RailPAC Position Statement   May 28th, 2007

Adopted by the membership at the March 17 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles

Whereas RailPAC since its inception has been a supporter both of the existing National Passenger Rail System (“the National System”) of Long Distance and Regional trains operated by Amtrak, and of the incremental growth of that system,

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Posted in Issues

PART 1: Benson, AZ, and Lordsburg, NM PHOTOS and Commentary by Russ Jackson, RailPAC

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PART 2: Deming, NM, PHOTOS and Commentary by Russ Jackson, RailPAC

In Part 1 we showed what passengers can expect at Benson, Arizona, and Lordsburg, New Mexico, when they choose those stations as their destination on Amtrak train #2, the Sunset Limited.

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Meeting Report and Commentary, May 23, 2007
By Russ Jackson, RailPAC

The California High Speed Rail Authority, with four RailPAC members in attendance, met at the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 23, to adopt a definitive “Phase 1″ of its project, “taking into consideration the cost, ridership, and revenue data presented to the Board on April 18, 2007.” The adopted Phase 1 is also based on “early utilization of some segments, some degree of local and regional participation in the early construction and funding, serving many regions, significant operating surplus to include a private partner in the construction and operation, development of a high-speed segment of around 100 miles, for building, testing, and commissioning the high-speed trainsets, equipment and systems, and completion in less than 10 years from today.”

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Posted in Commentary, Reports

Message to RailPAC Members   May 20th, 2007

from Paul Dyson, RailPAC President

Dear RailPAC members and supporters:

After the enthusiastic response to our March 17 meeting in Los Angeles, the Board of Directors met in April to discuss the next steps for RailPAC. We have come a long way. We now publish a monthly Newsletter, the Review, with articles and news of interest relating to all aspects of passenger rail transportation. Our website has been greatly enhanced and is updated almost daily with news, events and opinions. We continue to send out e-mails and we are currently preparing to launch a weekly electronic newsletter with an improved format to keep all of you informed, and I hope to encourage more of you to be involved in our campaigns.

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Posted in Reports

Letter to the Daily Californian from Chris Flescher, RailPAC Associate Director, Salinas To Dave Nordstrand: I read your article (May 19, 2007) about trains and the city of Salinas, and I wanted to make a few comments.

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Posted in Commentary

Reported by Marcia Johnston, RailPAC Director

Some news from the State budget analyst: “The May CA State Budget Revision, released today, also proposes to spend $187 million in 2007-08 from Proposition 1B transportation bonds approved by the voters in Nov. 2006 for the purchase of intercity rail cars and locomotives.”

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Posted in Reports

A PHOTO report by Russ Jackson, RailPAC

What happened to trains 733, 6, and 724 that morning?

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Reported by Bruce Jenkins, RailPAC Director

NOTE: Since the original publication of this report new information has been made available to this writer about the mockup of the new Cafe cars. This new info follows, then the original report is repeated. – BJ

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Posted in Reports

Reported by Gene Skoropowski, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor JPA

We received the April 2007 results for ridership and revenue. While California ridership remains strong overall, the Capitol Corridor is going through the roof. Once again, a new record has been set. We will have to re-adjust the scale on our monthly “How’s Business” reports, since ridership just keeps growing. Even with Amtrak’s aggressive goals for this year, following Union Pacific’s completion of capital work to/from San Jose, April was only about 1% below the Business Plan target, and if this trend continues, we will ‘cross-the-line’ in May.

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Posted in Reports