Finding the Right Track!

Everyone remembers growing up with their first electric train.  That first big black engined “O” Gauge.  It came in this huge box and it had sections of track you put together.  You got curved, straight and sometimes even a cross section.  You usually got an Engine, two cattle cars and a Caboose!  When you plugged it in and placed the engine on the track, the smell was amazing.  Something like “burnt umber #2”.  You can’t explain that smell but you will always remember it.  It was probably incredibly harmful, but who knew?  The Transformer was big, heavy and stinky too!  You moved the lever to the right and the train moved.  Father to the right, the faster it went.  Sometimes too fast and the engine would then fly off the track, in the curve!

As the years went by, all those accessories for our “O” Gauge started to acculmulate and Mom was having a tough time storing all those baby trees, bus signs and Truck Stops with lights.  The wonderful Crossing Rail that raised and lowered as the train went by – with all those flashing  lights was probably our prize.  If you didn’t keep everything very clean and oiled up, pretty soon those engine wheels started slipping.  Sometime to the point that the train would be going along and then suddenly just stop.  Every time you had to pick up the engine and reset it – Mom would check to make sure you were not going to be electrocuted.  You couldn’t just put those tracks on shiny hardwood floors either – because as the train ran around the track sections would start to slip and the track came apart.  Crash!!

Then came “HO Gauge”.  What was that?  Hmmm, “HO” was a smaller scale train with better definition to everything.  It was seemed less cartoon like – than the “O Gauge”.  It was akin to going from VHS to CD’s!  The “O Gauge” stuff was still great, but clunky compared to the “HO”.  Moms thought the “HO Gauge” was better because it could stored it in a smaller space.  However, when we asked our Mom to maybe think about getting us an “HO Gauge” system….she balked!  “You already have an electric train!”…she screamed!   Actually by that time – we had three complete sets of “O Gauge”!

Today, California is faced with its biggest deficit in History.  $34 Billion endemic annual shortfall and perhaps half a trillion dollars more in unfunded Pension and Retirement requirements.  In the middle of all of this is the funding of a National High Speed Rail Project.  California, should it wish to participate in this great step into the future…..that would put us on par with the like of Toyko, Shanghai and the European Union…will have to bite the bullet and start thinking about moving literally away from our old “O Gauge” type rail systems into an “HO Gauge” Global Standard.  The estimate for the number of jobs created is still being assessed!

Recently, Art Leahy, the resident self determined Transportation Guru  suggested using existing track for use by any new High Speed Rail System..from Anaheim to Los Angeles.   In our opinion, Leahly has been smoking the wrong type of nicotine product.  Or at least one that terribly blurrs the vision!

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-train5-2010apr05,0,1012823.story

Not only are the Gauge Materials different for High Speed Rail, but so are the many stresses.  The flex alone on a train moving at 55 MPH versus one traveling at 120 MPH are astronomical.  The daily wear and tear alone is cause for not only safety concerns but for the outright legally irresponsible behavior and cupability incurred by any deaths. accidents  or property damage that may be forthcoming – due to such a choice by any Transportation Department, State Agency or Bureaucrat! 

The reality is:  There are NO cheap dates!  The cost of things are going up, not down.  Call a Plumber and find out – just how much.  Call an Electrician and ask them!  If you want to try and fix it yourself…we advise that you get professional help or you may wind up either flooded and up to your knees in sewage or being lit up like a light bulb while working on your electricity by yourself.

“A man’s got to know his limitations…” said Dirty Harry.  In this case Art Leahy seems to be talking when he should have been listening.  Saving $2 Billion dollars by being a cheapskate is one thing.  Putting lives in danger in the process – hardly worth it.  If Leahy wants to save the State of California some money he can donate his annual salary back to the General Fund.

We support the National High Speed Rail Program and System.  What we need to do – is do it right by all International Standards.  Do it with equipment that is currently available and been proven dependeable and successful even in Dubai!  The United States needs to get with the program when it come to Transportation.  We need High Speed Rail Hubs that can connect us directly to Airports and Ground Transportation Centers.  We need safe and dependable equipment to get us to our destinations safely. 

Mom, finally told us when we were 12, that she had given away our “O Gauge” Electric trains – we had three, to the young neighbor kids.  After a few tears, we went over to our cousins house…and played with the “HO Gauge” elecric trains they had!  It was fun playing with the equipment and not spending hours putting up all the fake trees and bushes!  You would pick up those Engines and Caboose and marvel at the  incredible detail.  Mom loved it that we didn’t have to mess up or occupy the living room floor at Christmas anymore!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.