No way to run a railroad

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no way to run a railroad

No Way to Run a Railroad: The Untold Story of the Penn Central Crisis by Stephen Salsbury

The author presents a detailed thesis that mismanagement by the PRR and NYC merged leadership of Strauss and Perlman was the root of the rapid demise of the Penn Central. Under the direction of Perlman the PC spent $300M on capital improvements in each of its first two years with virtually no return on that investment. The $600M exceeded the railroads income potential and credit lines at a critical juncture in history. I really expected to read that excess government regulation drove the PC under, and although it contributed as evidenced by virtually all other eastern railroads also going bankrupt, the primary cause was Perlman and Strauss.
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Published 04.01.2019

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Stephen Salsbury

This is no way to run a railroad

Judging by the gaggle of travelers pouring onto trains over the Thanksgiving holiday, you might think that Amtrak is finally enjoying a smooth ride. But you would be wrong. Three decades after Congress created this poor stepchild from the remnants of the freight railroads' money-losing passenger business, Amtrak is closer than ever to derailing. The Amtrak Reform Council, a federal oversight board, last month formally concluded what most observers have known for years: the nation's floundering passenger-train operator has no chance of becoming self-sufficient by the end of , as Congress mandated five years ago. To many rail enthusiasts, the coming debate is long overdue.

Here is the latest round. One of my Senior Research Editors for The Yale Book of Quotations , Thomas Fuller , recently verified at the Library of Congress the cartoon that is said to have originated this saying, appearing in the humor magazine Ballyhoo :. On examining the June issue, I found the cartoon. There is a small two-story railroad tower beside them, with a railroad worker wearing a cap, smoking a pipe, and looking out of the second floor window with his arms crossed. What a way to run a railroad! The cartoon was by Ralph Fuller , no relation, as far as we know, to Thomas Fuller.

If taxpayers suddenly stopped subsidizing Amtrak, what do you think would happen? Before trying to answer that question, it is useful to review U. The first railroads were built in the United States in the late s, and by , only 70 years later, almost every town in the country had rail access. Railroads were high tech, the Internet of their time. The system was built and profitably operated by private companies. Amtrak and the modern freight railroad companies use the infrastructure that was built long ago. The investor-owned Pennsylvania Railroad built the hugely expensive railroad tunnels under the Hudson River in , which were technological wonders of the time.

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Last weekend, state legislators authorized Gov. Like the entire One Central project, the proposed transit hub is breathtakingly ambitious. And building the transit hub will provide the structural support needed to construct high-rises above the railroad tracks. The CTA for example, needs billions for new rail cars and repairs to slow zones. State spending on public transit infrastructure should start with the identified needs of public transit agencies. Increasingly, however, the narrow priorities of real estate developers drive public transit planning around here. Developers of Lincoln Yards agreed to help finance infrastructure improvements that hopefully will at least keep congestion from getting worse.

Leonor F. Rutgers has a building named after Leonor Fresnel Loree, erected in and on the Douglass campus. In , Loree was a principal founder of The Newcomen Society in North America , a learned society promoting engineering, technology and free enterprise. Patent ,, [3] for the upper quadrant semaphore. This soon became the most widely used form of railroad lineside signal in North America. Railroads continued to install them until the s. At the time it was considered no more than "two streaks of rust, its engines lost steam the men were disheartened and the stations were shacks.

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