Sad news


Well-known member
After so many years in Boise, Idaho, The firm known originally as MK Locomotive, then bought by Wabtec and renamed Motive Power, will be closing. Wabtec is condensing their facilities to Pennsylvania. Sad to see this facility close after 50 years in this area. The article mentions that freight traffic has been on the decline, with a loss of some 4.8% since just this time last year. Man, I would think they could save some big money getting all the semis off the roads and onto flatbeds, but I guess whoever wants to do that already is...
That is sad news indeed, but I'm sure this downturn coming is just an excuse to maximize profits for the stockholders and CEO's bonus. This happened at a place I worked in back in the 1990s. The parent company was a Canadian Telecom company that purchased the US-based equipment manufacturer. There was a change in management in Canada along with a hostile takeover, a new CEO came in and his henchmen cut costs while maximizing a huge bonus for the CEO for doing that. What was at stake besides the fat bonuses for the management? 860 jobs being cut for the workers. So in the end if it was the downturn coming, why didn't it happen in 2008 when everything hit the fan as companies collapsed and shipping costs jumped through the roof?

I was involved in shipping products worldwide back then, and the company couldn't keep up with the nearly daily rate changes in shipping. While this was happening, material costs skyrocketed due to the increased costs in raw materials and shipping, and on top of that major freight carriers such as New Penn/Yellow Freight, Conway, J.B. Hunt, Estes/G.I. Trucking, and many others were tightening their belts. Conway ended up biting the big one while Yellow and New Penn nearly folded. Estes was able to survive, but barely. The railroads suffered as well as their freight dried up. I saw that locally with the paper mills shutting down in Maine meaning less overhead freight to and from Maine and along the route near where I live. This didn't count the cuts in routes and countless local branches and industries disappearing forever as well.

In the end, plans like this don't happen overnight and there are other factors involved besides the stated one.
Sad news indeed,

I have seen the same thing out here in California over the many years, we know how to be business unfriendly and it is costing us dearly. In the Billions of Dollars......

And we are building a high speed RR from somewhere to nowhere?

All under the guise of progress is better.......

When I started driving in the early 70's Trucks used to take up mostly one lane on the Freeway, now they take up 3 Lanes more often than not..........

We were promised that an Inter-modal distribution would be put up in North LA County to relieve Traffic congestion, it never happened?

Add to that our West Coast Ports only have so much capacity, add to that Longshoreman Strikes in which the last one lasted so long it really pissed off both US and International powers to be, to the point that alternated Ports for Inter-modal are being built, because we have gained the title of not being reliable, and that is very sad indeed......!

There are some who say, our Port has seen it's best business from improper Planning etc, and Business will search better Ports too bring their goods. And not solely depend 100% on West Coast Ports as they did in the past....Think of the recent Panama Canal, that we no longer run, another huge business mistake in my estimation.

Now I hear they want to try and make driver-less Trucks and possibly Trains if you can believe that one, I just have to close my eyes and ears sometimes, before I get sick and up chuck my stomach contents.

Take a ride on our Freeways and see what you think........We have the worst Traffic in the nation, and not enough Passenger structure on the Railroad, and no Buses don't fill the gap in some areas, and they do take space on our streets......Stops every few blocks, ever set behind a bus.........And they are very busy re-poring miles and miles of broken Freeway Concrete Lanes. And they are nowhere near finished, I think like some of our Bridges if they do finish at some point with painting, they have to go back and do some more repairs on Broken Concrete...........That does not account for something I have been quite aware for decades and never understood why, using Rusted, or heavily Rusted Rebar in Building applications???? This report should scare the Willy's out of you when you think about, makes you wonder about some bridge Failures that occurred over the Decades.......Truth comes to light.....

When you look at the whole situation we are in at this time, you have to see the larger picture, Railroads in several areas, experiencing a Decline in Service and infrastructure needs. Another reason, Railroads want to run simple Trains, Point A to B, none or relatively non of the small Shunting Jobs, they say it not profitable enough.....However there are lots of Short lines that show it can be done, and Line Customers can be increased when they are marketed correctly......

