Trains.com

Why we can't have nice things

3632 views
24 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2014
  • 247 posts
Why we can't have nice things
Posted by ORNHOO on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 12:59 AM

SEPTA service is extended to Wawa, but: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBCNJQe6_ZQ

 

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Matthews NC
  • 363 posts
Posted by matthewsaggie on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 9:26 PM

Excellent summary. 

NDG
  • Member since
    December 2013
  • 1,618 posts
Posted by NDG on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 10:46 PM

Dream On, Again!

SEPTA service is extended to Wawa, but....

https://www.google.com/maps/@48.0006856,-84.8976447,38397m/data=!3m1!1e3 

 

Thank You.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,560 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, January 12, 2023 10:14 AM

Wawa, Ontario is what I thought when I first saw that. 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 12, 2023 11:49 AM

Now to get the battery car service set up between West Chester and Wawa.  What I'd like to see is for the West Chester Railroad people to combine efforts with SEPTA to provide this with some amenities, as an extension of their current service.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 25,151 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 2, 2023 10:18 PM

Bigger question - Is there a Wawa Store at Wawa?

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 3, 2023 8:18 PM

BaltACD
Bigger question - Is there a Wawa Store at Wawa?

Oddly enough... no.  Although there appear to be two on Baltimore Pike in Media, and two more on Baltimore Pike in Glen Mills.

https://www.wawa.com/about/locations/store-locator

(I was distressed to find that the brisket is back... and here I sit a thousand miles away, hungry.)

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 25,151 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 3, 2023 10:10 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
Bigger question - Is there a Wawa Store at Wawa?

Oddly enough... no.  Although there appear to be two on Baltimore Pike in Media, and two more on Baltimore Pike in Glen Mills. 

https://www.wawa.com/about/locations/store-locator

(I was distressed to find that the brisket is back... and here I sit a thousand miles away, hungry.)

Head to Buc-ee's

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 4, 2023 8:24 AM

ORNHOO

SEPTA service is extended to Wawa, but: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBCNJQe6_ZQ

 

 

Every undergrad that takes a planning course and has a twitter becomes an instant urban planner.  Just add light rail to taste. 

If it was that easy when I went to school, I would have been one, too! 

 

Honestly, that was my college career track.  But once I noticed that all the "new" ideas being touted are all the same ideas that were being touted for the past 100 years, it seemed like a lesson in futility.  Planners have a lot of ideas, but they never seem to have the next 10 words in how to fulfill their ideas.  Or that's what I got out of it.  

 

I suspect many of these 19 yr old "planners"  (rail/bus/subway/trolley fans) all over twitter/reddit/youtube will eventually look back at these videos and laugh or cringe at themselves 10+ years from now as they jump in their RAV4 to drive to work from their house in the suburbs. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 13,522 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, February 4, 2023 9:49 AM

And therein lies the problem.  While I'm sure that there are any number of proposals out there that are quite impractical, even the more reasonable and carefully thought-out proposals will go nowhere if they don't come up with an acceptable means of funding them.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 1,124 posts
Posted by Gramp on Saturday, February 4, 2023 10:35 AM

Might Baba be buried in Wawa?

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 4, 2023 11:09 AM

Gramp
Might Baba be buried in Wawa?

She was cremated, and you'd have to ask Jackie.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 4, 2023 11:13 AM

I also am curious what overlap there is between people that think remote work/ work form home should be the norm, and people that want commuter trains/busses to run as frequently as possible. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 4, 2023 11:32 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
And therein lies the problem.  While I'm sure that there are any number of proposals out there that are quite impractical, even the more reasonable and carefully thought-out proposals will go nowhere if they don't come up with an acceptable means of funding them.

Their solution is just to nationalize everything.  

There's a freight train wreck?  NATIONALIZE!  Because wrecks won't happen if the paychecks are paid for by the US Gov't somehow. 

I'm literally reading a twitter thread spouting this thoguht right now. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 4, 2023 11:54 AM

zugmann
I also am curious what overlap there is between people that think remote work/ work from home should be the norm, and people that want commuter trains/busses to run as frequently as possible. 

That's so simple it's stupid<tm>!  

Commuter trains and buses should be owned by the Government, and therefore run on frequent headways whether workers from home are riding them or not.  They are all powered with green free Government energy from the sun or wind, and driven autonomously by ChatGPT AI programmed by Indian workers working remotely from home a LOT further away than control centers in the United States.

What a great future it will be when transit goes everywhere but doesn't have to stop for passengers!  Somewhere there are bureaucrats that probably think that's a stunning idea!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 4, 2023 12:00 PM

zugmann
Their solution is just to nationalize everything.

