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  1. Ziv

    Sumitomo/Siemens Contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

    Mike, I agree to a certain extent, but I also realize that appearance matters. If the train looks like a hodge-podge collection of paint jobs, it doesn't look professional or appealing. Some of us are like, "Just get me from point A to point B!" But a lot of people care about the appearance of...
  2. Ziv

    Boeing officially ending 747 production

    My experience was that you could see about 10 or 12 degrees further forward/down the runway than you could on a regular airliner window. I couldn't see the far end of the runway, but I could see further forward than you could in a standard window. It wasn't earthshaking but it was kind of cool...
  3. Ziv

    Boeing officially ending 747 production

    Sometimes the 747 was both cargo and passenger. I used to ride Eva Air out of Bangkok and Tokyo and the 747 we rode on was only passenger from seat 22 (?) forward. Everything behind seat 22 was walled off and was cargo pallets, or so it appeared from the tractors that were loading the aircraft...
  4. Ziv

    Boeing officially ending 747 production

    My Aunt worked in the HR department of Boeing back in the 1960's. She said it was heart breaking to give nearly every employee severance notice in 1968 as Boeing sufferered through the lean years after they bet the farm on the 747 and before the first orders started to deliver. There was a...
  5. Ziv

    Amtrak’s Flynn on impact of COVID-19

    This video reinforces the concern I have about Amtrak weathering this storm. The cleaning protocol is a good thing, and I hope that this means that the LD services are seeing the bathrooms getting cleaned more frequently while enroute than they use to see. But even after we beat this bug there...
  6. Ziv

    Restore Passenger Service to Southern Montana?

    I wonder why Billings didn't get in there. Hard to believe that both the city manager and a substantial portion of the population wouldn't be supporting this.
  7. Ziv

    Electric Cars

    Rivian is the better looking vehicle, by far. And 5.5 tons of towing capacity is nothing to sneeze at. But Tesla is the more accomplished vehicle manufacturer at this point. I can see choosing either one. I hope to see both on the road soon.
  8. Ziv

    Electric Cars

    ;-) I see a CyberTruck in your future! LOL!
  9. Ziv

    Electric Cars

    The price of an electric vehicle has in large part been driven by the cell price of the battery. In the 2008 to 2010 timeframe the cell price apparently dropped from $1,100 to $1,000 per kWh. Most plug in cars will give you about 3.3 to 4.0 miles per kWh at highway speeds so you either needed...
  10. Ziv

    Electric Cars

    I have had a 2013 Chevy Volt for 7 years and really like it. I get 40-44 miles of all electric range in the summer, then the onboard gas genset kicks in and I get around 38 mpg and can drive all day on the gas genset. When the temperature is below freezing I get around 28-30 miles of AER before...
  11. Ziv

    Daily service (maybe)

    Could someone parse this a bit for me? I am glad Amtrak is getting attention at that level, but is $26Bn a bit of overkill? Or is this just setting a marker up high because they know it will be whittled down? "The so-called “emergency title,” Title V, makes $26 billion in additional money...
  12. Ziv

    Parallel vs perpendicular sleeper berths?

    It also allows you to see down the road at what is coming if you can see out the window. That is luxury! I prefer to sit seated looking forward too. But for sleeping, just knowing that in the very unlikely circumstance of a VERY sudden stop occurring my feet would hit the bulkhead first makes...
  13. Ziv

    Parallel vs perpendicular sleeper berths?

    I like both. I slept well on the soft sleeper in China and on the Trans-Sib where the beds were thwartship, and I slept nearly as well in a roomette in a Superliner where I was sleeping fore and aft. For me, the sound of the train is enough to make me sleep soundly regardless of which direction...
  14. Ziv

    Cross country travel: are there any quarantines affecting train travel

    The ironic thing is that outside of the Pacific coast states, most of the cases in the US are most closely related to the variant of the Covid that hit New York/New Jersey. So the people that are getting sick in Florida and Arizona are most likely getting it from people that got it in the...
  15. Ziv

    about the black bear at SPUD

    Well that might be what xi said, but I think the x should be pronounced like it is in Xi. ;-) I really need to work on my sense of humor...
  16. Ziv

    about the black bear at SPUD

    :) This reminds me of the person who called a Minnesota (?) radio station to complain about the state putting deer crossing signs in areas that were unsafe for the deer to cross. She seemed to think that the deer were actually following state instruction to cross near the deer crossing signs...
  17. Ziv

    Way to cut down losses on long distance trains

    Overnight city pairs are a huge market overseas. Here, not so much. One of my favorites is Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Simply a phenomenal trip and now that they have the new sleeper cars it may be even better. I have to try them and see! Kunming to Beijing is another great overnight trip with a wide...
  18. Ziv

    about the black bear at SPUD

    I hear you about how jarring it is to hear coyotes, but the one that actually woke me up was when I heard a wolf howl in south central Montana. I was asleep with the window open for fresh air and I woke up around 3 in the morning and couldn't figure out why I woke up so abruptly. Then the wolf...
  19. Ziv

    about the black bear at SPUD

    I used to travel to see Scarface in North Yellowstone. Got a great shot of him when he was in his prime. Sadly, a younger male grizzly took his territory a few years ago and Scarface was shot in Gardner when he was raiding a garbage can and surprised a home owner. How the mighty have fallen!
  20. Ziv

    about the black bear at SPUD

    Bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, they all seem to be moving back into areas that for generations have seen few of them. Last month we saw a black bear in West Arlington/East Falls Church which is the first time in over 50 years, apparently. You see them outside the Beltway, but very seldom...
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