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rookzie last won the day on May 19 2016

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About rookzie

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  • Birthday 09/11/1951

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    Nashville, TN
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  1. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    You dug up the dead, when you pushed that button, Smeags...You must have a dog whistle for the “Deep-Six’d”. Most of you's guys out thar who know me from way back also know how to change the freakin channel when I get on a long wind. This might be the next case of TL;DR. If there ever were a chance of inducing CSXT to consider a sale of Radnor, then it would have been during summer-fall 2017, when former CEO E. Hunter Harrison had gone on a rampage to shut down hump-operations at many if not most CSX hump-type classification yards system-wide, including those of Selkirk NY and Cumberland, Md. Harrison, who arguably had undertaken some questionable but dramatic operational changes as the CEO of other Class-I railroads previously, took the helm of CSX in January 2017. Hunter regarded hump yards as inefficient. Hump yards are large railway classification facilities where trains are broken down into individual cars by pushing them over an incline, with gravity sending them down different tracks, controlled by predetermined arrangements for each individual car. The cars may be rerouted in either outgoing mainline trains to other terminals or in trains for local distribution, which in the case of Radnor would be for within Nashville Terminal (primarily all Davidson Cnty). The cars are "shoved" at slow speed over the crest of the "hump" and uncoupled, for free-rolling to the classifying tracks. To regulate the free-rolling speed, automatic electro-pneumatic devices referred to as "Retarders" and placed at certain points downhill, press against the inboard faces of the wheel flanges as necessary. On the other hand, flat-switch yards move train cars using only locomotive power, instead of gravity, and manual switching. At the time of the shake-up, Harrison said hump yards were inefficient and too costly. Harrison passed away just less than a year in control, due to physical complications. Because of the current CSXT management's business decisions to return to the practice at some crucial sites, Radnor recently restarted hump ops following about a month of restorative preparations this past summer. Had the sudden passing of Harrison not occurred, the possible, or rather "probable" sale of Radnor would have been a long shot at best, given the fact that it never would have been released on the cheap, and as I see it, the use of Radnor would better lend itself to regional rather than local (urban) coverage, which requires the difficult consensus-building among different jurisdictions to support a decent regional commuter-rail initiative. While it "never" necessarily is impossible, I don't think that a referendum would have advanced beyond the first day of early voting, so to speak. These are examples of retarders (named until someone claims it politically incorrect, and renames them "energy attenuators") ___________________________________ I'm actually a bit unresolved to think that a clear and conclusive solution lies with the goal of relocating Radnor within Middle Tenn. Until I can hear or read about some well-defined rationale in a plan to handle the geographic movements of main-line freights through the area as a whole, then I really am not convinced of any real resolution with such a move. I repeat an earlier dialog I offered on my opinion, when I first had caught wind of the Radnor idea. Attempting to lure CSXT to give up Radnor in and of itself does nothing to divert these movements passing through the city from the several railway sub-divisions ─ West, NNW, NNE, SE and South ─ spoking into CSXT Nashville Terminal, which includes Radnor. Not all the movements passing through the city pass through Radnor, and in fact many bypass Radnor, so I don’t quite buy TDOT’s argument in mid-2016 on the purported benefit of relocating Radnor for that purpose. Nissan is not the only bread and butter in the region for CSXT, as there also is GM as well, in Spring Hill, on the S&NA (North and South Alabama Sub-Division). Logistically, the freights on these various main-lines cannot be easily diverted around Nashville, without some major infrastructure addition or without some disadvantage to the carrier incurred with circuitous re-routing to bypass the city as, the tracks are now established, and nearly all these (if not actually all) routes provide a remote interchange point for freights with other lines (Memphis, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, Chatta,...) And this is only an aside from the mention of long-term "environmental" impact on the concentration of activities on the West- and East Banks of downtown (which pale in comparison to the around-the-clock activity of Radnor). Then there's the Cockrill Bend Industrial complex, which is no small operation. All this customer base collectively constitutes rail activity which requires the classification procedures handled by a facility like Radnor, where freight cars to and from a major classification yard must be handled by local switching. If they want to do away with Radnor, then they also need to deal with Kayne Ave in the Gulch, since Kayne is the primary staging point for local switching in the districts just mentioned, an intermediate point of handling for locally confined movements of cars to and from Radnor as the “final-“or “initial- terminal” break-up or assimilation of main-line trains. To relocate Radnor, say, to Rutherford Co., would mean higher tariff rates to local customers for drayage and car spotting along stub spurs. This could ramify favorably with the result of a CSXT election to abandon these local districts and with a takeover purchase by a regional short-line, such as the passenger-friendly Nashville and Eastern RR. My point is that relocation of a major railroad facility as Radnor affects collaterally the remaining brick-and-mortar mercantile operations, which the city seems totally oblivious to within its own backyard. The CSXT couldn’t really care less about the calculable effects on local business in Davidson Co., since it cares most about its lucrative mineral- and intermodal (containerized) movements. I’d be all for re-purposing Radnor, but not without a more comprehensive analysis of collateral ramifications on the local industrial eco-system, and TDOT and other proposal makers need to re-scope they vision, if they’re entertaining the concept with such a huge order of magnitude in funding. All that notwithstanding, CXST IS on a mission to shed some 1100 miles of its current routes, but none of that appears to be with this region. In many cases, the line can abandon some of these routes in favor of redundantly serving segments, acquired through previous mergers.
  2. rookzie

