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Keyword: amtrak

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  • AMTRAK Sucks

    07/22/2014 11:23:07 AM PDT · by Paul46360 · 63 replies
    7-22-14 | Me
    On 21July2014 Amtrak Wolverine was due to arrive in New Buffalo Michigan at 8:10pm from Chicago. But it was over 2 hours late. When my wife FINALLY talked with a REAL person she was told that AMTRAK's own dispatch center could NOTcontact the train and to call back in 10 min for update!!!!!!!!
  • California, Amtrak end joint high-speed train bid

    06/22/2014 7:46:18 AM PDT · by george76 · 14 replies
    ap ^ | June 20, 2014 | JULIET WILLIAMS
    The agencies said their needs are too different and manufacturers are not yet ready to build trains that can run on both Amtrak's 100-year-old rail lines and the high-speed corridors planned for California's system. ... Several unfavorable court rulings have also delayed work. In the most high-profile case, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge halted the sale of $8.6 billion in state rail bonds and ordered the state to write a new funding plan, delaying work on the first 28-mile segment from Madera to Fresno. The state has appealed. But the $108 billion budget that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed...
  • Amtrak train strikes, kills person in Connecticut

    05/09/2014 9:42:41 PM PDT · by george76 · 24 replies
    WCVB-TV ^ | May 09, 2014
    Amtrak train en route from Boston to Washington. ... It was the second accident involving an Amtrak train in Connecticut this week. An Amtrak Acela Express struck and killed a man in Groton on Monday.
  • After 43 years, St. Paul's Union Depot marks return of passenger trains

    05/09/2014 4:59:55 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 25 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | Fred Melo
    Passenger trains are again rolling into St. Paul's historic Union Depot. Ramsey County leaders joined their peers from St. Paul and the state Wednesday to welcome Amtrak to their meticulously restored depot. The first train, the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago, arrived at 11:13 p.m. -- 70 minutes late -- en route to Seattle and Portland, Ore. "Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people," said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, said during ceremonies earlier in the day. But don't...
  • Perpetually Indebted Amtrak Wants to Offer Free Rides

    03/16/2014 11:13:21 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 37 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 16, 2014 | Akash Chougule
    The multiple folds of irony are all most too much to handle. The nation’s government-run passenger rail service – which has never once in more than four decades turned a profit and relies on perpetual taxpayer handouts - plans to start offering free rides to writers. The idea, which stemmed from a New York-based writer’s tweet, will launch an official residency program for writers on its long-distance routes, coincidentally the least cost-efficient and most heavily subsidized in the Amtrak system. Amtrak is a perpetual loser, and it’s unlikely that this writers-ride-free gimmick will have a happy ending. Perhaps no government...
  • 3 Amtrak Trains With Hundreds of Passengers Stranded Since Monday

    01/07/2014 8:51:21 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 55 replies
    ABC News ^ | 1-7-14 | ANTHONY CASTELLANO
    About 500 passengers aboard three Amtrak trains were stranded overnight in a remote part of northern Illinois because of blowing and drifting snow, Amtrak officials said today. The trains were halted late Monday near Mendota, about 80 miles west of Chicago. The passengers were aboard the Southwest Chief from Los Angeles, the Illinois Zephyr from Quincy, Ill., and the California Zephyr from the San Francisco Bay area, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told The Associated Press. The trains became stuck around 4:15 p.m. ET Monday after they hit a 12-foot snow drift that paralyzed the engines, passenger Bryan Plummer told ABC...
  • Amtrak Investigates How Train Headed To NYC Ends Up In Bala Cynwyd [PA]

