PRESS RELEASE — The Rail Passenger Association of California (RailPAC) is the largest statewide membership organization working since 1985 for the expansion and improvement of passenger rail service in California and Nevada.

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by Noel T. Braymer, RailPAC President — If I were to date the true beginning of Amtrak it wouldn’t be in 1971. Instead I would say 1964 with the creation of the Metroliner experiment. In the wake of the very successful introduction in Japan of the Shinkansen Trains with speeds of 125 mph, the call came for an American answer to these Japanese “Bullet Trains”. The reply was the Metroliner running express service between Washington and New York at 150 mph! This was the first time Federal dollars had been spent for rail passenger service. The promise was that the Metroliner would revive declining rail passenger ridership in this county and save the dying Pennsylvania Railroad that would run the Metroliner.

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Plan now for the next Emergency   January 1st, 2004

by Noel T. Braymer, RailPAC President — In both the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge Earthquakes, Caltrain, BART and Metrolink proved the value of passenger rail service as a transportation alternative in an emergency. It is not too soon to plan ahead for the next disaster and the role rail can play in it. Over the last year all the rail services in California have had ridership growth at record levels. The rising cost of gasoline was a factor for this growth. While gasoline prices are now going down a little, we are just one disaster, natural or man-made from a major disruption to the nation’s oil supply. This will trigger a flood of new passengers to California’s Rail Passenger system.

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