The Wall Street Journal profiles rich "train buffs" who buy vintage Gilded Age railcars and refurbish them, then pay to have them hitched to Amtrak trains and pulled between their city houses and their country places.
They worry that the practice may be coming to an end, as Amtrak has tired of dealing with wild, out-of-control parties on the private cars, and new Positive Train Control safety rules (bitterly fought by Dan Lipinski, the hereditary Illinois congressman who coincidentally happens to be a major beneficiary of rail industry campaign contributions) will trigger expensive retrofits.
There's a certain symmetry at work here: just as broke kids and crustypunks are reviving the Depression-era art of riding the rails without permission, hopping freighters and crisscrossing the country that has declared them to be economically surplus, the wealthy are reviving the glory days of private rail cars.
It's an admittedly more stylish and original way to dispose of your wealth than buying a muscle car or a McMansion, for what it's worth.
“Things are very grim,” says Bennett Levin, who owns the Pennsylvania 120, which carried Robert Kennedy’s body to Washington, D.C., for burial at Arlington National Cemetery in 1968 and which Mr. Levin spent about $1 million to restore, following original engineering drawings. He has hosted Pennsylvania transportation-committee representatives aboard his cars to show them the importance of supporting state-funded Amtrak routes. At the very least, if states are on board, private railcar owners could still travel within their own states.
Train Buffs Are Traveling Cross-Country in Super Luxe Railcars Hitched to Amtrak Trains [Nancy Keates/Wall Street Journal]
(via Naked Capitalism)
Thomas Piketty, the French economist behind 2014's game-changing Capital in the 21st Century, has a new book, Capital and Ideology (out in France now, coming in English in 2020), which uses the same long-run economic series that Capital 21C benefited from to understand the relationship between wealth and ideology. Central to Piketty's thesis: that it's […]
AB5 is about to pass the California legislature: it forces companies like Lyft and Uber to comply with the longstanding Dynamex decision and treat their employees as employees.
The NCAA is notionally an "amateur" league, but the only thing amateur about it is that the athletes (who risk their health and even their lives) are unpaid, while the universities effectively own and operate wildly profitable pro sports teams.
Breaking into the big leagues as a project manager isn’t done overnight, but there are principles that anyone can learn, and they’re applicable to nearly any business. No matter what your field, if there are multiple teams working toward a common goal, you’re going to need a roadmap. The Project Management Professional Certification Training Suite […]
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]