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jis

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Most of my career involved lots of TDY (temporary duty) travel. It didn't usually bother me, because

1) I got out of the office and got to (sort of) be my own boss, yet I still got paid, and also had my expenses paid,
2) The work things I did on travel were much more interesting than going to meetings, writing memos, and doing other paperwork (including making travel authorization requests and travel expense claims),
3) I got to see a number of interesting places, often in a lot more depth than if I had visited as a tourist.

That said, I could do without the trips that involved, say, flying somewhere, having a meeting at the airport, and flying right home.
All of that were generally true for me too. I have done exactly two trips in 40 years which were same day out and back for a meeting.

My usual trips were a week long or longer. Typically shortest were something like three days.
 

Devil's Advocate

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As far as it versus face to face meetings, I think that once it becomes the "new normal", it will be just as effective, and maybe better, because less meetings might have to be canceled due to personal issues of one kind or another.
A Torx may be "just as effective" as a Phillips but that doesn't mean you should simply replace one with the other.

Those that lament the days of getting away for food and travel at the Company expense will just have to get over it... Just like they did for the "three martini power lunch"...
If anything the move to telecommuting has probably helped bring the three martini lunch back into vogue again.

I could do without the trips that involved, say, flying somewhere, having a meeting at the airport, and flying right home.
I don't mind flying out and back in the same day, in fact that's the perfect business trip for me, it's the weird purgatory existence of waking up in some cookie cutter room on the edge of a town you'd otherwise never visit that bugs me.

 
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jis

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Looking back to my trips, it occurs to me that a preponderance of them had to do with either an architecture team meeting or a standards committee meeting. In both cases it was, in addition to the working sessions, a get together with friends and acquaintances every so often. It in effect became more of a community thing. I think that is what made the trips more tolerable than if they were merely staying boxed in a cookie cutter room at the edge of town.

Actually the work trips to London and Paris (when for a period we were active participants in a European Commission project) which happened frequently through the '90s were just the opposite in terms of lodging arrangements. Typically the hotels that I stayed in were closer to center city trading in creature comfort a bit for getting reasonable rates. I seemed to have used a fixed set of low/mid price hotels both in London and Paris near the city center recommended by the locals, and I commuted out to the sticks where the offices were located. I was a heavy user of local commuter passes on the transit system which is excellent in those two cities.
 

Andrew

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If new trans-hudson tunnels were built to a location other than Penn Station, how would that help Amtrak deal with service disruptions, such as a stalled train, near Penn Station?
 

PVD

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Some of the NJT traffic which is considerable could be temporarily rerouted which would make single tube ops less awful. Not great, but better than what it is now.
 

Andrew

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If new trans-hudson tunnels were built to another location (instead of Penn Station), where would have been the best place to put them?
 

railiner

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If new trans-hudson tunnels were built to another location (instead of Penn Station), where would have been the best place to put them?
My first choice would be the World Trade Center area...with a new East River Tunnel to connect to the Brooklyn LIRR line.
Other possible locations might be around Columbus Circle...
 

Andrew

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interesting but what would be your thoughts on tunneling from Hoboken Terminal to Houston street or 14th street in Manhattan instead?
My first choice would be the World Trade Center area...with a new East River Tunnel to connect to the Brooklyn LIRR line.
Other possible locations might be around Columbus Circle...
 

railiner

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interesting but what would be your thoughts on tunneling from Hoboken Terminal to Houston street or 14th street in Manhattan instead?
Where would the terminal be? What is in that area, as an attraction for passenger's, or what transit connections exist?
 

railiner

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Well, the 14th St./Union Square subway station is a major subway junction.
That would be a long way along 14th Street from the Hudson. The 'L' subway line already runs along it, as far as the 8th Avenue Station, where it meets the A, C, and E lines. There isn't very much around 14th and 8th as a 'destination'.....
 

jis

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Any new cross Manhattan tunnel will have to be deep tube, possibly at a level lower than the water tunnels. They will not interfere with anything that already exists, except at the one or two stations where the elevator and escalator shafts will have to be positioned so as to not run into anything major that cannot be relocated as they rise to ground level through the subsurface jumble of stuff.
 

Andrew

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That would be a long way along 14th Street from the Hudson. The 'L' subway line already runs along it, as far as the 8th Avenue Station, where it meets the A, C, and E lines. There isn't very much around 14th and 8th as a 'destination'.....
Which neighborhood do you think new trans-hudson tunnels should have been bores to?
 
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Where would the terminal be? What is in that area, as an attraction for passenger's, or what transit connections exist?
This group called "Real Transit" developed a proposal years ago for extending NJT from Hoboken across the river to a terminal at 14th St and 11th Ave in Manhattan. The proposal would extend the 7 south from 34th St and the L west from 8th Avenue to the proposed spot. Pretty straightforward. Here's a link to their website.

