The National Corridors Initiative, Inc.
Destination:Freedom

A Weekly North American Transportation Update

For transportation advocates and professionals, journalists,
and elected or appointed officials at all levels of government

Publisher: James P. RePass      E-Zine Editor: Molly McKay
Foreign Editor: David Beale      Webmaster: Dennis Kirkpatrick

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March 23, 2009
Vol. 10 No. 13

Copyright © 2009
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Our 10th Year

Home Page: www.nationalcorridors.org

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IN THIS EDITION...   In This Edition...

  News Items…
APTA Report Confirms: Public Transportation Major Ally
   In Greenhouse Gases Reduction
Lahood And The Potential For Livable Communities
Agency Submits Plan To Move Amtrak Rail
Amtrak Cascades To Celebrate 10 Years Of Service
  Commuter Lines…
Seattle Light Rail On Track For July 3 Opening
 
  Selected Rail Stocks…
  Across The Pond…
Bosphorus European Express
Paris Announces Biggest Rapid Transit Investment Since RER
  Commentary…
Value-Capturing The Stimulus Package
  Publication Notes …


NEWS OF THE WEEK... News Items...

APTA Report Confirms: Public Transportation
Major Ally In Greenhouse Gases Reduction

From The American Public Transportation Association

WASHINGTON, DC --- “The facts are clear. Public transportation is reducing energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment,” the American Public Transportation Association reports in a study it has available in brochure format.

“Traveling by public transportation uses less energy and produces less pollution than comparable travel in private vehicles. To make progress in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and impacting climate change, public transportation must be part of the solution,” the report continues.

In a disturbing fact revealed in the report, it was determined that improving the automobile miles-per-gallon standard, as important as that may be to conserving energy and making America less dependent on foreign oil, will by itself fail as a strategy: “Projected increases in vehicle miles of travel will negate any improvements in fuel economy resulting from recently approved changes in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Increased investment in, and use of, public transportation can mitigate this trend.”

APTA President & CEO William Millar is the closing keynote speaker next week at UNO / NCI’s regional conference March 26 on the “Louisiana Transportation Renaissance” (Please register on line in advance at $25 students, $75 others; cost is $35 / $95 at the door; see registration materials at the link below), and the resiliency / evacuation characteristics needed for transportation systems in the Gulf South.

For the complete report in PDF format go to www.apta.com.

For details on the conference, to register, and listen to a pre-conference podcast (MP3), visit the NCI Conference Section.


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Lahood And The Potential For Livable Communities

On The Internet - A Report On The Bike Summit
By Jonathan Maus (Editor)

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (Right) speaks to a constituent.  

WASHINGTON, DC -- On March 11, President Obama’s Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood addressed the 2009 National Bike Summit.

When LaHood was announced as Obama’s pick back in December, many in the bike movement did not have much to say about him. He’s been a strong supporter of rail, but his background on bike issues was not well known.

LaHood’s message to the bicycle community brought plenty of reassurance that he has a holistic view of transportation: that transportation modes -- bike, rail, transit, auto, and walking -- must be part of community planning along with housing, jobs and business development in order to help this country bring back truly livable communities.

“You have a full partner at the USDOT,” he told bicycle advocates, and made it clear that livable communities would be his major focus in the reauthorization of the transportation bill.

An article in the Congressional Quarterly (CQ), published March 6th, entitled, ‘Livable Communities’ Central to Administration’s Transportation Goals includes some very encouraging words from LaHood that leave a big opening for future bike-friendly legislation.

Another passage in the CQ quotes LaHood at his confirmation hearing: “The era of one-size-fits-all transportation projects must give way to one where preserving and enhancing unique community characteristics, be they rural or urban, is a primary goal rather than an afterthought.

“For the past half-century…the federal government has ignored mobility within communities to build the Interstate Highway System to promote movement around the country.” The focus must change, he said, to include getting around within city and town centers with less dependence on the automobile.

CQ also reports that LaHood has discussed ideas to put affordable housing near public transportation, shortening street blocks to make them more walkable and safe.

“Transportation policy, housing policy and land use planning must all be integrated to create more livable communities,” he said.

LaHood said he and other transportation officials plan to study European models of bike and walk-friendly facilities this spring (something Portland, New York City, and others have already been doing).

At the end of his speech, LaHood repeated his line about how the US DOT will be a “full partner to accomplish the things you want to do” and he added that, “We are on the cusp of making more progress on these issues than ever before.”

“The era of one-size-fits-all transportation projects must give way to one where preserving and enhancing unique community characteristics, be they rural or urban, is a primary goal rather than an afterthought.”

These ideas are nothing new to bike and transportation advocates, but this marks a clear change from past administrations. It’s also something we would have never heard from former president Bush’s Transportation Secretary Mary Peters (who didn’t even think bike paths should be considered transportation infrastructure).


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Agency Submits Plan To Move Amtrak Rail

From WWLP-TV On The Internet
Staff Writer Veronica Cintron

SPRINGFIELD, MA, MARCH 17 -- The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission wants to realign Amtrak service to have the rails run parallel to the Connecticut River. It would shorten the trip from Springfield to White River Junction by an hour running through Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield.

The proposed plan could get more people off the road and on the railroad, the commission members claim.

Currently, the tracks take a hard right to Palmer and then run through Amherst.

“In addition to the existing Amtrak service, it’s the opportunity for a commuter rail...having more trains operate, go the shorter distance,” says PVPC Planner Dana Roscoe.

(Editor’s note: more information is needed. What would happen to service in Palmer and Amherst? What are the plans for a commuter rail service separate from the Amtrak service. Stay tuned. We will follow up.)

This project will cost an estimated $30-million.

The PVPC hopes to pay for it with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The federal government is setting aside $8-billion for high-speed rail projects.

Travelers interviewed by 22News said they agree with improvements to the local rail system.

“If it was affordable and quick… yes I’d take the train,” said Cesire Williams of Westfield.

The Department of Transportation is expected to tell states how to apply for these grants by June.

The Pioneer Valley region encompasses 43 cities and towns in the Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts, an area framed on the west by the Berkshires and on the east by the central uplands.


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Amtrak Cascades To Celebrate 10 Years Of Service

From Progressive Railroading

MARCH 20 -- This year, Amtrak and the Washington state and Oregon departments of transportation are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Amtrak Cascades service.

The agencies will commemorate the milestone with a celebration to be held during the National Train Day event on May 9 at Seattle’s King Street Station.

Amtrak Cascades train in Portland, OR, Union Station

Operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon DOTs, the Cascades service debuted in 1999, providing intercity passenger-rail service between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore. Today, the Cascades features four daily round trips between Portland and Seattle, with connecting service between Portland and Eugene, and Bellingham and Seattle. The service also includes one daily round trip between Seattle and Vancouver.

The Cascades service has carried more than 6 million passengers during the past decade, and ridership has shot up 71 percent since 1999. In 2008, the service registered an all-time-high 750,000 riders.

Editor’s note: We are happy to see intermodal service is starting to pick up. All modes must be well integrated to have a balanced system.


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COMMUTER LINES... Commuter Lines...  

Seattle Light Rail On Track For July 3 Opening

Seattle Times and Associated Press on the Internet

The new light rail line in Seattle will open in the summer of 2009 in two stages: a 13.9 mile segment from Westlake Station to Tukwila International Boulevard Station and a 1.7 mile extension to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by the end of the year.

Sound Transit retrofitted the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and its existing stations for join use by both light rail trains and buses. Buses were back in service through the tunnel in September of 2007.

A 36-mile expansion was approved by voters in Central Puget Sound back in November 2008.

Beginning May 12th, Amtrak Cascades passengers in Everett, Mt. Vernon and Bellingham will have a new connecting Thruway motor-coach from trains traveling to and from Seattle.

With this added bus service, passengers will be able to travel round trip between Eugene, Oregon and Bellingham, Washington.

The new bus schedule will connect with the northbound Amtrak Cascades train in Seattle at 12 p.m. daily and will stop in Everett, Mt. Vernon, and Bellingham. Southbound travelers will depart Bellingham at 2:50 p.m. daily and arrive in Seattle at 5 p.m. where they can connect with the Amtrak Cascades train headed to Eugene, OR.

At Left: Seattle Light Rail Project Map

Seattle Light Rail - On Track


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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...

