Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Midwest High Speed Rail Association is keeping track of Congress

This is an easy source of information on how your Senator or Representative voted on essential HSR legislation.

Our new link for the new site will be called “MWHSRA Roll Call.”

Roll Call

On July 23rd, the House of Representatives voted on the 2010 appropriations bill that would distribute $4 billion to high-speed rail. The House appropriations bill for transportation, H.R.3288, can be found here. An amendment introduced by Tom Latham (R-IA) to cut this additional funding by $3 billion failed (we have recorded every vote in the House by state so you can see how your Representative voted on this $3 billion high-speed rail question). Unfortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not meet the level of support that the House of Representatives demonstrated for high-speed rail. On July 30th, the committee chose to only appropriate $1.2 billion for high-speed rail, $2.8 billion less than the House bill. The full Senate is expected to take up the issue of transportation appropriations in the coming weeks. The differing Senate and House figures must then be reconciled into a final budget bill for the new fiscal year, which starts on October 1st.

Tell your three Members of Congress (two U.S. Senators and one Representative) to spend $4 billion on high speed rail next fiscal year.

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

KOCO TV Ch. 5: High Spped Rail Could Come To Oklahoma

ODOT working to bring high spped rail to the state.Mark Opgrande reports. It is a rather typical television report. If you are going to have somebody in favor of any kind of sensible ground transportation, make sure the person is completely incoherent. Be sure to include to most astronomical price tag for true European-style HSR, and make it a point to put passenger rail transportation on trial like a criminal. “Will people give high speed rail a chance?” The video can not be embeded, so here is a link. (It is also available in the sidebar on the date of this post.)

This concept suggests a corridor from Fort Worth to Tulsa, TFA has previously commented on an Oklahoma City-Tulsa service, noting the favorable possibilities.

  • driving distance is about 100 miles
  • state owns much of the existing rail line (which needs lots of work)
  • state owns turnpike right-of-way (could this land be used? It’s straight as an arrow.)
  • Oklahoma City pop. 1,200,000 plus
  • Tulsa pop.685,000
  • interfaces with an upgraded Heartland Flyer service to DFW.

The quality of public transportation in both cities would be an important factor and that is a subject on which I am not able to comment. It seems to make sense that Oklahoma should get moving on improving the existing track to “high performance rail” standards and start operating in the 100 mph range.

Oh, look at that! 100 miles at 100 mph gives you a travel time of about one-hour end-to-end. Why haven’t they figuted this out already? And here’s the good part; it would not cost anything approaching the afore mentioned $1.5 billion.

The total construction on this is probably more like $250 million. Trains departing each end on the hour all day and scheduled at a running time of around 75 minutes is a big winner.

Oklahoma should forget European-style HSR and get moving on “high performance rail” tomorrow. It will change that already vibrant region forever.

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

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August 2009