The Octagon, Washington D.C.

John Cowgill's Literature Site

The Octagon Washington DCThis  is  the  Octagon  House  in  Washington  D.C.

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Night Photography

Grumpy Railroad

One part of photography that I really enjoy,  though I am still not that good at it, is night photography!   Sadly I don’t get out as much as I’d like.  The sky where I live has too much light, so the stars are not as bright as I would like.   Stinking Light Pollution!!

Last night I started out heading for the mountains but at the last minute drove south on Hwy 43, south of Coalinga.   I stopped along the railroad tracks where there were some cool old buildings.    Still a lot more light than I wanted,  but I had fun shooting these images anyhow.

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‘YELLOW OVER RED SIGNAL FOR NEW AMTRAK CEO RICHARD ANDERSON” (Approach Prepared to Stop at the Next Signal Which Could be Red)


By M.E. Singer

In respect to the signal system of America’s railroads, a “yellow over red” caveat is issued here to the incoming CEO of Amtrak, Mr. Richard Anderson, in respect to the persistence of the passenger train grunts who have not given up over the years, despite their competent input being ignored, including the well versed associations, such as RailPAC, and knowledgeable pundits, as myself.

For Amtrak to have a glimmer of hope, the CEO position requires a full-time officer, providing long-term stability and leadership to avoid merely keeping the seat warm for the next “Friend of the Potomac seeking temporary shelter; which by default, allows subordinate “lifer” levels of management to make, or avoid, decisions, based upon whose patronage appointee or protege they represent.

As CEO, you must tamp down and take with a grain of salt the internal political and institutional biases that have only achieved the potential…

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New York’s subway has always been a chamber of horrors. But when did it get this bad?


From Los Angeles times via California rail news via Nice, France

Featured image:John Raskin, center, executive director of Riders Alliance, leads a rally demanding improvements in New York public transportation.

“Die Kitties Die!” screamed the headline in the New York Daily News when, in 2013, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Joe Lhota criticized a decision to pause trains in a Brooklyn subway station to rescue a pair of kittens lost on the tracks.

These days, New York so badly needs to get the trains to run on time that Lhota, whose unfortunate anti-cat comments caused a minor scandal, has been brought back as chairman of the transit agency.

Extreme measures are in order to fix the 112-year-old subway system, and nothing — not budget cuts, political infighting, or cats — can stand in the way.

Delays have doubled over the last five years, and accidents are on the rise. A…

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