(“CRCC”) MEETING Report
Santa Barbara, May 29, 2009
Reported by Paul Dyson
The Meeting was Chaired by Dave Potter, Monterey County Supervisor
RailPAC was represented by Paul Dyson, Dennis Story and Mike Barnbaum. Katherine Holland of Coast Rail Now and ASERT represented local pro transit interests. Good news, Jacki Bacharach was on the ‘phone representing LACMTA.
This meeting can be summed up in one word: frustrating. There is really no progress to report on the Coast Daylight (“CD”) introduction.
Clem Bomar for Caltrans Division of Rail (“DoR”) says that discussions with the Union Pacific railroad are continuing. He suggested that political action vis-a- vis UP would be counterproductive.
Dave Potter and Pete Rodgers (SLOCOG) had joined Amtrak President Boardman on his business car and was told that Amtrak “would find equipment” for the train if the other issues are overcome.
CRCC is asking Amtrak and DoR to explore the possibility of a three day a week CD to jump start the process and not require additional operating funds. This writer suggested that if that were tried the Coast Starlight should make additional stops on the days the CD did not run.
Pete Rodgers has suggested trying to run a demonstration train to maintain political interest. RailPAC is interested in assisting but concerned that this will raise expectations while having nothing to follow up.
Some discussion of SB 409 (Ducheny) to create a single state rail board.
Jonathan Hutchison of Amtrak reported that the long distance trains were performing well, both as to OTP and revenue.