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About Blackwolf

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    Public Safety, passenger rail, travel, hunting, fishing
  1. Blackwolf

    New Siemens Charger locomotive.

    That is a setting placed into the ECM, and can be removed (though, the legality of doing so is dubious for non-exempt vehicles). Our most recent fire engines have DEF, something our department steered away from as long as possible for similar reasons as the railroad industry. In the event of the DEF running out during an incident, the engine going into limp mode would potentially be a very bad thing. As a result, that function is deactivated, and the engine won't derate. If they can do it for us, so to can a locomotive. My guess is they won't, though.
  2. Blackwolf

    A Domestic Flight but ‘International’

    Was just on this route Monday. Of course, the CRJ900 didn't have the "shoulder room" of the A330, but at least Row 1 had plenty of leg room. The Fall Colors are nearly at their peak in the Annapolis Valley right now. Makes for a very beautiful drive going down 101... Which, unfortunately, we're doing daily visiting the hospital in Kentville. Heading back to California on Thanksgiving. (That'd be this next Monday, for the non-Canadians in the room.)
  3. Hey, the "code share scam" has proven to be fruitful at times. Me and Mrs. Blackwolf are currently in Nova Scotia due to a family emergency; 18 hours before departure for an international flight, a new booking is made. I look at Air Canada and see a round trip for two is $9k in Y (coach) class, no advance seat selection option, no included checked luggage. 4 legs, long layovers. I log into my United MileagePlus account. For 100k points (which I have) I can book last-minute J (business) round-trip tickets with lounge, seat selection, two checked bags at 70lbs per passenger, meals and libations. The monetary breakdown is about $1400 based off the active point sale on United. It pays to know the system. And realize 2/3rds of the flights are on Air Canada Jazz, which is the SkyWest of the Great White North.
  4. In the case of the PVSA, it is a little deeper than just being flagged in the United States of America. The hull of the vessel is required to be built and launched in the USA, unless a waver is granted by an Act of Congress that must be renewed every so many years by another Act of Congress. Additionally, a US flagged vessel is required to adhere to USCG safety requirements and inspections (which are very strict), and all staff aboard in all departments must adhere to US labor and wage laws. 20 or more years ago, there were more US-built passenger hulls still in the water and thus a higher likelihood of US-flagged passenger vessels. Me and my family sailed aboard the US-flagged American Hawaii Cruises SS Independence, precursor to the NCL M/V Pride of America. Beautiful steam-powered ocean liner that was entirely US-crewed and was the last true US-flagged ocean-going passenger vessel still in service. I am no fan of the absurdly ugly PoA, but I remember that it was a three-ring circus to have the ship built by a US shipyard... And it was almost cancelled when AHC died during the post-9/11 tourist crash.
  5. The Delta Fire, located just south of Dunsmuir, has affected the Union Pacific mainline between California and Oregon. The latest news is that the fire has actually burned both the trackage itself, along with signaling and communication infrastructure for the railroad. As a result, both trains #11 and #14 are in Service Disruption effective 9/4/2018. Interstate 5 is also closed in both directions due to the fire. Both trains are being turned in Klammath Falls and Sacramento, respectively. No alternative travel options are being provided effected passengers.
  6. Considering that this particular bit of news is making the national media rounds, I'd be surprised if elected officials aren't already involved. I mean, TFT isn't anywhere near the core mission of the USMC, and yet...
  7. I have it from a very good source that the CHP investigation is taking a good hard look at this exact element.
  8. Local news story regarding the sudden trend of stolen vehicles being left on the tracks to intentionally be hit by the Coast Starlight: https://krcrtv.com/news/shasta-county/train-collides-with-pickup-truck-two-days-in-a-row
  9. Blackwolf

    Bon voyage!

    The United States of America does not have an official language. There was a push I believe in the '80s to legislate English as such, but it was killed off pretty solidly in Congress. However, there are indeed States with language laws for official business purposes. Interestingly enough, California's official first language is Spanish!! English takes a second seat. A very facinating bit of trivia is that the California State Constitution and the Articles of Statehood were drafted and written in Spanish first. They were then translated into English. This was done September 9th, 1850!
  10. Blackwolf

    Coast Starlight in 2019?

    Pretty darn sure that the Coast Starlight isn't going away. Period. And Amtrak isn't canning any trains. The talk of such is just personal opinions and echo chambers at work using nothing more but gut intuition and random bits of non-liniar information. If LD's were being discontinued, the Coast Starlight would be one of the very last routes cut in the system. It's arguably the most advertised and most famous of all routes, with the biggest international following, and is heavily backed politically by the most well known and powerful states in all of the US. The. Train. Ain't. Going. Away.
  11. And there's a third major American city that's even more associated with the phoenix than those two are!
  12. I'll put it in the perspective of the late and great Lieutenant Andrew Fredericks, FDNY Squad 18 (Greenwich Village, Manhattan; one of the 343 who died in the Line of Duty on 9/11/01) when he spoke of San Francisco. "Reminds me of a smaller Manhattan." YMMV.
  13. Not Californians. Southern Californians do that. Once you pass, say, Fresno/SLO, the "The" drops away.