RailPAC March Review   February 24th, 2010

Commentary by Paul Dyson, RailPAC President

I’ve been looking back at some of my previous commentaries, particularly “High Speed Rail, Stay the Course”, and my more recent “High Speed Rail Dilemma” offering.  Trying to reach a consensus among a couple of thousand passenger rail advocates in California about our largest ever public works project is a work of art, and there will inevitably be differences of priority, preferences as to the train builders, arguments about station locations and service patterns.   But I hope we can agree on this.  This is our one and only chance to bring about a modern passenger rail system in California.  We need to support it.

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Posted in Commentary

My Latest Trip to Sacramento   February 23rd, 2010

Editorial by Noel T. Braymer

To get to the RailPAC/NARP meeting in Sacramento on January 16th I once again chose the San Joaquin Bus/Train connection. I have been riding the San Joaquin now for almost 30 years. In that time I have long hoped for direct rail service from Southern California to the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.

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Posted in Editorials

Introducing RailPACmobile!   February 22nd, 2010

Reported by Jarrod DellaChiesa, RailPAC Director and Website Editor

As smartphone sales continue to grow, mobile sites are becoming increasingly popular.
Mobile sites take content available on a website and reformat it to look great on mobile platforms.

Today, we’re excited to announce

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Fax to 202 224 0454
22 February, 2010


Dear Senator Boxer:

First of all may I commend you for your concern about passenger rail safety following the Chatsworth collision last year, and also for spending so much time at the Los Angeles USDOT conference last Friday.  We appreciate your interest in passenger rail.

We exchanged views on the subject of two engineers in the cab of mainline passenger trains.  You asked me to provide information about railroad accidents in which there were two engineers in the cab.  Freight train operators have a two person crew, a trained and qualified engineer and conductor, who are responsible for the safe operation of the train.  Here follows a brief list of some of the accidents that have happened in recent years, taken from NTSB records, in which both members of the train crew failed to take action to prevent an accident. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

The Capitol Corridor January 2010 ridership showed a decline compared to January 2009 and 2008. Ridership for January 2010 was down by 8.4% primarily due to the first phase of the “tie renewal program” (January 18 - February 14, 2010) between Suisun/Fairfield and Sacramento stations.  Some late-morning and mid-day trains Capitol Corridor operated on a modified schedule and a bus bridge from Sacramento to Suisun to accommodate UPRR work crews (two daily midday trains are not operating).  Another reason for the lower ridership is the impact of Friday Furloughs on State Government employees for three (3) Fridays a month, which contributes to an approximate overall reduction of 5%, representing well over half of our YTD ridership decline. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

The High Speed Rail Dilemma   February 17th, 2010

Response to High-Speed rail system:  Leaders mull benefits, fears,  first published in the Burbank Leader on 2/13/10.

Commentary by Paul Dyson

It was great to see the Leader take a close look at the High Speed Rail project on Saturday 13th February.  This huge undertaking is described as the largest public works project in our history and the impacts will be far reaching and long lasting.  But while the Leader discussed some of the issues arising from the project I would respectfully suggest that we need to review why these issues exist, and whether indeed some of the impacts need to be as great as they are. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

More on the Coast Starlight China   February 12th, 2010

Reported by Jarrod DellaChiesa, Website Editor and CSCN Project Coordinator

As reported a few days ago, the Coast Starlight is finally doing away with plastic dinnerware and synthetic tablecloths and is re-introducing full china service and linen.  This is exciting because passengers will once again receive a quality Dining Car experience.

Here are some additional details … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues, Reports
Posted in Uncategorized

Official Amtrak Press Release
Elegant dinner service aims to improve customer satisfaction

OAKLAND – Beginning today, real china, table linens and glassware are returning to Amtrak’s popular Coast Starlight long-distance train to provide an elegant dining experience for passengers and is the latest service change aimed at further improving customer satisfaction on the west coast route between Los Angeles and Seattle.

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Posted in Issues, Reports

Commentary by Paul Dyson

Our RailPAC/NARP meeting in Las Vegas last December revealed one important nugget.  Guest speaker, Desert Xpress (“DX”) CEO Tom Stone announced that the project team is planning to extend the Las Vegas – Victorville core route across the high desert to Palmdale where it will connect with the California High Speed Rail system.  This is excellent news for those that believe in the matrix theory of connectivity and passenger train productivity. Read the rest of this entry »