Robert Manning

TRIP REPORT: Talk about a change of pace, how about eating a late dinner at Traxx Restaurant which is located directly inside Los Angeles Union Station! The station is pretty empty at 8 p.m., but then it starts to fill up with passengers planning to depart on the new schedule change for the Sunset Limited at 10 p.m. After a very enjoyable dinner, you take a leisurely walk through the tunnel of LAUS, board the train, and go directly to your bedroom; this is really a no-hassle, easy way to travel. You can only imagine how it was years back when this famous old train always departed from both ends late in the evening. You have to wonder how did people traveling in the southwest, in the heart of the desert, cope with no air conditioning in those early years.

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Posted in Commentary

Analysis by Noel T. Braymer

During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics with the start up of the Shinkansen (or Bullet Trains) my Father pointed out that train travel can be faster than by plane.That sounded silly since jet planes flew at over 500 miles per hour and Bullet Trains had a top speed of 130. My Father pointed out that when comparing the time to fly spent in the air and on the ground coming and going to airports to traveling by train at 130 miles per hour you could go  300 miles in less time than it took to fly.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for May 21, 2012   May 25th, 2012

VoiceofOC – ?May 15, 2012?
Several OCTA board members specifically noted there is no passenger train service of any kind through the Central Valley from Los Angeles to northern California because of a “gap” between Palmdale and Bakersfield, where there is a track for freight but …

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Opinion  By Noel T. Braymer

I recently finished the book “Appetite for America” by Stephen Fried. This book is more than a history of Fred Harvey the man, his family or his company but uses all three as the context of a social history of the United States roughly between 1850 to 1950. Fred Harvey was the proverbial poor boy from England who came to America as a teenager in 1853 to find his fortune and avoid being drafted in the British Army.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for May 14, 2012   May 18th, 2012

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, a member of the Metrolink Board of Directors, issued the following statement on the announced resignation of Metrolink CEO John Fenton: “John Fenton’s resignation is a major loss for Metrolink’s riders, our taxpayers and the Board. He was the right leader to guide Metrolink through the most critical time in its history following the Chatsworth crash. His hands-on leadership style, vast railroad industry knowledge, private-sector approach and laser focus on safety was a breath of fresh air. He introduced the first Metrolink express train service, shaving hours off the weekly commute to and from Los Angeles for residents of the Antelope, Santa Clarita, and San Gabriel Valleys, and San Bernardino County. He established innovative concepts including the train to Del Mar Race Track, connected with our business community to increase ridership, and helped secure $1 billion from the High Speed Rail Authority to develop a seamless regional Metrolink transit system connecting Southern California commuters from the Antelope Valley to San Diego County.

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Opinion By Noel T. Braymer

I would love to ride trains more often, but I literally can’t because I can’t get there by train. For example I can take Metrolink from Oceanside to San Bernardino once a day leaving Oceanside at 4:20 PM. I would have to leave San Bernardino at 4:48 AM the next day to get back by 7:15 AM. I can catch a train to Riverside from Oceanside at 7:30 AM and to Orange at 2:47 PM and connect from both in under an hour to trains to San Bernardino. I don’t expect to see more direct trains service between Oceanside and San Bernardino anytime soon. But with improved bus connections we can open new markets to existing trains and future trains on existing routes at little capital costs. There are bottlenecks to adding more trains between Oceanside and Orange County as well as more trains to San Bernardino from Orange County. But you can add connecting buses to existing rail lines and increase ridership. Convenience or lack there of is a major factor for rail ridership. Few things make taking the train more convenient than more frequent service to more places.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for May 7, 2012   May 12th, 2012

With tilting the Cascades were able to raise the average speed from 47 to 53 miles per hour. That is faster than any passenger trains in California and close to the fastest legal speeds by road. The plan for the Cascades is to reach speeds of110-125 miles per hour. Washington State DOT calculated that at these speeds they would achieve 90 percent of the ridership at 50 percent of the cost of a higher speed service. They plan to build this incrementally

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The New Coast Daylight!   May 12th, 2012

We support a new daily passenger train linking the Central Coast during the day.  For more than twenty years, work on a new Coast Daylight train service has led to studies without results.

The Coast Rail Coordinating Council, a voluntary coalition of regional transportation agencies is leading the service planning, and has prepared a realistic, immediately doable operating plan.  However the freight train volume and freight need on the corridor has been vastly overstated by Union Pacific Railroad.  This unfairly blocks the public’s right to access the corridor.  Amtrak is willing to operate the service, and it is consistent with the State Rail Plan.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues

Happy National Train Day!   May 12th, 2012

Posted in Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY 11, 2012 – The Rail Passenger Association of California (RailPAC), the Coast Starlight Communities Network and the Steel Wheels Coalition® are working together to step up the campaign for an additional passenger train along the California Coast.  To be known as the Coast Daylight, this train will provide daily service between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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Posted in Commentary, Editorials