Another interesting development: Last week, the New York Daily News editorial board came out against Penn South:

Instead of Penn South, NJTransit’s pricey stub-end station, Cuomo must pursue a more visionary, cheaper option: Lengthen Penn’s Tracks 1-4 to Moynihan and dig a direct connection to Grand Central, realizing a century-old dream while expanding Penn’s capacity. Then all New Yorkers, from Westchester, Long Island and Rockland/Orange (and NJT) could access both Penn and Grand Central. Everyone can go everywhere.
Not that I think this will make much difference, but it's certainly nice to see one of the prominent papers endorse it.
 

Ziv

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OK, that comment just begs for a threadjack...
What were your favorites for low/mid level hotels in London and Paris? I will trade you my favorite Naxos and Athens hotels.
Athens it is Hotel Attalos, a tiny little hole in the wall place 200 m. from Monastiraki Metro, just $100US or so. Elevators are so small that if you are wearing a backpack only you can fit in them. But the rooms are completely renovated and the back ones have beautiful balconies over looking the city.
In Naxos it is the Hotel Coronis, overlooking the marina, the Aegean plus the church, which has a beautiful carillon that plays on Sunday mornings. And the nearby Cafe Bossa has an outstanding deal for cappuccino and croissants in the morning, just 4 Euros. I want to say that the hotel was $65US, so it is basic but nice. The upper level corner rooms are very much worth asking for.
Sorry, I take travel seriously and hearing that Jis had favorites in two of the great cities made me ask.
;-)
I hate to say it, but I think travel is what I have missed most these past 10 months.

...

Actually the work trips to London and Paris (when for a period we were active participants in a European Commission project) which happened frequently through the '90s were just the opposite in terms of lodging arrangements. Typically the hotels that I stayed in were closer to center city trading in creature comfort a bit for getting reasonable rates. I seemed to have used a fixed set of low/mid price hotels both in London and Paris near the city center recommended by the locals, and I commuted out to the sticks where the offices were located. I was a heavy user of local commuter passes on the transit system which is excellent in those two cities.
 
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jis

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Andrew

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This group called "Real Transit" developed a proposal years ago for extending NJT from Hoboken across the river to a terminal at 14th St and 11th Ave in Manhattan. The proposal would extend the 7 south from 34th St and the L west from 8th Avenue to the proposed spot. Pretty straightforward. Here's a link to their website.

Another interesting development: Last week, the New York Daily News editorial board came out against Penn South:



Not that I think this will make much difference, but it's certainly nice to see one of the prominent papers endorse it.
Instead of extending the 7 train South, why not just connect the new NJ Transit tunnels from Hoboken to 14th street and 8th Avenue, where connections can be made to the A, C, E and L subways?
 

railiner

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I had always thought that instead of the current East Side Access plan soon to be completed, via the new 63rd Street Tunnel, they should have built a junction with the old East River Tunnels, accessible from both directions to a new line under Madison Avenue up to Grand Central, with a connection to the existing MN tracks.... Think of all the possibilities that would have allowed....
 

Palmetto

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I like that idea, but isn't digging under Manhattan a pain in the you-know-where with all the utility pipes and cables?
 

joelkfla

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I had always thought that instead of the current East Side Access plan soon to be completed, via the new 63rd Street Tunnel, they should have built a junction with the old East River Tunnels, accessible from both directions to a new line under Madison Avenue up to Grand Central, with a connection to the existing MN tracks.... Think of all the possibilities that would have allowed....
But no increase in capacity under the river.
 

PVD

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Well, the 63rd st tunnel isn't new, construction started in 1969. The original concept was a new East Side Terminal, link to the full 2nd Ave Subway. That concept was abandoned years ago, the tunnel was there but not used until the subway was connected, and the LIRR deck is still pending ESA.
 

John Bobinyec

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I had always thought that instead of the current East Side Access plan soon to be completed, via the new 63rd Street Tunnel, they should have built a junction with the old East River Tunnels, accessible from both directions to a new line under Madison Avenue up to Grand Central, with a connection to the existing MN tracks.... Think of all the possibilities that would have allowed....
I've been told that the Lexington Avenue subway line was in the way, so they didn't do that.

jb
 

jis

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I've been told that the Lexington Avenue subway line was in the way, so they didn't do that.

jb
There are two things getting confounded...

1. There was the ARC Alternative G, which was to build a new pair of tunnels to connect the low number tracks of Penn Station into the lower level of Grand Central Terminal. This was considered to be prohibitively expensive and required moving at least one of the tunnels of the Lexington Avenue Subway. MTA kiboshed it saying "no way, no how". Additional problem was that now one had thought through the traffic flow issue if you inserted a pile of trains from Penn station into the already messy situation at Grand Central.

2. What @railner is proposing is different, and I am almost certain is not buildable without rebuilding the East River tunnels themselves on a different alignment. And that has less than zero chance of being taken seriously by anyone. And again, no one has thought through the traffic flow issues that ensue. It is almost certain that MTA will kibosh this idea on traffic flow issues even if people could come up with the $10 billion or something like that needed to build it after disrupting eastbound traffic, including access to Sunnyside Yard from Penn Station for years, while the tunnels are realigned.
 
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