News Wire: Steam group reacts to Amtrak policy on special trains, charters

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, March 29, 2018 3:05 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Tickets will not go on sale next week for the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s proposed Joliet Rocket trips as the Fort Wayne group and other preservationists seek clarification on Amtrak’s new policy on s...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/03/29-steam-community-reacts-to-amtrak-policy-on-special-trains-charters

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 29, 2018 3:41 PM

Oh brother, this could get real ugly real fast.

Talk about alienating some of the best friends Amtrak could have, private car owners, excursion organizers, and rail preservationists, to say nothing of future Amtrak customers who might get their first taste of train travel by riding an excursion!

Considering many private car owners are well-heeled and well-connected individuals I imagine those people are burning up the phone lines to their senators and congressmen, even as we speak. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:24 PM

Firelock76
burning up the phone lines to their senators and congressmen

Maybe that's the point?  Might help Amtrak's situation.

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 30, 2018 9:54 AM

Penny Trains
 
Firelock76
burning up the phone lines to their senators and congressmen

 

Maybe that's the point?  Might help Amtrak's situation.

 

Anything's possible Becky, it all depends on whether the "Head Amtrak's" that cagy or whether he's just another "interchangeable executive" with no clue about the business he's been hired to run.  There's a lot of that going on nowadays, look at the collapse of A&P and Toys R Us.  There's no reason those two giants should have failed, but fail they did, and the main cause (in my opinion, for what it's worth) was those at the top running them didn't understand the businesses they were handed.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, March 30, 2018 8:02 PM

Firelock76
no clue about the business he's been hired to run

I can understand that.  I worked for Builder's Square and after they split from K-Mart as a public company they were taken over by an investment group.  Those geniuses merged Builder's Square with a considerably smaller hardware-only chain.  Ordinarily there's no more to the story but these brainiacs decided to let the execs at the small firm control the one 10 times their size.  Aside from the obvious fact that there aren't any Builder's Square stores anymore there isn't anybody working at the investment firm that created the debacle either.

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 30, 2018 9:16 PM

So THAT'S what happened to Builder's Square.  We had one here in Richmond for a while, then it was gone.  I always wondered.

Lowes and Home Depot jumped in to fill the gap, but personally I shop for hardware at the locally owned business a mile-and-a-half down the road, I only go to the big guys for lumber when I need it, the local shop doesn't have much.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, March 31, 2018 6:55 PM

I considered moving over to the Home Despot but then I heard that they had parties celebrating Builder's Square's demise.  You don't celebrate people losing their jobs.  Fortunately I had already moved on to Ames, who's CEO lied to the bankruptcy courts and we ended up getting liquidated.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 31, 2018 7:52 PM

Prior to the rise of HD & Lowe's there was a home improvement chain in the Central Maryland area - Heckinger.  Great store - next thing I knew they were liquidating.

         

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 31, 2018 8:28 PM

Ah yes.  Harriet Hechinger, wasn't it?  The Edmund Scientific of DIY.

 The same Leonard Green that spoiled Becky's day was in negotiations to get Hechinger and merge it with Builder's Square, and renegotiated for a fire-sale price reduction when Hechinger couldn't make their numbers. Wheels came off thereafter.  Even the online company that bought the name couldn't stay solvent.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:05 PM

Penny Trains

 

 
Firelock76
no clue about the business he's been hired to run

 

I can understand that.  I worked for Builder's Square and after they split from K-Mart as a public company they were taken over by an investment group.  Those geniuses merged Builder's Square with a considerably smaller hardware-only chain.  Ordinarily there's no more to the story but these brainiacs decided to let the execs at the small firm control the one 10 times their size.  Aside from the obvious fact that there aren't any Builder's Square stores anymore there isn't anybody working at the investment firm that created the debacle either.

 

Suicide?

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:09 PM

I do not know how large the chain is, but we also have Ace, which has a large variety of hardware and home supplies; I do not think it carries lumber.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:35 PM

Overmod
Ah yes.  Harriet Hechinger, wasn't it?  The Edmund Scientific of DIY.

 The same Leonard Green that spoiled Becky's day was in negotiations to get Hechinger and merge it with Builder's Square, and renegotiated for a fire-sale price reduction when Hechinger couldn't make their numbers. Wheels came off thereafter.  Even the online company that bought the name couldn't stay solvent.

Never heard of 'Harriet' being associated with Heckinger.  Not even as a 'spokes cartoon'.

         

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:40 PM

The investment firm is alive and kicking, but does not mention the great 3-way consolidation play on its Web site ...

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:43 PM

BaltACD
Never heard of 'Harriet' being associated with Heckinger.  Not even as a 'spokes cartoon

Perhaps there were two chains.  Hechinger with the "h" had Harriet Homeowner as their character at one point, evidently appealing to the 51% that might not have recognized yet (this was before all those rehab shows) that DIY was not just for boys any more.

