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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

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tackling the Headlines 41

Despite evidence to the contrary, Keolis loses MD bid based on lie

Governor Martin O'Malley caved in to money hungry lawyers. Bombardier will operate the MARC diesel CSX is giving up.
Take: Sad to see that another state was too chicken to call the lawyers on their b.s. It is also worth noting that when CSX first wanted out two years ago, only Amtrak and Keolis submitted bids but Amtrak withdrew its bid on liability grounds (the Class I was forced to operate the trains after the Holocaust issue first came up). This time around, Amtrak pulled out after losing the Caltrain contract, and the number of competitors was down to three as Veolia joined Keolis and Bombardier.

Cocoa wants FEC station

The city of Cocoa wants a station but the Class II railroad deems the area too small.
Take: Hey Cocoa, there's always the proposed Amtrak service. Just be glad that you guys will have two passenger entities passing through by the end of the decade. Other municipalities are desperate for just one operator to stop in their towns.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Random thoughts #7


1. More All Aboard Florida info
Details
Every hour in each direction between 0600 and 2100
Possible locations for the intermediate stops

2. Interesting interview with a member of XpressWest. All that is missing is the final extension to Los Angeles.

3. Given the potential makeup of the White House and Congress next year, the approach by TCHSR may be the only way to go

Tackling the Headlines 40

The plot thickens in Britain 

Take: If the First Group bid is allowed to proceed, the UK had better hope that the company doesn't fall into financial dismay. Otherwise, the Cameron Cabinet will have a major egg on its face.

Norfolk service and prices set

There will be a temporary facility in place until next spring because of a disagreement over the design.
Take: This still doesn't answer what will happen once the permanent facility is up and running in regards to an actual ticket agent being  placed there.

An Express HSR route in Illinois? It's not where you think

The tracks would be alongside I-90 between O'Hare Airport and Rockford.
Take: If the state actually goes through with the plan, the logical thing is extending that bad boy up to Madison where it could meet with the future MWHSR system and an extended Zip Rail.

Another Florida community flirting with commuter rail

It's now Polk County's turn.
Take: How long will Tallahassee hold out as community after community looks to rail? If I'm Rick Scott and want to save my job in 2014, I would take the first steps to forming a Florida Intercity Rail System. The orange lines infuriate me because Florida's so-called rail activists sat by and watched CSX abandon portions of the old Seaboard route. While it could be possible for rail service to be reinstated as Jacksonville is proposing for its own commuter system, the inaction was horrible.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hi / Zeph / 400: "Amtrak 90" plan

Hi / Zeph / 400: "Amtrak 90" plan: I just came across an interesting report called " Amtrak 90 " put together back in 1982 which proposed a new route structure.   It is a much...


The funny thing is, this plan can still be implemented--it'll just be over 30 years behind schedule and with Amtrak being a side player rather than the whole focus, barring a change in management philosophy. The non-NEC states may move forward with other operators and Congress passes yet another passenger rail act that forces the return of privately run overnight trains.