Commentary By Chuck Robuck, RailPAC Director, Sacramento, and former President, CC Riders
In the past, the City of Sacramento has proposed building BOTH an Arena and an Intermodal Transit Facility on the City-owned 13-acre parcel near the Historic Train Depot (AKA the “Depot” site).
There is clearly not enough space on this site to accommodate both projects.
LA Busy Building over 35 Miles of New Rail Transit over the Next 10 Years. December 8th, 2012
Report by Noel T. Braymer with illustrations from LA METRO
Los Angeles County has two major Light Rail extensions under construction now that are planned to be finished by 2015 which will be added to its existing 87.8 miles of rail transit. There is the 6.6 mile extension of the Expo Line using an old PE ROW which will connect Santa Monica at Culver City to downtown Los Angeles at a cost of $1.5 Billion Dollars. This will connect with the existing 8.6 miles Expo Line which opened in April 2012. The other project now under construction is a $735 million dollar, 11 mile extension of the Gold Line from eastern Pasadena further east in the San Gabriel Valley to Azusa on the old Santa Fe Line between Pasadena and San Bernardino. This is the first of 3 segment with the next planned to continue past Azusa to Montclair at the Los Angeles/San Bernardino Counties Border. Ultimate plans are to extend the Gold Line to Ontario Airport in San Bernardino County.
Arizona and passenger rail: Now and in the exciting future November 29th, 2012
Report and Commentary by Russ Jackson, PHOTOS by Russ Jackson, Mike Palmer, Bill Lindley.
We all know that two major transcontinental railroads have crossed the state of Arizona for over 100 years, built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe in the north and the Southern Pacific across the southern route. Today the AT&SF is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the SP route is owned by the Union Pacific. Passenger trains have always been a part of the state’s railroad picture from the days of Fred Harvey and the tourist trains that brought winter visitors to the state. Amtrak operates the daily Southwest Chief across the BNSF and the tri-weekly Sunset Limited on the UP, but is there a chance for increasing that level of service? Not likely, what with the current hard-nosed attitude that exists at the freight railroads and Amtrak’s reluctance to challenge it. What the UP and BNSF do is run the current passenger schedules quite efficiently; trains 1 and 2 ran 66% on time at end points on the UP in the fiscal year 2011 which ended September 30, 2012, and 92.3% in the month of October, 2012. Trains 3 and 4 were at 80% for the FY and 91.9% on time on the BNSF in October.
November 15th workshop for the Sacramento Valley Station Phase 2 November 10th, 2012
Meeting notice from Gregory Taylor, Project Manager, Sacramento Valley Station Phase 2, Department of Public Works
Transportation Agency for Monterey County meeting report November 10th, 2012
Rail Committee meeting held August 6, 2012
Report by Chris Flescher, Salinas RailPAC Director
Santa Cruz Branch Line
Where I Would Like to Go by Train; but Can’t October 20th, 2012
By Noel T. Braymer
The best places to go to by train are those with lots of traffic, congestion and expensive parking. One place like that which is hard in California to go to by train are airports. There are several California airports with transit connections to train stations. The last time I tried to take the Coaster to the San Diego Airport I had to be at the airport to catch my flight before the first morning train arrived in San Diego.
The Texas Eagle in Illinois and the San Joaquins in California October 18th, 2012
Commentary by Ralph James, RailPAC contributor
On October 2, 2012, the Railway Age “blog” contained an article by Lyndon Henry, “Texas Eagle highlights passenger train success,” which was included in the October 8 RailPAC weekly e-newsletter. In that article a statement is made that the Chicago-St. Louis upgrades on the Union Pacific will not affect the Eagle’s schedule or connection problems at Chicago. I do not see how the upgrade cannot but help the Eagle and improve at least some of the Chicago connections, although it is evident that not ALL connections in both directions could be made without making a few fairly major adjustments to the Chicago departure and/or the E/B schedules of the Builder and Zephyr.
YES, Long-Distance Amtrak Trains are Crowded! October 18th, 2012
Trip Report on the Southwest Chief and the Empire Builder
Commentary by Andrew C. Selden, MinnARP, Minneapolis
What did I learn from listening to Amtrak’s Brian Rosenwald? September 27th, 2012
Commentary by Russ Jackson, RailPAC
It is safe to say that Amtrak’s Chief, Product Development, Brian Rosenwald is held in very high esteem by rail advocates in this country. His huge success in developing the Pacific Parlour Car and other enhancements for the Coast Starlight in the mid-1990′s is legendary, and he calls those five years the best in his career. But that success has only been partially duplicated on other Amtrak trains since then. Today’s Empire Builder is a very successful off-shoot of what Mr. Rosenwald under his boss at the time, Amtrak West President Gil Mallery, accomplished back then.
Commentary by Russ Jackson, RailPAC-URPA, Dallas, Texas