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Story and Photos by Noel T. Braymer

I have known for years that July and August are the busiest months for Amtrak California. Having had 2 trips on Amtrak on Fridays this month I’ve learned that Fridays and Sundays are the busiest days on Amtrak in California. Unfortunately when there is a problem on the railroad, those problems can snowball into other problems.

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Posted in Editorials

By Noel T. Braymer

It is looking more likely with secure funding from Cap and Trade money that the first 300 miles of High Speed Rail will be running between Burbank and Merced in the next 8-10 years.The High Speed Rail Authority is planning to finish 800 miles in California in about 16 years. However for this first segment to serve more of California effectively, better connections are going to be needed to fill up these future High Speed Trains. So far much of the planning for connections are at best preliminary. New, connecting services need to be up and running before High Speed Trains.

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Posted in Editorials

Fresno supervisors reject call to renounce high-speed rail  ABC30.com-Jul 16, 2014  FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) A local attack on the California high-speed rail program fizzled in Fresno. An effort to get the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to renounce their support for the project died. It was backed by just one supervisor.

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Posted in eNewsletter

By Noel T. Braymer

Many would love to be able to catch a train in the evening and wake up near their destination from one end of California to the next. This isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. There has been talk for years about extending a round trip San Joaquin over the Tehachapis overnight with with sleepers and lots of padding in the schedule. This is going nowhere as far as the UP is concerned. So what is the next best thing?

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Posted in Editorials

The sorry state of Amtrak’s on-time performance, mapped Washington Post (blog)-Jul 10, 2014 Eight of the 33 routes, including most of the long-distance cross-country lines, experienced on-time arrivals less than 50 percent of the time over the past 12 months. The Empire Builder, running from Chicago to Washington, ran on time only 21 percent of the time in the past year. Only one in three California Zephyr trains made their trips between Chicago and San Francisco on time.

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Posted in eNewsletter

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Service Performance Overview
For the third consecutive month, ridership increased on the Capitol Corridor over 2013. In June 2014, a total of 116,605 passengers rode Capitol Corridor trains, representing a 1.7% increase compared to June 2013. Revenues continue to be above prior year-month results, with a 1.9% increase over June 2013. Year to-date (YTD) Operating Ratio remained at 52%, slightly below the business plan standard of 53% due to revenues being 7.3% below budget projections. YTD On-time Performance (OTP) remains a superb 96%, maintaining Capitol Corridor’s distinction as the most reliable service in the Amtrak system.

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Posted in CA Rail Statistics

By Noel T. Braymer

I am not a big fan of BART. One of my biggest complaints about BART is their less than ideal connections to Caltrain, Muni Metro and Amtrak. But between BART routes, the connections are excellent. I can’t say the same about LA Metro. Transferring between the Blue Line to the Red or Green Lines requires taking stairs or riding an elevator to get to different levels between trains. Often just as you see the platform with your connecting train at it, you see it leaving the station. There is often a lot of time wasted waiting for trains.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for July 7, 2014   July 10th, 2014

Bullet Train Officials Wants to Start Work in LA County ASAP Curbed LA – ?July 1, 2014 …now the authority hopes to build the Palmdale-Burbank section somewhat concurrently with the Central Valley section … There is still uncertainty over the exact route the train would take between the two cities; the authority is considering a request from LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich to tunnel 15 miles under Soledad Pass. Bullet train officials are also looking at how to get to Union Station; one possibility is eight miles of tunnels leading to Downtown, but construction on the section to central LA won’t happen for years, if not next decade. If the CHSRA plans to start service between Burbank and Merced by 2022, they will need to get to work on the segment from Burbank to Palmdale now. This project will take years of final planning, approvals and funding before construction can start . The construction in most of the San Joaquin Valley will likely be done before work can begin in Los Angeles County north of the San Fernando Valley. NB

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Posted in eNewsletter

I wanted to emphasize that the comments made by Russ Jackson and Paul Dyson on the seriousness of the Sunset Ltd. amendment are not overstated. (Note: See their commentaries also on railpac.org) The whole long-distance network is at risk. Also this is a battle unlike any we have seen in the past for the following reasons:

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Posted in Commentary, Issues

NOTE: Reprinted with permission of Peter LeCody and the TRA, from their website: www.Texasrailadvocates.org

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Posted in Commentary, Issues