My Bio and This Blog's Purpose

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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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sunshine State musings 4

As I alluded to last month, I'm using this article to blast opponents of All Aboard Florida. Two articles were published in depth about these NIMBYs.

The WKMG and Fred Frailey articles also showed just how misleading All Aboard Florida opponents have been. Given all of the complaining Treasure Coast residents have done, it's like these people have never seen a train before. They chose to live near an area where there's frequent service by a major railroad so demands like forcing Florida East Coast to move freight service to competitor CSX's tracks, make the Class II railroad only run fright trains at night, and cities wanting to be subsidized for alleged lost revenue once AAF begins service are way beyond ridiculous.

I can't help but wonder if Treasure Coast residents are lashing out because after 14 years of on and off pledges by Amtrak to serve the east coast of Florida, the national carrier is still nowhere close to turning a wheel. If they want someone to blame for Amtrak's unfulfilled promises, they should be pointing their fingers at the feds for not funding the FEC Jacksonville-Miami route during Stimulus Mania in 2010. Had the Obama Administration given the money for this route, the alleged problems these NIMBYs have all of sudden brought up would have never existed because Amtrak trains would be running through the area.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tackling the Headlines 69

Passenger rail study moves forward
Take: The next step will be the actual report itself. One more step before the Santa Cruz area gets connected to commuter and intercity rail and makes San Jose a true rail hub.

Take: Anything that forces Amtrak to act less than an airline and more than a railroad is fine with me.

Take: Huh? I thought that Corridor Capital had AAF's equipment in the bag.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

TIGER VI Grants

Central Corridor in Connecticut

After about three years of efforts, another part of New England is about to get privately run passenger rail--and not a moment too soon. Yes, the $10.2 million was for freight improvements along the line between New London, CT and Brattleboro, VT, but the added bonus will be passenger service for residents and college students in Amherst, MA, which will be dropped by Amtrak next year. NECR will scoop in and serve the city but it's a question of when.

Southwest Chief

Another big surprise is that the beleaguered Raton Pass route received funding. The kicker is that only 20 percent of the needed improvements will be covered and as a result, the reroute via Amarillo is still in play. As a result, my proposals are still better than the recent reprieve.

M-1 Streetcar

Detroit's streetcar project got a boost in the public portion of the PPP.

Viewpoint

I'll use this space to get something off of my chest. TIGER has been a great benefit to rail and transit in general over the last five years. If the prognosticators are correct about the Senate changing hands in ;less than two months's time, this grant program is DOA because the Tea Partiers have tried to gut TIGER over the last three years. Congress had better come up with a way fund transportation projects moving forward or it will be held responsible for whatever happens to the decline of affordable transportation solutions.