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Old 09-08-2012, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,388 posts, read 6,803,935 times
Reputation: 14458

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My personal background, career and hobby interests have all combined to provide me with a much stronger-than-average exposure to the workings of our transportation and distribution sustems. Unfortunately, with the exception of an occasional "lip service" article about our "decaying infrastuture" I have found this not to be the case for the general public.

Let me begin with a short introduction. I hold an undergraduate degree in Business Logistics, and my 40-year career has included front-line operating exposure to both the rail- and motor-freight industry, plus work in two integrated warehouse and distribution centers. My "2nd trick op" screeen name is a reference to a stint as a "block operator" or signalman -- a craft which disappeared over the past fifteen years as technology permitted the railroads to centralize and concentrate all dispatching and communication.

Since 2002, I have been a participant in a small group of perhaps 20-50 individuals who discuss issues common to railroading -- both passenger and freight. Our number includes operating railroaders, hobbysts, academics, government employees who deal with the industry, industrial shippers, and others. I'm pretty sure that those on the periphery of the highway and airline indistries similarly communicate among themselves, but there is little interchange between the industry-centered groups, nor is there much input from the traveling and shipping public.

My goal here is to get an increasingy feminized and cosmopolitan audience to look beond the occasional newapaper article or 2-minute TV feature about our "crumbling higways and bridges" -- the facts are far more complex; highway repair is a non-profit industry, the private freight railroads are on the soundest economic footing they've known in almost a century, the trucking industry re-invented itself in the 1980's with nobody watching, and certain ciites and states have developed successful mass-transit systems -- while public transportation has dried up in much of rural America.

Ladies and gentlemen, please contribute.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 09-08-2012 at 08:23 PM..
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