Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

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Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:14 am

From Fred's blog on the Trains Magazine website: "A Busy Day at Rigby Yard, 1981"

http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey/archive/2016/10/29/a-busy-day-at-rigby-yard-1981.aspx
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby NRGeep » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:29 am

"Staying power alone does not prove much." Old Head stated in comments section after Frailey piece. I think he is also on to something with Fink Sr being a product of the Peter Principle in securing the GTI position.

Defered maintenance of ROW's and equipment, losing customers like Erving Paper etc, does not seem a model of efficiently running a railroad.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby jaymac » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:46 am

Almost nostalgic!
No reckoning of the upended lives, curtailed careers, lost customers, or other impacts of essentially a vanity operation. I hope the Fink 1.0 era is taught as a what-not-to-do in B-schools throughout the land.
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--Source, location, and time undisclosed.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby Mikejf » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:37 am

Can you imagine pulling the fire alarm stunt now? What a great way to do accountability, just as long as it wasn't January.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby NRGeep » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:22 am

Mikejf wrote:Can you imagine pulling the fire alarm stunt now? What a great way to do accountability, just as long as it wasn't January.


Certainly a unique approach to eliminate dead wood.
Showboating not withstanding, mostly downhill from there.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:16 pm

I really think that Freddy F did some real hard posterior kissing to get the Fink interview for Trains. Some of the things Fink was quoted on seem strange. Fink was quoted as saying that he got the unions flat footed with the leases to ST. Didn’t the arbitrator rule that it was invalid, and a return to old contracts was required?

One other point was saying that 10-25 mph was good enough. I know that track maintenance is expensive, but how expensive is it when crew costs, car hire, and locomotive utilization far exceed what they should?
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby newpylong » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:10 am

The Fink Sr/Culliford (and apparently Fink Jr to a certain extent) assessment that 10-25 MPH is "good enough" is a deviation from operating norms with other US railroads - including those of similar size and revenue models.

I am currently on the NS Q2 Earnings Calls (as a shareholder) and they repeatedly have harped on increased Transportation costs due to decreased velocity throughout the system and a big goal for Q3 2018 and beyond. Having been privy to PAR's livery costs for crews in the past, I can say the amount of money they spend on this is astronomical. I cannot see how this, decreased service, lost revenue, and increased dwell time does not exceed the costs of increased velocity.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby Engineer Spike » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:06 am

Exactly! The use of a locomotive, and crew for 2 days to reach Rigby, from Mechanicville, when B&M did it in a 12 hour 1 crew shift is rediculous. Never mind that car hire must be alarmingly high too.

Out here in NY, we used the same cab company out of Schenectady. The manager told me that he had cut Guilford off until a check was received. Guilford had gotten several months, and thousands of dollars in arrears. If the velocity was where it been under Spencer Miller and Alan Dustin, the crew and locomotive fleet could be dramatically reduced.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby MEC407 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:48 pm

You can take the man out of Penn Central, but you can't take Penn Central out of the man.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby Tom M » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:38 pm

They used to use a cab service based in Rochester, NH. The manager there told me how he'd periodically drive down to Billerica to demand payment.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby newpylong » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:58 pm

I don't think its the case now that the pony is footing some of the costs on PAS but we (as East Deerfield crews) would sometimes not know what hotel we were going to at our away from home terminals (either New York or Lowell area). This was because they would get so far behind on bills the hotels would shut the railroad down. Sometimes we would have our return trip cancelled and be cabbed home because no one would give them a room.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby Mikejf » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:57 am

I have heard that they pay quite a bit in cab fare, so I can understand why a manager would demand payment.
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Re: Fred Frailey (Trains Mag): Dave Fink the elder anecdotes

Postby twropr » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:41 pm

When the late Alan Dustin spoke at an NHRS banquet circa 1982 he told us "the new GP40-2s are literally pulling the railroad out of bankruptcy." Indeed the Mechanicville-Rigby train (?NE 84) was making the run with a single crew in about 8 hours. When Fink took over the following year the thru train was quickly abolished and Lawrence was quickly set up as a crew change point, with Lawrence turn crews handling the trains east to Rigby. The next destructive action Fink took was to close the yard at Mechanicville, switching everything at East Deerfield (the original black hole). Once this began the railroad quickly deteriorated due to crew outlawing account of the delays at E Deerfield. The spring 1986 Maine Central BWME strike, which effectively shut down the B&M and D&H also due to the crews honoring the picket lines, and the 1987 strike really put the nails in the coffin. Fink thought he could run the railroads with non-agreement personnel and scabs (due to the steel mills having shut down in Pittsburgh he brought in busloads of former mill railroaders); however, the service got so bad that the big shippers pressured the politicians to end the strikes.
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