Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on June 1, 1970 · Page 17
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 17

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Monday, June 1, 1970
Page 17
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Passenger Trains: The Vanishing American? 'Out West They Call Me Dude' By JOHN S. LANG Associated Presj Writer E. B. Power rubs back muscles knotted from sitting up two days and nights in a coach so cold his nose won't quit running. Tlie coughs and cries of three chilled babies snuggled close to their mother under a frayed blue bedspread have driven Power, a retired electrician, into the train's snack bar. There, a that looks can of warm hash like dogfoud costs him 55 cents and a distressed stomach. "It'll Go Down" "Try it with mustard," he advises another sleepless passes ger. "It'll go down." So it goes on the Sunset Limited, a passenger train once the pride of the Southern Pacific. So it goes for two days, two nights, 2,000 miles-from Los Angeles to New Orleans on a train with vending machine food, no sleeping facilities and a ride so rough men fear that shaving will slit their throats. And so it goes for many of America's long-distance passenger trains--aging, slow, deteriorating, poorly advertised, little used and vanishing so fast that the only ones left to ride in a few years may be on the family Monopoly board. In 1929 there were 20.000 passenger trains. Today there are about 450 and each year railroads schedule half a hundred for discontinuance. In 1944, there were 595 million noncommuter rail passengers. Today there are less than 88 million a year. The wholesale discontinuance came, the railroads say, because a sharp decline in passengers brought staggering financial losses. "Discontinuance ol passenger trains has been z case of economic necessity,' say the Association of American Railroads. Not Blameless "But," counters the Senate Commerce Committee, "the railroads arc not blameless." "An increasing number ol In most cases, fancy names are the best thing left on passenger trains. Even those are anishing. Gone are Shasta Daylingh, the Royal Blue, the Golden State, the 20th Century Southern Belle. Few of those left deserve the mage of elegance or excitement their names invoke. The Norfolk Western still calls its Detroit-to-St. Louis :rain the Wabash Cannonball al- hough it has slowed, lost its observation car and diner and hough riders complain of filthy coaches. While the passenger train system withered, the federal government spent billions to develop commercial air travel and to improve highways. Railroad Bill This month the Senate passed and sent to the House a bill designed to aid rail passenger vice in heavily traveled intercity corridors. It provides $175 million in loans and capital grants to a new semi-public corporation that would operate rains on a limited, government-defined network. As Congress debated what to do to rescue passenger train service, an Associated Press reporter who took a 6,500-mile :ross-country tour by rail found vivid contrasts in service offered and degree of patronage. The Metroliner: The fastest train in the nation today, it zips between New York and Washington at speeds up to 120 miles per hour, carrying 'full loads of passengers in carpeted, clean, paneled comfort. Begun as an experiment to determine if high-speed intercity rail transportation would prove feasible in the jet age, it carried (139,790 passengers in its first year, proving so popular that Penn Central expanded the schedule from one train a day to six. Still, reservations ahead or time are required, and interminable busy signals on the telephone to the ticket counter and long waits in line are routine. ment has put $2 million of a lanned $12 million subsidy into tfetroliner operations. Penn Central is committed to investing $57'million ultimately. The Broadway Limited; Old and worn but comfortable, it can take travelers out of New York in late afternoon and have them in Chicago early the next morning in lime for a full day of jusiness. The $90 fare, including )ullman charges, is about the Alimony Not a Divine Right And Privilege of Marriage them decided that Ihcrc was no opposition fnfnrp in nasseniier service and own atton By ARLEEN ABRAHAMS Associated Press Writer John S. Rodell proudly admits that his three bouts with the divorce court have ended in "two wins and a draw." But despite the fact that he has managed to survive three divorces without paying alimony (the draw involved a cash settlement) he adamantly says, "When it comes to a contested marital action, the man is behind the 8-ball from the very beginning." The author, playwright a-id former Hollywood screenwriter recalled Ihe temporary alimony hearing held in his last, and only bitterly contested, divorce suit as being symbolic of what a man faces in his fight for freedom. "You are completely on the defensive, not only with the future in passenger service and o\\ delibcratly downgraded service standards and discouraged patronage, viewing discontinuance as the only