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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December 14, 2009
Vol. 10 No. 52

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…
Obama Seeks Another $50 Billion For Jobs Building Ground
   Transportation Systems
  Infrastructure Lines…
The Future of American Streetcars: Coming Back After A 50-Year Break
Rail Advocates Object, But New Jersey Transit Board Approves
   Alignment For Deep-Cavern Terminal
  Off The Main Line…
Model AMTRAK Train To Circle National Christmas Tree
  Events…
Urban Pathways To Liveable Communities - New Orleans, Feb 2010
  Safety Lines…
National Firm Brought On Board To Assess MBTA Infrastructure Needs
 
  Select Railroad Stocks…
  Transit-Oriented Development…
New Garage At Wonderland Station Is Cornerstone
   To Broader TOD Plans.
  Across The Pond…
Third Track To Be Built Along Part Of Busy Hannover
   – Hamburg Rail Corridor.
Construction Start In February 2010 For “Stuttgart 21”
   Underground Main Train Station.
  Corrections …
  Publication Notes …


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

Emphasis Once Again On “Shovel-Ready” Projects

 

Obama Seeks Another $50 Billion For Jobs
Building Ground Transportation Systems

By DF Staff

WASHINGTON---President Barack Obama, building on the promise he made April 17 in announcing the $8 billion intercity rail program that is a key part of his overall Stimulus Program, has called for a “multi-layered jobs plan… spending around $50 billion in additional funds on transportation infrastructure programs, with the goal of obligating that money to specific projects within the next year,” writes reporter John D. Boyd of The Journal of Commerce, Online.

“The President in his speech [to Congress] did not list the dollar amounts or give many program details of his job-creation proposals. However, a senior administration official told reporters that the White House ‘is considering a package in the range of $50 billion above and beyond the current levels of infrastructure spending, but that’s something we’ll be working with Congress on.’”

Reporter John D. Boyd of The Journal of Commerce Online continued:

“Officials also said they are eyeing savings from the financial rescue program, which cost less than anticipated, to fund the infrastructure investments. And the different parts of the jobs program would move on separate tracks, rather than go to Congress as a unified package. Earlier this year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set aside $48 billion for the Department of Transportation to spend. Most of it goes into highway and bridge projects, plus airport repairs and yet-to-be-awarded funds for high-speed passenger rail and grants for projects of special importance. DOT has so far paid out less than $7 billion but has obligated over $31 billion.”

The Journal of Commerce continued: “Obama said that among his new proposals ‘we’re proposing a boost in investment in the nation’s infrastructure beyond what was included in the Recovery Act, to continue modernizing our transportation and communications networks. These are needed public works that engage private sector companies, spurring hiring across the country.’”

“Aides said the project spending would again include highways, transit, rail, aviation and water transport systems. One said it would also set aside “a significant amount” for ‘merit-based’ construction such as intermodal projects that draw in investments from other parties as well,” wrote Boyd.

“And while the Recovery Act in February did not target money specifically to go to seaport construction projects other than for security measures, Obama said in the days leading up to his announcement that he was looking at port infrastructure. And administration officials have told reporters that seaports would be included in the package that is being developed,” the Journal of Commerce concluded.


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INFRASTRUCTURE LINES... Infrastructure Lines...  

The Future of American Streetcars:
Coming Back After A 50-Year Break

From The Infrastructurist
See:
http://www.infrastructurist.com/

The Infrastructurist - Proposed Transit Map

Image: The Infrastructurist

The Plans - Present and Future?

In May, The Infrastructurist presented a map of the American cities planning streetcar networks. Back then, it seemed, only about 20 cities were contemplating new trolley lines.

But the interest in the mode has exploded over the past few months, and now there are at least 45 cities in the U.S. and Canada seriously considering the implementation of streetcars, which are distinct from light rail because they share their rights-of-way with automobiles. We’ve documented which cities already have such lines in operation and those that are planning them on the map above; a list with links to plans or ideas in each town is at the end of this post.

Two weeks ago, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s announcement that he would make available $130 million for inner-city streetcar projects adds momentum to what is becoming a national trend. The Secretary said he would grant up to $25 million apiece next spring — meaning that at least six projects will be advancing next year. Winning projects will be determined by the Department of Transportation on a selective basis.

This money comes in addition to the Small Starts cash already made available to projects such as Portland’s Eastside Streetcar Loop extension, which received $75 million in April. The DOT may also take advantage of some of the $1.5 billion in “TIGER” funds from the stimulus to fund these trolleys, though most of these funds will likely go elsewhere.

The Secretary of Transportation made the big news announcement in New Orleans [as reported in Destination: Freedom December 7], which has requested almost $100 million from the federal government for a new French Quarter line. Mr. LaHood’s similar visit to Dallas implies that those cities have a leg up for now. But the intense competition coming from every region of the country leaves no city guaranteed to receive money from Washington.

[A note from the National Corridors Initiative and Destination:Freedom: look at the following list of American cities now restoring their streetcar systems, as reported in The Infrastructurist, and you will see a list of the streetcar/trolley/interurban systems destroyed two generations ago by the little-known National City Lines conspiracy of the 1940’s, whereby General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil, and Chevron Oil colluded to secretly by up control of the obscure National City Lines bus company, and then bought up municipal streetcar/trolley/interurban systems all over America NCL not only ripped up their tracks, but then literally burned the streetcars so they couldn’t be re-sold for use by other cities’ streetcar lines, a fact also little known by most Americans. Most Americans simply assume that America’s streetcars faded away because other transportation alternatives supplanted them in some kind of natural, economic Darwinian infrastructure progression. This Big Lie has succeeded for half a century…until now. Europe and Asia and their robust streetcar and trolley systems developed, and grew, and to this day make European cities – as any American who has been to Europe can tell you – eminently livable/walkable/bikeable. That day is coming to America now.]

Here is a list of cities planning streetcar lines in the United States and Canada:

AlbuquerqueGainesvilleQuébec
AtlantaGrand RapidsSacramento
ArlingtonIndianapolisSalt Like City
AugustaJacksonvilleSan Antonio
AustinKansas CitySeattle
BaltimoreLong BeachSpokane
BoiseLos AngelesStamford
BrooklynMiamiSt. Louis
CharlotteMilwaukeeTacoma
CincinnatiMinneapolisTempe
Colorado Springs     MontréalTucson
ColumbusNew HavenVancouver
DallasNew OrleansWashington
DetroitOklahoma City     Winston-Salem
Ft. LauderdalePortland 
Ft. WorthProvidence 


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Update On The ARC Project:

 

Rail Advocates Object, But New Jersey Transit Board
Approves Alignment For Deep-Cavern Terminal

Contract Approved At Last Meeting Before Incumbent Governor Leaves Office

By David Peter Alan

It was a foregone conclusion, and it happened. The Board of Directors of New Jersey Transit approved the first contracts last Wednesday for construction of their plan for the “Mass Transit Tunnel” (also known as the “ARC” Tunnel) under Manhattan. The contracts approved by the Board are for construction of an alignment from 12th to 6th Avenues, where the proposed line would terminate in a dead end, far below street level. The three contracts are slated to cost a total of $913,975,933 for construction and construction management on the tunnel and deep-cavern terminal project, while an additional expenditure $141,950,274 was approved for the companion Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement Project, for a total of nearly $1.056 billion for both projects combined.

Rail advocates representing the Lackawanna Coalition and allied organizations objected strenuously to the approval of these contracts, but were also aware that the Board of NJT has consistently approved management requests over the years without dissent. Wednesday’s vote was no exception.

The transportation establishment favored the move, which drew support from Chamber of Commerce and labor speakers, as well as the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Outgoing Governor Jon S. Corzine came to the meeting to endorse the project. He said that the project would improve the region’s economy and that he looked forward to being “one of the 42 million folks” who would ride into Manhattan after the project is completed. Lined up against the proposal were local and regional passenger rail advocates. Several advocacy organizations from around the region and the nation, including the National Corridors Initiative (NCI), have endorsed the original plan which calls for any new rail capacity to have access to the existing Penn Station, rather than a separate deep terminal.

Advocate representatives criticized the timing of the vote, which came at the last NJT Board meeting before Corzine is scheduled to leave office next month. His opponent, Governor-elect Chris Christie campaigned on a platform of fiscal restraint, claiming that New Jersey must bring its budget under control by eliminating wasteful spending.

Rail advocates consider this project as a “litmus test” for the Christie administration, since the state could save $3 billion (the estimated cost of the deep-cavern terminal) by bringing any new track capacity into the existing Penn Station. They say that bringing this capacity into the existing Penn Station will also improve rail infrastructure and connectivity. The “Penn Station First” Plan favored by local rail advocates has gained momentum among their colleagues around the nation (see D:F 11-30-09). Advocates claim that this is a rare opportunity for the State of New Jersey to save money and improve performance at the same time. The project also drew criticism as a job-creation program for New York workers, not New Jersey workers and, in any event, as an unwise use for scarce dollars.

