Building HSR on the Installment Plan December 22nd, 2010
Editorial by Noel T. Braymer
Tracking Rail News: December 2010 December 16th, 2010
Photo and Comments by Russ Jackson
. . . Winter has begun for Amtrak.
Bikes and Trains December 15th, 2010
By Noel T. Braymer
Passenger Trains can be good customers for Freight Railroads November 22nd, 2010
Editorial by Noel T. Braymer
Tracking Rail News: November 2010 November 17th, 2010
Photos and Commentary by Russ Jackson
… Retirement and a milestone: We want to note the retirement of veteran Amtrak station agent John Murphy, who has held down the fort at the very busy Davis, CA, station for many years. John’s career included working for the Southern Pacific, and he worked for Amtrak at San Luis Obispo before moving to Davis. We always considered John to be one of the very best in the Amtrak system, and he will be missed. … On September 26 it was noted that it was exactly 15 years since Steve Grande’s first trip on Amtrak. He, of course, is the honcho for Trainweb.com, and has logged almost 300,000 rail miles since that first trip. Steve is today one of the best known of the rail advocacy community.
… It isn’t all about on time performance. While the end of FY10 OTP figures are not yet available, the past year does look good in comparison to many previous years. Read the rest of this entry »
October California Intercity Passenger Rail Performance November 17th, 2010
Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA
Capitol Corridor is continuing its eight-month streak of positive results. The first month of Fiscal Year 2011, October 2010, indicates increases in all performance indicators. October ridership was 141,350, up 3.1% versus October 2009 with revenue up a remarkable 7.2% compared to the same period last year; and of course, OTP for the Capitol Corridor continues to lead the nation with 96%, thanks to Union Pacific Railroad’s (UPRR) superior dispatching and a decrease in bridge-related delays. Most impressive was the projected System Operating Ratio in October 2010, which started the fiscal year at a stunning 51%.
Creating an Oceanside to San Bernardino Corridor November 11th, 2010
Opinion by Noel T. Braymer
What Happens if the Southwest Chief is Rerouted? November 8th, 2010
Commentary and Photos by Russ Jackson, RailPAC
Every once in a while the rerouting Amtrak Trains 3 and 4, the Southwest Chief, off the traditional line from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Hutchinson, Kansas arises, because the line has almost no BNSF freight traffic in Colorado and New Mexico any longer. That is a true statement, the railroad no longer uses it and has diverted through freights to the soon-to-be fully double tracked “Transcon” line farther south which was the historic route of Santa Fe’s San Francisco Chief prior to Amtrak. In recent months Amtrak has been forced to add 40 minutes to the Chief’s schedule due to a BNSF lowering of the speed limit on the very rough trackage in western Kansas and Colorado. Train 4 now departs Los Angeles at 6:15 PM. The BNSF has offered to move the train to the Transcon line, which as we will see is more populated. The State of New Mexico now owns the line within its borders and runs the very successful Railrunner trains on the portion south of Santa Fe to Albuquerque. The BNSF still owns the rest.
So, what would happen if Amtrak must abandon the line? Read the rest of this entry »
San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee Meeting Report November 8th, 2010
November 4, 2010 Meeting in Madera
Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director