    Nashville International Airport

    You shoulda just pushed and shoved them out of the way on the right side of the plane, for your pic. Besides, the plane already was landing, convenient for TSA to take you into custody, without delaying your flight. -==-
  3. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    ......... With $9 M, and from Steve Bland's tweet, the reference to "Hybrid-Electric" implies that these are likely what you already have been seeing ─ new hybrid diesel-electric, versions of what Nashville has been purchasing since the early 2010s. I can't yet see the Proterra buses coming out of this, except perhaps to supplement the existing free-ride route. Many older Gillig Low-Floors in the existing fleet are straight diesel and are approaching their EOL (end-of-life), without a costly rebuild. I found that out personally during winter 2016, when a sizable proportion of them were out of commission. Most of the newer units (beginning with 2008 delivery locally) can be identified with their single stainless-steel rectangular exhaust diffuser affixed to the top left-rear corner. The more effficient Hybrid series have those strange-appearing roof-mounted pods containing battery packs. In addition to Proterra, Gillig also has entered the all-electric (onboard battery-electric, or BEB [battery-electric bus]) market, but it will be a bit before the 40-foot/40-passenger series buses have become proven in regular use, particularly for hilly terrain, stop-and-go traffic patterns. The funds most likely will be for additional Gillig Low-Floor purples you now see. MTA ─ now WeGo ─ seems to have a strong affinity for (Gillig) first, and New Flyer (second) ─ New Flyer only because of their 60-foot articulated buses ear-marked for the stillborn East-West BRT ("Amp"). Transit buses, even the 40-foot jobs are not cheap, to boot. The city-wide fleet as a whole needs to be protected constantly with newer vehicles, and the fleet as a whole needs a dramatic increase in overall quantity, in order to ever justify any eventual advanced-capacity rail-based solution in the urban districts. WeGo needs to focus on that IMO, to reduce headways and to increase breadth of coverage. Recharge is performed by the driver remotely from within. Shown is the charging station at the SE corner of Rosa Parks Blvd and Harrison St. In fact, riding the Proterra units to the State Mall, when I was in a hurry, occasionally would make me late for appointments, because the driver had to recharge.
  4. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    We know all about them "fart bro's", don't we!..-= I'll speak for myself though, to play it safe..
  5. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I actually agree with that, Neige. Thing is, it was a hard sell nonetheless ─ a Catch-22, as it were. Sure, MPO's require such projections, but on the other hand, the mix of growing polarity in opposing constituencies and their respective elements perhaps eventually came from behind and doomed the proposal. In the case of the failed Transit referendum, the leadership arguably appears to have failed in its capability of addressing adaptive challenges requiring adjustments from numerous places throughout the community at large, in spite of what may have appeared to have been MTA's comprehensive n-Motion drive to solicit feedback. People push back when they perceive that their personal and institutional equilibrium is about to become disturbed, and as we have observed, these people resist in all kinds of creative and unexpected ways that can squelch a plan which might otherwise appear virtuous in its own right. People don't necessarily resist change per se, but rather they resist perceived loss. Leadership becomes on the block when it must confront people with "loss", even in the form of an incremental sales-tax hike; or with the perception of protracted disruption, despite that fact that the plan most likely would have been implemented as a series of sub-projects, rather than at once. I just didn't see the presence of adaptive handling in leadership for the making the case for the Transit referendum, with the conditions attached, even from the start, during the Barry tenure. Oh yes the plan sounded and appeared "Tasty", and perhaps "sexy" at least in part, but the touting as it was perhaps also created risk conflict and instability in probability of being passed, because of failure to address some civic issues and underlying adaptivity to problems that come with upending deep and entrenched norms. In this respect, the touting of the Transit plan was perceived as an importuning. I don't think that the presentation had been engineered at a rate that voters could ingest and absorb. Not even Denver implemented its start-up plan at once, but also Denver long previously had started preparing for the ability to fund its rail, during the early 1980s. Just saying.
  6. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    My point is not about the merits of such an initiative, Dale, but rather with the politics of making the case for a wide spectrum of demographics, irrespective of whether or not light rail is tenable for Nashvillians. I honestly believe that the proposal was much too generous and ambitious as a startup, for any city, let alone Nashville and Davidson County. Notwithstanding the fact that a long-term 25-30 year plan is mandated under the MPO requirements for establishing a vision, it's very difficult to sell to a motley, heterogeneous community, such a product which in some ways appears aggressively aimed at achieving a "goal", while in other ways is criticized as not going far enough to appeal to become palpable. Projects (and project touters) have been brought down, when that support erodes and becomes a “then, but not now” situation. The project model just might have shifted deplorably about its axis (or axes) of "attitude" about its trajectory, in terms of voter vantage points of view and its hopeful and pre-conceived targets of buy-in, wherein the previous 2 or 3 years have been spent in advancing the project to the extent that the proposers believe that they decisively have garnered community support. But on the day of the referendum, the project gets squashed like a roach under foot by the electorate (quite often which no longer is the same as the community at large), leaving the administration to say "WTF did I just see!"
  7. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    IMO your point, if that's what you're referring to, IS popular and pertinent here. This is exactly what I've supposed for years, just never shared it as an opinion. Other medium-sized cities encompass considerably smaller land areas with or without consolidated city-counties. In some cases, such as former Norfolk County Va, the city-county areas became consolidated into separate cities, each with its own equivalent independent services jurisdiction, unlike the urban services and general services districts of consolidated Nashville and Davidson County. The remains of Norfolk County, for example, became consolidated into what now are the independent cities of Norfolk and contiguously bordering Chesapeake. While Chesapeake in some ways roughly represents the same dichotomy of urban-rural areas of large combined square-mile area, as that of Nashville, although without the typical historically central business district of an older core municipality, Norfolk, on the other hand, encompasses a much smaller area, than that of either Chesapeake or of Nashville, and as such primarily is urban throughout. Stakeholder representation and physical-geographical boundaries had much to do with Norfolk's ability to garner decisive support for the start up of its first advanced transit initiative, the Tide Light Rail, a standard-gauge set-up with a modest length of 7 -1/2 miles and which began operation in mid-2011. Unsurprisingly, construction incurred a few delays, and the project was not without some cost overruns, something rarely avoided with the complexity of that type of start-up. The city of Virginia Beach, another independent city but consolidated with the former Princess Anne County and also bordering Norfolk, pulled out of the initial planning for the light rail back in 1999, and while in 2012 Virginia Beach voters approved a non-binding referendum supporting expansion of the Tide light rail into Virginia Beach by a 62% majority, four years later, voters there disapproved a referendum regarding to use city funds to pay part of what would have been the first extension of the Tide, to connect three miles farther east to Town Center, in what is now the "CBD" of