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Don Oltmann
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Cairns

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Cairns
Cairns. The Australians pronounce it "Cans".  Wonder how they pronounce "cans." That's just plain wrong, but it's their city... Cairns is a tourist town known best for it's Great Barrier Reef business.  There are dozens of charter companies that operate exc...

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Mebourne!

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Melbourne
On to Melbourne! But, first?  How to get there?  Fly?  You could...it's a couple hours, but you wouldn't see a thing.  What's between Sydney and Melbourne?   Drive?  You could.  It's 500+ miles between the two cities.  That's a lot of time behind the wheel ...

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Sydney

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"Second World Amtrak" - or "Not-quite-the-Blue Train"
My daughter took a year long job in Cape Town South Africa.  We went to visit her last March and April - a four week long trip.  One of the nice things about being retired is not having to worry about "saving vacation days"! Cape Town with Table Mountain as...

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Pulling the Pin
"Pulling the pin" is a railroad term that means to uncouple. It's an ancient term going back to the beginnings of railroading. Early couplers were simple.  The first standard was a link that was held to each car with a pin held in place by gravity.  Some ni...

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My view from the cheap seats....
I started working at Conrail in 1978.  I'm retiring from Norfolk Southern this year.  I've basically been a staff grunt the whole time working in Mechanical, Intermodal and Transportation Planning, in that order. It was a time of great change in the industr...

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"The Password is ....triad"
If you are as old as I am, you might remember the game show "Password", where celebrities and guest would pair off and try to guess the secret word. They played "Password" on last night's debate.  The result was amazing....italics are mine.  The rest is pur...

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Parallel Universe
What if... Back in 1996, NS had not fought the CSX/Conrail merger, but, instead, extracted a pound of flesh during the STB approval process. Let's assume that "pound of flesh" was intended to dilute the Conrail stronghold on NY/NJ. Let's assume: 1. NS gets ...
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