Thursday, January 08, 2009

Short Lines, not as long but just as wide: Happy 2009!

Most are glad to see the New Year. But it is beginning to look like the railroad supply business won't be a whole lot better than '08. Everyone is trying to remain optimistic nonetheless.

Light Rail Blogger noted in the last post that Light Rail has opened in Phoenix, Arizona! As does New Mexico Rail Runner, it looks really good. Here are a couple of photos from Metro's own webpage:


There is a great quote, maybe from Dr. Beverly Scott of MARTA in Atlanta, in the latest issue of Mass Transit. On page twelve it says, Transit is kind of like Chinese food; no matter how much you get, eventually you'll get hungry for more. That seems to be the case with almost all light rail systems in the USA.

According to Railway Age, Union Pacific has set new tonnage records for coal in the Powder River Basin.

The Chatsworth Metrolink Disaster is having a far-ranging ripple effect, even before the government mandates their changes. Some Class One Railroads have now forbidden the possession and use of cell phones. Several rail shippers have commented that this change has made it more difficult to communicate with local train crews who service their sidings. Cell phones had made it helpful in getting an idea of when and how many cars would be spotted. No more.

Can we mention the BCS? At least for a couple of points:

-We all agree that there has to be a better way, right? Rip would like to know how it is that the NCAA once said "no tournament because we cannot play more games than we already do" and yet turn around and allow a twelfth regular season game to be added to everyone's schedule?

-Rip never thought that he would miss the ESPN announcers, but the Fox play-by-play types have managed to make me do just that. Fox People, watch your own monitors, or better yet look at the game! Then, you would actually know what is going on.

-Tonight's Oklahoma-Florida game will answer questions. Can the Big Twelve actually play defense? Will an SEC team do it again? Understand that Rip has no dog in this hunt, but he may have to watch the game with the sound off, to avoid hearing that "Boomer Sooner" thing ad nauseam.

The new "Track Guy" Newsletter is out. If you don't get it, go here to see it.

Here's hoping that you have a safe, productive, and fulfilling 2009!


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