    11/20/2013 12:57:54 PM PST · by Third Person · 78 replies
    CBS Philly ^ | November 19th, 2013 | Elizabeth Hur
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Amtrak wants to know how one of its trains took a wrong turn and got lost in the Philadelphia suburbs. Worried and baffled were most travelers at 30th Street Station Tuesday night. Mike Roberts of Coatesville said, “Wow, that’s crazy. That’s not professional at all. How could that happen?” It sounds wild, but Amtrak officials confirm it did happen and what they can tell us so far is this: Amtrak Train 644 that left 30th Street Station for New York City accidentally ended up on the SEPTA tracks. The train actually traveled several miles before the mistake...
  • St. Paul Union Depot to celebrate 'National Train Day' on Saturday

    05/08/2013 5:00:26 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 3 replies
    pioneer press ^ | 5-8-13 | fred melo
    Historian John Diers, author of the new book "St. Paul Union Depot," will be among the train enthusiasts who will welcome visitors to the Union Depot on Saturday, May 11. The newly refurbished Lowertown depot, which is expected to provide Amtrak passenger service by the end of the year, is celebrating Amtrak's "National Train Day" with free family activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Diers, who will deliver a presentation, will have copies of his book for sale. The Radio Disney road crew, a vintage bluegrass railroad band led by Cannonball Paul, storeowner Choo Choo Bob and the St....
  • Canada terror suspect is a Tunisian citizen

    04/25/2013 4:12:43 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 25, 2013 3:51 PM EDT | Benjamin Shingler
    The Tunisian Embassy says one of two men accused of plotting to derail a train in Canada is a Tunisian citizen. The embassy said Thursday that 30-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier came to Quebec in August 2008 and is registered at the Consulate of Tunisia in Montreal. …
  • Al Qaeda-linked plot to attack passenger train broken up by Canadian,US [Canada creates Terrorists!]

    04/22/2013 3:06:15 PM PDT · by NoLibZone · 29 replies
    Fox - non State Media ^ | April 22 2013 | FNS
    Canadian authorities announced Monday they have broken up an Al Qaeda-linked terror plot to attack a passenger train as it crossed over a bridge in the Toronto area. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday that two suspects have been arrested on terrorism charges. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who live in greater Montreal and Toronto -- were conspiring to carry out an Al Qaeda-supported attack against Via Rail, but posed no immediate threat to the public. "It was definitely in the planning stage but not imminent," RCMP chief superintendent Jennifer Strachan told reporters at a news conference. Read more:...
  • U.S. and Canada foil Al Qaeda terrorist plot to derail New York to Toronto passenger train

    04/22/2013 4:02:46 PM PDT · by MarkBsnr · 14 replies
    New York Daily News ^ | April 22 2013 | By Greg Smith AND David Knowles / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Terror never rests, even on the placid train trip between New York and Toronto. With the help of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Canadian law enforcement officials announced Monday that they had stopped an Al Qaeda-linked plot to derail a New York-to-Toronto Amtrak passenger train, and have arrested two suspects in Montreal and Toronto. Police charged Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser with "terrorism related offenses," officials said at a news conference Monday afternoon. The men were observed gathering information on trains in the Toronto area, officials said, which they planned to attack. The charges against the...
  • How to Spend 47 Hours on a Train and Not Go Crazy

    03/03/2013 2:46:18 AM PST · by iowamark · 34 replies
    NY Times ^ | February 28, 2013 | NATHANIEL RICH
    Vickie, Alice, Lisa, Debbie, Barbara, Chris, Clair and Cootz boarded the Los Angeles-bound Sunset Limited in Schriever, La., and immediately took residence in the glass-sheathed Sightseer Lounge car. The eight women squeezed into two booths on either side of the aisle and began to scream with laughter. With a quiet, pneumatic exhalation, the Sunset Limited left the station; it was 90 minutes into its journey, with 45 hours and 5 minutes to go... It climbed steadily for two miles before passing over the dizzyingly narrow span of the Huey P. Long Bridge. From up there, 145 feet above the Mississippi...
  • Sequester Forces Biden to Take Amtrak

