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  1. wigwagfan

    "Mater" arrives in Portland

    It will be in regular Amtrak Cascades rotation, be maintained by a shop in Seattle that uses Washington state residents as employees, spend most of its time in Washington state (and even in British Columbia, in an entirely different country)... But Oregonians paid for it. (Through federal...
  2. wigwagfan

    Hassles of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak

    I hear there's a really big Australian bank that has invested in quite a few toll roads. I also hear the entire country of Australia laughing at the United States this morning as we just plowed over the fiscal cliff and they're saying "We've got abundant natural resources, no national...
  3. wigwagfan

    Hassles of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak

    Nobody's stopping you from investing your own hard earned cash and starting a private passenger railroad. Good luck finding a bunch of investors to agree with you.
  4. wigwagfan

    Dumb question: Cascades power

    I was riding the Cascades just a week ago and both 500 and 509 had the power on the NORTH end of the consist. Seems like south end would make more sense, as in Seattle and Vancouver riders have to walk past the north end of the train in boarding and deboarding. In Portland passengers have to...
  5. wigwagfan

    GP-20Ds on the move

    Puget Sound & Pacific had at least one on the property last summer...another RailAmerica (soon to be GWI) property.
  6. wigwagfan

    Hassles of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak

    Therein lies the whole root of the issue - the airlines, knowing they have more-or-less a fixed capacity, prices its product in a manner that reflects supply and demand. Amtrak does not. It sells tickets below cost, jams its trains full, and loses well over a billion a year. If Amtrak is "so...
  7. wigwagfan

    UP 5935 down Labish Draw, Salem, Oregon

    Labish DRAW? Never heard that phrase used before... Heard of Lake Labish, Labish Village, Labish fill... The last scene is Chemawa. A one-time SP station location named for the Indian school that still exists there.
  8. wigwagfan

    Post Unusual Grade Crossing Signal configurations here:

    We'll start with not necessarily weird, but "why is this here?" in Wheeler, Oregon Next, 8th Street in Vancouver with an illuminated "S" "T" "O" "P" light assembly. Sadly, this signal has been recently replaced. This one is only weird because it's the only known instance of a "Stop on Red...
  9. wigwagfan

    Steam locomotives stalled in tunnels?

    Yes, required in Flathead Tunnel. I always wondered about the possibility of the crews needing to use them, but Amtrak passengers not having them (through Flathead and Cascade).
  10. wigwagfan

    OCSR Extends Trackage Rights

    Hopefully we can look forward to excursion trains powered by SD9s.
  11. wigwagfan

    "Dead Blocks" - How Dead Can a Mainline Get?

    Sounds like UP's Brooklyn Subdivision anytime I'm near it. They say it's a mainline, but I'll be lucky if I catch a GP38-2 with a local.
  12. wigwagfan

    Weyerhaeuser line torn up

    Kind of hard when there's no reason for the rail. There's no freight out there, very few people live out there...you can't justify railroads to nowhere. You can't force sawmills to be located in areas that don't make sense; timber harvests are way down for multiple reasons (economic AND...
  13. wigwagfan

    Sidewalk running in Salem, Oregon

    Great pictures!!! I would, however, offer a piece of advice. Next time I would seriously reconsider taking photographs from that location. The UP mainline through Salem has been a major location of pedestrian-versus-train incidents and I bet the engineer was getting very nervous about you...
  14. wigwagfan

    Amtrak vs. Southwest Airlines

    Train 500, originated in Eugene. They had the seat check tags in the holders above the seats. Again, the Conductor gave me a seat assignment. I went to the seat. It was assigned by previously boarded occupants who also had an identical seat check. Unfortunately I was in coach...
  15. wigwagfan

    Amtrak vs. Southwest Airlines

    The seats were already assigned and occupied. I'm not sitting on a stranger's lap.
  16. wigwagfan

    Tillamook Bay

    Here's an interesting tidbit: http://www.trainweb.org/potb/news.htmlAlso, according to a recent article in the Oregonian, repair estimates to get the POTB back up and running have topped $57 million, or about three times the original estimate, and aproximately 38 years worth of gross income...
  17. wigwagfan

    Politics & passenger rail

    Maybe that's part of the problem; that railroads require massive infrastructure that generally can't be shared with anyone else. Airlines don't need to build their own airports. A single airport can be shared by dozens and dozens of individual users; furthermore more large commercial airports...
  18. wigwagfan

    Amtrak vs. Southwest Airlines

    That's a bit of a sarcastic view of Southwest, but my last flight on Southwest from Portland to Spokane by far beat Amtrak in every imaginable way. On a recent memorable Amtrak trip, the Conductor gave me three bad seat assignments requiring me to walk from the door at Union Station to car 9...
  19. wigwagfan

    Batteries still in use in case of power outage?

    I work for an electric utility and can attest to receiving a phone call from a local signal maintainer asking where our outage was following a major storm, so that he could swap out batteries at crossing signals to keep the signals operating where our outages were. Same railroad has also caused...




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