jaymac wrote:The OOS-English-teacher part of me couldn't help but notice the recurring theme of "legacy," whether it was a discussion of legacy bandwidths or the legacies of implied goodwill in legacy color schemes and the legacy of the magic of Magic.
I think that's a very interesting point.
Perhaps their outlook on the past few decades is that the company was effectively "frozen in time", i.e. previous leadership delayed, or put off major decision making regarding assets for the simple sake of consistent and clean cash flow. In a way they're sort of "resetting". The legacy paint jobs "turn back the clock" as it were while the asset work (Perma Treat, North Point, Pan Am Brands) shows they're "picking up" where US Filter and Boston & Maine Corporation left off.
Seriously, given everything that's happening now it could just as well be 1983.
Another perspective on Perma Treat operational changes, my take on this is they are getting ready for a very very big push into tie replacement. Ramping up your tie production and disposal facility is in my opinion a strong sign of preparations for major overhaul on your track structures. Note also the fact that they're making sure they can lower their overall cost for tie production by having bulk delivery of creosote (another sign of imminent mass production) and they also hired someone with local experience and knowledge of Connecticut forestry, meaning they're trying to position themselves to buy large quantities of high quality portions of the timber harvest. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that they seemed to be interested in the oak timber crop in Connecticut. To my knowledge PAR has always used softwood ties, but that was only an impression not anything based on knowledge. Oak of course makes great railroad ties that can take a serious beating (or so I understand).