    03/01/2013 8:25:00 AM PST · by KeyLargo · 27 replies
    Newsmax ^ | Mar 1, 2013 | Sandy Fitzgerald
    Newsmax Sequester Forces Biden to Take Amtrak Friday, March 1, 2013 10:04 AM By: Sandy Fitzgerald Joe Biden’s military flights back home to Delaware will be grounded starting this weekend, as the vice president plans to start taking Amtrak trains to help cut the costs involved in using military transport for the short trip. Biden said he initiated the change in travel plans, Fox News reports, saying the change is the one part of the sequester that works to his benefit. According to published reports, it costs the government tens of thousands of dollars every time Biden takes Air Force...
  • TSA's Grip on Internal Travel is Tightening

    12/12/2012 10:45:02 PM PST · by sourcery · 51 replies
    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is tightening its grip on domestic travcel. I don't mean the random, unpredictable security checks at bus, subway and train stations which already exist. I mean a coordinated and systematic police control of internal travel within America. Groundwork is being laid. Application to Make U.S. Into an Airport Screening Zone The application was tucked away on page 71431 of Volume 77, Number 231 of the Federal Register (November 30). It was surrounded by soporific references to forwarding "the new Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review...
  • TSA does surprise check at Lamar Boulevard Amtrak (Austin , TX )

    01/25/2013 6:17:17 PM PST · by george76 · 36 replies
    KXAN ^ | 24 Jan 2013 | Chris Sadeghi
    Random checks happen at stations across country. Passengers catching the 9:30 a.m. Amtrak train from Austin to Dallas were met with an unexpected surprise when they got to the station. Transportation Security Administration agents, Austin police officers, and the Department of Homeland Security were all waiting for them. ... Random security checks are voluntary ... The random check takes about 10-15 minutes and happens hundreds of times a day at bus, train, and subway stations across the country.
  • Nixon hailed as foreign policy genius at centennial of birth

    01/07/2013 5:26:55 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sun Jan 6, 2013 5:52pm EST | Brandon Lowrey
    At a ceremony commemorating the late U.S. President Richard M. Nixon’s 100th birthday, politicians, a military official and Nixon’s eldest daughter on Sunday remembered him as an underappreciated president and a foreign policy genius. Nixon, the Cold War-era Republican stalwart who opened U.S. relations with communist China, was the only American president to resign from office, leaving the White House in disgrace over the Watergate scandal. “He looked at (the world) as a world with 200 countries and 200 leaders, and he studied every one of those leaders, and he knew most of them,” said Bruce Herschensohn, a friend and...
  • Amtrak to replace high-speed Acela trains

    12/13/2012 8:23:34 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 30 replies
    CNN Money ^ | December 13, 2012: 3:21 PM ET | James O’Toole
    Amtrak announced plans Thursday to replace its fleet of high-speed trains on the East Coast. The railroad said that early next year, it would begin the process of replacing its 20 existing Acela Express train sets, which run on the Northeast Corridor rail line between Boston and Washington, DC. … Amtrak said Thursday that it had scrapped a previous plan to add 40 new passenger cars to the existing fleet, deeming it too expensive and “insufficient to handle new ridership growth projections.” …
  • Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail: SEMCOG says demonstration trains could start next year

    11/14/2012 11:46:34 AM PST · by Darren McCarty · 21 replies
    annarbor ^ | 11-14-2012 | Ryan Stanton
    Six newly refurbished, bi-level commuter rail cars made their first test run from Pontiac to Jackson and back Tuesday night, passing through Ann Arbor. Officials involved in the Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail initiative are hoping to hear back sometime next week whether the cars passed the test, which is required to be cleared for service. And if that happens, the public could be invited to ride demonstration trains starting next year. "Things seemed to go well," said Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Tuesday's train, led by an Amtrak locomotive, made stops in...
  • A USA train ride worth taking!

    10/25/2012 11:39:00 AM PDT · by GSWarrior · 17 replies
    Glenwood Springs to Denver through Rocky Mountains
  • Amtrak workers failing drug tests more often

    09/28/2012 12:39:31 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 6 replies
    Assoicated Press ^ | September 28, 2012 | JOSH LEDERMAN
    <p>A government watchdog says Amtrak's train operators are testing positive for drugs and alcohol more and more frequently over the last six years.</p>
  • One Proposal For Amtrak Bullet Train Route: Under Long Island Sound

    09/20/2012 6:53:39 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 37 replies
    Hartford Courant ^ | 5:01 p.m. EDT, September 3, 2012 | Don Stacom
    As Amtrak studies how to bring bullet trains to its frantically busy Northeast Corridor, one design team is suggesting a radically new route requiring a roughly 18-mile-long tunnel beneath Long Island Sound. Trains speeding from Washington to Boston would run through the heart of Long Island, cross into Connecticut through a tunnel emerging in Milford, head to Hartford and then race east toward Worcester on new tracks running alongside I-84. The segment between Manhattan and Hartford would cost about $20 billion, according to the University of Pennsylvania's high-speed rail design studio, which first put forward the idea in 2010. Overall,...
  • Cross country train trip

    09/04/2012 3:13:37 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 29 replies
    vanity ^ | 9-4-12 | self
    As some of you may know, I've been dealing with the needs of my 99 year old mom this summer. She fell in May and broke her leg. Her recovery has been remarkable, but it is not possible for her to remain at her home alone any longer, and we have moved her into "assisted living". We found a very nice facility where we moved her during the past 2 weeks. The problem is that she is in California, where she wants to remain, and we are in Wisconsin, where we need to remain to run our business. We are...
  • Countering Chick-fil-A, Amtrak and other firms bask in gay pride, and gay dollars

    08/04/2012 6:23:36 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 62 replies
    The New York Daily News ^ | August 4, 2012 | Victoria Cavaliere
    You better think twice, Chick-fil-A: The same week that the fast food chain faced criticism over its president’s opposition to same-sex marriage, the train company unveiled a new campaign targeting gay and lesbian customers. The same week that controversy erupted over Chick-fil-A’s opposition to same-sex marriage, Amtrak unveiled a marketing campaign aimed at its gay and lesbian clientele. The “Ride With Pride” program promotes “extremely gay-friendly” destinations, including California wine country and Martha’s Vineyard. “It makes good business sense to target a population that is a friend of the rails, a friend of rail travel,” said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole,...
  • Taxpayer-Funded Amtrak Releases Ads Targeted For Gay Couples

    08/04/2012 8:39:55 AM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 26 replies
    CBS DC ^ | August. 4, 2012
    WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Taxpayer-funded Amtrak has released a new ad campaign targeted for gay and lesbian couples. The “Ride With Pride” program encourages couples to go to gay-friendly destinations, like Martha’s Vineyard, on its website. “This island paradise is the perfect destination for a gay or lesbian couple looking for a tranquil getaway,” the site states. The program also lets children ride for half-off, whether they are with gay or straight couples. Amtrak calls the diversity program a priority.
  • Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda

    08/02/2012 1:35:12 PM PDT · by TigerClaws · 53 replies
    Taxpayers lost $833 million over the last decade on the food and beverages supplied by Amtrak, which managed to spend $1.70 for every dollar that received in revenue. “Over the last ten years, these losses have amounted to a staggering $833.8 million,” said Rep.John Mica, R-Fla., in a statement previewing a House hearing today. “It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15. Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40.”
  • 'Mooning of the Amtrak' is set for Saturday ( CA )

    07/10/2012 1:58:42 PM PDT · by george76 · 14 replies
    THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER ^ | July 9, 2012 | CLAUDIA KOERNER
    LAGUNA NIGUEL – Train passengers can expect an eyeful Saturday as bare bottoms converge along the tracks at Camino Capistrano for the annual Mooning of the Amtrak. In 2008, the 30-year tradition swelled to close to 10,000 revelers.
  • TSA Invades Chicago's Union Station

    07/10/2012 12:02:40 PM PDT · by JohnKinAK · 59 replies
    Youtube ^ | 7/8/2012 | 1776umphreys
    Citizen video tapes TSA setting up checkpoint at Chicago's Union Station. "As I entered Chicago's Union Station back on July 5th, I noticed 3 Fully Uniform TSA Agents sitting inside the office of Amtrak Police. I took out my cell phone and started to follow these TSA agents, and it appeared to me that they were setting up a Check Point for Amtrak Riders. This is just another example of how TSA expanding their operations and entering Train Stations, Bus terminals, and major sporting and concert events. Will Americans allow TSA to bring their intrusive Pat Downs on the road...
  • Amtrak plans 37-minute train from New York to Philadelphia by 2040

    07/10/2012 10:32:59 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 50 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Jul 9, 2012 8:20pm EDT | Dave Warner
    Amtrak announced a $151 billion improvement plan on Monday that includes 37-minute trips from New York to Philadelphia at speeds approaching 220 miles per hour (354 km per hour). However, the U.S. passenger railroad will need substantial financial support from both state and federal governments to make its ambitious plan to transform rail travel in the Northeast a reality. The railroad predicted that super-fast train trips along the East Coast could be a reality by 2040. Travel times from New York to either Washington or Boston—both about 200 miles (350 km) in distance—would also be slashed, to 94 minutes, the...
  • Amtrak and self-driving cars aka "road trains" [vanity]

    05/31/2012 7:50:04 AM PDT · by Feline_AIDS · 18 replies
    Two days ago I asked you all to answer my ignorant questions about Amtrak, which I misspelled as Amtrack. (Thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2889095/posts) First, thanks for the helpful responses. It was very informative. Today I made the 5 hr trip by car that I loathe. This same trip that would have cost me ~$300 and 16+ hrs round trip on Amtrak, according to the estimates on their website. By car, (assuming gas prices stay the same), it will be $100 and 10 hrs. Obviously, the car wins. But there's one thing missing from the comments on the other thread--something no one even...
  • The 40-year Train Wreck

    05/29/2012 9:16:44 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 20 replies
    uExpress ^ | 27 May 2012 | Scott Burns
    The cover of the 2011 annual report for Amtrak, our government-owned passenger train service, celebrates its 40th anniversary as a business. Well, kind of. It can certainly celebrate its endurance as an organization drawing unending support from the U.S. Treasury and its many, many bondholders. But as a business? I don't think so. In every year since 1971, Amtrak has lost money. Real businesses don't lose money for 40 consecutive years. When they lose money for a year or so, the top dogs get heaved. If the losses go on much longer, the company is taken over, dismembered and sold...
  • Train Wreck: Amtrak Is a Case Study in Government Waste

    03/05/2012 9:13:40 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 9 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 3/5/2012 | Jarrett Skorup
    At a campaign stop on Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that if he is elected he will stop federal funding for passenger rail, including Amtrak. “I like those things, I just think they have to be paid for by private funds, not by funds from China,” he said. The Michigan news website Mlive.con highlighted the story and quoted a response from Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman about similar statements in the past that would cut funding to the service: “Congress has given Amtrak a critical national mission to provide intercity passenger rail service, and with an appropriate...
  • Speeding to Kalamazoo aboard Amtrak’s high-speed train

    02/16/2012 6:18:12 AM PST · by N. Theknow · 33 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | February 16, 2012 | Mark Brown
    When the Pioneer Zephyr — better known as the Silver Streak — made its historic run from Denver to Chicago in 1934, the diesel-powered passenger train now on display at the Museum of Science and Industry topped out at 112.5 miles per hour, which at the time was only slightly off the world land speed record. What then are we to make of Wednesday’s official Amtrak kickoff for its first “high speed rail” corridor outside the Northeast — on which trains traveling between Chicago and Kalamazoo, Mich., will now reach top speeds of 110 miles per hour? Bring back the...
  • Rick Santorum, as Senator, Preached the Gospel of Transit

    01/11/2012 12:25:33 PM PST · by Happy Valley Dude · 8 replies · 1+ views
    Transportation Nation ^ | 01/09/2012 | Matt Dellinger
    n March of 2005, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its Pennsylvania counterpart (PPTA) honored Senator Rick Santorum for his dedication to public transportation. APTA president William W. Millar noted Santorum’s “tireless advocacy” and contributions on “both the national and local level.” This recognition came shortly after Santorum appeared on Meet the Press with Joe Biden and vowed to oppose President Bush in his efforts to cut Amtrak funding. “Without substantial government funds or other intervening action, Amtrak would quickly enter bankruptcy and shut down all of its services, leaving millions of riders and thousands of communities without access...
  • Death of man struck by train leads to 'bizarre' civil case (Injury by flying body parts!)

    12/29/2011 11:28:30 AM PST · by CedarDave · 48 replies · 1+ views
    The Chicago Tribune ^ | December 29, 2011 | Steve Schmadeke
    Ruling in what it called a "tragically bizarre" case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook [Illinois] Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander. In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph. A large portion of his...
  • Union Station Shooting: Several shot at Dallas train station (developing)

    12/05/2011 6:06:27 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 18 replies
    CW33tv ^ | 5 Dec 2011 | Charles Bassett
    An off-duty police officer is among the injured and one person is dead after a shooting at Union Station in Dallas. Charles Bassett is at the live crime scene at the corner of Houston & Wood with these details so far: Dallas police are investigating the shooting which occurred between 3:30 and 4:00 pm at Union station. The shooting happened on board an Amtrak train stopped at the station. DART officials are on the scene as well, along with a lot of stranded passengers still trying to get to their destinations. Trains are once again running at the station. DART...
  • Is AMTRAK A Model Of How High Speed Rail Will Be Managed?

    09/27/2011 9:05:54 AM PDT · by Starman417 · 9 replies
    Flopping Aces ^ | 09-27-11 | Warren Beatty
    President Barack Obama wants to "stimulate" the economy through infrastructure spending. High on his list is "high speed rail." (HSR) He has even compared this country to China regarding lack of high speed rail. So, with Obama's desire in mind, I thought a look at AMTRAK and the subsidies it receives might be in order. It can be argued that AMTRAK was not designed to be high speed rail, and that is true. However, I think that it can serve as a good model of how the government will manage high speed rail. HSR and Stimulus Spending Obama's first...
  • China rail staff beat passenger to death

    09/27/2011 8:31:19 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 6 replies
    News24 (South Africa) ^ | September 27, 2011 | News24
    Beijing - A passenger was beaten to death by staff on a train in eastern China, state media reported, dealing a fresh blow to the rail industry's reputation following a fatal crash in July. Three train staff seized the middle-aged man by the throat and savagely beat him after he intervened in an argument involving another passenger, Jiangxi Television, a local station, reported on Monday. Doctors were summoned from an emergency centre near the station in Jiangxi province where the train stopped, but the man died before they arrived, the report said, citing witnesses and the hospital. The television report...
  • The Rise and Fall of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor

    08/20/2011 8:38:40 AM PDT · by Publius · 19 replies
    United Rail Passenger Alliance ^ | 16 & 18 August 2011 | Editors of “This Week at Amtrak”
    In the Beginning“While the mighty Pennsylvania boasted of having pushed its steel tentacles into some of the nation’s most populous cities, it could not make that claim with regard to New York City. Throughout the last years of the nineteenth century, the PRR struggled in vain to conquer the great natural barrier – the Hudson River – which lay between it and America’s largest metropolis.” – Michael Bezilla, Electric Traction on the Pennsylvania Railroad 1895-1968, Pennsylvania State University Press To understand the United States, one must contemplate the challenges of those earliest days of the Republic. The two largest cities...
  • Crash Put’s Rail Ministry’s Debt in the Spotlight [ China- 320 Bln in debt ]

