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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            March 11, 2015


 
The Mid-Week brief is an unfettered look at what the press is saying about passenger rail — if you see something you dislike, or know to be inaccurate, don't hesitate to reach out to those responsible for the article by using the comment board of a linked website, or emailing the publication directly.

Amtrak on-time metrics ordered revisited by US high court
MSN News via Bloomberg
The U.S. Supreme Court at least temporarily revived a federal law credited with improving Amtrak's on-time performance, setting aside a lower court ruling that had marked a victory for the freight railroad industry. The unanimous ruling sends the case back to the appeals court level, where freight carriers will have another chance to topple a law they say unfairly forces them to delay their own traffic.
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America's 10 most scenic train rides
By Dave G. Houser
America's rugged seacoasts, rolling plains, towering mountains and colorful desert canyons serve to paint a picturesque backdrop for a getaway on the rails. The real beauty of traveling by train, however, comes with the convenience of leaving the driving to someone else while you sit back and admire the passing scenery. Amtrak's long-distance trains offer a number of scenic vacation opportunities — but there's also a great selection of day trips aboard excursion trains. From the Grand Canyon to Cape Cod, here are 10 of America's most scenic train rides.
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  West Virginia Mountain Rail Spring Adventures

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Texas lawmaker pushes ban on federal aid to Texas rail transit
Examiner.com
A North Texas state senator has introduced a bill in the Texas legislature that would effectively prohibit the state or any of its subsidiaries, such as cities and transit authorities, from using money from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration for rail mass transportation.
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NY-Boston trains must stop in Connecticut
Hartford Courant
First the good news. The House of Representatives passed a bill that should improve Amtrak service on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor, and calls for a study of high-speed rail service on the 450-mile corridor between Boston and New York. Now the bad news. As presented, the high-speed train would make no stops in Connecticut. This bad idea may have been squashed in its infancy. One would hope so.
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California drivers are about to give high-speed rail a big funding boost
CityLab
The California high-speed rail project got a big funding cushion last summer when the state set aside 25 percent of cap-and-trade revenue for the $67.6 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now it turns out that cushion might be much bigger than expected. The state's latest budget anticipates about $1 billion dollars in total cap-and-trade revenue for 2015-16, leading to about $1.7 billion over 2014-2016.
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Caltrans mulls construction of new light-rail service
Progressive Railroading
In a newly-released draft document, the California Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority are considering constructing a light-rail service between East Los Angeles and Pasadena, among four other proposals addressing a gap between two of the area's freeway systems.
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Lou Correa appointed to California High-Speed Rail Commission
Voice of OC
Former state Sen. Lou Correa has been appointed to the California High-Speed Rail Commission, allowing him to stay in the political mix despite losing the January special election for an Orange County supervisorial seat. Kevin de Leon, the state Senate's president pro tem and chairman of its rules committee, announced the appointment, which was made by the committee, in a news release.
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Details for downtown Miami railway hub are revealed
Miami Herald
Old photographs of the original Florida East Coast Railway passenger station in downtown Miami show a two-story wooden structure with a peaked roof and windows with awnings. Demolished in 1963, the old train depot vanished into history after passenger rail service to Miami ended in the 1960s. Work has now begun on a new station at the same spot that will bring back passenger train service — this time between Miami and Orlando.
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Amtrak train derails in North Carolina after hitting tractor trailer
ABC News
Investigators say 62 people were injured after an Amtrak train crashed into a tractor-trailer that was in the middle of the tracks in North Carolina shortly after noon, authorities said. The State Highway Patrol reported that 21 passengers were transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance while 25 others were taken for treatment by bus, indicating that their injuries were less severe. According to EMS workers at the scene, all the injuries appeared to be minor.
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Massachusetts Gov. Baker proposes 53 percent hike in MBTA funding
Progressive Railroading
As part of his $38 billion state budget proposal for fiscal-year 2016, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for a 53 increase in direct aid to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for operational improvements. The governor proposed increasing aid to $187 million, up from $122.5 million in FY2015, for the improvements. In addition, Baker called for an MBTA Weather Resiliency Fund to support operating costs, projects and programs for weather-related situations.
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No slowdown for FasTracks
RailwayAge
RTD may claim, justifiably, that its FasTracks program has moved with namesake alacrity to deliver rail — mostly light rail transit — to serve Colorado's state capital in slightly more than a decade's time. Often unheralded is the scope of the program, offering ongoing construction and implementation over an entire metropolitan area since voters approved a $4.7 billion debt package in 2004 eying installation of 122 miles of passenger rail right-of-way.
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US transit rides at 58-year high amid gasoline price fall
Providence Business News
Public transit use in the U.S. jumped to the highest yearly level since 1956 last year, shrugging off a plunge in gasoline prices. Ridership for the year was 10.8 billion, up 1 percent from 2013, according to American Public Transportation Association data released today. Public systems gave 2.7 billion rides from October through December, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier. Transit trips rose as unemployment shrank to the lowest level since 2008. Ridership gained even as retail gasoline prices fell $1.09 a gallon, or 33 percent, in the fourth quarter, said Heathrow, Florida-based AAA.
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Hotline Midweek Brief
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