Support for InfrastructureUSA.org
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,
P.E.

Archive for the ‘Rail’ Category

Interactive Map: Where Do Trains Carry Crude Oil?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Crude Connections: Where Do Trains Carry Crude Oil?

Rail fans can still spot coal-laden boxcars from coast to coast, but today’s locomotives are increasingly likely to pull tankers full of crude oil. Largely stemming from the fracking boom in North Dakota, crude oil transportation by rail has reached unprecedented heights in past years. In response to a growing number of accidents–some on an apocalyptic scale, as in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec–ProPublica assembled an interactive map to let you know whose tankers carry crude oil, where they’re coming from, and where they’re going.

View this complete post...

California High Speed Rail Could Earn the State Over $40 Billion in Profit

Monday, December 15th, 2014
ca_hsr_cover

Earlier this year I argued that the up-front cost of local transportation projects, like light rail and bus rapid transit, aren’t really comparable to the cost of California’s high speed rail system. While all of these investments are fighting for the same dollars to some degree, their long-term balance sheets look very different: Local transit typically requires a persistent operating subsidy, whereas even the low-ridership estimates for high speed rail forecast a consistent operating profit. As a result, longer time horizons favor high speed rail, as profits gradually eat away at the high initial capital costs required to build out the network.

View this complete post...

Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem

Monday, December 8th, 2014
Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem

A train hauling two million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota had exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Now regulators had to assure Americans a similar disaster wouldn’t happen south of the border, where the U.S. oil boom is sending highly volatile crude oil every day over aging, often defective rails in vulnerable railcars.

View this complete post...

Chicago: Ride Along on the Red Line ‘L’

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Chicago: Ride Along on the Red Line ‘L’

The CTA has more than 224 miles of railroad tracks across Chicago and surrounding suburbs, serving the agency’s eight rail lines. In an average weekday, there are about 2,200 train trips making stops at the system’s 145 rail stations. For more than 100 years, the ‘L’ has offered a unique perspective of Chicago.

View this complete post...

Guest on The Infra Blog: Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, CHSRA

As of Oct. 2012, Frank Vacca has been the Chief Program Manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In his role, Vacca leads technical and engineering teams as they focus on delivering the high-speed rail project.

“I believe California will be the first high-speed-rail system in North America…We’ve overcome all the legal challenges before us…We have the first billion-dollar contract, and the designs are mature enough to start construction…So there’s nothing, no obstacles, in front of us right now.”

View this complete post...

Guest on The Infra Blog: Erik Steavens, Rail Division Director, Texas Department of Transportation

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Erik Steavens on The Infra Blog

Erik Steavens is a twenty-year transportation professional with a diverse background in multimodal transportation. For the past two years, he has managed his own firm, TIP Consultants, to assist public and private sector clients in navigating through the complex transportation funding and implementation environment. Previously, Steavens was the division director of intermodal programs for the Georgia Department of Transportation, where he managed the state’s rail, transit, aviation and port interests.

“Certainly we have been blessed with corridors in Texas that have the potential for the ridership and revenue growth that could sustain a high-speed rail operation…There are very few places in the country that could make those claims. So we are optimistic. We are hopeful that we can help facilitate a project that could be a true game changer for Texas.”

View this complete post...

Michigan DOT: 30th Anniversity of Amtrak Pere Marquette Link

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Michigan DOT: 30th Anniversity of Amtrak Pere Marquette Link

The Amtrak Pere Marquette service celebrated 30 years of service between Grand Rapids and Chicago. The Pere Marquette is a vital link and economic development tool for west Michigan communities. Sponsored by the Westrain coalition, Amtrak, and MDOT, riders had an opportunity to ride in a special “theater car” at the rear of the train for better viewing, win free round-trip tickets at stations, and received commemorative gift bags and refreshments.

View this complete post...

Will There Be a “Tipping Point” for High-Speed Rail in the U.S.?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 13
Count me among the skeptics…Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood liked to justify a national HSR program by drawing a parallel with the commitment to build the Interstate Highway system. But the analogy is misleading. What made the Interstate highway program politically feasible and financially sound was the concept of a user fee collected from millions of highway users and dedicated exclusively to the program. A national rail program could not hope to have this kind of revenue stream. Instead, it would need to depend on massive federal subsidies for years to come.

View this complete post...

Boston, MA: MBTA Rail Cars Get the Deep-Clean Treatment

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Boston, MA: MBTA Rail Cars Get the Deep-Clean Treatment

Tom Mulligan, General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services, and his cleaning crew take on the massive challenge of deep-cleaning MBTA’s rail fleet.

View this complete post...

The High-Speed Rail Debate Revisited

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 12
Two recent columns in the New York Times (both reprinted below) have revived the semi-dormant debate about the future of high-speed rail in America. The first column, by New York Times correspondent Ron Nixon, casts a skeptical eye on the Administration’s high-speed rail program and concludes that “despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009….the projects have gone mostly nowhere…”

The second column, closely following the first, is an opinion piece by the Times’ editorial board. The editors may have felt obliged to respond to the highly critical assessment of the White House initiative by one of their own reporters.

View this complete post...

Receive Infra Update, our email newsletter.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr
Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!

Views

What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.

Blog

The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.