Source: www.MarketWatch.com

   This
Week
Previous
Week
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe(BNI)55.0655.41
Canadian National (CNI)33.9133.37
Canadian Pacific (CP)29.7528.97
CSX (CSX)24.2423.21
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)21.0019.81
Kansas City Southern (KSU)13.5214.38
Norfolk Southern (NSC)30.4629.28
Providence & Worcester (PWX)10.339.02
Union Pacific (UNP)38.6937.18


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ACROSS THE POND... Across The Pond...  

Bosphorus European Express

From David Beale

Here is a photo from Monday, which comes from the story in last week’s Destination: Freedom about the Bosphorus European Express. This was a one-time demonstration train to show the possibilities of improving travel times from central Europe to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey on the so called Trans European Corridor X (as in the Roman numeral for 10). The train arrived as planned in Istanbul a little over a day later. The photo, from Uwe Miethe at MRCE Dispolok GmbH, shows the train arriving in Ljubljana, Slovenia as it heads towards Istanbul (European side). In approximately two years time, the European and Asian sides of the Turkish rail system will be linked by a new undersea rail tunnel currently under construction. The tunnel will be used by intercity passenger trains, commuter trains and freight trains, such as this one.


Photo: Uwe Miethe at MRCE Dispolok GmbH

The lead locomotive in the photo is a Siemens Euro Sprinter ES64F4. This is a four-system (25 kV 50 Hz, 15 kV 16.7 Hz, 3 kV DC, 1500 VDC) electric locomotive equipped for operation on most European railroads. This is a relatively successful model for Siemens, they have sold several hundred of these locomotives to Deutsche Bahn, Austrian State Railways, Swiss State Railways, BLS of Switzerland, Connex / Veolia in several EU countries, Hector Rail in Sweden and to leasing companies such as MRCE Dispolok.

The locomotive behind the ES64 is a Siemens Euro Runner ER20. It is in operation mostly just in Austria and Germany (with the notable exception of KCR which operates a number of these locomotives in Hong Kong and into neighboring China). It is powered by a 4000 series V-16 diesel engine from MTU, which is the same diesel engine model used in several competing models of diesel locomotives offered by Bombardier, Alstom and Vossloh. This MTU V-16 engine has also been used to re-engine nearly all of the HST train sets in Britain in the past few years, in order to reduce fuel and lube oil consumption as well as reduce exhaust emissions and noise compared to the British-built Paxman engines originally fitted to the HST fleet in Britain when these trains were built new in the 1970s and 80s. The ER 20 is very quiet judged by existing diesel locomotive norms, almost eerily quiet. Apparently lots of sound insulation and a big muffler in the exhaust system. On the Bosphorus European Express the ER20 diesel was mostly dead weight, it was powered up only to get the train through a couple of sections of this routing in Romania and Bulgaria which are not electrified, otherwise the ES64F4 electric locomotive did all the work.


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New Circular Route Around City To Improve Suburb-To-Suburb Links

 

Paris Announces Biggest
Rapid Transit Investment Since RER

From Transport Politic By Yonah Freemark
http://Thetransportpolitic

PARIS --- Christian Blanc, France’s minister of Development in the Capital Region, has announced that the French government will invest 15-20 billion Euros over the next 10 years for the construction of the world’s longest automated rapid transit line, at 130 km and with 60 stations.

The minister made the announcement of the state’s commitment this past week at a day-long presentation of proposals by architects for “Le Grand Paris,” an attempt to unite the city and the surrounding suburbs through governmental reforms and infrastructure improvements.

The Paris’ city core is currently cut off from its suburbs by a ring road.

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the potential for a new transit line that would circle the city without entering it because of the growing number of suburb-to-suburb commutes, the continued development of the dynamic business center at La Défense on the west side of the city, the creation of science and technology cores in the south at Saclay and in the north at Le Bourget, and the continued need for improving the social equity between the poor northeastern sections of the suburbs and the wealthy western areas. RATP, the city’s mass transit authority, has proposed a project called Métrophérique, and the region of Ile-de-France has proposed the Arc Express; both projects would ring relatively closely to the city’s outer limits and hit the densest areas of the suburbs.

The state’s commitment seems assured based on Mr. Blanc’s speech, which argued that the project could be completed by 2020. He said that some private funds would be used to fund the lines, though it was left unsaid whether “private” actually means a commitment from the state-controlled but organizationally private RATP and SNCF (state railways). But President Nicholas Sarkozy’s endorsement of the project is the first major state action for improved mass transit in the Paris region since the creation of the RER program, whose first phase of regional rail tunnels through central Paris was inaugurated in 1969.

Mr. Blanc’s proposal, which would cost far more than the region’s less lengthy plans, would focus on connecting La Défense with the city’s three airports and the scientific/university zone in the southwest suburbs. The lack of investment in the close-suburbs has angered some in the regional legislative body, who argue that the areas of the region with the most need for improved transport are those suburbs near to the city. Mr. Blanc’s plan would steer towards connecting the region as a whole, a job already fulfilled by the RER. The problem is that those existing regional trains all head into Paris, something that this plan purposefully avoids.

The map above shows the region’s plan and the state’s plan superimposed on top of the existing and planned RER network. There are significant arguments for Mr. Blanc’s ideas - the two Parisian airports need better connections to La Défense; and the Saclay and Noisy subclusters, as well, will benefit from more transit access. Additionally, both plans provide increased levels of service to La Plaine, north of Paris, a growing business district in one of the region’s poorest neighborhoods. But the region’s plan serves areas that are far more dense than the far southwestern and northeastern areas that would be served by Mr. Blanc’s.

Even so, a state commitment for up to 20 billion euros in investment is incredible. The French, who for years have failed to invest in the infrastructure of the Parisian suburbs, are finally making a big commitment rivaling any transit project in the world. For hundreds of thousands of people throughout the region, this plan will dramatically improve commutes.

To make the project even more useful, the Ile-de-France region has been investing dramatically in smaller capacity expansions on the RER, tramway, and métro throughout the region. As shown in the map below, the city is planning four métro extensions, one RER expansion, and nine tramways. Many of those projects are already in construction. The sum total of all of these projects being built is a far better-connected region in which people living outside of the city of Paris will be able to take advantage of transit options that are just as efficient and reliable as those within Paris itself.


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COMMENTARY... Commentary...  

Value-Capturing The Stimulus Package

By James P. RePass
President & CEO
The National Corridors Initiative

As the hard-core anti-government, pro-deregulation, anti-infrastructure partisans attack President Obama’s stimulus program, so much of which advances long-neglected human and physical infrastructure for our country, we have heard repeatedly that the outcome of the Stimulus Package will be deficits “as far as the eye can see.”

That’s an understandable if familiar complaint: it has been the argument used by the anti-government ideologues for a generation and more, to deflect support away from public investment in those things which can benefit all people directly --- such as a rail network within a transportation system that is widespread, accessible, and affordable, or universal health care --- and towards market deregulation and massive tax cuts for the wealthy that, these partisans have always claimed, lead to wiser investment decisions made by the smart money.

These private-sector decisions, it is then argued, lead, eventually and magisterially, through the invisible hand of the market-place, to trickle-down benefits for the not-so-smart money, i.e., the rest of us, who don’t have direct access to seats on the stock exchanges.

Can anyone say “Credit-Default-Swap Insurance?” Or “Depression?” What’s more, does anyone actually understand how CDSI was supposed to, but didn’t, work? Well, that’s a tragi-comic routine for another day.

But for today, let’s introduce a concept that hasn’t been widely discussed yet in the course of these debates about Stimulus/No-Stimulus, Government/No-Government, and so forth, because there is, actually, a long-term solution to the otherwise inevitable inflation that will be caused by massive, unmitigated injections of money into the economy such as those that the Stimulus Package will, in fact, generate. That solution is summed up by the notion of “Value Capture.”

Before your eyes glaze over at the notion of “value capture,” let me tell you that the future soundness of the dollar in your wallet right now, i.e., what your money will actually buy as opposed to the [literally] abstract number “10” printed on your $10 bill, may well depend on successful “value capture” of the Stimulus expenditures, so pay attention.

The hard-core ideologues are actually right about (at least) one thing in this debate: we can’t simply print money and spend it forever without doing something on the other end, or we will wind up needing wheelbarrows of money to buy a loaf of bread, as literally happened in Weimar Germany in the early 1920’s, with all kinds of really bad consequences (such as the rise of Hitler).

“Value Capture” is one way to prevent that. It is in fact a simple and good idea, although it is largely unknown in America. It works this way:

Suppose the Obama Administration proposes to spend --- okay, this is actually what it IS proposing to spend --- $8 billion on new interstate railroad corridors, $5 billion for new transit systems, and $46 billion for state DOTs for infrastructure projects (not just road projects, guys, are you listening? Read the law. Journalists, I suggest you follow suit.)

