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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, October 2, 2015

Tackling the Headlines 78

XpressWest teams up with China
Take #1: Congratulations, I guess. No one on this side of the Pacific was willing to step up--Buy America rules, no funding for any type of HSR--so XpressWest had to do what it did.

Take #2: I'm pretty sure that once the line gets built that it'll only be an inevitability that CAHSR grants XpressWest trackage rights to Los Angeles.

Take: So much for letting local governments decide. If anybody is taking a step backwards, it's the General Assembly. Now that he's no longer Governor Pat McCrory's budget adviser, I seriously wonder if Art Pope is actually writing transportation policy for NC's legislative branch. After all, his John Locke Foundation has never had a kind word to say about any rail-related transit.

Take: At this point, a scaled-back approach is the only way to go because the money for 110 mph service isn't coming anytime soon. Just getting two or four trains at 79 mph to use the S-Line would do wonders for anyone who's had to use the Carolinian or the Silver Star along the congested A-Line.

Take #1: It's good to see that advocates in the area haven't given up on reviving service.

Take #2: Once again, it looks as though Minnesota will be doing the heavy lifting--until Scott Walker and his cronies leave office.

Take #3: Hopefully, implementation of this route will lead to a true rail system for the Badger State.

Take #4: Speaking of possible private operation: Somebody get Ed Ellis on Line 2...