I am a NE corridor Engineer coming to west palm beach for a couple days in late may, how"s the railfanning down there? What lines run around there and frequency.
Noel Weaver wrote: One word of caution, do not trespass on railroad property as both railroads take a very dim view of such activity.Nothing like the warmth of railroad brother to brother hospitality down there I guess ! (Wasn't it traditional back in the day to exchange passes ?)
3rdrail wrote:YES!! We could still get trip passes all over the place until 1962, after 1962 it was limited to mostly stuff east of the Mississippi with a few exceptions and after 1968 no foreign road trip passes. Most of the time if you were alone and talked to the conductor before you got on the train your pass would be honored. This was better on some railroads than others, the Long Island was by far the worst, I didn't even bother to ask and also the brothers working in Ohio were generally negative as well. I still have a bunch of trip passes that I either did not use or the conductor gave them back to me and said I might want to use them again. These things are nice collectors items. Since my retirement I have shown more than one "brother" around these parts too but it is not difficult to get around these parts, the trick is knowing your way. We have a lot more railroading here than many people realize and it can be very interesting at times.Noel Weaver wrote: One word of caution, do not trespass on railroad property as both railroads take a very dim view of such activity.Nothing like the warmth of railroad brother to brother hospitality down there I guess ! (Wasn't it traditional back in the day to exchange passes ?)
3rdrail wrote:What do you attribute that change in course, Neil ? I'm curious, as I'm sure that it's not totally isolated, but railroading seems to be one of the few professions which does not welcome it's own from outside it's locality currently. It doesn't happen in my profession, nor with firefighters, EMS, truckers, etc. It seems to be even more astounding when you realize that many workers may be represented by the same unions.Penn Central in 1969 or 1970 stopped exchanging routine trip passes with all of the other rairoads, I think their reasoning was that they offered so much more service than the others did that they were getting the short end of the stick and I think they might well have been justified in that action at that time. Penn Central had numerous lines with many trips a day and they were exchanging passes with some railroads that had one round trip a day over their entire railroad or maybe even just a small portion of such a railroad. Some of the attitude from railroaders nationwide I think is a reflection of the attitude of the top management of that particular railroad. CSX for example is difficult because their top management appears to not like enthusiasts or others and that reflects down to their employees as well. I don't go to railroad facilities very much any more but I do have good contacts with the Florida East Coast as well as others on other railroads too and in the BLE as well. Passes today? Well I still have my Amtrak pass which gives me free travel over lines of the former Penn Central but off the Penn Central often it is cheaper to simply buy a ticket well in advance with the senior discount than to try to use the pass because Amtrak has the same genral system that the airlines have and that is to vary the fares depending on demand. My pass gets me half off the highest possible fare for that particular trip while the advance purchase at the senior discount is often much cheaper. Tri-Rail has proof of payment system and I have a senior easy pass which gives me half off on all rides so the trip is very reasonable to begine with. Riding Tri-Rail for me is both enjoyable and reasonable and I ride it at least once or twice a month. I have shown a number of folks from out of the area round these parts and this usually includes a look at the Florida East Coast as well as a Tri-Rail ride either north or south from Fort Lauderdale. Our trains are reliable, generally quite clean, comfortable and pleasant to ride OH and don't get on without a ticket which can be purchased from a nearby vending machine and it is not difficult.