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#304632 - 12/24/17 10:09 PM Train wreck in Washington State
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I live in Washington state. About a week ago we had a train wreck and its been interesting and a genuine mess. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-g...m=.f33f113ca778

What is interesting about this one is that the wreck was caused, according to all the reports, simply because the entire "fast train" was built on the cheap. They chiseled just about every place they could. They wired, but never activated the gps safety thing that would have saved lives by making sure the wreck never happened. The builders of this line, Amtrack, Washington State and Oregon state, decided, for instance, to choose to have a slow turn for a fast train because of cost. There are a number of these decisions that were made. The communities through which the 'fsst' train went through were vocal in their resentment of how this thing was put together and every one of those people were completely ignored. It is, in other words, a really great example of gov running completely out of control.

I will continue to watch this one. I am, for instance, completely sure they will hang the train engineer out to dry (probably the right thing to do) but, how about the people who set it up wrong, insisted on their positions to make sure they could, and, when this happened, were patting each other on the back with some vigor. I would be surprised if even one of them got what they actually deserve.

I am bringing this up because this is, exactly, why people like Trump get elected. People no longer trust gov and the reason is because of crap like this. This disease seems to be in all gov. For instance, the big traitor Snowden, the guy who released secrets happened simply because the contractor he worked for didn't install the mandatory security software which would have stopped Snowden. That contractor, after Snowden, was rewarded with something like a 7 million dollar contract by our government.

When this kind of stuff stops, and the idiots responsible are held actually held responsible people will continue to not vote (last one in Washington state saw the incredible turnout of 37.1%) and those same citizens of Washington will continue to vote in idiots who are really great at taking care of #1 and not a lot else. I am only picking on Washington state but have full confidence that its not much different in other states.

I wish somebody would come up with a solution but am beginning to lose faith.

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#304636 - 12/25/17 02:45 AM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41039
Loc: Puget Sound, WA


The week prior to the accident, KOMO AM kept talking about the new route starting December 18th - High Speed Rail to Portland.

The morning of the 18th, I flipped to Google News at work and saw there had been an Amtrak train wreck about 7:45 am. My first thought: I wonder if this was that new Amtrak route. Yup, sure enough, it was. Hmm

i thought it was kind of weird that they placed a 30mph curve on a 80mph route. Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of "high speed rail?"

Plus, it only takes 2.5hr to drive from Tacoma to Portland (I've done it many times), but 3.5 hrs by this new "high speed" train? WTH? crazy
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#304639 - 12/25/17 05:39 AM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
Every train route has some curves and crossing that have a low speed limit. We don't live on a perfectly flat square grid! The engineer can't steer the train: The only thing he has to do is control the speed! He's supposed to anticipate all the different fast and slow things along the route. If he failed to do that, then he caused the wreck and killed a bunch of people unless the route map maker left it off his map.

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#304640 - 12/25/17 05:51 AM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13295
Loc: Whittier, California
Another day, another round of predatory Republican budget cuts designed to cripple Amtrak, what else is new. This accident will serve as the bugle call by the Republicans to not only get rid of it altogether, but to permanently do away with any semblance of some "socialist high speed rail boondoggle" meant to "play nursemaid to a bunch of garlic eaters" and Democratic pipe dreamers.

_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#304642 - 12/25/17 02:27 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16233
This wreck was literally in my neighborhood, and the loudest objections to the change came from our Mayor. But, some background:

The route change only takes 7 minutes off the current schedule, but moves the route off of a BNSF (freight) line to one owned by Puget sound transit (commuter line). The wreck occurred on the BNSF portion of the track. The rationale for the move was that the new line gave priority to Amtrak, rather than the freight carried by BNSF. Currently Amtrak trains get sidelined to allow freight to go first - the primary reason for delays by far.

I've ridden this route, and this is the route my son uses to visit, so it really shook me up. I'm pissed about the lack of implementation of safety protocols. But, let's put the blame where it belongs. The Republican Congress. Amtrak is, essentially, a federal government agency (a private entity subsidized by federal funds). Since its inception, Republicons have been trying to kill it. As a result it is chronically underfunded. Amtrak owns few of its own rail lines.
Quote:
In 2004, a stalemate in federal support of Amtrak forced cutbacks in services and routes as well as resumption of deferred maintenance. In fiscal 2004 and 2005, Congress appropriated about $1.2 billion for Amtrak, $300 million more than President George W. Bush had requested. However, the company's board requested $1.8 billion through fiscal 2006, the majority of which (about $1.3 billion) would be used to bring infrastructure, rolling stock, and motive power back to a state of good repair. In Congressional testimony, the DOT Inspector General confirmed that Amtrak would need at least $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion in fiscal 2006 and $2 billion in fiscal 2007 just to maintain the status quo. In 2006, Amtrak received just under $1.4 billion, with the condition that Amtrak would reduce (but not eliminate) food and sleeper service losses.
Wikipedia. Note: Congress is constantly putting Amtrak in the position of requiring "deferred maintenance." Meaning safety.

Now, I am not excusing the gross negligence of not implementing positive train control before using the high speed line, but the culture of safety cuts is directly related to Congressional penuriousness.
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A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#304648 - 12/25/17 04:31 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8887
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Note: Congress is constantly putting Amtrak in the position of requiring "deferred maintenance."

