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Drupal 7!

Finally upgraded this site to Drupal 7! I'm using the Marinelli theme like on some of my other blogs, but I'm not sure I'll stick with it...we'll see what develops...

#TrainThursday - Lysaker, Norway

An westbound NSB (Norweigian state railway) inter-city train zooms through Lysaker Stasjon, Lysaker, Norway.

Lysaker is a suburb of Oslo, located about 7km west of the city centre. The area around the train station is a cluster of tech companies, so it's quite a busy location.

Here's the station, just after that inter-city passed through. These are the two inside tracks, westbound on the left, eastbound (towards Oslo centre) on the right. There's one more track on either side of the platforms as well.

Two minutes later, my eastbound train arrived. This was a "Stopper" train heading to Moss. My stop, National Theater, is two from Lysaker, and Oslo S (the main train station) is one stop after that.

#TrainThursday - LokalTog at National Theater, Oslo, Norway

From Oslo, a "Lokaltog" pulling into National Theater Station in downtown. It's my ride to Lysaker, the 'burb just to the west of the city where a lot of the tech companies have their offices.

Public transit in Oslo is comparatively inexpensive. A 7-day tourist pass that covers commuter rail (this train, for example), trolleys, and buses, costs NOK220, which is about US$38.

#TrainThursday - NationalTheateret Station, Oslo, Norway

An inter-city train from Oslo S (Oslo Central Station), heading west to Bergen, Norway. The train is passing through the National Theater station in downtown Oslo, so he's traveling very slow. Once he clears Oslo, this train will work up to a solid 130-150km in-between major stations.

And why was I in the station when this train went by about 0815CET this morning? I was waiting for a "Lokaltog" (local train) to take me two stations west, to Lysaker. That's the Oslo suburb where Hitachi Data Systems is located, and where I'm teaching this week.

National Theater is a busy downtown station, so when the inter-city, express, and freight trains come through, they make PA announcements and put warnings up on the platform monitors.

Happy Train Thursday! What's your train story/experience of the week?

Maison Blanche POTD: The "Tire Store" on Airline Highway

The "Maison Blanche Tire Store," on Airline Highway, 1960. This Franck Studios photo shows MB's foray into automobile service. DH Holmes followed suit, opening an auto center at the Lakeside Shopping Center, and Sears' auto center at Clearview Mall is still open.

Notice the billboard for Brennan's Restaurant in the left background. The MB Tire Center was on the river side of Airine Highway (US 61). At the time, Airline Highway was, along with Jefferson Highway (US 90), the main approach to New Orleans from the west. US 61 connected New Orleans and Baton Rouge, long before Interstate 10 was constructed.

Book Signing Tonight!

Come up to Maple Street Book Shop TONIGHT at 6pm, and we'll talk about Maison Blanche, Mr. Bingle, and all sorts of New Orleans stuff! Maple Street Book Shop

Even miniature train vs auto, the auto's gonna lose...

Just gotta love when someone brings Teh Stoopit on a fine autumn day. I'm assuming that this was a daytime test run of the train, since school is in. You can see paramedics coming up in the left background, but hopefully nobody was seriously injured.

When the City Park Railroad operates at night for Celebration in the Oaks, the park stations police officers and deputies at the road crossings to prevent people from being this foolish.

Let's just hope that if there is damage to the train, the driver is held responsible.

Photo courtesy Da Paper, http://nola.com (@nolanews)

Train Thursday - "Spurt"

From my trip to Groningen, Netherlands back in May. Somehow I just don't see "Spurt" catching on as a name for a rail line or train model in the US.

I shot this at Groningen Station. My hotel was about a kilometer away from the city center, and I had to cross the station's tracks to get there.

Feature Photo: "Bobtail" Car on the Prytania line

A "bobtail" car from the Johnson Car Works of St. Louis, MO, on the Prytania line. No specific date for this photo, but the bobtails ran uptown for the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad Company in the 1870s through the late 1890s, when the streetcar lines were electrified.

The bobtails were an almost ubiquitous site in New Orleans in the 1880s and 1890s. They were wide, offering passengers a stable ride, and were short enough to be easily turned around on turntables (like the ones used to turn around cable cars in San Francisco). The Prytania line was a short-run, "neighborhood" line designed to connect Faubourg Bouligny and the Garden District to downtown.

This photo was is a bit damaged, so I didn't use it in my article on pre-electric streetcars for GoNOLA.com, but it's still a cool shot.

New Orleans Mardi Gras Parking Enforcement


NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, the City announced its parking enforcement policy for Mardi Gras in the upcoming weeks. Parking enforcement policies remain the same as in previous years.
• Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes ($75 fine and seizure);
• Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to clear the route for the City’s Department of Sanitation ($25 fine and seizure);
• Beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras, at 12:01 a.m., until the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, at 6:00 p.m., no vehicles, except those issued permits, are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville, N. Rampart, Dumaine, and Decatur ($50 fine and seizure);
• Parking of vehicles equipped with living accommodations is prohibited during certain hours. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season, particularly in the Central Business District, Warehouse and Garden District;
• Before, during and after the parades, the City will extend enforcement efforts into the neighborhoods adjacent to the published parade routes. This will minimize non-residential intrusion. Parking Officers will primarily enforce the following: o Valid Residential Parking Permits ($40 fine),
o Safety violations which include:
§ Blocking hydrants,
§ Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign,
§ Parking in the wrong direction (vehicles must park in the direction of travel on one way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two way streets), § Vehicles blocking sidewalks,
§ Vehicles blocking driveways, § Parking in Handicap zone ($500 fine), o Scofflaw vehicles that have unpaid parking tickets shall be immobilized.
• Vehicles parked on the neutral ground are subject to a parking violation and seizure ($75 fine). For more information on parking enforcement, citizens may call:
• Department of Public Works (Parking enforcement and information), (504) 658-8100 (answered 24 hours)
• Information related to Residential Parking Permits, (504) 658-8200 • Pay and release of boot, (504) 658-8083.
• Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings: (504) 658-8250


(ED: thanks to Jim Danner of the MCNO mailing list for sharing this press release)


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