PSR

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 12, 2019 10:41 PM

SALfan
jeffhergert: I'm old enough, and lived in a place, to remember 2 commercial networks and the public TV channel.  Savannah, GA (the nearest city large enough for TV stations to where I grew up) didn't even have an ABC affiliate until about 1968 or 1969.  My mother's aunt and uncle in SW GA still had a party line where every subscriber had a different ring, and every phone on the party line rang when anyone got a call.  I also remember when there was no color TV; the first year or two of color availability, some programs were in color and some weren't.  Now I feel really old.
 

Tune in to the ME TV Network and you can see a number of the B&W only shows - Perry Mason, Gunsmoke - the early years, Rifleman, Wagon Train - the Ward Bond years - and a whole bunch more on Saturday - Have Gun Will Travel and others.

I first remember TV when we lived in Auburn, IN.  The nearest station was in Kalamazoo, MI - over 100 air miles distant, my father had to erect a antenna 20 feet above the roof of our house. Out best picture had the appearance of light snow flurries - other times the picture was a raging blizzard.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:16 AM

Yes, I like MeTV. I find those shows much more entertaining. That, and Masterpiece mysteries.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:47 AM

Ah yes !  All those old tv shows and they were analog !  Cannot believe how much better the HD programs are including many of the old analog ones.  Of course a lot of the old ones especially on ME tv are 4:3 ratio instead of 16:9

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Posted by greyhounds on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:59 PM

Electroliner 1935

 EHH what have you given us.

 

He's given some people a great gift.  That gift would be someone and something to despise and hate.  Such a gift is very fulfilling for some people.

Again, I judge the tenets of PSR to be wise and good.  But, there are going to be some bumps in the road regarding its implementation.  Heck Fire, look at the Boeing 737 MAX.  

Longer trains are generally more efficient.  Greater length makes for a declining average cost.  Why do you think railroads progressed from the 4-4-0's to 2-10-4's, the Big Boys, and the Alleghenies?  Eliminating classification en route is also great for efficiency.  And if the railroads don't become more efficient, they're dead.

Yes, a carload of plastic pellets can get misrouted.  It happens.  I've had FedEx misroute an overnight shipment.  Perfection just doesn't exist.

 

 

 

"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by zardoz on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:26 PM

greyhounds
Longer trains are generally more efficient.  Greater length makes for a declining average cost.

I suppose it depends on how far the train will go intact, how well it is blocked, how often the train will have to stop and start (such at meets), and the power available and how it's configured.

Disclaimer: I retired before DP, thus certain aspects of train handling relating to DP are unfamiliar to me. However, I've run trains with 6BL and 24RL automatic brake valves (and trains with only AB brakes and friction bearings), using the feed valve to effect a small enough reduction as to not trigger a kicker, and then using straight air to trigger a quick release.

Having said all that, I have run trains of 50 car lengths and 3K tons with 2 SD40-2 units, and I have run 13K' long mixed manifests of 12K tons with no dynamics. The difference in stopping distances is huge, mostly due to the very delicate way a monster train has to be handled. With 50 cars one could easily go right to a 10-15psi reduction at 30mph while only in the 4th notch, or get the dynamics (if equipped) loading so much quicker; with the monster, keeping the slack stretched sufficiently to prevent run-ins requires lots of power, and lots of planning: the braking has to commence so much further back, in order to give the entire train's brakes time to set. One could likely bring the 50-car train from 30mph to 0 and back to 30mph in about 5-10 minutes and within a mile or two; the monster would likely take at least 30-45 minutes (each time) to do the same and take many miles to accomplish. Multply that by a number of meets, slow orders, and work enroute, and your efficiencies quickly disappear. And those figures do not include stops for sticky brakes, the inevitable knuckle/drawbar, signal problems, weather conditions, DP issues, etc. Plus, in cold weather there is the problem of trainline charging.

Sure, on a nice summer day, if one could open the throttle at point A, then just roll along until point B, then yes, a 20K ton 20K' long mosnter is much more efficient (heck, you might not even need a second crew member); but how often does that happen? Like, almost never.

