There is an interesting Little Rock angle in this very interesting story. Did you know the Wright Amendment expires in October of 2014? Changes coming for Southwest and cities it serves in neighboring states.
One of the partners in this private enterprise project is Central Railway of Japan. Of course, the usual opponents of good transportation can be expected to rise up against it, but one should watch anyway. Here is the link.
Place of high-speed rail stations debated | Your Commute | News from Fort Worth, Dallas,….
Filed under: International High Speed Rail, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail
Conservative columnist and American Enterprise scholar Michael Barone, with degrees from Harvard and Yale, is a smart fellow. But a recent column about Amtrak suggests his research consisted of wandering into the posh Capitol Grill in Washington, D.C., and sitting at Amtrak baiter-in-chief Rep. John Mica’s luncheon table, absorbing Mica’s jihad against publicly funded intercity rail passenger service.
Mica’s endless blistering attacks against Amtrak for failing to earn a profit hang as a sword of Damocles, diverting scarce managerial resources from effectively improving efficiency and customer service to explaining, without respite, why Amtrak should exist at all.
Thirty-one million passenger boardings, up 55% since 1997 — coupled with increasing highway and aviation congestion and a rapidly aging population — should be reason enough, but not for Mica, Barone, and other Amtrak haters.
You may read it all at the link below.
Amtrak haters: Bullies with no public purpose | Railway Age.
Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy
February 27, 2013 • 12:36 pm
Although we do not generally do nostalgia here, Mr. Jones was once an employee of the Gulf Mobile and Northern RR, as was my dad (later GM&O). Although the real Casey Jones is probably nothing like the one dreamed up by the Illinois Central, you can still enjoy a legend, can’t you?
Celebrate The 150th Birthday Of Railroad Legend Casey Jones – 02/26/2013 – Chattanoogan.com.
Filed under: Uncategorized
February 8, 2013 • 9:30 am
Here is an excellent item that aptly demonstrates (with several maps) failings and opportunities within the nationwide Amtrak “system.” You need to follow the link below to see they maps. They are worth your time.
Like the classic electoral college map filled in each Election Night, train maps don’t tell you much about the stuff that counts: people.
For Amtrak, the route map can be particularly unhelpful. Not only are the longest lines the least popular, their train frequency can be one-sixtieth that of the system’s busiest lines.
With that in mind, Mike Hicks, a transit blogger in Minneapolis, plotted boardings and alightings on a simple state map. Using numbers from Amtrak’s State Fact Sheets and a list of GPS coordinates for Amtrak stations published by Bill Ensinger, Hicks funneled ridership data into circular, geographic containers.
As you might expect, the result drives home the preeminence of the Northeast Corridor route — individual cities are lost in a foam of overlapping bubbles.
But a visual representation calls attention to other rail travel hotspots as well. California and the Pacific Northwest both have substantial (if largely separate) traffic on the rails, as does the Chicago area, with heavily traveled prongs extending east into Michigan, south to St. Louis, and north to Milwaukee.’
Read it all at the link below. It is very informative.
Visualizing How Poorly Amtrak’s Route Network Serves Most of the U.S. – Jobs & Economy – The Atlantic Cities.
Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail
January 19, 2013 • 10:27 pm
Trains for America salutes Grand Central Station on its 100th birthday!
The Secrets of Grand Central.
Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail
January 2, 2013 • 10:13 pm
Despite Bloomberg’s deliberately misleading headline, this is a much needed shift in transportation policy. Of course, truckers and airlines will never allow lighter and faster trains.
Amtrak will recommend new U.S. rail- safety regulations to allow it to replace its Acela trains in the Northeast U.S. with lighter, faster equipment, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said.
U.S. crashworthiness standards force Amtrak to use trains that have locomotives on both ends and are slower and heavier than bullet trains used in Europe and Asia, Boardman said in an interview. Those standards reflect that U.S. passenger trains often share tracks with freight railroads rather than operating on their own lines.
Existing standards apply to trains traveling as much as 150 miles per hour (241 kilometers per hour). Writing new rules that relax railcar structural-strength requirements for faster trains “would allow for less use of fuel, quicker acceleration, a different performance profile,” Boardman, 64, said. “What we’re really looking for is a performance specification here.”
Amtrak Seeks Safety Changes to Allow U.S. Bullet Trains- Bloomberg.
Filed under: Amtrak, International High Speed Rail, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail