[Marxism] From rail fan to asst chief

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 28 06:34:28 MST 2005


Well, I've met a few railroaders from Argentina, and I do know about the
carnage privatization brought to the rail system in Argentina-- 
absolutely ripped the system apart and sold it for scrap under the guise
of "rationalization."

At the 20th Congress of the Association of PanAmerican Railroads in
Havana, there were important analyses about the results of privatization
in Argentina and Brazil-- and the Congress even adopted a statement
"questioning," actually opposing the wisdom of further privatization.
As a railroader , I was proud to participate in that discussion and urge
the Congress to take the position against privatization and transferring
rail assets to US corporations.

The headquarters of the association is in Argentina, and the chairperson
of the conference was a silver-haired, silver mustached, patriarch from
Buenos Aires, attended to by his daughter.  Patrician barely begins to
describe it.

Hey, I presented a paper at that conference-- in English and Spanish,
for which the translators loved me, as I actually provided them with
copies in both languages so they didn't have to try and keep up with my
New Yorker rate of speaking.  I'll send you a copy, if I can find it.

As for being a Peronist-- don't know about that.. started out as a
brakeman on the railroad... know I would have opposed  privatization-- 
i.e giving the system away to US "free marketeers."  But I understand
exactly what you mean.  One thing nobody needs is a bunch of financial
arsonists torching a country in the names of Adam Smith and Alan
Greenspan.

Used to be in the US, to advance on the railroad, to be promoted, you
had to be a freemason.... and white, and male.  Times haven't changed
all that much.  Guess you don't have to be a freemason anymore.

Have heard about quebracho-- would love to install some.  We have lots
of questions about the value of concrete ties-- given the extreme
rigidity of the structure, its additional weight, and its tendency to
pulverize the ballast (rock) used to stabilize the entire track system,
creating a fine silt that fouls drainage, making the ground water
collect and further destabilize the underpinning of the track structure.

We tried azobe wood from Africa-- strong beyond belief.  So strong we
couldn't even spike our rail into the wood.  Had to get special
high-powered drills to drill holes and actually screw the rail tie
plates into the wood.
rr

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nestor Gorojovsky" <nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 7:42 AM
Subject: [Marxism] From rail fan to asst chief


My dear Rrubinelli the railroad man:

As a rail fan I have always read your tech notes on US railroading
with delight.

But this that you sent yesterday to Marxmail has taken me to what you
may well guess to be an ugly conclusion.  Please read what follows
carefully and sit down before you go ahead.

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Done?  OK, then go ahead.

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