RailPAC North October Meeting Report   October 28th, 2006

Reported by Russ Jackson, RailPAC Secretary – A crowd of over 35 people participated in the first RailPAC meeting to be held on the Peninsula, this one at the Samtrans office in San Carlos. Many were regular Caltrain riders, as well as Amtrak riders. RailPAC VP North Art Lloyd hosted the meeting, also attended by several RailPAC Directors, with VP South James Smith and former Treasurer Jim Clifton joining us from Southern California. It was a successful meeting with many good questions from those attending! This report with pictures from the event will be in the November Western Rail Passenger Review, and on railpac.org after November 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

Report by Paul Dyson, RailPAC President — This was my first opportunity to attend this event although it’s in its thirteenth year. The Conference was organized by “Railway Age” Magazine and held October 16 – 17 in Washington, DC. Almost all of the major freight railroads attend as well as Amtrak, and in addition there are delegates from APTA, commuter agencies, suppliers, overseas railroads, (East Japan Railway Company, for example), engineering companies, consultants, and a few public advocates such as myself. My overall impression was that this was a group of professionals with a lot of experience in the industry.There were 13 sessions, an opening keynote address, and two lunchtime speakers. I intend to summarize the highlights that are of greatest interest, and end with a list of the panels. If anyone would like more information about any particular presentation I’d be glad to share whatever I have.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

A Trip Report for October 7-11, 2006. Commentary and Photos by Russ Jackson, RailPAC Secretary.

After the successful RailPAC meeting in Fullerton, CA, on October 7 it was time for me to return to Los Angeles Union Station (parking in the MTA Building garage was suggested by James Smith) and prepare to board Train 4, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to Albuquerque and Lamy, New Mexico. Because I now live in Northern California I don’t get to go to Phillippe’s restaurant near LAUS very often, so I went there for dinner. Soon Surfliner train 583 arrived at LAUS and RailPAC VP Smith and Associate Director Ken Ruben were there, having traveled back after the meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

Meeting notes by Noel Braymer

Over 30 people, including many old friends attended the October 7th meeting at the Rail Restaurant in Fullerton by the train station. The impressive line of speakers no doubt was a major attraction in bringing in such a crowd. Some trains were running late that day; In Santa Ana one station track was out of service for rebuilding and to remove the old center platform after the recent opening of the new field side platform. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

Monterey TAMC October Meeting   October 2nd, 2006

Reported by Chris Flescher, RailPAC Associate Director — The detailed study report of the Caltrain extension (alternatives analysis) was printed out and brought to the meeting (although I did not take a copy). It was also posted on the TAMC website a few weeks ago.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

RailPAC Sacramento Director, Marcia Johnston, reports: “I attended the Capitol Corridor Service Expansion Event on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 8:15 a.m. at the Sacramento Valley Station, 431 “I” Street, Second Floor in the newly-renovated REA building that also houses the offices of Thomas Enterprises, a Starbucks, and a soon to be opened soup restaurant. The theme of this celebration capitalized on the on the old Jackie Gleason line, ‘How Sweet It Is!’” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

Who is “killing” Amtrak?   October 1st, 2006

By Noel T. Braymer, Editor, Western Rail Passenger Review — Most of what is being said about the new Amtrak President Alexander Kummant is speculative. Mr. Kummant is largely unknown to the general public. It is understandable that people are uneasy when dealing with the unknown. What is known is that Mr. Kummant is 46, and has a B.S. in mechanical engineer from Case Western Reserve University. He also has a master’s in manufacturing engineering from Carnegie Mellon, and an MBA from Stanford University. Among the jobs Mr. Kummant has had were as an executive with the Union Pacific from 1999 to 2003 where he rose to Regional Vice-President. His next job was as President of the German Heavy Equipment manufacturer Bomag. This year he started work as the executive Vice-President, Chief Marketing Officer for the U.S. division of Komatu, the Japanese Heavy equipment manufacturer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary