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Western Railroad Discussion > Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo


Date: 06/19/24 23:44
Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: funnelfan

The railroad industry is now trying to put it's own spin on the long train debate, and they are largely doing it with confusion. A new group has popped up on social media, the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure. They pretend to be some kind of independent group at first, but reading further you can pick up on the pro-long train spin that the class 1 railroads want. They are also trying to obfuscate some data that is bad for long trains with confusion. One chart that should alarm anyone with some recent historical knowledge of the industry is the number of accidents per million train miles. It was in steep decline until 2012 and then leveled off and started to rise. They pretend that the longer term trend is still downward, but they are not correlating that to actual history. Something like the fact that 2012 is about the time the Hunter Harrison mantra of Precision Scheduled Railroading was spreading after he took over management of CP in 2011 and Wall Street was demanding other railroads follow suit. Fewer but longer trains should have continued the downward trend, except the longer trains have more problems and apparently more accidents. Also keep in mind the number of coal trains was in steep decline during the period, so the number of accidents was really going up sharply when adjusted for the reduced number of trains.
Class 1 railroads and the AAR is really desperate to keep congress from imposing train length restrictions after the recent report came out showing how bad long trains can be. You can read the new AI&I report, but by design it's made confusing at first only to offer more clarity with a pro-long train spin later.

https://www.aii.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Evaluating-Train-Length.pdf

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/24 23:46 by funnelfan.



Date: 06/19/24 23:46
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: funnelfan

Here is the Alliance for Innovation & Infastructure video that doesn't go into much depth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXu_If_o2vw

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Date: 06/20/24 02:08
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: Drknow

An AAR spin doctor false flag? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

The AAR has done its job since at least 1971 at making the industry on par with Brigadoon in the zeitgeist of the American public.

All the bad press of the last decade has not gone down well with the owners; the Carrier’s will demand blood from AAR if things don’t improve for them.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/20/24 05:46
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: Lackawanna484

Trade associations are paid to run interference for the industry. Any industry.  Their political action committees work hand in glove with the PACs of corporate members. And make sure that "the message"  gets through.  Finding useful idiots (thanks, Lenin!) and sympathizers is key to that operation.

The trucking industry, many labor unions, gun rights groups, social media companies, etc all use third party endorsements to push their message. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/24 10:39 by Lackawanna484.



Date: 06/20/24 07:55
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: swaool

funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

"...the longer trains have more problems and apparently more accidents."

Especially when combined with increasing the workload on a reduced number of track inspectors and car inspectors.

mike woodruff
north platte ne



Date: 06/20/24 08:29
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: BAB

  Well I went to there web site Ted and seems everything is about longer trains in a round about way.  Thanks for the insite about them.



Date: 06/20/24 08:59
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: trainjunkie

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...baffle them with BS.



Date: 06/20/24 09:12
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: funnelfan

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you can't dazzle them with brilliance...baffle
> them with BS.

Yep, that seems to be the angle!

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Date: 06/20/24 10:40
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: jgilmore

Only read as far as this statement (1st or 2nd page), "longer trains are a key to solving some of the nation’s and the world’s largest problems," and felt like I was going to throw up in my mouth. Funny, but I suspect the vast majority of people nowadays would say the world has a lot more problems than it used to, that is when they used to run a lot more shorter trains. I guess lying is reaching new heights...

JG



Date: 06/20/24 13:47
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: Lackawanna484

Start with a conclusion. Then find or make up supporting documentation.

That's what they are paid to do

Posted from Android



Date: 06/20/24 13:52
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: ts1457

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Start with a conclusion. Then find or make up
> supporting documentation.
>
> That's what they are paid to do

I would have trouble looking at myself in a mirror.



Date: 06/22/24 19:17
Re: Long Trains - Industry Mumbo Jumbo
Author: cchan006

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would have trouble looking at myself in a
> mirror.

Your mistake is holding the lobby (the authors, and those funding this paper) to the same ethical standards as yours. They are below the Evil Queen (in Snow White) where she gets upset when the mirror says the truth. The sociopaths are immune to that. :-)

Finally, no accepted definition exists for when a train is “long” making any legislation or regulation that asserts a definitive definition potentially disruptive.

That's the classic "What is IS?" narrative, used by a politician caught in a scandal - attack the definition itself. So right there, they are already on the defensive, so they (subconsciously) know they are wrong. 

What is a long train? How about if they don't fit in most sidings? I say that's a pretty good definition. From my observation, Class I railroads tried not to make "no fitter" trains about 10-15 years ago, so while it cost more $$$$ to run extras (B, and C sections, and the crews to run them), they system seemed more fluid.

Currently, railroads are spending money to lengthen sidings and resuming some double-track projects. Another action that proves they know they are wrong. Yeah, nice to see them spend money on the physical plant instead of on stock buybacks.

I can buy the "fewer trains --> fewer accidents" argument. However, the safety improvements probably have more to do with the front line railroaders and better use of DPUs to minimize mechanial stresses on a given train, rather than the misdirecting argument of "See? longer trains are not dangerous."

The idiotic ratio happy people refuse to analyze rate of accidents/incidents on a per train basis. Instead, they obfuscate by comparing accidents to train length directly. WRONG. Discuss this data, and maybe they have more credibility. Just shows you they are either math stupid (don't even know how to use Operating Ratio), or they are more evil than the Evil Queen.

So don't have trouble looking at yourself in the mirror. Mock these losers.



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