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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            February 04, 2015





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Debate about high-speed rail should be based on facts
The Sacramento Bee
According to authors Jim Costa, Janice Hahn and Zoe Lofgren: Each of us is entitled to our own opinion, but as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, we are not entitled to our own facts. Unfortunately, after reading the opinion pieces by Reps. Jeff Denham, Kevin McCarthy and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal ("California should halt high-speed rail," Jan. 8; and "High-speed rail goes off the track without funding plan," Jan. 18), we felt compelled to set the record straight about California high-speed rail.
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FTA funds ID'd for (West) Sacramento streetcar
RailwayAge
Last May FTA officials expressed conceptual support for the proposed line, approved by West Sacramento, California, voters in November 2008 at the height of the Great Recession. But project backers long have sought federal funding support and, according to local officials and local media have now received assurances of such aid. Sacramento political and business leaders, including owners of the National Basketball Association Sacramento Kings, subsequently have thrown support behind the proposal to link the two municipalities by rail.
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Amtrak contract extended for Indiana
Lafayette Journal and Courier
The Hoosier State, Indiana, passenger rail is still chugging along. Amtrak will continue until April 1 to operate the rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago under an Indiana Department of Transportation contract extension, according to INDOT and Amtrak officials. The previous contract extension was set to expire recently. With the extension, the state has two more months to find a long-term solution to keep the passenger rail running, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.
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Hundreds meet to oppose high-speed rail
KHOU-TV
Train tracks slicing through Houston's Garden Oaks neighborhood have become the focal point of homeowners concerned about a proposed high-speed rail line. "I wouldn't like it," said Richard Palombo, who purchased his West 34th Street home 30 years ago. Palombo said he likes the quiet nature of his street. However, now he and some of his neighbors fear all of that could change. "I think it's going to cause a lot of problems," added Palombo. Neighbor John Everett agreed.
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Amtrak to invest $12 million in renovation of Chicago Union Station
Progressive Railroading
Amtrak has committed $12 million toward a $500 million, multiyear plan to overhaul Union Station in downtown Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced recently. Amtrak's investment will pay for improvements that will address critical capacity and service issues at Union Station, where about 120,000 passengers pass through daily. The work will include planning and design for a larger passenger concourse, making safety improvements, enhancing temperature controls and conducting necessary repairs to the station’s exterior facade, according to a press release.
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Idle rail cars cost Michigan millions
Livingston Daily
Michigan is paying $1.1 million a year to lease 23 passenger rail cars it cannot use — and likely cannot use for at least another two years — as the taxpayers' tab for the troubled project approaches $12 million and counting. The 1950s and '60s-era double-decker cars are sitting in a rail yard in Owosso, where they are expected to remain for the indefinite future. The Michigan Department of Transportation started leasing the cars in 2010 for two commuter rail passenger services proposed between Detroit and Ann Arbor, and between Howell and Ann Arbor.
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Federal rail mandate threatens Missouri Amtrak service
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Many more people are traveling by Amtrak passenger rail between Missouri's two largest cities than just a decade ago — and that's no accident. Millions have been invested to clear rail-traffic choke points and reduce delays that had plagued the service for years. Indeed, there were instances when Amtrak passenger trains were forced to wait between Kansas City and St. Louis until freight traffic cleared. "Folks are telling us they want more passenger rail," said Michelle Teel, director of multimodal operations for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
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California authority seeks RFQs for high-speed rail project
Progressive Railroading
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has issued a request for qualifications for its upcoming rail delivery partner procurement. The move marks the latest milestone for the proposed high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. "The services we are seeking will accelerate construction to concurrent project sections and help deliver high-speed rail to Californians sooner than we previously thought possible," said Frank Vacca, the authority's chief program manager, in a press release.
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Amtrak train breaks down on way to Chicago
WLS-TV
A motor failed on a Chicago-bound Amtrak train recentloy, causing it to stop for several hours near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. The 338 Hiawatha Service from Milwaukee was stopped near Pleasant Prairie for more than three hours before another locomotive began pushing the train to Chicago. The trip normally takes about an hour and twenty minutes. Amtrak said there were 70 people on board.
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Technology requirement could lead Amtrak to leave Missouri
KMBC-TV
Kansas City, Missouri, could lose Amtrak rail service unless some big improvements are made. Amtrak doesn't do much rail passenger business in the state, having less than 1 million riders last year on its routes. Recently, Amtrak sent a letter to the Kansas City Terminal Railroad to notify it of its intention to terminate local Amtrak service.
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Plans to bring Amtrak to Illinois town this year derailed?
WTVO-TV
Rockton, Illinois, resident Kevin Pullam goes to Chicago "sometimes weekly but at least several times a month." He says having Amtrak service from Rockford to Chicago would make his life much easier and feels it would benefit the region. "I think it would be advancement, even economically, for the City to make sure that all lines running to Chicago are open [and] that there are different options for people to make it there and back," he says. Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman also believes Amtrak service from Rockford to Chicago will boost the economy in the stateline.
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Hotline Midweek Brief
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