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  #581  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2022, 8:23 PM
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Indeed. Brightline can then connect from Las Vegas to Southern California. Given the amount of growth in southern Utah, it can also improve mobility for residents in St. George, as well as make Bryce and Zion National Parks more accessible.

https://www.ksl.com/article/50380350...in-census-says
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  #582  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2022, 8:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
Indeed. Brightline can then connect from Las Vegas to Southern California. Given the amount of growth in southern Utah, it can also improve mobility for residents in St. George, as well as make Bryce and Zion National Parks more accessible.

https://www.ksl.com/article/50380350...in-census-says
Unfortunately, my understanding is that there's no existing rail connection to St. George. I'm guessing they're planning to use the ROW that Desert Wind used to run, which bypasses both Cedar City and St. George and passes through Milford and Caliente instead. The "Intermountain Corridor" would likewise probably follow the old Pioneer route to Boise via Pocatello.

The Utah Rail Passengers Association is advocating for a state-sponsored Amtrak regional network to connect with Cedar City, Logan, and Moab but that's just an idea at this point. Even they don't have St. George connected via rail.


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  #583  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2022, 11:50 AM
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This is exciting news. Michael Scott will be attending for the ribbon-cutting.

PA: Pennsylvania puts $3.7M toward restoring Poconos passenger rail service link between Scranton, New York City

The funding from the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program would be matched with $3.7 million in federal dollars to install 43,000 new railroad ties on 40 miles of track on the Pocono Mainline.


By Jim Lockwood
Nov. 1, 2022
The Times-Tribune

"Oct. 28—SCRANTON — Pennsylvania made its first significant investment, $3.7 million, to restore passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City through the Poconos and New Jersey.

The funding from the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program would be matched with $3.7 million in federal dollars to install 43,000 new railroad ties on 40 miles of track between Delaware Water Gap and Gouldsboro on the Pocono Mainline, said Larry Malski, president of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, which owns the rail line.

"We're very happy to see the state aboard" the passenger-rail project, Malski said. "This is the real start of the hardware we've been waiting for to start investing in the line..."

https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/...-new-york-city
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  #584  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2022, 11:54 AM
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Also, Pennsylvania really does have some great names for towns. This is moosic to the ears of anyone who supports passenger rail. Also, you can never miss an opportunity to make a cheesy transportation pun.

I will be leaving now...

"The RACP funding helps keep the project on track, said U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8, Moosic."
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  #585  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2022, 5:00 PM
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The Federal Railroad Administration has posted an introductory website for a long distance passenger train study they will be doing over the next year or so. At the bottom of the link is an option to sign up for the email list.

https://fralongdistancerailstudy.org/
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  #586  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2022, 1:29 PM
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With the CP and KCS merger, CP agreed to allowing Amtrak to use their tracks for expanded service:

• the Hiawatha route between Chicago and Milwaukee;

• between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota;

• between New Orleans (IC Junction) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and

via the Detroit River Tunnel between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, to connect with VIA Rail Canada

https://www.progressiverailroading.c...n-plans--67843
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  #587  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2022, 1:54 PM
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I wonder how long it will be before we see Chicago - Toronto service restored. Will be a nice trip, especially with the speed upgrades completed in Michigan.

Now if only VIA can get around to upgrading it's southern Ontario services to get better speeds as well.
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  #588  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2022, 12:58 PM
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FRA unveils Northeast Corridor project priorities

Progressive Railroading
Nov. 16, 2022

"The Federal Railroad Administration today released its priorities for intercity passenger-rail service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington, D.C.

The list will advance projects designed to improve and develop commuter and intercity passenger-rail service along the corridor. Specifically, the "project inventory" creates a project pipeline to assist Amtrak, states and the public with long-term planning that will improve service.

The project inventory will guide up to $24 billion in funding that FRA is investing in NEC intercity passenger-rail service through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program, FRA officials said in a press release..."

https://www.progressiverailroading.c...orities--67996
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  #589  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2022, 1:26 PM
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FRA Announces Billions in Rail Investments, Revival of High-Speed Rail Planning for Southeast Connecticut and Rhode Island

By Cate Hewitt
Connecticut Examiner
Nov. 16, 2022



Image courtesy of the Connecticut Examiner.

"OLD LYME – Five years after the Federal Railroad Administration set aside the idea of a high-speed rail bypass between Old Saybrook and Kenyon, R.I., in the face of near unanimous opposition across the region, the federal agency announced today that it was reviving a key study intended to settle, once and for all, a route for rail travel between New Haven and Providence.

By law, the completion of the New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study is a precondition for any investments to increase rail capacity in the region and must consider on- and off-corridor solutions linking New Haven to Providence.

The study was part of a biennial Northeast Corridor Project Inventory announced on Wednesday that calls for $24 billion of priority projects along the busy rail corridor linking Washington, D.C. and Boston, providing billions of dollars of possible investments in projects in Connecticut, including replacements of the Cos Cob, Devon, Saugatuck and Connecticut River bridges, as well as a new rail station for Hartford..."

https://ctexaminer.com/2022/11/16/fr...-rhode-island/
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  #590  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2022, 12:40 PM
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Amtrak advances Susquehanna River Rail Bridge project

Progressive Railroading
Nov. 21, 2022


A rendering of the completed project, which calls for the construction of two fixed bridges to replace the existing bridge. (Image courtesy of Progressive Railroading)

"Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Maryland Department of Transportation-Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) plan to award two contracts next year to advance the replacement of the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.

The $1.5 billion project calls for the construction of a pair of two-track fixed bridges that will replace the existing two-track movable bridge, along with 5 miles of additional realignment and construction, Amtrak officials said in a press release.

The longest moveable bridge on the Northeast Corridor, the structure is used daily by more than 110 Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter and Norfolk Southern Railway trains..."

https://www.progressiverailroading.c...project--68021
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  #591  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2022, 12:57 PM
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Hudson Tunnel Project takes steps to secure $6.5B federal grant
Gateway Commission approves Project Development Agreement

By Matthew Fazelpoor
November 21, 2022

"The Gateway Development Commission (GDC) announced a series of actions during a meeting of its board of commissioners Nov. 18 that begin the next phase of advancing the long-anticipated Hudson Tunnel Project forward.

The GDC submitted a request to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the project to enter into the Engineering Phase of the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program process. A Project Development Agreement (PDA) was also approved, which outlines the specific roles and responsibilities of the partner agencies that will govern the project.

The request to the FTA is the next major step toward, hopefully, to obtaining the $6.5 billion federal grant funding the partners are seeking..."

https://njbiz.com/hudson-tunnel-proj...federal-grant/
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  #592  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2022, 1:46 PM
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U.S. passenger railroad Amtrak ridership jumps by 10 million riders

By David Shepardson
Reuters
Nov. 29, 2022

"WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - U.S. passenger railroad Amtrak said ridership jumped by more than 10 million riders in the year ending Sept. 30 and has nearly returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Amtrak said ridership rose 89% over 2021 levels to 22.9 million riders -- up 10.8 million passengers over the prior year. Overall ridership hit about 85% of pre-COVID levels in the last six months of the 2022 budget year, Amtrak said, adding it expects ridership and revenue to rise above 90% of pre-COVID levels by September 2023.

Amtrak traffic on the busy Northeast Corridor connecting Boston and Washington more than doubled in the 12-month period to 9.2 million passengers..."

https://www.reuters.com/business/aut...ps-2022-11-29/
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  #593  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2022, 3:24 PM
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Passenger Rail Set to Expand with $2.3B Up for Grabs

By Daniel Vock
Route Fifty
Dec. 7, 2022

"The Biden administration opened applications Wednesday for one of the most high-profile initiatives in last year’s federal infrastructure law: expanding passenger rail.

