Editorial by Noel T. Braymer

First there was the explosion on April 5th in Montcoal, West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine which killed 29 miners. The cause of the deadly explosion was a build up of coal dust and methane gas which is very explosive if there is an ignition source. It was latter reported that the mine owned by the Massey Coal Company had a long history of ventilation problems and other safety issues.Not only this mine but several mines owned by Massey had been repeatedly fined by Federal safety inspectors which the company ignored and refused to pay.

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Posted in Editorials

June 7, 2010 Meeting

Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director

The commuter rail extension (Gilroy to Salinas) is now in the right of way acquisition phase.  The committee has issued a request for proposals in 3 categories: acquisition agent, legal services, and on-call appraisal. For the on-call group, the committee received 8 proposals. They recommend placing 7 on the list, for future use, but not signing any contracts. For legal services, there were 5 proposals. The committee recommends Meyers Nave. The acquisition agent proposals were many. The committee chose Overland Pacific, Associated Right of Way Services, and Paragon Partners as the top 3. The committee interviewed those agencies, and Overland Pacific was chosen.   The committee passed a resolution to support the above choices, and the final contracts will go to the TAMC Board of Directors later this month.

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Posted in Reports

June 16, 2010 Meeting in Oakland

Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director

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Posted in Reports

Comments by Noel T. Braymer

Governor Schwarzenegger recently proposed service between Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego in 2 hours and 10 minutes. This will be a “demonstration project” to give Californians a taste of Higher Speed Rail. So far there haven’t been many more facts about this project beyond a deadline of November, 2 months before the end of the Governor’s term and that European equipment would be used that will require FRA waivers to be used here.

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Posted in Editorials

Report and Photos by Mike Palmer, RailPAC correspondent, Torrance, CA

My work sent me on an assignment to Yuma, Arizona for two days, May 19-20. As luck would have it I was able to work my visit around train times – it also helped that there is limited LA – Yuma air service. (Side note: the locals said they usually drive to San Diego or Phoenix for flights. Either drive is 3 hours for them).

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Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

The Capitol Corridor yielded positive results for May 2010 compared to May 2009 in all relevant performance statistics – ridership, revenue, and on-time performance.  Ridership for May was 1.4% above last year as was revenue (+2.9%).  On-time performance (OTP) set the record for the fiscal year at 95.9% – making the service once again the most reliable train service in the Amtrak system for May 2010 as well as fiscal year-to-date.

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Posted in Commentary

Tracking Rail News: June 2010   June 10th, 2010

Comments and PHOTOS by Russ Jackson


. . . Good news for Los Angeles Union Station. The lack of a variety of food items available in the LAUS waiting room has been lessened with the news that by July Peets Coffee and Tea, Subway Sandwiches, and Wetzel’s Pretzels will open, and later in the summer Famina Fresh Foods will open near the Amtrak ticket windows. These places will add to what is now available at the News Stand, Union Bagels and Coffee, and the very fine Traxx Restaurant and bar. Other changes at LAUS have the QuikTrak machines and the Budget and Hertz counters moved into the Amtrak Ticket area. Now, if only they could get the old Fred Harvey Restaurant open again! Train Day visitors were able to enter that historic place, and one visitor was amazed to find the bar area on its east side, closed too long.

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Posted in Tracking Rail News

Dunsmuir Railroad Days   June 1st, 2010

Dunsmuir, California is a historic train town that celebrates Railroad Days annually. This year’s event is taking place June 11-13 at the Dunsmuir Amtrak Station. We are excited that Dunsmuir is wanting to increase awareness of the Coast Starlight this year. RailPAC and Coast Starlight Communities Network will have materials displayed. Amtrak is supplying Coast Starlight timetables and route guides, kid’s conductors hats, system maps and posters.

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Posted in Uncategorized