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If that. Things like $700 billion bailouts and $1 trillion wars are overshadowing it a bit. Then again, with those numbers, a $15 billion Amtrak program no longer seems so expensive.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I wonder how much media attention this will receive. I'm predicting sixth page?

You're assuming the PD will cover it at all.

 

Indeed, I am, even though I don't know what PD means.  It will be covered somewhere.  I'm sure NYT will, at least.

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If that. Things like $700 billion bailouts and $1 trillion wars are overshadowing it a bit. Then again, with those numbers, a $15 billion Amtrak program no longer seems so expensive.

 

I've been thinking the exact same thing.  No matter how you feel about the war, at least military spending is a function of the federal government.  Bailing out companies, banks, etc, due to poor business practices, ISN'T.  How about we swap those figures, giving them a $15B bailout and spending $700B on expanding our rail system instead?  :-D

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Well, here's some media coverage of the bill passage:

 

OCTOBER 2, 2008, 11:17 A.M. ET

Senate Approves $13 Billion Amtrak Funding Bill

By JOSH MITCHELL | Dow Jones NewswiresArticle

 

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Congress passed legislation Wednesday to boost funds for Amtrak and expand passenger rail service at a time of record ridership.

Amtrak's Undeveloped Corridors

 

Full story at:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122291010872896757.html#video%3D

 

And a video: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122291010872896757.html#video%3D83F8BAE8-5FD2-41D0-B2C7-D7B80D556F3A

 

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http://americancity.org/magazine/article/a-new-era-for-train-travel/

 

Transportation

 

A New Era for Train Travel?

With high demand for passenger rail service, is it finally Amtrak’s moment to shine?

By James McCommons

 

On a broiling summer afternoon, passengers jammed the tiny Amtrak station in Longview, Texas. Having run out of chairs, they plopped on suitcases, fingered their tickets and looked glum. Outside, away from the air conditioning, more people stood in the shade of the building, smoking cigarettes and fanning themselves with newspapers. The northbound Texas Eagle was three and a haƒlf hours behind schedule, delayed by Union Pacific freight trains, mostly long “intermodals” of four locomotives and 100 cars carrying steel shipping containers stacked two high. Railroaders call these “Wal-Mart Chinese Doo-Dad Trains” because they carry consumer goods manufactured in Asia. 

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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"The ambitious project proposed for the Midwest would cover 3,000 miles in nine states. All lines would radiate from a hub in downtown Chicago. The cost of a fully completed Midwest network is estimated at almost $8 billion."

 

About the cost of one month of the Iraq war.  Wow this country has great spending priorities.

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"The ambitious project proposed for the Midwest would cover 3,000 miles in nine states. All lines would radiate from a hub in downtown Chicago. The cost of a fully completed Midwest network is estimated at almost $8 billion."

 

About the cost of one month of the Iraq war. Wow this country has great spending priorities.

 

At this point, $8 billion sounds like chump change.  It *is* very hard to believe now, with all the extraneous government spending that we can't get this to happen NOW.

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http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Copy/News_Release_Page&c=am2Copy&cid=1178294225626&ssid=180

 

National Railroad Passenger Corporation

60 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20002

www.amtrak.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATK-08-072

 

Contact: Media Relations (202) 906-3860

 

October 2, 2008 

Senate Passes Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act

 

Legislation Authorizes Nearly $13 Billion for Amtrak 

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate yesterday passed H.R. 2095, the Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act. The bill includes Amtrak reauthorization language and authorizes significant federal funding for intercity passenger rail service and corridor development. The measure authorizes $12.9 billion over five years including: $5.3 billion in capital grants, $2.9 billion in operating grants and $1.9 billion for grants to states for intercity passenger rail development. The House approved the legislation on September 24. The bill must now be signed into law by the President, and Congress will need to pass annual appropriations bills to provide the funding levels authorized in the bill.

 

In addition to authorizing spending for rail expansion, the legislation reauthorizes and toughens rail safety programs, including requiring rail companies to equip cars with "positive train control" systems to help avoid collisions.

 

"The work on this authorization bill spanned nearly three congresses and does change the existing conditions for Amtrak, the rail industry and the states," said Alex Kummant, Amtrak president and CEO. "Apart from safety enhancements, the bill creates for the first time a state and federal funding partnership which places rail passenger service on a more equal footing with other modes, and encourages rail corridor development. Passage of this bill is a significant statement by Congress that will positively affect the traveling public for generations to come."

 

"Provisions in the bill that mandate positive train control across the industry will provide significant safeguards for the traveling public," said Chairman of the Amtrak Board Donna McLean. "Amtrak prides itself as a leader in safety innovations. The Board supports the requirements of the bill and implementing them will be our highest priority."

 

Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and former Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) are to be commended for their tireless efforts on behalf of the passenger rail industry and for their persistence in getting the legislation passed. On the House side, Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), Ranking Member John Mica (R-FL), Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) are also to be commended for their hard work and commitment to improving intercity passenger rail service for all Americans.

 

In the fiscal year that ended September 30, Amtrak carried over 28 million riders, a sixth straight year of record ridership, and earned more than $1.7 billion in ticket revenue for the national passenger railroad.

 

About Amtrak

 

Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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http://www.nationalcorridors.org/df2/df10062008.shtml#Authorization

 

History-Making Legislation For Amtrak

 

Authorization Bill Soars Through Senate;

Bush Drops Amtrak Veto Threat And Will Sign Bill

 

By DF Staff

 

WASHINGTON --- Nearly 40 years after its founding and for the first time in its penurious history, Amtrak this past week received the kind of multi-year broad-ranging authorization it needs to begin building the kind of world-class national passenger rail system long promised to, but never before possible for, the American people.

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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So, I've been waiting for moment since I was middle school, and now that it's finally happening I feel a bit morose.  The fact that we waited until rock bottom to begin building a decent passenger rail system really has me depressed about the future of our (once) great country.  What the hell happened to our ideals? 

 

***All this is rhetorical, as I wouldn't want to sidetrack the thread***

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McCain misses the train on Amtrak

Thursday, October 09, 2008

By Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

As Americans begin figuring out how to wean ourselves from foreign oil, there is some good news.

 

Preliminary numbers from Amtrak show about 28.7 million riders rode the intercity trains in the past fiscal year, nearly 2 million more than the year before.

 

Read more at:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08283/918547-155.stm

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National Railroad Passenger Corporation

60 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20002

www.amtrak.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATK-08-075

 

Contacts: Media Relations (202) 906-3860

 

October 10, 2008 

Annual Amtrak Ridership Sets All-Time Record; Sixth Straight Year of Increases

 

Ridership Tops 28.7 Million, $1.7 Billion in Ticket Revenue 

 

WASHINGTON - Amtrak ridership in Fiscal Year 2008 increased to 28,716,407, marking the sixth straight year of gains and setting a record for the most passengers using Amtrak trains since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2008.

 

All Amtrak trains across the system saw increases in ridership. The 28.7 million total for the period October 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008, topped the 25,847,531 for the previous 12 months by 11.1 percent. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year reached $1.7 billion, a 14.2 percent increase over the $1.5 billion in FY07.

 

"After another record-breaking year, in which the railroad achieved double-digit growth, Amtrak has solidified its role as a leader in the nation's transportation network and proven intercity passenger rail's relevance in today's world," said Alex Kummant, President and CEO of Amtrak. "Highway and airway congestion, volatile fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness all contributed to Amtrak's successful year, as did our continually improving service and on-time performance."

 

Kummant added, "With the recent passage of a reauthorization bill, which includes a significant state and federal capital matching grant program, we also look forward to expanding state partnerships to provide more rail service in growing corridors nationwide."

 

 

East Highlights

 

Revenue growth was the greatest in the Northeast, where ticket receipts reached $863.4 million, a 14.6 percent increase over last year's ticket revenue.

 

The popularity of the Acela Express service continued in FY08 and trips increased by 6.5 percent with 3.3 million passengers and a nearly 16 percent increase in revenue to $468 million.

 

Regional Service was relaunched more than half way through the fiscal year as the Northeast Regional with great success. The refurbished and upgraded trains saw a 9.5 percent increase in ridership by the end of the fiscal year to 7.5 million and a 13.4 percent increase in ticket revenue to $481.6 million.

 

The Keystone Service, which operates between Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York City, experienced significant growth with a 19.8 percent increase in ridership, surpassing the one million mark with 1,183,821 passengers in FY08. Moreover, ticket revenue increased by 20 percent, to $24.7 million.

 

New York's Empire Service, which operates daily between New York City, Albany/Rensselaer and other upstate New York destinations, carried 994,293 passengers in FY08, a four percent increase over the same period last year. Ticket revenue topped $ 41 million, a 6.5 percent hike over the previous 12 months.

 

The Downeaster, operating several times daily between Portland, Maine and Boston, Mass., experienced significant growth with a 31 percent increase in ridership, reaching 474,492 in FY08. The Downeaster also earned $5.8 million, which represents a 36.7 percent increase in ticket revenue from a year ago.

 

Central Highlights

 

Steep growth in ridership is also reported from the Amtrak hub in Chicago, with Hiawatha Service ridership up nearly 26 percent on the trains sponsored by the Wisconsin and Illinois state transportation departments. Nearly 750,000 passengers rode the seven daily round-trips between Milwaukee and Chicago last year, an increase of more than 150,000 passengers.

 

The Illinois DOT also supports service between Chicago and Downstate Illinois, with more than one million passengers riding the routes, the first time that milestone has been reached. Ridership on the Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service corridor, via Bloomington-Normal and Springfield, is up 14 percent to total 543,642, while on the Illini and Saluki route to Carbondale, via Champaign and Mattoon, ridership is 304,435, up by 15 percent, inclusive of local passengers on the City of New Orleans trains between Chicago and Carbondale. On the route of the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg to Quincy via Galesburg and Macomb, ridership is up 19 percent and totals 231,701, including local travel on the Southwest Chief and California Zephyr between Chicago and Galesburg.

 

Elsewhere in the Central U.S., Kansas City to St. Louis ridership is up by more than 30 percent on the two daily round-trips sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation and Heartland Flyer ridership between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City increased by 18.5 percent on the daily round-trip supported by the Texas and Oklahoma state departments of transportation.

 

West Highlights

 

Western corridor trains achieved record ridership month-after-month throughout the fiscal year. In Southern California, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service which operates between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, carried more than 2.89 million passengers, a seven percent increase. Ticket revenue was more than $51 million, an increase of nine percent.

 

In the Central Valley, the San Joaquins service, Oakland/Sacramento to Bakersfield, carried nearly a million passengers (949, 611) an 18 percent increase with $2.9 million in ticket revenue, a 21.6 percent increase. July 2008 ridership topped 100,000 passengers for the first time in the history of this service, a 32 percent increase over July 2007.

 

In Northern California, more than 1.69 million passengers rode the Capitol Corridor service, Auburn to San Jose, a 16.8 increase over the same period last year. Ticket revenue was up 23 percent, reaching $22 million.

 

In the Pacific Northwest, ridership on the Amtrak Cascades service, Eugene, Ore. to Vancouver, B.C. was up more than 12 percent (760,323). Ticket revenue exceeded $20 million, an increase of 15 percent. This service has seen double digit increases for the past nine months (January - September 2008).

 

National Highlights

 

Among the trains on the Amtrak national network, the Empire Builder is again the most popular overnight train. With more than 554,000 passengers, the daily Chicago-St. Paul-Seattle/Portland train showed an increase of 9.8 percent. The Texas Eagle (Chicago-San Antonio) had the largest percentage increase among long-distance trains with 15.2 percent — 251,518 passengers for the year.

 

The Silver Service (New York-Miami) trains continued to grow — the Silver Star carried 367,139 passengers (+11.5 percent) and the Silver Meteor reached 319,773 passengers (+9.6 percent). The Capitol Limited (Washington DC-Chicago) had a strong year, increasing ridership by 11.7 percent and the Palmetto (New York-Savannah) and Crescent (New York-New Orleans) both had increases over 10 percent.

 

About Amtrak

 

Amtrak has posted six consecutive years of growth in ridership and revenue, carrying more than 28.7 million passengers in the last fiscal year. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.

 

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Copy/News_Release_Page&c=am2Copy&cid=1178294234716&ssid=180

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McCain misses the train on AmtrakThursday, October 09-By Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The spokesman said Mr. McCain also objects to the $1.5 billion "earmark" for the Washington Metro system, and doesn't see these expenditures as national priorities.

America is spending hundreds of billions of dollars for a new attack fighter plane that can "go supersonic", although that airplane will soon be obsoleted by pilotless aircraft.  We spend tens of billions/year on spy satellites, although the real need in the intelligence community is to have more translators, data analysts, and covert people in other countries "looking around" to see what is changing in the "problem countries".  That would not cost tens of billions, but it would not enrich Lockheed-Martin, either.

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McCain misses the train on AmtrakThursday, October 09-By Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The spokesman said Mr. McCain also objects to the $1.5 billion "earmark" for the Washington Metro system, and doesn't see these expenditures as national priorities.

