Blizzard of 2015, What Happened? Other Cool Snow Stories

PenneyVanderbilt

If you have followed us very much, you know we have covered Winter, Snow and Railroads.
We have talked about big storms and blizzards.
Last week of January 2015 a blizzard was forecast for New York City. Guess what? It sort of turned into a non-event.

  • How much snow fell vs. how much was forecast

  • A look at some snowfall totals across the Northeast as of Wednesday after a massive winter storm and the National Weather Service’s forecast snow totals as of Monday night:
As New York City braced for a blizzard forecasters say could be historic, some residents are looking back to the one that historians say changed the city forever. Blizzard of 1888: How 1 storm changed New York City forever.
But “Old Man Winter” hit the country elsewhere. The  storm New York expected, went into New England.  Elsewhere, in Chicago, passengers shivered as

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I Am Nothing

Yellingrosa's Weblog

I am a relatively old man
And I am nothing even
If I were Picasso or Shakespeare.
Only those who are about to come
Are something and then nothing
When they are on earth
But those who will come next.
I don’t mind if I am disliked by
Other people because I tell the
Truth as long as I can
Hope that one soul in this world
Will hear what I have said
And speak the way I did
At the evening of life:
People are stupid
When they are smart
Because they forget
To love and hand over
And keep places clean.

Every generation must muzzle
The egoism and egoists
Or the cock of honor won’t
Sing for them and they will be
Despised long after their death.
Every spoiled cornfield
And murdered nation are
On their shoulder and their
Children will be hated
Till the third generation.
Everything…

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Here you go railfans. Although the Harlem Division to Hudson line was severed, Part Is Still In Operation

PenneyVanderbilt

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Junction of old Harlem Division branch and Hudson Division in Hudson, NY

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Destination of the “Grain Train” just a few miles from Hudson

Here you go. Note that although the Harlem Division to Hudson line was severed in 1959, and operated from Hudson, it was still a B&A or Harlem Div. crew that drove to Hudson to work the line due to union agreements.

Hudson and Boston Railroad was a railroad that spanned across Southern and Central Columbia County, New York. It was chartered in 1855, acquired by the Boston and Albany Railroad in 1870, only to face its gradual demise beginning in 1959. Despite its name, it never actually reached Boston, but it did serve as an important connecting line for the Boston and Albany Railroad, which converted it into the B&A Hudson Branch upon acquisition. The line formed a cutoff between the New York Central and…

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This letter.

TheOpenWindow

Honey,
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before,
I was so, so scared.
Scared of the fact that after I’ll go,
You’ll fall away like a loose thread.

I am sorry, for I won’t be there
To wake you up for school on time.
Or to prepare your lunch,
And drop you off at exact half past nine.

I won’t be able to ruffle your hair
And urge you to go on dates.
Tell you to be home by eight,
You’ll be grounded if you’ll be late.

You have no idea how much I want to
Be your rock during a fall out,
To hug you everyday and
Tell you that you’ve made so proud.

Only I know how much it hurts to think
That at times you’ll feel betrayed.
As if I stranded you intentionally.
But how I wish my fate I could change.

I want to go on…

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Second Avenue Subway: A Great Collection of Construction Photos

KCJones

The Second Avenue subway line currently under construction in New York City is one of the largest infrastructure projects under way in the United States.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) information,

The Second Avenue Subway will be New York City’s first major expansion of the subway system in over 50 years. When fully completed, the line will stretch 8.5 miles along the length of Manhattan’s East Side, from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan. In addition, a track connection to the existing 63rd Street and Broadway Lines, will allow a second subway line to provide direct service from East Harlem and the Upper East Side to West Midtown via the Broadway express tracks.

In all, 16 new stations will be built, serving communities in Harlem, the Upper East Side, East Midtown, Gramercy Park, East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Lower Manhattan…

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A sugary fruit with Lord’s name- Ramphal

My Life

While travelling in Maharashtra, I was amazed to see a fruit called ‘Ramphal’ while we were in the verge  of exploring Daulatabad fort, Aurangabad. Since I never heard of it. I was bit curious to know more about it. So I flooded that vendor with many questions related to this fruit.
Me: “what is this fruit?”
Vendor:“Sir  ji this is Ramphal. Don’t you know?”
Me: “What is the main season for ramphal ?”
Vendor:“during March – May”
Me:“How does it taste?”
Vendor:“It is sweet just like Sitaphal (Custard Apple). You should taste it and know it by yourselves.”
Me: “How to differentiate between ripe and unripe fruit?”
Vendor:“If the fruit is pale green or hard to touch and have shiny green skin then it is in unripe state. The  ripe fruits are heavy and soft to touch. The ripe fruits are very sweet.”Ramaphal Annona  reticulata (2)
Since we’ve…

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Wheels On Steel AND The Driving Boom Is Over

Conventional rail looks as if it has won the battle to provide the US with a high speed train service.

The Central Japan Railway Company is bidding for a contract to provide a Maglev – ultra high speed – service initially between Baltimore and Washington DC.

Ultimately it would like to see the 311 mph trains –which float above a single magnetic rail – ply between New York and Washington.

But thus far the Department of Transportation and Amtrak, which runs existing services on the route, remains sceptical despite hints that the Japanese Government will put up some of the money.

In the north east corridor, the line between Boston and Washington, the Americans have gone for conventional 220 mph trains, which will be good news for manufacturers like Siemens, which has already picked up a slice of the high speed market in America.

An announcement on who has won that contract will be made next year.

Siemens, the German manufacturer, has already picked up the contract build locomotives for the Illinois service, with the engines being built in Sacramento, California.

Nippon Sharyo has won the contract to build the passenger cars, with construction taking place in Illinois.

In California, the high speed rail authority has asked train manufacturers to express an interest in the work.

It has specified that it wants trains capable of running at more than 200 mph.

This has already attracted approaches from 10 companies including two from China, CSR, the country’s top locomotive maker and Tangshan Railway.

The Chinese have been carrying out extensive safety reviews following one of the worst accidents in the history of high speed rail, when 40 people were killed at Wenzhou in July 2011.

DrivingBoomIsOver

The Federal Highway Administration has very quietly acknowledged that the driving boom is over.

After many years of aggressively and inaccurately claiming that Americans would likely begin a new era of rapid driving growth, the agency’s more recent forecast finally recognizes that the protracted post-World War II era has given way to a different paradigm.

The new vision of the future suggests that driving per capita will essentially remain flat in the future. The benchmark is important because excessively high estimates of future driving volume get used to justify wasteful spending on new and wider highways. In the face of scarce transportation funds, overestimates of future driving translate into too little attention paid to repairing the roads we already have and too little investment in other modes of travel.

The forecast is a big step forward from the FHWA’s past record of chronically aggressive driving forecasts. Most recently, in February 2014 the U.S. DOT released its 2013 “Conditions and Performance Report” to Congress, which estimated that total vehicle miles (VMT) will increase between 1.36 percent to 1.85 percent each year through 2030. This raised some eyebrows because total annual VMT hasn’t increased by even as much as 1 percent in any year since 2004.

Comparing the 20-year estimates of the “Conditions and Performance Report” issued at the beginning of 2014 to the new 20-year estimates shows the agency has cut its forecasted growth rate by between 24 percent to 44 percent.

The new report’s 30-year estimates predict even less rapid growth in driving, forecasting that total driving miles will increase only 0.75 percent annually from 2012 to 2042. With population growth estimated to average 0.7 percent each year, this leaves per-person driving miles essentially flat. “This represents a significant slowdown from the growth in total VMT experienced over the past 30 years, which averaged 2.08% annually,” says the report.

The expectation of VMT growth hinges on the expectation of rapid growth in freight travel. When looking only at cars and pickup trucks, as opposed to larger vehicles, the agency’s baseline expectation is for total driving miles to grow only 0.67 percent annually – slower than the projected population growth rate over 30 years. If so, then the average number of miles Americans travel in their commutes, taking recreational trips and running errands by car would stagnate in the decades ahead.

The study released by the Federal Highway Administration and finalized last May has not been publicized, and assumes that gas prices would decline significantly from their earlier peak.

The Smart State Transportation Initiative (with assistance from Frontier Group) reported earlier last year that the Department of Transportation had issued 61 driving forecasts in a row that overshot their mark. Until now, there had not been a major reconsideration of past methods, which have chiefly depended on aggregating forecasts issued by states that are seeking federal funding for highway expansion projects.

As a result of the decline in driving since 2004, Americans currently drive about half a trillion fewer miles per year than they would have if the post-War driving boom had continued. Some of the reduction in recent years may be due to possibilities afforded by new technology and the distinct preferences of the rising millennial generation — factors that are not included in any of the FHWA’s forecasts.

Some states, like Washington and Maryland, have begun to ratchet down their forecasts of future VMT.

Ideally, U.S. DOT would officially supplant its previous forecast and feature this important shift in press releases, blogs, speeches, and other communications. The shift should be a major focus of the department’s 30-year visioning process.

For U.S. DOT to embrace a future less dominated by driving, it first must recognize when change has occurred and that a different trajectory is possible. Quiet and incremental as the current changes may be, they represent a profound step in the right direction.

 

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