The National Corridors Initiative, Inc.

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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October 20, 2008
Vol. 9 No. 44

Copyright © 2008
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved

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

  News Items…
When It Comes To Transportation, The Europeans Do It (Mostly) Right
  Amtrak News…
Amtrak Service Restarts In Memphis
Amtrak Coming Back On Area Tracks
  Political Lines…
McCain Pledge Sought For Dulles Rail Project
  Commuter Lines…
SEPTA Engineers Dislike New Cars’ Cabs
  Selected Rail Stocks …
  Off The Main Line…
South Station Train Departure Board To Be Sold On eBay ™
  Across The Pond…
Concerns Over Axle Cracks Sideline 130 ICE Trains
The Massachusetts Sierra Club And On The Move
Faster Trains Are Coming, And Minnesota Should Sign-On
  We Get Letters…
  Publication Notes …

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

There’s No Excuse --- Part 1 of 2


When It Comes To Transportation,
The Europeans Do It (Mostly) Right

By Jim RePass,
Publisher, Destination:Freedom

BERLIN --- Those Americans who have traveled to Europe --- and they number in the millions --- invariably return with tales of European transportation supremacy, at least in so far as the ease of passenger travel, and the high level of accommodations, are concerned.

After spending just over one solid week experiencing that transportation system, as I did recently, I can only say that the gap has gotten larger, not smaller.

All Photos: Jim RePass, NCI

A dual mode AGC’s in Mont Marsan near Bordeaux, France.

This was my third trip to Europe, but my first since 1996. At that time the French high-speed rail lines, “Trains à Grande Vitesse,” literally, “high speed trains,” built by Alstom, were well established. The Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel” had just opened and the Eurostar, a more sybaritic version of the TGV, was promoting itself with five-star meals on board the London-Paris run that were in and of themselves worthy of the trip.

An example of a dining car of a re-built ICE-1 seen while traveling on the Berlin-Basel train.

In Germany, the ICE or InterCity Express by Siemens, was equally well established, and in Spain by order of the crown, a high speed line, the AVE or Alta Velocidad España (High Speed – Spain) had been built from Madrid to Seville and Cordoba. The Italians were a bit slower, having taken the lead with the Pendolino in the 1960’s but were now suffering from paralysis by analysis in executing their own version of high speed rail – they had ordered and received the trainsets, but had neglected to build much of the high speed right-of-way necessary to run them, so the lovely new trains cruised along at a fraction of their potential speed, at least in 1996.

Now, in the fall of 2008, a dozen years later, the high speed lines are simply everywhere. And, as importantly, they connect across the platform to regional and rural trains, and even to local tram systems that wend their way throughout a town, making car rental completely unnecessary, and, indeed, limiting the need even to walk any great distance, unless by desire.

And despite the lamentations that Europeans are beginning to make the same mistake with suburban sprawl that America did 50 years ago when we began a land-use development pattern, driven by the Interstates, that effectively emptied the cities of their middle class citizens, with predictable results, that really has not happened to any large degree. Indeed, with gasoline costing the equivalent of $7-$8-$9 a gallon, it is unlikely to.

Alternative energy abounds. This view of a wind farm on the horizon can be seen just outside Berlin.

My trip this time was centered around a visit to InnoTrans, the massive rail trade show at Berlin’s “Messe,” at the suggestion of David Beale, D:F’s European editor. Attended by some 85,000 people from around the world, it is held every two years in the massive Messe Berlin built solely for trade shows on a massive scale. This was not a trade show merely with booths and displays, and well-dressed, smiling, multi-lingual models; this trade show had dozens of full-sizes pieces of equipment, including a dozen or more complete trainsets from manufacturers all over the world, including the Russians, who proudly unveiled their version of the TGV at the show, and, surprisingly given our recent history, from North America, whose ElectroMotive Diesel, formerly a part of General Motors, is selling highly reliable freight locomotives by the score to European logistics companies.

The trip was also designed to investigate some of the important advances in transportation technology and applications made by the Europeans in recent years, which, if America decides at last to invest in its own infrastructure once again and end the decades of neglect that have helped bring about the present economic calamity, may play a role in jump-starting and then sustaining our revival.

