Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rip Track: The Beginning!

RipTrack. Another new blog? Indeed, it is. But to the best of my knowledge, there is no other blog quite like what I envision RipTrack will be. If the blog is the true and best way for individual expression in today's net-minded world, then I want to use it to deal with what really goes on today in the world of Railroad Engineering.

Railroad Engineering? I am not talking about the people whose hand is on the throttle of the engine. No, I am talking about those whose livelihoods involve Railroad Track Engineering! These are people who know what "AREMA" means, who know what the "FTA" is, who know the difference between "Track" and "Rail", and who could hopefully repair themselves, or at least instruct others to repair, a broken rail. Many times, flaws do occur in rails, and it takes a talented team to detect and repair those rails.

In old railroad jargon, a rip track was that place where freight cars were repaired. Sometimes, badly damaged cars were even dismantled. Once, I was told that "Rip" stood for "Repair in Place". Interesting. In any event, I am hopeful, thru communication that should be a big part of this grand arena called blogging, that some of the flaws in today's relationships between Track Owners, Railroad Consulting Engineers, Suppliers, Contractors, and even Customers can be "Repaired in Place". No doubt, when we talk about people who deal with Railroad Track, we are talking about an exclusive group. Considering those who hold membership in the "American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association", or, ah ha!, AREMA, the total potential audience in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for this blog is probably less than ten thousand people.

That's OK. A start has to be made. Hopefully this is it.

And just in case someone wanders in who has no interest at all with Railroad Track, I will from time to time opine about other interesting facets of life. Of course, you are free to react to whatever entry rattles your caboose.

Let's get started!