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Three pillars of a sustainable career

While technology is driving the new era of railroading, the need for a rock-solid foundation is paramount. The foundation of the railroad industry is training. Just like the Roman Pantheon, an ancient building with a solid foundation and large round pillars that support the stone roof, the pillars of empowerment, compensation and technology must hold up the “roof” of railroading goals that support the desired outcomes like car-count, safety and velocity.

Let me off this plane—no, train

I am a frequent flier. Since very few commercial airliners crash, I naturally assume that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines themselves are doing everything possible to ensure that flight crews are medically fit to fly commercial airplanes.

Taking technology to the next level

A few weeks ago, the Federal Rail Administration asked for input from the rail industry and the public about the role automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can play in rail. It is a sign that FRA recognizes the rail industry will need to leverage technology to safely and efficiently transport more freight and passengers by rail in the coming decades across the U.S.

Getting there is half the fun

Almost 20 years ago, there was a good solution which Amtrak experimented with to make its dining cars on long distance trains perform better financially: It was the 24-hour dining car on the Sunset Limited. This was accompanied by an onboard promotion of “When You’re Hungry, You’re Hungry” and promotional materials were placed in every coach seatback and sleeping car accommodation.

Automobiles, planes, and—oh yes—trains

Passenger trains don’t operate in a vacuum. They compete for business against air and motor vehicles. The results of the competition are reflected in, and measured by, their respective market share. Automobiles win the competition for the great majority of intercity travel, even in the highest-density corridors.