A royal body guard stands watch at the entrance as Prince Phillip of Spain Inspects a Talgo Trainset at InnoTrans 2008.

Those technologies include the hybrid Diesel Multiple Unit - Electric Multiple Unit (DMU-EMU) three or four car “AGC” trainsets manufactured by Bombardier for service on the regional and branch lines of France and which, capable of operating under catenary wire or on diesel power as needed, transition from high speed electrified main line to diesel branch line without a hitch, thereby enabling a one-seat ride where, previously, a change of trains was required. Such a system would be a natural for the many lines which branch off of Amtrak’s electrified Northeast Corridor, providing an elegant solution to the problem of providing service between and across electrified and non-electrified lines.

On display: a Velaro high speed train set for Russia. The Velaro by Siemens also includes the German ICE-3 and Spanish S-103 high speed train models.

Also on the agenda was a visit to Zermatt, Switzerland, home to the Matterhorn and a resort town which banned automobiles altogether in 1966, to preserve the character of the town as it was becoming over-run with tourists and their cars. A narrow gauge cog railway line --- the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, smooth as glass, and not at all like the steam cog-railway train that climbs Mount Washington in New Hampshire --- comes up into the mountains from the town of Visp to Zermatt, and an even smaller and steeper cog railway line, the Zermatt-Gornergrat line, continues the ascent from a station near the main Zermatt terminal to a high-viewing-spot 10,000 feet up into the Alps that gives a spectacular perspective on both the Matterhorn, and the field of glaciers –vastly shrunken over the past century, by the way --- that lie in the valleys below.

Finally, we visited Karlsruhe, a German town not far from the French border reached by the French TGV line from Paris’ Gare Montparnasse on the way to Frankfurt, which has a unique tram system that travels both on the streets of the city, and on the main line of the nearby rail system, providing truly convenient commuting with a minimum of seat-changing fuss.

Next week, we will detail the trip, what we saw, and what we learned.

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AMTRAK NEWS... Amtrak News...

Amtrak Service Restarts In Memphis

By DF Staff From Internet Sources

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 17 - Local leaders and Amtrak officials welcomed the return of the Amtrak City of New Orleans last Friday at Memphis Central Station.

A huge sinkhole on city property just south of the station had resulted in detours by the train and the closure of the station’s parking lot from April 23, 2008 until last week.

A giant sinkhole just south of Central Station closed the section of tracks Amtrak uses. The 8-foot-wide sinkhole was about 18 feet deep and was getting larger.

A section of tracks was removed south of Central Station to allow city crews to repair a rain culvert running 50 feet beneath the ground, which was causing the sinkhole.

“I am pleased that parking and rail service has been expediently restored to Central Station,” said Mayor Willie W. Herenton. “I want to thank the patrons of Amtrak for their patience and especially thank those at the negotiation table for their commitment to getting the problem solved.”

The Station Platform

Memphis Station from the street side.

“We appreciate the direct action by Mayor Herenton to cut through the red tape and order the work done to restore direct service to Central Station,” said Ray Lang, Chicago-based Senior Director, Amtrak Government Affairs. “With an able assist by City Council Member Myron Lowery, constant encouragement by tourism officials, local rail advocate William Strong and others, our Amtrak train is back on its normal route in Memphis.”

Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) owns Central Station and used the nearly six months of service detours to spruce up the station’s train platform.

“We’re excited that normal Amtrak service has resumed at Central Station,” said Will Hudson, MATA President/General Manager. “The cooperation demonstrated by our Central Station partners helped to ensure a smooth transition for travelers during the renovations.”

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The Sunset Limited

Amtrak Coming Back On Area Tracks

Amtrak Returns to The Panhandle

From the Internet

OCTOBER 17 – Passenger rail across Florida’s panhandle from Sanford, Florida, to New Orleans will be restored.

Congressman Allen Boyd (D-FL) announced the news when Congress passed veto-proof legislation in September which authorizes an infusion of capital into passenger rail over a period of several years.

The Railroad Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 combined with the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 requires Amtrak to submit a plan to restore the panhandle rail service which was suspended after the Katrina hurricane. That route was part of Amtrak’s Sunset Limited service which traverses the country from New Orleans to Los Angeles and is a spectacularly scenic trip.

The Panhandle stops include: Crestview, Chipley, Tallahassee, Madison, Lake City, and Jacksonville.

Amtrak reported record ridership this year, mostly because of rising gas prices.

The Amtrak plan must include a timetable for restoring that service to Northwest Florida, so right now we don’t have a restart date.

[ Caution to advocates: This bill authorizes money. It still must be appropriated before Amtrak gets any of it.

See Letter to Editor in this edition. ]

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POLITICAL LINES... Political Lines...

McCain Pledge Sought For Dulles Rail Project

Vote On Metro Funding Upset Va. Leaders

From The Washington Post On The Internet

OCTOBER 7 -- Despite pressure from Virginia congressional leaders who lobbied hard for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), to support funding to extend Metrorail to Dulles International Airport, the Senator opposed the authorization, reported Michael Laris in a Post story.

The rail-to-Dulles is one of the Washington region’s top transportation priorities, and Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va) have been appealing to their longtime colleague to publicly back the Metro expansion, which has a rocky history with Bush administration officials.

This year, federal officials, who voiced concerns that nearly sank the project, have recently granted it a series of approvals. The first phase would stretch through Tysons Corner.

“It’s the nation’s subway,” Davis said. “I hope to get the senator to give his support.”

McCain was one of two dozen senators who voted against the Passsenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. The bill included Congressman Davis’s proposal to authorize $1.5 billion in dedicated funding to Metro over 10 years. The provision was part of a broader rail safety and Amtrak funding bill. Senator Obama voted for it.

Davis said he thought that McCain’s opposition to the bill was directed more at Amtrak, but a statement from the McCain campaign targeted the Metro funding as well as Amtrak. “Senator McCain strongly objects to earmarks in the bill such as the $1.5 billion for Washington…,” the statement read.

On October 6, several Democratic officials from Northern Virginia, including Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille, a member of the Metro board, and Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, stood before a partisan crowd at the Clarendon Metro station to slam McCain for his vote.

One person in the crowd held a sign that said, “McCain = More Traffic.”

“He doesn’t understand the reality of the people who live here,” Fisette said. “I’ll meet him at his home in Crystal City, and we can take the Blue Line together.”

Jim Dinegar, president and chief executive of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, said he, too, was disappointed with McCain’s vote on dedicated funding, which requires matching funds from the District, Maryland and Virginia.

The District has set aside a portion of its sales tax revenue for its share, and Maryland’s portion is included in the state’s capital transportation budget. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has said Virginia will come up with its share, but officials have not indicated from where.

Dinegar said he expects the new funding bill to replace years of “piecemeal” improvements to Metro with a more comprehensive approach.

He also said both presidential candidates have a direct stake in Metro’s future. “It is a transit system that moves more federal workers than any other transit system in the United States. Regardless of who wins, the majority of the next administration’s workforce will be taking Metrobuses and Metrorail to work.”

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COMMUTER LINES... Commuter Lines...

SEPTA Engineers Dislike New Cars’ Cabs

Philadelphia Inquirer On The Internet

Commuters in Southeastern Pennsylvania are eagerly awaiting the new rail cars that will replace the decrepit ones that were built almost fifty years ago. But SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) engineers are not happy: the operating compartments planned for the new cars are about half the size of the cabs in the old cars, and, the train engineers say, “it’s a matter of safety, security and privacy.” They want the cabs to extend the full width of the cars.

“SEPTA officials, who met again this week with engineers, say the new, smaller compartments will be safer than current ones and will make room for more passenger seats. They don’t plan to further delay production of the cars to redesign the cabs,” wrote Paul Nussbaum in his story for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

For commuters, the biggest concern is getting new cars soon, regardless of the size of the cabs, said Matthew Mitchell of the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers. Passengers have been clamoring for relief from standing-room-only commutes, as rail ridership has jumped more than 12 percent over last year, to a record 35 million rides.

