Old 11-23-2005, 04:26 AM   #1
kfleeman
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 53
Default Railroading: the best and worst of

In your opinion, what's the best and/or worst thing you've seen happen to U.S. railroading since you've been into it.


I guess the worst event I can think of would be BNSF's change to their new and terrible logo and paint scheme. Not sure about anything good.
kfleeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 04:43 AM   #2
fuente1
Senior Member
 
fuente1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Concord, NC MP 355 on NS Piedmont Divison Charlotte District
Posts: 281
Send a message via AIM to fuente1 Send a message via Yahoo to fuente1
Default

The worst thing to happen since I have been into railroading........Norfolk Southern ending the Steam Program and the widespread east coast steam ban! Graniteville SC was pretty bad as well. Good thing that happened.....NS's recovery following the Conrail merger.

Last edited by fuente1; 11-23-2005 at 04:47 AM.
fuente1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 04:53 AM   #3
cmherndon
Banned
 
cmherndon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lawrenceburg, KY
Posts: 883
Send a message via AIM to cmherndon Send a message via Yahoo to cmherndon
Default

The worst thing that's happened since I've been into it is the number of mergers and acquisitions that have been taking place. We went from 31 Class 1 railroads to seven. Hopefully we'll stay at seven. Any large mergers (like making 2 large national systems) would probably spell the end of the nation's railroads. Regardless of what Trains magazine says, this is bad.

Probably the best thing is that the railroads have been setting record revenues and profits since the Staggers Act. Deregulation really helped the railroads compete for business as they could set rates rather than the government setting rates for them. The fast expansion of intermodal service is a direct result of that. Interestingly, the Staggers Act also caused what I feel is the worst thing to happen to American railroading.
cmherndon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 10:39 AM   #4
VirginiaSouthern
Banned
 
VirginiaSouthern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Sumter, SC
Posts: 391
Send a message via AIM to VirginiaSouthern Send a message via Yahoo to VirginiaSouthern
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmherndon
The worst thing that's happened since I've been into it is the number of mergers and acquisitions that have been taking place. We went from 31 Class 1 railroads to seven. Hopefully we'll stay at seven. Any large mergers (like making 2 large national systems) would probably spell the end of the nation's railroads. Regardless of what Trains magazine says, this is bad.
I would have to agree this was the worst.

The best is watching many a shortline and regional thrive, despite all these megamergers. I look at the Buckingham Branch as a perfect example of this. They started out as a 17 mile, family owned operation. Now with the aquisition of leased trackage from CSX, they have grown to over 200 miles and business is booming!
VirginiaSouthern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 01:03 PM   #5
StL-rail
Senior Member
 
StL-rail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hastings, MN
Posts: 308
Send a message via AIM to StL-rail Send a message via MSN to StL-rail Send a message via Yahoo to StL-rail
Default

Even though it just barely happened in my lifetime, I think the worst event was the demise of the Milwaukee Road. In my opinion, this was one of the most interesting Class 1 railroad that has ever existed.
__________________
John

Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!

-Canadian Pacific Conductor
-Union Pacific Conductor
-RRC Switchman
StL-rail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 07:16 PM   #6
Slopes09
Senior Member
 
Slopes09's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Here.
Posts: 837
Send a message via AIM to Slopes09
Default

Worst thing for me was the loss of the good ol' Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe. After that is was the loss of the old BNSF logo, which, in my opinion, was ATSF's last legacy besides the surviving units. Also the re-routing of the Southwest Chief over ex-BN tracks until it reaches Galesburg. Thus no longer do passenger trains run on the ex-ATSF near me.
I guess the only best thing would be that BNSF is slow at re-painting units, so that over 10 years since the merger, ATSF colors still abound.
Slopes09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 08:39 PM   #7
ssw9662
Senior Member
 
ssw9662's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 839
Default

Best: Conrail/Staggers Act (tie). The Staggers act saved railroading as we know it, and Conrail greatly improved the northeast as far as railroads are concerned.

