February 10, 2016

Amtrak considers reintroducing Gulf Coast service

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Progressive Railroading reported that Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission will consider the possibility of reintroducing passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast by operating, next month, an “inspection train” between New Orleans and Jacksonville, Fla.  Read the entire article here.

Revenue and riders up on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief

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The Denver Post reported that, during 2015, revenues and ridership rose amidst successful attempts at preserving Amtrak’s embattled Southwest Chief route.  Read the complete article here.

Amtrak activates PTC, SEPTA not far behind

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Amtrak activated its Positive Train Control system (PTC) this past weekend from Philadelphia to Washington. SEPTA has reported they are not far behind and will have PTC online sometime in the new year. Since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mandated in 2008 that all railroads operating in the U.S.install PTC [...]

2016 Omnibus Amtrak funding bill

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Congress must do better for passenger rail and roadway safety By John Previsich, President, SMART Transportation Division While we look favorably on efforts made by members of Congress to implement stronger and more wide-spread transportation policy upgrades – including increased funding for mass transit and highway safety programs, we are still concerned that passenger rail [...]

Congress approves new cross-Hudson rail tunnel

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Politico New York reported that a Congressional transportation bill that includes provisions to build a new cross-Hudson rail tunnel gained velocity with approval from both the U.S Senate and the House. Read the entire article from Politico New York Dec. 4.

Iowans surveyed support expansion of passenger rail

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A new survey reaffirms support for expanding passenger rail service in Iowa. More than half the participants — 56 percent — in a survey conducted by the SMART Transportation Division said passenger rail service in Iowa should increase. Another 77 percent said Amtrak should add service from Des Moines to Chicago, a concept that once [...]

FAST Act strengthens rail safety

A congressional conference committee yesterday completed work on a five-year surface transportation bill that would strengthen tank-car safety standards, increase funding for transit and create a rail title that authorizes funding for Amtrak and intercity passenger-rail grants. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (H.R. 22) would fully fund a five-year $281 billion authorization for public transportation and highway [...]

Amtrak ridership and ticket revenue steady for 2015

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Investment in infrastructure critical for future growth of passenger rail WASHINGTON – Amtrak ridership and ticket revenue remained steady in its Fiscal Year ended Sept. 30, 2015, reflecting continued demand for passenger rail; however, significant and predictable investment is needed to ensure that intercity passenger rail will continue to deliver nationwide benefits including providing safe [...]

Faster trains propel economy and middle class forward

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Note: This is the second piece in a series that explores the connection between a robust transportation system and a stronger middle class. Read the first piece which sets the tone for a much needed national conversation. Around the globe, the race is on to bring the world’s fastest trains — which top speeds nearing [...]

Amtrak adds Chicago-Michigan trains for holiday travel

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, so Amtrak is offering 10 extra trains for Thanksgiving on the Chicago-Michigan corridor. The rail service will add an extra train in each direction Wednesday, Nov. 25, Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29 on the Chicago-Ann Arbor “Wolverine Line” to help people reach their Turkey Day [...]