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Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
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Les_Shepherd
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Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« on: Jun 12th, 2009, 2:09am »
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New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, is presently in Sydney to address a Conference at the University of Sydney.
 
The Sydney Mornig Herald this morning quotes him "Our most efficient evacuation tool that we have in our arsenal is Amtrak trains. They move thousands of people out of the city very quickly. This was a lesson we learned from Katrina. When Katrina hit we did not have access to Amtrak but after Katrina we modified all our evacuation plans and now Amtrak is a critical part of it."
 
He is also quoted as speaking glowingly of the city's tramway network and the extensions either planned or underway.
 
He is quoted as being anxious to take advantage of the President's high speed rail proposals and wants to link New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
 
I cannot post a link to the newspaper's website because the item is not there at the moment.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #1 on: Jun 12th, 2009, 3:16pm »
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Talk about a bunch of lies and/or misleading commentary.
 
Item - NOLA DID have "access to Amtrak" as Katrina approached  - trains actually standing by, only needing passengers. But - that never happened, and Amtrak moved the equipment (empty)  at the last minute (to avoid having it trapped in NOLA and subject to damage).
 
Baton Rouge is about 80-85 miles from NOLA and there isn't enough traffic between the two places as destinations to justify a high speed link. Unless the purpose (which, given Ray Nagin's history is the likely motive) is to enrich political figures from the graft inherent in construction projects in Louisiana.
 


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #2 on: Jun 12th, 2009, 4:54pm »
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on Jun 12th, 2009, 3:16pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...Unless the purpose (which, given Ray Nagin's history is the likely motive) is to enrich political figures from the graft inherent in construction projects in Louisiana...

Clyde -  
 
In grand tradition, if you do for the one, you must do for the other. The useful and charming attributes of these projects certainly aren't  
restricted to the exclusive enjoyment of the Pelican State...
 
Seems to me, too, accounts that while in the middle of the urgent movements of population, the same wizards let school busses  
remain parked on the various flooding storage lots...
 
Think of the merits that no one received any bad marks on their permanent records, account bad decisions of using the busses absent  
specific authority! Think of all the needless CO2 emissions avoided!  
 
....................Vern.................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #3 on: Jun 12th, 2009, 6:39pm »
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on Jun 12th, 2009, 4:54pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Clyde -  
 
In grand tradition, if you do for the one, you must do for the other. The useful and charming attributes of these projects certainly aren't  
restricted to the exclusive enjoyment of the Pelican State...

Seems to me, too, accounts that while in the middle of the urgent movements of population, the same wizards let school busses  
remain parked on the various flooding storage lots...

Think of the merits that no one received any bad marks on their permanent records, account bad decisions of using the busses absent  
specific authority! Think of all the needless CO2 emissions avoided!  
 
....................Vern.................

 
Yeah - in re evacuation, i thought about mentioning the school buses (it was heart-breaking, truly not sarcastically, to see the pictures of the flooded buses and realize they could have moved thousands of people who really did need to escape and probably would have if only they had been given the chance), but decided to stick to the mendacity about Amtrak and my reaction of a short stretch of HSR between NOLA and Red Stick. Now if it was part of a line to Chicago, I might have a different reaction.


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George_Harris
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #4 on: Jun 12th, 2009, 7:43pm »
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Clyde/Vern:
 
I had also thought to avoid the discussion.  The whole Katrina / New Orleans thing was handled with enough widespread stupidity that almost everyone with the authority to do anything has rightfully earned as share, but I think the biggest stupid awards go to Nagin, the LA governor, and FEMA.
 
My favorite Nagin sound-bite for the time was something to the effect, "I ain't loading my people in trucks and schoolbuses.  Send us Greyhounds."  
 
I don't know about him, but I would be perfectly fine with riding in the back of a truck to get out of a hurricane.  
 
Who was it that said, ignorance is curable, but stupidity is forever?


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #5 on: Jun 12th, 2009, 8:04pm »
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on Jun 12th, 2009, 7:43pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...My favorite Nagin sound-bite for the time was something to the effect, "I ain't loading my people in trucks and schoolbuses.  Send us Greyhounds."...    

George -  
 
That was among the very best. It worked from a major premise there were 1,000 highway busses to be had. I very much doubt that such  
a large fleet could be engaged on short notice, with the decades long declines of common carriers in travel markets...
 
So, the mystery. What ever was wrong with the school busses, given the exigent circumstances?
 
.......................Vern......................


