Bar Cars Are Now History

ImageAs all the recent news says, Bar Cars for railroad commuters are now just a matter of history. The “poster child” for bar cars, pictured above, was the New Haven Railroad’s “5:11 Gentlemen’s Bar Car”.

New Haven consist documents always show this car as being named WALL STREET while photos clearly indicate that the V:XIGBC title was substituted at some point in time. I’m guessing this was when the car was redesignated a “tavern car” instead of a “parlor car”. It was still listed as a parlor car in the October 1957 document but by October 1962 it was listed as a tavern car. Unfortunately, there’s a large gap in consist books si we might never know.
Thanks again Charlie Gunn for selling me this great picture.
It also appears that they painted over the “PARLOR” designation at each end of the letterboard when the car was given its informal moniker. They didn’t bother to repaint the entire car at that late date so the paint-over shows up clearly with the fresh patch of dark gray compared to the faded body color.


Do We Need A Supply Chain VP/Director or Just A Manager?


With the growth in scope of Supply Chain Management (and possibly a new Supply Chain Control Tower), we need to re-evaluate if the leader of SCM should be a “manager”; (as is the case in many companies today); or should the position be a director or vice-president.

Recently, the LinkedIn SCM Professionals held a group discussion on “What is the difference between a SCM Manager , director or VP ???? Just fancy names or what?” I summarized this very exciting discussion. The best comment came from member RANJIT SARKAR : SCM Manager is a person sailing a boat in the river with all the ups and downs, Director or VP is a person sitting on the bank of river shouting and instructing to the sailors.

A general consensus of this discussion was that SCM manager’s focus is on the tactical side of the day to day operations with about 90% of his/her time spent on purchasing-warehousing-inventory management-planning and scheduling issues and all the daily issues that arise from those areas.

The Director spends about 65% of his/her time on those same issues but 35% is spent on looking at numbers and the analysis of the numbers pertaining to PPV, inventory dollars, supplier spend, forecast to plan accuracy and shipments and monthly numbers.

The VP spends about 10-15% of his/her time on the tactical issues which is really done through meetings about the issues with their staff and may sit in on some major issues with suppliers be it in logistics, purchasing, or manufacturing issues but the other 85-90% of his time is spent on strategic issues. Why the numbers are not where they need to be? How to improve on the numbers? Budgeting for the next year and three years out, capital expenditures, market forecasts, staffing overall, new product development, cultural issues within the organization, and potential M & A’s or consolidations of existing facilities.

The Fleet Returned to New York City


The fleet has returned to New York City.

Three Navy ships and two Coast Guard cutters glided through New York Harbor on Wednesday to launch a celebration of America’s sea services.

People gathered along the Staten Island waterfront to view the spectacle. A cannon salute was offered by Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. An FDNY fire boat sprayed red and blue plumes of water as the ships passed the Verrazano Bridge.

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Mohawk home once owned by U.S. treasurer to be auctioned


A Mohawk landmark and its contents are headed for the auction block.

An auction is scheduled for later this month to sell the real estate and contents of a home once owned by Gen. Francis E. Spinner, a local man who served as U.S. treasurer during the Civil War.

The historical marker outside the house at 47 E. Main St. reminds passersby that Spinner served as Herkimer County sheriff in 1834. He went on to serve as a member of Congress from 1854 to 1860 before President Abraham Lincoln appointed him treasurer, a position he held from 1861 until 1875.

The current owner of the two-story brick building he once called home will offer it and several antiques for sale beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25. A flyer that was available in front of the Spinner home lists the sale as an unreserved real estate and contents auction, and states that the home’s contents are “to be sold to the highest bidder regardless of price.”

For those who would like to take a look before bidding, there will be an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and another opportunity to look around one hour before the auction begins.

According to the flyer, the Greek revival house dates to 1841 and is set on a 110-foot by 340-foot lot. It features a brick front with Doric columns, an open front porch and a cupola. The flyer lists the assessment at $80,000 and total annual taxes, including village, town and county and school taxes, are listed as $4,037.94.

The house, being sold as-is by Peter Bergendahl, has six to eight bedrooms and two full baths, a front parlor with 14-foot high ceiling with plaster detail, a large library and living room with built-in, floor-to-ceiling walnut display cabinets, black marble fireplaces, a modern kitchen with oak raised-panel cupboards, a mahogany stairway, a two-car attached garage and other features.

Antiques and collectibles, to be auctioned immediately after the sale of the real estate, will include the 60-year collection of Raymond and Isabelle Bergendahl. The antique furniture includes grandfather clocks, a walnut Victorian parlor set, ladder back chairs, a platform rocker, a Tiger-Maple Chippendale chair, an oval marble coffee table, a curio cabinet, a pine blanket chest and a carved Pilgrim chair.

Bernard J. Brzostek of Brzostek’s Real Estate Auction Co. of Phoenix will serve as auctioneer. For more details, visit

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Visibility Rising To The Top


Supply chain visibility is an interesting topic. At least it’s interesting to those who want to talk about it, but possibly not so interesting to those that actually need to do something about implementing and making it a reality within their own enterprise operations. The disconnect however, does seem to be narrowing if KPMG’s recent report is to be believed.

Mandatory E-Invoicing Imminent in Chile


Chile, the first nation to introduce electronic invoicing ten years ago, is taking it one step further. Starting November, 2014, e-invoicing will transition a prescribed business tool to a mandatory one. The new system combines aspects of the batch-oriented folio method utilized in the Mexican CFDI model with real-time communications, as is the norm in Brazil and Argentina.

This past February, Chile’s tax authority, the Servicio de Impuestos Intermos, announced that all commercial invoice transactions sent by companies earning more than 100,000 (UF) Unidad de Fomento yearly must be submitted to it via a standardized electronic format.

Century-old rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River have at most two decades of service remaining and Amtrak lacks funding to replace them


The end may be near for the New York region’s cross-harbor rail tunnels, with no good alternative in sight.

“I’m being told we got something less than 20 years before we have to shut one or two down,” said Amtrak C.E.O. Joseph Boardman at the Regional Plan Association’s conference last week at the Waldorf Astoria. “Something less than 20. I don’t know if that something less than 20 is seven, or some other number. But to build two new ones, you’re talking seven to nine years to deliver, if we all decided today that we could do it.”

Tom Wright, the Regional Plan Association’s executive director, described Boardman’s remarks as “a big shock.”

“I’ve been hearing abstractly people at Amtrak and other people at New Jersey Transit say for years the tunnels are over 100 years old and we have to be worried about them,” he said. “To actually have Joe put something concrete on the table, less than 20 years … Within my office, there was a level of, ‘Wow, this is really serious.’”

Our “Good Ol’ Buddie” Governor Christie, surfaces again
Construction is under way on a concrete tube beneath a massive West Side development, which could someday serve as a vital link to badly-needed rail tunnels in the Hudson River.

With help from Penney Vanderbilt