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NE933

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About NE933

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  1. I notice trains going either direction on the sharp hook towards Astoria enter slow, but then speed up so much that by the time the last two cars or so are still on there following, it seems enough to wobble them off by too much centrifugal force. I often wonder the disaster should ever one of these subway cars leave the tracks and crush anyone below; the approaches to Queensboro bridge are right under it and any casualties would be massive. I'm all for fast subway trains, but not on tight curves like this one.
  2. Plus waiting til the last minute is almost always a bad idea; Murphy's Law seems to creep up just when you're getting that ticket and there's a line, then a malfunction, then something else, while the clock painfully ticks away.
  3. May all of us be safe, healthy, and have peace of mind especially during this date of massive attacks, followed by massive humanitity, followed again by massive divisiveness. Without peace of mind and healthy all else is valued zero.
  4. There's lots of activity going on near Rahway, NJ station; more major work being done there now than I've seen in nearly two decades. Certainly work that should have been funded for and done many years ago: replacing defective concrete ties on local tracks 1 and 4, replacing battered switch turnouts with ones that are on concrete ties and moveable frogs, a work train of approx. 4 cars that appear to clean and/or drop new ballast, and a likely reconfiguring of some of the layout that if true as predicted, will mean moving some of the catenary wire to better match the new tracks. When I was there yesterday it was like a high school reunion of long long ago: multiple trains of work equipment, right of way gangs wearing bright orange/yellow vests, and the beautiful scent of lubricating oil to the many moving parts, a tar-like binding agent for the ballast, and cleanser. It's a good omen to see work of this magnitude once again, all while trains blasted their siren horns to alert the working crews. I had a laugh to see an Acela 'tiptoe' (or is it tip wheel?..) gingerly through the work zone that was on the adjacent track. A symphony of trains in this holy cathedral of places, where I first visited on Halloween of 1984, and an important junction whose complexity requires a level of attention Amtrak couldn't afford in years past. Now, the next 'biggie' is Elmora interlocking, just south of our much talked about S-curve of Elizabeth.
  5. Of course, mob justice. But historically they've spread out into other parts of the cities in riot formation, putting others in harm's way. Why not put the mob on the train, and go 'choo-choo'. I am sorry for obviouslly shocking everyone, but when I heard of this at work first thing it was a tailspin for us all. Like another event which we will endure the 10th anniversary two months from now, we are not used to hearing of such calculated inhumanity and when we do, we rightfully need to research into why and how this could happen.
  6. Warning and disclaimer: the extremeness of the title of this thread and accounts are shocking inspired fantasies of vengeance against a Brooklyn man who murdered an innocent, defenseless boy this past week. This 9 year old child was dismembered, dumped in various garbage bins and trash bags. My heart and prayers go to this family that they may find support and resolve in what will be a lifelong process. I pray and hope Leiby went quickly and any pain was fast, and that his spirit will not only rest but also be a guardian angel to the other millions of children in our sometimes terrible world who can be in harms way in seconds. Parents, godparents, and others who watch parttime-- we have a solumn job: kids are naturally curious and gentle discoverers. Just make sure they don't discover what Leiby did this past Monday or so. Now, onto my idea. I vote for using death penalty in extremes of depravity such as this, whether the person was mentally ill or not. I have three decades of seeing a shrink and proclaim that being ill mentally or in other ways is not justification for butchering a child. Would Joe Boardman accept the use of one of his trainsets to occassionaly dispense justice by running over the guilty one tied to a track? Then pay Amtrak something in the five or six figure range for compensation.
  7. Well, I sway towards no on this, because not only is it costly but because so many passengers provide for their own entertainment with portable DVD's and cell phone broadcasts. When the Viewliners had them they'd be left on with no one in the room and not everyone wanted this amenity. But if enough people do want it (we'd have to find out how), the screen and associated equipment must be flush into one of the walls. The protrusion created in the Viewliner design caused obstructions in an already crowded space, and so it left itself vulnerable to breakage or in some cases, malicious vandalism.
  8. I wish Amtrak would go back to Phase 3 or at least some other design for these locomotives. The present Phase V simply does not wear well, looking like they are going to a funeral or something.
  9. Yak a mouths. Talk like a machine, loud and never-ending, and ya get what ya get. Subjects like the kind that got leaked out would always be discussed in phone booths, hidden corners, or at least a place where there were no ears. But no, cell phones and the mindless redux of supposed impressive vocabulary is intended hold casual listeners in shock and awe, spreading the 'wow' factor BAM!! POW!! - style. It's not surprising when a psychology student did a crude observation that cell phone gabbers talk louder when many others are present, as opposed to doing it in an emptier environment, even across noise level variants to avoid the conclusion that the gabber is loud because others are loud as well. The otherwise quiet and soothing Acela environs being torpedoed by assassins of our eardrums, only galvanizes the conclusion. Related topic: the N/Q Astoria line is having heavy duty rehab requiring the use of cranes and track laying machines, in the vacinity of the 30th Ave. station. And yesterday I saw TWO workers yakking on their phones, while on the affected track. Don't think i'm overstepping my bounds when warning all ye maintenance workers: if you want your life, or at least both arms and legs, please keep the phone in your pocket and pretend there's a poisonous snake in there.
  10. My beautiful bipolar mind hatched up this winner of a version of the Amtrak funding via taxes debate, it'll spring from alot of the tenets of principal all of us brought to the table in previous postings. I made a thought that Amtrak is the rightful recipient of public funding, with the condition this money, along with ticket and other revenues, must be saved and used/invested in wise ways that banishes waste, and considers the points of various experts. I read the view that the use of Amtrak by vacationers shouldn't be the sole governing deciding mechanism by which to plan investments in capacity, better track, and so on. I later tempered that (i guess) by pleading those on this forum not to exclude the purchasing power of tourism, that it should be considered in the mix though not highest of priorities. Amtrak's business will become a better railroad when it learns how to best serve all those who demand it, and in light of the social disease of 'I Love My Car Til Death Do Us Part' so prevalent, we ought to be shaping what has become the norms of our daily lives, to have adults and their children at least be interested in making rail their daily pill and glass of water. Amtrak and other railroads must have the dollars and unselfish genius, to be successful in pulling it off. If you go thru the trouble of buying an $850.00 ticket to Miami (this is true, as i've just done so) and a Dining Car steward rudely sneers a simple request for an extra glass of water, well-- no one should put up with that. Amtrak should be held to the fire and attend to this specific trouble and its causes. I'll reiterate: give Amtrak what is needed to serve the traveling public, whether business, vacation, college, medical, etc., and demand in return trains that are fast as appropriate to their geographic route (no 200mph Acelas on the edge of the Grand Canyon), comfortable, in good shape, and presents an attractive vision to the world that we work hard at making an excellent product, we'll do whatever it takes to take care of and maintaine it, we'll spread it around where it's needed, and the whole damn thing simply just looks and works great! Ok. Now: detractors state that the passenger railroad is a business, and if it can't earn more than it spends: send it to hell. Or at least to Citibank which will handle the liquidated remains deftly. Then i counterpointed keynote of capitalism, that making more money is not the end all, because if it were, the joys of giving birth -- an expensive and risky medical event -- ought to go out as well. But it doesn't. What to do here, with these irreconcilables...what to do... I took my lithium. Ahhh.. And my 30 year old obsession with trains continues, though in an adult on-line community talking seriously about the problems that dog us on the tracks. Be patient with this, for it shall be woven into the topic, like a bang. What do people who are millionaires/billionaires, SOME of them, do with that money? Though American history, and certainly other nation's histories, greed -- it's good, said Gordon, the art of being in the recipient's position to acquire money, power, goods and the like. What need, or wound, are we soothing? It's hidden. Hidden in church confessionals, quiet whispers at the bar table, it's at the end of every needed giving a pair of lips Botox, it's in the UV bulbs burning the tan onto young skin, it's the wares of hairstylists who charge a hundred for every swipe of the comb, it's in the men's gyms and lockerrooms ensuring their muscles explode, it's in a billion dollar cosmetic business promising, no, requiring you to buy thier stuff or else you ain't deserving of life, AAANNDD -- it fuels the business of porn. We have greed legion because America has a disease: a systemic, epidemic, lack