    08/05/2011 4:13:19 PM PDT · by NoLibZone · 6 replies
    ntdtv.com/ ^ | August 5 2011 | ntdtv.com
    After the July 23rd train crash in Wenzhou China, where over 40 people were killed, safety isn’t the only thing that has come under the spotlight. China’s railway ministry is saddled with debt. A debt of over 320 billion US dollars, or five percent of China’s GDP. This debt has built up through the rapid expansion of the railway network. Several railway ministry officials have also been charged with corruption for siphoning off money for themselves. The railway ministry has been criticized for calling off the rescue efforts early in order to get trains running again. Some analysts believe this...
  • Amtrak Blows $1 Bil In DHS Grants To Protect Against Terrorism

    08/04/2011 10:30:12 AM PDT · by Nachum · 19 replies
    Judicial Watch ^ | 8/4/11 | staff
    Last Updated: Thu, 08/04/2011 - 12:54pm Despite getting more than $1 billion from the U.S. government to bolster security, the nation’s passenger train system—known as Amtrak—remains vulnerable to a terrorist attack because the money wasn’t spent efficiently to adequately protect the most vulnerable stations. It’s the last thing Americans need to hear in the tumult of an epic budget crisis and record-high unemployment, that tax dollars were wasted by yet another incompetent government agency with a bloated budget. It’s an old, worn out story that gets repeated way too often. In this case the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failed...
  • China's Railway Ministry Is $300 Billion In Debt

    07/30/2011 4:13:39 PM PDT · by NoLibZone · 10 replies
    businessinsider.com ^ | July 19 2011 | Linette Lopez
    Maybe Chinese trains don't go as fast as promised, but they still cost quite a lot. China's Railway Ministry is 1.98 trillion yuan ($294.87 billion) in debt after the first quarter of this year, and its asset-liability ratio has reached 58.24 percent. To continue financing projects (they still have trains to buy and roads to build), the Ministry will issue bonds on July 21st. This is the third time they've had to issue bonds this year- the first time it raised 20 billion yuan, the second time it raised 15 billion yuan. That's aside from what China Daily calls "super-short-term...
  • Feds Probe Truck Driver Killed In Bay Area-Bound Amtrak Crash (5 dead, 20 injured)

    06/25/2011 9:41:27 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 47 replies
    CBS5 ^ | /25/11 | CBS/AP
    RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) — Authorities plan to look into the driving and medical records of the semitrailer driver who died when the truck slammed into an Amtrak train, killing a train crew member and injuring dozens of passengers. Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said they also will look at autopsy results to determine whether the driver had consumed any drugs around the time of the collision Friday. The big rig plowed into the California-bound train at a crossing in a rural area about 70 miles east of Reno. Knudson said federal investigators would make sure...
  • Truck Hits Sacramento-Bound Amtrak Train; 2 Dead

    06/25/2011 12:02:28 AM PDT · by red flanker · 78 replies
    KCRA ^ | June 24, 2011
    CHURCHILL COUNTY, Nev. -- At least two people were killed and about 20 others were injured in a fiery collision between a Sacramento-bound Amtrak train and a semitrailer on a rural northern Nevada highway. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez said the truck driver and one person on the train were killed in the 11:25 a.m. Friday accident about 70 miles east of Reno. He says an unknown number of other people on the train were injured and are being taken by ambulances to the hospital.
  • Amtrak Chugs Deeper Into the Red

    05/18/2011 11:18:55 AM PDT · by NoLibZone · 38 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | May 18 2011 | JOSH MITCHELL
    Amtrak blames the red ink on rising compensation costs for union workers and increased costs for fuel, materials and other expenses. Amtrak is making money on its heavily traveled Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, serving mostly commuters, executives said. But money-losing, long-distance routes are a drag on the bottom line, Amtrak say. Amtrak officials project an operating loss of $506 million in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, up from a loss of $419.9 million last year. Officials have projected a loss of $616 million next year. Federal subsidies cover about 16% of Amtrak's operating expenses, which are projected...
  • Woman arrested on train for talking loudly on phone for 16 HOURS! (And she was in the quiet carriage

