert Pence, a frequent contributor to this website, passed away last Saturday, December 8. He died at his home in Fort Wayne. Robert's funeral was held on Thursday, December 13. As some of you may be aware, Robert had been battling throat cancer for quite a number of years and it finally got the best of him. He was 73. I had run into him on a couple of occasions and found him to be a true gentleman of many talents and interests. His wit and opinions will be missed on the pages of this website.
  15. A couple of "beefs" with a few news articles posted here: I hate when railroads are referred to by the media as "train companies." Do they ever call American Airlines or Delta "Plane Companies?" In what world is Amtrak "strengthened?" Sure, they are hauling more people then at any time in their history and they are doing it with far less subsidy per passenger but I would hesitate to call a federal operation that is never sure if it will survive the next Congress or Administration "strengthened." Perhaps Amtrak's "strength" arises from the fact that there is not a President-Elect Romney!
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