Worst: Penn Central. Both railroads were losing lots of money. They merge, and they lose even more money, and plummet into bankruptcy within a couple years. Of course, PC could have worked if the previously mentioned Staggers act was passed 11 or 12 years earlier, and if there wasn't all that red team/green team garbage.
__________________
Austin
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/4 L
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon 50mm f/1.8
My Railpictures.net Photos
flickr
ssw9662 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2005, 01:20 PM   #8
4kV
Senior Member
 
4kV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Homeless, alcoholic drifter with no permanent address
Posts: 653
Default

Mergers... especially the Southern Pacific.
__________________
WTFWDD

Click on n691lf.rrpicturearchives.net for a good laugh and waste of your time.
4kV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2005, 02:24 PM   #9
BNSF_SD40-2B
Senior Member
 
BNSF_SD40-2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Illinios
Posts: 308
Send a message via Yahoo to BNSF_SD40-2B
Default

I didn't like when CN bought IC.

The best thing to happen was the BN/SF merger,along with all the other mergers,and also the new BNSF logo.
__________________
RP.net pix
BNSF_SD40-2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2005, 11:04 PM   #10
Wonka001
Senior Member
 
Wonka001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Woods Cross, UT
Posts: 203
Default best/worst

Our Old Freind D&RGW went bye-bye... This is the worst.. the best.. me pulling my head out and start taking pictures.
Wonka001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2005, 01:33 PM   #11
Strasburg_fan
Member
 
Strasburg_fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 54
Default

Two things:

1. The decline of mainline steam, and
2. Mainline railroad mergers. Hard to believe how few mainline railroads survive today as compared with 15 years ago.
Strasburg_fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2005, 02:37 PM   #12
bnsf sammy
Senior Member
 
bnsf sammy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 638
Default

Worst thing was waking up in the morning to my radio and hearing that 2 Metrolinks has collieded, and had killed at least 8 people. Remember that?? It was in Glendale like almost a year ago?

The best though was going to Cajon for the first time, and seeing my first Orange BNSF train. That was awesome...

Worst, Amtrak's president gets fired
Best, BNSF changes there paint scheme.
__________________
BNSF SAMMY
Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!

Last edited by bnsf sammy; 11-28-2005 at 01:30 AM. Reason: Added the "Best" part
bnsf sammy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 02:33 AM   #13
J. E. Landrum
RailPictures.Net Crew
 
J. E. Landrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Posts: 136
Default

Worst in Railroading: Homogenization of North American railroading (but with continued secondary route spin-offs, this is negated somewhat).

Best in Railroading: The revival of the railroad business (due in part to the negative above).

Lamentable in Railroading: the loss in "human contact". No more towers, stations, agents, and the hostility toward outsiders due to liability concerns. There were few things more enjoyable than a day of railfaning at a tower, knowing when trains were approaching and listening to tales from the operator and other employees.
J. E. Landrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 05:37 AM   #14
firegator
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Oklahoma
Posts: 30
Default Best/worst in Railroading