You don't remember Twobafor either?

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Posted by Trevisan on Saturday, March 31, 2018 10:45 PM

I Have/ Had tickets for the 261 trip from Minneapolis to Duluth Minnesota trip in June, Steve Sandberg says to hold on, maybe we can still make it happen. The thread of the new CEO's of companys that have been wrecked is sooo true though.

Don't much care for an Amtrack trip after this news....Heritage Rail ...was a thought to ride an Amtrack train.

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 9:15 AM

We had a Hechinger's here in the Richmond area when we first moved here, "Harry and Harriet Homeowner"  were two characters in their newspaper ads. 

I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but it MAY have started as "HQ" and then morphed into Hechingers.  We moved her thirty years ago from "Channel Lumber" country up in New Jersey.

The hardware place close by I mentioned is an Ace Hardware but also goes by the name Pleasants Hardware, Pleasants was an institution here and deservedly so, still a great place to go.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 01, 2018 11:08 AM

Hechinger started long before Home Quarters; they were one of the first if not THE first to concentrate entirely on retail building materials, many decades ago.  If I recall correctly the acquisition of HQ by Hechinger's was the first step in their grand expansion plan, and as Home Quarters was in the Richmond area you probably had one of the 'converted' ones.

Ace is like ServiStar in providing a full line of branding and advertising to hardware stores; typically they do not 'own' the store or dictate what other products or lines it would carry.  Note that unless there is local 'fame' for the hardware store's name, it may be associated with being 'an Ace Hardware store' as that is what the newspaper circulars, mail flyers, radio spots, etc. provided by them stress.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 11:19 AM

OK, Hechingers bought HQ, that's what happened. 

I suppose Channel Lumber's gone with the wind as well, their old location in Paramus NJ is now a Barnes and Noble.  A very nice one I might add, I always make time to "make a raid" there when I'm up north.

Hey Overmod, now that you've mentioned them did you ever visit Edmund Scientific in Barrington NJ?  I did when I was at Glassboro State, not too far away.  What a fun place that was!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 01, 2018 1:54 PM

I never knew Edmund as anything but an exotic mail-order supplier all the while I was growing up.  I don't think it occurred to me they might have a raft of stuff not in the catalogue.  I was a regular visitor to Canal Street in the early '70s which was much less difficult to access!

Imagine my surprise when I found out how Edmund got into the 'scientific' market after WWII...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 3:28 PM

You know, I'd seen Edmund Scientific ads in "Popular Science" but it never occurred to me either that they had a retail outlet.  One of the guys I knew at school was a life science major and was making a trip up there, for what I don't remember 40-plus years hence, so a bunch of us went along.

The place was amazing, and I just went absolutely nuts over the Van de Graff generators, the Tesla Coils,  the "Jacob's Ladders,"  all that Frankensteins lab stuff!  Unfortunately I couldn't afford any of it, probably just as well.

One of the best things in there was a small theater with a "Sound and Light" show set to the tune of George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun."  Very well done too, I might add. 

I did get a photo stand camera adaptor that allowed you to photograph things like pictures in books and magazines.  I used it to make slides I used in class presentations.  It disappeared long ago, who knows where, but it worked great.

Good times.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, April 01, 2018 3:31 PM

Firelock76
Oh brother, this could get real ugly real fast.

20th Century has several private car trips planned this Summer that rely on Amtrak if you go to their website.......they might have more to cancel depending on if Amtrak accepted those trips or not.    They were using dome cars on their trips.......we'll see.

Friends of 261 has a Steam Excursion planned but I think they worked it out with BNSF Railway direct vs. Amtrak.    So I think they might still be on via their trip to Duluth, MN.   They sometimes use an Amtrak Locomotive as a backup but that is easily replaced via a BNSF locomotive.

My guess is Amtrak reverses the decision at some point.   Who knows though.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 3:39 PM

Friends of 261 have their own fleet of cars, and with a friendly host 'road like BNSF or other friendly host 'roads they don't need Amtrak. 

"Friends of..." sometimes rent their cars out to other groups planning excursions, and that could cause revenue problems for them if those excursions are Amtrak connected in one way or another.   

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, April 02, 2018 2:04 AM

One of my dreams was to tour the USA and Canada with a choral group from my Yeshiva, and give concerts in many places, using private cars as both transpotation and hotel.  I would not think of having such a tour without such transportation and living arrangements.  The train would also be a school, because the rabbi that accompanied the tour group would also give classes for local Jews in places where concerts are performed.  The concerts would be for general admission, with local choral groups given reduced-rate tickets (or free) and possibly collaborating in the concerts.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, April 02, 2018 3:03 PM

I could still happen David, who knows?  I'll tell you what, if you get it put together  I'll come and see it, I love a good choral concert!

I'd imagine you'd have a ready-made audience of "Trains" Forum posters!

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