answer," the committee added in a report this year. As Ihe debate rags over who or what is to blame, one fact stands undisputed : For those Americans who by desire or necessity ride trains, all that's left of a once full- ileshed national rail network is a bare-bones skeleton. but attorney. even with your "Lawyers have been so hrain- POWERFU1 PLUNGER CLEARS CLOSED TOSUETS NEVER AGAIN that sick feoling when your toilat overflows TOEg.AFi.EX Toilet GuSwSl Plunger Unlike ordinary plunficrs, Toilftflex docs not permit compressed air or messy watci to splnsli bnrk or cscnpc. With Toilaflcx the full pressure plows t h r o u g h t h e c l o g g i n g mass and swishes it down. · SUCTION-RIM STOPS SPLASH-BACK · CENTERS ITSELF. CAN'T SKID AROUND · TAPERED TAIL GIVES AIR-TIGHT FIT Get the Genuine 'Toifaflex' *2" AT HARDWAHE STOTES washed by the mystique of the situation, they simply go along with (lie system and assume the men are going to lose," continued ihe author of "How To Avoid Alimony: A Survival Kit for Husbands." The attorneys, he courts, and the typical woman refuses to realize that ali- nony is not a divine right anc jrivilege of marriage." Perhaps because Rodel: served as a special agent in security and counter-intelligence 'or the Army during Work alimony as the military does the enemy: conquer or be wipec out. "I'm not interested in any alimony reform movements. I you accept the premise of alimony at all, you're dead," says the bearded writer. Although he contends he is not opposed lo child support, Rodel! is vehemently opposed to money provided as child support thai turns into hidden alimony "Generally women aren't held to account for the money the; get fnr child siippnrl. and so So far, the federal govern-1 sleeping car on the trains with a oad factor of 81.8 per cent, un- ess it was to get rid of com- Gaining passengers." For years, railroads claimed osses of about $500 million a year on passenger service. But after a 1968 congressionally ordered ICC study, they scaled down their loss estimates. And the Senate Commerce Commit- ee says the $200 million figure they now cite is still too high. "Using the ICC figures ... it infair but I'm writing from the man's point of view. And it's ibout lime. The codes of mar- ·iage and divorce have been rritten from the women's point of view for 3,000-odd years." He says his book is written to] stiffen men's spines and make men less chivalrous. Less chivalrous? "Men are stuck with his little gentleman complex. And any man who acts the role )f little gentleman in a divorce : iclion darn well deserves what le gets." Instead, Rodell urges a man who wants to emerge on top in a marital action lo take the offen- 'Sue first if you possibly he advises. "Getting in he first licks is extremely important psychologically." The importance of an aggres- ive lawyer is not to be underestimated. "You are at the mercy of your lawyer. I spent so much .ime pushing my lawyer. If you can't find a fighting lawyer, find another one. Don't let anyone ?ush you into anything. If you refuse to be put on Ihe defensive, chances are you'll at least wind up in a draw." Anil, considering the odds slacked against a man, he claims that's nearly a victory. Currently at work on his next book and completing a play, Rodell lives in Rpanoke, Va., wilh his present wife and one son The son and a daughter, no\y 21, both from his (hird marriage. War 11, he views unwarranted chose to live with him when his .hat afternoon and getting a hotel room. Yet the Broadway on a recent trip had only 10 per cent occupancy, according lo a steward. Porlers were idling in empty sleepers. One traveler who telephoned Penn Central Reservations for ticket information waited a total of 166 rings before giving up. The Super Chief: Still a luxury train but empty these days of the movie stars and beautiful people it once carried between Chicago and Los Angeles. Gone, too, are the barber and manicurist. The private dining room in the club car is dark and the right front window in the dome car is a spiderweb of cracks. But the food is good, the service efficient and the day- and-a-half ride on welded rail track is smoolh. But the train is three-fourths empty and a spokesman for the Santa Fe mourns, "We are ap- roaching a situation where we :ould have the trains full and itill not make any money." The Florida Special: Of all same as the cost of flying out can reasonably be estimated - that cash savings for all railroads, were they to end all passenger service, would have been $138 million in 1%8," the committee reported. By DAVE WHITNEY Associated Pre» Writer Out in Wyoming and Montana hey call me "Dude," a name I came by quite honestly last weekend. Not many people can drive 2,200 miles to one oi the hottest rout spots in the country and come back empty handed, un- ess of course you're a dude. The prince of the Malboro Jountry ads -- Riley Barrett of Sheridan, Wyo. -- hung that moniker on me after two days Railroads Argue Railroads have argued, too, he country's trains, this one las on its runs from New York o Miami--for four winter months