of intimacy. Since the 80's we've heard college professors and have been mentored into weaving every breath towards the end goal of getting a dollar bill. Seventy hour workweeks became the norm, as is taking 'work vacations' (wtf!). Americans, as a demographic and not a generalized populus, spend billions becoming attractive, staying that way, and when we find someone, it -- uh -- doesn't work. Viagara and it's brethren wouldn't be so sought after if we hadn't handicapped our bodies' natureal sexual response. But we did, and so we pay the price. Take pills to maintain capabilities, but first one has to find somebody. So we hire them. But they can't be hired if their T & A hasn't been injected with quarts of silicon, or steroids, or both. And, internet porn has flowered into a billion dollar dream, or rather, nightmare, I say so because it has become for many THE way of gratification. We're greedy for more money so that we can purchase more love. And Amtrak stands in the way. New England residents put up a fuss when Amtrak started the removal and replacement of the next movable bridge. It requires closure of the waterway channel every so often, stopping yachts and boat parties from sailing away. Armed with clout, they forced Amtrak to a time table that lengthens the process rather than taking care of it sooner, which raises expenses. Those of us believing Amtrak should lower expenses ought to be out targeting causational factors like this one. If people like these reduced their extreme needs for entertainment, there would be less anxiety to defend, less competition with other more important expenditures. Love and passion would be less on the computer screen, and more with two people taking the time to enjoy being together. And thier would be less worry of Amtrak's need of tax dollars because more of it will be available to a population willing and able to use trains. Loss of intimcacy = a malnourished Amtrak. Repair our rails = repair our relationships. More trains = more groans of satisfaction. That is my theory. Have a good one! NE933
  11. Just a note about the 40th anniversary venture back to previous paint schemes, namely of one, two, and three. The present one (Phase 5) looks good, sharp, and professional. But to me, it also reminds me of the worst of Amtrak's, and our, decades. The so-called 'Shamu' version on the Genesis fleet came out in 2001, the year of 9/11. Many times of the past decade we nearly lost Amtrak not only through budget cuts, but from failing equipment components and infrastructure. The AEM7's and P42's are burning up, the long distance network is smaller than it ever was, thanks to axing the Sunset east of New Orleans, as well as the entire Pioneer, Desert Wind, and Broadway Limited. South of NY Northeast Corridor catenary wires and other electrical hardware is at the end of it's life. In many ways right now Amtrak is where Penn Central used to be, until the new cars and locomotives come on line quick. Phase 5 therefore is a source of flashbacks to things I'd rather change or at least forget. When I saw #145 in Phase 3 it felt like Easter Sunday in a Cathedral: a phoenix resurrecting from the dead, bringing the spirit that the current state of affairs might still recover. And so it is. For that reason, I place my wish in its rightful place wherever wishes go, that Amtrak go towards a 'modified' Phase 2 or 3.
  12. Is it just me or are there images of small white, things, moving in the blue spaces either side of where the postings are? These white specks appear only when I move my eyes to the peripheral.
  13. Hello to all, I am newly registered here. Some of you might recognize my login name/pseudonym 'NE933' from other rail sites. I am fanatical about all things Amtrak: keeping it running, equipment, history, the people who work there. I do not call Amtrak a corporation; instead it is an entity, a life that has a pulse in the rails, trains, and facilities. Other rail interests are freight lines in my region, various routes that have significance to me, and NYC transit. Besides trains, these other things interest me: existential or philosphical themes, psychology and mental illness, spirituality, various Eastern disciplines incl. meditation, Tai Chi, music therapy. Lastly I'm going to take a risk with the following: I am openly gay. That means I'm a guy who's attracted to other guys. It does not mean I'm weak, evil, twisted in nature, or desire to convert others to something they are not. The reason I bring this to the table is the fact that there are many railfans, as well as railroad employees, who are closeted for fear of attack and ridicule by coworkers, fellow union members, and family. It would be happy day if the seemingly antigay culture of railroading, and, what appears to be an anti-train culture of various gay communities, can break down the divisive walls that serve no other purpose but to isolate and hurt. Who knows what benefits all of us can get? Thank you for listening, and all the best -NE933
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