Cover Photo Decision; A Minor Political Miracle; Better Eats Coming.

My thanks to the 24 of you who took the time and went to the trouble of emailing me with your views on the proposed cover shot for the 4thedition of All Aboard. I would guess it will come as no surprise that the winter scene garnered a grand total of one vote, It came from a reader in Utah who said he would be fine with whichever one was ultimately selected, but since he’s a skier, said he “leans” to the winter scene. The rest of the votes were solidly on the side of a ”beauty shot” … although my wife snorts at the thought that such a term could apply to two massive locomotives generating more than 9,000 horsepower.  Be that as it may, the search continues and I will share the results with all of you once a final decision is made.
In the meantime, reminding us once again that miracles do occur from time to time, even in the jaded and cynical world of politics, one of Amtrak’s more consistent antagonists in the U.S. Congress, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, has actually come out publically in support of extending the route of Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer beyond Oklahoma City an additional 160 miles to Wichita, Kansas, where it would connect to the Southwest Chief.  Much of the credit for Inhofe’s change of heart goes to National Association of Railroad Passengers member (NARP) Gary Lanman, who has been working with the senator and his staff on this issue, pointing out the significant economic advantages and benefits.

Meanwhile, back east in New York City, the big real estate investment firm, Vornado Realty Trust that owns a big portion of Penn Station, has announced that all the fast food restaurants in their areas are going to be out. Presumably, there will be improvements and a higher class of dining options will emerge in place of KFC and Pizza Hut and a number of other establishments  described as “grab-and-go eateries”.  Do you get the idea that nobody has really cared about Penn Station for a long time? Well, here’s a clue: All the tenants being kicked out are operated by the Riese Corporation, which has held the leases for those restaurants in Penn Station for 42 years!