Commuter Age is worried about venturing into a Gawkeresque interzone of meta-journalism, but should I look the other way when a quirky contretemps like this speeds past?
Connecticut Rail Commuter Council Chairman Jim Cameron has sent an e-mail alert to Connecticut commuters about his intention to seek a correction of New York Times’ reporter Michael R. Grynbaum’s Monday April 20th article about the potential demise of Metro-North’s bar cars.
Yesterday Cameron and other rail council members said Grynbaum had stirred considerable and not purely necessary distress for commuters by implying the likelihood existing M-2 model bar cars will disappear next year when the state’s new M-8 rail cars arrive.
The currently in service M-2 bar cars are expected to remain in service as part of an older contingent of M-2 cars that will continue to run even as the state’s new M-8 rail cars go into service.
On Wednesday night, Connecticut Department of Transportation Public Transportation Chief Jim Redeker did say that the DOT is in talks with Kawasaki Rail Car Co. trying to get an estimate to design and build an M-8 bar car as part of the state’s new train fleet.
Oh well, enough pixels for now. Here is Jim Cameron’s e-mail alert:
“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”.
This old newsroom mantra apparently was the rule when the NY Times yesterday ignored the facts and presented the headline… “One for the Road? Bar Cars May Face a Last Call” <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/nyregion/21barcar.html?scp=1&sq=Bar%20cars&st=cse>
Though three members of the CT Rail Commuter Council worked with reporter Michael Grynbaum to get the story right, he ignored the facts in favor of a sexier story.
The reporter implied that when the new M8 cars arrive, the 8 existing bar cars would be replaced. Not so! The 8 bar cars we have all have undergone recent rehab’s and can run for 10 – 15 more years.
He also implied that “the recession” might force a rethinking of plans to order new bar cars.
The Commuter Council, meeting last night, was reassured by both Metro-North and CT DOT that there are no plans to eliminate bar cars on Connecticut trains. CDOT also told the Council they would share design concepts with us for new M8 bar cars, currently under bid from Kawasaki.
The issue of continued if not improved bar car service has been a priority of the Commuter Council for the 25 years of its existence. We will continue that advocacy… and seek a correction from the NY Times for its sloppy reporting.
Jim Cameron, Chairman
CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council
“Advocates for better rail services in CT”
Web: www.trainweb.org/ct <http://www.trainweb.org/ct>