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Archive for the ‘Rail’ Category

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A 25-Year Transportation Plan for Oklahoma

Monday, August 11th, 2014
A 25-Year Transportation Plan for Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) welcomes you to the 2015-2040 Long Range Transportation Plan website. The purpose of this website is to provide information on the Long Range Transportation Plan and to keep you connected throughout the process.

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How to Invest in Fixed-Guideway Transit

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Figure S.1. Influence of variables for ridership.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
Fixed-guideway transit projects, such as urban rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, are among the largest infrastructure investments that cities and metropolitan areas make. With capital costs ranging from tens of millions to several billion dollars, decisions on whether to build a fixed-guideway transit project, and what kind of project to build, are not taken lightly by local officials or their funding partners. Such decisions may follow many years of planning and analysis at the system, corridor, and project levels. It can cost millions of dollars just to develop and apply the analysis tools that are typically used to evaluate alternative projects.

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Modal Shift and High-Speed Rail: A Review of the Current Literature

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
This report provides a review of scholarly literature with direct relevance to the topic of modal shift and high-speed rail (HSR). HSR systems are usually planned on the expectation that they will attract riders who would have chosen other modes (such as air, automobile, bus, etc.) had the HSR not been created. Identifying and measuring the actual ability of HSR to effect modal shift is therefore critical. To establish the most current systematic research on the topic, this report examines the evidence concerning HSR and modal shift in both secondary analyses of previous studies and in newer studies that use primarily original data. The studies that were reviewed comprise a large variety of HSR systems, time periods, data sources, and means of analysis.

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