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About WhoozOn1st

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    Southern California
  1. WhoozOn1st

    The Passing of a Friend!

    Patrick "P.J." Galligan died on May 1st, 2014 of factors resulting from his multi-year ordeal with cancer. Loved by few, liked by many, and undoubtedly despised by many more, P.J.'s life was filled with the many activities he undertook that would result in a wide range of reactions and sentiments from others, which was fine by him. Though he loved his life, and had a great deal of fun living it, he also felt, as the lyric from The Who's "My Generation:" I hope I die before I get old. So as things turned out he actually did, and prior to his passing received a measure of satisfaction from this circumstance.
  2. WhoozOn1st

    Surfliner Info

    BC guarantees a seat. Peace and quiet is another issue. Once rode a Surfliner with a bad ordered café car. To compensate, the Business car was thrown open to Coach passengers, coffee and goodies on the house. Needless to say, Business passengers were subjected to a lot of noisy to-and-fro traipsing - courtesy of Coachoids - during that run. Still, generally right; usually fairly peaceful and quiet. Except one time I got stuck with the "Gang of Four" on the way to San Diego, but that's another story...
  3. WhoozOn1st

    Surfliner Info

    There used to be TWO: Southern Pacific ran the Lark over the coast route now used by the Starlight, and the Owl ran inland, through the Central Valley and over the Tehachapi mountains (and loop!). The Lark (and owl): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lark_(train) From 1981 to 1983 Amtrak ran the rare California-funded train with sleeper service over the Lark's route - Spirit of California.
  4. Take that NIMBYS!! (but it still ain't over 'til it's over) "Westside subway extension survives legal challenge by Beverly Hills"" -- http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-subway-lawsuit-ruling-20140403,0,2491628.story#ixzz2xqvJXgHP "Knocking down one of the last hurdles for Los Angeles' long-awaited Westside subway extension, a judge ruled late Wednesday that transit officials followed environmental laws when they chose a route that would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School." "The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year, $13.8-million environmental review process was thorough and fair, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio wrote in a 15-page decision." "The route Metro chose includes a station near Constellation Boulevard in Century City, two blocks west of Beverly Hills High School. It will require tunneling under parts of the campus. Metro considered an alternative route along Santa Monica Boulevard but discarded it after agency studies found a complex earthquake fault zone in that area. "'The Constellation Station is located in the middle of high rise office buildings that house thousands of potential subway riders,' [L.A. County Superior Judge John] Torribio wrote. The Santa Monica Boulevard station favored by Beverly Hills 'would require these same riders to walk a considerable distance to access the subway,'" the judge wrote. Not final, but a significant and grand victory to be enjoyed by all favoring good transit on a sensible route in a timely manner.
  5. WhoozOn1st

    Swadian's Photos

    Think again. Buses are not nice breaks from anything but walking.
  6. A little heads up, FWIW: Model Railroader Video Plus, a spinoff of the magazine, is celebrating its first birthday by showing free videos all weekend, March 29, and 30, 2014. For these two days access is free and open to everyone. Even ME!! "Watch as many how-to videos, layout visits, product reviews, and trackside adventures as you like. There's something for every model railroader..." Link: http://mrv.trains.com/ EDIT: Also FWIW, not a modeler myself, but I like the product review vids!
  7. According to Trains News Wire CTA has removed the wreck train from the O'Hare station and expects it to reopen on the weekend. Crews need to repair tracks, platforms, and staircases (nothing about any escalators). Also: "The CTA announced earlier this week it was taking some new safety steps at the station. As a 'precautionary measure,' it is lowering the speed limit of trains entering the O’Hare station from 25 mph – the speed at which the train was traveling ­to 15 mph. In addition, trip switches that are supposed to stop a train from traveling above that speed will be moved farther back on the track so they engage earlier, the agency says."
  8. WhoozOn1st

