Testimony by RailPAC President, Paul Dyson May 16th, 2006
Testimony to the California State Senate Transportation Committee — My Name is Paul Dyson and I am the President of RailPAC, the Rail Passenger Association of California. I am a resident of Burbank and a member of that City’s Transportation Commission.
San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee May 11th, 2006
Reported by Russ Jackson — Hot rumor of the day, provided by a “high ranking official” in an interview with this writer after the meeting: “Don’t look for the Sunset Limited to be extended back to Jacksonville and Orlando. There are too many problems for the limited ridership that would result, and we’d have to deal with the CSX, after we’ve now solved most of the on time problems with the UP on the line west of New Orleans.” (Note: On Wednesday, May 10, the Sunset Limited arrived in Los Angeles on time, something that’s been happening more frequently. -RJ) Read the rest of this entry »
LOSSAN Corridor Meeting Report May 10th, 2006
Reported by Noel Braymer — The meeting was well attended by representatives of member agencies. Also at this meeting was Amtrak VP Gil Mallery with Liz O’Donoghue. There was a lot of material discussed at this meeting so this report will stick mostly to the highlights. In the audience were only about a half dozen people including myself and Bart Reed. It seems a Pacific Surfliner train was annulled this morning. Few detail were given at the meeting but it was a concern of several of the LOSSAN Board members. The LOSSAN corridor is 351 miles long from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.
Gas Pains! Where is the train? May 1st, 2006
By Noel Braymer, Editor, Western Rail Passenger Review — The answer in most cases is that the trains are full, at least during rush hours. The Department of Energy has announced that it expects gasoline prices to continue to rise during the peak summer driving season. This on top of already record breaking prices for fuel. The current run up on fuel prices is mostly a political rather than a technical problem. Many of the major oil producing counties are politically unstable. Greater political stability would greatly improve the current oil supply. American politicians have done little to reduce America’s dependence on oil or to develop alternatives. In the future if we continue to use oil faster than we can find new sources, it is only a matter of time before we experience serious shortages. But for now we can be sure that neither the oil companies nor oil producing countries are very upset over record profits.
The Public’s Relationship With The Union Pacific May 1st, 2006
Guest Editorial by “Coast Observer,” who by his position has asked to be anonymous at this time — In spite of the continued efforts by a handful of stalwarts particularly in the Central Coast area, the effort to increase Coast Line passenger service remains stalled. The problems are a combination of a lack of project specific funding and UP procrastination and obfuscation. Maybe it’s time for a new approach.
Special Report — Analysis by Noel Braymer – After failing in March to come up with a package for the June election, the legislature and governor with major horse trading and political arm twisting produced a 37 billion dollar set of bond issues for the November 7th election. This is down from the original 68 billion proposed in January. The plan is to use this bond money in addition to local and Federal matching funds to spend 116 billion dollars. Of this 37 billion, 10.4 goes to school construction, 4.1 billion would be used to repair river levees to prevent flooding, and 2.8 billion would build affordable housing. The largest share, 19.9 billion would go to transportation. Of this 4 billion can be used for public transportation including commuter and light rail.