Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Frustrations with the Railroad-Transit Industry

Let me state at the start: I am very proud to be associated with the Railroad and Rail Transit Industry. I can think of no finer group of people to work with. I chose to be a part of this group, and have not regretted it.

But there are frustrations. The biggest one for me is that no one seems to care how much money is needlessly spent, or how other, more minor issues, force important things behind the curtain. Speak with anyone in this profession, and once you have gained their confidence, you will hear the same thing. And no matter what the specific issue is, it almost always ends with something like, "But I guess money doesn't matter to them".

There needs to be a way to bring these issues to the light of day. They need to be exposed. That is one thing that the web has brought to today's political scene. The speed and efficiency of the web has exposed many issues that would have not been made public any other way. I will not list specific examples. You already know several. Obviously, rapid change is underway due to this process. And our world is becoming better for it.

But we need a forum for the Railroad-Transit Industry. Frankly, at first blush, such a forum seems to be needed more on the transit side. But that's just right now. The railroads have had their skeletons, too. Undoubtedly the railroads will have some more in the future. But now there seems to be more dark corners within the public side than the private side. Rip Track could become a part of that forum. That was my hope when I started this site.

I have noticed that others have tried as well. These starts were all very worthy. Then, the lack of participation by others led to apathy, atrophy, and finally, death. Look at Dan Zukowski's fine writing. Now, check out the responses. Not many. the sad thing is that he has written some very good pieces on the state of this industry. I am surprised and disturbed by the lack of response. I think Dan must be frustrated, but hopefully, he will not abandon his efforts.

There are some real "dollars-and-cents" issues on these sites. These issues need to be discussed. They're not.

In contrast, look at the Railfan sites, the so called "foamers" who like to watch trains go by. I like to see UPRR's 844 and 3985 as much or more than the next guy, but I wish that there was the same degree passion stirred up when dollars are waisted as those that are stirred up with a steam locomotive.

We need to have passion for both the fun and the money. Hopefully, you agree. If so, get involved. Leave your opinion, at Dan's, here, and any other place you run across on the web. We will all be better off.


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