Resolutions for a New Year

So we are now into 2015, and I thought I would make a couple of resolutions, and lo and behold, I have already succeeded in keeping them for the first two weeks of the year!  But seriously, here are a couple of things that may sound like the traditional resolution, but stray off the beaten path a bit.Resolution #1:  Meet new peopleThis one is pretty easy, since there has been so much change in our industry in the last couple of months.  We now have a new Acting Administrator of the FRA as of this week, our new President of the ASLRRA, and we also will be getting a new top Short Line person at CSXT, with the upcoming retirement of Len Kellermann.  A great place to see and meet these and other people in the industry is at the ASLRRA’s 2015 Connections in Orlando, FL March 28-31.Resolution #2:  Lose weightNow I could start a diet, keep it for a month or so, and watch that one go by the wayside.  What I have done instead is put my briefcase on a diet.  Right now, you are probably saying “so what,” but let me explain.  My briefcase, which is currently a backpack, has to carry my laptop, my iPad, chargers, a camera, batteries, and other assorted cables and electronic stuff.  I also have my travel necessities like my frequent flyer cards and other various membership materials in there, as well as probably $20 in coins that get tossed in when I am going through airport security.  All in all, it probably weighed over 25 pounds, and considering that I have one surgically repaired shoulder that the weight contributed to the original damage to already, it was time for a change.What have I done?  First of all, I went through every pocket and compartment in my briefcase, got rid of cables and chargers that were both unneeded and obsolete, added to my kid’s savings accounts with the dumped coin, and also changed up my laptop for a windows tablet with a keyboard (sorry Microsoft, the tablet is nice, but the iPad stays).  The electronics change alone dropped almost three pounds from the bag, and my right shoulder is much happier with its lighter load.Resolution #3: Exercise moreSorry, none of this treadmill or walking the dog thing.  However, I can tell you that the travel schedule for the first quarter is much busier than it was last year.  I already have my first SDS trip next week, the CSXT Short Line Conference is in early March, and the aforementioned ASLRRA Connections takes up the end of March.  Toss on top of that the other SDS, committee and Class 1 meetings, RR Day on Capitol Hill in June, the ASLRRA Regional meetings in the fall and maybe a vacation or two thrown in for fun, I think I am going to get my walking in.Resolution #4:  Keep writingWith this blog, I am starting year number seven of writing for RailResource, and this is blog #158.  When this first started back in 2009, I don’t think Kathy Keeney thought I had this much to say (I don’t think I did either), but I do enjoy writing this thing every two weeks (or so), and I haven’t been told to stop yet, so let’s see what 2015 brings.---By Steve Friedland
steven-fb.jpgSteve Friedland is a child of the railroad industry. Following summers and vacations working on the track gang for the family-owned Morristown & Erie Railway, a 42-mile New Jersey short line, he started full-time in 1994. He has worked in all areas of the railroad, including track, mechanical, signals, and operations, and currently is a member of the management team for the company as director of operations in Morristown, N.J. In 1999, he founded Short Line Data Systems, a provider of railroad EDI and dispatching software, AEI hardware, and management consulting to the short line industry. He currently serves as the ASLRRA representative to the AAR's Wireless Communications Committee and is chairman of the joint AAR-ASLRRA Short Line Information Improvement Committee. He also is a member of the ASLRRA's board of directors.