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High-speed rail projects suddenly on fast track | Crain’s Chicago Business

Federally funded high-speed rail projects in Illinois and others parts of the country could get under way in as little as two weeks, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday.

Recent concerns raised by the nation’s freight railroads, which are getting the bulk of $8 billion in stimulus funding to accommodate faster passenger trains, had threatened to sidetrack President Barack Obama’s signature transportation project before it even got started.

High-speed rail projects suddenly on fast track | Crain’s Chicago Business.

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

2 Responses

  1. Garl B. Latham says:

    Okay…

    I’m not real sure why it’s in our best interest to help the feds spend money or to aid some politicians with their “signature” projects. I’m not even sure why we (or, more accurately, the business world) should bend over backwards for a hyperactive Vice President. However, those things really aren’t the point.

    What I don’t get is the F.R.A./D.O.T.’s approach to this issue. I understand we’re talking about Ray LaHood; but still, this is nothing short of _bizarre_!

    A motley group of elected and appointed officials have this “vision” thing going, so they’re gonna get all punitive on our railroads for holding up the works? Is THAT how it goes?!

    If I was the “rail industry,” I’d be “stunned,” too!

    In the process of all this planning and pontificating, the Class Is and the A.A.R. – from the get-go – have repeatedly said three things:

    1. We’re willing to talk turkey;

    2. When discussing the use of OUR right-of-way, there WILL BE certain dos and don’ts involved; and

    3. The proposed passenger improvements are just that: improvements for faster/more reliable PASSENGER service…and have NO BEARING upon our own freight operations.

    So now, Biden, La Hood and Associates are going to _threaten_ the carriers and state, in no uncertain terms, that they’ll have to pay back the money they don’t want for infrastructure changes they don’t need if they fail to sign off on issues which don’t improve their operations or profits, and stand to increase their taxes and exposure to liability?!

    Insanity, personified.

    Of course, if Barack Obama REALLY wanted to do something _substantial_, he’d be working toward the establishment of a uniform, comprehensive transportation/energy/environmental policy.

    But, of course, something _substantial_ isn’t the goal.

    So…can anyone help me understand this – or, as with so many other edicts from Washington, am I simply supposed to “take it” and leave the “understanding” to others?!

    As I recently said on the Dallas Morning News transportation blog, “…it’s fascinating. Sometimes, ‘supporters’ can achieve things detractors can’t!”

    Garl Boyd Latham
    Dallas, Texas

  2. we wish to travel by train from Chicago to Nashville early September. With whom do we make a reservation and where can we locate the time schedule, plwease,

    Kath McManamon
    02 67852620 Australia
    eire3@bigpond.com

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