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Les_Shepherd
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #6 on: Jun 13th, 2009, 7:33am »
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Here is the link to the SMH website item.
 
http://www.smh.com.au/world/new-orleans-back-on-track-in-calm-after-storm-20090611-c50d.html


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #7 on: Jun 13th, 2009, 1:30pm »
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on Jun 12th, 2009, 8:04pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

George -  
 
That was among the very best. It worked from a major premise there were 1,000 highway busses to be had. I very much doubt that such  
a large fleet could be engaged on short notice, with the decades long declines of common carriers in travel markets...
 
So, the mystery. What ever was wrong with the school busses, given the exigent circumstances?
 
.......................Vern......................

 
 
No skim for Ray if they used school buses, would be my guess.
 
And you are right to question whether a 1000 highway bus fleet (and certainly not Greyhounds) could be assembled in time (much less contracted). Or at least that was what i was told by a guy I know who is in the bus business (charters, but he has a GOOD feel for what is around, since he keeps up with what might be competition). You'd probably enjoy his characterization of Nagin when he heard that bit about wanting Greyhounds instead of school busses.


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towny72
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #8 on: Aug 26th, 2009, 7:56pm »
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Oh guys come on, we all know this was just one of the many actions W did against america. I am sure Nagin was told by the Bush Whitehouse to not let one person leave the city........ Poor Ray, just trying to do whats best for his city.  
 
I can tell you I have now been to the gulf twice to rebuild railines and I wish they would just forget about it and run trains further north!


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #9 on: Aug 27th, 2009, 11:53am »
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Well, Towny, as far as "just running trains further north" goes - that does have a slight problem in that the current lines do serve the customers they have down that way, while the inland lines don't serve those. And i don't think (looking at the map) that there are enough north-south spurs to get the traffic to and from those customers in a satisfactory pattern of service.
 
And while B. Hussein and his merry band of tax cheats would probably like you to believe that Geo. W. both arranged for Katrina AND put the word out that NOLA was NOT to be evacuated since that would cause a lot of welfare cheats to survive and continue to suck on the public teat, that didn't happen. And yes - i know your "sarcasm key" was fully enabled.  
 
Nagin - well, words fail me for an adequate characterization of the combination of Ray's cupidity and stupidity and the idiocy of NOLA's voters in putting the cunning villain back in office post-Katrina.
 
On consideration - just maybe Red Stick to NOLA would make a decent technology demonstrator for an American HST, though I can think of a number of better places to do that.


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towny72
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #10 on: Aug 27th, 2009, 9:12pm »
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Hey clyde,  
 
Trust me a ton of sarcasm on that post. I have had the chance to talk with CSX officials while working for them in the Gulf and they would love to move trains just a few miles inland but the cost to do so is greater then the cost to rebuild sections after every major storm. The only major area is from Bay St. Louis to New Orleans and well they will role the dice. As for the Big Easy, it’s a shame. I really do love the city, and after spending time there for work I hope it never sinks into the Gulf, but hey cant I blame W for my dog dying last year? I mean the guy is the scape goat for everything!


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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #11 on: Aug 28th, 2009, 4:11pm »
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Well, you CAN blame Dubya. Heck, I guess i could blame him for developing Type 2 Diabetes, which happened on his watch. But - My primary doc suggests it was probably from carrying too many extra ponds for too many years, though, and the VA says it was because i got exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam long ago (that was while LBJ and Tricky Dick were in office - 8/68-8/69), blaming Dubya doesn't seem quite fair (even blaming Nagin wouldn't seem quite fair, but i might anyway). I guess I'll take the VA's word for it - and the extra money they are paying me every month....

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BNSF_1088
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #12 on: Aug 31st, 2009, 3:41pm »
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I have no use for that guy.

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George_Harris
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #13 on: Aug 31st, 2009, 4:37pm »
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on Aug 27th, 2009, 9:12pm, towny72 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hey clyde,  
 
Trust me a ton of sarcasm on that post. I have had the chance to talk with CSX officials while working for them in the Gulf and they would love to move trains just a few miles inland but the cost to do so is greater then the cost to rebuild sections after every major storm. The only major area is from Bay St. Louis to New Orleans and well they will role the dice.

For a while there was a plan to relocate the CSX main inland, in Mississippi only.  It appeared to have been funded by some of the "offshore" casinos who seemed to thing the multiple grade crossings interfered with access to their casinos.  (Maybe concerned about people that lost heavily stepping in front of trains leaving a note blaming the casino for their suicide?)  It died a fairly quick death.  In general it appeared to have been done by someone that was clueless about railroads, and of course lengthened the route.  It would definitely have done nothing for the much more vulnerable section west of Bay St. Louis.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #14 on: Sep 1st, 2009, 7:35am »
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on Aug 31st, 2009, 4:37pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...In general it appeared to have been done by someone that was clueless about railroads...   

