Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars Miss the Train Again

Every year I feel like I harp on this because I think that outside of these people with fancy gowns, there are a lot of folks including press that could get there via the subway. The first year I noticed this was the year that Al Gore won for An Inconvenient Truth. It's somewhat unfortunate that people aren't hopping on to make a statement. They might even get to the show faster.

February 27 2007 - An Inconvenient Truth
February 22 2009 - Oscars Lame Again


Brent said...

It is ironic that the Kodak Theater subway stop was closed for the day, however:

MB94128 said...

"Map of Hollywood road closures" (LATimes, 6 Mar.2010)

Warning - The above page may not display correctly in all browsers. A direct link to the map is below. These links may die at any time at the discetion of the LATimes.
Hollywood road closures map 2010

P.S. I wonder if a director's car (Red Line) - elevator - green carpet w/ red stripe + arrows - VIP shuttle bus sequence would be all that hard to arrange. This would give the mayor and some others a way of showing their support for rail transit.

I consider a rail system that DOESN'T have a director's / excursion car for the brass hats to be lame. It doesn't have to be very fancy. It could even double as a rolling command post with extra communications and power hard points.

Bob Davis said...

There are a few electric railway equivalents to main line RR "business cars", but most, if not all, are in museums. Orange Empire in Perris CA has Pacific Electric "officers' car" 1299, and a few other unique "special" cars survive, but I know of no current transit operation that has a "VIP" car. Today's rail transit operations are quasi-governmental entities, and having such a car would give "gadflies" and other critics too much "ammo". Also, most of the old-time business cars were either built or heavily modified in company shops, bastions of craftsmanship that one rarely finds in today's transit industry.

MB94128 said...

I'm a regular rider of the SFMuni. Their fleet of historic cars could easily include a charter-only director's car with the revenue being split between the city and the non-profit that supports the fleet.

The stigma of a VIP car is something I'm well aware of. That's why I mentioned a "rolling command post" option. Think about how much radio / command+control gear and computers could be mounted in a typical LRV.

Other Absent Cars
A glaring omission in SFMuni's rail fleet is small craft - support bob-tails that either suck up trash (Hoovers) or serve as rescue cars (Retrievers). I've seen quite a few cruddy platforms on the T-Third where a Hoover car would have been a good thing to have. And the outer portion of the MSS (Van Ness Stn. - Castro St. Stn.) and the eastern TPT (up to Forest Hills Stn.) make it a long haul for rescue crews to get to a stranded train. I believe BART has a similar problem.

Bob Davis said...

SF Muni did have a "wrecker": car 130 became wrecker 0131 back around 1960, but in the early 80's was rebuilt for passenger service, and sometimes runs on the "F" line. Probably the nearest thing to a VIP car in the Muni fleet is Muni #1, the 1912 trolley that opened the first Muni service and was often used to open new lines, usually with the mayor at the controls. Back in 1985 or 86 I took a video of then Mayor (now Senator) Dianne Feinstein running #1 on the first day of Summer Trolley Festival. I've ridden #1 on a couple of railfan charters. It's currently undergoing a complete rebuilding at the Brookville plant in Pennsylvania, and it should be completed in time for the 100th Anniversary of Muni on Dec. 28, 2012.

Spokker said...

They don't want any Mexicans pouring out of the Red Line subway and ruining Oscar night.

MB94128 said...

Here are some links about a "motorised rescue trolley" (British English) aka MERV (“Mobile Emergency Response Vehicles” per WMATA in Wash., D.C.) :

MERV article at WMATA
MERV article w/ videos at

The units were developed by the London Fire Brigade but I haven't found any links about where they are built.

Matt Fisher said...

I thought that in England, they use the term "trolley" to describe what we call a cart.

"They don't want any Mexicans pouring out of the Red Line subway and ruining Oscar night."

For what reason? On an unrelated note, I believe Shaq isn't a good actor. He sucked as a rapping genie in "Kazaam". :)