April 17, 2014

Obama touts $302B transportation plan in St. Paul

President Barack Obama came to St. Paul on Wednesday to showcase the city’s newly refurbished Union Depot transit hub as an example of the kinds of transportation development he wants for the rest of the nation. “This project symbolizes what’s possible,” Obama told a standing-room-only crowd of 1,300 ticketed enthusiasts in the 90-year-old Lowertown depot’s [...]

Amtrak’s Boardman: Rural needs trump extras

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Amtrak’s CEO says passenger rail service in Southeastern Colorado is more important than some other amenities such as chocolates on the pillows for long-distance travelers. “Our most essential goal is to ensure Amtrak continues to serve small town America that is being abandoned by airlines and bus companies, and keep communities such as Trinidad and [...]

Amtrak suspends some service ahead of storm

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is suspending some trains as a winter storm threatens the South and the Northeast. Amtrak says the suspensions Wednesday are meant to reduce the exposure of passengers, crews and equipment to extreme weather. Read the complete story at the Associated Press.

Amtrak launches new loco at Boston’s South Station

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Amtrak will launch the first of a fleet of new locomotives out of Boston’s South Station on Friday, officials said. The 70 new locomotives have advanced technology and modern equipment that company officials hope will provide more reliable service. Read the complete story at the Boston Globe.

NARP says oil shipments hurting passengers

A combination of bad weather and a large number of oil shipments has been severely delaying Amtrak riders in northern Plains states – and a rail passenger advocacy group is trying to do something about it. It hasn’t been easy to be a rail passenger lately – especially if you’re traveling on Amtrak’s Empire Builder. [...]

FY14 appropriations good for TIGER, Amtrak

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Congressional conference committee members cobbling together an actual fiscal year 2014 federal budget have reportedly agreed on budgetary numbers fairly favorable to Amtrak and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) programs. Federal high speed rail funding, however, is omitted entirely. Amtrak’s FY14 budget numbers include $340 million for operations, and $1.55 billion for capital (including [...]

Rails accused of tampering with video in Amtrak crash

RENO, Nev. – Lawyers for a trucking company are accusing two railroad companies of tampering with evidence about a June 2011 collision between a tractor-trailer and an Amtrak train that killed six people in northern Nevada. Lawyers for John Davis Trucking Co. say they have evidence the companies tampered with a video of the crash [...]

Risch appears on America’s Work Force radio

SMART Transportation Division’s Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch appeared on America’s Work Force daily labor radio program Dec. 23 to discuss the country’s support for Amtrak and other issues. America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in America and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input [...]

AMTRAK CEO: Train safety takes money, cooperation

We talk a lot about our national debt. But the largest debt we owe is to those who will come after us in this nation. Our fulfillment of that debt should underpin the actions we take right now. Our national infrastructure forms the bedrock foundation upon which our economic future is built as America competes [...]

Has Amtrak’s NEC plan slowed to 160 mph?

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Has Amtrak abandoned its vision of 220-mile-per-hour bullet trains speeding up and down the Northeast Corridor? The railroad recently issued draft specifications for new trains to replace its existing Acelas that call for 160 m.p.h. trains, not the 220 mph versions Amtrak said in January that it was seeking. Read the complete story at The [...]