San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee takes stand on Closing the HSR Gap January 29th, 2012
January 26 Meeting Report by Mike Barnbaum, RailPAC Associate Director
Part 1 of 2 reports from that day. Headlines: Read the rest of this entry »
Capitol Corridor considers Draft Business/Operating Plan January 29th, 2012
Report and a Commentary by Mike Barnbaum, RailPAC Associate Director
Part 2 from January 26, 2011 day of two meetings. Headlines: Read the rest of this entry »
eNewsletter for January 23, 2012 January 26th, 2012
In the media the rule for running a story is “If it bleeds it leads”. The High Speed Rail project has bled a great deal. That doesn’t mean it is dead. There is still major support for this project by powerful interests. There is also strong support by the public for better and economical rail passenger service. Few politicians will give up money that has been allocated and they can be very flexible to prevent that from happening. The State has to start construction this year to qualify for the 3 billion dollars in Federal High Speed Rail funds. There are plenty of rail projects in the State that have waited years for funding that can qualify for this money. To create faster rail service in California will require realism about future financing and avoiding pointless legal battles to shave off seconds in the running time. … If we just had rail service between Northern and Southern California which was time competitive with the auto: under 6 hours and cost competitive as well it would be a great start and heavily used. NB
RailPAC tells LOSSAN: Position on Governance January 25th, 2012
Comments to the LOSSAN Board, January 25, 2012 by Paul J. Dyson, RailPAC President.
Back in the 80s an ad hoc coalition of elected representatives and advocates including RailPAC were successful in bringing about an increase in frequency of the San Diegan trains as they were called then, and their extension to Santa Barbara.
eNewsletter for January 16, 2012 January 20th, 2012
Amtrak admits that the average age of its equipment is older now than it was when it “inherited” its original equipment from the railroads in 1971. Most of the Superliner equipment is now 32 years old and even the newest is 19 years old. Of the 479 Superliner cars originally ordered at least 49 over the years have been lost due to accidents. The routes that have Superliner equipment have the highest occupancy rates at Amtrak and often turn away passengers because of lack of equipment. Yet Amtrak has no plans to buy additional equipment for the Superliner routes to even keep up with lost equipment let alone to increase ridership and revenues on existing trains. NB
Amtrak to the West: Forget the future January 13th, 2012
Commentary by Russ Jackson, and a few photos
The future of Amtrak’s western long-distance trains became clearer after Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman issued his “Aggressive Agenda for 2012″ on January 11, 2012. The future is bleak.
President’s commentary: Amtrak CEO Gives Up On AMTRAK January 13th, 2012
By Paul J. Dyson, RailPAC President, January 13, 2012
Joe Boardman condemns the long distance trains to a lingering death.
Sunset Limited in “immediate danger”.
eNewsletter for January 9, 2012 January 13th, 2012
Mr. Boardman (Amtrak President) is on record saying that there are no plans to eliminate Long Distance Trains in the face of reductions of Federal subsidies for Amtrak. Also on the record are claims by Mr. Boardman that the Long Distance Trains are the cause of much of Amtrak’s deficits. There are also reports that in private Mr. Boardman has said that he would sacrifice all of the Long Distance Trains in order to “save” the Northeast Corridor (NEC). If this is true then Mr. Boardman is delusional. The Long Distance Trains are the best thing Amtrak has to support the NEC. Not only politically but financially. When the Long Distance Trains system was at its greatest both in route miles and equipment under former Amtrak President W. Graham Claytor, Amtrak was at its best fiscal health of its history. NB
NOTE: Identical letters were also faxed to Senators Feinstein and Boxer
11th January, 2012
eNewsletter for January 3, 2012 January 6th, 2012
The State of California owns the locomotives and cars used on the San Joaquins, has paid with local governments for improvements or replacements of the stations on the route and paid for Amtrak’s maintenance base in Oakland which services the San Joaquins. And Amtrak thinks the San Joaquins are their trains?