Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

OnBoard Winona MN

With a rail line that already exists, a unified coalition of businesses, educational institutions and local citizens alike, Winona is a model for maximizing the potential of investment in High Speed Rail.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Kill Amtrak fever

This came in from NARP.

Things continue to move fast for passenger trains on the Senate Floor

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) continues to push a hostile amendment that  would eliminate unspent Amtrak funds from the current (FY 2009)  appropriations law and the Recovery Act. This would threaten millions of dollars used  to provide train service throughout the country.

It’s not too late to take action. Call your Senator and let them know  your strong support for passenger trains, and ask them to vote against the  Ensign amendment and any others hostile to American trains.

The Senate also approved an amendment (by a 68 to 30 vote) offered by  Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), which gives Amtrak until March 31, 2010 to begin  checking guns as checked baggage, or see their funding eliminated. Amtrak  Chairman Thomas Carper has written a letter to the Senate Appropriations  Subcommittee on Transportation warning that Amtrak does not have the  infrastructure, nor the systems in place, to meet this request in such a short  time frame across its entire network.

Sean Jeans-Gail
Communications Director

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics

Oklahoma and true HSR

You need to visit YouTube and search “high speed rail” and restrict the search to “this week.” There is a group of lengthy videos bursting with important information on the Heartland Flyer route and regional HSR.

Most important, Oklahoma is not looking at bringing the state owned railroad between OKC and Tulsa to “high performance” standards. Instead, the route would be the Turner Turnpike. Obviously the state also owns this corridor and it is straight. Oklahoma is talking about true European-style HSR, which seems like corporate welfare for consultants. In other words, I am skeptical.

It may be that constructing a double track high performance line on the turnpike right-of-way is the best most feasible alternative. I don’t see Oklahoma spending $2 billion for high speed rail when the cities seem to have little commitment to transit. Just an opinion.

The good news here is the idea to double track the BNSF from OKC to Fort Worth. This is another excellent corridor and the light rail lines on the south end will nicely support the improved service.

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

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September 2009