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June 20, 2010
IF YOU GO For Amtrak schedules and reservations, call (800) USA-RAIL ([800] 872-7245) or Always high, prices for sleeper space are "yield managed," so they can vary considerably. Rooms are scarce in summer, so it's good to book early and be flexible. A tip about luggage. There's little convenient storage in any Amtrak sleeping accommodation, but Superliners do have a luggage alcove on the lower level, and, of course, bags can be checked. Best to take just an overnight bag to the room.
April 2, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Nowhere in the Los Angeles area are trees more sparse than in South Los Angeles. City and county officials have been working for years in that part of town to create pastoral swaths of parks, greenbelts and even wetlands — fighting against drought, desert climate, urban blight and concrete streets — but it is a long, slow process. The City Council districts across South L.A. still have about half the canopy cover of the rest of the city. So it was troubling, back in 2012, that about 400 trees south of the 10 Freeway had to be cut down to allow the space shuttle Endeavour to lumber through the streets on its way to the California Science Center.
July 30, 2000
I was surprised that the informative article by Michael R. Boldrick on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir ("Tapping Hetch Hetchy," Weekend Escape, July 9) did not mention the railroad that brought in supplies and workers to build the dam and reservoir. Interestingly, the present-day auto road to the dam site was built largely on the right of way of the old rails. HARVEY J. QUITTNER Los Angeles
March 14, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The Metro-North Railroad, where at least five passengers and employees have been killed in less than a year, is plagued by shortfalls in safety operation, a stinging federal report said on Friday. The report, released by the Federal Railroad Administration after its 60-day review of procedures, castigated the commuter line for ineffective training, poor supervision of tracks and a dangerous emphasis on on-time performance over safety and maintenance. The line primarily serves suburbs north of New York City, including in Connecticut.
September 29, 2009 | Randy Lewis
Texas singer-songwriter Joe Ely has been in love with trains his whole life. In 1977, he recorded one of the great train songs -- "Boxcars," which his longtime pal Butch Hancock wrote -- laying out exactly what had hooked him over the course of countless rides in open freight cars journeying to and from his hometown of Lubbock. If you ever heard the whistle on a fast freight train Beatin' out a beautiful tune If you ever seen the cold blue railroad tracks Shinin' by the light of the moon If you ever felt a locomotive shake the ground I know you don't have to be told Why I'm going down to the railroad tracks And watch them lonesome boxcars roll "My grandfather worked the Rock Island line, and my father worked on the Santa Fe line," Ely, 62, said Sunday night following his performance at Burt's Tiki Lounge, about two blocks from the Albuquerque train station.
August 12, 1991
The recent environmental accidents occurring during transportation of chemicals and the tragic rail accident occurring in South Carolina require a system-level approach to planning safe transportation that the industry has seemingly ignored. Some examples of safety improvements that could be taken by railroads: continuous monitoring of critical components (wheel bearings, brakes, etc.); coordinating surveys of rails to coincide with shipment of hazardous materials; improved real-time monitoring of rails and switches; real-time availability of hazardous materials cleanup teams; review of routes with respect to other train schedules to minimize the opportunity for hazardous loads or passenger trains being in an area at the same time.
September 20, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Apple has been taking it on the chin for what has widely been perceived as a failure of its homegrown Maps feature that replaced Google Maps in iOS 6. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg wrote  that the Maps app is the biggest drawback of the new iPhone, which only runs iOS 6, and that it a step backward from the Google Maps that came with previous version of iOS. PC Mag ran a story outlining six different ways that Google Maps...
June 9, 2012 | By Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times
They weren't the most flattering addition to the neighborhood, and three years after the devastating Station fire the foothills of La Crescenta are bidding farewell to nearly half a mile of concrete barriers installed to guard against mudslides. The K-rails, as they're known, were put in place in La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge soon after the fire burned more than 160,000 acres, incinerating trees and shrubbery on hillsides that typically kept mud from spilling into homes during heavy rains.
January 30, 2005
Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's swift filing of murder charges against Juan Manuel Alvarez in the Metrolink disaster (Jan. 28) may be another legal blunder, a la the Simpson murder trial. In California, a murder conviction must show "malice aforethought," or intent. The penal code defines such malice as "a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fellow creature," or "an abandoned and malignant heart." By placing his car on the rails, Alvarez showed himself to be disturbed, deranged and reckless, but can it be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he had malice toward the train passengers, or an intent to kill them?
June 12, 1989 | JAMES RISEN, Times Staff Writer
Maury Graham was a day laborer in his 50s with a wife, two kids and a bum hip that kept him from laboring very much. Hanging around their little house while his wife worked got old fast; thoughts of the open road started to prey on his restless mind. So one day he simply hopped a freight on the edge of town, fully expecting to come back to his wife, Wanda, in a few weeks. That was in 1971. Full-Fledged Hobo In 1981--10 years and thousands of Conrail miles later, mostly in a well-worn rail loop he followed from Iowa to Ohio--a full-fledged hobo called Steam Train picked up a phone in the Toledo rail yards and called Wanda.
March 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It might be sound reasoning, but a Supreme Court decision this week on an arcane legal-easement argument will likely have broad and regrettable consequences, particularly in the West, for the national movement to convert old railroad beds into bicycle paths. The case, Brandt vs. U.S., is rooted in the General Railroad Right of Way Law of 1875, through which Congress established a uniform approach to granting easements on government land so railroad companies could extend tracks through the heart of the still-developing country.
March 11, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Perhaps we'll be seeing less of Lena Dunham on screen in the future: The "Girls" talent says she might consider quitting acting to focus on some of her other work. But don't worry, she's not going far. "I don't know if I'm going to want to act anymore. I'm always relieved on the days I don't have to. I'd rather give parts to other women than be the woman having the parts," the Golden Globe-winning 27-year-old said in the April issue of Glamour, which hits newsstands March 18. Appearing in the critically acclaimed HBO series about four 20-something women growing up in New York isn't the only thing on her plate.
March 10, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court dealt a setback Monday to the popular redevelopment trend of transforming abandoned railroad lines into public bike paths, ruling that buyers of such lands are not required to continue granting a federal right of way. Legal experts said the decision would make it harder to build bike or hiking trails in areas of the West where railroads were often built on former federal land. In some instances, local governments may be forced to pay compensation to owners whose land is now crossed by bike paths or other government-built trails and parks.
March 9, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Vietnamese aircraft searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines jet spotted what authorities said may be a door from the plane and boats were attempting to reach the debris early Monday. As about 40 ships and more than 20 airplanes continued looking for Flight MH370 for a third day, Interpol confirmed that at least two stolen passports were used by passengers on the plane, and the police agency's head railed that few countries were regularly checking its international database on lost and stolen travel documents.
March 6, 2014 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- The railroad industry pressed lawmakers Thursday to extend a deadline for installing safety measures that were proposed after a 2008 collision involving a Los Angeles commuter train killed 25 people and injured more than 130 others. The new safety system would automatically slow down or stop trains if engineers exceed speed limits or are on a collision course with another train. "We  will not meet the 2015 deadline of having all 60,000 miles installed and operational," Edward Hamberger, president and chief executive of the Assn.
February 21, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
With America's new oil boom forcing more and more crude onto long trains to make up for inadequate pipeline capacity, Warren Buffett's BNSF has opened bids to buy 5,000 safer transport cars. The move follows a series of high-profile rail accidents and spills, including a July derailment that killed 47 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Another rail oil tank car incident in February dumped 4,500 gallons of crude in Pennsylvania. Bids will be put out to several tank car manufacturers, according to Roxanne Butler, a spokeswoman for BNSF.
April 7, 1991
Kudos on your missive, "Romancing the Rails." Hopefully, there will later be one on famous military troop and supply trains. VAL RODRIGUEZ Signal Hill
April 2, 1989
I would like to express a contrary opinion to the March 19 article by A. J. Hand, "Shower Door Better Than a Curtain." Shower enclosures may look good and may present a watertight, cozy enclosure (if installed correctly) for the shower taker, but they are a nuisance to bath takers and tub cleaners: 1--If there are small children in a family, one cannot sit on the tub to bathe them because of the railing, but must kneel or crouch uncomfortably; 2--One cannot place a bath tray across the tub--the ledge has been narrowed by the railing; 3--The cleaner of the tub is prevented by the width of the shower doors from reaching the whole tub and must clean one side, shift the door, then clean the other; 4--The rails become filled with dirt and must be constantly cleaned out; the shower doors become coated with soap scum and one must go inside the tub to clean the glass.
February 21, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - Seventy-two years after Nazis began deporting French Jews to concentration camps, the French government is negotiating to pay reparations for the first time to several hundred Holocaust survivors now living in the U.S. who survived unspeakable conditions while being transported in government-owned rail cars and in the death camps at the end of the line. Stuart Eizenstat, a Washington lawyer who advises the State Department on Holocaust issues, said in an interview Friday that the French government entered into formal talks Feb. 6 and appeared to be intent on wrapping up negotiations by the end of the year.
February 20, 2014 | By Laura J. Nelson
A major downtown project aimed at closing one of the most frustrating gaps in Los Angeles' rapidly expanding rail network moved a step closer to reality Thursday when federal officials signed an agreement to provide $670 million in funding. At a Little Tokyo ceremony, county transportation officials accepted the pledge of money for a 1.9-mile, $1.4-billion underground link between unconnected light-rail lines that skirt opposite ends of downtown, one near Union Station and the other near Staples Center.
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