Archive for January 16, 2009

Still Thinking of Hitting the Mall?

Posted in Commuity News & Events, Inaugurations on January 16, 2009 by Kent

Whether you plan to head to the Mall for the Inauguration or not, you’ll probably want to know what roads are open, where you can walk, and if you can get around by Metro.  The Express actually has a good map, basic information, and general tips that can help you navigate the area. More>>

Crash of the Federal Express (Train #173)

Posted in Train Stations, Trains, Wrecks, Collisions, & Accidents on January 16, 2009 by Kent

Yesterday, as noted in This Date in History, was the anniversary of the 1953 crash of the train Federal Express. The train had departed from Boston late the evening before with a full compliment of people heading to Washington for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first inauguration.

A sticking brake caused a stop in Kingston Swamp, Rhode Island. An inspection was made, and the angle cock that controlled the air brake connection between the third and fourth car was found in the closed position. This prevented the cars to the rear of the third car from having the brake released from the locomotive. The angle cock was opened and the train resumed, being 56 minutes behind schedule.

federal-expressThe train arrived in New Haven and the diesel engine was changed for a New Haven Railroad electric locomotive. Three cars were added and the crew changed. The new crew was not informed of the earlier brake problem. The now 16-car train left for New York 45 minutes late.

The brakes operated correctly several times between New Haven and New York City, and the train arrived at Pennsylvania Station 38 minutes late. In New York, the New Haven Railroad electric locomotive was changed, and the train left New York with Pennsylvania GG1 number 4876 in the lead and engineer Harry Brower at the controls.

The Federal Express made stops at Philadelphia, Wilmington and arrived in Baltimore 35 minutes late. The brakes were applied 14 times between New York and Baltimore without a problem. More>>

What’s the Weather Like Ollie?: It’s Cold!!!

Posted in Commuity News & Events on January 16, 2009 by Kent

Traffic opperationsHow cold is it? When I got out of the Farragut North Metro station this morning to get to work, not even the Traffic Operations people we out today. I guess on really cold days, its every car, pedestrian, and baby for themselves. You can bet your bottom dollar the box is getting blocked today. I’d be interested in hearing if the cold weather actually changed other peoples morning commutes as well.

Then and Now

Posted in Presidential Limousines, Then and Now on January 16, 2009 by Kent

tafts-pierce-arrowIn January of 1909, legislation was entered into Congress on behalf of president-elect William Howard Taft for the appropriation of official White House automobiles. After some discussion and initial rejection of the funding by the Senate, that February the Congress authorized $12,000 for the purpose. Taft arranged for the purchase of a 40-horsepower White steam touring car and a 48-horsepower six-cylinder Pierce-Arrow limousine (pictured above), both of which he tested prior to his inauguration (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. #LC-DIG-ggbain-03213)

obama_limo1By contrast, the 2009 presidential limousine created for Obama is not standard issue and I haven’t heard anyone disclose the price yet (and probably won’t).

Inaugural Senate Luncheon

Posted in Food, Inaugurations on January 16, 2009 by Kent

Often featuring cuisine reflecting the home states of the new President and Vice President, as well as the theme of the Inauguration, the Luncheon program includes speeches, gift presentations from the JCCIC, and toasts to the new administration. While this tradition dates as far back as 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first gave a luncheon for President McKinley and several other guests at the U.S. Capitol, it did not begin in its current form until 1953. For the menu and recipies, click here.

District’s Right to Vote May Not Come Quickly

Posted in Commuity News & Events on January 16, 2009 by Kent

The Washington Post reports that in an interview yesterday, Obama reaffirmed his support of District residents getting the right to vote. While he is for it, and that the majority of the House and Senate are supportive, he stated that it “takes on a partisan flavor, and, you know, right now I think our legislative agenda’s chock-full. I would like to explore how quickly we can get it done.”

This Date in History

Posted in January on January 16, 2009 by Kent

January 16, 1949: WTOP (now WUSA) TV channel 9 (CBS) begins broadcasting.pick-temple