Building HSR on the Installment Plan   December 22nd, 2010

Editorial by Noel T. Braymer

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought”. Simon Cameron US financier & politician (1799 – 1889)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

Tracking Rail News: December 2010   December 16th, 2010

Photo and Comments by Russ Jackson

. . . Winter has begun for Amtrak.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Tracking Rail News

Bikes and Trains   December 15th, 2010

By Noel T. Braymer

A major problem with taking the train is getting to and from the train stations. Ridership for rail service is dependent on the amount of parking since most people drive to the train station. Many train stations have full parking lots. Increasingly more parking structures are being built at stations. But these are expensive and can’t keep up with the demand needed for expanded rail service in the future. Increasingly at stations all over California we are seeing another alternative; bicycles.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

Editorial by Noel T. Braymer

The Union Pacific’s recent demand for 750 Million dollars in capital improvements before allowing a daily Sunset really said “go away kid, you bother me”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

Tracking Rail News: November 2010   November 17th, 2010

Photos and Commentary by Russ Jackson

John Murphy at the Davis Amtrak station baggage room.

… 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 »

Posted in Tracking Rail News

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%.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

Opinion by Noel T. Braymer

Today Metrolink has just one round trip between San Bernardino and Oceanside.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

Commentary and Photos by Russ Jackson, RailPAC

Would Amtrak return to the historic Amarillo, Texas station used by the AT&SF "San Francisco Chief"?

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 »

Posted in Reports

November 4, 2010 Meeting in Madera

Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

September 13, 2010 Meeting

Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports