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 Post subject: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 7:42 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1830
Location: Youngstown, OH
Will anything that is not absolutely essential to human existence survive in this country if the current trend of inflation and high fuel prices continue? There is no relief in sight. High inflation rates are predicted to last for the next two years at least and the Biden administration continues to stubbornly follow their climate change ideology and clamp off our access to energy.

We sit here in blissful ignorance of what is coming, witnessing in real time the destruction of something that we all have become accustomed to, "disposable income". The effects are already starting to hit, but we are still operating under the inertia and denial, denial that the United States can and will become the next Venezuela. We might get one last good season before this all comes to an end.

So maybe start thinking about hunkering down. Pay off your debt, maybe put off that next big restoration project, invest in security fencing (as people become desperate all that iron on our properties is going to look mighty tempting to scrap thieves) and generally prepare for some hard times ahead.

Rail museums don't feed and clothe the masses.
Hungry people do not care about history and heritage.

Remember that.

I hope in a year from now I can come back and tell everyone how wrong I was and that we somehow turned this all around, but I just don't see that happening given the situation on the ground right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:16 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 977
Location: B'more Maryland
You need to spend less time on Infowars.

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The past was the worst.


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:19 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 377
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
And I thought political rants weren't allowed?


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:39 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 695
Location: Wall, NJ
No politics really, things are just very uncertain at this point.

With that said, periods like this are ripe with opportunity for the local, family friendly museums and tourist spots. Back during the 1970s oil crunch, Allaire State Park, where the Pine Creek RR is located, had record attendance. Ridership was probably a third higher than in normal years. We had thought, in looking back, that perhaps the tickets were misnumbered, but I do recall the lines of cars waiting to get into the park even on days with no special events. Most of your better-known museums and tourist operations have survived such times. This is the time for the smaller, local tourist operations to thrive, but need to ensure that its family friendly, a good value, and have clean bathrooms. Local advertising would be key.

J.R. May


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:46 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Amherst, Oh
6:42 am is a little early to start drinking so heavily.


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:47 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1830
Location: Youngstown, OH
This is not a political rant. This is an evaluation of what is going on in this country currently. Hey, you could just continue on as normal and not take precautions or you could do the prudent thing and try to prepare for what is coming. It is up to you.

Humans do not take well to warnings about impending hard times. Denial is a strong human trait. I fully expected the comments that I am getting so far, Ed even went so far as to report this post... to me!

What is the harm in being proactive? Really, who does preparing for the worst really hurt? I would rather prepare and not need it instead of not preparing and getting caught with our pants down.

I am quite astounded that anyone would think that the rapid rise in inflation and fuel prices would not have any effect on our industry. What magic formula does rail museums employ that insulates them from the realities of the outside world? The truth is that we are more susceptible to downturns and inflation than essential industries are.

BTW Ed, this is what real people who are not in urban bubbles are talking about right now. It is not infowars, it is reality for us normies.

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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 8:52 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1830
Location: Youngstown, OH
JR that is the one bright spot. People may be putting off trips out of town, instead opting for more day trips within a reasonable driving distance. So small, lean operations with a good local visitor base may find that this will be a good year for them. I am banking on that working for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 9:04 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6249
Location: southeastern USA
We've got through a lot worse before and we will do it again - but anything that encourages us to take a good hard look at how we can be smarter isn't a bad thing, whether it's driven by a perceived crisis or just as a normal part of doing business (for those who are already smarter). Those of us that entered the business world in the Great Recession having been raised by those who grew up during the Great Depression mostly shake our heads and wonder why we never learned from history, and why the Fed is messing with peoples minds instead of other agencies taking direct action at the manufacturing and supply chain issues which would do more to solve the symptoms you are worried about.

If you want a crisis to plan for, consider the economic impact of climate change....... rather than that of adapting to try to hold it off. Or, what if we have to pay the real cost of fuel, rather than it's subsidized cost that we've been accustomed to for generations now? My maternal family was in coal mining on the south bank of the Mon across from Glenwood so I feel a sort of nostalgic loss, but that's been impractical due to small scale for about 70 years now.

I leave it to you younger guys - maybe each generation needs to have the lesson repeated. Rick, you could succeed if you were buried in mud at the bottom of a sinkhole - just do rational things day by day.