What an intriguing subject-- I think Mr. Landrum covered a majority of the problem with his statement: "loss in human contact"-- A multi-faceted problem suffered by all of the major roads-- Being raised on the west coast, I saw the end of SP steam, the ups and downs of daily operations, and the final quivvering demise of the once great road--
Now I do not wish to be drawn and quartered over this next statement, but it needs to be said-- Modern management practice develops too many intermediate layers of management, resulting in a situation where nobody knows what is happening, because nobody is communicating-- In SP's case, a lot of mid-level managers were hired, fresh out of college, with no knowledge of railroad operations-- There is a great difference between being educated and being smart-- How does one manage something he has no knowledge of??
In the mid 90's, some wizard decided to pull up most of the sidings between Sacramento and Redding, leaving no place for trains to pass-- Resulting in crews going dead on hours on a 130 mile trip-- Locomotives left idling for weeks on end in the helper pocket, some until they ran out of fuel-- Helper locos dropped in the pocket with operational problems which were either not reported or were ignored, leaving trains delayed when they could not pick up additional power--
How about a manager threatening a crew if they didn't do their switching with the power they had, an SD40T-2 and an SD45 which were sent into a spur which was posted for 4 axle only-- Yep, ties collapsed and the rails rolled out from under the wheels-- Shippers trying to find the status of their car orders, or being promised their loaded cars would be picked up a certain date, but didn't happen until the next week-- I could go on and on, but I've heard the same stories about other class-ones from rail fans across the country-- No people skills = loss in human contact--
Don Phillips writes a fantastic column in Trains Mag., and has touched on similar subject matter several times-- The problems are now recognized and are being corrected-- Let us hope it's not "too little, too late"-- for SP and many others it is--
Bottom line in my opinion; Too many of the "intelectually elite" with big egos in management positions-- Didn't know they had a problem, didn't know how to correct it, and wouldn't ask somebody who knew how to fix it-- Look at our government for example-- Just my $.02 worth-- Regards, da Gator
firegator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 06:51 AM   #15
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

Quote:
Don Phillips writes a fantastic column in Trains Mag.
I was with you all the way until here. I get steamed (no pun intended) about every other one of his columns since it ususally involves comparing the way things are in America to the way things are in much-better-than-the-US Europe. But what do you expect from a guy who voluntarily lives in Paris...
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 01:14 PM   #16
LAHDPOP
Senior Member
 
LAHDPOP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 299
Default

Welcome home, Ween.
__________________
Bret Stringer

I didn't say it was your fault.... I said I was going to blame you.

Click Here to see my rp.net photos.

Click Here to see my "personal collection"
LAHDPOP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 01:57 PM   #17
LAHDPOP
Senior Member
 
LAHDPOP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 299
Default

From my very personal perspective (not an objective view of the industry as a whole):

The Worst: The disappearance of the passenger train as it once was. My grandfather was a passenger conductor on the Texas & Pacific. We used to ride the train from New Orleans to Shreveport to see them often. When you're three and four years old, and your Grandaddy is the conductor, you feel like King of the Train. I had the run of that train. I loved the sound, the feel, and the smell of walking between cars. Post T&P, and Post Amtrak, the Southern still ran the Crescent Limited through my town (Slidell, LA). I got to ride it a few times. It came north on Mon, Wed, and Fri mornings, right past my elementary school. I'd cling to the playground's chain link fence and watch those beautiful Southern E-units pull by after their station stop. They sounded awesome. The only thing "awesome" after Amtrak took over was the period when they were using old Southern units for power.

The Best: The internet. I'm 39 years old now, and for most of my life, I thought I was the only idiot out there who actually liked getting stopped by a train, and watching one go by. For many years, I pretty much stopped paying attention to trains. Then while looking for an engine for an HO Christmas "layout" for the kids, I stumbled across some RR historical sites on the web. Those led me to modern railfan sites. It was then I realized there were plenty of idiots like me out there! The variety and volume of information available on the web is staggering. And great sites like this one provide the outlet to ask, learn, answer and share. Without the internet, and sites like this one, I'm sure I'd still see myself as a solitary idiot; the only one at the crossing who was glad I got stopped by the train.
__________________
Bret Stringer

I didn't say it was your fault.... I said I was going to blame you.

Click Here to see my rp.net photos.

