"Are Americans Ready to Love Trains Again?"

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"Are Americans Ready to Love Trains Again?"
Posted by Victrola1 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 1:55 PM

A Bloomberg news video on passenger rail. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rsend-1FbaM

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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 2:48 PM

On both coasts: Maybe.

Between the Appalachians and the Sierra Nevada, No.

Jus' sayin', after a lifetime of waiting.

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Posted by PJS1 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 4:12 PM

Victrola1
 A Bloomberg news video on passenger rail. 

On balance this is a good overview

One of the ways to get approximately $525 million a year to help develop the corridors where passenger rail can be viable is to get rid of the long-distance trains.  

Most young people, I suspect, don't have a bad impression about passenger rail. In most parts of the country they have never used it.  But hearing the horror stories about late running, poorly service long-distance trains is not likely to get them to think positively about train travel. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 4:13 PM

Americans are ready to love trains again, but only if they're lovable.

Brightline, soon to be Virgin, is certainly trying.  Amtrak, I'm not so sure.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 7:16 PM

What's going on with Brightline?

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 7:35 PM

Here in da midwest aka Flyover country....We dont exist. No day trains in Ohio and Iowas stations are far from the population centers

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 8:47 PM

I sure hope that when it becomes Virgin they will adopt a livery with some dignity. Their current scheme makes me cringe.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 10:11 PM

ATSFGuy

What's going on with Brightline?

 

As I understand it they've been very successful so far, which is why they've attracted Sir Richard Branson's (Virgin) attention.  He's been pretty good at picking winners to buy into.  

The only "burp" Brightline's had to my knowledge is not accepting cash for fares, but I believe that's been corrected.  Cash is legal tender after all, and as far as I know merchants, vendors, and others have to accept it.  

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Posted by alphas on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 11:06 PM

The reason for Bloomberg news doing this feature is political.     If anyone has follwed Boss Bloomberg's political proposals he has already committed to having the CA high speed rail completely finished and also having another one done by 2025.   He also wants a high speed line coast to coast by 2030.    I personally don't care for spending Federal tax dollars to bail out CA's mistake and I can't see how having one coast-to-coast 2,800-3,000 mile HS rail would be anything but a major financial disaster for the taxpayer.     I could see something in the distance future like NYC to Chicago HS RR but even that would cost hundreds of billions to build and probably have to have annual operating subsidies.     Also, unless you change all the environmental rules and other red tape, it could take 10-20 years before you could even turn a shovel of dirt for it. 

Governor Brown left CA with a big mess with his HS rail and I suspect a President Bloomberg would leave the country in a mess if he were to get what he wants with HS rail.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, February 6, 2020 6:40 AM

Lithonia Operator

I sure hope that when it becomes Virgin they will adopt a livery with some dignity. Their current scheme makes me cringe.

 

   What, you don't like the mustard drippings on the nose?

   Actually, I don't like most of the paint schemes they've come up with the last decade or two.  I think I get that they're trying to appeal to youngsters with the bright colors and wild patterns, but to an old timer like me, you can't beat the looks of the sleek streamliners of six or seven decades ago.

_____________

My mind's made up.  Don't confuse me with the facts.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 6, 2020 7:03 AM

Paul of Covington
Actually, I don't like most of the paint schemes they've come up with the last decade or two. 

To say nothing of the almost-obligate Vergara-ish clown-suit styling of almost any modern 'passenger' power.  Almost as if designers are doing the Super Bowl commercial version of the 'watch how I can waste taxpayer dollars on meaningless wacky appearance and paint schemes' portfolio-building ego stroke.

(I have never much cared for the esthetics of the Helvetica typeface, but tolerated it for a while on signage as a 'cheap' modern sans face.  Imagine my surprise when I found out just how complex it is to paint those letterforms!  Much more attractive faces are much easier to produce!)

