All posts by penneyvanderbilt

Journalist who writes about Supply Chain Management, travel, railroad history and ice hockey

from The sailor crochet news:

By the Mighty Mumford

I have been talking of making light cotton pyjamas for all the summer but I only took the time to sew them this weekend. After seeing the Ginghamalong organised by “did you make that ?“, I have chosen some light pink gingham fabric. The cord is made from the wax fabric used for the bento bag and the pattern […]

via Summer pyjamas  — The sailor crochet news

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One-Liner Wednesday – Consideration

Never had a problem on SNCF trains. Why dos AMTRAK not look around the World?

No Facilities

Last Friday, I settled into a nice comfortable seat on AMTRAK’s Vermonter, getting ready to enjoy a six-hour ride home from Washington, D.C. I take the Vermonter because it’s a through train to my destination, meaning that I don’t have to change trains in New Haven, CT. Trust me, that’s huge. That means I can plug my laptop into an AC outlet, connect to the free WiFi and work, read and write.

Until someone in front of me puts the seat back.

Actually, AMTRAK seats aren’t too bad. There’s enough legroom to adjust, if the seat comes back slowly. If the seat comes back fast and unexpected, well, the diagram says it all.

This is why I was so pleased when the guy in front of me looked over his shoulder and asked:

Would you mind if I lean my seat back?

Seriously, no one has ever asked…

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Check out our new “MAYBROOK YARD” WebPage

PenneyVanderbilt

We have worked today on trying to clear up the “mystery’s” of the Central New England/New Haven Railroad MAYBROOK YARD.

Take a look at it: https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/maybrook-yard/

We are trying to show how the Maybrook Yard tied into the Great Bridge at Pougheepsie and the “Maybrook Line” from Hopewell Junction across the mountains to Danbury and on to Cedar Hill. We also found a great article from EXPERT Jack Swanberg on the same subject.

We are still finding out more about the current “players”. We know that few railroads no longer serve the Maybrook Yard. We know the railroad leaving Maybrook towards the North is owned by CONRAIL Shared Assets/NorfolkSouthern but is operated by the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad.

Still trying to find out about the old NY Central Wallkill Valley branch and railroads in New Paltz, NY

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France aims to have ‘driverless’ high-speed TGV trains by 2023

SNCF will begin testing ‘drone train’ in 2019, though conductors will still be onboard to handle emergencies

from “TheVerge

France’s national railway operator aims to have autonomous high-speed TGV trains running by 2023, according to a report from FranceInfo. The train operator, known by the French acronym SNCF, will begin testing a prototype of its so-called “drone train” in 2019, FranceInfo reports.

 The new TGV train would be equipped with sensors that would allow it to detect obstacles and automatically brake, if necessary. The TGV, which reaches speeds of nearly 200mph, could be remotely piloted, though conductors will remain onboard in the short term to handle emergencies or unexpected events. SNCF President Guillaume Pepy tells Le Figaro that if the project is successful, SNCF would be the first operator in the world to run automated high-speed trains.

In an interview with FranceInfo, Matthieu Chabanel, the adjoint director of SNCF, compared the autonomous train to autopilot systems used in commercial flight. “In airplanes, you always have a driver, fortunately, but you have an automatic steering system,” Chabanel said.

The aim, according to the SNCF, is to increase the speed and frequency of TGV journeys, particularly around Paris, where TGV lines intersect with various local and regional rail lines. The operator believes that the automated system would increase the number of trips between Paris and Lyon by 25 percent.

The SNCF recently announced plans to rebrand its iconic TGV line as “inOui,” in a move that drew widespread criticism and mockery online.

Amtrak statewide ridership dips in NY State

PenneyVanderbilt

ALBANY Times-Union

On the eve of massive track repair work at Penn Station in New York City, Amtrak’s upstate ridership is struggling to grow.

For passenger rail advocates such as Bruce Becker, vice president of operations for the National Association of Railroad Passengers, that’s troubling.

“It is a cause for concern,” Becker said. “While ridership in the Hudson Valley has grown modestly, ridership across upstate New York and on the Adirondack has dropped.”

Becker cites a number of possible reasons for the decline.

“One is lower gas prices,” he said. They’re down about $1.25 per gallon in the Capital Region compared to the summer of 2014, according to figures from GasBuddy.com.

But Amtrak’s own difficulties may also have contributed.

It had to cancel one daily train for a number of days last summer west of the Capital Region while CSX worked on the tracks.

“Last summer was not a stellar…

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25 Tips When Traveling by Train for Business

Smal Biz Trends from California Rail News

Research the Available Routes

Amtrak has more than 30 train routes that go to and from various locations in the U.S. And in some cases, there may be more than one way for you to get to a particular location, though some are more direct than others. So take a look at the schedule and routes well before you need to actually travel so you can make the best decision.

