Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Mr. Biden goes to Washington

You need to read this one. It is actually a very touching commentary on the Vice-President-elect.

End of an Era for ‘Amtrak Man’ Biden 


After 36 years of regular rail travel, U.S. vice president-elect Joseph Biden, 66, the so-called “Amtrak man,” has decided to stop commuting by train.Mr. Biden, who served as senator for Delaware, has caught the Amtrak train in Wilmington, Delaware for the 90-minute, 402 km commute to Washington almost every day for 36 years.


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics

Auto Train suspended

This is not exactly red hot “news,” but the Orlando Sentinel has the complete report.

SANFORD – Cracks in the underframes of auto carriers have grounded Amtrak’s Auto Train until steel plates can be welded to the cracked area of the frames.

The Auto Train travels both northbound and southbound daily between Sanford and the Washington, D.C. suburb of Lorton, Va. Service will not resume any sooner than Saturday, Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said. A decision about the weekend runs will be made today, she said.

Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail, Travel Woes

Kerry pushes High Speed Rail

Senators John Kerry and Arlen Specter have introduced legislation to provide $8 billion for developing essential transportation corridors. files the report.

The bill would provide money for tax-exempt bonds to finance rail projects which reach a speed of at least 110 miles per hour. It would include $10 billion over 10 years to fund improvements in the Northeast and California, and $5.4 billion over a six-year period for 10 rail corridors, including connecting the cities of the Midwest through Chicago, connecting the cities of the Northwest, connecting the major cities within Texas and Florida, and connecting all the cities along the East Coast.

This looks like a tremendous boost to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. The brilliance of that proposal is that it uses existing right-of-way and can be completed in just a few years.

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

Auto bailout talk

David B. Livingstone of the North Star Writers Group has a column about the proposed General Motors “rescue.” It is a long and satisfying item and he proposes five points for consideration before Congress writes the check. I think you will agree with his sentiments. 

1. Ownership of all physical assets, inclusive of factories and offices, should be transferred to the federal government and leased back to the firms on a for-profit basis;

2. A mandatory 10-year zero layoffs policy should be introduced;

3. Bailout funds should be in the form of a “mass transit Marshall plan.” The (former) automakers would be charged with re-engineering and retooling their operations for purposes of developing and implementing next-generation mass transit solutions, including high-speed rail;

4. The onset of the bailout program would mark the beginning of a mandatory 15-year phase-out of the manufacture of petroleum-consuming internal combustion engines;

5. Bailout recipients shall be legally precluded from any petition for bankruptcy protection. 

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

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November 2008