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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AMTRAK!!!

Oh well, so it isn't really passenger railroading, or at least the way it was and should be. Ho hum.

What? You'd prefer we have no passenger trains outside of commuter rail lines?

Yeah, I know about the whole 'America opted for the car' thing.

And no one's really all that HAPPY about Amtrak either. But they've been sputtering along for 33 years, so what're ya gonna do? :?

Happy Birthday Amtrak. :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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I think it was better when the Vanderbilts ran the railroad. Back in the day when it was known as the New York Central.

There was an interesting exchange between two reporters in Chicago and William Henry Vanderbilt in 1882 regarding the NY Central. At the time the competition between the NY Central and the Pennsylvania line was pretty fierce...

Reporter: "Does your limited express pay?"
W.H. Vanderbilt: "No, not a bit of it. We run it because we are forced to do it by the action of the Pennsylvania Road. It doesn't pay expenses. We would abandon it if it were not for our competitor keeping its train on."
Reporter: "But don't you run it for the public benefit?"
W.H. Vanderbilt:"The public be damned! What does the public care for the railroads except to get as much out of them for as small a consideration as possible?"

That story spread around the world. W.H. Vanderbilt may have doubled his father's fortune, but he was always known for the statement, "the public be damned."
 

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Bigg Bosss Mann knows his railroad history. The New York Central, my favorite all-time railroad, and the greatest paint scheme I've ever seen, my taste only.

Yes, passenger railroading doesn't pay, and the passenger trains of yesteryear were always upheld by the freight operations of those railroads

Funny thing about the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad, once known as The Standard Railroad Of The World. The competition through the decades between them had been quite fierce. Because of the death of passenger railroading and those companies as well, it must've been a bitter pill to swallow for many executives when they actually had to MERGE in 1968 to form Penn Central, just to gain a little time on a clock that had already ticked past their survival point.
 

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Unfortunately my railroad knowledge is limited to the Vanderbilt era and the railroads they were involved in. One other interesting bit of info is when the Vanderbilts were approached with the concept of a railroad spanning across the country, it didn’t interest them. Even later when the West was going to meet the East, they were no where to be found.
 

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Fernando, if you ever get the chance, you should go to Vanderbilt's home, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. It's the world's largest single-family dwelling, and it has magnificent grounds with gardens that would rival any of Europe's finest. I took a tour there once, and it was overwhelming! Everything is on a collosal scale. I've been to nightclubs that were smaller than the formal dining room. IIRC, the table seated 70 people, and it looked tiny sitting in the middle of that room!

The one item that stands out in my mind was that in one of the bedrooms, there was dispalyed a complete chess set that once belonged to Napoleon.
 

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Ever since we moved down here I've wanted to go check it out. I'm hoping sometime this summer to take the family there. I’ve had their wine and it was pretty darn good.

Richard Morris Hunt was an architectural genius. I’ve toured (numerous times) the mansions he designed in Newport, RI. Each has its own particular styling that even by today’s standards has not been surpassed. Only Hunt could design the largest private residence in the US. Only a Vanderbilt would commission such a project.

It’s just a shame that the grandchildren of Commodore Vanderbilt spent their fortunes faster than they made them.
 

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Fernando, if you make the trip, please let me know. I would like to meet you there. I went to Asheville School, a private boarding school for boys, and some of the teachers who were there when I attended are still there. I'd love to see them again just to say "Thank you for teaching me HOW TO THINK instead of WHAT to think."
 

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The other 1%

It's always interesting to see how life was on the other side of the tracks. I've not been to RI or SC but where I live, I am within 30 minutes of most of the duPont estates. Montchannin, Grenoble, The Hagly powder mills, what is now the A.I. duPont institute (children's hospital), Winterthur and of course Longwood Gardens. It's amazing what can be accomplished when "money is no object."

Better yet what you can accomplish with a limitless supply of slave/forced labor. (think pyramids, great walls, V2 rockets, etc.)

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Y'know, that Special Ed's a real smart dog. That's gotta come natural, can't teach profundity like that. Good, smart dog. Maybe one day I'll have one of Ed's cousins to teach me stuff like that.

Speaking of 'the other half' I had the occasion to land on a show that was describing Donald Trump's life style and various 'living quarters' over the weekend.

Nuff said. :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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Bloof, My wife has a bumper sticker on her car that reads: My Golden Retriever is smarter than your honor student!

Get yourself a dog, better yet get two. Everyone should know the joys/rewards of dog companionship.

Ed
 

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Richard Jefferies - I'll definitely be heading out there this summer. I'll let you know what the dates are as soon as we figure them out.

SpecialEd - what's wrong with slave/forced labor? :shock: :lol:

Bloofington - that's what you need! A dog or two! They would make for better company than the snake!
 

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Fernando Coelho said:
SpecialEd - what's wrong with slave/forced labor? :shock: :lol:
I didn't say there was anything wrong with it, I said it's "amazing" what you can accomplish with it... :wink:

Ed
 
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