Friday, March 07, 2008

New and Old

Is it a sign?

I just noticed this morning wait for the 8:04 R5 inbound this
interesting juxtaposition of new and old and it was thought provoking.
Could have been the caffeine too - in either case I think other
commuters thought it a little weird that I was taking a picture of the

What this picture shows is the very end of the new track installed by
Amtrak along the Mainline. You look East and you see the modern
concrete railroad ties and to the West you see the old wooden ties.

All day long I can't get the imagery out of my head. It seems like a
stark change yet I didn't notice it for a month. If you are seeing the
ties you see a difference. If you focus on the rail you see just a
uniform feature. I just noticed as I type this that the balast looks
different to the West - stained by preserative on the ties.

The ties are a foundation, an infrastructure to the rails - the rails
an infrastructure to the trains. The rails decouple the trains from
the ties. The rails are the same while the infrastructure has been
changed out. Is the new infrastructure an improvement? Heck yeah! I am
typing this at 100 Km per hour and that was impossible prior to the

When do you change infrastructure?

When do you change the implemention details?

Can you make the change at one layer while preserving certain existing

What is the cost and value of the infrastructure change?

This like this change I see.

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