The latest edition of Steel Wheels for the final quarter of 2016 is available for viewing and download.
May 21, 1925 – December 4, 2016
On Sunday, December 4, Arthur Lloyd left this world with dignity and grace, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and caregivers in the living room of his home in Menlo Park. He was a powerful presence in our lives even as a series of strokes diminished his ability to move around and communicate. To the end, he expressed love for his family and gratitude for his care.
A sixth-generation Californian, Arthur was born and raised in San Francisco. When Arthur was about to start his sophomore year at the newly-opened Lincoln High School, his father moved his dental practice from downtown San Francisco to Napa. Dismayed by life in what was then a sleepy small town, Arthur accelerated his high school career by taking courses at the local community college, allowing him to matriculate at U.C. Berkeley in 1942, at the age of 17. Not long after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Fort Benning, GA, for basic training, and then to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he served in the Medical Corps until the war ended in 1945.
Here it is the first of September, 2016, and a new Amtrak era begins at the top of the ladder. Wick Moorman, 64, until last year the CEO of the Norfolk Southern Railway and a 40 year career there, has taken the reins of the leaderless horse called Amtrak and been given a list of incentives that he can earn. The Amtrak Board of Directors will pay Moorman $1 a year, and if he accomplishes that list of incentives he can earn up to $500,000. Isn’t it interesting that as of this date no one has reported what is on that list? We can only guess, and as everyone reading this knows, rail advocates are quick with lists of their own as to what should be on it.
Dear Passenger Rail Supporter:
RailPAC has endeavored over the past thirty eight years to advocate investment in and the greater use of passenger in California, Nevada and the west. The campaign continues with publications, online news briefings, visits to Sacramento and DC, and with local officials. We believe that we have made a difference, and we continue to do so.
Let’s start with the ugly status of the Dining car removal from the Silver Star train, since it’s the hottest news. On January 28, just as this is being written, URPA learned that Amtrak employees were told the day before that the Star’s dining car is PERMANENTLY gone. As predicted here since this “experiment” was first announced last summer, there was no doubt it was going to be a permanent discontinuance.
Here we are, Christmastime 2015, and lo and behold the Amtrak long distance trains continue to roll and to some extent thrive despite the negative publicity that they are “money losers.” In recent posts this writer has talked about the positives that are being accomplished on the Coast Starlight, and the opposite effects that are creating heartburn on other trains like the east coast Silver Star which has lost its dining car. In this article we will look at the other western routes that operate in and out of Los Angeles headed east, and what the imminent retirement of CEO Joe Boardman can bring to the future.