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Archive for the ‘railroad’ Category

Categorized under: why is it doing that?  Remember that story back in 2002 where a coyote hopped on a commuter train in Portland?  Now they’re evolving! Growing and adapting to their new environs.

PORTLAND, OR — Authorities reported on Wednesday that a wild coyote was chased off the tarmac at Portland International Airport. The traveling prairie pooch, realizing that it wasn’t welcome to fly the friendly skies, proceeded to the Tri-Met Airport Terminal Station where it boarded the light-rail train bound for downtown.

After being refused airport service, traveling canine "Wiley" decided to take the Red Line train bound for downtown Portland.

The big bad coyote…er a make that a coywolf?  Coyotes and wolves, are mixing it up in the Eastern US–hybridizing themselves into a new species–punctuated evolution style.  “Word up dog!”

…mixing of coyote and wolf genes allowed the animal to rapidly evolve larger, more powerful jaws, better adapted to preying on whitetail deer.

see also:  Wandering Coyote Booted from Airport Hops a Train Instead, For coyotes, at least, study finds New Englanders a special breed

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last updated: 03-10-2010

Just like Laura Palmer, ticket kiosks and ticket validation machines are shown here, wrapped in plastic, on the occasion of Dr. F’s recent visit to the MetroRail’s MLK Jr. station.  Whether this new covering was for the protection of the fancy new machines from the elements or from vandalism, I cannot say. Last Summer’s brutal heat, sent the computers in the newly installed ticket machines, into a tizzy. Simultaneously, moisture was also a problem, as  “horizontal rains,” soaked the ticket machines temporarily disabling them. These and many other problems contributed to the delay in opening the Red line.

The weeds are all gone from last springs visit still, the rails are looking a bit rusty;  that should all soon change though, as a March opening is promised by Cap Metro for MetroRail’s Red Line.

Today we sent word to the Federal Railroad Administration…we expect to be operationally ready to begin service at the end of February.

Trains will be running again, but no paying customers–not just yet, anyway.

This doesn’t mean we’ll open the service at that time, though. At that point, Herzog will simulate full testing of everything for two weeks, and if things go well we’ll be ready to open later in March.

Originally scheduled to launch in 2008, passenger rail service, was delayed by a host of engineering, computer programing and signaling issues, several of which have yet to be resolved. In spite of this,  Cap Metro leaders say they are confident, and expect the rail line to begin operating sometime in March.

None of these are going to keep us from opening the system. Let’s be clear on this. These are not issues that will stop us from opening up…

Issues–smissues.  After firing its contractor Veolia Transportation,  Cap Metro awarded the commuter rail contract to Herzog Transit Services and the freight line contract to Watco Companies Inc., three-fourths of the rail’s “new start” FRA requirements have been addressed leaving only four major issues yet to be resolved.

But there are still issues with signal and crossing programs, the linchpins that delayed startup before.

Whatever label you hang on this story as it’s cause:  stumbling-block, linchpin, programing issues, the fact is, Austin has a passenger railroad, but without any riders, and by default no revenue being generated, no extra automobiles being taken off crowded roadways or carbon emissions saved.

Someday, hopefully someday real soon, this railroad’s gonna open, and when it does there will rise up a cry from the people of  “Hallelujah–it’s about damn time”.

see also:  capmetroblog.com, We’re opening in March, Cap Metro could begin running MetroRail by mid-March, Cap Metro confident MetroRail nearing completionMayor pulls support for vote on urban light rail

This is a follow-up to the original 2009 Frankensteam blog entry titled:  All Systems Go Capital MetroRail Prepares For Service

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21 year old Austin Wuennenberg, the driver of a Walt Disney World monorail in Orlando Florida, was killed about 2 A.M. at a ticket and transport center, when the train he was conducting rammed into the rear of a stationary train. There were eight people on board his train at the time, none of whom were injured.

The monorail was returning from Epcot Center when the crash occurred.  It was the first fatal crash in the parks 38 year history although, according to park historians, there has also been a death at Disney Land in California involving a monorail.

art_monorail_disney_cnn

A 2 a.m. ET monorail crash at Disney World killed one person, a park spokesman said.

Safety first? Questions remain: Who turned off “Fail Safe?”

A former monorail pilot said, all Disney monorails are equipped with a sophisticated “anti-collision” system that automatically stops the trains if they get too close to each other. The former pilot said the system must be shut off when the monorails are put into storage for the night.

“In order for that train, the blue train, to get close to that red train, you’ve got to override the safety system, basically,” the former monorail operator said.

4th of July celebrations.

Passengers watched the Magic Kingkom fireworks display from the monorail but said there were no problems with the train.

Witness says one monorail train rammed into a stationary train.

Safety, a touchy subject at amusment parks. Public affairs officer issues condolences to family of  “cast member.”

Walt Disney World Vice President of Public Affairs Mike Griffin issued a statement offering condolences to the employee’s family.

“Today, we mourn the loss of a fellow cast member. Our hearts go out to the family and fellow cast members who lost a coworker and a friend. Safety of our guests and cast members is our top priority. We will work with law enforcement to determine what happened,” Griffin said in the statement.

Griffin would not comment on the circumstances surrounding the crash.

“They are extremely rare,” Griffin said of accidents at the park. “The safety of our guests and cast are a top priority above all else.”

A former monorail pilot told Local 6 that all Disney monorails are equipped with a sophisticated “anti-collision” system that automatically stops the trains if they get too close to each other. The former pilot said the system must be shut off when the monorails are put into storage for the night.
“In order for that train, the blue train, to get close to that red train, you’ve got to override the safety system, basically,” the former monorail operator said.
Witness says one monorail train rammed into a stationary train.

see:  Disney World monorail crash kills driver, amature video1 Dead In Disney Monorail Crash

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