Larry Oskind, a SEPTA customer service representative, examines the engineer’s cab of the new Silverliner V. The driver’s compartments on existing trains run the width of the car.

Visitors examine the new SEPTA Silverliner V on display at Suburban Station. The first of the 120 cars the agency is buying are expected to go into service next fall.

SEPTA has ordered 120 new Silverliner V railcars, with the first ones expected to be put into service next fall. The new cars, purchased for $274 million, will replace 73 cars built in the 1960s. With the retirement of the old cars and the addition of the new ones, SEPTA will have about 400 by 2010, up from 348 now.

The engineer’s compartment is at the right front with fold-down passenger seats at the left front. The passenger seat is supposed to be in the fold-down position when the car is the lead-car of a train, with an engineer in the compartment. At other times, these seats are available for passengers.

The complaints from engineers are numerous:

In case of an imminent collision, the conductor cannot escape as easily as with the older design. Training will be more difficult since the trainee and the experienced engineer cannot be together in the cab. The design inhibits the engineer and the conductor from having a private conversation. There’s no room to store timetables, rulebooks and other administrative necessities.

Marcus Ruef, a national vice president with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, agrees with some of the concerns, the story continued. “He compared a train cab to an airliner cockpit and said a cab should be similarly secure. He invoked post-9 /11 security concerns as a reason to provide a full cab that prevents passengers from seeing the rails and signals ahead.

“We don’t think the forward view of the right-of-way should be available to whoever wants to watch . . . and the conductor and the engineer should be able to talk privately,” Ruef said.

SEPTA officials disagree with the complaints, reiterating the importance of providing additional seats for passengers. “We want seats, they want a larger cab,” said Pat Nowakowski, SEPTA chief of operations. “We want to do everything we can to give them every opportunity to do their jobs safely. At the same time, we want to give customers as much comfort as possible. We’re trying to find a happy middle ground.”

Luther Diggs, SEPTA’s chief officer of vehicle equipment engineering and maintenance, said stronger steel reinforcements around the cab made it much safer than the current full-width cabs, and he noted that there will be a panic bar to allow an engineer to escape quickly into the passenger aisle if a crash is imminent.

Nationwide, engineers have been pushing for federal standards to mandate bigger cabs. In a filing last year with the Federal Railroad Administration, the engineers’ union said that cabs “where locomotive engineers are confined to essentially small cages - into which they barely fit - creates both safety and security issues that are foreseeable and avoidable.”

Other railroads feature both types of cabs.

On NJ Transit, most cars are pulled by locomotives, so the cars don’t have cabs. SEPTA’s new cars are self-propelled units.

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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...


Burlington Northern & Santa Fe(BNI)80.1080.16
Canadian National (CNI)39.7040.16
Canadian Pacific (CP)39.8240.51
CSX (CSX)43.3343.31
Florida East Coast (FLA)62.5162.51
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)27.2525.77
Kansas City Southern (KSU)30.2928.67
Norfolk Southern (NSC)52.5452.05
Providence & Worcester (PWX)15.3015.25
Union Pacific (UNP)55.4958.00

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OFF THE MAIN LINE... Off The Main Line...

South Station Train Departure Board To Be Sold On eBay ™

From The Globe on the Internet

BOSTON, OCTOBER 16 --The clickety-clack sound of the Solari train schedule board at South Station will soon be silenced, The Globe reported in a story by Noah Bierman. It is being sold on eBay by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority after efforts to sell it to Amtrak, and then the distributor, failed. The new digital sign was installed in June.

“At that point we decided to offer it to the world and see how much money we can get,” said T spokesman Joe Pesaturo. “We would like to at least cover the cost of removing and dismantling and disposing of the board.”

Opening bids are being accepted on eBay, minimum $500.

Photo: Boston Globe

For sale. One Solari Board, Must pick up. Location: South Station, Boston, Mass.

