Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Does congress have the political will to pass HSR funding?

The more things “change” in Washington, the more they stay the same. 

With all the optimistic talk about developing some sort of meaningful High Speed Rail development,  the political insiders are still completely in the bag for the same old special interests. The plan is $100 million worth of “lip service” for sound transportation policy and more highways and bridges to nowhere.

Here is what the Midwest High Speed Rail Association says.

President-Elect Barack Obama and Congressional leaders are proposing to pass an infrastructure stimulus package during the first week of the new administration.

This is an critical opportunity to get passenger rail investments.

Investing in high-speed rail will help restructure and strengthen our economy by reducing transportation costs and bringing cities closer together.

Unfortunately, our D.C. sources say that the “marker” for fast trains is pathetically small – just $100 million.

California’s high-speed rail project alone will require at least $15 billion from the federal government. How can Congress even consider spending only $100 million for the entire nation on state-based rail investment?

We could miss this opportunity if we don’t act now.

The stimulus package could be signed into law just days after President-Elect Obama takes office on January 20th.

Act Now! Tell your Member of Congress to invest at least $5 billion in high-speed rail in the $700 billion stimulus package.

And tell President-Elect Barack Obama the same thing: at least $5 billion for high-speed rail.

Click here to send a message


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

Michigan Central Station: A rail ghost in the Motor City


Via Ellis Simon over at the Riding My Train blog comes these haunting pictures from Joe Braun’s thorough exploration into Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central Station. The creepy photos are a sad reminder of the wholesale destruction of rail transportation on all levels in this country… a phenomenon that was particularly acute in the heart of the storm – Detroit.

As Braun points out, the station was perhaps doomed from the start. The builders purposefully constructed the depot in a far flung corner of the city, hoping to anchor economic development in the area. When the streetcar service to the station shut down, a lack of adequate parking and access to transit and density unsurpringinly signed MCS’s death warrant.

Photo credit: Joe Braun

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail, Travel Woes

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December 2008