James T. Raleigh, Chair of the Lackawanna Coalition’s political committee, said: “We have suggested that the connection of the ARC tunnel with the existing New York Penn Station is a quicker and less costly solution than the implementation that you are considering today.” He continued: “With the changes in the economy and the changes in the office and residential building markets, the use of such large sums of New Jersey’s taxpayers’ money could be better used for more rail commuter service and more frequent operations.”

One advocacy organization disagreed with the others. Peter S. Palmer, Chair of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) praised the NJT proposal as finally giving riders on the Raritan Valley Line direct access to Manhattan. The line, historically the Central Railroad of New Jersey, originally took riders to a terminal in Jersey City, where they caught ferries to lower Manhattan. The line was rerouted to Newark’s Penn Station in 1967, but CNJ riders still had to change there for trains to Penn Station, New York. That operation continues today, and the RVRC has always considered direct access to some location in Midtown Manhattan to be a top priority.

New Jersey Network, the state’s public television and radio network, said that the progress of the NJT plan may be irreversible, reporting that Governor-elect Christie favors it. Nonetheless, rail advocates look forward to showing Christie and his transportation advisors how the State can save money under the Penn Station First plan.

Joseph M. Clift of the Regional Rail Working Group questioned the availability of funds for the project when the time comes for the work to be done. He asked the Board to identify specific sources of funding to cover the $10.4 billion price tag for the tunnel and Portal Bridge projects and asked if New Jersey could afford such an expensive project, given the financial realities that the State faces. His questions remained unanswered last Wednesday, and they remain unanswered today.

Clift noted that all of the contracts which NJT awards are “subject to availability of funds.” Rail advocates continue to wonder if a lack of funds will eventually be the driving force behind eventual approval of the Penn Station First plan, rather than the expensive NJT plan approved last Wednesday. Many transit projects, including the Second Avenue Subway in New York City, were shelved during the 1930s, due to lack of money to build them. The current economic downturn could produce similar cutbacks over the next few years.

David Peter Alan is Chair of the Lackawanna Coalition and one of the rail advocates who objected to the approval of the contracts that were approved by the NJT Board.


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

 

Model AMTRAK Train To Circle
National Christmas Tree

From Amtrak

Located On The Ellipse, Just South Of The White House, The National Christmas Tree
Has Been A Part Of The Holiday Season Since 1923.

WASHINGTON – Model trains are as much a part of the holiday season as candy canes and stockings, and this year Amtrak is honored to have a model train representing America’s railroad operating beneath the most famous Christmas tree of all – the National Christmas Tree.

Working with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the National Christmas Tree Railroad, Amtrak has provided one of several model trains that will circle the 42-foot Colorado Spruce several thousand times during the holiday season, making its final run at the end of December.

The Amtrak model train is 1:22.5 in scale and includes two GE Genesis P42 diesel locomotives and four single-level Amfleet passenger cars plus a café car. The model represents Amtrak Northeast Regional service south of Washington, D.C. and Midwest Corridor service where the trains operate using this type of equipment.

“Amtrak is pleased to be a part of one of nation’s most treasured holiday traditions,” said Emmett Fremaux, Amtrak’s vice president of marketing and product development. “We hope a visit to the National Christmas Tree to see our model train will pique interest among kids of all ages to choose traveling by train on their next trip.”

About Amtrak

As the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer, greener and healthier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph—to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the operator of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for four commuter rail agencies. Visit Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.


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EVENTS... Events...

Urban Pathways To
Liveable Communities

Building Partnerships For
Healthy Neighborhoods

Feb. 25 & 26, 2010
New Orleans, LA

Click Here For
More Information


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SAFETY LINES... Safety Lines...  

National Firm Brought On Board To Assess
MBTA Infrastructure Needs

Transportation Secretary Mullan Cites Swift Action To Address D’Alessandro Report

From An MBTA Press Release

Acting swiftly to address the issues raised in David D’Allesandro’s review of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Authority today executed a contract with one of the transit industry’s most respected safety and security consulting firms. Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) will perform an independent assessment of the MBTA’s evaluation and prioritization of capital projects, with a focus on safety issues. Philadelphia-based TRA has been providing expertise and solutions to transit agencies throughout North America for nearly twenty years.

MBTA Aquarium Station - Inbound

Photo: MBTA.Com

A 6-car Blue Line train set arrives at the New England Aquarium Station to detrain passengers on the inbound (to Boston) platform. In this view we are looking back toward the tunnel that crosses under Boston Harbor. Note the passenger platform is at an incline and the train is still traveling upward from the deep harbor crossing.

