• No mention of trains in Obama's inaugural speech?

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by 2nd trick op
And below is a link to an article which illustrates the polarization which is likely to frustrate a serious effort at infrastructural development:

The subject is bound to stoke the passions of a few here, so before posting I would like to caution all the participants to please refain from some of the most blatant partisan rhetoric we try to tone down on the Amtrak forum.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/22/ro ... ntractors/

Amtrak evolved into the hodgepodge it is today precisely because of politics; the Beltway dreamers who managed it were not subject to the disciplines of the market, so they turned the long distance service, which was never conceived as a profit center by the private roads who developed it, into a "middle class welfare" measure. At the same time, the corridor services grew because the pressures of congestion and fuel economy made them popular, but the high capital cost and immobile nature of the facility discouraged private ownership in a political culture which could swing to the left on relatively short notice.

The central focus of the coalition which elected our new President, (to date, at least) is most surely not economic development. It is the fantasies of the Purely-Politically-Correct, as embodied in the doctrines of the National Education Association, probably the strongest single link in the chain, and determined to use our classrooms as an expensive, Federally-financed bully pulpit.

The issue cited above is probably the first in a long series of gaffes' which the insulated illuminatii of the Obama/Clinton/Gore team will find very difficult to avoid. And you can bet that the Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly team will add fuel to the fire at every opportunity.
Last edited by 2nd trick op on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by NRGeep
2nd trick op wrote:

the disciplines of the market
With all due respect, the lack of discipline in the market due to the gutting of FDR financial market regulations by W AND Clinton is a big cause of the current economic crisis. And further tax cuts at the expense of Amtrak funding is not the solution to getting this countries economy running again.
  by 4266
Excuse my use of "partisan rhetoric" but what the hell does the NEA have to do with Railroad Operations?
  by 2nd trick op
4266 wrote:
What the hell does the NEA have to do with Railroad Operations?
That is precisely my point; the new Administration is geared to a post-industrial economy, smothered in a warm, fuzzy layer of Political Correctness. The fields of transport operations and infrastructural development/mangagement are still dominated by mature males (as is this site), and regardless of the ethnic origins or personal political orientation of individual members, the group as a whole is going to be viewed with some caution by a coalition which owes much of its success to efforts to organize an urban-based and increasingly-young and/or female coalition.

No prejudice or resentment is intended; but facts are facts.
Last edited by 2nd trick op on Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BR&P
What he is saying is - the new administration is more apt to support things that are "nice" or "clean" or "helpful" because they "care", and are less apt to make decisions which will re-invigorate our industrial base and transportation as we know it. Big companies and the people who run them are sometimes seen as "greedy" and "profit oriented" and if an administration, or a whole generation of citizens, are idealistic and ignorant of economic realities, things will not go well for our economy in general and our industry in particular. Millions for some new transit system so poor people can go places, and without having to earn a car (which pollutes the air) - SURE! Approval for a new freight yard (created with the railroad's private funding) which might disturb some neighbors but will allow that auto plant or steel mill to remain in business? Oh no, noise, locomotive emissions, blocked crossings....no way!

Am I close, 2nd trick op?
  by 2nd trick op
To clarify my point, I'm posting the exact words of (former) Secy Reich's comment of 1/7
The stimulus plan will create jobs repairing and upgrading the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, levees, water and sewage system, public-transit systems, electricity grid, and schools. And it will kick-start alternative, non-fossil based sources of energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and so on); new health-care information systems; and universal broadband Internet access.

It’s a two-fer: lots of new jobs, and investments in the nation’s future productivity.

But if there aren’t enough skilled professionals to do the jobs involving new technologies, the stimulus will just increase the wages of the professionals who already have the right skills rather than generate many new jobs in these fields. And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most — women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed — will be shut out.

What to do? There’s no easy solution to either dilemma…

People can be trained relatively quickly for these sorts of jobs, as well as many infrastructure jobs generated by the stimulus — installing new pipes for water and sewage systems, repairing and upgrading equipment, basic construction — but contractors have to be nudged both to provide the training and to do the hiring
While not sinking to the blatant prejudice in the gaffes' of the likes of Earl Butz and James Watt, the comments above clearly reveal the new Administration's primary criterion for "change" favors the redistribution of income over the redevelopment of infrastructure.

And it's a relatively short step from that to painting any infrastructural improvement as a handout to the freight roads, despite the fact that the mandated operation of many commuter, passenger and branch-line services which clearly drained their earnings was the primary factor in the industry's flirtation with insolvency and nationalization in the 1970's.

Below is a link to yet another example of the double standard held under the recently-revised "Beltway rules":

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2009/01/n ... brown.html