The complicated history of the Sprinter April 11th, 2013
Report and Photo by Noel T. Braymer, RailPAC e-newsletter Editor
The Sprinter started out as a simple project to serve the 22 miles between Oceanside and Escondido. The original proposal by RailPAC’s Byron Nordberg back in the 1980′s was to rebuild the existing single tracked short line railroad between these 2 cities for about 70-80 million dollars. Inexpensive, self-propelled diesel rail cars, proven and in production, would be used. The idea was to finish it in 1988, which was the centennial of these two cities and of the construction of this short line. After that things got complicated. The budget went up and opening day got pushed back to 2000 then 2005, 2007 and it finally opened in March 2008. By then the construction budget was almost half a billion dollars!
Why RailPAC supports High Speed Rail
Why RailPAC is not a cheerleader for the CHSRA
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 »
Upcoming Rail Meeting Event Calendar May 9th, 2012
Prepared by Mike Barnbaum, RailPAC Associate Director
The legislation discussed at the April San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee and associated infrastructure changes forthcoming at the Sacramento Valley (Amtrak) Station set the slate for a busy calendar ahead for California and the West Coast. Here is the latest of what we do know through September 30th.
RailPAC Board Endorses High Speed Rail Business Plan April 6th, 2012
For release April 6, 2012.
Analysis and Commentary by Russ Jackson, RailPAC
From out of the blue, so to speak, on March 13 came an Amtrak News Release from New Orleans, not Washington DC, saying a new schedule for the Sunset Limited would take effect on May 7, 2012. This new schedule will have major impacts all along its route, affecting the travel plans for riders. Those who already have summer reservations are in for a surprise, but will be notified of the changes. Amtrak says these changes “are expected to increase ridership and revenue, and reduce crew layover costs.” We shall see. Oh, daily service? Forget that. It’s still tri-weekly, just as it has been since the Southern Pacific converted it from daily in the 1960′s, and Amtrak has continued it since 1971. Does this new schedule look familiar? It should, it’s basically the same one that existed before 2005 with the departure of #2 from Los Angeles at 10 PM, and #1 from New Orleans moved back to 9 AM.
Amtrak California gets to the Coachella Valley February 11th, 2012
RailPAC Report by Russ Jackson, Robert Manning, and from the Amtrak.com timetable. Photo by Robert Manning.
In its revised schedule dated December 5, 2011, Amtrak California quietly added a new train-bus service finally recognizing the importance of travel from Palm Springs, Indio, and the Coachella Valley to/from Los Angeles. Until then the only Amtrak service was the tri-weekly Sunset Limited long-distance train, and connecting buses to/from the San Joaquin trains. These new buses do not go to the Palm Springs train station, but go to the downtown Airport station and other cities enroute.
Commentary by Ralph James, RailPAC Member, Blue Canyon CA
This commentary is a follow-up to this writer’s original commentary entitled “Is California High Speed Rail on Track for Successful Implementation?”, published in spring 2010 illustrating the futility of spending early HSR dollars in the Central Valley as compared to other sections of the ultimate HSR route.
Amtrak Updates Fleet Strategy Plan April 1st, 2011
Commentary by Jarrod DellaChiesa, Director
I wish this was an April Fools prank, but it isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »
Metrolink CEO Kicks off Steel Wheel in California March 30th, 2011
On Saturday, March 19 Chair Richard Katz provided opening comments for the 4th Annual Steel Wheels in California conference hosted by RailPAC and NARP. Over 200 rail professionals gathered in the L.A. Metro board room for a conference providing information and education to “opinion formers and decision makers” and grass roots supporters of the rail industry. Chairman Katz spoke about Metrolink’s commitment to safety, specifically as it applies to insisting that the 2015 federal mandate for PTC implemented not be extended.