The $2.3 billion to expand or establish passenger service on routes outside of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor “will reshape America’s passenger rail network for generations to come,” said Amit Bose, the head of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

The grants are open to Amtrak, states, Washington, D.C., federally recognized Indian tribes and local governments. Those applicants can also apply for projects using private passenger rail companies (like Brightline in Florida), but the applicants would still be responsible for administering the funds and delivering the project..."

https://www.route-fifty.com/infrastr...-grabs/380585/
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  #594  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2022, 5:09 PM
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I know we should be happy but that number is missing a zero. That's four B-21 bombers btw.
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  #595  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2022, 8:30 PM
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I know we should be happy but that number is missing a zero. That's four B-21 bombers btw.
I mean, it kinda does. The infrastructure bill included $102B for rail.
https://railroads.dot.gov/BIL

Other funding programs are mode-neutral but can be used for rail or transit, like MEGA or RAISE, so the total $$ spent on rail will be somewhat higher than $102B.

I don't know why they're only doing a little $2.3B grant program... I think they are realizing that nothing is "shovel ready" since most states don't care enough about rail to pay for planning or engineering on their own dime. A few states have invested in planning like California, but if all $102B goes to just a handful of blue states it will be a political nightmare. So the Feds are starting small with planning grants, etc to set up states for larger construction grants in a few years' time.

The last time we did this under Obama, the Feds just handed out money to states before the planning/construction work was done. This meant A) embarrassing situations where Republican states sent the money back, and B) even supportive states like Illinois took years to actually use the money because they had to go through all the planning, engineering, railroad negotiations first.
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  #596  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2022, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I mean, it kinda does. The infrastructure bill included $102B for rail.
https://railroads.dot.gov/BIL
Other funding programs are mode-neutral but can be used for rail or transit, like MEGA or RAISE, so the total $$ spent on rail will be somewhat higher than $102B.
That's $102 Billion allocated over 5 years, or around $20 Billion allocated each year.
Amtrak this year has been appropriated $19 Billion, so there is little left for building anything else. But there is money for further planning this year.
But if Amtrak appropriates around $20 Billion every year for the next 5 years, it will consume around $100 Billion of that $102 Billion.

So, for all practical purposes, the funding just continues what Amtrak has been getting recently.
No $20 Billion for California HSR, Texas Central HSR, or Brightline HSR.

Note, when it comes to Federal budgets, allocation does not mean appropriation which is granted every year.
An allocation is a promise to spend up to a certain dollar amount, but the actual spending is appropriated each and every year. Congress can appropriate more or less each year than promised, but a GOP House next year will be looking for cuts, and guess what will probably be amongst the first cuts?

Last edited by electricron; Dec 10, 2022 at 10:40 PM.
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  #597  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2022, 3:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
I know we should be happy but that number is missing a zero. That's four B-21 bombers btw.
This is a continuing annoyance to me: "There isn't money for rail"

Then I see hundreds of billions spent on warplanes, a few billion here and there for highway projects, and of course an entire Amtrak fleet worth of money spent cleaning up the preventable disaster around Red Hill. If lawmakers were willing to put money in places it would actually benefit regular people, we'd be far better off as a society.

The supposed "generous" amount recently allocated is an insult.
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  #598  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2022, 6:59 PM
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Good article on Gateway Program/NEC project costs vs int'l norms w/ Alon Levy insight

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  #599  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2022, 1:50 AM
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I don't know why they're only doing a little $2.3B grant program... I think they are realizing that nothing is "shovel ready" since most states don't care enough about rail to pay for planning or engineering on their own dime.
Which is what Corridor ID is all about. It was established to help some of those states to create a Service Development Plan as well as Tier I EIS, to get some of these projects into the funding pipeline.

Corridor ID is in the middle of Expressions of Interest, which can be found here.

And a project like 3C+D is all but a done deal, provided DeWine actually commits to funding operating subsidies after year 5 or 6. They still seem content to string Amtrak along ATM.
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  #600  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2022, 8:00 PM
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WI - 'No state funding': Vos voices opposition to Amtrak expansion proposal

I guess if you hold sway over the most gerrymandered state in the nation you can tell anyone to fuck off and get away with it.

Quote:
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Plans for a possible Amtrak expansion to Madison are in its early stages, but there could be some roadblocks down the road after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he does not support providing state funding for the project.

"No state funding," Vos said Friday when asked during a Wisconsin Policy Forum about whether he supports creating a train line from Madison to Milwaukee.
Full story here.
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