Sunday, July 7, 2013

The legacy of "Fast Eddie" Burkhardt

This weekend isn't the first time one of Fast Eddie's trains burned down a town.

In 1996 Weyauwega Wisconsin suffered an accident with startling similarities to the disaster still unfolding at Lac Megantic, an accident that led to the state requiring a two man crew on every train.

By that time, Burkhardt had developed a reputation for being ruthlessly anti-union. Not surprisingly, his railway had a reputation for having an accident rate three times higher than the industry average.

The modus operandi for all of Burkhardt's adventures in railroading is to fire as many employees as possible, grind down the wages of the ones who remain, and maximize the profits for himself and his fellow investors.

It's a strategy that has made him a very wealthy man.

1 comment:

  1. Either this article is well hidden or no one cares, personally I care. After the hair on my arms laid flat from this eerie article about a man I've been stripped to a whipping post, personally raped by and violated in all ten commandments and saw my career as a railroader dumped by the wayside no more than a gob of tobacco spit.
    My finger is at a firmly pointed at the person who is Ed as a person of interest and investigation into profits while reducing safety AND employee overall standards and say into what equipment should be allowed as equipment to perform a duty.

    Unlike the stoic locomotives the man gave to us at Algoma Central Railway where to this man a sandwich that swam in a puddle of water in a plastic Coleman cooler for 2 days in remote northern Ontario because ripping out the fridges on a rail fleet sure makes stock market people happy. Or remove ALL sun visors AND electric Window defrosters especially in -30 degree northern Ontario because who whines when they can't see what they are going to hit at public crossings doing 45 mph, only a wussy would care about that eh Ed!
    Oh not to forget the broken down cab heaters on ALL your ugly freshly painted purple barney Wisconsin Central Engines, the fix from your gestappo cronies was to apply a wet paper towel to the intake of the heater where restricted air will cause the already dead heating coil to overheat and die forever. Now hurtle yourself at 45 mph through a remote wilderness where small birds can fly through the useless door seals and you get the picture at -30 day in day out.
    What an disgrace to a railway you are Ed and all you disrespecting people who profit off the avails of this man that has the morales of an alley cat.

    I remember the sheer excitement the day when a system wide announcement from our Canadian Rail Traffic Controller came through and prompted all trains both on the Canadian and American sides to stop all trains in a safe location because Ed Burkhardt was going to announce a live message to every ear clear across the system. Nothing like feeling like the 40's at the Kremlin. So this little wonder of a man perked up on the radio and vindicated the Canadian Brothers for causing his US loyalists to overthrow and vote union.You see we in Canada were a union already and had no intention to not have none and with that we were ridiculed and had letters mistakingly sent to our homes about how upset he was because of the Canadian influence. We lodged a complaint of harassment against Burkhardt with his apologies on his botched mass mailing intended ONLY for the US audience. A special thank you goes to the person(s) involved at getting his corrupt letter of dissention to us!

    Anyhow, I did quit working for my beloved railway career after Wisconsin Central took its grip after over a decade of employment with Algoma Central Railway our previous owner.

    I've since been employed at Canadian Pacific Railway and my present employer Huron Central Railway (Quebec Gatineau Railway) where conditions are better but again you always should question a short line unfortunately.

    Regardless it's without question that Ed Burkhardt should be withdrawn from any ownership of any railway because I think his idea of operating is purely for profit with total disregard for public safety and the safety of the rail personal. 1man trains? Really maybe in a factory switcher or through a remote area. Anyways good riddance Ed....