ony--it has color television, movies twice daily, and su- erb white-jacketed service. Blowers on the tables are plas- ,ic but the candles are real; the champagne is pink but free. The Special regularly runs a 'ull load of passengers and last year made a profit of $300,000. But that sum does not include expenditures necessary to re- jlace aging cars. The Sunset Limited: Four marriage broke up. Senators Urge Warplane Sale To Israel WASHINGTON (AP) - A letter urging the administration to sell 125 more warplanes to Israel has been signed by 58 senators. The total mav reach 60 or 70 something which starts out as by the time it is delivered to perfectly legitimate turns oul to be a hidden form of alimony," lie claims. Colleen, his attractive blonde fourth wife, 20 years his junior, nodded in agreement A firm believer in marriage --"I've only been unmarriec two weeks out of Ihe past 31 years" Rodell believes women have the besl of Ihe marriage when bargain--specially comes to divorce. "I'm accused of being unfair to women," he says. "I may be Summertime! Time for all sorts of play- clolhes, swimsuits and fun wearables! See Jhe large selection at I he Jack Jill Shop . . . cute, easy-care styles for boys and girls, infants Ihru size 12. Famous brands, no-iron fabrics. Jiitsl. San "Clian/e. II!" The Jack Jill Shop DOWNSTAIRS AT Tlir FHH rinrr. tn Shop for Little, People! Secretary of Stale William P Rogers, probably lale today, according to an informed Senate aide. The bipartisan appeal has een circulating quietly for several weeks, and its sponsors fee he While House will lend a re leplive ear. In anolher, unrelated development Rogers said he may soon ake part, personally in renewet alks with Ihe Soviet Union on he Middle East. Recenl meelings wilh Ihe So ,'iels, which have produced lit le, have involved the U.S. am jassador in Moscow, Jacob Beam, and U.S. Asst. Secrelar Joseph Sisco, who handles Mid die East affairs. Rogers said on his return 'rom Europe Sunday night tha ic, Sisco, or the two of them lo ;hat loss of government mail- carrying contracts increased passenger train losses. ICC examiner Messer noled congressional testimony by Post Office officials that in the last 15 years alone, seven of every ten passenger trains dropped by the railroads were still carrying mail at the time they were discontinued. "In other words," he said. .nail as well as passengers were left standing on the platform in 70 per cent of all train discontinuances." The debate over passenger service--unlike the trains themselves--shows no signs of slowing. Railroad executives are almost philosophical about it "Passenger service," one recently told his stockholders, "h the railroad industry's Edsel.' lave been the outgrowth of the rig I started out with. I looked ike something right out of the ;rout streams of Maine -- red ? clt hat, wicker creel, fly rod and waders. The only thing Ihey forgot to tell me was that fly rodding on ,he cold, rapid Big Horn is like trying to thread a needls wilh boxing gloves on. After a few futile atlempts wilh the fly rod, 1 changed lo my only other rod, an ultra light spinning rig, and spent the next of fishing and nothing to show two days watching the trout run £* T-HI_-_ nff Tjuifh mu u/nrtnc !inrl slfpanl- :or it. Of course, Riley .came up empty handed, too, but then he passed that off wilh a shrug of the shoulders and said, "Better luck next time." about as the result of a skull Stephano of Des Moines, Riley's son-in-law, and Dave Young, the Associated Press' communication chief in Iowa, and I decid- big trout. Likely Choice Riley and his son, Bill, just happened to be the likely choice to visit, since they live in Sheridan about 100 miles from the Big Horn River and Yellowtail Iroul fishing holes in the country. So, we packed up our gear and headed spending a couple of nights in the bunkhouse at the Barrett Ranch and Mon., June 1, Page 17 Politics to Church' Post . PHILADELPHIA (AP)-Tho late Sen. Robert F Kennedy's California campaign manager at the lime Kennedy was assassinated in the spring of 1968, Josiah H Beeman, was named secretary for International Affairs of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. off with my worms and stream- rs. Bill, Pole and Dave Young fared a lilllc heller and at Ihe end of two days of fishing, we Actually the whole thing came had a nice cooler full of rainbows weighing from a pound and session one night when Pete a half to three pounds. Some- quick method for filling his [reexer with trout. Bill and I were walking down a road along the Big Horn one morning when George drove up in his pickup. "How you doing," he said with a gold-toothed smile. Naturally we hadn't had the first nibble. So, just to make us feel better, George pointed to the back of the truck where he jhad five nice rainbows. Easy Catch How'd you get 'em," where along the line we missed .. ,, . Ihe big ones, which a couple oflour first question. "Easy, ^ he guys from Billings, Mont., wereianswered, "" '" quick to show us -- four and!were down =d it was time to go after some three quarters and