Report by Noel T. Braymer 

What a way to celebrate my 61st birthday, but I’m still too young for a Metrolink senior discount. I got to the Oceanside Station in time to get my ticket to Riverside for Metrolink train 850 and get on board before the 7:35 AM departure.  I still had the same old problems of trying to read the screen on the ticket machine with sunlight reflecting off it when buying a ticket in the morning. I noticed the older car I was on had some worn seat cushions, spots on the carpets and even the windows were dirtier than the new cars. My biggest concern though was the light ridership on the 850. There are millions of people between San Diego and Riverside yet there were few people on this train. Looks to me to be a marketing problem that more people were not on this train, not a problem with this market. Even with half price tickets if ridership more than doubled Metrolink would come out ahead. Video Link to new bridge over Santa Margarita River    Arrival and departure at Orange, California

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for March 25, 2013   March 29th, 2013

Corbett reaches deal to pay to maintain Amtrak route to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review-Mar 21, 2013 Tom Corbett said the state will pay $3.8 million a year to subsidize Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian route, a daily round-trip that provides the only …California is already paying over $30 million to run each of their existing State services and each produce much more revenue than the Pennsylvanian which should be extended to Cleveland increase revenue. NB

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By David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

For February 2013, once again we find Capitol Corridor’s monthly
performance report to be a mixed bag of results.
Ridership in the month of
February was 8.2% below February 2011 and revenue was down 2.7%. On a
positive note, on-time performance (OTP) was 97%, the best in the Amtrak
system for February, and the system operating ratio for the fiscal year is
52%.

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Report by Mike Barnbaum, Associate Director of the Rail Passenger Association of California & Nevada, on Sunday 24 March 2013

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Posted in Reports

Analysis by Noel T. Braymer

The most expensive part of running any railroad is not above the rails but below the rails on the right of way. With any capital intensive investment the way to recoup the cost is to use it as much and generate the most income as possible. This is particularly true of High Speed Rail which will need very expensive civil engineering with long tunnels and viaducts. The key to building a High Speed Rail Passenger system in California is to connect Northern and Southern California. The most expensive and difficult part of doing this is through the mountains south of Bakersfield.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for March 13, 2013   March 23rd, 2013

Excerpt from the March 7, 2013 LOSSAN TAC Meeting Agenda. The Coast Starlight has maintained positive ridership growth since September 2011 including a significant increase of 19.3 percent in January due to a combination of improved reliability, fare actions, and maintaining the summer consist with more cars .

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Passenger Trains Make Money   March 15th, 2013

Report by Noel T. Braymer

To often we hear in this county about how passenger trains lose money. The fact is many passengers trains cover their costs for trains crews, fuel and direct operations of the trains. It is the passenger railroads that are losing money. To draw an analogy compare a passenger railroad to a shopping center, an old, run down shopping center with many empty stores. This shopping center is losing money. But the stores that are still open in this shopping center are making money. In this analogy the stores are the passenger trains.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for March 11, 2013   March 15th, 2013

SPRINTER Rail Service To Shut Down Due To Bad Brake Rotors KPBS- Mar 8, 2013 North County Transit District’s SPRINTER rail line, which runs between Escondido and Oceanside carrying 7,800 passengers a day, will be taken off the tracks at midnight Friday for 60 to 120 days to replace worn brake rotors. The NCTD said it is developing bus replacement services…Tucker says the companies under contract failed to report the issue of the non-compliant brake rotors to North County staff when it was first discovered, and added that the California Public Utilities Commission had no other major findings during the recent inspection.

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Speed and Ridership   March 8th, 2013

Report by Noel T. Braymer

In 1913 the airplane had only been invented ten years earlier. Few planes in 1913 could fly faster than 100 miles per hour. Race cars and trains attempting to set speed records in 1913 could travel just over 100 miles per hour as well. The Ford Model T car by comparison had a top speed of 45 miles per hour which was adequate for the roads and most travel 100 years ago . By 1963, a mere 50 years from 1913 which was in the life time of many saw Freeways with speed limits of 65 miles per hour which most cars then could drive even faster. There were military planes by 1963 that flew at speeds of 1,200 miles per hour and airliners flew at speeds near 600 miles per hour. The cruising speed of passenger jet planes in 1963 was over 100 miles per hour faster than the top speed of fighter planes in 1943.

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Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for March 4, 2013   March 8th, 2013

The report by the Brooking Institute that this story is based on concludes that Amtrak can make “money” by running corridor trains and having the States subsidize operations instead of the Federal Government. So where is this State Money suppose to come from and what will keep the States from running these services themselves and saving money? NB

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