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:03 AM

I'd be happy enough if they went with a modified version of the airplane livery.

https://blog.virginatlantic.com/happy-birthday-to-the-boeing-747/

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:33 AM

Lithonia Operator
I'd be happy enough if they went with a modified version of the airplane livery.

But whatever they do, let's hope they won't use any modified versions of the Virgin Trains livery!

Down, Sabrina!  Bad girl!  Down!! 

I can't see their Christmas train without thinking "Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!" or look at the East Coast HSTs without remembering Starsky and Hutch and becoming thirsty for a good cold Coke from that big horizontal vending machine.

Not to make anyone nervous, but I can find nothing official from Virgin, in a fairly substantial amount of their 'collateral' regarding Brightline, that even hints at a different livery for the trains as 'rebadged' ... Surprise

 

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, February 6, 2020 2:51 PM

Paul of Covington

 

 
Lithonia Operator

I sure hope that when it becomes Virgin they will adopt a livery with some dignity. Their current scheme makes me cringe.

 

 

 

   What, you don't like the mustard drippings on the nose?

   Actually, I don't like most of the paint schemes they've come up with the last decade or two.  I think I get that they're trying to appeal to youngsters with the bright colors and wild patterns, but to an old timer like me, you can't beat the looks of the sleek streamliners of six or seven decades ago.

 

I wouldn't mind the mustard drippings on tne nose if it was brown mustard, Guldens, Kosciusko, Grey Poupon, Boar's Head, well, you get the picture.

I'll use yellow mustard if that's all that's available.

And I'm with Paul, those vintage diesel color schemes were classic.  Considering just how well they work on modern diesels like the various "Heritage" units shows what geniuses the design folks at GM, Alco, and others really were. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, February 6, 2020 3:30 PM

How about Tuscan Red? It works for me! 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, February 6, 2020 5:27 PM

Or New York Central 2-tone grey? 

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, February 6, 2020 6:38 PM

Charlie- A good choice- you're on to something. How about Brunswick Green? It looked fantastic on GG1s. And you can't beat the Brightline Warbonnet scheme! 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 6, 2020 6:58 PM

charlie hebdo
Or New York Central 2-tone grey?

I said way back when, and I still say, this oughta be what Norfolk Southern uses -- you can mix the necessary colors from white and black stock.  (It was the right solution for the D&H Sharks, too, whether in grayscale or blue and yellow...)

But there's a still better NYC-based color answer, and it preserves the sunshine aspect:

As someone noted about it on the railpictures.net site:  Looks modern even today.  Picks up on the blue ocean, too...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, February 6, 2020 8:47 PM

Overmod

 

 
charlie hebdo
Or New York Central 2-tone grey?

 

I said way back when, and I still say, this oughta be what Norfolk Southern uses -- you can mix the necessary colors from white and black stock.  (It was the right solution for the D&H Sharks, too, whether in grayscale or blue and yellow...)

But there's a still better NYC-based color answer, and it preserves the sunshine aspect:

As someone noted about it on the railpictures.net site:  Looks modern even today.  Picks up on the blue ocean, too...

 

Not bad, not bad at all, although I'm still not too crazy about the yellow nose.

Possibly, going with the "sea and sand" theme, a sand color to go with the blue, dark at the nose and gradually tapering toward the rear?  It looks like they're almost there with that NYC scheme.  

Tuscan Red?  NYC two-tone grey?  Good choices boys, very classic, but considering Brightline's a Florida train I'd be more inclined to the old Seaboard's "Citrus" scheme, or the Atlantic Coast Line's silver and purple.  Both Florida 'roads, with a strong Florida history. 

Seaboard "Citrus"  http://www.streamlinermemories.info/FL/OBS1.jpg  

ACL's "Champion"  http://www.streamlinermemories.info/FL/ChampionPC.pdf  

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, February 6, 2020 9:32 PM

Overmod

 

 
charlie hebdo
Or New York Central 2-tone grey?