five poundsjthere anil the trout couple of kids that slough up if solid rainbow trout. llhey just pitched them up on the Another Tale 'bank with their hands." The part of the Big Horn we! Talk about a heartbreaker! fished lies inside the Crow In-'ll's legal for the Indians to do dian Reservation, and therein is : that but a "No, No" for white a tale of its own. When you have to get a guy men. If you ever get a chance to Dam, one of Ihe hottest big named Edison Real Bird to sign \ make the trip do it. The country !..,,..i r;r.k;«« Uninc- ;n iha /innn. «nnr fichintr lippnsp iniH a F.qmp.k beautiful and relatively un- your fishing and a game. is beautiful and relatively Warden named George Takes-populated. There are camping Gum to check it, you know you'-jfacililies at Yellowtail, which re on somebody else's properly. |has been designated a National We never did figure out whelh-'Recrealion Area. George Take Gum was aj The trout are big, and a fish- a couple of days fishing the juvenile delinquent or his fath-icrman's biggest problem is try- Big Horn. ier was a turpentine man. but i ing to find the bait they are tak- That "Dude" nickname might'we did find out that George had'ing on any given day. years ago, after the Southern 'acific dropped pullman and dining car service on this Los Angeles-to-New Orleans train, ICC Examiner John S. Messer objected, writing: "While we still have laws lo irotect the treatment of dumb animals, the human beings riding the involved passenger .rains are provided marginal eating and no sleeping facilities on a 2.033-mile run which takes 45 hours and 15 minutes to complete, if the train is on schedule." The examiner ordered pull- man and dining car service restored. The ICC, however, overruled him and said it didn't have the power to order reinstatement of services. So, today, passengers on the Sunset Limited make the long trek in creaky coaches--half of them wilhout reclining seats or leg rests. They eat in a car equipped with vending machines. Ham sandwiches are 75 cents, the canned hash 55 cents. The Southern Pacific says today's economy-minded travelers prefer vending machines to dining ars. Passengers can rent pillows for 50 cents, but no blankets are available--unless you happen to have one in your suitcase. Most passengers in the chilly coaches huddled under coals and newspapers. A few hours oul of New Orleans, a conductor opened the top half of the rear door. Fresh, warmer air flowed in--along with cinders. However uncomfortable the trip, it was the best the Southern Pacific could make it. Company officials sent a telex message down the line saying the reporter would be on board. II told train crews to "give the operation of train 2 ... your personal attenlion to ensure lhat the equipment and schedule performance are at their besl." best." ;ether planned soon to set up a I A railroad spokesman said meeting with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin, who ·eiurned from Moscow consulta- ions recently. Rogers flew in from Portugal such messages are sent whenever it is known that a newsman or a government official is aboard. The Southern Pacific recently after a week's trip lo Europe for [proposed culling back schedules, he North Atlantic Treaty Or-|of the Sunset Limited to Ihree ;nnization meeting in Rome and^jmcs a week. If given ICC ap- diplomalic discussions in Ma- :lrid and Lisbon. proval, the railroad said, il would reinstate pullman and dining cars. In defending the earlier cut in services, the Southern Pacific noted lhat during the 1950s il had invested $50 million in new passenger equipment, including $16.5 million on the Sunset Limited, and spent $1 million yearly for advertising. Yet, during that time, palronage on the Sunset Madalyn O'Hair Performs First Atheist Wedding AUSTIN, Tex. (AP) -- Self- proclaimed atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, performed what declined 47 per cenl and pull- she lermed the first atheist wed-iman revenue dropped 75 per ding in the United States Sun-'cent. day night. ICC Examiner Messer de.te.r- The couple, Robert Egan, 22, mined that pullman car space and Shelley Hill, 20, joinedion Ihe Sunset Limited was 81.8| hands in an outdoor setting wilh!per cent filled when the sleepersj about two dozen friends looking were dropped, on. "Considering that, the airlines Mrs. O'Hair is Ihe bishop ofjand intercily bus lines operate! Poor Richard's Universal Lifejwilh mean load factors of 58 to; Church, which she founded. i4fl per cent respectively," he! The wedding, which was lc-jwrolc, "it is near impossible loj gal, had rock music blaring in the background. understand why the Pacific discontinued Southern the last eimetff ALWAYS FIRST QUALITY ^ 824 8th St. Cotton Seersucker Playsets, Sizes 7-14 ....?3 Sizes 3-6x..2.59 Penn-Prest Crew Neck Tops, Sizes 7-14 ..2.59 Sizes 3-6x --?2 Cotton Print Jamaicas, with elastic back, Sizes 7-14 .1.44 Cotton Polyesrer Denim Slacks, Sizes 7-14 ..$3 Sizes 3-6x ....$2 OPEN 5 NIGHTS A WEEK TILL 8:30; SATURDAY TILL 5:30. CHARGE III

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