Building HSR on the Installment Plan

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)

Since the midterm elections it is becoming clear that if people thought Washington was partisan, gridlocked and out of touch with what people wanted before the election, then you ain’t [...]

Tracking Rail News: December 2010

Photo and Comments by Russ Jackson
. . . Winter has begun for Amtrak.

One of our classic photos is the westbound California Zephyr #5 at Winter Park, Colorado in the winter of 2000.
The Thanksgiving weekend saw the start of Amtrak’s annual battle with winter weather, and nowhere was it more evident than [...]

Bikes and Trains

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 [...]

Passenger Trains can be good customers for Freight Railroads

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”.

The UP’s premise was based on the assumed costs to create a railroad that would eliminate conflicts with any late passenger or freight trains with significantly [...]

Tracking Rail News: November 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 [...]

October California Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

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 [...]

Creating an Oceanside to San Bernardino Corridor

Opinion by Noel T. Braymer

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

Train 803 leaves San Bernardino at 4:55 AM and arrives in Oceanside at 7:15 AM. Transferring passengers miss a Coaster train heading for San Diego which also leaves at 7:15 AM; the next Coaster leaves 28 minutes later. Returning [...]

What Happens if the Southwest Chief is Rerouted?

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 [...]

San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee Meeting Report

November 4, 2010 Meeting in Madera
Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director

The San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee held its quarterly meeting one week later than normal to be as close to the schedule change date as possible for the grand opening of the new Madera Station.
The normal procedures opened the meeting after the arrival of Train [...]

TAMC Rail Policy Committee Meeting Report

September 13, 2010 Meeting
Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director

According to the California Transportation Commission (CTC), TAMC needs to conduct an independent ridership review and economic analysis, for the Monterey Branch Line (MBL).  The study will be very important when TAMC asks for money for engineering.  TAMC will ask for $50,000 of Prop 116 funds.  If the money [...]