America is spending hundreds of billions of dollars for a new attack fighter plane that can "go supersonic", although that airplane will soon be obsoleted by pilotless aircraft.  We spend tens of billions/year on spy satellites, although the real need in the intelligence community is to have more translators, data analysts, and covert people in other countries "looking around" to see what is changing in the "problem countries".  That would not cost tens of billions, but it would not enrich Lockheed-Martin, either.

 

I'm not totally sure what sparked this or what it has to do with Amtrak, but I have zero problem with this type of funding.  Our military technological advantage keeps American troops alive.  It may seem like an obscene amount of money going into military R&D, but it is in my opinion, totally worthwhile.  That said, we need to drastically raise the amount of cash that we spend on rail and mass transit, there's no doubt about that.  I just don't see military funding as something that should be cut in the process. 

 

Keep the good news on Amtrak coming!

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I do think it's important to note, however, that this type of funding represents a significant technology transfer for use in commercial aviation. Similar transfers have been occurring since military aviation research began, and represents a significant subsidy to commercial aviation. I'm not saying that this is good or bad. But it needs to be acknowledged when we strive for level playing fields, policy-wise, rather than have less informed people claim that only passenger rail is subsidized.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Excellent point. 

 

The fact that the airline industry uses jet aircraft today is a direct result of technology developed for the military and by the aircraft manufacturers who contracted with them and profited from it.  Even most of the first prop-driven planes that the airlines used were ex-military transport aircraft from World War II and the Korean War.

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Amtrak reports record annual ridership

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amtrak carried a record 28.7 million people last year, with each of its routes seeing gains, the national passenger railroad said Friday.

 

The company has posted six years of ridership and revenue growth, recently benefiting from high gas and airline prices. The number of trips over the past year increased 11% over the 25.8 million taken in fiscal year 2007.

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-10-amtrak-annual-ridership_N.htm

 

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Amtrak reports record annual ridership

 

The Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee, for example, carried 750,000 passengers last year, a 26% increase. Several other Illinois routes also posted double-digit gains.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-10-amtrak-annual-ridership_N.htm

 

 

Hurray, I'm a statistic!  I'm one of those new Hiawatha riders.  I also frequent the Lincoln Service to Normal (to visit my dad in Peoria) on a fairly regular basis.  That one's getting upgraded to high speed right about now.  Cheers!

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And don't forget the auto industry. Can you say Jeep? Hummer?

 

OK back to Amtrak.

 

Can you say National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956? Dwight D. Eisenhower promoted the defense aspect, but lobbying by auto makers and the trucking industry provided the decisive push to make it happen. That does relate directly to passenger rail, because the Interstate Highways enabled the trucking industry to siphon away much traffic from the railroads, resulting in mergers, consolidations and elimination of route-miles. Some railroads were already underwriting their passenger operations with freight revenues. The economic pressures brought by the loss of freight to trucks contributed directly and/or indirectly to the loss of much railroad passenger service.

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Some railroads were already underwriting their passenger operations with freight revenues. The economic pressures brought by the loss of freight to trucks contributed directly and/or indirectly to the loss of much railroad passenger service.

 

I'd say most railroads were underwriting their passenger operations with freight revenues, or accounting for passenger train losses as part of their publicity expenses.

 

And I would specify the losses of freight business to trucks was the highest yielding, most profitable freight, namely package express, mail, time-sensitive goods, etc. So even though the railroad still carried more freight tonnage, the trucks were get much more revenue yield per ton of freight they were carrying. Intermodal, namely double-stack trains began to change that starting in the 1980s, but the trucks still "out-yield" the railroads.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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McCain misses the train on AmtrakThursday, October 09-By Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The spokesman said Mr. McCain also objects to the $1.5 billion "earmark" for the Washington Metro system, and doesn't see these expenditures as national priorities.

America is spending hundreds of billions of dollars for a new attack fighter plane that can "go supersonic", although that airplane will soon be obsoleted by pilotless aircraft.  We spend tens of billions/year on spy satellites, although the real need in the intelligence community is to have more translators, data analysts, and covert people in other countries "looking around" to see what is changing in the "problem countries".  That would not cost tens of billions, but it would not enrich Lockheed-Martin, either.

