eNewsletter for June 27, 2011   June 29th, 2011

Truck collides with Amtrak train in Nevada  Reuters - Dan Whitcomb – Jun 24, 2011 The truck drove into the side of an Amtrak train carrying 204 passengers and 14 crew members at a railroad crossing east of Reno, Amtrak said in a written statement. The westbound California Zephyr was en route from Chicago to Emeryville, California. .. Over two dozen unaccounted for in Nevada truck-train wreck Los Angeles Times – Jack Dolan, Ralph Vartabedian – Jun 26, 2011 Emergency workers find two more bodies, bringing the death toll to at least six. Witnesses say the semi driver tried to stop. Six people are confirmed dead and about 28 remained unaccounted for following the fiery collision of the California Zephyr …June 27, 2011

eNewsletter for June 20, 2011   June 22nd, 2011

It would seem that the engineers working for the Los Angeles MTA think there is not enough room for a track 16. This 8.5 million dollar project will repair all the canopies and build matching ones for the restored tracks. There will be other upgrades and track 7 will be upgraded and used as a joint Amtrak/Metrolink track. Congestion at LAUS is already bad and will get worse. The long term solution is to build run-through trackage at LAUS. Below is a plan of the existing station trackage with run-through tracks.Tracks 3-8 are shown being used by High Speed Rail Trains.Tracks 9-11 would be shared Amtrak-Metrolink tracks and the other tracks would be stub end tracks for Amtrak and Metrolink NB. June 20, 2011

Reported by David Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

(Download:  May 2011 Performance Report) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

eNewsletter for June 13, 2011   June 15th, 2011

“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives,” Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled for broadcast today. “The higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives.”June 13, 2011

Reported by Bruce Jenkins, RailPAC Director

Following are items of interest which were discussed and acted upon at the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board meeting on June 8, 2011 in Suisun City CA.

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Posted in Reports

enewletter for June 6, 2011   June 9th, 2011

There is still room for improvement of much of the planning of the CHSRA. But the Federal Government has made it clear that the money promised for HSR must be spent in the San Joaquin Valley with construction beginning next year or California loses the funding! NB enewsletter for June 6, 2011

Commentary by Noel T. Braymer

Back in the 1960′s “everyone knew” that the railroads in the United States were going out of business. Actually the smaller railroads and the Class Is in the Mid-West and the North East were in trouble. My Father told me in the 1970′s that he thought that the solution to the problems of rail service in the 1960′s would be to nationalize the rail infrastructure but not the rail operating companies. The government would rebuild the railroads and then lease operating rights to the private companies. Part of his plan was to open new markets to carriers with increased sharing of routes. This would open up more competition and expand rail service to more regions. This would be for both expanded freight and passenger service. But of course no one listened to my Father about railroads in the 1960′s.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for May 31, 2011   June 2nd, 2011

The plan to turn over planning and operation of High Speed Rail on the 437 miles between Washington and Boston to a private company is based on experiences in other counties. The 117 billion dollar, 30 year plan for 200 plus mile per hour service proposed by Amtrak is daunting at best. What is not talked about in the press about the Mica/Shuster proposal is the creation of a new body which would own the NEC infrastructure but not run the trains. Such a new body would benefit Amtrak since much of Amtrak’s deficit comes from ownership of the NEC. Enewsletter May 31, 2011

Comments by Russ Jackson

That was then: Forty years is a long time. In this report let’s first take a look at where the western long distance trains started for Amtrak, and then look at today. Charting will be for two trains that were in the Amtrak official timetable #1 for May 1, 1971, which was quickly replaced with a new one on July 12. (this copy is from the author’s collection of all Amtrak national timetables to date). Then the May, 1991 national timetable which was in effect when this writer became editor of RailPAC’s Western Rail Passenger Review, and then we do a comparison of those past schedules with the 40th anniversary 2011 national system timetable which is available now at all Amtrak staffed stations.

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Posted in Commentary