 

I said way back when, and I still say, this oughta be what Norfolk Southern uses -- you can mix the necessary colors from white and black stock.  (It was the right solution for the D&H Sharks, too, whether in grayscale or blue and yellow...)

But there's a still better NYC-based color answer, and it preserves the sunshine aspect:

As someone noted about it on the railpictures.net site:  Looks modern even today.  Picks up on the blue ocean, too...

 

I've never seen a piece of NYC rolling stock in that livery. How widespread was it? And during what years?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:51 PM

As far as I know, it was only on the Xploder, and only for the brief period the train ran between Cleveland and Cincinnati -- still promised in the timetable of 4/56, and gone without trace by that of 10/57.

(t may be notable that the pictures of the new train in the tmetable do not show the shark nose -- they look much more like the Dan'l Webster nose.)

For some reason it is very rare to find pictures of this train in color.

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, February 7, 2020 8:11 AM

"Xploder"? We really need Spell Czech, don't we?Laugh

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 7, 2020 9:01 AM

Deggesty

"Xploder"? We really need Spell Czech, don't we?Laugh

 

No, Mod-man's got his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.  The "Xplorer" bombed!

Which is too bad, it was a cool-lookin' train!  Unfortunately "cool" wasn't selling at that point, at least as far as trains were concerned.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 7, 2020 9:41 AM

Deggesty
"Xploder"? We really need Spell Czech, don't we?Laugh

Moi?  Rien d'accord!

That was the nickname the NYC crews gave the Maybach-engined RP-210 after they had a few months experience with it.  It's a bit like the Burlington people calling the streamlined Aeolus Hudsons "Big Alice, the Goon"  (Or the ATSF boys calling their streamlined Hudson Mae West... Whistling)  It's the same sense of pun on 'explorer' that led to Microsoft's browser being called Internet Exploiter...

You can find the story in most of the accounts of the Xplorer train (e.g. Doughty's 'New York Central and the Trains of the Future' which is a fun read if this stuff interests you).

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 7, 2020 9:57 AM

Had a Ford Explorer late 90's , always called it the Exploder, then one day it did. 

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, February 9, 2020 6:20 PM

Miningman

Had a Ford Explorer late 90's , always called it the Exploder, then one day it did. 

 

There is a proper way to do a put-down after an amateur's attempt at a joke.

I had heard that my brother's father-in-law had a brief career as an entertainer in his younger days.  One day I call over to my brother's place to tell my clever joke, only he was out for the evening and his father-in-law was minding the grandkids.  

"I was going to tell my brother this joke, but maybe you would like to hear it.  I head that Ford was coming out with a new vehicle that was based on the Contour chassis but was an SUV like the Expedition.  They wanted to call it the "Ford Collision", but this never made it past the first focus group panel."

After the longest pause, the response was "Paul.  You should know that I serve on the board of my condo association.  Every Wednesday evening, I hear a joke like this."

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Victrola1 on Monday, February 10, 2020 7:16 AM

Making the trains run on time would be a good start. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, February 10, 2020 9:17 AM

That NYC locomotive looks like a Dachshund that just smelled something unpleasant. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 10, 2020 12:25 PM

Loewy's Sharknose styling worked really well for 'original' carbody height.  It did not do so well when cut down to be 'adapted' for the lower-profile equipment... it appears this was a relatively late design "enhancement".  (See the little 'cuts' of the artist's conception in the April 1956 NYC system timetable, printed at a time before the final schedule for the Cleveland-Cincinnati service had been finalized, for the prior, Dan'l-Webster-like nose...)

The big black X on the front did not improve matters, either graphically or semantically... 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, February 10, 2020 5:35 PM

Paul M.--  Did not intend it as a joke. I always called it the 'exploder' , just my cynical side I guess  and after 750,000 faithful miles the engine lunched. Bearings going, tranny was difficult, extreme rust, lots of other things. It ran much better in the winter than the summer. 

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