So I am Sad for "MK Locomotive" it is truly a sign of changing times....And then there is Elon Musk with Hyper Loop system, and some have conjured is that a new wave for Transportation for Freight in the future, I don't know, but we sure could use something better as an improvement for our current situation.......

"Entrepreneur and business magnate, Elon Musk is the CEO and founder of the aerospace company SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors. He also hopes to change the world, advancing private spaceflight with the aim of landing humans on other planets like Mars, and developing a new tube-transport system called the Hyper-loop.

I don't know about you, but what happens when a Computer crashes in one these Driver-less situations, and the Driver/Controller is 1000 miles or more away, how does that work out? Guess I am old fashioned here, with a hands on touch of things.....LOL

I think I will soon be replaced by a AI Robot, and then the Robot will figure out it doesn't need me anymore, because I am human, and very inferior in many ways, hows that for a closing thought, coming to a place near you in the future!!
Indeed, I worked for Boise Cascade Corporation until their Harvard-MBA CEO raked them over the coals, ran off to buy Office Max and left the rest of the company 16Billion dollars in debt. He should have been strung up by the shareholders, but he made his jillions. The remaining company had to sell all their timberlands - essentially their production facilities - just to pay down their debt. GRRRRR.....
Sorry to hear you had to indure Corparate malfeasance I too have had to deal with it!

Indeed, I worked for Boise Cascade Corporation until their Harvard-MBA CEO raked them over the coals, ran off to buy Office Max and left the rest of the company 16Billion dollars in debt. He should have been strung up by the shareholders, but he made his jillions. The remaining company had to sell all their timberlands - essentially their production facilities - just to pay down their debt. GRRRRR.....

I have another two other Stories too relate while on this bitter Subject,

You may already know about one of them. The Takeover of Southern Pacific, but what I would deem, a true corporate raider.....One Philip Anschutz (See Link as I had to cut it down to get this part in)

As a condition to the merger, Santa Fe insisted that the non-rail assets of both company be put into a separate holding company. Southern Pacific agreed to this, so anxious were they to merge. Now over a decade of profits that were denied the Southern Pacific Railroad were locked up in a holding company over which Santa Fe had the majority control. The ICC had better approve of this merger or the Southern Pacific would be left with a capital-starved railroad and an uncertain access to the non rail “crown jewels” which might be sold or used as loan equity. And then the unthinkable happened. After almost three years of operating a merged company, the ICC denied the merger in 1986 and ordered the merged companies to divest itself of one of the two erstwhile separate roads. Ironically, this would be one of the last major decisions of the ICC. This government agency would go out of business in 1995, succeeded by the much more industry-friendly Surface Transportation Board. The timing could not have been worse for the Southern Pacific. The Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation (the name of the short-lived merger) decided the Southern Pacific Railroad would be cast out to live on its own, without full access to its former “crown jewels” locked away in the holding company.

Clearly the cast out orphan could not make it on its own. Who would be willing to buy it? One Philip Anschutz would and did. Anschutz, owner of the container company, American Presidents Line and the Rio Grande Railroad would put little of his own money into the purchase, instead cobbling together junk bonds and stock to lure prospective investors. As one pundit observed, it was like the little fish (Rio Grande) swallowing the whale (Southern Pacific). Anschutz controlled the road for 8 years, 1988-1996, managing to sell off another 1.3 billion of Southern Pacific railroad assets before the Union Pacific Railroad made Anschutz a 5.4 billion dollar offer for the almost lifeless Southern Pacific Railroad which offer also included The Rio Grande Railroad. Union Pacific rewarded Anschutz with a generous quantity of its stock plus a seat on its board of directors.
Failure to partner
The great danger of being an officer or a director of a company that had been around for 100 years, always a money maker, never once bankrupt (not even in the great depression), and always a power to be reckoned with and respected was arrogance. Arrogance can lead to such conclusions that “we” are better than “you”; therefore we really don’t need you.

