Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

The politics of China’s high-speed train wreck – The Washington Post

The politics of China’s high-speed train wreck – The Washington Post.

FOR MONTHS, it has been increasingly obvious that China’s shiny new high-speed rail system is not the triumph of national planning that Beijing or Western admirers claimed. The Chinese government this year fired top rail officials for alleged wrongdoing, an implicit recognition that corruption and debt plague the project. Many of those who questioned the economics of high-speed rail in China also argued that authorities were cutting corners on safety in their rush to build the world’s largest bullet-train network. Those accusations, too, received tacit confirmation when China announced in April that it would cut the trains’ top speed by 30 miles per hour.

Looks like the genius editorial writers of the Washington Post have nailed us ignorant childish liberals again. Brilliant reasoning!

Yes, you super-intelligent journalists caught us red handed. We had planned to build bullet trains in the United States without oversight from the Federal Railroad Administration. We would never have looked to the near spotless records for operating high speed rail in Europe or Japan. We liberals are so stupid and indifferent to human life that we take a few hundred billion dollars (which congress has been so generous in appropriating) and constructing systems without Positive Train Control or proper Central Train Control. If hand delivered orders passed to the cab by a man with a metal hook was good enough for Casey Jones, that is plenty good enough for us. We should have known that the BRILLIANT editorial writers at the Washington Post would catch on to our little game.

Filed under: International High Speed Rail, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

All_Aboard : Message: Michigan to buy rail line for high-speed Amtrak (but nothing is settled)

All_Aboard : Message: Michigan to buy rail line for high-speed Amtrak (but nothing is settled).

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

Grand Central Terminal Retail Success Hurts Old Tenants – NYTimes.com

Grand Central Terminal Retail Success Hurts Old Tenants – NYTimes.com.

Yeah, here is some real progress.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Sen. Tom Coburn report cites wasteful federal spending in Oklahoma | NewsOK.com

Sen. Tom Coburn report cites wasteful federal spending in Oklahoma | NewsOK.com.

And here are a few thoughts from Evan Stair.

As many of you are aware, US Senator Tom Coburn released two studies on federal spending yesterday, one of these focused upon Oklahoma’s wasted federal dollars.  The Heartland Flyer was one of many subjects covered in this report.  Thanks to Chris Casteel for his report.

You can learn just as much from your critics as you do your proponents.  Thanks to Senator Coburn we have learned that Amtrak is covering $2.65 million of the annual Heartland Flyer cost.  Oklahoma is contributing $1.64 million and Texas $1.69 million.

When Amtrak began paying what I consider their-fair-share for the Heartland Flyer is unknown.  Their financial practices have been labeled by some as “Creating Accounting.”  This has been a frustration for many years in Congress.

Still, Senator Coburn is only looking at the cost of operation, and not at the entire pie.  What Passenger Rail Oklahoma had considered a 3.5:1 return on taxpayer investment through traveler spending is now still an impressive 2:1.  This is considering the $18 million in annual traveler spending associated with the Heartland Flyer in 2009 through the Texas Transportation Institute Study.  Also, with Heartland Flyer ridership increasing, the train is creeping back up to the $3.00-per mark. Four coaches seem to be on the train daily this summer for the first time since 2008.

We encourage Senator Coburn and his staff to consider the economic advantage beyond-the-farebox.  What effect would a discontinuance have on Oklahoma small business, especially in smaller towns like Purcell, Pauls Valley, and Ardmore?  Maybe he would find that we do not have enough passenger rail in the state as some state legislators have suggested.  That is what Passenger Rail Oklahoma considers the mission of the Eastern Flyer Passenger Rail Development Task Force.

We need a comprehensive national cost allocation study across all modes of transportation to measure the true cost/benefit.  Efficiency is important in the rapidly expanding global economy.  One hopes if a national study is performed, we will be looking at the entire picture and not just the pick-and-choose-parts.

Evan Stair
Executive Director
Passenger Rail Oklahoma
http://www.PassengerRailOK

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Report Examines Whether High-Speed Rail Should Be Public, Private or Both – U.S. PIRG

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Report Examines Whether High-Speed Rail Should Be Public, Private or Both – U.S. PIRG.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail

WUWM: News – Finance Committee Approves Rail Improvements for Hiawatha Line

WUWM: News – Finance Committee Approves Rail Improvements for Hiawatha Line.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

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