Train delays: So what?

Posted by Brian Schmidt
on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Help me out, folks.

I see railroad discussion forums overrun these days with inquiries about late trains, and I don't know why. "48(31) lost 13 minutes between Buffalo and Erie. Why?" Why indeed.

Years ago, I rode the Silver Star from Hollywood to Jacksonville where some friends were to pick me up. The train was, to little surprise, running late. Maybe it was the crowds of people boarding in Tampa, pictured here, that put us behind. Maybe it was bad dispatching. Maybe it was the lack of a proper dining car. (Just kidding, I ate in an ex-Northern Pacific car on that trip.) Regardless, I never found out why – and I didn't really care to. My friends could track the train's progress an knew when to pick me up, and I was going to get there whenever I did.

Maybe it's time to raise the Social Security eligibility age. Our retirees have so much free time they can ask day after day about late trains they clearly are not riding. After all, how could someone be on six trains at once?

So help me out here: Why does this matter to you? What do you do with the data you collect? Aren't there better things to worry about?

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