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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues, Reports

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

Commentary by Jarrod DellaChiesa, Director

I wish this was an April Fools prank, but it isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues, Reports

On March 3, 2011, the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) led a tour of the rail line from San Jose to Soledad. Elected officials, agency staff and other interested persons rode the Amtrak Coast Starlight from San Jose to Soledad, with a stop in Salinas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues, Reports

We understand that the Federal Railroad Administration plans to re-allocate HSR funds that Florida has refused to accept.  California is among the states vying for a share of the $2.4 billion available.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues


As promised, we are providing the files presented on March 19, 2011 at Steel Wheels in California. Some files are large, so please be patient.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues, Reports

Commentary by Jarrod DellaChiesa
Director, RailPAC / Project Coordinator, Coast Starlight Communities Network

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Issues

February 7, 2011 Meeting

Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Issues, Reports