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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit            November 26, 2014

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If Millennials vote, then transit wins
The midterm election saw several important transit ballot initiatives fail, and some commentators have pointed to low turnout by Millennials as the culprit. The argument is simple enough to understand:
  1. Young people are demanding more trains and transit, and their travel habits are changing how transportation officials are planning for the future; therefore
  2. Young people have the most to lose when, as a cohort, only 23 percent of them show up for midterm elections containing investment decisions which will shape transportation systems for the next 30 to 40 years.
There's something to this. The stated preference of Millennials is clear: "more than half (54 percent) of Millennials surveyed say they would consider moving to another city if it had more and better options for getting around, and 66 percent say that access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weight when deciding where to live."

If Millennials vote, then transit wins.
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6 reasons why long distance train travel is worth it
Huffington Post
Taking a long-distance train is not the fastest mode of transportation, but it's certainly much more relaxing than being crammed into flying metal tube with 150 of your closest friends. As long as you're not in a hurry, it's a great way to unplug, de-stress and maybe even meet some new friends. It's something everyone should experience, because there are few better ways to experience the country.
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Ex-exec says INDOT ignored problems with Amtrak line bid
The Associated Press via Indianapolis Business Journal
A former executive with a company once in the running to manage an Amtrak line between Indianapolis and Chicago says a state agency ignored problems with the private company's approach, including its lack of financing for its proposal to operate the line. Mark Singer, who was Corridor Capital's vice president of strategic planning from February until September, said the company lacked financing and experience and didn't have rail cars ready to go to take over the Hoosier State line.
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Both ends want bullet train — it's those in middle who object
The New York Times
Steve Drake regularly makes the nearly four-hour drive from Dallas, Texas, to Houston to visit his fiancée's family. So he was excited about the news that a private company intended to build a bullet train that would cut that trip to 90 minutes. "I'm passionate about this. I hope it happens," Drake said at a recent public meeting. "I don't want to be driving to Houston for the next 30 years."
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Passenger delay: Are freight trains the problem for Amtrak?
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
It's no way to run a railroad. The minimal passenger train service available from Pittsburgh is being hamstrung by interference from the freight lines that own the tracks. That's what Amtrak claims in a complaint with the federal government, and the subsidized passenger rail service has numbers to back it up. The trouble is on Amtrak's Capitol Limited, which runs between Chicago and Washington, D.C., and is one of just two routes serving Pittsburgh. A year ago, the on-time performance for the line in the third quarter was only 62.5 percent.
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High-speed rail in Philly's future?
Allentown Morning Call
Philadelphia is in the heart of the Northeast rail corridor, where more than 2,000 passenger trains move 75,000 riders daily between Washington, D.C., and Boston on speed-restricted tracks across aging bridges and through ancient tunnels, powered by 1930s-era equipment. The whole system needs an extreme makeover as desperately as the Phillies do. Recently, at SEPTA headquarters in Center City, the Federal Railroad Administration's NEC FUTURE program unveiled a public glimpse of what that makeover might be by 2040.
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Massachusetts gets ready for passenger train service
In just a few weeks, high-speed trains will be dropping off passengers in Northampton, Massachusetts. It'll be the first time in 20 years that a passenger train had stopped in the Paradise City. The city is hoping it'll be an economic boost. Amtrak has already sent test trains along the new rails in Northampton. The first train with passengers will arrive Dec 29. In the mean time, construction continues.
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CEO: High-speed rail station will be 'iconic' part of Dallas skyline
Dallas Business Journal
Texas Central Railway will make a big statement with its downtown Dallas station, said Richard Lawless, CEO of the private company behind the project. "We're building a $10 billion plus system here," Lawless said. "Our iconic symbol of that, is going to be, yes a terminal in Houston, but on the Dallas skyline, we want to have an iconic structure. We're budgeting accordingly to have an iconic structure. We have the ability to do that because we're starting from scratch."
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Options for B&P tunnel replacement narrow as Amtrak considers future
Baltimore Sun
Maryland and federal officials narrowed the options for replacing an old Baltimore tunnel that bottlenecks East Coast passenger rail to two, one of which could displace residents of a poor west-side neighborhood already plagued by vacant homes. The two proposals, both of which would require extensive tunneling, were shortlisted recently as part of an engineering and environmental review aimed at replacing the nearly 150-year-old Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel, which twists under the city, slowing traffic along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
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California high-speed rail seeks builders for Kern County route segment
Fresno Bee
The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Friday issued a request for qualifications to contractors that might be interested in building Construction Package 4, a 30-mile stretch of the bullet-train route through Kern County northwest of Bakersfield. The request represents a pre-screening step that will eventually lead to establishing a short list of contractor teams that will be deemed eligible to bid to design and build the project.
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Ambitious San Antonio to Austin passenger rail plans unveiled
After sitting on the back burner for a decade, officials of Texas' Lone Star Rail District told the Urban Land Institute that they are ready to move forward with passenger rail between San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Attorney Tullos Wells, who is the vice chair of the LSRD, says all plans will be submitted to local officials and voters for approval, but he is confident that there is widespread support for a robust alternative to the increasingly gridlocked area highways.
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China Focus: High-speed rail brings changes to western China
China's high-speed rail scheme is expanding to the country's west, bringing changes to the local development. The Lanxin high-speed railway linking Xinjiang's Urumqi with Lanzhou, capital city of the northwestern province of Gansu, will be put into service by the end of this year, providing a fast and modern channel along the traditional Silk Road. The 1,776-km high-speed rail line passes through China's northwestern regions of Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang. It is China's first high-speed railway built in a high-altitude region.
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