The old train departure board, installed in the early 80’s, is a little too new to be sought by a museum, according to Nick Kallas, general manager of the Illinois Railway Museum, which has one of the world’s largest collections of rail equipment. “But there are rail fans who probably would like it, or restaurants. . . . Somebody who’s got the room,” he said.

One obstacle is the difficulty of removing the 20-foot wide board from South Station and finding a place to store it.

The offer was posted on eBay last Thursday, but there were no bids as of Friday afternoon.

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

From David Beale
NCI Foreign Correspondent


Concerns Over Axle Cracks Sideline 130 ICE Trains

Crack Discovered During Check Results In Reduced Inspection Intervals

Source: dpa via N24 Television News

BERLIN – A major part of Germany’s high-speed train fleet was again side tracked by concerns over cracks in wheel axles. During inspections which resulted from the 9th July incident in Cologne, where a cracked wheel axle caused an ICE-3 train set to derail just beyond the city’s main station, a crack was discovered earlier this week in the axle of ICE-T train set. After discovery of the 2 mm (0.079 in.) crack via ultrasound non-destructive testing of the axle, the inspection interval on ICE-3 and the similar tilt-body ICE-T series were ordered to be performed twice as often as what was implemented after the incident in Cologne.

The investigation of the early July incident in Cologne has still not been fully completed. But an early recommendation from that event was to reduce the crack inspection interval from 480 000 km (300 000 miles) to 60 000 km. The entire ICE-3 fleet was inspected in a campaign lasting about one week. The similarly configured and designed ICE-T was subsequently added to the same reduced interval axle inspection program, which began with the ICE-3 fleet. Both train models are built by a consortium headed by Siemens, both are EMU train sets with most wheel bogies powered with traction motors, as opposed to the ICE-1 and ICE-2 train series, which consist of separate locomotives / power cars and un-powered passenger coaches.

Photo: David Beale

An ICE-3 train set makes a stop at the then-new Düsseldorf Airport train station in November 2001.

The halving of the inspection interval down to 30 000 km caused a major maintenance planning headache for Europe’s largest transportation company, when suddenly a significant portion of the ICE-3 and ICE-T fleets became overdue for the axle inspections and therefore no longer available for operation. Deutsche Bahn issued notices to the public that some trains could be cancelled and others operated with far more passengers on board as normal due to the massive removal of ICE-3 and ICE-T train sets from service in order to comply with the new 30 000 km inspection interval.

Most significantly effected were any routes operated by ICE-3 and ICE-T train sets, but also routes typically operated by ICE-2 train sets were also heavily impacted, as the ICE-2 train set with its seven passenger cars is very close in size to the ICE-3 and ICE-T train sets, thus resulting in re-assignment of some ICE-2 train sets to ICE-3 and ICE-T routes. Similar to the ICE-3 and ICE-T, the ICE-2 is typically operated with two train sets coupled in pairs, the train sets are decoupled (or coupled) at certain major stations in order to provide a “Y” shaped route with two destinations from a single origin or vice versa.

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EVENTS... Events...

The Massachusetts Sierra Club And On The Move*
are co-sponsoring a:
Town Meeting on Public Transportation
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

6 pm - 8 pm
Boston Public Library, Copley Square
Mezzanine Meeting Room

For more information, contact Bob Terrell at 617-480-3685 or

This will be a great opportunity to learn about what we can do to help reduce the impact of potential of a future fare increase. We remember in the impact across the region of the 2006 fare increase for Subway, bus and commuter rail riders. Let’s take steps now to address what aspects of the T’s financial situation that we can.

*On the Move is the Greater Boston Transportation Justice Coalition

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OPINION... Opinion...

Faster Trains Are Coming,
And Minnesota Should Sign-On

By Conrad Defiebre

When I was a college student at St. Thomas, I often traveled by Burlington Line or Milwaukee Road trains from my parents’ home near Chicago to St. Paul, arriving at the imposing but eerily quiet Union Depot. This was the 1960s, the twilight of America’s once-great passenger rail network.

A few years later the railroads abandoned the people-moving business, leaving the government-chartered Amtrak to operate a vestigial cross-country passenger system with all the charm, but none of the economic efficiency, of a dusty coal train. Americans’ love of travel by auto and air made this decline no more than an afterthought in transportation planning.