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“God, the beautiful racket of it all: the sighing and hissing, the rattle and clack of the cars over the rails. These were the sounds that made America the greatest country on earth." Jonathan Evison


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 9:21 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Amherst, Oh
Rick Rowlands wrote:
This is not a political rant.


Preparing for possible outcomes is prudent planning, something every organization and person should be doing all the time. This inflationary period probably will last for awhile. Over the years I've read multiple times that generally it takes 2 years for changes in policy to fully propagate. I, and probably everybody else, really don't want to wait 2 years though. And who know if the current policy is even the right policy. I think many of our issues now go back to the Great Recession and continued poor fiscal policy when things started to recover. Our interest rates were just too low for too long, and now that we're potentially nearing another recession our #1 tool in the toolbox isn't really available.

Regardless, you can't bash the current administration, repeat a conservative catch phrase of "the United States can and will become the next Venezuela", and then say your post isn't political.


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 9:45 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1262
The industry will do fine. When people tighten their belts they will be looking for cheaper things to do in their local area and visit the local railroad museum. If the museum does a good job, they will want to return for a Special event later in the year. Or they will want to join as a member so they can come back all year for free, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 10:37 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 1334
Location: New Franklin, OH
We were very lucky to top off our fuel supplies before prices took the initial jump thanks to a tip from our supplier. But that was before the apple cart got flipped (whew!). We’re good for the year. Next year, though…. We’ll need to wait and see.

We aren’t expensive. When money is tight, more people stay local for entertainment. So that may help balance things out from the lack of out-of-area customers.

Civics lesson: Not to rile anyone up, without going into great detail, and as a reminder, inflation is market driven, now currently on a global scale. The only part of our illustrious federal government that has any tools to to slow or speed up our domestic economy and help curb inflation/deflation is the Federal Reserve - an independent agency. They can help steer our economy, but not completely control it. They can’t do anything globally. None of the three branches have any control over the Federal Reserve. Influence - eh, maybe a little. Control, absolutely not. That’s by design. So when any politician claims they’ll take care of inflation, I have to chuckle at that.

That said, gird yer loins boys and girls. It’s gonna be a rough ride for a while.

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Orrville Railroad Heritage Society
Car Knocker, Gandy Dancer & Hog Jockey
https://orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 12:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 2217
Quote:
With that said, periods like this are ripe with opportunity for the local, family friendly museums and tourist spots. Back during the 1970s oil crunch, Allaire State Park, where the Pine Creek RR is located, had record attendance.


I think this will be the case for regional museums and heritage railway attractions within a day's drive of a major population center. I would be concerned about more remote destination attractions like Silverton, Cumbres, Nevada Northern, and Grand Canyon.

Of greater concern is the rapid escalation in construction costs. In my full time work, our plans for a new theatre, first delayed by local zoning politics, are now stalled because our estimated costs to complete have doubled. The increased costs will adversely impact any major capital projects planned at IRM, PA Trolley Museum and others I may not be aware of.

Wesley


Last edited by wesp on Thu May 19, 2022 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 1:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2530
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Friends, let's keep this thread on the rails and away from politics. There is a war ongoing and people and loosing loved ones. The war is causing worldwide petroleum prices to spike and threatening the food supply. If you want to complain about the political side of the current events take it somewhere else.

With that said I would suggest that an economic downturn may not hurt as much because instead of people flying to Egypt or Rome they are visiting local museums and parks. It seems that the pandemic had that sort of impact. Only time will tell.

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Maybe it won't work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 1:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 981
Location: Philadelphia
Wow. I've been enjoying RYPN for over twenty years now and the last thing this forum needs is politics.

Agreed, the industry has weathered worse but the price of fuel, the uncertain future of coal, and the price of materials is daunting. Hopefully, we can discuss these matters without the the political b/s seen so many other places.

I'll be supporting as much as I can through donations, memberships, and volunteering.

Joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Will This Industry Survive?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 1:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1262
wesp wrote:
I think this will be the case for regional museums and heritage railway attractions within a day's drive of a major population center. I would be concerned about more remote destination attractions like Silverton, Cumbres, Nevada Northern, and Grand Canyon.

Wesley


Those are all within a days drive of a major population center.


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