Train in Vain

Millionaire Charles Croffard Dockery dreams of creating a high-speed bullet train in Florida. Sound crazy? Wait until you hear the details.

Objective: Popularize image of C.C. "Doc" Dockery as father of the bullet train.
Strategy: Multimedia campaign aimed at making "C.C. Doc' Dockery" a pop-business household name, aacute; la Dave Thomas. Possible elements: a biography along the lines of Old Man Thunder: Father of the Bullet Train, the story of Shinji Sogo, the force behind the Japanese Shinkansen (Joe Eszterhas has expressed interest in the project); made-for-TV movie adapted from above; TV spots featuring Doc in hunting and fishing garb taking the train to favorite hunting and fishing locales; radio spots with friends and family fondly recalling Doc's early obsession with trains; proposal to state Department of Education establishing "Doc" day in schools statewide.

Objective: Clearly explain how the bullet train will be financed.
Strategy: Doc will purchase television time in 30-minute chunks, during which he will pose with a pointer and flip charts to explain financing package, aacute; la Ross Perot. Charts will address major, non-tax revenue streams including:
    - $70 million in state highway funds.
    - "Tunnel of advertising," from Eller Media billboards. Revenue potential: $13.2 million.
    - Projected ridership revenue: $153 million (more than Tri-Rail and MetroRail combined!)
    - Train "wrap" ads. Revenue potential: $1.5 million.
    - Onboard beverage sales: $900,000.
    - Gift shop sales (T-shirts, mascots, "Doc" poseable action figures): $1.1 million.


Route of Travel Bombardier Letter Marketing Plan Petition Memos

Bombardier International

December 6, 2000

Charles Croffard "Doc" Dockery
2310 AZ Park Road
Lakeland, Florida 33801

Dear Mr. Dockery:

We have completed the requested feasibility study of the Florida bullet train vis--vis your preliminary design parameters. As you know, Bombardier is a leader in the design and manufacture of high-speed trains. However, our engineering and legal departments have noted several potential problem areas:

Large number of stops: The line as proposed includes 13 stops, many at tourist destinations. The efficiency and convenience of high-speed rail is directly proportional to the number of stops. Our engineers have calculated that, to travel from Miami to Orlando in two hours or less with 13 stops, the train would have to maintain an average speed of 521 miles per hour. Stopping and starting, passengers would be subjected to g forces approximate to those one would experience standing on the sun.

Lake Okeechobee "fly-over": Our engineers agree that a rocket-powered "launch" over Lake Okeechobee would be a memorable experience for passengers; however, they have concluded that it is not yet practical. While United States government-surplus Saturn boosters are readily available, as you have noted, mounting such a booster on a train would usurp 83 percent of all usable passenger space. Additionally, varying atmospheric conditions would make "re-entry" on the opposite side of the lake a difficult and dangerous proposition and one that could not likely be accomplished with an acceptable degree of consistency.

Nuclear-powered cold-fusion main engines: Nuclear power is certainly in the realm of possibility and is in fact on the drawing board for one of our newest and fastest trains. However, cold-fusion remains something of an engineering Holy Grail. Coupling the two is not yet possible, but we thank you for theoretical explanation of how this can be done. We have taken it under advisement.

Stop at C.C. "Doc" Dockery's ranch: Our legal department has concluded that this option could be accomplished, however the State of Florida would have to exercise its power of eminent domain, making it unlikely that you could continue to occupy the property.

In summary, Mr. Dockery, Bombardier believes that these issues individually are small technological problems that could easily be surmounted. Collectively, however, they paint an unrealistic picture of high-speed rail. Please feel free to contact us again should your plans become less ridiculous.


Jim O'Boyle
Vice President of Engineering

Route of Travel Bombardier Letter Marketing Plan Petition Memos

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