Oh, no.  The solution was clear even in the days of John Kneiling: let's have the Iron Ocean TODAY.  Nationalized of course and double-billed to all the current and would-be operating companies and also to the American taxpayer (who of course is benefiting from the 'enhanced logistics'.  This has the great salient advantage that all the safety costs, and fine income therefrom, is still billable, and the safety bureaucracy can be continued, and the tax revenue from actually moving freight and employing people can continue to roll in.  And accidents are still supported by deep pockets, but the Government gets to cap its liability just like Amtrak does.  

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 4, 2023 12:12 PM

If the federal gov't is going to force contracts on us from here on out, most likely, maybe we should just become federal workers? 

Solve the sick day issue as well. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,600 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 4, 2023 12:34 PM

zugmann
If the federal gov't is going to force contracts on us from here on out, most likely, maybe we should just become federal workers?

Wouldn't you have to give up Railroad Retirement benefits?  I think I've seen the idea of going on the Federal payroll before and hearing it sucked for that reason...

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 4, 2023 12:42 PM

Overmod
Wouldn't you have to give up Railroad Retirement benefits?

There's still commuter RRs and Amtrak that are part of the RRB. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,685 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 4, 2023 2:43 PM

zugmann

I also am curious what overlap there is between people that think remote work/ work form home should be the norm, and people that want commuter trains/busses to run as frequently as possible. 

 

Therin lies the question.  Just how much of "work from home" is here to stay and how much "commute to work" capacity is going to be needed?  I don't know how much the future holds for either and I doubt anyone else does.

Certainly, the businesses that own the properties their people work in are eventually going to say "Get your butts in here! We're not paying for the maintanance of this building for no reason!" while the ones leasing the properties might just say "OK, we'll just keep the place until the lease runs out and get rid of it, then let everyone work from home," especially if there's been no loss in productivity.  It's a "wait and see," no doubt in my mind about it.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 5,608 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 2:21 PM

zugmann

 

 
CSSHEGEWISCH
And therein lies the problem.  While I'm sure that there are any number of proposals out there that are quite impractical, even the more reasonable and carefully thought-out proposals will go nowhere if they don't come up with an acceptable means of funding them.

 

Their solution is just to nationalize everything.  

There's a freight train wreck?  NATIONALIZE!  Because wrecks won't happen if the paychecks are paid for by the US Gov't somehow. 

I'm literally reading a twitter thread spouting this thoguht right now. 

 

Profits on today's PSR rails are largely generated by various means: longer trains beyond siding capacity and heavier carloads to cut labor costs; deferred maintenance costs. All these contibute to more accidents.  The profits are not cost free.

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,565 posts
Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 2:37 PM

"Nationalize everything" is just another 10 word answer.  Too simplistic thinking. 

 

I just wish there was a little more indepth discussion from many of these people and their blogs/twitters.  Of course I say the same with most things, even govt. 

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 4,267 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 3:14 PM

We had two major nationalized railroads, Conrail and CN.  Then as now they shipped large amounts of dangerous goods and had accidents every now and then.  And they tried to cut jobs and other costs.

Perhaps keeping those railroads nationalized would have prevented the closure of certain yards and the elimination of some jobs and maintenance programs.  Or maybe the government would have eventually proven just as inept at running a railroad as the current PSR overlords.  At any rate we've proceeded too far down the privatization rabbit hole, freight railroad nationalization isn't in the cards on this continent, no matter what left leaning pundits might say. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 4,815 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 7:13 PM

SD70Dude

We had two major nationalized railroads, Conrail and CN.  Then as now they shipped large amounts of dangerous goods and had accidents every now and then.  And they tried to cut jobs and other costs.

Perhaps keeping those railroads nationalized would have prevented the closure of certain yards and the elimination of some jobs and maintenance programs.  Or maybe the government would have eventually proven just as inept at running a railroad as the current PSR overlords.  At any rate we've proceeded too far down the privatization rabbit hole, freight railroad nationalization isn't in the cards on this continent, no matter what left leaning pundits might say. 

 

In many respects CN was an industry leader and trailblazer as a "nationalized" railroad. A nationalized railroad is "owned" by people just as a publicly traded shareholder railroad is. I don't think it really matters that much who the "owners" are so long as there's a mechanism in place  to ensure that the railroad is managed properly. 

In the past the old nationalized  CN was often criticized for inept management, but what is sometimes forgotten is that CN was a conglomeration of failed or marginal lines, some of which shouldn't have been built in the first place. And not having to answer to  fickle investors and fund managers on Bay Street every quarter gave CN some rope to test new ideas.. the Breadsmore engines..doodlebugs..visibilty cabs..radio communication, safety cabs and more... all of which required longterm thinking beyond the next quarter. 

Publicly traded companies, including railroads, are a wonderful idea as they allow average people to share in the economic success of society, but one drawback we've got is that the "setup" is geared to short term thinking..there's very little incentive to think ahead more than a few quarters, and certainly no incentive to think ahead 10 or 20 years, in sharp contrast to privately held "family owned" businesses. 

 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy