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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Building an Interstate Passenger Rail System

The FRA should give grants to the freight railroads to repair certain stretches of rail that have deteriorated throughout the decades. In places like central Florida, where freight congestion has been used as an excuse to end or keep Amtrak service off the former Seaboard Air Line segment via Ocala, parallel rights of way should be set up. On one side, freight trains would be multi-tracked with future space set aside to add as many tracks as the company sees fit. Passenger trains would be on the other side and would be double-tracked with sidings along certain stretches. Along busy corridors like Central Florida, stretches would be triple or quadruple-tracked. This would be in line with former FRA administrator Gil Carmichael's vision of Interstate II, and it would also be much more appealing for long-distance travel.

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