 

I'm not totally sure what sparked this or what it has to do with Amtrak, but I have zero problem with this type of funding.  Our military technological advantage keeps American troops alive.  It may seem like an obscene amount of money going into military R&D, but it is in my opinion, totally worthwhile.  That said, we need to drastically raise the amount of cash that we spend on rail and mass transit, there's no doubt about that.  I just don't see military funding as something that should be cut in the process...

$200 Billion was a lot of money in the 1980s when Reagan reversed Carter's decisions and deployed the B-1B bomber and the MX missile system.  The B-1B was already obsoleted by stealth technology and was vulnerable to surface to air missiles.  Note that the Air Force retired a third of the B-1B bombers a decade ago.  The MX missile was ridiculous.  It was just as vulnerable as the Minuteman missiles because they did not deploy them in the dispersed "racetrack" system in the Great Basin.

 

My point is that the McCains and the Murthas of Congress don't make spending decisions based on "national priorities" like McCain claims.  They do it for their corporate patrons.  Maybe if Boeing could bag $100 billion in sales, then the Washington Metro could get federal funding.  :sarcasm:

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Got this e-mail today from a contact of mine:

 

The landscape for passenger rail has now officially changed.

From the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission

 

President Bush signed HR 2095 today, which contains the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. The act reauthorizes Amtrak for five years and provides authorization for significant new programs and funding!

 

If you haven’t had a chance to read it, here again is a link to the entire bill -- http://transportation.house.gov/Media/File/Rail/Rail%20Safety.pdf -- and an explanation of the major PRIIA provisions:

 

·        Amtrak authorizations, reforms and operational improvements (beginning on page 152)-- Authorizes Amtrak for 5 years, including authorization levels for capital and operating expenses, and requiring reform and operational improvements.

·        Passenger Train Performance (Section 213, beginning on page 198) – provides a process for the Surface Transportation Board to investigate and determine if host rail carriers are not providing preference for Amtrak over freight as required by law.

·        Intercity Passenger Rail Service Corridor Capital Assistance (Section 301, beginning on page 224) -- $1.9 billion over 5 years, at up to 80 percent federal match. For “financing the capital costs of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment necessary to provide or improve intercity passenger rail transportation” (projects must be part of an approved state rail plan – see section 303 below);

·        Congestion Grants (Section 302, beginning on page 254) – $325 million over 4 years. Projects identified by Amtrak to reduce congestion or facilitate passenger rail growth along heavily traveled corridors, or by the Surface Transportation Board to improve on-time performance;

·        State Rail Plans (Section 303, beginning on page 256) – Describes the purpose and minimum necessary components of state rail plans;

·        Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool (Section 305, beginning on page 265);

·        Rail Cooperative Research Program (Section 306, beginning on page 267);

·        Biofuels (Sections 404 & 405, beginning on page 281) – mandates studies on the feasibility of using biofuels for powering locomotives (Sec. 404) and bio-based lubricants on locomotives, rolling stock or other equipment (Sec. 405)

·        High Speed Rail Corridor Program (Section 501, beginning on page 287) – $1.5 billion over 5 years, specifically for projects that would achieve speeds of at least 110 mph.

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http://209.51.133.155/cms/index.php/news_releases/more/all_aboard_ohio_applauds_signing_of_federal_rail_bill/

 

October 16, 2008

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Ken Prendergast,

Director, Research & Communications

All Aboard Ohio

(216) 288-4883 or

(216) 986-6064

 

President Bush signed House Resolution 2095 today, which contains the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. The act reauthorizes Amtrak for five years and provides authorization for significant new programs and funding that could soon benefit Ohioans!

 

All Aboard Ohio applauds passage of this long-sought legislation. Congress worked hard on this bill, with Ohio’s Congressional Delegation playing an important role, including support from Senator Sherrod Brown, plus Representatives Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich, Steve LaTourette, Deborah Pryce, Ralph Regula, Timothy Ryan, Zachary Space, Betty Suttton, Patrick Tiberi, Michael Turner, Charles Wilson and the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

 

Passenger rail plans for Ohio got a big boost from the signing of this bill into law.

 

“What seemed like a wish for many years is now suddenly possible,” said All Aboard Ohio President Bill Hutchison.

 

Now Congress must work in the coming months on appropriating funding necessary to fulfill the goals of HR 2095. All Aboard Ohio will work with Ohio’s Congressional delegation on this.

 

Among the goals of this new law are improving railroad signaling systems, purchasing sleek new trains, rebuilding or replacing stations, adding new services in populous travel markets like Ohio’s 3-C (Cleveland - Columbus - Dayton - Cincinnati) Corridor, upgrading road-rail crossings, relieving freight train bottlenecks and planning for other new services. 

