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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Don Phillips: Adios TRAINS; Hello PTJ

   
Author Topic: Don Phillips: Adios TRAINS; Hello PTJ
Gilbert B Norman
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TRAINS columnist Don Phillips was notified last recently by Editor Jim Wrinn that he had been fired by the magazine. However, he reportedly now has a "gig" with Passenger Train Journal.

According to Mr Phillips, Wrinn "made up some phony excuse. It was, to put it bluntly, a lie." The implication is that Wrinn received marching orders from up top at Kalmbach Publishing.

I've known enough people over the years who have worked for Kalpub and the consensus I "takeaway" is the place is as much a political snake pit as the Trump White House.

I've always enjoyed Mr. Phillips' insightful and informative columns appearing in TRAINS.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
palmland
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I share your thoughts, GBN. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was always thought provoking and a real journalist. Certainly he can be a bit of a curmudgeon but I felt like he was often telling us what we needed to hear, not what we wanted to hear. In our polarized society I guess that didn’t; sit well with some.

Where was this reported?

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Gilbert B Norman
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Two other sites
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Ocala Mike
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I subscribe to PTJ - some of the articles are kind of ponderous (when they basically just have an article that reads like an old timetable), but there is usually a gem or two in each edition, plus good photos.

I wonder if anyone put an "adios drumhead" on his license tag pulling out of the lot on his last day. LOL

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Ocala Mike

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PullmanCo
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BACK TO THE FUTURE!

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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mgt
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I am sorry to hear this. I always read his piece in Trains and felt that his was an independent voice. Trains and its stable companions are the only regularly and widely available US railway publications in the UK and I am aware of the dangers of depending on a single source for information.
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Gilbert B Norman
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The Don Phillips column appearing in 2nd Quarter PTJ is presently Open Content:

http://passengertrainjournal.com/state-complaints-amtrak/#

  • This column will build on the questions I would have asked Amtrak President Richard Anderson about the mistakes and missteps of his first couple of months in charge if he would agree to talk to any reporters. The column will quote professionals who are in charge of Amtrak service in various states and who are engaged in snarling at Mr. Anderson for failing to consult them before making decisions that they consider stupid.

    The most stinging criticism came from California where the three people in charge of the major California routes signed a letter questioning his decisions and telling him they would reverse some or all of them. The three officials who signed the letter are David Kutrosky, managing director of the Capitol Corridor; Stacey Mortensen, executive director of the San Joaquins; and Jennifer Bergener, managing director of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency. The stinging letter said the discount programs that Mr. Anderson proposed for reduction or elimination generated $27 million in revenue for the three routes last fiscal year along with ridership of more than 1.1 million.

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palmland
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I think Anderson’s first 6 months as CEO had many unforced errors, to use to a tennis term. Let’s hope he learns from those mistakes. Perhaps the recent meeting with the RPA group is an indication of being more transparent as to his intention- even asking for help on station hosts (which work well in NC).

It must be hard coming from a real business where the CEO calls the shots to one where there are other ‘bosses’ in additions to the BOD be it the states, the passionate rail advocates, as well as Congress,

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George Harris
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There is a saying in the engineering business that someone "knows just enough to be dangerous" meaning that they know how to sound like they know what they are doing when talking to those on the outside when they really don't know and then encourage and make bad decisions based on what looks good to the outsiders instead of what really is good for the situation. In other words, they are playing to the grandstands, that is showboating, not really doing what is good for the team. Highly likely what is going on here.
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DonNadeau
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Such a depth of knowledge Mr. Phillips takes with him from trains. I wish him all the best. I never missed reading his ndustry insights.

Given the financial pressures on print media these days I would not be surprised if we see more exits from Trains.

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@DonNadeau

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