that city. Much of the city of Virginia Beach consists of urban and rural districts and is rife with sprawl, with demographic constituents much different from that of neighboring Norfolk, which had been bestowed with a somewhat embracing and engendering climate for instituting the light-rail, which utilizes a portion of the same abandoned railroad R.o.W. as that which would have been re-purposed for the Va. Beach extension. All this is to say is that, had the proposal for the SE Va. light-rail project been contingent upon the aggregate approval of a much larger combined jurisdictional area of Va. Beach and Norfolk, the combined equivalent area of which is less than 70 sq miles larger than that of Metro Nashville, then that light-rail project to this day arguably might have remained stillborn if not aborted. . Nashville seems to have become a victim of its own will, as far as taking locally unfamiliar risks is concerned
  8. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Sounds "encouraging" for the county to be bracketed in the Sorry Bus Stop Madness without really trying. -=
  9. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    That's exactly the reason I threw in that Kansas City streetcar example a few weeks ago. Detroit's could have been better engineered to induce much more utilization to meet or to exceed expectations, by having the QLine Streetcar along Woodward Ave extended at least another 2.5 miles past its current terminus at Grande Blvd to the Social Security Administration in Highland Park, and even another5-3/4 miles, across Eight Mile Road near the State Fairgrounds and to the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. The current terminus near the Amtrak station seems far from adequate, but indeed it is a start from nothing, since the last of Detroit's once extensive streetcar network ended during 1956. Again, as it has in the case of Kansas City, and as it will require in the case of Detroit, a focus on making the case with modest initial steps and more palatable increments of expansion seems to have worked best in a region averse to mass spending, as opposed to the voting districts such as Denver. Admittedly, unlike a streetcar circulator, Denver's RTD is much more high-capacity as both Light Rail and electric railroad-like commuter rail, a rather costly operation which also has required initial small stages of implementation since 1994. Detroit's QLine
  10. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    One of the most dramatic improvements that the Nashville MTA really could undertake to enhance the riding experience and usability, would be to replace the current onboard audible stop-annunciator system, as the system in use now is quite old and outdated. The agency urgently needs to adopt a more sophisticated onboard automated voice annunciator (AVA) system, which announces better detail of major intersections as well as the stops, and which is outfitted with an LED "evolving" map of the current or next (upcoming) stop, as well as previous and upcoming one, two, or three stops. I have seen these deployed for quite some time in many other transit districts, such as in Las Vegas (RTD), Albuquerque (ABQ), Boston, MBTA, and New Orleans (NORTA). The visual annunciators are mounted within the interiors and positioned for relatively clear visibility by most riders, and in the case of Las Vegas RTD "Max", "Deuce", and "SDX" routes, two or more such devices are installed for better visibility in crowded and/or its double-deck coaches. I was even was impressed with the system installed in more modest transit agencies, such as in Harrisburg (Pa. - Capital Area Transit [CAT]). The LVRTD system Deuce, SDX, and MAX buses have one of the most detailed and descriptive onboard GPS-based text-to-speech annunciator systems, for assisting in identifying transfer points and local landmarks [e.g. "The 7-Eleven at Las Vagas Blvd and Oakley Blvd.]" and real-time display of upcoming and passed stop points, of any bus transit system that I have experienced. (CAD/AVL - computer aided dispatch/automatic vehicle location system, integrated with an Audio Visual Annunciation System - AVAS). ______________________ Realtime Visual Annunciator in a NORTA (New Orleans) streetcar, on its Rampart - Saint Claude Line. 6-24-2018
  11. rookzie