O.K., let’s take a few hundred million dollars of the Stimulus Package and upgrade the rail line between, say, City A and City B to 110-mph+ speeds for passenger service, allowing much better travel times than possible on the [increasingly congested] highway. There are about a million people in the City A area, and the same in the City B area, separated by only about 50 miles (area-edge to area-edge) or 80 miles measuring city-center to city-center, with a series of small cities in between. [By the way, this is a real example].

There used to be passenger service on this line, and good track and the right-of-way are still there. Although it is now used exclusively for freight, this is a highly shovel-ready project: just start grading roadbed, lengthening some sidings, and laying welded rail. Eventually, double-track the whole thing, and upgrade signaling and grade-crossings. Not a lot of engineering required here, and, more importantly, almost or literally no right-of-way acquisition for the new track (there is room already, so this is a much cheaper project than a comparable highway construction project, say, adding a lane of interstate 80 miles in either direction to and from those two major cities (billions would be required, literally, just for land acquisition for the highway project).

But, this rail project still costs money, and so do all of the other proposed intercity rail projects you might encounter. Unlike advanced European and Asian countries, America hasn’t really developed the funding mechanism for building rail infrastructure, as we have for highways, for which we created Federal and state gas taxes starting back in 1916, and then increasing that effort and those gas tax dollars in 1956 to build America’s magnificent Interstate Highway System.

What’s more, the American railway system, aside from Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, is privately owned and operated by the freight lines. How do you get Federal (or any other, for that matter, tax money) into a private enterprise, and still protect the public? In addition, how do you do that when you often can’t use state gas tax money at all, because of state-by-state constitutional amendments that prohibit the use of ANY state gas tax revenue for ANYTHING except highways. That’s right – these prohibitions were lobbied into existence by the oil and other highway interests back in the 1930’s, under a massive campaign funded by the “Highway Users Alliance.” At one point 36 of 48 states had such prohibitions, effectively tying the governors’ and state legislatures’ hands in those states from building anything but highways for the past 80 years. Even today, 25 of the now-50 states have those same constitutional amendments in place, even though they benefit absolutely no one but the oil lobby.

And lest you wonder, well, why don’t the newly-prosperous, deregulated (since 1980) freight railroads build these new passenger lines, just remember this: it was the freight railroads who fled the passenger rail business in the 1950’s and 1960’s, culminating in the creation of Amtrak, because the cost of passenger rail operations was too high to be covered, as it once had been historically, by freight revenues --- that’s right, what the Golden Age of Railroading buffs like to talk about was totally, utterly subsidized by the profits from shipping freight.

Unfortunately for the railroads, the building of the National Highway System in the 1920’s did real damage to freight railroad profitability. Then the Interstates in the 1950’s and 1960’s inflicted the coup-de-grace, wiping out the freights’ profitability in a series of massive bankruptcies culminating in the gigantic Penn Central Railroad collapse in 1969, up until that time the largest corporate failure in American history.

But aren’t the freight railroads better off now? You bet, but they still don’t (and probably will not ever) make a return-on-capital-investment sufficient to properly sustain and replenish their highly capital-intensive current operations, let alone build the new capacity needed to compete successfully with the trucking industry. The proof? Until the economy hit the wall, most of the freight railroads were minting money on a cash-on-cash basis, but still turning away business to truckers because of a lack of capacity. While it is true that they have spent billions on said capacity in the past few years, it is still not nearly enough to provide the level of service needed to make a serious dent in the growing truck congestion on the nation’s highways. The share of trucking freight to rail freight, in terms of dollar value of goods shipped, continues to skew towards trucking, for all the aforesaid reasons.

Back to value capture: if we are going to use massive amounts of public money to bring back the nation’s Intercity passenger rail network, and bring it up to the level of our nation’s competitors in Europe and Asia, we must invest much of that money in the rights-of-way of the freight railroads who need to pay out dividends to their stockholders, in order for their managers to keep their jobs. The benefit to the freights is at least two-fold:

  1. They get better utilization of their existing rights-of-way, because extra, separate tracks will be built for the new or expanded passenger rail service, which then will no longer interfere with the freight service that, after all, “pays the freight.”

