Quoted: "Trains" by Hulton Getty, pg 88, Sourcebooks, Inc. ISBN 1-57071-605-6
Well, RAILWAYIST, you have neglected to tell us all when that bit of "wisdom" was penned. Ancient history? More to the point, so what? What lesson are we all to take away from this latest quotation you have so thoughtfully provided? Can you give us some discussion and/or thoughts to go along with these quotes? By themselves, they accomplish nothing.
If Obama has his way, the next trains will be powered by electricity
"If Obama has his way, ...."
Trains ARE powered by electricity as we speak...hence the term diesel-electric.
But more importantly, what kind of Supreme Court Justice will he appoint?
And, so much for Obama and the working man, considering that he didn't help strike down the strip search rule that now applies to transportation workers ONLY!
As if we are common criminals, the DOT, and the railroads should be challenged on this.
It seems if one chooses to be a transportation worker that a second set of rules apply, as if we we're second class citizens', and if for some reason one of those workers becomes afflicted with drug and alcohol disease that they are less then a citizen and are subject to cruel and unusual drug and alcohol testing in which one must bear all while delivering a urine specimen for all to see, what's next the scourging at the pillar,for marking off?
Possibly, but regale us with more detail of this prediction, please. Will the government pay for the conversion to electricity?
Larry, do you know a good labor lawyer?
Email me at email@example.com
James Swidergal: This particular blog wasn't about drug testing, or even about electric propulsion.
Let's deal with propulsion first. Yes, you are right. The diesel engine is really a diesel-electric, but when others refer to electric propulsion, they invariably are talking about getting electricity from external sources, a third rail and shoe or a pantagraph. I'm not holding my breath waiting for the costly conversion to happen.
Now, for drug testing. I'm not going to tell you that you should like the obtrusive testing that has been upheld by the Court of Appeals. I am going to tell you that you are going to have to put up with it or not work in the industry. No, transportation workers are not second-class citizens -- well, they may be, but that's not what this discussion is about -- they are among a very small segment of the population that can wreak havoc by getting high and/or stoned. You do remember Ricky Gates don't you? Actually, transportation workers have been quite clean for the most part, although I can recall a few airline pilots who arrived at security with a real buzz on. I also can remember when a Norfolk Southern steam excursion derailed while the CEO (the late Bob Claytor) was operating it. Like all railroad workers in a similar situation, he submitted to the mandatory test. He also was clean. You demand that DOT and the carriers be challenged on the new rule that there be a witness when you wee-wee in the bottle. Well, you may challenge DOT, but the unions and BNSF already have challenged the rule in court and so far have lost. This was not a carrier-imposed rule, so I suggest respectfully that you control your anger and/or focus it where it belongs -- on FRA, which came up with the rule. As for workers who become afflicted with drug or alcohol disease (and good for you for recognizing that it is a disease), they are not allowed to be on duty while under the influence or in possession of alcohol or other illegal substances (Rule G). And for their own health, they would be well-advised to get treatment and get clean and dry. Even the unions don't try to argue that they should be allowed to operate a train or even serve in a crew. Are you arguing otherwise? Alcoholism is a terrible affliction. It does not need enabling. It does need treatment. I have mixed feelings about drugs. Alcohol is a legal substance, but drugs are illegal to begin with, so the individual who becomes addicted has willfully chosen to use an illegal substance and doesn't get a lot of sympathy. Now, back to the Train of the Future.