I believe the description for this is "drowning the baby in the bathtub", which also describes the recent massive cash advance on the national credit card for Christmas presents to the rich and the corporations.

The time of shrinking the government is over, they are now in the process of drowning it.
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#304649 - 12/25/17 05:33 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41039
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Note: Congress is constantly putting Amtrak in the position of requiring "deferred maintenance." Meaning safety.

There is this CONservative blogger who lives in NC that I know of, and she writes about park clean-up day every now then. She wrote about clean-up and repair day and I wrote back: Didn't your community just do this?

She wrote back: Yeah...that was a year ago.

My point: Rethuglicons don't do maintenance. They let things run down and then rebuild. Whereas, Liberals maintain things which gives these things a longer lifespan.

Hmm
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#304653 - 12/25/17 10:03 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: logtroll]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13295
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Note: Congress is constantly putting Amtrak in the position of requiring "deferred maintenance."

I believe the description for this is "drowning the baby in the bathtub"


The overall process, yes.
This PARTICULAR aspect of it is called "Breaking the plow and blaming the farmer", which forms the justification to defund a government program or agency, on the basis that "government can't do ANYTHING right, just look at....(insert failure or inefficiency here)".

They use it on the Post Office, VA, public schools, Amtrak, federally funded highways, literally anything that is part of the public goods and public sphere.

In a word, all taxation is theft, all government sponsored or funded goods are socialism....VERY VERY BAD! Kill it with FIRE.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#304673 - 12/27/17 08:01 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
My point was not political. First the curve. They had TWO choices on the curve. The first was the 30mph curve and the other was a high speed curve. Them in charge choose the 30mph curve because it was cheaper. My point is that them in charge, irregardless of politics, CHOSE to build this thing on the cheap. If they didn't have the money they sure as hell shouldn't have gone ahead. This thing was, basically, a failure in leadership and also a damned lie. High speed trains do not have 30mph curves in it!

I find it interesting that most replies blamed it all on politics. That's handy but just wrong. Don't want to offend, here, but that is a simple fact. Powers that be decided to build this thing and didn't have the bucks. They went ahead anyway. In their quest to succeed they absolutely ignored concerned citizens who were not hiding their concern (just the opposite). In addition to that they actually decided that a 30mph curve, and lack of other safety measures, were just dandy. The result was 3 dead and, I think, over 100 injured. This stuff is not politics but just plain incompetence and, I betcha, nobody gets fired. If history is any measure, will probably get pay raises for the great job they did and we will all get to watch that happen. I believe that its stuff like this which is, at least in part, responsible for people losing faith in their government and gives the conservatives and libertarians reasons to act as they do. It gives us all a chance to say; "What the hell!" In other words its not good for our system, is actually anti-political, and just serves to add to a general dissatisfaction. Just don't think its really healthy.

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#304675 - 12/27/17 08:05 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13295
Loc: Whittier, California
Actually I blamed it on MONEY, but unfortunately money comes from politics when you're talking about things like Amtrak.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#304681 - 12/28/17 12:49 AM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 353
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
The route change only takes 7 minutes off the current schedule, but moves the route off of a BNSF (freight) line to one owned by Puget sound transit (commuter line). The wreck occurred on the BNSF portion of the track. The rationale for the move was that the new line gave priority to Amtrak, rather than the freight carried by BNSF. Currently Amtrak trains get sidelined to allow freight to go first - the primary reason for delays by far.

I rode the Amtrak from Seattle to Los Angeles a few years ago and was appalled by its third-world character. What a difference when I have been in somewhat civilized countries and ridden their train systems which are actually modern!

The passenger train was pulled onto sidings for long periods to make way for freight trains. The posted schedule for arrival in Los Angeles was a joke, and I missed my connections. I should count myself lucky that I survived the thoroughly distasteful experience.
,
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#304689 - 12/28/17 08:50 AM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7923
Loc: North San Diego County
Freight trains get priority? Consider the economic realities. Freight trains contribute immensely to the US economy because freight transport of goods is so much cheaper than interstate trucks. Passenger rail on the other hand, loses more money if more passengers ride! So this priority scheme makes perfect sense.

Train travel is much nicer but I think riding Greyhound is cheaper and quicker. If they would just take out the torture seats and replace them with bunk beds I bet they could fit just as many people in and it could be MUCH more comfortable.

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#304692 - 12/28/17 11:00 PM Re: Train wreck in Washington State [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2131
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The Republicans have, basically, one goal and that is to get rid of what they call our "Entitlement Economy". They have never wavered on this one nor have they hidden the agenda. The thing is that, unlike the Democrats, they stick to their goals through hell and highwater and Amtrak is part of the Entitled activities of gov which are considered anathema. So, over the last few years they have been chipping away. Now, however, they see light at the end of the tunnel and are going flat out to get rid of stuff like Amtrak, medicare, medicaid, housing, education, social security, etc. These are ALL considered part of what they hate and work diligently to get rid of. Their answer to the "what will we do" folks is to issue some kind of grant which they can then easily reduce, bit by bit, until there is no support.

I won't even start with how the dems respond because, basically, they don't........

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