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  • Amtrak Releases New Proposed Map After Biden's Infrastructure Speech. The Responses are Brutal.

    04/01/2021 9:50:23 AM PDT · by rktman · 92 replies
    townhall.com ^ | 4/1/2021 1040hrs edt | Cortney O'Brien
    In Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the president unveiled his new $2.5 trillion "infrastructure" plan which, as Katie explained, has little to do with physical infrastructure at all. Most of the money is reportedly saved to fight climate change and social justice projects. And Amtrak wants in. Amtrak, President Biden's famously favorite mode of transportation, is now seeking to take advantage of the president's new infrastructure spending. They are asking for Congress to pave the way to help them carry 52 million passengers a year by 2035. They also released their proposed map, which includes new routes to their schedules. Some rather...
  • Why Can’t America have High-Speed Bullet Trains?

    05/26/2019 5:46:26 AM PDT · by vannrox · 138 replies
    Metallicman ^ | 25MAY19 | Editorial staff
    Well, California Governor Gavin Newsom has abandoned plans to build a high-speed railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco. After spending billions of dollars in funds, much of it from the Federal government, the Governor said that the project should be shelved. He cited that the project was too expensive. The face of American politics today. This is the slick and well-packaged oligarchy pick for California. Mr. California Governor Gavin Newsom. Look how plastic he appears. Why, he could be right out of one of those political villains from a 1980’s John Cusack movie. California Is Abandoning A Plan To...
  • $2.3 billion goof: New commuter trains too wide for tunnels

    03/15/2018 9:22:54 AM PDT · by rktman · 44 replies
    wnd.com ^ | 3/14/2018 | Unknow
    No one disputes this Australian state’s need to upgrade its rail-transit fleet after 40 years of service. The New South Wales regional train system in and around Sydney operates with a variety of trains, the oldest rolling stock – called V-sets – and newer XPT longer-distance carriers. After four decades, purchasing 512 new carriages at a cost of $2.3 billion had become a necessity. And with the purchase, commuters can look forward to mobile-phone charging stations, accessible toilets and more space for bike racks and luggage. All good … except for one rather major problem. The new trains are too...
  • SunRail ticket revenue is less than ticketing expense (Florida-Orlando)

    03/04/2017 3:28:26 PM PST · by dynachrome · 20 replies
    Orlando Sentinel ^ | 3-4-17 | Kevin Spear
    It’s no secret that tickets bought by SunRail passengers pay only a tiny fraction of the commuter train’s bills, but less known is that ticket revenue doesn’t even cover the cost of selling tickets. SunRail’s finances would be slightly stronger if riding was free. Put another way, the revenue of $1 to $7.50 per ticket is devoured by ticket machines, employees who support ticket sales and armored cars that collect fares, and does nothing to keep the train running. “If we have to pay more money to collect revenue than we are actually collecting, why does it make sense to...
  • Man on Cellphone Killed By Train in South Florida

    10/22/2015 5:00:37 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 17 replies
    NBC Miami ^ | 10/22
    Authorities say a man talking on his cellphone was killed by a train in South Florida. West Palm Beach police say the man was walking near the Regional Transportation Authority tracks Thursday afternoon when he was hit. The Palm Beach Post reports that witnesses told police the man was hit after going under crossing gates. Police didn't immediately identify the man.
  • Southwest light-rail e-mails show messaging behind cost announcement

    07/08/2015 5:34:46 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 5 replies
    MPLS Star Tribune ^ | 7-8-15 | Janet Moore
    At 8:10 a.m. on Monday, April 27, the Metropolitan Council released the startling news that the price tag of the proposed Southwest light-rail line had increased by $341 million to $2 billion. Met Council Chair Adam Duininck said in a news release at the time that “all options are on the table,” including not building the line at all. E-mails among Duininck, Metro Transit officials and other political players — including Gov. Mark Dayton — obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request reflect the behind-the-scenes positioning in the days leading to the announcement. The 231 pages of e-mails don’t...
  • Senate DFLers put transportation funding plan on table

    01/13/2015 5:14:03 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press | 1-12-15 | David Montgomery
    The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party will present a unified front this year in favor of a transportation funding package, including about $1 billion of increased taxes and fees. Legislative DFL leaders unveiled a proposal Monday that dovetails closely with Gov. Mark Dayton's plan, along with that of advocacy group Move MN: almost $600 million per year in new gasoline taxes, plus $125 million in vehicle registration fees and hundreds of millions of dollars more for metro-area mass transit. The plan forestalls the possibility of a three-way fight among Dayton, the DFL majority in the Senate and House Republicans -- who oppose any...
  • High-Speed Rail Project Uncovers Century-Old Raisin Tunnel

    11/17/2014 10:27:39 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 20 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 11-17-14 | Daniel Nussbaum
    According to the Fresno Bee, crews were dismantling the old Del Monte plant on G Street when they came across the tunnel, believed to have been built around 1906 by the Pacific Coast Seeded Raisin Co. According to century-old fire insurance maps, the tunnel was most likely used to shuttle raisins back and forth between the two outposts of the factory, across the street from each other. The tunnel's discovery has also reportedly set off a battle between the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and Chinatown Revitalization Inc., who want to see the tunnel documented as historically significant. Chinatown Revitalization...
  • Man found on fire atop Metro-North train

    11/09/2014 8:17:01 PM PST · by Ray76 · 64 replies
    WTNH-TV (New Haven, CT) ^ | Nov 9, 2014 | Elizabeth Hess and Brian Spyros
    An Ohio man caused a great deal of commotion early Sunday after officials say he was found on the roof of a moving Metro-North train. He was also on fire.
  • 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...
  • State’s transportation budget is headed the wrong way(MN)

    04/12/2014 7:50:18 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    Quad Community Press ^ | 4-8-14 | Roger Chamberlain
    During the last twenty years, roads and bridges have taken a back seat to commuter and light rail projects. This was never clearer than in a 2010 report by the Metropolitan Council titled, “Regional 2030 Transportation Policy Plan,” which virtually gives up on constructing any new vehicle lanes in the seven-county metropolitan area. Instead, the plan places heavy emphasis on rail projects. The population of the metropolitan area is about 3.3 million. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are only about 20 percent of that. In other words, most people live and work outside of the two cities. So why is there...
  • There is No Renaissance in Public Transit Use

    04/09/2014 6:39:06 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 21 replies
    MinnPost ^ | 4-9-14 | Katherine Kersten
    Are we seeing a renaissance in public transit use by Americans? The answer is yes, if you believe a new report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the transit industry's lobby group. In fact, APTA's report is a textbook example of how deceiving statistics can be. The report states that in 2013, the number of transit trips was nearly 10.7 billion nationally--the highest since 1956, according to APTA. Michael Melaniphy, APTA's CEO, hailed what he called "a fundamental shift" in how Americans choose to get around. But even strong supporters of public transit like Michael Manville, David King and...
  • Federal OK for high-speed rail

    09/20/2012 12:54:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 9/20/12 | Tim Sheehan
    California's controversial high-speed rail project received a boost Wednesday when the Federal Railroad Administration approved the proposed Merced-to-Fresno route, clearing the way for construction to start early next year. A federal record of decision signed by Administrator Joseph Szabo represents the final bureaucratic hurdle for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The decision gives a federal blessing to the 60-mile route and to thousands of pages of environmental review for the project. Backers of the project hailed the decision as historic for the development of the first high-speed train project in the nation and the start of construction in the central...
  • In his quest to be like his father, Gov. Brown risks his own legacy on high-speed rail

    06/09/2012 8:12:25 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 6/9/12 | Daniel Borenstein - Staff columnist
    As Gov. Jerry Brown barrels ahead with high-speed trains, he could find that his quest for a legacy derails the November tax measure he desperately needs to repair the state budget. For his entire political career, Brown has lived in the shadows of his visionary father, Pat, the governor from 1959-67 who brought us the State Water Project and the master plan for California higher education. The younger Brown has always been a big thinker in search of his own legacy. But, after his first gubernatorial tenure, from 1975-83, he was best remembered as Gov. Moonbeam, the ideas guy who...
  • With high-speed rail, is California buying a house while slashing its bills?