Unfortunately, arrogance must have infected much of the Southern Pacific hierarchy in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. This was when the whole container and piggyback model was being established and which would soon become a major component of railroad freight traffic. Much of the industry got the model right. The Southern Pacific got the model wrong and too late came to its senses.

In those earlier formative days, Southern Pacific was all for moving containers and piggyback trucks on flat cars—providing those trucks or containers were controlled by the railroad. Southern Pacific wanted to be the company that called on the shipper, that billed the shipper, and whose truck would be seen at the loading dock. Let the truck or container be that of its affiliate, Pacific Motor Freight. The directors reasoned “why should we give our competitors, the J.C. Hunt’s or the Schneider’s or United Parcel Service (stealing business from “our” Railway Express Agency as they were) a leg up by relieving them of the cost of the long haul by putting their containers on our spine cars? This makes us the invisible middleman, and just where does this get you?” And yet, this is the successful model today. How could a railroad with a highly unionized trucking component called Pacific Motor Transport expect to go head to head with non-union independent truckers? For years, Southern Pacific Railroad tried. When they finally discovered their model wasn’t working, their rail competitors had snatched up the big over-the road truckers leaving Southern Pacific in the game of playing catch up. The attitude that “I can do it better myself” doesn’t always work.
In summary, the officers and directors of the Southern Pacific Railroad faced the need to make enormous changes in how they operate. Their railroad’s long and glorious past didn’t impress too many shippers. “What can you do for me today” demanded the shipper. History didn’t matter. The above four serious judgment flaws were not caused by fate or how the stars were aligned, but rested squarely on the shoulders of the people charged with making the right decisions in stressful times.


:( The second CEO of who shall remain nameless, came into a company I worked with, and we were told, they were needed for cleanup because our Corporate Practices were not in line with others across the country. In 2.5 years they managed to get rid of 1/2 of our Talented Brain Pool, that amounted to over 50 years of experience in several different disciplines. Then instead of staying with our messed up Company, do their firing, antagonistic practices, they went out to straighten up another company in another State, Ironically they left one of their Henchman behind to make sure things kept running the Company in the vision they thought was best for our Company.....:'(

Remember you can hire intelligence, experience is learned over time...

I fortunately only had to endure 1.5 yrs of this foolishness, as I was a Contractor and my time for Retirement had arrived.

I can't tell you how many stress days I had in that 1.5 yrs of time, as well my health suffered with overweight, hi blood pressure, and some other things, which have now been cured......And how long the extra hours I put in to keep my department out of the Fray........

Safe to say, the company is and never will be the same, they now have a much lower experience level (Brain Talent, experience) company wide, and it is a terrible thing, yes some folks needed to be fired, but what happened was it was they threw out the baby with the bathwater, folks got scared and either Quit or lost their jobs because of this persons hostile maneuvering......

Oh and I forgot to say, our previous CEO's failed in their Job Performance and had to be let go, one of them got extra payment as severance pay, because someone didn't read how their Contract had been written, another Stupid, ludicrous thing, don't Corporations have good HR and Attorneys to be proactive on Contract arbitration when someone is hired for a high ranking spot in the Corporate ladder.......

I have to stop my Rant, here Forester1...........It is just a shame what goes on sometimes in the back rooms of Companies to the behest of the employees who work hard for the companies.........

Take care ole friend.......:wave:
Thank you for those histories Blue, they are fascinating, and you have certainly "lived in interesting times...". The golden parachute is what gets me. Heck, they could make me CEO for a few years and I could do no worse, would they give me a golden parachute if I failed? They certainly won't at the professional level I am at today, they would just hand me walking papers. I guess it really says something when you make CEO.
No matter how inept, greedy, or underhanded you are, no matter how you screw over the company, employees AND the shareholders, you go off with millions of undeserved dollars. And now I will quit my rant as well.
Yeah as you saw, I lived through it too. I worked briefly for Polaroid. Yes the big company that made instant film cameras. At that time, they had 120K people worldwide. The market was changing from film to digital. Instead of focusing on new, they sold off the profitable non-core, meaning non-camera divisions such as Graphics Imaging where I worked, Holographics and Eyeware to 3M, Medical Imaging to Agfa, and so on. As the company was bleeding cash, the CEO and his henchmen were cutting themselves checks for the hugest bonuses they could get with each sale. Us employees were told, nope can't get a raise this year things are tight. Yeah this happened while they got new airplanes, cars, houses, and nice bonus checks.

In 1999 PGI was sold to a private equity firm. PGI became PGI LLC, and later Latran Technologies. Being former Polaroid employees, we had a mandatory stocky buy in, and mandatory contributions into the pension fund and employ-purchased stocks. At the time the company stocks were about $32 a share. I got a whopping 28-cent dividend too that year! Anyway...In 2002 Polaroid filed Chapter 11 after losing a huge hunk. Let's face it CEO who garnered huge bonuses along with his cronies, managed to sell off the parts that were keeping the company alive. Doh! Where did the money go? Right!

As the stocks dropped, we asked if we could sell our stocks and get out before the stocks tanked completely since we were no longer employees. We were told we couldn't due to some contract with Polaroid which said we were still Polaroid employees even though we no longer worked there and got paid by another organization. The stocks tanked to 50-cents a share, and then we were told we could sell them. The $280 bucks I got from the sale went into my 401K otherwise I would have to pay huge taxes on it that lousy amount. When Polaroid closed, it screwed over all the pensioners by canceling the pension fund they had paid into along with the medical benefits they were promised. The employees that built the company got ripped off while the CEO and his cronies walked off with a slimy deal setup with Deutsche Bank. A deal with the Petters Group was put together, illegally according to some people I was told through some backside insider deal. Tom Petters, the owner of Finger Hut, bought Polaroid well below the asking price even as other companies bid on the company including the equity firm that bought PGI. This didn't last too long, however, and shortly after this Petters was picked up by the FBI as part of a money laundering and pyramid scheme he formed.

What ever happened to Latran Technologies, the final name of Polaroid Graphics Imaging, aka PGI? They closed their doors in July 2009 after one of their main suppliers shuttered as well and the company couldn't get a main component in the products they sold. At that time, Latran was down to 8 employees. I was hired full-time in 1999, after spending a year with Polaroid, and lasted until 2009 as an IT guy who later became a customer administrator/order administrator/network administrator. Yeah a person of many hats. I did everything from run reports for accounting and the general manager to ship products out the door. I got to know the business system SCALA inside and out, and learned to ship internationally, setup tariff commodity codes, fill out Shipper's Export Documents, Letters of intent, Pro-forma invoices, and so much more. It was great fun working there until the end.

Blue, I agree the brain drain is the worst part. The people that built the company also knew the products. Without these people, things go south pretty quickly because they knew which buttons to push to keep the ship from sinking, and once it sinks it never comes back. Sadly the DRGW/SP thing plays out all the time. Those MBAs from Harvard have ruined more companies than we can shake a stick at.
Hi John, I had a similar experience with Boise Cascade. When they announced they were going to spin Bose Cascade Office Supplies into a separate stock, I bought in at $10,000 worth, because I recognized them as a very good and popular company for Office Products. What I did not know was that the CEO had a plan. He used all the money people bought in with to go and buy more Office Products companies in the US and as I heard, even Canada and France. He drove the stock down to a pittance spending all this money, and when it was worth a quarter what I bought it for, he announced they were buying the stock back. So it was all just a strategy to rake everyone over while building the Office Products empire, and buying it back for pennies on the dollar right before buying Office Max and basically stripping Boise Cascade of all its money and sending it into those billions in debt. I lost my shirt on a company I believed in. I hope there is an especially hot corner for him you-know-where for eternity....
Wow, that is sad to hear .......Forester.....Et JCitron too!:(

:sleep: You know we used to say for many years, up in the Executives area, they had what are called Bean Counters, who did nothing but crunch numbers to see how they could make more profit with less workers, yes they did do that!!