But times again are a-changin’. Minnesotans deserve to get in on a new era of fast, safe, comfortable and economically sustainable passenger rail that is finally coming to America. And no place in the state stands to benefit more than St. Paul, where a reborn Union Depot could again welcome crowds of train travelers from Chicago as a centerpiece of the Twin Cities’ transit, commuter and intercity transportation services.

Decades after much of Europe and Asia began building high-speed rail systems — a trend still accelerating abroad — veto-proof bipartisan majorities of the U.S. Congress this month passed the first multi-year funding authorization since 1997 for Amtrak and 21st-century passenger train initiatives.

With unstable fuel prices and road and airport congestion driving Amtrak’s ridership to record levels, President Bush is expected to sign the $13 billion, five-year measure, which includes $3.4 billion in grants to states to develop high-speed passenger rail initiatives. Best of all, it comes with the same funding formula as for major highways: 80 percent from the feds, 20 percent from the states.

This will be the lifeblood of plans begun a dozen years ago by Minnesota and eight other states for 110 mph trains from St. Paul to Chicago and on to other destinations on the 3,000-mile state Midwest Regional Rail System. The projected travel time to the Windy City is 5 1/2 hours, beating or matching not only the Amtrak Empire Builder’s eight-hour crawl but also private cars and jetliners for downtown-to-downtown trips, convenience and efficiency.

With six trips daily in each direction, compared with one now, 3.3 million annual riders are projected by 2017. Fares would compete with other travel modes, but are expected to provide healthy operating profits. Additional Minnesota benefits, according to an economic analysis prepared for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, include 1,570 new permanent jobs, $31 million in added yearly household income and more than $100 million in increased property values around the St. Paul Union Depot.

About $8 million worth of planning and engineering is already under way for both the St. Paul-Chicago rail link and one from Minneapolis to Duluth, making them prime contenders for significant federal funding commitments as early as next year.

Counties and cities along the Duluth route have stepped up their financial support of the project while state government, unfortunately, has stepped back. Gov. Tim Pawlenty this year vetoed $5.5 million in state borrowing for work on the Duluth and Chicago lines. Compare that with the $80 million in passenger rail bonding Wisconsin authorized under former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

That money is ready to match federal grants for Wisconsin’s portion of the St. Paul-Chicago route, which is scheduled to start operations in 2012.

In the next few years, Minnesota leaders will be asked to provide about $150 million in 20-year bonds toward the rolling stock and track and signal improvements for more than 300 miles of high-speed rail lines from Duluth to La Crescent. With federal help, the total cost will be around $750 million — comparable to what the state has spent lately on a few miles of Interstate 35W in Minneapolis.

A similar investment in intercity passenger rail is a bargain our leaders shouldn’t pass up.

Conrad deFiebre is Transportation Fellow at Minnesota 2020, a St. Paul-based progressive think tank. His e-mail address is

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WE GET LETTERS... We Get Letters...

Dear Editor,

With regard to your October newsletter story, “Amtrak No Longer Skunk at the Party,” it is important to point out to your readers and rail passenger advocates that Amtrak funding will still face a political fight each year. Since the Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act of 2008 is the authorizing legislation setting annual targets for Amtrak funding, Congress must still deliberate and vote on the actual amount in Amtrak appropriation bills each year. 

Much of the media reports created the mistaken impression that Congress provided Amtrak with $13 billion in financing over 5 years. The political reality is that no matter who is in the White House, the impact of the recession, the $700 billion bailout bill and the costs of the Iraq war will mean that Amtrak will still need to fight for every dollar in the appropriation budget battles. Passenger rail advocates should be ready for Amtrak’s toughest budget battles yet in a very uncertain state and federal fiscal climate.

Scott R. Spencer
Delmarva Rail Passenger Association
Wilmington, DE

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END NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2008 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.

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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 Please include your name, and the community and state from which you write. For technical issues contact D. Kirkpatrick, NCI’s webmaster at

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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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