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  #201  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 6:22 PM
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I have no doubt that Walker will be successful in killing the Milwaukee - Madison line. It will certainly cost millions to end the project but I'm sure he can get it done, much to the detriment of the state over the long term.

Wisconsin doesn't want 800M? Fine, give it to us to US in IL/IN to improve the corridors to St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Detroit. If there is a desire to route to Minneapolis do it through Iowa who would fall over themselves to have the service. As for Wisconsin, improve the Hiawatha Service and extend Metra service into Milwaukee, if Walker wants the state to merely be another suburb of Chicago then I say we help him along.
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  #202  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 7:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
No one is going to ride a suburban Orlando--suburban Tampa high speed link. Complete pork, and part of the reason Obama has been such a failure. That was Obama's best funded route. Apparently he couldn't find a more deserving location.

Or what about high-speed rail in Iowa? Sounds like a real winner. I'm sure millions are clamoring to ride to Council Bluffs.

High speed rail should first be spent in the Northeast. Then maybe California. All these other routes are jokes, and are just Obama payback.
You've got that all wrong. Obama has taken some of the cash and used it to return pre-existing Amtrak service to a more competitive respectable service, with increased speeds, more round trips and in the case of Iowa, restoring trains service which hadn't existed since the 60's and studies showed would garner encouraging levels of ridership - which is really the current goal of Amtrak: Steadily increase the quality of train operations, restoring the system to service levels efficiencies comparable to other 1st world nations all with the goal of building a strong rider population with hopes of reaching critical mass which will lead to bigger and better investments which translate to greater and greater mode share for intercity passenger rail. With a dream, a underdeveloped glimmer, that true high speed rail will eventually come down the road.
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  #203  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 10:24 PM
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For now, upgrading Acela and building CHSR (SF-LA), Chicago Hub (CHI-STL), the T-Bone, Florida HSR, and Cascades (Seattle-Vancouver) are probably going to have the best chance of happening. All other lines and extensions may take more time than originally planned.

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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Mica makes sense, and everyone here knows it.

Obama wasted billions by throwing it around like pork. High speed rail is a good idea, but only where there will be significant ridership.
I do agree that the larger projects should have been given a little bigger piece of the pie.


Quote:
High speed rail should first be spent in the Northeast. Then maybe California.
LMFAO.....you've go to be kidding right?

SanSan (or SanSac, whatever you prefer) will be the size of what BosWash is today in only 3 decades, and perhaps even catch it by mid-century.

We have NOTHING even remotely close to true HSR. NE needs a lot of help, too, but it already has a head start at least.

Last edited by JDRCRASH; Nov 4, 2010 at 10:38 PM.
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  #204  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Outgoing Wis. gov. suspends high-speed train work

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  #205  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2010, 10:33 PM
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  #206  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 8:06 PM
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That's it folks, it's over. We should be glad we even got 2 years of federal funding. They better start building stuff ASAP, so that by 2012 it'll be too late to go back as I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans tried to cut off the funding.
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  #207  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 8:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
That's it folks, it's over. We should be glad we even got 2 years of federal funding. They better start building stuff ASAP, so that by 2012 it'll be too late to go back as I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans tried to cut off the funding.
not necessarily:

Quote:
Understanding Representative John Mica’s Transportation Agenda
November 4th, 2010
» Florida Congressman has been a major supporter of high-speed rail in the past, but his approach on the issue appears opposed to that of the Obama Administration.

No one questions just how important the Northeast Corridor is to the American economy. The metropolis that encompasses Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston constitutes the world’s wealthiest mega-region and it is the United States’ densest agglomeration of people, talent, and capital. If there is any one place in the country where true high-speed rail, featuring trains traveling at speeds averaging 150 mph and up, would function effectively, it would be here.

That philosophy has been repeatedly endorsed by Republican Florida Congressman John Mica, who in January is likely to become the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure after the Republican wave in this week’s midterm elections allowed the GOP to take over the House. Mr. Mica, who has served in the Congress since 1993, will be a major player in discussions on federal transportation spending over the next two years, though he will have to negotiate with the Democratic Party-controlled Senate and the Obama Administration to advance any policy change.

Over the past few years, Congressman Mica has shown himself to be a supporter of infrastructure investments and thus seems likely to be willing to promote increased government spending on the matter. This position, however, has not been rock-solid in the past: Though President Obama’s early 2009 Stimulus included a huge down-payment to improve the nation’s highways and transit systems, Mr. Mica voted against the bill, like the rest of the Republican contingent in the House. His position in favor of transportation spending is likely to be moderated by his otherwise very conservative record, thus he will likely only be able to move forward with legislation ramping up allocations if he can convince most of the GOP to follow along.

Congressman Mica has not been particularly outspoken on most transportation issues, though he was apparently in support of former Committee Chair Jim Oberstar’s proposal for a $500 billion, six-year transportation authorization bill (Oberstar lost in this week’s election). He has also been a modest supporter of alternative mobility solutions like cycling. Yet as committee chair he has an opportunity to play an important role in determining how transportation appropriations are made and how the Department of Transportation moves forward on allocating funds for new highway, transit, and rail programs.

In previous statements, Mr. Mica has argued strongly for the development of true high-speed rail, with trains operating at very fast average speeds. In October 2009, he said “We cannot take the funding to be invested in high-speed rail – $8 billion in stimulus funds, $50 billion in the pending surface transportation bill – and try to fool people by giving them anything less than true high-speed rail service.” Only Florida and California are currently developing plans that would produce service of such quality. Similarly, he has criticized the Obama Administration’s Department of Transportation for being political in its decision-making about who has received rail grants.

From that perspective, Mr. Mica has been particularly upset about what he perceives as the lack of national investment in the Northeast Corridor, since for the reasons stated at the start of this article it would be the ideal route for high-speed rail in the United States. This week, the Congressman repeated his sense that the government had been remiss in its choices about investments. “I am a strong advocate of high-speed rail, but it has to be where it makes sense,” Mica said, according to the Associated Press. “The administration squandered the money, giving it to dozens and dozens of projects that were marginal at best to spend on slow-speed trains to nowhere.” He seems to feel that way about his own state’s project, which he has argued might be shortened from a now-planned (and virtually all funded) 84-mile route from Orlando Airport to Tampa to a 20-mile corridor between the airport and the Disney Amusement Parks.

Because of his interest in the Northeast, Congressman Mica may be a major supporter of Amtrak’s recently released 30-year, $120 billion proposal for the route between Washington and Boston. That project currently lacks funding and Mr. Mica may be interested in developing a national funding source for the project during his time as committee chair.

Unfortunately for the Northeast and Mr. Mica’s agenda, that approach would likely be difficult to undertake in the context of the United States’ federal system. For one, it is hard to imagine congresspeople from across the country supporting a project whose benefits would be concentrated in just one region. One of the major advantages of the Obama Administration’s approach to transportation has been its nationwide scope. For example, the government’s TIGER discretionary grants have been distributed to all but three states; funding for construction and planning of high-speed rail projects has gone to 36 states. In a country that prioritizes geographical equity, this seems to be an appropriate system; how would a focus on the Northeast fit in under those parameters?

Meanwhile, the Boston-Washington region itself lacks a coherent vision for high-speed rail. While states clearly do want faster train services, they have focused most of their energy and local dollars on peripheral corridors like Philadelphia-Harrisburg, Albany-Buffalo, and New Haven-Springfield. Can we expect them to alter their priorities quickly in response to Mr. Mica’s goals?

Mr. Mica has not stated that he is against any funding for projects outside of the Northeast. And his position is not necessarily in contradiction with those of the new anti-rail Republican Governors of Ohio and Wisconsin, John Kasich and Scott Walker, respectively, who on the face of it would seem to be in utter disagreement with the Congressman. In his first post-election press conference, Mr. Kasich announced that his state’s 3C plan to connect Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati via intercity rail is “dead” and that “passenger rail is not in Ohio’s future.” The current Democratic governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, has shut down work on his state’s Milwaukee-to-Madison line following Mr. Walker’s election. Neither of those projects, however, fit Mr. Mica’s criteria of being true high-speed rail; both would have linked cities at speeds of less than 110 mph.

California’s proposed fast train system, which would allow passengers to journey between the huge San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan regions in just 2h40, seems more up Mr. Mica’s alley. Thus the federal government’s decision to grant that state billions of dollars for the Central Valley segment of the network, where trains will reach 220 mph, likely won’t be put in question by Mr. Mica. One could even imagine him asking the Federal Railroad Administration to reallocate the more than $1.2 billion in federal dollars planned for Ohio and Wisconsin to California — or the Northeast.

...

Whatever Congressman Mica’s goals for transportation, he will have to operate within a labyrinthine system of conflicting goals and limited funds. Whether he — or anyone — will get anything done under those conditions remains an open question.
source: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...tation-agenda/
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  #208  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2010, 10:21 PM
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^ This isn't an example of heavy bias?:

Quote:
Reactions to San Gabriel Valley high-speed rail plan vary

By Adolfo Flores, Staff Writer

Posted: 11/04/2010 06:30:55 PM PDT


ALHAMBRA - No route is set - that won't happen until 2014 - for a proposed high-speed rail project through the San Gabriel Valley.

But that hasn't stopped Valley residents and officials from drawing their own conclusions, both good and bad, about its local impacts.

While some residents in cities located on four routes being considered for the project fear it will ultimately destroy their homes and property values, others see a potential economic boon.

"It creates jobs, economic opportunity for the San Gabriel Valley and development opportunities," said Rene Bobadilla, city manager for El Monte, which could end up with a high-speed rail station if the project is built along the I-10 Freeway, one of the four paths being considered.

California High Speed Rail Authority officials estimate Phase II of the project, which would extend the line 170 miles from Los Angeles to San Diego along an easterly route through San Bernardino County, will officials estimate will be completed in 2035.

But even as consultants for the authority continue meeting with residents of dozens of cities, gathering input on where residents think the train should go, a political shift in Congress this week could put funding for high-speed rail in jeopardy.

On Thursday, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who is expected to became chairman of the House Transportation Committee, announced he plans to re-examine the $10 billion in federal grants awarded for high-speed rail projects. The California High-Speed Rail Authority received the biggest chunk of that funding - $2.3 billion.

Mica tends to favor high-speed rail for the northeastern parts of the country, citing it as the only region with a population density great enough to financially support a high-speed rail network.
In an e-mail, Rachel Wall, an authority spokeswoman, said the authority "looks forward to working with the U.S. House Transportation Committee as our project moves forward."

But the project remains at least 25 years away from breaking ground.

Even so, Alhambra residents Frank and Francis Hernandez sounded convinced the train will end up traveling on a route next to their Ramona Road home, dooming their property value.

"Who's going to want to live next to a train?" asked Frank.

At a recent meeting, authority consultants heard from dozens of worried residents equally concerned about property values, noise and the potential eyesore the project might bring.

Four proposed routes would travel east and west through the Valley. They include a line running down the median of the 10 Freeway, a route along the median of the 60 freeway, and two options that would either utilize existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks through Industry and Pico Rivera, or run parallel to the track, skirting Whittier.
All four options are merely on paper at this point.

Even so, Union Pacific officials have already nixed the idea of allowing high-speed trains to use their tracks and have also rejected placing new tracks next to their freight lines.

Meanwhile, the Gold Line Eastside Extension project is working on the approval of an environmental impact report, expected to be completed by the end of next year, that would allow it to extend the Gold Line along the 60 Freeway to Claremont.

That leaves the proposed route along the I-10 at the most likely path for the high-speed rail project.

While officials can't promise the project won't encroach on homes, businesses or schools along the I-10, rail authority officials insist current plans call for the route to stay on the freeway median.

"We will work to stay within the freeway right-of-way," Genoveva Arellano, outreach manager the project. "The authority is looking to reduce negative impacts wherever possible."

Wall said the authority continues to work with Union Pacific, hoping the company will change its mind about not allowing the project near its tracks.

But Dan Bednarski, who runs www.alhambra123.org, a website that's monitoring the project, isn't convinced. He cites the fact that the authority has no power over Union Pacific.

The Alhambra City Council is opposed to the rail going outside the freeway or on an elevated structure along the median of the I-10, said City Manager Julio Fuentes, who thanked residents at a recent meeting for showing up to voice their concerns.

"You've been really effective up to this point. When they first started out, they were looking north or south of the freeway," Fuentes said. "At this point, they have abandoned those options and are focusing on staying on the freeway."

Wall said it's still much too early to determine the specific impacts of having the line run along the I-10. including on property values.

"We are looking to reducing negative impacts wherever possible. We've made that commitment," she said.

Authority officials believe high-speed rail could play an integral role in improving mobility throughout the state and relieving congestion, particularly on Southern California's chronically congested freeways.

Jessica Keating, assistant to the city manager for Alhambra, said that while the project is still years away, it's no pipe dream. The planning for it is going on now, she noted, saying she hoped the authority will listen to residents' concerns and present other route alternatives besides the four now being considered or in the case of the I-10 a tunnel or at-grade alignment within the median.

"We are a very dense area and we do have congestion, but I don't know that this is the right fit," said Keating. "We're not opposed to high-speed rail, but it has to be constructed right."

The city of El Monte hasn't taken a position on the rail, but Bobadilla said officials there are excited about the project, adding the line could connect into the $45 million El Monte Metro Bus Station expected to be completed in May 2012.

"It's an opportunity for the state of California to move forward, get off freeways and onto public transportation," Bobadilla said.

In 2008, voters approved Proposition 1A, which provided $9 billion for high-speed rail construction and another $950 million to improve streets, freeways and other transit elements that would connect to the line.

Additional funds are expected to come from the federal government, private investors and local governments.

"We're looking for a major commitment - $17 to $19 billion from the federal government. So far we've received nearly $2.5 billion," Wall said. "We expect private investors to come in at the end."

Wall said other countries with high-speed trains - such as China - have expressed interest in funding the project.

Mike Zdon, associate vice president of San Diego-based project consultant HNTB, said high-speed trains are "generally not as noisy as existing trains."

To reduce noise, officials said the trains will run at speeds of 125 mph or less in the Los Angeles area and will not operate between midnight and 5 a.m.

Because the trains will operate on dedicated tracks, blaring horns won't be needed in many areas along the route, officials said.

In a letter to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Dan Leavitt, deputy director of the High-Speed Rail Authority, said officials plan to ensure that "homes, schools and businesses along the corridor sustain minimal impacts."

But Bednarski wants those assurance to come directly from the authority's board of director, who hold decision-making powers.

"It has to come from the board. Right now I believe they plan on staying on the I-10, but we'll see," he said.

adolfo.flores@sgvn.com

Source:http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_16527061
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  #209  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2010, 12:21 AM
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thanks for posting the article.

it is biased of course. but what are the chances that they can come up with 117 billion dollars (amtrak's plan http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten.../1237405732517) for the northeast corridor (with republicans screaming for fiscal conservation)?

california is much further along with political support and local money already dedicated. the northeast corridor has no political momentum, nor money set aside.
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  #210  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2010, 5:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
^
202, I don't want to take this thread too far off-course, but Obama wants huge income taxes on the rich, while also raising their taxes to pay for healthcare. Top rates would skyrocket.
By "skyrocket" do you mean "return to the rate they were 10 years ago....which was up to that time the lowest ever"?

Go look up tax rates during Reagan years, and then get back to us on how high Obama wants to raise taxes.
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  #211  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2010, 9:00 AM
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What the NEC needs to do, since it's a multi-state region. Instead of each state securing it's local share of funding for the segment which crosses through their state. Each state needs to secure a certain percentage of the entire corridors estimated cost and put that money into a fund to be used to construct the corridor in the proper phased order. Of course, if the project runs over budget, the states with segments near the end phases, will possibly end up without any thing being built in their state and thus they will object to this proposal. But that's what needs to be done to get this built, so they need to make sure they don't under-estimate the cost, in order to convince all states and voters to get on-board. They can't just keep waiting around and think the feds are going to pay and build/upgrade this whole line for them. The NEC communities need to come up with substantial local contributions. It will not be an easy task.
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  #212  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2010, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SnyderBock View Post
Each state needs to secure a certain percentage of the entire corridors estimated cost and put that money into a fund to be used to construct the corridor in the proper phased order... The NEC communities need to come up with substantial local contributions. It will not be an easy task.
Not with Christie in NJ (which sits right in the middle of the corridor) completely blocking anything there.
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  #213  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2010, 2:15 AM
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Not with Christie in NJ (which sits right in the middle of the corridor) completely blocking anything there.
No hes not , there are other projects underway in South and Central and plans for Western Jersey.
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  #214  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2010, 1:18 AM
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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says state can't use funds for highways


http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/106914208.html

Quote:
Canceling a planned high-speed rail line will cost Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $100 million and more than 400 jobs in the near future, Gov. Jim Doyle said Monday.

