Rail industry stops technology to prevent derailments
By Robert J. Ahern
The screech of a train derailment shattered the silence in the woods near New Unionville, Ind., last October. Fourteen cars filled with coal, weighing 140 tons each, went off the rails, another victim of a failed wheel bearing. Two years earlier, failed bearings caused a much larger accident near Portland, Ore. Derailed freight cars shredded 2 ½ miles of track before smashing into two parked fuel tankers carrying ethanol, which ignited and forced a community evacuation.
Failure of wheel bearings – the round, metal rods inside a railcar’s wheel assembly that help the wheels roll smoothly – are the nation’s third-largest cause of train derailments, according to a 2012 University of Illinois study. Only broken rails and track irregularities cause more accidents each year.
Rail travel, for both freight and passengers, is safer now than it has ever been. Yet problems persist. Bearing failure is one; accidental uncoupling is another. Innovative companies have devised solutions. Unfortunately, the railroad industry has been hostile to remedies that come from beyond its closed culture. This stonewalling puts American lives and freight at risk.
Companies such as Stage 8 Locking Fasteners of San Rafael, Calif., and Columbus Castings of Columbus, Ohio, have promising technologies and are hoping the federal government can help clear the way for them. Legislation is pending in Congress that would require the Federal Railroad Administration – the government agency that oversees the rail industry – to adopt and enforce mandatory safety standards that would ensure bearing failures, decoupling and other accidents do not happen. This would permit railroads to use any technology – from inside or outside the industry — that meets the standards.
In the strange case of Columbus Castings, the Ohio firm – a railroad industry outsider, despite being the nation’s largest steel foundry – created a product called the Z-Knuckle, which prevents accidental uncoupling.
The Z-Knuckle met the railroad industry’s newly created standard for such devices. But in an remarkable twist, because the Z-Knuckle was the only device that met the standard, the industry refused to authorize its use. Instead, it chose not to enforce its own standard.
Bearing failure caused 257 U.S. derailments between 2001 and 2010, with more than 1,700 cars skipping the tracks, the University of Illinois researchers found. This led to millions of dollars in lost freight, cleanup and track repair costs, not to mention the tragic loss of life. These derailments happen because the screws holding the bearing end caps — which maintain proper tension in the bearing — vibrate loose after thousands of miles of service.
The rail industry has tried for 50 years to devise a reliable screw-locking technology of its own, but to no avail. The best locking system the rail industry has been able to come up with still allows a failure rate of 23 percent, which means that nearly one out of every four wheel problems is caused by loosened screws.
In 2009, Stage 8 invented the Cap Screw Locking System designed to keep rail car wheel screws from vibrating loose. But then it ran into the rail-industry bureaucracy. All new products that companies want to market to the nation’s rail carriers must be approved by the American Association of Railroads (AAR), the freight rail industry’s powerful trade group.
The organization withheld approval for years, blocking the new product that would threaten the revenue stream of bearing-replacement suppliers.
Stage 8 continued to hack through the red tape until the AAR set up another hurdle: A field test intended to prove the device’s flaws. But after 150,000 miles of the AAR’s own testing on rail cars, the locking device showed no failures. It was a complete success.
In 2010, the railroad industry spent $223 million to repair and replace wheel sets because of screw loosening. The Stage 8 device would not only wipe out that expense, if it were installed on every freight car in the U.S. over a seven-year roll-out period, a reliable analysis shows that the rail industry would save nearly $1.1 billion.
Many companies have created groundbreaking solutions to problems that have dogged the railroad industry for years. Congress should act on their behalf – and on behalf of the railroads themselves and their many users – to help make America’s railroads safer. Passage of legislation would repair the railroad’s broken system.
Ahern is director and executive vice president of Stage 8 Locking Fasteners Inc.
Killing Mike Chieky: Silicon Valley Vc’s want total control of “Green Energy”, but only their version, so they “kill” off the outsiders!
The Verge published an article, today, by a writer who, his targets say, is “a hired character killer”. The article covers a prolific inventor who is painted as a “criminal” because he has invented “too many things”. The writer clearly set out to do a malicious hatchet job on the guy, including fake post-story blog comments by the same attackers. Let’s look at both sides of the case.
The price of being a creator is high, but the price of conflicting with the Silicon Valley VC’s is PR death.. or, in the case of Gary Connely, Real death (SEE THIS LINK)! (An investigation charges Silicon Valley VC’s with causing, or ordering, his death. The story is almost the same as Chieky except Connely ended up with a bullet in his head)
Chieky built and sold a number of things for a few decades; like Edison, Tesla, Marconi, and tens of thousands of other inventors. As with all people gifted with the use of more brain than the rest of us, he was abrupt and had poor social skills, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, featured in films as a hopeless socio-pariah. The writer had no ability to comprehend the way that Chieky communicates and paints him from an acrimonious perspective without giving Chieky any response outlet or counter-point within the story. The writer clearly didn’t want to hear feedback from Chieky, or his partners, he wanted to “kill”.
Giving the writer the benefit of the doubt: So what if Chieky was a dick in his personality style. Steve Jobs is famous for being a dick. Half of the Google execs are screwing their staff and cheating on their wives in glorious ValleyWag technicolor dick-ness. Larry Ellison is glorified for Dick-hood. Being A DICK IN SILICON VALLEY seems to be the main ingredient to success. So why destroy Chieky for using short sentences and speaking efficiently without platitude embellishment, as autistics do? There are a vast number of pictures of Steve Jobs with an equally bad haircut and eye-glass selection as Chieky. Did Jobs deserve to die for that? Does Chieky?
Chieky is autistic, according to his ex employees. Should Ben Popper be destroying the lives of war veterans that have no legs? Should Ben Popper be destroying the life of Mark Zuckerberg because he has Aspergers Syndrome? Do only those in the Frat boy club get a pass on not treating their disability as a sin? What publisher let’s his staff write and deliver stories that tell disabled American’s that they will never be looked at as actually enabled in special ways?
Chieky spent his life creating and building things to improve the lives of American’s, and people around the world, and this is how we pay him back? All of his inventions are for the greater good. One article like this ruins one’s life forever. Did Chieky actually deserve it? Where is the counterpoint. If Chieky actually is “evil” as the article says, then let’s string him up. But if the author is evil, then re-size the noose. Where is the counterpoint from Chieky and his representatives to the charges in the article?
Chieky seems to have made the mistake of crossing the path of these “GREEN ENERGY VC guys (SEE THIS LINK)! and accidentally competing with these particular VC’s grand schemes for controlling “clean energy resources”. Do Draper, Khosla, Perkins, Doerr and the rest, get to destroy those that are not in “the frat boy club” with impunity?
Chieky is terrifying to the Silicon Valley VC’s because he has 1.) a proven history of inventing things that obsolete their older investments, 2.) a proven history of getting funded and 3.) a proven history of launching products. The three skills that no Stanford frat boy VC can stand… because they can’t do it. The VC’s are little money automatons and not “creators”. The VC’s can only grub up cash from pension funds and banking groups as they follow each other like sheep.
So the article uses these classic takedown “hit” techniques (HERE)
Alas, The Verge published the article in all countries and thus gives Chieky the right to file defamation lawsuits overseas, where there are no SLAPP laws protecting tabloids. Cyber bully laws can now be enforced in a large number of states and countries. Writer Popper may have also violated ADA laws. Let’s see how the story evolves…
Chieky is either a crook or a targeted victim but let’s have a trial, with ALL of the evidence, before we lynch him.
HOW THEY KILLED THE ELECTRIC CARS
These people really, actually, killed the electric cars (AKA: “The Dirty 7”):
– Senators with Insider Trading Deals
– Campaign Financiers with Investments in Competing Areas
– Venture Capitalists with Competing Investments
– The Steel Industry (because electric cars avoid using steel)
– The Unions (Because they have certain deals with the “old” car companies)
– The Oil Cartel
– The Detroit Auto Cartel
- The steel industry has a kick-back scheme with Detroit and a large number of Senators
- The oil industry has a kick-back scheme with Detroit and a large number of Senators
- The auto unions have a kick-back scheme with Detroit and a large number of Senators and Party Officials
- Chrysler, Ford & GM have kick-back schemes between a large number of Senators, The oil industry and the steel industry
- None of them make any money with electric cars so they don’t want any electric cars
- GM, Ford & Chrysler manipulate funding, marketing, laws and politicians to hold off the electric car market on behalf of themselves and their steel and petro-chemical cartel partners.
- Electric cars don’t use much, if any, steel so the steel industry feels it can keep billions of dollars for itself if it stops electric cars. The steel industry gets billions of dollars of contracts from Detroit which it pays back to some Detroit boards in repercussive stock and supplier arrangements.
- Electric cars don’t use petroleum products so the petroleum industry feels it can keep hundreds of billions of dollars, for itself, if it stops electric cars. The petroleum industry gets hundreds of billions of dollars of contracts from Detroit which it pays back to some Detroit boards in covert ways.
- Using a complex series of tactics deployed by hundreds of hired operatives, “consultants” and shills and costing Detroit over $16 million per year, this ongoing strategic interdiction plan has been very effective; until the internet came along.
- Here is their playbook. Here are the details about how they do it. If you think it is how your world should work then you do not need to do anything, If you think it is wrong then you need to use all of the same techniques that they use to end it. If you think this is over-the-top or not credible then you need to think about what you think people might do to control trillions of dollars of profit and political power. Since you probably cannot even imagine that world, yet you know it exists, then you might want to help fix it:
THE DIRTY 7′S PLAYBOOK:
Targeted Blockade Efforts – All of the groups at the top of this report get together, via their lobbyists, and undertake coordination of all of the efforts listed below…
Department of Energy Manipulations – Documents have been uncovered which show that the Detroit Big 3 co-authored and lobbied the laws and decision process for DOE funding. The Big 3 represent that they are “competitors” but they conspire to direct all money to only themselves in auto funding efforts with tax dollars. Rahm Emanual, while working as head of the White House, is said to have given Steven Chu a “do Not Fund” list prepared by Detroit and Campaign Backers.
Lobbyists – It costs $50,000.00 to $150,000.00 to buy any politician in Washington. There are only 32 people, at a time, you need to buy in Washington to change policy and laws that affect hundreds of millions of citizens. Buying is accomplished with cash, sex, tickets, plane trips, meals, after-Washington (“private sector”) kick-back jobs , lawyers, access, mortgages and other secret trades.
Tucker-izing – The Tucker incident was a grand example of a car company “take-down”. See the Francis Ford Coppola Movie: “A Man and His Dream” for a set of classic playbook tactics
Fake “White Papers” – Lobbyists write white-papers or hire McKinsey Consulting to write white-papers that are made to look academic but are really a series of shill documents skewed to try to trick politicians into voting for kickback schemes to campaign backers and Detroit
Staged Venture Capitalists – Silicon Valley and NY VC groups organize to agree to not fund any but a few select companies that they control. They still take pitches from all of the other players so they can steal ideas and technology
Shill Pundits – Lobbyists who pretend to be subject experts and appear on TV and radio to say the same sales pitch/mantra over and over to embed falsehoods in the mind of the public
Shill Bloggers – Lobbyists who pretend to be subject experts and appear on blogs to say the same sales pitch/mantra over and over to embed falsehoods in the mind of the public
Corporate Saboteurs, Moles, Honey Traps & Spies – Over 500 Corporate Saboteurs, Honey Traps & Spies work in Silicon Valley alone. They are actually escorts, private eyes and undercover lobbyists. They are hired to infiltrate a competing company and cause a staff ruckus, prep a hostile take-over or get the CEO in a lawsuit. They try anything to slow-down or sabotage the new technology that is competing with the “Dirty 7” above.
Controlling the Battery Industry – VC’s bought control of the battery industry and ore supplies in order to create their own cartel
Goldman Sachs – False front organizations which appear to be one thing are actually manipulating funding, public policy and media coverage, ie: McKinsey, EPRI, Goldman Sachs, Lobby Groups, Banking Groups, Venture Capital Groups
Shill “Reporters” – The key tactic is to make the public think that the EV market is crashing or is not being accepted by the public. This is accomplished by making sure every car is too expensive or too hard to fuel so that the public will not want one, under the current synthetically generated limits.
Trade Industry Blockades – (SEE THIS STORY)
Penalty & Discouragement Laws created by Detroit Lobbyists – Making laws that only Detroit Cartel members can meet.
Green-Washing – A thing that is very deadly, explosive, toxic, impossible to dump safely, etc. (ie: Lithium ion) is branded and PR-hyped as a “green”-thing or “Cleantech”. Ie: Detroit said they needed more money because nobody was buying their cars so they told DOE to say they would give them free tax money to make “green cars” they never intended to market.
Building “See-It-doesn’t work” anti-EV’s – Car companies, who really don’t want to build electric cars, will build a few and either price them out of market interest or create a failure point so that they can say: “oh well, we tried, see it doesn’t work, back to gasoline then!”
Manipulating the stock market – By having the same investors in the Dirty 7 also be the same investors in the media companies and internet companies who control public information, the 7 can delete any negative news and push only positive news about their cartel products (ie: Tesla/Google)
White House “Consultants” – Steve Rattner (Indicted), Steven Chu (Under Investigation) or certain “Expert Executives” that are part of a cartel get “appointed” as “advisers” so they can manipulate the taxpayer money from within the system
Controlling the Unions and their Votes – Senior Washington Executive Staff go to the unions and say” If we give your associated companies, that hire your members, a bunch of money will you make all of your members vote for our party/candidate/bill?”
The GM EV1 – Ahead of it’s time, consumer raves, killed off because it was too successful
Fake science papers – Lobbyists write papers or hire McKinsey Consulting to write white-papers that are made to look academic but are really a series of shill documents skewed to try to trick news editors into creating articles and news stories which skew to support kickback schemes to campaign backers and Detroit
Anti-Advertising – An example of this is the Chevy Volt ad showing the Volt being driven into a gas station for the owner to use the bathroom and then the owner getting abused and harassed by the other customers. For millions of dollars of ad buys and video production, the main subliminal message is that you will get harassed if you buy the car and you associate it with bathroom urges. Chevy and Madison Avenue knew EXACTLY what they were doing. You don’t spend millions on “focus group ad response research”, as shown in the UI/UX research budget for this ad, without knowing it will have a negative effect ahead of time.
Manipulation Front Organizations – False front organizations which appear to be one thing are actually manipulating funding, public policy and media coverage, ie: McKinsey, EPRI, Goldman Sachs, “Plug-in America”, Lobby Groups, Banking Groups, Venture Capital Groups”