Garl Boyd Latham is a career Railroader, with almost 40 years of professional experience in both freight and passenger operations.Garl is the owner of Latham Railway Services, a Texas-based planning and consulting firm. Recent work has included the design of intermodal freight terminals, the evaluation and testing of Maintenance-of-Way construction materials, and a comprehensive study of potential intercity passenger train routes throughout Texas and the southwestern United States.Among notable past projects were feasibility and engineering studies for the proposed Dallas, Southeastern and Gulf Railway, and the Texas Boxcar Company (TexBox), as well as the design and development of various model and toy trains.His background includes 10 years with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and 5 years at Dallas Area Rapid Transit, where he received the "Golden Star" - DART's highest-level employee award.Garl has served on the boards of many professional and advocacy organizations, such as the National Association of Railroad Passengers, the Southwest Railroad Historical Society and MobilityDallas. In the course of his career, he has made numerous radio, television and personal appearances throughout North America. Garl is currently Vice President of the Texas Association of Railroad Passengers.
A respected railroad historian, Garl has written many articles on Post-World War II-era passenger train services, while assisting countless others in their quest for accurate and entertaining information regarding railroading's colourful past. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on classic Santa Fe Railway passenger operations - especially their famed flagship train, the Super Chief.
To date, he has traveled over 350,000 miles by train.
A native of Dallas and a fifth-generation Texan, Garl currently resides near San Antonio (Bexar County) with his wife Michele and their daughters Gracie and Phoebe.
"Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts."
Garl: My sincere appreciation for your kind words. You and I both know you went further than I did, and the only reason I didn't was simply the word-count limitation that publishers impose on the deathless prose of their writers. For the record, I wouldn't change a word of my Railway Age blog and even if you were the only reader who understood and appreciated my effort, I consider to have been successful. Again, many thanks.
When I began writing this entry, I struggled with the leading quotation.
Barnard Mannes Baruch served as its point of origin, so he ultimately received the nod.
Even so, I really like the way another statesman revised it - making the aphorism more uniform in construction and, in my opinion, poetic.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
I am familiar with the Moynihan version, and happily admit to having cribbed it on numerous occasions. If you're going to steal, steal from the very best. That last sentence might be a cleaned up version of the Willy Sutton response to "Why did you rob the bank, Willy?
Good to see your views once again, Garl and, as usual, I agree wholeheartedly with you and Larry. I just returned from an Amtrak trip: Syracuse/Chicago/Denver,( quickie Denver/San Francisco), Denver/Chicago/Syracuse with all trains on time or early, reasonable food & great sleeping along with astonishing landscapes. We in the US have magnificent resources for efficient, comfortable alternative travel and most of it is not being tapped because we do not have a rational national surface transportation plan. Someone I spoke with on the trip mentioned that 75% of the US adult population do not own cars & yet virtually all pay taxes. This presents a wonderful "no taxation without representation" argument when it comes to the massive subsidy provided to highways without proportionate subsidy for passenger & freight rail. I always appreciate Larry's reality therapy words which caution me to not get carried away with unbounded enthusiasm, but, I am hopeful that the GOP has finally reached a point of absurdity and we will see a resurgence of good, honest differences in points of view being rationally discussed in a civil manner. Only then can a rational national transportation plan be even possible. Thank you both.