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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            January 14, 2015





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How realistic is HSR from Canada to Washington state?
CKWX-AM
That trip to Seattle or Portland would look a lot better through the window of a train barrelling down a high speed rail corridor. As California begins construction of a bullet-train line linking Los Angeles and San Francisco, there is a renewed push to build a high-speed link through Cascadia. The strip from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver was designated as a future high-speed rail corridor by the U.S. government in the 1990s and current long-range plans in Washington State would see passenger trains running at a respectable 180km/h along many sections by early next decade.
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Former BART director sees California BART/Amtrak transfer opportunity
San Jose Mercury News
A former BART director sees a tantalizing opportunity to speed up some commutes in California between San Francisco and communities along Amtrak's Capitol Corridor. Bob Allen, the transit system's District 5 representative from 1974 to 1988, proposes a transfer station in Oakland where BART's transbay line crosses over the Union Pacific tracks that carry Amtrak trains. "From a transfer station there, 16 or more [BART] trains per hour would reach four BART/Muni downtown San Francisco stations in six to 10 minutes," Allen said.
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NTSB investigating WMATA smoke-filled train incident
Progressive Railroading
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority service is operating on a modified schedule after an electrical problem caused smoke to fill rail cars in a tunnel near L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. One passenger died and at least 80 others were hurt in the incident, according to local news media reports. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and local police investigations are ongoing, but NTSB investigators said an "electrical arcing event" occurred about 1,100 feet in front of a train shortly after it left the L'Enfant Plaza Station, The Washington Post reported.
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Amtrak passengers finally depart Chicago 13.5 hours late
CNN
Talk about a traveler's nightmare. Amtrak passengers cooled their heels — and the rest of their bodies — for 13.5 hours before their train finally pulled out of Chicago's Union Station. "I had on leggings, a pair of wool socks, winter boots, a long-sleeve shirt, zip-up pullover, a fleece, a winter down jacket, hat, gloves and scarf," said passenger Kristine Charbonneau. "I ended up adding my sweatpants and blankets."
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West Virginians support Indiana's Amtrak line
Journal and Courier
A shot of encouragement from two states away has lifted the spirits of Indiana passenger rail advocates who've been watching the clock tick toward a Jan. 31 deadline to secure continued operation of the Hoosier State line. Friends of the Cardinal, a group of passenger rail supporters in Charleston, West Virginia, recently approved a resolution urging continued funding for the train that stops in Lafayette on its run between Indianapolis and Chicago four days a week.
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Europe's high-speed rail networks face problems down the line
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Fast trains in Europe ended 2014 with a flourish. In December, Eurostar, which connects London, Paris and Brussels, started selling tickets for a year-round service to the Mediterranean starting this May. Poland introduced its first high-speed service, between Warsaw and Krakow; Serbia signed an agreement with China to build a fast line from Belgrade to Budapest; and Turkey inaugurated a line from Istanbul to Konya, having opened one between Istanbul and Ankara in July. High-speed rail is controversial, as those now trying to introduce it to America know. This month, as work began on California's "bullet train" project, taxpayer groups condemned it as a monstrous waste of money.
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Amtrak on schedule after months of middle-of-night service in Montana town
Missoulian
Whitefish, Montana, is a great place to visit, but — for the tens of thousands who arrive and depart by train — for the past several months it's been an inconvenient one. Whether they come to ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort or hike in Glacier National Park, middle-of-the-night arrivals and departures have put a significant dent on the number of people who use Amtrak to get to and from the Flathead Valley. Those times will change once Amtrak's Empire Builder returns to its regular schedule.
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2 months of MARC delays expected from Amtrak work on Penn Line
Baltimore Sun
Most MARC trains traveling along the Penn Line between Baltimore and Washington in the next two months will be delayed because of track work by Amtrak, the Maryland Transit Administration announced recently. Amtrak alerted MTA officials that work on its southbound track between Odenton and Bowie State University will put the track out of service between Jan. 16 and March 12, the MTA said — forcing more traffic onto remaining tracks.
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Will Maryland Gov-elect Larry Hogan kill the Red and Purple Lines?
StreetsBlog USA
Maryland Governor-elect Larry Hogan has the power to halt two major urban transit projects that have the planning and funding all lined up and are all but ready to go: suburban DC's 16-mile Purple Line as well as Baltimore's 14-mile Red Line. More than a decade of planning has gone into each of these transit lines, and each has been awarded a competitive federal New Starts grant for $900 million, accounting for about a third of the total $5.5 billion combined cost.
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A streetcar not desired?
Politico
The Obama administration has sent more than a half-billion dollars to cities and counties in hopes of reviving the venerable American streetcar. But the renaissance is threatening to run off the tracks — imperiled by cost overruns, lower-than-expected ridership in some places and pockets of local resistance. Unlike with the administration's high-profile controversies over Obamacare, Common Core and Dodd-Frank, the GOP isn't leading the charge against resurrecting a form of rail transit that vanished from most U.S. cities in the mid-20th century.
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Texas High-speed rail station could displace Dallas Morning News, WFAA
Dallas Business Journal
A high-speed rail station could dramatically reshape downtown Dallas, Texas, possibly taking over the Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV station, according to renderings produced by Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The Dallas-to-Houston bullet train is going through an environmental review process and Texas Central Railway, the private company behind the project, won't comment on where a Dallas station could be built. But DART has gotten a head start with its own drawing for where the station should go.
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Massachusetts town celebration of Amtrak service turns into protest
The Springfield Republican
Some Massachusetts residents are so happy that Amtrak is once again running passenger trains through their towns that they're dancing. Some are mad about the lack of ticket availability. They're dancing too. What was to have been a celebration of Amtrak service at the John W. Olver Transit Center has turned into a sort of war dance over the lack of a ticket kiosk at the facility.
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Chicago high-speed rail line gets funded
Gas2
Illinois' high-speed rail dreams got a few steps closer to reality this week — 102 million steps closer, in fact, as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced a $102 million investment by the state to improve the state's railways in anticipation of a faster rail line that would connect Chicago Union Station with St. Louis, Missouri. The move would allow Chicagoans easier access to central Illinois' historical attractions and the government buildings in the state capitol at Springfield.
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An Amtrak-Airbnb American — and Canadian — adventure
San Diego Reader
According to author Derek Ray: Weary of going through another airport security line? Enchanted by an early morning train whistle hurtling to points unknown? With airline costs continuing to rise, I set out to try a new, more economical cross-country travel experience. Amtrak offers a 15-day pass for travel within the U.S. (and to Montreal) for only $449. It's also possible to buy a 30-day pass with 12 segments for $679 ... but two weeks was all I had.
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Hotline Midweek Brief
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