By Noel T. Braymer

When  rail service is good, people will take the train in droves. When there is great rail service, many traffic congestion problems can be solved or reduced. The problems today with depending on cars for transportation are: they take up lots of space, we can’t build enough roads or parking lots in urban areas for more cars, cars waste a great deal of energy while creating pollution and they are becoming increasingly more expensive to own and operate. Plus there are many people who can’t or shouldn’t drive. As America’s population ages the number of people who can’t drive will increase.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for December 23, 2013   December 27th, 2013

Expo Line leads to drop in driving USC News-Dec 16, 2013    Los Angeles residents who live near a Metro Expo Line station on Exposition Boulevard reduced the number of miles they drove and tripled their rail ridership since the rail line opened last year, according to a new USC study.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in eNewsletter

Report by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in CA Rail Statistics

Report by Paul J. Dyson, RailPAC President
Los Angeles, December 19, 2013

Today I attended the opening ceremony of the new Amtrak lounge for sleeping car and Business class passengers. In spite of being Amtrak’s 5th busiest, Los Angeles Union Station has never had a facility of this kind and it is much to be welcomed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Reports

Story and Photos by RailPAC member Alexander Friedman

I love traveling cross-country by train and I have done so every year for over a decade. For this Thanksgiving holidays I decided to take, for the first time the Sunset Limited. Then after visiting New Orleans for a day, I planned to transfer onto the Crescent for a trip straight to Washington D.C. I was also going to visit my father who lives just west of our nation’s capital, for a nice Thanksgiving celebration. I was truly excited about riding these two routes, the few that I haven’t traveled yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

I Hate Driving in LA!   December 19th, 2013

By Noel T. Braymer

I Love LA, and I love going to LA. But most people, particularly those who live in LA know that its traffic is a mess. I and others would love rail alternatives to driving to get around to more of LA. But the worst traffic in LA is where there are the fewest alternatives available to driving. This area can be called the Westside or the 405 Corridor. Just about every other freeway which junctions with the 405 such as the 5, Ventura, 10, or Century are where much of the traffic congestion is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for December 16, 2013   December 19th, 2013

To try to reduce the number of homeless at LAUS, LA Metro now only allows ticketed passengers to sit in the station for 2 hours max with separate sections for Amtrak and Metrolink passengers. Transit passengers can’t sit in the main station.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in eNewsletter

Amtrak Monthly Performance Report   December 16th, 2013

Reported by Anthony Lee, RailPAC Associate Director
Each month Amtrak compiles a Performance Report, covering many financial and financial items. Their full (unaudited) report can be found on www.amtrak.com by going to the list of items at the bottom of the home page and selecting “News & Media” then select “Reports & Documents” and then look at the items at the bottom of the page. In this report we have selected certain items that highlight what is on that 61 page report for the month of October, 2013.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary

By Noel T. Braymer

Even the busiest passenger train lines don’t have full trains all of the time. More passengers on trains translates into more support for improved rail passenger service. It also brings in more money which is always needed for passenger rail service. So how can rail passenger providers fill up trains that would otherwise have empty seats? The same way that airlines and now bus companies fill up their empty seats: with online discount reserved ticketing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials

eNewsletter for December 9, 2013   December 12th, 2013

A 220-mph NEC? A contrarian weighs in RailwayAge Magazine (blog)-Dec 3, 2013 But as a contrarian points out, the infrastructure improvement costs of upping maximum Northeast Corridor speeds to 220 mph is equivalent to almost $1 billion per minute saved, and when one arrives a half-hour earlier at origin to await boarding, and then stands in a cab line at destination for 10 minutes, much of the train-time savings value evaporates…. The contrarian suggests Amtrak scrap its $117 billion, 220-mph vision for the Northeast Corridor and redirect scarce dollars to eliminating corridor deferred maintenance, expanding its car and locomotive fleet to accommodate growing passenger demand, and rehabilitate and improve track and signaling for long-distance trains—such as in western Kansas

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in eNewsletter