Chug, chug, puff, puff

"He ran as fast as he could past my window," a startled Ann Sutton told a London newspaper. So, who is she and what was she talking about? A passenger, it turns out – one of about 20 aboard a stopped train at a station on the Rhymney-to-Cardiff line in Wales. And the runner? That would be the engineer, who was on the platform taking a break as the train pulled away on its own. He chased it for 100 yards before scrambling into the cab and shutting it down. Everyone was then ordered off to continue the trip by other means.

No, I want much more

Remember an item in this space Aug. 29 about a guitar used by rock legends Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa – the one a London auction house said might fetch $610,000? Well, it didn't. When the bidding topped out at only $470,000, Zappa's son and heir, Dweezil, withdrew the instrument.

Making it: Magazine rates best manufacturing plants

Did you ever work in a factory and wonder how it would compare to the best in the nation? In its latest annual rating, the magazine IndustryWeek says the following (in alphabetical order) are the 10 best manufacturing plants, based on the criteria of increased efficiency, productivity, and worker satisfaction:

Boeing C-17 Production Complex; Long Beach, Calif. (aircraft)
Collins & Aikman; Americus, Ga. (exterior auto trim)
Collins & Aikman; Athens, Tenn. (interior auto trim/panels)
Collins & Aikman Plant 1; Rantoul, Ill. (auto instrument panels)
Dana Corp.; Stockton, Calif. (pickup truck frames)
DST Output; El Dorado Hills, Calif. (printer of billing statements)
Honeywell Control Products; Warren, Ill. (electromechanical switches)
ISP Corp.; Calvert City, Kan. (specialty chemicals)
Medtronic Inc. Xomed; Jackson-ville, Fla. (medical devices)
Webster Plastics; Fairport, N.Y. (injection molding)

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