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Archive for the ‘Rail’ Category

Retro Infra: Rock Island, IL – Wheels of Progress (1950)

Friday, February 20th, 2015
Retro Infra: Rock Island, IL – Wheels of Progress (1950)

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (reporting marks CRIP, RI, ROCK) was a prominent (Class I) railroad in the midwestern United States, commonly known as the “Rock Island.” In 1854 when the line connected the Mississippi to Chicago and the East Coast, the event was marked by a large promotional voyage called the Grand Excursion. In 1856, the line crossed the Government Bridge, the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi, connecting farms in Iowa and beyond to Chicago.

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New York City: Rail Service for LaGuardia Airport (Finally)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
New York City: Rail Service for LaGuardia Airport (Finally)

New York City’s airports will get a major facelift with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda.

The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, given that LaGuardia recently suffered some very public infrastructure criticisms. Add to that over $5 billion in one-off legal settlements from Wall Street recently awarded to New York State, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for infrastructure investment.

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Chicago Transit Authority: Riding the Holiday Train

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Chicago Transit Authority: Riding the Holiday Train

Happy Holidays from the Chicago Transit Authority!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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