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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            November 12, 2014

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Tale of the tape: Amtrak is more comfortable than airlines
According to author Bill McGee: Recently, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the airline industry in a public meeting at the U.S. Department of Transportation. I got there by Amtrak. No, it's not an ironic statement. It's simply the most sensible way for me to travel from New England to the nation's capital. I save time, money, hassles and I can pack any size liquids and gels I like. But most of all I know I'll have an unimpeded personal work space, with a comfortable seat, no need for a Knee Defender, fairly consistent Wi-Fi access and no fighting for overhead bin space.
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Is high-speed rail finally taking hold in America?
By Ryan Clark
The California Supreme Court recently declined to hear the latest appeal against the state's long-suffering high-speed rail project, thus clearing the way for further construction. For the better part of three years, California's controversial bullet train project has been required to trip, stumble and labor over every obstacle placed in its way, when residents simply want an easier way of getting to point A from point B. On the flip side, apparently none of these hardships has been enough to dissuade other states from jumping into the race.
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FRA's Szabo headed back to Chicago
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo will be stepping down from the post he has held since April 2009 and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will be on staff at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning — effectively returning to his Chicagoland roots. Szabo's CMAP appointment was confirmed by Railway Age Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner, who obtained a copy of an email from CMAP Executive Director Randall S. Blankenhorn to various colleagues.
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Amtrak to add 4 trains from West Michigan to Chicago for Thanksgiving
The Grand Rapids Press
Amtrak officials plan to give passengers more options to get to and from grandma's house during the upcoming holiday. Four additional trains are slated to serve Amtrak's Pere Marquette rail route during the height of Thanksgiving travel weekend, complementing existing service. Trains will operate between Chicago and Holland, with regular service ongoing at Grand Rapids' new Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station.
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Long-term Wisconsin passenger rail goals outlined
Proponents of expanding high-speed rail service remain optimistic that passenger trains will roll in and out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, at some point in the future. "It's going to happen," said Bill Anderson, who has been part of the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition since it has been actively pursuing the revival of a regional passenger rail route since 1999. Anderson was one of more than 100 people who attended a public meeting at Chippewa Valley Technical College, where officials from the Minnesota Department of Transportation sought input for the 2015 update of the Minnesota State Rail Plan.
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Mexico's cancels contract to build a high-speed passenger train link
Mexico has forged closer links with China, while Peña Nieto is going to Beijing on a state visit. The tender for the 130-mile rail link is being re-opened. Mexico's communications and transport ministry said the new auction would start from mid-November and be open for about six months. The contract was scrapped after lawmakers accused the government of favoring China Railway Construction Corp. Rival bids by Germany's Siemens, Canada's Bombardier and France's Alsthom were considered.
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Analysis: Most transit grants go to Democratic districts
The Associated Press via The Arizona Republic
Just two months before the midterm elections, the Obama administration awarded the biggest share of almost $600 million in economic stimulus-based transportation grants to projects in districts with a Democratic congressman even though Republicans represent 34 more House districts across the country, an Associated Press analysis has found. Applicants from Democratic-held districts won 48 percent of the so-called TIGER grants for road, bridge and rapid-transit projects, rail-line repairs and port upgrades. Two of those projects were in Arizona, one on the Hopi reservation, and a light-rail extension in Phoenix.
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Ridership drop another blow for Amtrak
Indiana's struggling Amtrak service faces more challenges in its quest to operate beyond January with news that revenue and ridership are falling at a time when train travel nationwide has risen. Amtrak announced that ridership and revenue were up across the country during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. But the Hoosier State line that runs from Indianapolis to Chicago saw a 10 percent decline in revenue and a nearly 8 percent drop in ridership, the Journal & Courier reported. The figures further cloud the future of the troubled Indiana line.
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Florida county leaders support All Aboard Florida train plan
Florida Today
Local tourism officials seem resigned to having All Aboard Florida passenger trains pass through Brevard County without stopping here. They've indicated they won't try to block the project, as they hope the rail line will decide to add a Brevard stop in the future. During a recent Brevard County Commission discussion of the issue, a local hotel executive, the president of Ron Jon Surf Shop, two Port Canaveral officials and two local mayors spoke in favor of commissioners approving measures that would clear the way for private financing of the rail project.
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Floating train could whisk you from DC to NY in an hour
CNN Money
Rush hour traffic and working within 50 miles of your home could soon be so passé. In the commute of tomorrow, you may be able to float from one major city to another in one hour or less. That's because a group of private investors is seeking to do what the federal government has been trying to pull off for years: bring super fast trains to the U.S.
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China on track to build high-speed rail in just about every corner of world
Beijing, China, moved one step closer to its aim of becoming a global exporter of high-speed rail technology when a Chinese-led consortium won a multi-billion dollar contract to build a high-speed train link in Mexico. Once a massive importer of rail technology, China now aims to be a world leader in high-speed rail — from a proposed bullet train that reaches the United States via the Bering Strait to establishing a trans-Asia railway connecting Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
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