Sunday, April 15, 2007

Answers to Comments

Christopher suggests that BNSF would favor a move of the freight route to the east.

We are not saying you are wrong, which may negate our first argument to some extent. That just adds two others. 1. From a Passenger Rail standpoint, it is not desirable to use potential passenger subsidies to help BNSF make more profit on coal. The various coalitions should be very careful about this or BNSF will, once again, be selling a passenger agency a pig in a poke while enhancing their bottom line with the money. 2. The Denver Area still has rail shippers that need to be served, so with the freight route moved east, the passenger route will never be allowed to be all passenger and you will have some of the same problems that exit in the Northeast.

Revamp Nothing Primer

Our mantra of revamp nothing does not mean we say no to recycling or to refurbishing. Recycling means using old, spent materials to make new ones. Refurbishing means putting a mantle of newness onto something that is already worn out. The underlying structure remains the same. You may have to refurbish coach seats every five years. The connotation of a revamp is that a robust revision of an already existing system is done to solve a perceived problem, real or imagined. This is exactly what has gotten Amtrak into trouble over these many years. A revamp is more comprehensive than refurbishment and usually doesn't work in its context. Recycling is the drastic result of having too may failed revamps.

We'd like to paraphrase Ed King in his recent Trains article about a derailed and then refurbished locomotive: If Amtrak is not careful, either some car and locomotive manufacturers are going to find themselves with some unexpected trade-ins, or some scrap yards are going to get some windfalls. And adding our own comment: The freight railroads will happily make the deliveries to either.

© 2007 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com


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