Friday, December 28, 2007

It's just money

There are times when I just get tired. Recently one of the "railroad" discussion groups that I'm a member of has been "discussing" excursion/tourist railroads. A few of the folks take the attitude that some folks ought to be out there providing exactly what they want. They seem to conveniently forget that others don't have to provide for them. A few of them even go so far as to suggest that big railroads (and/or government) should make things happen.

I'm sorry I just don't buy into that mindset. I ran into it back a year or so ago. A few folks thought that my very "accurate" and limited edition model railroad stuff out to be priced cheaper than other commercial items. One or two of them (to this day) are oblivious to the fact that I sold less than three dozen of this particular item. My time and production costs were the same as the "big boys" who produced a more "generic" item in larger quantities.

There are times when the railroad community reminds me of small children.

Steam locomotive restoration costs money. Steam locomotive maintenance is not cheap. Railroads that provide steam aren't doing it because they have endless supplies of money to throw away. Heck even the big railroads that haul goods all over the country aren't doing it because they want to remind folks of train sets under the Christmas tree. They are attempting to make money. Recently I read an article that talked about maintenance costs on today's railroad. Want to guess how much it costs to replace a railroad tie? Try it. I can wait.

Around thirty-five dollars. Next time you see a railroad count the ties you see in your sight.

And then the folks in these groups suggest government grants. Where do they think that money comes from. Heck, want some more trivia? For every other war that a U.S. president has declared he has proposed taxes to pay for it. Our current war has NO additional taxes. Want to guess who will be paying for this war eventually? When the charge card bill arrives somebody will need to pay the bill or the interest will eat them alive.

Maybe I'm the fool. When the government forgives loans I'll be the only idiot who isn't in hock up to his eyeballs! Damn, I've lived my life wrong!