  2. They will get a capacity boost, because the new track, when it is not being used for passenger service, can in most cases, at least initially, be used for freight trains (with strict temporal freight train/passenger train separation a likely safety requirement, especially as passenger speeds rise, but more on that another time).

But if the freights benefit, how does the public get its money back (i.e., how do we re-coup the Stimulus Package outflows, directly)?

The answer of course is the aforementioned “value capture.” Here is an example of how that can work: the new rail service between cities A&B and the smaller towns in between C,D, E,& F is going to cause a major revival to the downtown areas around the train station. That is what happens time and again in places where frequent, reliable rail service is present, and we can expect it to happen here.

Therefore, before we actually build/expand this new or existing rail line, let’s give a portion of the land around the downtown station sites to the operating entity that will run the trains (whether it’s Amtrak, or a commuter rail authority, or some other quasi-public or public body). You can achieve this by direct land purchases by the state or Federal government – yes, we are re-inventing the Land Grant here --- whose titles are then assigned to the operating authority, or by having the state/Feds swap land it already owns, elsewhere, for the privately-held land in the downtown area around the soon-to-be-built/redeveloped station, and then titling that to the operating entity.

That is what the government of Hong Kong did when it built the new Hong Kong Subway System a few years back, and sure enough the station-area growth has been so spectacular --- hotels, office and apartment buildings, restaurants, theatres, stores, etc. --- that the Hong Kong subway system is minting money, and is the only stand-alone subway or rail system in the world that does so, unless our readers can find more examples.

What value capture is, of course, is the sharing of the benefits generated by the rail system with the rail system itself, a seemingly circular path which is in fact as simple as it sounds. If we build railroads or establish railroad corridors in such a way that the revenues from new growth go, in part, back to the railroad itself, it will thereby enable it to maintain and even expand its service level/quality/capacity over time. This is a far better approach than the usual way we fund infrastructure in America, which as I like to say, involves 1) building the bridge; 2) cutting the ribbon; 3) waiting 30 years for the bridge to fall into the river 4) Building a new bridge.

There are variations on this theme. For example, you can take a 20-mile-wide swath around a rail corridor running the (say) 80 miles from City A to City B, and create a taxing district wherein say “X” per cent of the growth in property values and/or sales tax revenues (etc.) within that 1600-square mile corridor flows to the Rail Corridor Operating Authority (RACOA), or whatever entity is created to build and run it.

That’s NOT a new tax, so the NTNs (No-Tax Nazis) don’t need to have a heart attack about it, and it only costs money if you are making more money than you were already. Our organization, the National Corridors Initiative, calls this a Transportation Infrastructure Investment Zone, or TIIZ, pronounced “Tizzy”, and it’s our version of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). (But who wants to be in a tiff? Doesn’t that mean “disagreement?” We vote for Tizzy, and invite you to also, because, let’s face it, in life, every now and then it is a good thing to get into a Tizzy, especially if you want to build a self-funding transportation system that actually works.)

There is a better way, and value capture is it. It’s not a new idea, it’s just one we’ve forgotten how to use. Well, it’s time to do it.


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END NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2009 National Corridors Initiative, Inc. as a compilation work and original content. Permission is granted to reproduce content provided acknowledgements to NCI are given. Return links to the NCI web site are encouraged and appreciated. Color Name Courtesy of Doug Alexander. Content reproduced by NCI remain the copyrights of the original publishers.

Web page links as reproduced in our articles are active at the time we go to press. Occasionally, news and information outlets may opt to archive these articles and notices under alternative web addresses after initial publication. NCI has no control over the policies of other web sites and regrets any inconvenience experienced when clicking off our web site.

We try to be accurate in the stories we write, but even seasoned pros err occasionally. If you read something you know to be amiss, or if you have a question about a topic, we’d like to hear from you. Please e-mail the editor at editor@nationalcorridors.org. Please include your name, and the community and state from which you write. For technical issues contact D. Kirkpatrick, NCI’s webmaster at webmaster@nationalcorridors.org.

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In an effort to expand the on-line experience at the National Corridors Initiative web site, we have added a page featuring links to other transportation initiative sites. We hope to provide links to those cities or states that are working on rail transportation initiatives – state DOTs, legislators, government offices, and transportation organizations or professionals – as well as some links for travelers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. If you have a favorite link, please send the web address (URL) to our webmaster.

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