“It’s become very clear that the MBTA needs to develop and implement a better system for examining requests for capital spending, and determining the best methods for maximizing our limited resources,” said Acting MBTA General Manager William Mitchell. “With the help of the experienced and talented professionals at TRA, the MBTA will be in a stronger position to make informed decisions about the needs of the transit system, and how they should be prioritized.”

“Safety and customer service must be our top priorities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. “The MBTA and MassDOT have moved swiftly to address the findings of the D’Allesandro report by developing an action plan that will protect our customers today and well into the future.”

The assessment will address the key points raised in the D’Allesandro report:


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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...

Source: MarketWatch.com

   This
Week
Previous
Week
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe(BNI)98.5898.66
Canadian National (CNI)54.3254.15
Canadian Pacific (CP)53.4250.85
CSX (CSX)48.9450.13
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)32.2633.40
Kansas City Southern (KSU)29.6129.56
Norfolk Southern (NSC)52.2252.84
Providence & Worcester (PWX)11.4510.75
Union Pacific (UNP)64.1865.22


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TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT... Transit-Oriented Development...  

New Garage At Wonderland Station Is
Cornerstone To Broader TOD Plans.

By DF Staff and MBTA Press Release

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the newly formed MassDOT has announced in a special ceremony that it is pressing forward with a new parking garage at the Wonderland Station stop in Revere, MA. Wonderland Station is the present terminus for the MBTA’s Blue Line transit line.

Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman Ed Markey and Mayor Tom Ambrosino announced plans to build the Wonderland parking garage project which will manifest as the result of a mix of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and MBTA bond revenue financing.

The funding plan gives the green light to the planned 9-story, 1,900 space South Garage Parking Facility at Wonderland station that is ready to begin construction in 2010 and will support Waterfront Square, a critical smart growth and transit-oriented development project.

“I am proud to stand here today with Congressman Markey to launch a project that will create jobs for today and tomorrow and bring long-term economic benefits to the city of Revere,” said Governor Patrick. “The Wonderland parking garage will improve access to the MBTA and bolster the Waterfront Square development, a project that promises to ignite new housing and commercial opportunities in this vital community.”

Gov deval Patrick (MA) and Sec of Trans Jeff Mullan

Photo: MBTA.Com

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Left) and State Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Mullan ride the Blue Line to Wonderland Station for the ceremony.

“The Wonderland Station project is at the heart of what the Economic Recovery Act is all about, putting people back to work in the near term while creating hundreds of permanent jobs right here in Revere,” said Congressman Markey, the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. “This project will build from strength to strength, creating thousands of construction jobs, while paving the way for hundreds of permanent jobs as we create a world-class development at Waterfront Square.”

“This is a great example of federal, state and municipal government coming together to support the long-term economic development of the City of Revere,” said Mayor Ambrosino. “I want to thank Governor Patrick and Congressman Markey for supporting this transformational project which has been a top priority of mine for many years.”

“This project will rejuvenate a vital section of Revere and provide jobs at a time when we need them most,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “I’m happy that the project has received the necessary funding to help transform this area into a transportation hub that will provide easier access to points in Greater Boston and beyond.”

The garage is a cornerstone project that will improve access to the MBTA and support the Waterfront Square development, one of the premiere transit oriented developments planned and promoted by the Commonwealth under the leadership of Governor Patrick, Congressman Markey, Speaker DeLeo, legislators and the City of Revere. It is a planned mixed-use community of 902 residential units, 145,500 square feet of office space, a 100-room hotel and 28,000 square feet of retail space. An estimated nearly 700 permanent jobs will be created as a result of the Waterfront Square project, and the parking garage stands to create 500 construction jobs.

The total garage construction budget is $47 million. In addition to the ARRA funding and MBTA bond revenue, the project’s financing plan calls for capital support through $3 million in remaining federal Surface Transportation earmarks and $10 million from a state MORE grant awarded to the City of Revere. Financial analyses undertaken indicate that parking revenues derived from the new garage will exceed the cost of the MBTA’s borrowing of the $11.3 million and, in fact, will generate additional net revenues.


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ACROSSTHEPOND... Across The Pond...  