    LAX Luggage Thievery Bust

    Contract workers - Menzies Aviation (some, not all, from there). From the L.A. Times: LAX thieves stole thousands of dollars of valuables from luggage, police say -- http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lax-thieves-stole-thousands-of-valuables-from-luggage-police-say-20140327,0,7070575.story#ixzz2xJ8oLBpF As one might expect there are lots of items about this in the Times; this is just one. One says Paris Hilton lost something really expensive in this case, and another quotes a guy who lost cameras in checked bags THREE TIMES (over the years, not in this case) before getting wise and carrying his cameras aboard. Some people... It blows me away that anybody is dense enough to make their bags worth more than the terms of carriage replacement value; okay, maybe expensive clothes. But electronics? Jewelry? The ever popular and pricey Etc.?
  9. WhoozOn1st

    Pasadena, CA

    Pasadena is indirectly served by Amtrak. It goes to Los Angeles Union Station, and from there one may board the Metro Gold Line for the prettiest trip in the Metro Rail system, mostly over the old Santa Fe right of way. After reaching downtown Pasadena the line unfortunately runs down the middle of a freeway to the current end of track at Sierra Madre Villa, but it's well into the construction of an extension further into the San Gabriel Valley. Gold Line Chinatown station. First stop on the way to Pasadena, which is 20 scenic minutes from here by light rail While Amtrak does not directly serve every city in southern California, the good and improving transit options at most of its stations make it a gateway ride to most places in the region. So never mind that 10-15 years ago junk! You can easily jump off Amtrak and jump into southern California!
  10. No criticism, but wanna point out (in case you're not aware, amamba) that Day 5 on the LSL is repeated twice in the blog. Otherwise fine!
  11. In 1895 hand-cranked was the order of the day, for cameras (also wind-up) and projectors. So a smooth playback required somebody who could match the speed at which the film was shot, and keep it up for as long as the early reels lasted. Team Whooz got to see a hand-cranked "Steamboat Bill, Jr." (1928, Buster Keaton) at a museum, and it was majorly different in appearance from a standard electrically driven version. Here's a very dark video of the hand-cranked occasion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVcXfvsOZiY The cranking is visible at upper center. How the hell do you embed a YouTube video anymore? Seems to change with every forum "upgrade" that's really nothing of the sort. Anyway, that hand cranking was accompanied by live playing of the museum's Wurlitzer pipe organ - an amazing monster! EDIT: Nice this topic has been moved into Normal Space, where it belongs. For that other forum the question is: Whooz the Lunkhead who doesn't know how to spell discussions, so that it's Random Discussons!? I mean really...
  12. A number of very early films featured trains. They MOVE, which was the whole idea then, less now (sound). I've seen one in which the locomotive is coming straight at the camera, and recall reading that audiences - who had never seen a film before - feared that the engine would leap from the screen and keep coming, panicked, and ran for the exits. Whether apocryphal or not...
  13. WhoozOn1st

    Private car

    Sounds like fun, and at a reasonable price. I should try it sometime. Any refreshments included? And what car was that? I've seen several sitting around at L.A. Union Station.
  14. Running behind schedule in my Op-Ed reading (slow orders, y'know) I came across the piece below in the Washington Post. These guys think that the ridership surge posited by APTA in its report that led off this thread is illusory and a distraction. However, they have an idea of what the REAL problem is, and I believe it's one with which many can agree... "Use of public transit isn’t surging" -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/use-of-public-transit-isnt-surging/2014/03/20/0b44e522-b03b-11e3-95e8-39bef8e9a48b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions "Resting our hopes on a transit comeback distracts from our real transportation problem, which can be summarized in four words: Driving is too cheap. Drivers impose costs on society — in delay, in pollution, in carbon, in wear and tear on our roads — that they don’t pay for. As a result, many of us drive more than we otherwise would. Ending this underpriced driving — through higher fuel taxes, parking and congestion charges and insurance premiums based on miles driven — is a central challenge for local, state and federal transportation officials. "Charging the right price for driving would give drivers a better-performing system, both by reducing congestion and raising revenue to help repair roads. It would help communities and the planet by reducing pollution. And, not least, it would help public transportation by leveling the playing field between transit and private vehicles. Increased subsidies for public transportation have neither reduced driving nor increased transit use. But ending subsidies to driving probably would do both."
  15. Double posting aside, Bailey Yard at North Platte, Nebraska, is the world's largest railyard. The golden spike tower is a tourist attraction which overlooks the railyard.