Doyle's figures include not only money already spent and workers already hired, but also jobs not yet created and state money needed to replace federal funds for upgrades to existing train service.

Also Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood flatly rejected Governor-elect Scott Walker's claim that the $810 million in federal stimulus money allocated for the Milwaukee-to-Madison route could be shifted to state roads, saying the federal government will pull back all of that cash and send it to other states for their own high-speed train projects.

The planned rail line would operate as an extension of Amtrak's existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line, and eventually could be part of a Chicago-to-Twin Cities route and a larger Midwestern network of fast, frequent trains. Plans call for starting the operation with six daily round trips at a top speed of 79 mph in 2013, rising to a top speed of 110 mph by the end of 2015.

After Walker was elected last week on a platform that included steadfast opposition to the rail line, Doyle ordered contractors to stop work on the project "for a few days."

Walker, a Republican, met with Doyle one-on-one to discuss the transition Monday afternoon, and the train was one of the issues on the table. Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, said before the meeting that his position was unchanged and did not issue a statement afterward.
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  #215  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2010, 5:10 PM
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To think that with the money that is spent every 6 months in Iraq we could build a nationwide high-speed rail network... I know this topic has been beaten to death, but it's still amazing to me. We pay 175 billion every year in interest on the national debt, that's just money down the toilet literally, and we're talking here about several billion here and there that if spent could profoundly change the lives of millions of Americans, not to mention affect development patters, reduce pollution, green house emissions and dependence on (foreign) oil, etc... I can't imagine what this country would look like if money was spent wisely.
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  #216  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2010, 5:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
To think that with the money that is spent every 6 months in Iraq we could build ... dependence on (foreign) oil, etc.
I think you have your own answer right there. =)

But to be fair. I have seen tons and tons of things with so many benefits to both sides. Many articles and reports saying what a financial disaster high speed rail is and studies saying it only benefits only a small number of people vs its cost. But then same goes for roads too I guess, so I for someone like me who really doesn't know all that much better it just doesn't seem right to suggest what you did.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2010, 2:35 AM
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Quote:
Indeed, the experience of high-speed rail lines abroad, as well as America’s limited experience with high-speed rail on the East Coast, suggests that the United States can expect great benefits from investing in a high-speed passenger rail system, particularly if it makes steady commitments and designs the system wisely. High-speed rail networks around the world have delivered numerous benefits:
  • High-speed rail systems has been able to dramatically reduce the volume of short-haul flights between nearby cities and significantly reduce inter-city car travel. In the United States, similar shifts would ease congestion on the roads and in the skies, reducing the need for expensive new investments in highways and airports.
  • High-speed rail saves energy and protects the environment. In the United States, high-speed rail could cut our dependence on oil while helping to reduce air pollution and curb global warming.
  • High-speed rail is safe and reliable. In the United States, reliable service via high-speed rail could be an attractive alternative to oft-delayed intercity flights and travel on congested freeways.
  • High-speed rail can create jobs and boost local economies. A U.S. high-speed rail system could help position the nation for economic success in the 21st century while creating short-term jobs in construction and long-term jobs in ongoing maintenance and operation.
  • Properly planned high-speed rail can encourage sustainable land-use and development patterns. In the United States, focusing new development around high-speed rail stations can reduce pressure to develop in far-flung areas, reducing other infrastructure costs such as for sewers and electricity.

To obtain the economic and transportation benefits experienced by other nations, the United States should follow through on its decision to invest in high-speed rail, while taking actions to maximize the benefits of that investment. Specifically, the United States should:
  • Follow through on its decision to build a national high-speed rail system akin to the commitment to build the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s.
  • Use high-speed rail to focus future development by locating stations in city centers, and planning for intensive commercial and residential development near stations.
  • Make high-speed rail stations accessible to people using a variety of transportation modes.
  • Integrate high-speed rail with improvements to commuter and freight rail.
  • Encourage private investment, but with strong public protections.
  • Keep clear lines of accountability by establishing clear criteria for funding all high-speed rail projects to ensure taxpayer money is focused on the most important projects.
  • Guarantee transparency regarding how projects are evaluated, how decisions are made, and how funds are allocated and spent.
  • Make high-speed rail green by investing in energy-efficient equipment and powering the system with renewable energy wherever possible.
  • Set technological standards for projects receiving federal funding.
  • Encourage cooperation among states through federal funding policies that reward states.
  • Encourage domestic manufacturing through federal policy that expands the capacity of American companies to produce high-speed rail systems and components.
  • Articulate a vision for the future of America’s rail network and measure progress toward the achievement of that national vision. An ambitious but fully achievable and desirable goal would be to link all major cities within 500 miles of one another with high-speed rail by mid-century.
http://www.infrastructureusa.org/a-t...e-for-america/

(same goes for Canada too I guess)
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  #218  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2010, 5:28 PM
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Rail route could be built - without a Madison stop


http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/110722189.html

Quote:
A planned high-speed rail route from Chicago and Milwaukee to Minnesota might not be dead, but its prospects are uncertain after Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker's vow to block the route's Milwaukee-to-Madison leg.

In theory, the longer line still could be built along the existing route of Amtrak's long-distance Empire Builder, along a new route leading through Fond du Lac and Stevens Point or even along a route that leads through northern Illinois and Iowa to bypass Wisconsin altogether. But all of those options face their own obstacles, and rail advocates don't hold out much hope for any of them.

At a minimum, Walker's position would dismantle the vision of Midwestern leaders for 110-mph trains linking Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Chicago-to-Twin Cities route was planned as a backbone of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a nine-state effort to create a network of fast, frequent trains.

Two other key routes, from Chicago to St. Louis and Chicago to Detroit, would be upgrades of existing Amtrak service, as would an increase to a 110-mph top speed on Amtrak's existing service between Chicago and Milwaukee. But no passenger trains now serve Wisconsin's capital, and then-Gov. Tommy Thompson and others pushed for starting with a 110-mph extension to Madison to provide a dramatic example of the impact of new high-speed rail service.

Eventually, the route would be extended to St. Paul and the Chicago-to-Milwaukee stretch would be upgraded to 110 mph service. As many as 17 round trips daily would run the Chicago-to-Milwaukee route, with 10 continuing west to Madison - including four that would go to St. Paul - while the other seven would head north on a new route to Green Bay.

Except for some studies and planning work, the vision for that route and the rest of the Midwestern network remained on the drawing board for nearly 14 years, as the participating states waited for federal funding - until Congress approved $8 billion for high-speed rail as part of the stimulus package.

At the same time Wisconsin won $810 million in federal stimulus funds to extend Amtrak's existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha route to Madison, Minnesota was awarded $600,000 to plan how to connect Milwaukee to the Twin Cities with high-speed rail. Wisconsin and Minnesota each have pledged $300,000 to that study.

Although previous plans focused on routes through Madison, the new study is looking at 14 possible alignments, none of which has been ruled out, said Dan Krom, Minnesota passenger rail director.



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  #219  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2010, 3:34 PM
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202_Cyclist 202_Cyclist is offline
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Amtrak sets Thanksgiving record (Washington Post)

Amtrak sets Thanksgiving record

By Michael D. Bolden
Washington Post
12/8/2010

"Amtrak carried a record number of passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the latest figures from the rail agency.

Amtrak said it carried 704,446 passengers during the Thanksgiving travel week, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2009. The day before Thanksgiving was the busiest day in the railroad's history, officials said in a statement, with 134,230 passengers..."

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  #220  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2010, 4:16 PM
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The Chicago - Twin Cities route HAS TO HAPPEN, in my biased opinion, for the Chicago regional network to succeed. There is so much business-to-business between the two cities and it will only increase over time. Plus, the distance from Chicago to the Twin Cities is notably longer than most of the other routes, so high speed has a great chance to significantly cut commute times and bring success to the program.

Additionally, I think the route needs to go through Rochester, MN as the Mayo Clinic is a very legitimate stop for the Midwest and the country as a whole as well -- maybe moreso than just about any stop along the proposed lines with the exception of Madison and Milwaukee. I'd also run it along Hwy. 52 from Rochester to the Twin Cities as that's the most direct route and there should be 0 stops between those two cities. So, I'd like to see a Chicago - Milwaukee - Madison - Wisconsin Dells - Tomah - LaCrosse - Rochester - Twin Cities route with express options stopping only at the 4 major urban centers.

Wishful thinking, I'm sure!
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