Look for Deals Online

You can also purchase tickets directly online, as well as by phone and at Amtrak stations. But if you buy online, you can sometimes get access to better deals than you would otherwise. So try to plan ahead and compare prices online.

Buy Separate Tickets for Stop-Offs

Depending on your plans, you might want to take a train to one location, stop for a day or so, then take a train to another location from there. This is absolutely possible. But you do need to buy separate tickets so you can be sure your entire trip is covered.

Use Business Class Lounges

Some train stations offer business class lounges where priority customers can relax and access wifi and comfortable working space. So if you arrive for your trip a bit early, take advantage of those spaces to get some work done while you wait.

Anticipate Delays

While traveling by train can be comfortable and cost effective, it’s not the quickest mode of transportation. And even the scheduled arrival times don’t always come to pass. So don’t schedule a trip if it leaves you arriving just an hour before a bit meeting. It’s best to arrive a little earlier just to be safe.

Get a Rail Pass for Frequent Travel

Amtrak offers a rail pass that can help you save money if you travel frequently. So if you plan on taking trains for business trips multiple times per year, it’s worth looking into as a cost saving measure.

Use Points to Purchase Tickets

You can also sign up for Amtrak’s Guest Rewards program that can help you earn points that you can redeem for future travels. So if you travel by train regularly, it can be worth it to sign up for an account and then use your points for future purchases.

Save Time With Mobile Ticketing

Amtrak also offers mobile apps for Apple, Android and Amazon devices. So you can download the app and use it to purchase and show your tickets. This can help you streamline the entire booking and boarding process.

Be Flexible With Seating Assignments

When you book a trip, you can get your confirmation right away. But Amtrak normally assigns seats once each train is booked before assigning seats. So if you plan on traveling by train, it’s best to be a little flexible about where you sit.

Book Together if Traveling With Colleagues

If you are traveling with others, that means you should book your tickets together so you can ensure you actually get seated together.

Reserve Coach for Economical Travel

There are a few different options when traveling by train. Coach is the most popular and economical option. If you’re taking a relatively short trip and want to save money, this is probably the best option.

Upgrade to Business Class for Meetings, Working Space

However, there is also a business class option. If you want a bit more room and want to be sure you get access to a full desktop and outlets, you can opt for a business class seat instead.

Consider Roomettes When Traveling Overnight

If you’re taking a lengthier trip where you’ll be traveling overnight, you can certainly stick with a coach seat. But if you’re looking for something a little more roomy, you can opt for a roomette. However, most roomettes are made for two. So it’s mainly an option for those traveling with their significant others.

Get a Bedroom for More Comfort

Or you could opt for a private bedroom for even more space and privacy. This option is best if you’re looking for a really comfortable experience when traveling across the country.

Take Advantage of Onboard Wifi

Most trains to offer complimentary wifi on board. So if you’re just looking to browse the internet or send emails when you travel, you can take advantage of that feature.

Use a Hotspot for High Bandwidth Functions

However, the onboard wifi doesn’t include high bandwidth functions like music streaming. So if you need to do anything that requires a stronger connection, it could be worth investing in a personal hotspot.

Remember Your Chargers

Most seats, especially those in business class, also have access to electrical outlets. And there are some in common areas as well. So remember to bring chargers for all your devices so you can stay powered up while you travel.

Check Large Bags

If you’re taking a long trip, you’ll probably bring a decent sized bag, which you can check so that it won’t take up all the space in your seating area.

Keep Essentials With You

However, you can bring a small bag with your most important items like your laptop and any important documents you might need to reference if you’re working while you travel.

Book a Table for Meals

In the food car, you can book a table to ensure that you have seating reserved for all meals. If you’re traveling with others, you can sit at a private table. Or you can allow the staff to sit you with others on board so you can socialize.

Hang Out in the Bar Car

There’s also a bar car on most trains that offers comfortable seating and refreshments to help make your trip more enjoyable.

Head to the Quiet Car to Work

Or if you’re looking to really focus and get some work done in transit, check to see if your train has a quiet car where you can go to work without having to worry about loud distractions around you.

Prepare for Varied Temperatures

No matter where you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to pack some layers in your carry-on bag so you can be prepared for any temperature, since train cars don’t necessarily go along with the outside temperatures.

Take Breaks at Rest Stops

As your train makes its way to your destination, it’s going to make several stops. But not all of them are actually rest stops. Some are just stops where the train is picking up more passengers and then immediately departing. So check the schedule so you can know where it’s safe to get off and stretch your legs a bit.

Map the Trip from Station to Hotel

Many train stations are located in downtown areas. So you can potentially make it to your hotel or meeting spot quickly. But it’s still a good idea to map it out before you get there so you know if it’s possible to walk or if you need a taxi or public transportation.