   23 17 46 11

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Posted by SALfan on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:27 PM

BaltACD

 

 
SALfan
jeffhergert: I'm old enough, and lived in a place, to remember 2 commercial networks and the public TV channel.  Savannah, GA (the nearest city large enough for TV stations to where I grew up) didn't even have an ABC affiliate until about 1968 or 1969.  My mother's aunt and uncle in SW GA still had a party line where every subscriber had a different ring, and every phone on the party line rang when anyone got a call.  I also remember when there was no color TV; the first year or two of color availability, some programs were in color and some weren't.  Now I feel really old.
 

 

 

Tune in to the ME TV Network and you can see a number of the B&W only shows - Perry Mason, Gunsmoke - the early years, Rifleman, Wagon Train - the Ward Bond years - and a whole bunch more on Saturday - Have Gun Will Travel and others.

I first remember TV when we lived in Auburn, IN.  The nearest station was in Kalamazoo, MI - over 100 air miles distant, my father had to erect a antenna 20 feet above the roof of our house. Out best picture had the appearance of light snow flurries - other times the picture was a raging blizzard.

 

Big Smile My wife and I watch Perry Mason on ME TV almost every night.  

Growing up out at the farm the TV antenna wasn't as tall as yours, but was mounted on a metal pipe that could rotate, about two feet out from the edge of the front porch floor.  Sometimes, usually after one of us boys had been jumping off the porch and swinging on the pipe, the antenna required adjustment.  My father would cuss and send the closest boy out to stand at the end of the porch and twist the pole to improve the aim, in response to directions yelled thru an open window.  Good times, long gone.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 3:39 AM

Question for our metal experts.   Does the additional flexing of rail, switches, etc more often in a short time reduce the life of rails and such ? Does a  monster train of mostly 286k cars of almost a 1000 axels set up fatigue faster than say 2 trains of 500 axels passing over 10 + minutes apart ?.  

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Posted by rrnut282 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:08 AM

BaltACD

 

  

Tune in to the ME TV Network and you can see a number of the B&W only shows - Perry Mason, Gunsmoke - the early years, Rifleman, Wagon Train - the Ward Bond years - and a whole bunch more on Saturday - Have Gun Will Travel and others.

I first remember TV when we lived in Auburn, IN.  The nearest station was in Kalamazoo, MI - over 100 air miles distant, my father had to erect a antenna 20 feet above the roof of our house. Out best picture had the appearance of light snow flurries - other times the picture was a raging blizzard.

 

You must have lived there before Fort Wayne got their broadcast stations.  I see you also chose to live outside of the division-point town.

Mike (2-8-2)
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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:18 AM

blue streak 1

Question for our metal experts.   Does the additional flexing of rail, switches, etc more often in a short time reduce the life of rails and such ? Does a  monster train of mostly 286k cars of almost a 1000 axels set up fatigue faster than say 2 trains of 500 axels passing over 10 + minutes apart ?.  

 

That’s an interesting question. Personally, I have no clue.

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Posted by greyhounds on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:13 AM

zardoz

 

 

Disclaimer: I retired before DP, thus certain aspects of train handling relating to DP are unfamiliar to me. However, I've run trains with 6BL and 24RL automatic brake valves (and trains with only AB brakes and friction bearings), using the feed valve to effect a small enough reduction as to not trigger a kicker, and then using straight air to trigger a quick release.

 

That's one of my points. The technology used in rail operations has changed.  So the operations themselves will also change to use the new tech most efficiently.

And, it's going to take a while to figure out how to do this. And, it will largely be done by trial and error.

"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:33 AM

What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded?

 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:11 PM

Euclid
What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded?

The carriers are still searching for the maximum, and most likely will continue to.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:50 PM

Euclid

What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded?

 

 

 

 

What's going to limit length is how far can communication be maintained between the head end and the DP consists. 

For us, 10000' is allowed between the lead engine and remote consist east of the Rocky Mountains, 8500' west of the dividing line.  System limit for length is 18000', no more than 6000' between DP consists and there must be a DP on the rear.  If no DP on the rear, than length is limited to 15000'.  Conventional trains are limited to 10000'. 

There can also be subdivision length restrictions.  Usually because of siding lengths.

If a train shows up and the length, either system or subdivision limit is exceeded, they can either make you correct the problem if possible.  For example, repositioning a DP consist.  More likely they'll have someone, usually the corridor manager, give you time and initials to take it as is.  It's amazing what can be done with time and initials.

Jeff

PS. I forgot about party lines.  We had one, too.  You know you're old when you go into an antique store and remember having and using many of the items for sale.  

