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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            January 28, 2015





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Lawmakers seek funds to save Amtrak's Southwest Chief route
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Shrinking revenues may leave no room in New Mexico's budget for improvements and upkeep of the tracks along Amtrak's Southwest Chief passenger train route through Northern New Mexico. Neither the budget recommended by the governor's office nor that of the Legislative Finance Committee seeks money for the project's estimated cost of $4 million a year over the next decade, even as the deadline looms to commit funding or face the possibility of losing the route.
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Gov. Rauner spending freeze results in 'review' of Quad City Amtrak project
WQAD-TV
Gov. Bruce Rauner's spending freeze resulted in the Illinois Department of Transportation reviewing plans to bring passenger trains to the Quad Cities. In May of 2015, Paul Rumler, executive director of the QC Passenger Rail Coalition, said he expected passenger train service to be available in the Quad Cities in 2016, and the hotel and train station in Moline would be finished by November 2015.
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California high speed rail's runaway spending will crash
Watchdog
It's been a wild ride so far, but will taxpayers be able to get off the high-speed rail runaway train? On Nov. 4, 2008, the voters of California authorized the sale of $10 billion in bonds to finance high-speed rail — a 2 hour and 40-minute ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The measure, in order to receive support from all sorts of interests groups and regions, had to be very specific. For instance, to assure Northern California support, the bond measure promised a route that would minimize the dislocation of businesses and families in the construction and operation of the train.
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High-speed train in the works, train to link Moscow to Beijing
Travelers Today
Travellers in China rejoice! For those who wish to see Moscow, which is only a few miles away from Beijing, may visit the area with the upcoming Beijing Moscow train. The said bullet train, built by China, is a 7,000 km-long high speed railway line. According to the Hindu, the bullet train may cost more than $250 bullion. The Beijing Moscow train will pass through Russia, Kazakhstan and China. It is said to cover more than 7,000 km. This is three time longer and larger than the world record for longest high-speed line, which is from the capital of China to the southern city in Guangzhou.
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Little-known agency keeps commuter rail network on track
Los Angeles Times
The 351-mile rail corridor that runs along the coast between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, California, is the second-busiest intercity route in the nation. Its annual passenger load of 7.4 million is surpassed only by that of the northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., which handles more than 11.4 million a year. But keeping those trains running on time — and safely, as they occasionally share tracks with freight traffic — is a constant challenge. The job has fallen to a little-known regional authority known as the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.
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Minnesota DOT releases final scoping document for proposed 'Zip Rail'
Progressive Railroading
The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority, released the final scoping decision on the so-called "Zip Rail" plan for high-speed rail service between the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minnesota.
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Denver RTD makes the case for a public-private funding approach
Progressive Railroading
It's been a decade since voters approved a four-tenths-of-a-cent sales tax increase to help fund a massive, multibillion-dollar transit expansion project in Denver that includes 122 miles of new light- and commuter-rail lines, 57 new stations and a redeveloped Union Station. The past decade hasn't exactly played out as Regional Transportation District of Denver officials had hoped.
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Private high-speed rail has eminent domain powers in Texas. Here's why
Dallas Business Journal
Texas Central Railway's privately funded bullet train will need to buy private land as it makes its way from Dallas to Houston. For landowners in the path of the tracks, the first-of-its-kind project will have eminent domain powers as a last resort. The $10 billion project would use Japanese N700 Shinkansen trains capable of going more than 200 mph. More than 60 trains a day could be making the 90-minute trip between Dallas to Houston by 2021. The majority of the route will follow existing utility lines or freight tracks.
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Texas communities on route to Houston oppose high-speed rail
WFAA-TV
It's been Sullivan land for 135 years. Five generations have farmed here in Ellis County, Texas. "It's everything," said John Sullivan, 95. "I've put all of my life into working it, cleaning it up, and making it what it is." He raised his seven children here. His sons, son-in-law, and grandson still farm thousands of acres. Now, plans for a high-speed rail line connecting Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes are threatening their way of life.
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French involvement in Texas high-speed rail? Mais oui!
Fort Worth Star-Telegram via WFAA-TV
A company that operates France's national high-speed rail network is exploring possible involvement in Texas bullet trains. "We're here to listen, learn and evaluate," Alain Leray, president and chief executive of SNCF America Inc., said during a visit to downtown Fort Worth. Leray and a colleague with SNCF, France's state-owned railway company, attended a two-hour meeting of the Texas high-speed rail commission and later met privately with officials planning the project.
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RTA: Chicago regional transit system faces $36 billion in capital needs over next decade
Progressive Railroading
Chicago's Regional Transportation Authority is falling behind in its investment in new equipment purchases and infrastructure improvements because the Northeastern Illinois mass transit agencies don't receive the federal funds and state resources necessary to keep up with capital expenditure needs, RTA officials announced.
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China high-speed railway starts turning profit
CCTV-TV
In 2014, the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway made an annual profit for the first time, four years ahead of the rail company's schedule. China Railway Corporation said it expected the business to break even around 2018, but the total profit for the line linking China's two biggest cities was 1.2 billion yuan last year.
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Hotline Midweek Brief
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