 

HR 2095 includes language by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of the Youngstown area requiring affected state departments of transportation to conduct planning for extending Pennsylvania's "Keystone Corridor" from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.

 

This would be in addition to a 3-C Corridor implementation plan requested by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and being conducted by the Ohio Rail Development Commission and Amtrak. The 3-C Corridor planning work began this fall and should be complete within a year. The 3-C Corridor is eligible to receive federal funding authorized by HR 2095.

 

 

END


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Woo!

 

This is so exciting .. finally, there is hope for better rail transportation. Let's hope this kinda thing continues and that it's not a once-off.

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Of all the passenger rail projects in Ohio, Elyria's New York Central Depot is clearly the closest to being funding-ready.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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This story makes reference to improving service (by extension) to Cleveland.

 

Rail study could lead to increased service to Pittsburgh

By William Kibler, bkibler@altoonamirror.com

POSTED: October 18, 2008 Top of Form

 

A bill signed Thursday by President Bush calls for a study that could lead to more rail passenger service for Altoona, said state Rep. Rick Geist, R-Altoona.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act orders Amtrak to study increasing rail service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Read more at:

 

http://altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/512275.html

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This has been bouncing around the Internet. Glad to see NS is recognizing federal law. This notice directly affects the Capitol Limited (which serves Ohio) and the Pennsylvanian (which should serve Ohio!).......

_________________

 

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION

Office of the Superintendent

 

Pittsburgh Division

Dispatchers Bulletin

 

NO. 6

 

========================================================================

SUBJECT: Amtrak Trains

DOCUMENT NUMBER: DB-06

REVISION NUMBER:

DATE ISSUED: October 10, 2008

DATE EFFECTIVE: October 10, 2008

PREPARED BY: J.A. Keller

APPROVED BY: J.A. Keller

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

All Movement Office Employees:

 

The following guidelines apply to Amtrak Trains operating on the

Pittsburgh Division:

 

1. Amtrak trains will have the highest priority of all trains

operating on the division. No freight or intermodal

interference.

 

2. Train Dispatchers will make decisions to ensure that

Amtrak Trains operate as efficiently as possible. These

decisions include but are not limited to, eliminating

train interference, avoiding slow orders when possible,

avoiding crossovers when possible, running trains on

the most efficient route to avoid approach and restricting

signals.

 

3. If possible, the Train Dispatcher, must notify the Chief

Dispatcher prior to any delays that will be incurred by

Amtrak Trains. If it is not possible to notify the Chief

prior to, the Chief must be notified immediately when

delay occurs to any Amtrak Train.

 

4. Job briefings are required, concerning station work to be

performed, to determine the most efficient procedure, when

loading and unloading passengers (i.e. large groups,

handicapped passengers needing extra help, etc...)

 

5. The following symbols designate all Amtrak Trains, 04T,

06T, 02T, 07T, and 03T.

 

 

J.A. Keller

Assistant Superintendent Dispatch


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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It will be interesting to see if they can carry this out in practice, especially given the rail bottlenecks around Chicago.

 

That came out of the Pittsburgh Division's Superintendent's Office, so I'd interpret it as applicable only in that division. If I understand correctly, the Pittsburgh Division extends from Harrisburg in the east to Cleveland (via Youngstown) and Crestline (old PRR) in the west.

 

I'm not sure what division controls the chokepoint in Northwest Indiana, but it sounds like that's not covered by the memo.

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It will be interesting to see if they can carry this out in practice, especially given the rail bottlenecks around Chicago.

 

That came out of the Pittsburgh Division's Superintendent's Office, so I'd interpret it as applicable only in that division. If I understand correctly, the Pittsburgh Division extends from Harrisburg in the east to Cleveland (via Youngstown) and Crestline (old PRR) in the west.

 

I'm not sure what division controls the chokepoint in Northwest Indiana, but it sounds like that's not covered by the memo.

 

The Dearborn Division handles everything from Cleveland to Chicago and into Michigan.

 

I can't say for sure, but the division superintendent probably felt comfortable that his memo would be supported by his superiors. NS runs a pretty tight ship.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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... NS runs a pretty tight ship.

 

Indeed they do. A friend who used to work for them says the Nazi's could have taken lessons from NS regarding unquestioning obedience and utter submission to authority.

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