    05/17/2011 8:13:41 PM PDT · by rawhide · 32 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | May 17, 2011 8:02 pm
    As if it isn't hard enough to get to sleep on overnight journeys, one group of unlucky passengers shared a carriage with a woman who talked loudly on her mobile phone for 16 hours. In the end she was arrested. Lakeysha Beard of Tigard, Oregon, was charged with disorderly conduct after police were called by Amtrak staff following continued complaints from passengers. Police said the 39-year-old became aggressive and was involved in a 'verbal altercation' when asked to be quiet during the journey from Oakland, California to Salem, Oregon. Fellow travellers said Ms Beard refused to put the phone down...
  • Trains to Detroit will be faster, have more room with high(er) speed rail money Florida rejected

    05/12/2011 4:53:05 PM PDT · by dynachrome · 89 replies
    Medill Reports ^ | 5-12-11 | Austin B. Smith
    One of the projects to be funded with the money Florida rejected will be to transform 135 miles of Amtrak’s Wolverine route, which runs between Chicago and Detroit, into a higher-speed rail line, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This improvement, which will cost $196.5 million, will be paid for by the federal government. Trains will be able to reach speeds up to 110 mph, compared with their current top speed of 79 mph. The trip, which currently takes more than 5 hours, is expected to be more than 30 minutes shorter. “This is not true high-speed rail by...
  • Braley pressing Iowa Legislature for passenger rail funding

    05/11/2011 6:05:59 PM PDT · by iowamark · 8 replies
    Cedar Rapids Gazette ^ | 11 May 2011 | James Q. Lynch
    U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley is calling on Iowa lawmakers and Gov. Terry Branstad to fund the state’s share of the cost of developing a high-speed rail connection between Iowa City through the Quad Cities to Chicago. Iowa and Illinois have secured $230 million in federal funding for an Amtrak route between Chicago and Iowa City. The project now depends on Branstad and the Legislature fulfilling Iowa’s $20 million commitment to the project, according to Braley, whose district includes the Quad Cities. He has written to Branstad as well as House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal,...
  • Schumer Will Deprive Us Of More Freedoms To Stop Terror On Trains

    05/10/2011 9:05:42 AM PDT · by Starman417 · 23 replies
    Flopping Aces ^ | 05-09-11 | Skookum
    It's A Dead Heat, Lunacy And Hypocrisy Are Dueling For The Lead, At The Head Of The StretchSen. Charles Schumer, NY, is calling for increased security on trains; since, Osama's computer files have included vague plans for attacking rail systems to celebrate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Schumer is suggesting an ever larger increase in America's security forces that have largely been shown to be ineffective and incompetent in the past. Schumer is also suggesting a fool proof, no-ride list, so that terrorists who are known to be terrorists cannot ride, but will be free to find another opportunity...
  • Trains In Vain

    05/09/2011 7:31:30 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 12 replies
    IBD Editorials ^ | May 9, 2011 | Staff
    Subsidies: This week, Amtrak marks its 40th anniversary, which means that for decades it's wasted tens of billions of tax dollars. Naturally, Washington wants to reward this with billions more under the guise of "high-speed" rail. To say that Amtrak is a failed business is to be unkind to failure. Consider: • A Pew study found that all but three of Amtrak's 44 lines lost money in 2008, with an average loss of $32 per passenger. Even the heavily used Northeast Regional line was a money-loser. • Each year, Amtrak relies on more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies —...
  • Schumer Calls For ‘Do Not Ride’ List For Amtrak

    05/09/2011 1:41:50 PM PDT · by rellimpank · 30 replies
    CBS ^ | 09 may 2011
    — Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for better rail security now that the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound has turned up plans to attack trains in the U.S. “Anyone, even a member of al-Qaida could purchase a train ticket and board an Amtrak train without so much as a question asked,” Schumer said. “So that’s why I’m calling for the creation of an Amtrak no ride list. That would take the secure flight program and apply it to Amtrak trains.”