  

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:38 PM

Yep, Remember my grandmothers house in central Indiana, she had a wood/corncob stove in the kitchen, a coal burner heating unit in the parlor, no running water, just a pump outside and a privy. Under the bed was a porcelin commode for use at night. She also had a party line with an oak box crank phone on the wall. The contrast to today is mind blowing. Yesterday, my daughter needed to get into my house while I an away up on Washington Island and the external key pad would not open the garage door. I have a new opener which is connected to the web so she called me and I used the app on my cell phone to open the garage door from 327 miles away. 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 3:14 PM

jeffhergert
PS. I forgot about party lines.  We had one, too.  You know you're old when you go into an antique store and remember having and using many of the items for sale.  

We had a party line as well.  At least we didn't have to remember which ring was ours....

I can remember having to go through the operator to complete a connection.

Every now and then FB will have one of those posts which say that "only X percent of people know what these items are."  I'm usually in the X percent.

As an off-topic aside - during the big festival in Milford, MI this past weekend, one vendor had old pictures of the village - it was fun hanging out there a bit and telling the newbies what some of the places in the pictures were.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 4:01 PM

The first telephone system we had when I was growing up was a dial system--with three digits (small town). One day, some cousins from the small city 10 miles up the road were visiting, and one asked me how the dial system worked; at the time I did not realize that her telephone calls involved asking the operator for the number wanted, so I did not explain the wonders of dialing.

When I went off to college, Bristol, Tennessee, and Bristol, Virginia, still used operators. During my time there, a dial system was installed, with NO the prefix for Virginia numbers, and SO the prefix for Tennessee numbers--you had to be careful to not use zero for the second letter of the prefix.

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:34 PM

With Dad being a company operating department official, he was required to have a Private telephone line - for those 2 and 3 AM derailement calls and other issues he had to be involved in.

When we moved to Baltimore, we moved to the Catonsville area, just West of the City/County line - we had a dial phone.  My Grandfather lived in Severna Park, 6 miles exactly (as the crow fly's) from the Golden Dome of the Naval Academy in Annapolis - Severna Park did not have dial service.  He was Severna Park 45.  A couple of years later, Severna Park did get dial service - his number was the Severna Park prefix + 4545. 

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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:52 PM

greyhounds

 zardoz

 

 

Disclaimer: I retired before DP, thus certain aspects of train handling relating to DP are unfamiliar to me. However, I've run trains with 6BL and 24RL automatic brake valves (and trains with only AB brakes and friction bearings), using the feed valve to effect a small enough reduction as to not trigger a kicker, and then using straight air to trigger a quick release.

 

 

And, it's going to take a while to figure out how to do this. And, it will largely be done by trial and error.

 

Which is one of my points. No matter how much tech alters certain aspects of railroading, some things will be too be difficult (read expensive) to change. And some things will be beyond the ability of tech to do much about.
 
ECP brakes--a wonderful idea, and having them would simplify train handling, just as the elimination of the caboose made an Engineers job much easier and a Conductors job much safer. Not too likely any railroad would be willing to bear the cost (wouldn't quite fit in to the PSR budget) unless it is mandated by the government, like PTC (and what a clusterfork that has proven to be with the dissimilar systems along with the related tech failings). Would privately owned car fleets have to be retrofitted at the expense of the owners? By the time all the litigation regarding ECP was finalized, something newer and better would probably be in the works.
 
And so on and on.

   23 17 46 11

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:28 PM

jeffhergert
 
Euclid

What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's going to limit length is how far can communication be maintained between the head end and the DP consists. 

For us, 10000' is allowed between the lead engine and remote consist east of the Rocky Mountains, 8500' west of the dividing line.  System limit for length is 18000', no more than 6000' between DP consists and there must be a DP on the rear.  If no DP on the rear, than length is limited to 15000'.  Conventional trains are limited to 10000'. 

There can also be subdivision length restrictions.  Usually because of siding lengths.

If a train shows up and the length, either system or subdivision limit is exceeded, they can either make you correct the problem if possible.  For example, repositioning a DP consist.  More likely they'll have someone, usually the corridor manager, give you time and initials to take it as is.  It's amazing what can be done with time and initials.

Jeff 

Is there a technological solution to the problem of not being able to maintain communication between the head end and the DP consists?  If so, is it too costly?  Is there work being done to develop such a solution?  If it were possible to run longer trains, would there be a need for that?  Or would train length be absolutely limted by siding length?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:58 PM

Euclid

 

 
jeffhergert
 
Euclid

What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's going to limit length is how far can communication be maintained between the head end and the DP consists. 

For us, 10000' is allowed between the lead engine and remote consist east of the Rocky Mountains, 8500' west of the dividing line.  System limit for length is 18000', no more than 6000' between DP consists and there must be a DP on the rear.  If no DP on the rear, than length is limited to 15000'.  Conventional trains are limited to 10000'. 

There can also be subdivision length restrictions.  Usually because of siding lengths.

If a train shows up and the length, either system or subdivision limit is exceeded, they can either make you correct the problem if possible.  For example, repositioning a DP consist.  More likely they'll have someone, usually the corridor manager, give you time and initials to take it as is.  It's amazing what can be done with time and initials.

Jeff 

 

 

Is there a technological solution to the problem of not being able to maintain communication between the head end and the DP consists?  If so, is it too costly?  Is there work being done to develop such a solution?  If it were possible to run longer trains, would there be a need for that?  Or would train length be absolutely limted by siding length?

 

Better more reliable radios.  The biggest thing IMO, is maintaining the equipment.  Especially the little things like wire connections and antennas.  One of the first things many mechanics do when he climbing on board to try to fix comm problems is to unscrew the wire out of the radios and blow on them.  Trying to dislodge dust or dirt particles that may have accumulated.

I'm also wondering about electronic interference from non-railroad sources.  For us, Missouri Valley IA seems like a communications black hole.  If you are already having DP comm problems, that area makes it worse.  Trains that don't have DP comm problems else where seem to have them there.  

Siding length only becomes a real problem when you run no-fitting trains in both direction.  As long as at least one direction can fit, or hold the main between the switches, an overlength train isn't a problem.  

Jeff 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:05 PM

Euclid
 
jeffhergert 
Euclid

What is the practical maximum length of trains using distributed power?  If there is a maximum practical length, what causes the length limit, and what happens if the limit is exceeded? 

What's going to limit length is how far can communication be maintained between the head end and the DP consists. 

For us, 10000' is allowed between the lead engine and remote consist east of the Rocky Mountains, 8500' west of the dividing line.  System limit for length is 18000', no more than 6000' between DP consists and there must be a DP on the rear.  If no DP on the rear, than length is limited to 15000'.  Conventional trains are limited to 10000'. 

There can also be subdivision length restrictions.  Usually because of siding lengths.

If a train shows up and the length, either system or subdivision limit is exceeded, they can either make you correct the problem if possible.  For example, repositioning a DP consist.  More likely they'll have someone, usually the corridor manager, give you time and initials to take it as is.  It's amazing what can be done with time and initials.

Jeff  

Is there a technological solution to the problem of not being able to maintain communication between the head end and the DP consists?  If so, is it too costly?  Is there work being done to develop such a solution?  If it were possible to run longer trains, would there be a need for that?  Or would train length be absolutely limted by siding length?

Siding length only limits train length in one direction.

Don't know what cell tower installations cost - using such towers as repeaters 'should' solve any communications issues - if they are strategiclly placed.

My experience indicates that excessive length trains screw terminals into the ground in their current configurations.  It takes multiple yard tracks being coupled together to build the train - fouling out strategic locations in the terminal for long periods of time.  The same thing when attempting to yard the train.  I am not aware of PSR wanting to spend the money requried to reconfigure terminals to handle the 10K - 12K - 15K - 18K long trains.

Hauling long trains between terminals is not the big deal.  The bigger deal is having crews available to crew change locations, however, part of the PSR plan is to limit the number of crews as PSR works to minimize the employed head count.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:50 PM

[quote user="jeffhergert"]

Ultimately, the class ones (for now) may have the goal of having nothing but intermodal trains.  PSR isn't about getting to that goal, rather how to handle the remaining car load business until it can be converted or eliminated.  If they ever reach that goal, about the only customers they'll be serving are those located near a major metropolitan area where most of their IM terminals are.  I think rail customers outside of whatever is a reasonable drey range will end up sending their shipments entirely by highway. 

