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Project would create huge landmark bridge
Posted on September 24, 2004 at 11:43 PM
A colossal new bridge, the biggest in Alberta that would approach the scale of San Francisco's Golden Gate, will be built as the gateway to the oilsands if the province enacts the $2.5-billion proposal for a northern transportation upgrade (See IT040908-2).

Plans for NEATcor or the Northeast Alberta Transportation include erecting the landmark crossing of the Athabasca River on the western edge of Fort McMurray as the key piece of a new direct railway and road route to bitumen megaprojects.

At 135 metres tall and 1.6 kilometres long, the new span would be nearly three times as high as Edmonton's High Level Bridge, 46 metres above the North Saskatchewan River, and twice its 800- metre length. The Fort McMurray structure would also be bigger than Vancouver's icon, the Lions Gate Bridge, with 111-metre towers holding a 1,517-metre-long deck, 60 metres above the sea. The oilsands bridge would be 17% shorter than the 1,938-metre-long Golden Gate.

But the new northern giant's surface would be more than twice as high as the California landmark's road and pedestrian deck 66 metres above the inlet to San Francisco Bay. The new Fort McMurray bridge would also eclipse Alberta's current entry in engineering record books, CPR's Lethbridge Viaduct which is the world's biggest steel railway trestle. The northern bridge would be about the same length but 44% taller than the 94-metre high crossing of the Belly River. (Edmonton Journal 040909)
Model train fans are steaming mad about UP
Posted on July 2, 2004 at 11:46 PM
Union Pacific may face an uphill battle in its bid to squeeze royalty payments out of model-train makers that put the UP logo on their tiny train sets. Lionel and a number of other train-set companies are girding for a court fight over the issue. And angry model railroaders across the country are trying to derail the company's licensing plan, contending the railroad is trying to gouge what amounts to a rail industry fan club. For decades, model-train makers have routinely decorated their train sets with the logos of train companies past and present, without paying for the right to do so. But now, UP wants a piece of the action, and it's seeking a 3% royalty from companies that stick the UP logo on model trains. From a financial perspective, the model railroad industry is a miniature one, and any fees UP collects will be similarly modest, especially in comparison to the US$11.6 billion in revenue the company collected last year. "What we do collect I doubt will pay for administering the program," says a UP spokesman. "Certainly, it's not a revenue gathering program." The logo-licensing effort is mainly "designed so we know who's using it and how." Despite UP's efforts to smooth things over, in the basements, garages and spare bedrooms where model railroaders ply their demanding hobby, the licensing bid has sparked a full-scale uproar.
Union Pacific sues Model Train Makers over Logo
Posted on June 22, 2004 at 11:49 PM
Union Pacific has filed a lawsuit against two model train manufacturers, claiming trademark infringement and unfair trade practices. At issue are UP's current shield logo, its Building America slogan and its locomotive colors of yellow, gray and red. UP holds trademarks for the use of the designs and colors on products. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Omaha, claims that Lionel LLC and Athearn Inc. are selling model trains bearing the logos and colors and that those products could confuse or deceive consumers. UP asks for the companies to comply with the trademarks and for unspecified damages.

UP started its brand-licensing program about two years ago, charging fees for use of its logo or the logos of railroads it has purchased over the years. The program aimed to land the logos on a wider range of merchandise, from clothing and lunchboxes to mugs and plates, resulting in significant revenue. "We've said from the beginning that we were going to protect the rights to our identity," said Bob Turner, svp. "We waited almost two years from when we announced the licensing program, so I think we've given everybody plenty of time to work with us."

(Omaha World-Herald 040603)
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