Trains September 2018


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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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39,46 €(VAT inclusa)
12 Numeri

in questo numero

3 min
epic struggle with nature

Many a good railroad, and some that were down to their last dollar, have fallen victim to fire, flood, wind, heat, you name it under the category of weather. Show me a railroad with 57 miles of track and 57 bridges, and I will show you a railroad that is seriously exposed to what Mother Nature might just churn out. I’ve seen it on short lines. I’ve seen it on Class I railroads. Nobody is immune. The best railroaders are the ones who, like BNSF Railway and Union Pacific did last year in Texas, understand the risks and the challenges and know how to plan ahead for them. They’re the folks who know where to position the trains of riprap and ballast. They’re the folks who know the nearest high ground…

2 min
gateway to controversy

Seventeen years to go. That is, politicians, officials, and the public have 17 years, give or take, before two tubes for railroads only underneath the Hudson River need to be taken out of service. Put another way, officials have just 17 years to find at least $13 billion to build a new tunnel and work to rebuild the railroad infrastructure that is already in place to keep trains flowing between New York and New Jersey, Boston and Washington, on the Northeast Corridor. The Pennsylvania Railroad built the existing tunnel, twin bores known as the North River Tunnel, from 1904 to 1908. Amtrak engineers now say the tunnel has reached the end of its useful life thanks, in part, to the corrosive effects of salty sea water from Hurricane Sandy that flooded the…

2 min
getting to a new nyc gateway

October 2010 CHRIS CHRISTIE … is New Jersey’s former Republican governor who originally killed a version of the Gateway Project back in 2010, citing cost overruns. Christie later supported the project with New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo. October 2012 (Hurricane Sandy) Until Hurricane Sandy, talk about crumbling infrastructure and replacing or reinforcing Northeast Corridor tunnels underneath the Hudson River was a mostly professional pursuit of engineers or a flight of fancy for politicians who could see the $30 billion price tag and wince, knowing that taxpayers, not investors, would be on the hook for financing the project. But then the “superstorm,” Hurricane Sandy, hit New York City and suburbs in October 2012, flooding subway lines and drowning whole NJ Transit trains in yards. Water alone can do significant damage to tunnels and electrical equipment, but…

2 min
port authority surprise

“IN A MATTER OF YEARS, THE ONLY TWO RAIL TUNNELS OPERATING UNDER THE HUDSON RIVER INTO MANHATTAN COULD BECOME INOPERABLE AND IF THAT WERE TO HAPPEN, RAIL DELAYS WOULD BECOME INSUFFERABLE.”— U.S. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER Surprise! Nearly $300 million that would have gone to a bridge is instead being tunneled — um, funneled — to the long-delayed Hudson Tunnel Project. The change is possible after the New Jersey Economic Development Authority agreed to provide up to $600 million for a new Portal North Bridge spanning the Hackensack River as part of the larger Gateway Project. The bridge project’s $1.5-billion cost is split between Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The $600 million contribution, on behalf of NJ Transit, more than covers the agency’s share of the…

4 min
battle lines drawn over ‘chief’ proposal

“National or nothing!” was the slogan U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, coined in 2003 when vowing to withhold Northeast Corridor appropriations as long-distance trains faced proposed cuts from President George Bush’s administration. Now, a meeting with Amtrak President Richard Anderson has triggered a similar combative reaction. The June 19 conference with U.S. Senators from states in the middle of the route of the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief proposed spliting the train into western and eastern sections connected by a bus bridge of up to 550 miles. This would avoid 219 miles of track used exclusively by the Chief. Anderson’s PowerPoint presentation shows only the expenses Amtrak says it incurs running the train. No mention is made of revenue, the negative impact eliminating through service would have on it, or ridership…

5 min
leadership, then and now

PALMER WAS A GREAT LEADER FOR HIS TIME. NOW YOU TELL ME: WHO ARE THE GENERAL PALMERS OF THIS DAY? Elon Musk is all over the news. The Tesla founder keeps setting production goals for the Model 3 that his factory can never achieve. Meanwhile, he pushes his engineers to produce a battery-powered tractor than can move a truck 500 miles on a single charge, and there’s no telling if they ever will. Another of his companies, SpaceX, aims to colonize Mars. Unhappy with what the press writes about Tesla, he proposes to create a website for people to rate journalists and news organizations, calling it Pravda. Still another of his creations, Boring Co., was chosen by Chicago to finance and build (at no cost to the city) a tunnel from…