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myProgressiveRailroading Blogs
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  • Blog Post: Legislating magical solutions

    The New York Times is one of the world's great newspapers, with an enviable reputation and impressive history. Therefore, when they miss the mark - especially in such a profound way - it tends to hurt. Earlier this week, the Times printed an editorial entitled "Don't Bargain With Rail...
  • Blog Post: The Cotton Belt: an addendum to the conundrum

    Mention the Cotton Belt Route in north central Texas and it brings to mind the St. Louis Southwestern Railway's former main traveling northeast out of Fort Worth's famed Stockyards, past the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, across Dallas' northern suburbs and into the "ArkLaTex"...
  • Blog Post: Don Phillips, Barack Obama and personal vindication

    During the late 1980s, as Union Pacific began to merge former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad operations into its growing system, I became concerned about the future of a little used ex-Katy main line in north central Texas. The route in question stretched from B-RI Jct. in the city of Waxahachie to Dana...
  • Blog Post: So, now we're partners?

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is back at the forefront of railroad news. Yesterday, in Minneapolis, he delivered the keynote address for the opening general session of Railway Interchange 2011. Now, I'll be honest about two things right off the top. First of all, it would have been...
  • Blog Post: Oh, to be compliant

    It may simply be a sign of getting old, I suppose. One believes he knows and understands certain concepts, only to discover that some of the rules have changed whilst he slept (metaphorically, of course). In the 45 years that the F.R.A. has been in existence (yes...that's forty five years !),...
  • Blog Post: And then, the Feds blinked

    Passenger trains? So much for the Obama administration's "sense of urgency." The U.S. Department of Transportation has not only solidified its reputation for ineptitude when dealing with railroad matters; they've also proven incapable of playing a decent game of poker ! On the...
  • Blog Post: The myth of "Higher Speed Rail"

    "Oh! what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott Just the other day, an old head asked me to explain the difference between a streetcar and a light rail vehicle. I told him the distinction was far more aesthetic than technical. "Light rail"...
  • Blog Post: High Speed Rail is not the starting point

    From birth, Amtrak has had more than its share of problems. I've always believed its biggest was a route network whose size falls far short of critical mass. "You can't get there from here" - even in the northeastern U.S. (outside of the much vaunted N.E.C.) - remains a true, if shopworn...
  • Blog Post: Obama Speed Rail

    Professionally, I am a Railroader, not a writer. I don't always know how to schedule the publishing of a column, or when to give myself a few extra days for anger to subside. I, too, am aware of the Biblical admonition to "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought...: for a bird of the air...