Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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Seeing the usual bitching in the letters section of the local papers about Smart seriously has me annoyed as hell. To use cynical and backwards terms like "train to nowhere" (which is retarded on the face of it) is an insult to the many thousands of people who live along the 101 corridor that's going to be effected by it, either directly or indirectly. In reflection of former days when they had to install track in virgin wilderness in which case you can call it a train to nowhere, literally, the idea was to open up areas for exploitation and development.

As anyone who has wasted too much of his/her life on the highway parking lot called 101, alternative methods of transportation utilizing wasted areas of abandoned rail makes a hell of a lot of sense, despite the scary initial capital requirements to bring the line up to snuff, which seems like a tiny drop in the ocean of high finance Ponzi schemes that allow for our communities and institutions to be ripped of by jet-setting pin stripped gangsters. Meanwhile, small minded cretins bitch over a few pennies.

It may seem cynical, but where are the folks who were proud that we put a man on the moon and did things that didn't involve your pocketbook? The philisophical legacy of the ME! ME! ME! generation is disgusting. <\soapbox mode off>

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Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on December 8, 2012 at 8:21pm

Maybe this is a futile gesture, but does anyone have the means of writing an actual letter to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat explaining the process of constructing a railroad. The amount of bile and whining over the "train to nowhere" idiocy in the comment section of the SMART article just gets my goat. I know all the screaming and yelling isn't going to affect the ongoing construction efforts, but it makes me want to stand on a street corner screaming "Look you m*th*rf*ck*ng idiots!! Building nice stuff like bike paths depends on revenue generated by running trains and passengers, which, if you're patient you moron, will eventually get here since they're payed for and will be built and delivered." Or something along those lines. My letter would tend to be mostly a rant about the stupidity of voters and why you can't just run down to the corner store and just pick up rails and trains. Its got to be made elsewhere and delivered long distances. Something that takes some time.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on September 20, 2012 at 1:29pm

To add to my list of small minded cretins. I just perused an old videotape with raw footage of the Earth First! protests against the paper mill up in Humboldt. Not sure of the date, but it might be in the 1990's or so.

Comment by jbriogrande on August 30, 2012 at 9:02pm

 Yep....I always liked the GE products, except for the old smokies U-boats.  In Denver we serviced and took care of the ROCK U30C's and the old nuts and bolts U25B's.  For the most part they were headed for the junkyard.  Their best units were the SD-402's, and GP-40's which were pretty darn efficient.  Our best were the SD-40T-2's, and they were one of the best sets of power I've ever operated.  Great tractive effort, very little wheel slip, and they stayed relatively cool through the Moffat.

Comment by Jordan on August 30, 2012 at 5:01pm

The C4's are very slippery and don't have anywhere near the tractive effort of the six motor GEVO's. But they keep ordering them, so I suppose the brass like them, well the bean counters at least. They still load as fast as the six motors, and far faster than the current EMD product IMO, it's just that they slip way too easily. I'd take one over a Dash 9 for the lack of desktop controls alone, but I much prefer the standard GEVO.

Comment by jbriogrande on August 29, 2012 at 10:00pm

Hey jordanism22, must work out of do you like the tractive effort of those things.  I understand it's pretty damn good with the heaviest tonnage or on slippery track.  I always blew in quiet zones for safety reasons.  Quiet Zones I equated with Danger Zones for us hogs.

Comment by Jordan on August 29, 2012 at 6:53pm

I like how fast the work is going and I love the fact that they were able to get the bridge for relatively cheap, I may not like everything about smart but I'll give credit where it's due.

...And I wasn't in my car last night. I was in an ES44C4.

Comment by Bob Cleek on August 29, 2012 at 6:10pm

Great idea!  Everybody that supports rail ought to honk their car horn every time they go over a grade crossing to show their support!  It could become a movement!

BTW, I guess, like the guys on the news channels, I should disclose that I know Mansourian and am a big supporter of his.  He's the first thing SMART ever did right, as far as I'm concerned.  He doesn't have any railroad experience, but what he does have is an incredible background and history of accmoplishment getting big public works projects done, on time and under budget.  His purchase of the Galvanston bascule bridge to replace the Haystack Landing swing bridge saved SMART many millions.  From what I've heard, the new track laying is way ahead of schedule, too. The guy knows how to think outside the box and get the job done.

As for patience... heh, heh... in the interests of "full disclosure," I type really, really fast, but thanks for the complement anyway.

Comment by Jordan on August 29, 2012 at 6:02pm

Thanks Bob. I don't have the patience to write that much, but your post pretty much sums up my feelings. Like I said, I support passenger rail in the north bay, but the questionable tactics by smart management and consultants were the turn-off for me. Like publicly admitting that they would pave the ROW and make it a rapid bus route if it wasn't for the NCRA's freight easement, but I digress...

BTW, I blew the horn in a quiet zone last night. It felt good.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on August 29, 2012 at 5:35pm
Excellent comments Bob!
Comment by jbriogrande on August 29, 2012 at 5:34pm

 That's nailing it to the wall Bob.  Great material, and great thoughts.  I think the Novato twinks are beginning to sit down now, and the Eel River Eco's are realizing what they are up against with their irrational modus-operandi.  Rail is here to stay, expand, and flourish in time.  Thanks for the material and explanation about the SMART Administration as well.  You did a fine job........

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