HSR: Fantasy versus Reality   October 15th, 2010

Editorial by Noel T. Braymer

The main obstacle to High Speed Rail service in California is not rich NIMBY homeowners or the Union Pacific Railroad. The main obstacle is the consultants being paid by the California High Speed Rail Authority to plan and design the service.

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Posted in Editorials

More Shovel Ready Stimulus Please   October 8th, 2010

Opinion by Noel T. Braymer

With mid-term elections coming up the administration is now talking about spending 50 billion dollars for transportation projects in the long delayed transportation bill. The amount of new money going for infrastructure pales compared to the trillions of dollars of deferred maintenance we have in this country. Given the need for new construction and jobs the ironic thing is how much of the money for infrastructure from the current stimulus funding has yet to be spent.

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Posted in Editorials

Tracking Rail News: October 2010   October 6th, 2010

A UP freight train delays the arrival of Amtrak #5 in the Reno trench.

Comments by Russ Jackson
Photos by Bob Snow and Russ Jackson

. . . On Time Performance. With the fiscal year ending in a few days, we will hold off the big numbers until the yearly data is available. September has been a fairly routine month, once the flooding in Iowa subsided. The California Zephyr continued to have a few delay problems there, but OTP for 5 and 6 at Denver was good up through the date of this somewhat early writing, September 16. We looked for what might be the effect of the ordered slow running of the Southwest Chief through western Kansas into Raton Pass that was mentioned here last month. The answer is very little. For example, on the #3 that departed 37 minutes late from Chicago on September 11, its latest departure time enroute was 52 minutes at LaPlata, MO. That train was “on time” out of Hutchison, KS, and “on time” out of Lamy, NM, ending up 13 minutes late out of Fullerton and 45 minutes EARLY into Los Angeles Union Station. RailPAC VP South, James Smith, confirms that the rough riding on that now speed reduced segment can be very disturbing to a sleeping passenger. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Tracking Rail News

$750 million, that’s how much.
By Russ Jackson

This article appeared on page one of the October 2010, Western Rail Passenger Review. On September 30, Amtrak released its plan for the Sunset Limited without a start date. A followup article will appear next month. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

RailPAC Takes HSR Tour of France   October 4th, 2010

(L-R) John Hollenhorst (Publsisher, Mass Transit Magazine), Fred Jandt (Editor, Mass Transit Magazine), Art Lloyd (RailPAC), Isabelle Bonniot de Fleurac (Alstom), Rick Harnish (Tour Director), Bruce Jenkins (RailPAC)

By Bruce Jenkins, RailPAC Director

RailPAC Vice President North Art Lloyd and Director Bruce Jenkins joined a High Speed Rail Tour of France on September 13 thru 18th. The Tour was superbly guided by Rick Harnish, Executive Director of MidWestern High Speed Rail Association, who is also on the board of NARP. The tour was under the auspices of “The Society of International Railway Travelers”, Louisville, Ky. Eleanor Hardy Pres. The tour was five jam packed days of riding subways, trolleys, trams, funicular and Hi Speed Rail. We went to France with the opinion that the U.S. is a third world country in passenger rail transit, but this tour changed that opinion to forth world country in rail passenger transit!

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Posted in Reports

This morning a RailPAC resolution supporting the construction of double track between Van Nuys and Chatsworth and the building of a second platform at Van Nuys station was passed unanimously by the City Council meeting at Van Nuys.
Paul Dyson, RailPAC president, spoke in favor of the motion, which was proposed by Council members Tom LaBonge and Greig Smith.

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Posted in Commentary, Issues