(Quints if you know what I mean, super smart mathematicians) who said based on their theory's of extrapolation of A+B =C more or less, Work plus time comes out to a known Quantity of work progress, with a certain number of people under certain work conditions.

And they would budget us for X number of workers and the hours to accomplish certain task. Only problem, the biggest problem do all your employees work at 100% efficiency, hell no they don't I think we all have one problem we share, it's called being human and imperfect, and changing conditions, which they conveniently forget to put into their perfect work equation........:hehe:

Oh and when your equipment breaks down, OH I forgot that's the Employees fault for letting it happen and not preventing in our near perfect world.....Shame on me, I should know better........

We all said, let them come in and do our work based on the formula for Work Output, and see if they can do, well, they couldn't unless they were Robotic built, and look what happened automated Factories replaces the human, even more so today.

Eventually all jobs will go to the Robots or AI.....Only problem is what happens when a Solar Flare shows up and wipes out 1/2 or all the worlds Grids as it did in the 1800, or horrible Storm, or some other natural or unnatural event....When the Robots or AI breaks down, who is going to fix it, and how long will it take........Just a thought to entertain, where there are some who strive for a perfect world.....LOL

Ah the beat goes on, I wish us all better luck in the years ahead, will see where this all ends out someday......
It still plays out today... NECCO (New England Confectionery Company), the maker of NECCO Wafers and other really sweet treats, shut its doors last year. The employees arrived at the door one Monday morning to find a padlock on the front door. The company closed suddenly after their hedge fund owners decided they didn't want to play the game any longer. NECCO was about 120 - 140 years old when that occurred. When they were in Cambridge, MA right next to Fanny Farmer and Polaroid, you could smell the chocolate and sugar mix in the air as they made their candies. In the early 1970s they moved to a big new building in Revere and hired about 150 or 200 people. Some of those people working there had been there for over 40 years or longer. They not only had no jobs, but also had no pension, or other benefits if they were lucky some had a pittance of a 401K because the rest was sucked up in the Great Recession.

Yup Boise Cascade, Forester, I remember that story as well. When your CEO tanked the stock, the hope was that Staples would buy it up. The Staples deal was nixed due to unfair competition practices because that would mean it would only be a single company selling office products. The former owner of Staples, long gone by this time, was the same guy whose hedge fund sank International Bakery, the maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, by letting that company flounder till the end. It makes me wonder if they weren't in cahoots to make a sweet deal for Staples. They do stuff like that.

Yeah Blue. Let them get their hands dirty. They wouldn't know where to start! While working for Memotec-Teleglobe-Infinet, the upper management sent in Isaac. Isaac was the stopwatch guy. Literally he would walk around with a stopwatch and assess how quickly an employee did the job. One of the people who got sacked during a round of cuts was the one that hired him to do the assessment. We cheered loudly when we heard that news.
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NECCOs my favorite Candy long ago ///// What was the Twinkie Defense

:wave: Evening John,

Wow, that is crazy on NECCO I used to eat those candy wafers etc, can't as much anymore, Blood sugar has to be watched now.....It's called good mgt of your health......I didn't have to go to special school to learn that, I think it was intuitive by nature after seeing what happened to some of my family in denial.....

Anyway, that is shame,,,,,

John what I didn't tell you, speaking about Experience, you can't buy it, you have to learn etc, when I retired from a coveted but difficult position in my company, they had to have 2 workers assigned to my old Job, and the duties split, because, and it still goes on now, years later, they couldn't do the job I did......

I know other workers in the field who left, and similar things have occurred, we always told them, Company, decentralization of work, assigning too many Collateral Duties to a worker, is a recipe for disaster, why, because we all had full time jobs with more than enough to do, I had Research, Statistics, Training, and host of other things to do! And then boatload of Collateral, its like too many puppies in a litter ,how and the heck do you feed and care for them all.....One or more will suffer....And it happened to me and others......

The Executives didn't want to here that, it was there new deal, and would work, or you were out of job, or demoted, plain and simple.........Put that in your crock and chew on it for a while,,,,,

:( But being the person I was, along with many others, we toiled the work, and worked together as a strong unit to do our best, that was all we could do.......

Sad commentary....But happy I am retired, I know me and others did our best, and no one can say we didn't there were days we got back home late to our families, because we had projects that could not wait, or we would be in serious trouble or reprimanded etc, I sure you can Relate John.......

:sleep: However in some instances, I think a few companies get the message now, others, well, they just farm out the work to other companies at a lower cost, I don't know if the Quality is there, as I am privy to a lot of things on how repairs/maintenance etc is handled or not......You wouldn't believe the stories I am told sometimes in confidence.....But will leave that out of here,,,,,,,

I would only say, and people wonder why??? Their anger and angst against Corps.......Your Story tells why.......:eek:

:p Now here is my beloved Twinkies, now made by Bimbo I think,,,,,,,They are still one of my favorite Snacks on occasion, I enjoy eating with a good cup of JAVA.......

Check out the story behind this old company name, I grew up with......Lord knows, I ate enough Twinkies, but never used in a criminal defense as one person tried too,,,Amazing what people will try and do.....LOL

Good night JCitron, thanks for another good read of what can happen one day when you report to work....That is sad and Scary.............
Speaking of cor prate **** ups has anyone noticed that NS is becoming CSX and CSX is becoming NS?

I've noticed that too. We'll basically end up with major 3 railroads in the country in the end. The regionals will take the cast-offs and forgotten lines the big ones don't want to run any longer. I will say it would be a blessing if NS bought out Pan Am Railways though.
Then there's Pan Am Railways, or the company that destroyed three RRs in one shot.

Pan Am Railways is the rebirth of Guilford Transportation Industries, or the company that destroyed three great former Class I railroads all in one shot. Guilford was a holding company out of Guilford CT that owned American Filter Corp. and a railroad tie manufacturing plant. That holding company owned by Timothy Mellon of Mellon Bank fame bought the railroads because he liked trains.

At some point in the 1970s the company gained control of the Maine Central (MEC). In 1983 almost immediately, Guilford purchased the Boston and Maine (B&M) and Delaware and Hudson D&H) to form a direct line between North Maine Junction to Buffalo and south to the New York and Philadelphia area with trackage rights to Washington DC and elsewhere. This network came to fruition when the B&M was purchased outright from its then owner Delaware North Corp. The B&M had been in bankruptcy since the 1960s, thanks to Patrick McGuiness who also did that to the New Haven as well, and finally came out of bankruptcy in the late 70s.

After the merger, Guilford management immediately set out to cut operating costs, and bust up the unions by setting up an operating company called Springfield Terminal. ST was a B&M subsidiary in Springfield, NH and a 1.5 or 2 mile stub remnant of a much larger interurban network. ST was used as a way to get around the current union contracts and set out immediately to change crew sizes, eliminating brakemen jobs, deferred maintenance on the mainlines, rolling stock, and locomotives. After a crew member was killed in Lawrence MA due to a derailment, there was a big strike in '84 that lasted 8-months.

The D&H subsidiary was forced into bankruptcy as it lost online industry and part of its famous route that ran under the Starrucca Viaduct between Binghamton and Scranton as part of the many mainline eliminations including B&M Berlin NH mainline, MEC Mountain Division, Calais ME branch, and Lower Road. The poor maintenance cost the CT valley line Amtrak passenger service on the Maple Leaf, and Montrealer, which used to run straight up through Springfield. Today it does a jog move to go up through Palmer on the New England Central, or the former Central Vermont line.

The poor maintenance lead to slower, and slower speeds on the mainlines with some being no more than 10-15 mph, causing crews to outlaw even on the short 450 mile portion between North Maine Jct. and Mechanicsville. If it wasn't for Norfolk Southern looking for a northern connection, Pan Am Southern wouldn't have been formed. PAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pan Am, was formed with NS to rebuild the west end and provide service on that end. This gave NS a link between Mechanicsville and Ayer MA as well as business on the former CT lines purchased by the B&M, that Guilford ruined and also abandoned. (The former NH Canal Line comes to mind).

It wasn't just the tracks that were failing. GTI let the rollingstock and locomotives rot. Big swaths of GE U-boats were allowed to die, seize up, burn up, and eventually were scrapped. Newly acquired, at the time, GP40-2s that GTI got from the CN, rotted away, burned up, and died sometimes en-route. The famous GP35s acquired from the B&O met the same fate, and so did the numerous ALCO power still operating on the three systems. All scrapped as they died en-route in many cases.

The loss of online business and abandonment of industrial branches came about not because of a downturn in business because these companies wanted the business. It came about because the company focused on through business between North Main Jct. and points west and south as part of the D&H. Companies and even states went as far as to sue Guilford for disrupting and stopping service, but the suits were settled out of court. Since their rebirth as Pan Am, the business has not been the same. Customers are afraid to do business with them, and workers leave all the time because of the work conditions.

This is what happens when management's only purpose is not to run a business to make money, but instead to run it to the ground for tax write-offs and personal gain.
Sadly that seems to be the new American Business Model John, especially for the Harvard Business grads, but lots of others as well...
Pan Am Railways is the rebirth of Guilford Transportation Industries, or the company that destroyed three great former Class I railroads all in one shot. Guilford was a holding company out of Guilford CT that owned American Filter Corp. and a railroad tie manufacturing plant. That holding company owned by Timothy Mellon of Mellon Bank fame bought the railroads because he liked trains.

This is what happens when management's only purpose is not to run a business to make money, but instead to run it to the ground for tax write-offs and personal gain.

It aches my heart John to see this type of personal gain, with the excuse, and I have heard directly from the horses mouth in different Companies I've had dealings with, we trying improve investor relations, by streamlining our operations. In other words cutting off needed services, having workers do more with less, all for the bottom line. And did you know, in some parts of the world, the next thing they want to do, is driver-less Trains, handled by a Central Dispatch, say what????

How stupid or non nonsensical is that, next it will be Airplanes flight autonomous, like a drone, no pilots, you want to ride on Driver-less Train, or Airplane, thank you, but no, I want someone at the controls. At least in my life......!!!!

Oh and you don't think some one would be able to hack in the controls and take over the plane, like in a Hollywood movie? Scary thought anyway you look at it.....Goto a Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, I bet your hair would be on end with all the hacking that goes on...

I just heard on one of the Computers shows, where your wireless Speakers can be hacked supposedly by someone outside your home with the right equipment.........That is Sci Fi scary........

We live in a different world John, and it doesn't look very good in some respects, just my opinion of course.

Investors already get good cash out of Railroads, as it is.

And one thing the class ones do to much of, rely on mostly Inter-modal, they do not diversify enough on the other types of freight movement. And since Coal is decline now, the Railroads are hurting, so diversification is needed more than ever.....

I live in an area that has tons of Industrial plants etc, and you know what, a good portion of it could be served by Trains, and quite effectively too, but the Railroad Brass do not want that, they instead would rather have point A to Point B, as in Coast to Coast, hence our Freeways are clogged with Semi's and it continues to get worse. Out of 4-5 lane freeways here, 3 are Semi Trucks, how does that work for us, piss poor. And our Freeways and infrastructure take a beating on overweight Trucks pounding the highway......I am not against Truckers either, there is a place in the work force for all, and we need our trucks, they are a very important chain of Transportation, but in the way we run our Transportation these days, leaves a lot to be desired.

I have talked to many Business owners over the years, and they say, either they can get reliable Rail Service, or the Railroad will not come to their area to serve. So it defaults to Trucking.

There is some light in the Tunnel, a lot of Short Lines are getting better at filling in the gaps in the transportation chain.....They can move a fair amount of Freight and connections, where the big Class 1's do not want bother or get involved, so there's that!

Very sad and disturbing.......

And maybe someday, someone will figure out a better way, other than Greed to do the job, they should be doing...........I hope.......!!!