Installments by David Beale
NCI Foreign Editor

 

Third Track To Be Built Along Part Of Busy
Hannover – Hamburg Rail Corridor

Construction of €  285 million (US$ 450 million) Project Begins This Weekend

Berlin – Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) announced on the 11th of December in a press release targeted primarily at residents and business along the Luneburg – Stelle section of the busy Hamburg – Celle – Hannover rail corridor, that construction would immediately commence on the line, and therefore local residents can expect to see and hear heavy construction activity along the route. The 27 km (17 mile) section of the rail corridor will be three-tracks wide when the project is finished in 2014.

Freight yard in Maschen between Lüneburg and Hamburg

Photo: Deutsche Bahn AG

The freight hub of Europe – view of just one section of the massive rail freight yard in Maschen between Lüneburg and Hamburg, Germany in 2007.

The rail corridor is one of the most heavily traveled rail lines in Germany and provides a critical link to the Hamburg seaport, one of Europe’s largest container freight shipping terminals, and to Maschen, Europe’s largest rail freight classification yard, to much of Germany, Austria and points further south. The freight yard at Maschen is currently undergoing upgrades to install microprocessor controlled freight car switching and identification systems as well as modifications to permit the assembly and handling of 835 meter (2740 ft.) long freight trains traveling to and from Padborg, Denmark, on the norther border of Germany.

In addition to expected increases of freight train operations, the state of Lower Saxony plans to increase the frequency of regional trains along the line, which today are generally operated on an hourly service by independent rail operator Metronom under contract to the state government as well as numerous intercity (IC) and intercity express (ICE) passenger trains operated by the long-distance passenger division of Deutsche Bahn.

Due to existing German laws and regulations which stipulate the installation of sound reduction measures whenever a rail line is significantly altered or expanded, about 17 km of sound barrier walls will be installed. A total of 52 bridges and overpasses will be modified or rebuilt to accommodate the third track.


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Construction Start In February 2010 For “Stuttgart 21”
Underground Main Train Station

Controversial Project Enters Critical Phase

Stuttgart – The Stuttgart 21 project management office issued a press release this past week to announce that construction of the controversial mega-project would start this coming February. Some construction work for preparation of marshaling sites for tunneling equipment, drainage relocation of certain utilities already started earlier this year. Stuttgart 21 is the project name for two separate but related projects: the conversion of the existing surface level Stuttgart passenger train terminal (analogous to Boston’s South Station) into an underground through station (similar to New York’s Penn Station) and a new high-speed rail line from Stuttgart to Ulm. The entire project is aimed at creating a continuous high speed rail corridor that stretches from Paris via Stuttgart to Munich, Vienna and Budapest – the historic route of the “Orient Express”, which ends service completely this week, possibly forever, after being cut-back and reduced in scope of services over the past three decades.

The latest cost estimates now show the entire project coming in with a price tag of €  4.1 billion (US $ 6 billion), which is far below what the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof and related north-south rail connector tunnel project costed in the German capitol during 1995 – 2006, although the latter included construction of two other rail stations in addition to the new main station in central Berlin along with the relocation of a major city street from surface level into an underground and under-river tunnel.


Image from VCD

21st century train station – but can it handle 21st century train passenger increases? Computer generated image of proposed underground central train station in Stuttgart.

The Stuttgart 21 project has attracted fierce opposition from various corners of the political spectrum in Germany, including from areas familiar to most American readers, i.e. anti-tax /anti-government spending lobbies as well as local NIMBY groups from areas which will be directly affected by the construction. Perhaps most surprising is the opposition the project has attracted from powerful passenger rail advocacy groups such as Pro Bahn and Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) and the German Green Party. The groups adamantly oppose the portion of the project related to re-making Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof into an underground through station on the grounds that the cost/benefit ratio is far out of proportion and the immense project cost will divert limited financial resources from other critical passenger and freight rail projects in Germany.

Several passenger rail advocate organizations and pro-transit groups also have voiced strenuous concerns about the capacity of the proposed underground central station with just four island-configured rail platforms and eight tracks verses nine platforms and seventeen tracks in the existing Stuttgart terminal. By comparison, the main station in Hannover, a significantly smaller city than Stuttgart, has six island platforms in the main station, New York’s Penn Station has 11 island platforms, Hamburg’s main station has five island platforms plus an additional island platform underground for the S-Bahn commuter rail line.


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CORRECTIONS... Corrections...  

We issue this correction to our story last week (Dec. 7, 2009 - D:F Vol. 10, No. 51) on special holiday trains to Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Rail was not instrumental in founding the Northern Flyer Alliance, based in Wichata, Kansas.  The two organizations are independent of each other, although they share a common goal of extending the Heartland Flyer north from Oklahoma City, toward Newton and Kansas City.

- David Peter Alan


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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.

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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 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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