Click Here to see my "personal collection"
LAHDPOP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 02:28 PM   #18
Slopes09
Senior Member
 
Slopes09's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Here.
Posts: 837
Send a message via AIM to Slopes09
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAHDPOP
The Best: The internet. I'm 39 years old now, and for most of my life, I thought I was the only idiot out there who actually liked getting stopped by a train, and watching one go by. For many years, I pretty much stopped paying attention to trains.
Amen to that. Except I thought I was the only teen that actually liked watching and snapping pictures of trains. Now, I know different.
Slopes09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 06:46 PM   #19
firegator
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern Oklahoma
Posts: 30
Default Worst of railroading

Ween-- Or should I say Mr. Ween??-- You are quite right-- I also find fault with Don Phillip's columns on occasion, but he does make one think-- He has a remarkable insight on the industry, which no doubt comes from his many connections--
I agree that comparing European passenger service with that in the states is like comparing apples and oranges; to a point-- Europe has many closely spaced towns, villages, and cities which support the type of service provided there-- For the most part, the good ol' U.S.A. is wide open spaces--Having said that, I feel certain regions do enjoy a reasonable level of passenger service, albeit mostly commuter oriented-- I.E. the northeast corridor, Southern California, and now Central Calif.--
Realistically though, it is far too expensive to travel long distance by train in this country--
I'm dating myself, but I too have fond memories of steam-- The 4400 series of SP Daylights blasting through my hometown at 70 MPH, whistle serenading all who cared to listen, and throwing that plume of snow-white steam into the air on a frosty morning-- I think I'll go have a drink before I get emotional, but I will toast those glorious days-- Regards, da Gator
firegator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 09:32 PM   #20
U-3-b
Junior Member
 
U-3-b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wisdom, MT
Posts: 10
Default

Having been born in the mid 60ís and having a grandfather who worked on the railroads for 50 years I got to see a great change in railroading. I, for one, loved Penn Central and lamented when this new strange railroad started putting a small CR on the sides of my favorite engine, the GG-1.

Being that I was trained as a historian I guess what think is the worst part is the loss of all the great names in railroad history, the good paint schemes, not saying that PC had good one. Where I grew up we had B&O, C&O, RF&P, Southern, PC, the run through power of ACL, SAL and SCL and a few short lines.

The best thing is that there are so many trains running now. Even if I know it is going to be the same paint schemes that I see everyday, I still crane my neck every time I drive the tracks and am always happy to see a train of any type. That and the internet which has taught me so much.
U-3-b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2005, 01:01 AM   #21
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

Quote:
It was then I realized there were plenty of idiots like me out there!
It's good to be amongst similar company! Welcome to the club, idiot!
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2009, 04:53 AM   #22
DME 6361
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 26
Default

The demise of the Milwaukee Road in part of the non-railroaders that wanted to sell up the Pacific extension just to get their money back even though it actually was turning a profit the last couple of years. THE ICC AUDITORS FOUND OUT THAT THE MILW ACCOUNTANTS HAVE BEEN DOUBLE ENTERING THEIR LOSSES TO SHOW THEY HAD A LOSS ON THE LINE. 3 YEARS TO LATE THAT HORRIFIC EVENT WAS FOUND.
DME 6361 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2009, 04:57 AM   #23
DME 6361
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 26
Default

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INTERLOCKING CONTROLS WHEN THEY SHUT DOWN THE MILWAUKEE WESTERN EXTENSION? Did they suspend the block signals and the BN just ran through??????????????????????????????????
DME 6361 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2009, 05:05 AM   #24
Cyclonetrain
Senior Member
 
Cyclonetrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 359
Send a message via AIM to Cyclonetrain Send a message via Yahoo to Cyclonetrain
Default

4 year old thread?
Cyclonetrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2009, 11:19 AM   #25
TrainFanNZ
Senior Member
 
TrainFanNZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 88
Send a message via MSN to TrainFanNZ
Default

Best thing to me, even though I don't live in the U.S.A is probably just how good the little Railroads continue to operate. Even in tough times as we (the world) could be heading into, they still remain a vital link to everyday workingclass people. Oh BNSF's new Speedy Logo paint scheme.

Worst thing was the end of the D&RGW, MILW Road & The end of the Pacific Extension.
__________________
3rd Generation Railfan.
Proud owner of a CANON PowerShot SX20 IS
TrainFanNZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.