George -
 
Nameless someone must get a great deal of work these days. Examples all across the land, proposals and projects motivated  
by little wore than, "...well, it's a neat idea..."
 
.....................Vern.................


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George_Harris
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #15 on: Sep 1st, 2009, 3:28pm »
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on Sep 1st, 2009, 7:35am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

George -
 
Nameless someone must get a great deal of work these days. Examples all across the land, proposals and projects motivated  
by little wore than, "...well, it's a neat idea..."
 
.....................Vern.................

Vern:
 
I continue to be amazed by "Consultants" that do these things who would not recognize a railroad track if the tripped on the rail and fell on it.  They read a little bit in a couple of very general texts and think they know what they are doing.  A number of years ago I was in the AREA office to get some publications and do some research in old bulletins and spent some time talking with the person in their publications office.  She commented that they frequently got calls from people wanting to get some simple and cheap "how to" book for railroad design.  Generally after finding the cost of the Manual they would ask if there was anything cheaper.  She would then Mention Hay's Railroad Engineer text, and point out that it was written in 1953, and that there had been a lot of developments since.   Usually at that point they would say "thank you" and hang up or simply hang up thinking that they had run into a most non-cooperative person.  
 
These people are scary.  A description I have is that their arrogance is only exceeded by their ignorance.  I place a lot more value on my PE license and my integrity than to dive into something with so much ignorance.  
 
George


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towny72
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #16 on: Oct 12th, 2009, 9:58am »
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George very well said. My newest concern would have to be the High Speed Rail talks going on right now. It seems to have very little organization, and the dollars are only there for planning. This proposal could be the final blow to ever getting a well organized and efficient passenger rail system in America. The key high speed passenger rail in America I believe is dedicated track. Until we get freight and passengers segregated onto there own rails the bottle necks, delays, and other misfortunes will continue. Most of the current passenger equipment can already handle speeds of near 100mph, it’s the track that causes the issues….  I digress, this is straying far from the topic of the disastrous evacuation of New Orleans per Katrina

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ClydeDET
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Re: Mayor Nagin on Amtrak
 
« Reply #17 on: Oct 12th, 2009, 6:28pm »
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on Oct 12th, 2009, 9:58am, towny72 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
George very well said. My newest concern would have to be the High Speed Rail talks going on right now. It seems to have very little organization, and the dollars are only there for planning. This proposal could be the final blow to ever getting a well organized and efficient passenger rail system in America. The key high speed passenger rail in America I believe is dedicated track. Until we get freight and passengers segregated onto there own rails the bottle necks, delays, and other misfortunes will continue. Most of the current passenger equipment can already handle speeds of near 100mph, it’s the track that causes the issues….  I digress, this is straying far from the topic of the disastrous evacuation of New Orleans per Katrina

 
 
Well, there was shared track between passenger and freight in a day when you could make it from New York to Chicago in 16 hours behind steam and there were a LOT more trains on the lines. And the Santa Fe ran across Kansas and eastern Colorado at 100 mph speeds, on lines that carried both passenger and freight (And the passegers were comfortable with it  - ask anybody who rode the Chief or Super Chief or the Broadway or Century in the "good old days") , so that isn't necessarily a "must have" for fast running. Now if you want 150 or 200 or higher speeds, yeah, gonna have to have fully separated and dedicated passenger track, and it is gonna have to be dedicated ONLY to the fast trains.
 
I will say that Rick Perry's TTC (Trans-Texas Corridor) proposal did have some good ideas in it. Separate heavy truck and automobile roads. Separate freight and passenger (and commuter rail) rails, passenger stated to be high speed rail. Also pipeline and powerline ROW as part of the quarter-mile or more wide corridors. Problem was - a lot of people saw themselves losing farms and ranches, and were correct (though not to the extent the nay-sayers claimed) and then folks started hearing "Gonna be built by furriners on land the State made us sell cheap, and we'll have to pay to use it - to them furriners". Became very unpopualr and ain't gonna happen. In some ways a pity, though if it brings Rick P down....
 
A problem I saw was - the TTCs were in Texas, but how viable are they when  they arrive at the border and - ain't no continuation into and across Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas or New Mexico...
 
None of which has much to do with Ray Nagin lying about AMTRAK not helping in Katrina evacuation.


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