eNewsletter for January 27, 2014

Amtrak was in trouble because of growing deficits by 1978 which had grown to $578 million dollars. Based on the then RPS accounting, to save money Amtrak cut 4 long distance trains in 1979. Instead of saving money and reducing the deficit which RPS predicted, Amtrak’s deficit rose to $729 million by 1981. It was [...]

Neil Bjornsen, 1945 – 2014

Photo from about 2010 with RailPAC Director Neil Bjornsen on the left with then Chairman of SCRRA (Metrolink) Keith Mullhouse of Moorpark at center and at right RailPAC President Paul Dyson.

The passenger rail advocacy community, the Los Angeles Count Metropolitan Transportation Agency (“Metro”) and the Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC) are dealt a great [...]

LOSSAN”s Top Priority

By Noel T. Braymer
Increasing ridership and passenger revenues on the LOSSAN Corridor, particularly on the Surfliners should be the priority for LOSSAN. The question is how to do this? What is needed to get passenger growth is a combination of faster running times for trains with better on-time performance for better connections by train more [...]

eNewsletter for January 21, 2014

There is talk that Amtrak is planning to soon eliminate the Pacific Parlour Cars on the Coast Starlight. The rational behind this is to save money by eliminating one attendant on board. That attendant sells alcohol. How Amtrak is able to lose money selling alcohol is a mystery to me. Also on the Coast Starlight [...]

Capitol Corridor Statistics for December, 2013

by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Ridership on Capitol Corridor in December 2013 was 111,722, an increase of
three percent over December 2012. This was the first time in FY2014 that for a given month was higher than the ridership of its prior year
month. As a result, revenues for December 2013 [...]

People Want More Rail Passenger Service

By Noel T. Braymer
A quick check of news stories finds many about local efforts to expand rail passenger service across America. These efforts are not just in the major urban areas on the West or East Coasts either. These include local groups calling for returning service on the Sunset east of New Orleans back to [...]

eNewsletter for January 13, 2014

Despite the often misleading headlines about the court’s rulings, it doesn’t shut down the  (CA-HSR) project or ask for a funding plan for the entire project. Current construction in the San Joaquin Valley is about 6 billion dollars. To build a new right of way between Bakersfield and Palmdale is estimated to cost 10 billion [...]

What Do The Long Haul Trains Really Cost?

By Andrew Selden, President, Minnesota Rail Passenger Association
The great Amtrak myth is that long distance trains cost a ton of money (one recent report we saw, which loaded them up with shares of every cost imaginable, including NEC costs and all the non-cash ones like depreciation of fully-depreciated Superliners, alleged a net loss last year [...]

Is Shipping Oil by Rail a Good Idea?

By Noel T. Braymer
In the last 6 months of 2013 there were 4 explosive accidents with fires in the US and Canada of unit oil trains carrying unconventional oil made from shale or tar sands. The latest accident in North Dakota on December 30th involved an 104 car train of oil tanker cars. While in [...]

eNewsletter for January 6, 2014

When some people hear about plans to build a major stadium depending on rail transit; the first thing they complain about is people won’t take the trains and there won’t be enough parking. These were the same complaints when PETCO Park was built in San Diego. Parking is limited in this part of San Diego. [...]