Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Ft. Wayne rallies for Amtrak, HSR

I have to say, it warms my heart to see people taking to the streets in support of better rail transportation choices. We saw it last year in Vermont, and here again we have 400 people in Fort Wayne, IN petitioning for the return of Amtrak service. In addition, Ft. Wayne is a potential incremental high-speed rail stop linking the Chicago hub to the proposed Ohio network.

Of course, these rallies aren’t grand demonstrations demanding the construction of a national HSR network. It’s regular people who just want convenient transportation options for their community. It sounds small, but the local scale is exactly where momentum is rooted for a real change in national rail policy.

And a few protests might be exactly what the doctor ordered. As The Overhead Wire points out, people want the efficient and sustainable jobs and transportation that rail brings. The politicians just aren’t listening to them.

The Chicago Tribune has the full story.


Filed under: Amtrak, United States High Speed Rail,

Amtrak “on time performance” improves

Most of us have noticed the improvement and credited the big shift to a steady economic decline resulting in less freight train interference.

Could it really be all that track work on the UP? We really like UP spokesman Mark Davis here at TFA, so I will only leave you to decide for yourself.

The GJSentinel Online in Grand Junction, Col. (I spent a week of my radio career there back in ’79) also noticed the stark improvement.

In March 2007 only 18 percent of the Amtrak trains that came through the Grand Junction station did it on time, according to Union Pacific, which handles track operations. That number jumped to 44 percent in March 2008, and hit 92 percent last month.

Amtrak, which is owned by the federal government, operates passenger service around the country on the tracks of privately owned railroads.

“There has been effort by Union Pacific to reduce delays,” said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman.

Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific, said track maintenance has greatly helped trains run on time.

“All the track projects we’ve done over the years are starting to pay off,” Davis said.

Other improvements have allowed dispatchers to move freight traffic at constant speed and flow, which gives railroads more flexibility and the ability to give Amtrak trains priority, he said.

Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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April 2009