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Jan 22, 2009, 4:06 PM
This is a fantastic article on bringing rail back to it's prime in the United States. I am sure many of these arguments could be applied to Canada as well.
I wish we could force every politician and policy maker to read this.
Getting freight off of rubber and onto rails wherever possible is in my opinion the most essential thing we can do to help solve huge upcoming problems with:
d) lots of other little things - congestion, quality of life, travel, etc
We constantly pump money into roads while we rip out rails. This is pure dead-end thinking!
Please read that Washington Monthly article, it is really fantastic.
Mar 10, 2009, 2:18 PM
Not sure if this is the best place for this, but NY State is working on a $10B+ high speed rail initiative (http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2009/03/09/daily9.html), details of which were unveiled recently in The 2009 New York State Rail Plan - Strategies for a New Age (https://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/policy-and-strategy/planning-bureau/state-rail-plan).
Another good example:
Biden announces stimulus funds for Amtrak
Mar 13, 1:22 PM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden, once a regular rail commuter, says the $1.3 billion for Amtrak in the economic stimulus package will go toward long-overdue projects.
Speaking Friday at Union Station, Biden said $105 million will be spent to replace a 100-year-old Connecticut bridge on Amtrak's heavily traveled Northeast corridor. Another $82 million will be used to replace old rail cars and put them back into service.
The national passenger railroad, long criticized for its reliance on government subsidies, has strong support from the Obama administration.
As a senator, Biden commuted on Amtrak for decades between his home in Wilmington, Del., and Washington.
Apr 21, 2009, 2:46 PM
In yesterday's WSJ: Spain's Bullet Train Changes Nation -- and Fast (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124018395386633143.html)
Spain opened its first high-speed line, between Madrid and Seville, in 1992. At the time, the decision to run the line to sleepy Seville, host to the World Expo that year, was deeply controversial. Critics said it would be a costly failure for then-Prime Minister Felipe González, and that he built the line just to take him to Seville, his hometown, on the weekends.
But the AVE-which means "bird" in Spanish- proved to be a popular and political success. Politicians now fight to secure stations in their districts. Political parties compete to offer ever-more ambitious expansion plans. Under the latest blueprint, nine out of ten Spaniards will live within 31 miles of a high speed rail station by 2020.
By last year, the sprawling network of lines that stretches out from the capital, Madrid, reached Málaga in the south, Valladolid to the north and Barcelona in the country's northeast. Now, residents of Barcelona can be in Madrid in just over two-and-a-half hours-a journey that takes around six hours by car.
In the year since the Madrid-Barcelona line opened in February 2008, the AVE, costing passengers roughly the same as what they would pay to fly, has snatched half the route's air-passenger traffic.
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