    Nashville Bits and Pieces

    The anniversary actually is Monday July 9. In long anticipation of that moment, I was going to wait until then, but I guess that this is the time, now that you've brought it on out. The incident was a primary reason that the former USRA (United States Railroad Association) pushed standards for railway passenger car bodies to be of constructed of all steel instead of wood, as many of these cars had been. While steel design had already been implemented by 1918, many "sub-standard" pieces of rolling stock were still deployed at that time, and involved in this incident were cars of wood, transporting mostly poorer working-class minorities from without to the job centers of the city, reportedly to a gunpowder plant. Many of these workers were from the Mississippi Delta Region, an agriculturally rich district primarily consisting of NW state of Mississippi and smaller portions on eastern Arkansas and NE Louisiana. The head-on collision of the two steam-locomotive powered passenger trains resulted in many deaths by scalding (ruptured steam piping) but primarily by telescoping and disintegrating of the wooden car bodies into each other, a situation exacerbated by the forward moving masses of trailing cars of both wood and of steel, not to mention the breaking of railroad ties and rails. One might say that at the time, indeed this was somewhat of a commuter service provided by the former NC&St.L Ry. (Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis), which eventually was merged into the L&N RR (Louisville and Nashville) in 1957. The last regularly scheduled passenger train on that segment of railroad (Nashville-Memphis) was discontinued around spring 1967 when I was in high school. For decades, whenever I have heard the blaring of a horn of a CSX freight along Hardin Road and while I occasionally would pass beneath a freight at the Murphy Rd underpass (near Bowling Ave), I have thought about that horrific incident, which occurred behind what is now the Belle Meade Plaza Shopping Center.
  12. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    CSX Transportation preparing to re-open hump at Radnor Yard in Nashville Whether or not Metro Nashville could have acquired the CSXT Radnor Yard, as casually considered in a now rather distant proposal, has become moot, if not simply academic at best. And while CSXT indeed has unloaded some of its deemed-surplus facilities as of late, no longer can Radnor be considered a prospective on-the-cheap or even viably tenable acquisition for transit or redev proposals. Some might have argued whether or not Radnor might have become obtainable at a cost less than the overall amount proposed for the stillborn transit plan defeated last May. Now that the governance of CSXT has been transformed to more traditional and perhaps favorable auspices, since the sudden passing of its previous CEO just prior to the official start of last winter, "normal" operations at the automated hump (gravity) yard at Radnor are expected to resume in the foreseeable future. In itself, a transfer of Radnor to Metro would ramify into many other undisclosed and arguably prohibitively collateral costs and requirements for the local and regional transportation infrastructure ─ for both transit and freight ─ since Radnor has been a vital kingpin of the entire CSXT network, and an asset not easily relocated from its current site, much in part due to historic land-granted property and to highly topographical regional constraints on possibly alternative rail bypasses. While Radnor was never "up for sale" to start, I always had reservations that cessation of hump operations at Radnor or at the other CSX hump yards (changed from gravity-based [regulated downhill rolling] to manual or "flat" switching for classification and routing of freight cars) would become permanent, given the untold end error-prone inefficiency of system-wide handling of vast amounts of freight with already maxed-out congestion. Besides, what in the world would an ex-Radnor have ended up becoming, when all the dust settled within one or two terms of administration? Possibly not much more than it becoming nearly all sold off as parcels.
  13. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Except for a few creeping exposures as this throughout the urban core, that's about all we'll be seeing, as far as street-running rail is concerned in the foreseeable.. ─ that is, unless we start small and focused only on one segment, just as with Kansas City. After volleys of wrangling, a special taxing district was approved and established in 2012 that funded construction and sustainable operation of a 2.2-mile route through downtown KC, and the current segment, completed in only about a year and a half after commencing of construction in spring 2014, opened in spring 2016. But just last summer (2017) Kansas City voters dealt a blow to streetcar expansion by narrowly endorsing a measure that prohibits city participation in such initiatives, and that ballot petition prohibits Kansas City municipal government from planning or implementing any fixed rail transit system without city-wide approval. That notwithstanding, in 2017 voters there approved a new taxing district for a streetcar expansion, south beyond its current modest downtown-to-KC Union Station run, and just last week (June 2018) taxes for a 3.5-mile extension to the UMKC were approved by a huge margin of mail-in ballots (3 to1). While by no means rapid transit or a comprehensive operation, or even necessarily well integrated into a prospective but global urban plan, nevertheless Kansas City has undertaken small but incremental steps to get to this state of current expansion viability in re-establishing street-running rail-bound circulators ─ all transpiring relatively recently and within the last 7 years. [photo - © Ralcon Wagner 2016]
  14. rookzie

    IKEA to Nashville

    Just as MLBrumby and Pdt2f have noted, it's (all but) official... It's not even a still-birth, or even an abortion ─ more like a "sterilization". Ikea backs out of plans for first Nashville store However, Latisha Bracy, IKEA spokesperson did annouce as such. "While this is an extremely difficult decision, we will not be moving forward with our plans to build a store in Nashville, TN. We thank the city and the developer for their understanding of this recent decision."
  15. rookzie

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    [from] SMH [or rather, SMDH]. "Mother" knows best!.