    06/08/2012 8:46:28 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 6/8/12 | Mike Rosenberg
    Imagine your finances are down, and you need to cut back. You get rid of the premium cable channels, start shopping at the discount market, scrap date night at the movies, and ... buy a new house?California politicians may decide to embark upon a similar strategy, on a far bigger scale. Even as they must ax crucial services by Friday to help close a $15.7 billion deficit, state lawmakers are weighing California's costliest project ever: a $69 billion high-speed rail line."You don't run your home like that," said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, who's tried, unsuccessfully, to kill the bullet...
  • Is California high-speed rail an ego trip for Gov. Jerry Brown?

    06/03/2012 6:24:02 AM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 6/3/12 | Dan Walters
    Jerry Brown, not surprisingly, used a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to tout his two bids for public works posterity – a north-south bullet train and a tunnel for water to bypass the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. "Suck it in!" Brown said. "We got to build, we got to do it right. And this bridge I think really expresses that sense." Just as the bridge proved to be an economic boon, Brown said, so would a bullet train and a tunnel to improve water supply reliability, adding that just as the Golden Gate Bridge "connects...
  • Stop California bullet train, state's top analyst urges

    04/17/2012 6:28:46 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 44/17/12 | Mike Rosenberg
    The state's top analyst has urged lawmakers to pull the emergency brake on California's $68 billion bullet train, saying the recently revised plan carries way too much risk of failure. The Legislative Analyst's Office report released late Tuesday may give the Legislature political cover if it decides to ax the polarizing rail line as it begins debating whether to approve high-speed rail Wednesday.
  • Lawmakers ready to green-light California high-speed rail

    03/23/2012 7:53:25 AM PDT · by SmithL · 20 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/23/12 | Dan Walters
    Its popularity has declined sharply, many of its details have yet to emerge, and independent authorities have questioned its financial and operational viability, but California's bullet train project is very likely to get the green light from the Legislature soon. That's the consensus of those who have been counting votes among the Legislature's dominant Democrats, who can give the California High-Speed Rail Authority authorization to sell bonds and begin construction of an initial segment in the San Joaquin Valley. And that's true even though lawmakers still don't know, in any detail, what linking the northern and southern halves of the...
  • High-speed rail proponents make changes to win over California lawmakers

    03/18/2012 8:38:49 AM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/18/12 | David Siders
    Proponents of California's $98.5 billion high-speed rail project, freshly battered by critics and teetering before the Legislature, are preparing a series of eleventh-hour changes to reduce the project's cost and improve its chance of approval. The effort is materializing just weeks before the Brown administration is expected to seek funding to start construction in the Central Valley. The changes include accelerating construction to reduce inflationary costs and funding regional rail improvements in and around Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Those areas are represented by influential lawmakers whom the California High-Speed Rail Authority is trying to appease. Time is short,...
  • Brown pins legacy to Calif. high-speed rail plans

    02/18/2012 11:02:29 AM PST · by SmithL · 21 replies · 1+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 2/18/12 | JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press
    Critics have called it the train to nowhere and a $98 billion boondoggle. As concerns mount over the practicality and affordability of California's plan to build a high-speed rail system, even many former supporters are beginning to sound skeptical. Not so Gov. Jerry Brown. He has emerged as the most vocal cheerleader of a project that is as risky as it is ambitious. Building a first-in-the-nation project would provide a lasting legacy for the 73-year-old Democratic governor as he moves into the twilight of a long political career. His father is revered for promoting the construction of California's comprehensive water...