Jeff      

 

Jeff. Your caption here echos my sentiments as well.. PSR is about eventually dumping the carload network. Build it into a effcient machine for the shortlines to handle. Open access? maybe not.. Or expanded trackage rights...While PSR has sound operating principles. This should have been the last straw. The RR's didn't need PSR to become efficient in handling carload freight or eventually their IM networks. Technology should have been at the forefront of making the RR's an efficient effective way to transport freight..

Once upon time when BN was testing ARES back in the 80's the system proved itself with: Moving blocks, GPS, and digital radio communications. The 90's approached.. Changes in BN staff, and further research and testing halted at other RR's concluded the systems's cost was excessive and provided no benefit could be had from it's implementation? ARES R.I.P... Fast forward to 2008.. PTC was forced onto the RR's

Someone mentioned ECP.. Another positive benefit to train handling that has proven itself in Heavy Haul applications such as the Pilbara region iron ore rail lines. ECP test have proven train stopping distances can be greatly decreased. ECP also provides a more robust, responsive, and simplified air brake system..Another benefit of ECP. It also provides comm access. This would solve Jeffs DP signal issues, with hard wire instead of wireless communication. How long before congress forces the RR's to install ECP???

ARES(Called PTC now of course), ECP, combined with: Dispatching, Car scheduling/real-time tracking, MoW authority, and Rolling stock maintenance would've have provided a much greater benefit as all could be brought under one platform. My issue with PSR is how much innovation and infrastructure improvements it's stifiling due to: sharebuy backs, increased focus on dividends, and short term gains?

 

 

 

Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, August 15, 2019 6:35 AM

SD60MAC9500
ECP test have proven train stopping distances can be greatly decreased.

The question being this - what is the benefit of shorter stopping distances in daily operations?  How much time can be saved if a train can be stopped in half a mile instead of a mile?  How does the occasional broken knuckle balance out with the savings gained from that time saved?

Yard capacity has been mentioned - is there a gain if the train can be stopped in a shorter distance at it's hold-out spot because there's no room in the yard?

SD60MAC9500
My issue with PSR is how much innovation and infrastructure improvements it's stifiling due to: sharebuy backs, increased focus on dividends, and short term gains?

Indeed - I've said before that PSR has been tainted by those who see it as a way to enrich themselves (ie, the "vulture capitalists," or whatever term you want to use).  Much of what is PSR has been done before - preblocking, longer trains, etc - but with the capital spending necessary to make it work.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 15, 2019 8:59 AM

tree68
The question being this - what is the benefit of shorter stopping distances in daily operations? How much time can be saved if a train can be stopped in half a mile instead of a mile? How does the occasional broken knuckle balance out with the savings gained from that time saved?

There are more benefits from ECP than those of a nominally shorter stopping distance, notably the use of graduated release from any degree of application.  Being able to take a little 'too much' brake without subsequent need to 'release to recharge' is surely a useful thing in train handling.

It also becomes practical to modulate the brake systems on the cars independently with a little added equipment, which should make the issue of 'getting a knuckle' a thing of the past even for sudden full-service applications.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:46 AM

The Washington Post didn't recognize that link for a while, but it seems to be working now.  Have not read it, as I'm not disabling my adblocker for an unvetted site that seems intent on pushing content.

Would have PMed but Kalmbach and Firefox haven't ironed out their little 'issue'.

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:51 AM

Worked for me using Winders 10, IExplorer.

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:36 PM

Overmod
The Washington Post didn't recognize that link for a while, but it seems to be working now.  Have not read it, as I'm not disabling my adblocker for an unvetted site that seems intent on pushing content.

Would have PMed but Kalmbach and Firefox haven't ironed out their little 'issue'.

Working fine W10 + Chrome

The normal BS of the FRA/NTSB trying to spend OPM (Other peoples money) in mass quantities.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, August 15, 2019 3:56 PM

We subscribe to online Washington Post. I had forgotten that when I posted the link. But seems like they’d let you access a single story. Dunno.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 15, 2019 4:07 PM

Lithonia Operator
But seems like they’d let you acces a single story.

They do.  When I first clicked the link the Post site said it couldn't find the page, but I tried it again after the first guy said he got it to work and it did.

The problem I have with it is not access to the story; it's that I can't read it without completely disabling my ad blocking.  Which, in the complete absence of any information from the Post regarding its advertisers or the code they may be planning to shovel across, I am extremely reluctant to do.

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