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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December 15, 2008
Vol. 9 No. 52

Copyright © 2008
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved

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

  News Items…
Statement By The Bipartisan Policy Center’s National
   Transportation Policy Project
Vermont To Keep Amtrak Service
  Ridership Lines…
Transit Ridership Gains Continue In Third Quarter ‘08
  Off The Main Line…
Northwest To Resume Hartford - Amsterdam Flights
  Across The Pond…
New Train Connections Start With Annual
   Train / Bus Schedule Revision
France’s AGV Hits 360 Km/H In High Speed Tests
German High Court Overturns Elimination Of Tax Deduction
   For Commuters
  Selected Rail Stocks …
  Guest Editorial…
It’s Time To Enhance, Not Cut, Amtrak Service In Vermont
Build America. Build, America.
The Need For Speed! - Regional Transportation Forum In New London
January 9, 2009 - Contact Now to Register!
  Webmaster Notes…
Happy Holidays - Next regular edition in January 5, 2009.
  Publication Notes …

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

Regarding Proposed Economic Stimulus Bill


Statement By The Bipartisan Policy Center’s
National Transportation Policy Project

WASHINGTON --- In response to the growing debate about a stimulus bill, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) National Transportation Policy Project (NTPP) urges Congress to put Americans to work immediately on transportation investments that protect the nation’s economic prosperity and competitiveness.

The likelihood that a major stimulus bill will be enacted early next year creates a unique opportunity to undertake a transportation infrastructure investment program that generates good secure jobs for American workers immediately and produces long-term growth for the nation’s businesses. Transportation is essential in enabling economic activity and enhancing the productivity of businesses and workers. However, simply following historical funding approaches runs the risk of failing to use taxpayer funds wisely. Reform should accompany the stimulus effort because not all transportation investments are created equal. NTPP proposes the following guidelines for transportation stimulus funds:

The NTPP is a broad coalition of policy experts, business and civic leaders chaired by former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer, former New York Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, former Washington Senator Slade Gorton, and former Minnesota Congressman Martin Sabo. Its members are currently developing a long-term vision for the federal role in transportation policy, with a report due out early next year. NTPP is a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

About the Bipartisan Policy Center:

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole, and Mitchell formed the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to develop and promote solutions that can attract the public support and political momentum to achieve real progress. The BPC acts as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics, and business leaders in the art of principled compromise. For more information please visit our website:

For further information on the NTPP, contact: Eileen McMenamin, Director of Communications at:

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Proposed Cuts Abandoned


Vermont To Keep Amtrak Service

From Internet Sources

MONTPELIER --- Vermont leaders have decided not to cut support for the state’s Amtrak passenger rail service, Vermont’s rail program manager said this past week, in response to rumors and firestorm of criticism from New England rail supporters.

Robert Ide said that while the state’s support for Amtrak had indeed been on the chopping block as Vermont worked to close a budget shortfall similar to many found around the United States at this time of economic distress, subsidies had been among the cuts considered as the state tries to close a budget gap, but “We’ve decided not to do it,” according to local press reports.

NCI sources confirmed the decision, but warned of future problems if funding sources are not given high priority for rail service. Vermont’s Vermonter and Ethan Allan Express are supported by state grants of $5 million per year, a small fraction of the cost of maintaining and operating the interstate highways, and state and local roads, in Vermont.

“It is encouraging that Vermont officials, who have given bi-partisan support to rail service for many years, are standing fast on this,” said NCI President James P. RePass in commenting on the news.

[ Other key rail advocates noted that given ridership increases and the unpredictable nature of gasoline and fuel oil prices, it would make sense to expand rail service rather than cut it; see the Rail Travel Center Carl Fowler’s Guest Editorial “It’s Time to Enhance Amtrak Service in Vermont” elsewhere in this issue of D:F ]

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RIDERSHIP LINES... Ridership Lines...

Transit Ridership Gains Continue In Third Quarter ‘08

From American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 9 - Despite the rapid drop in gas prices in recent months, ridership on public transit did not decline in the third quarter of 2008. The American Public Transportation Association announced a posting by transit agencies across the country of 2.8 billion trips, a 6.5 percent increase compared to third-quarter 2007’s count. This represents the largest quarterly increase in 25 years, said APTA spokesperson.

In 2007, transit ridership reached a record 10.3 billion trips, and it looks as though 2008 is going to surpass that: in the first quarter of 08 ridership increased 3.4 percent over last year and in the second quarter, there was a 5.2 percent increase.

Broken out by modes for the third quarter ‘08 - light-rail ridership increased 8.5 percent, commuter rail ridership rose 6.3 percent, and heavy rail ridership increased 5.2 percent.

In some major cities, gains were significant:

Light rail: Baltimore (19.6 percent), Minneapolis (18.3 percent); Sacramento, Calif. (16.5 percent); New Jersey (15.9 percent); Los Angeles (15.3 percent); Dallas (15.2 percent); Denver (15 percent); Buffalo, N.Y. (13.4 percent); and Memphis, Tenn. (13.3 percent).

Commuter rail: Albuquerque, N.M. (35.8 percent); Pompano Beach, Fla. (32.9 percent); New Haven, Conn. (32.2 percent); Portland, Maine (29.6 percent); Oakland, Calif. (26.1 percent); Stockton, Calif. (22.5 percent); Seattle (22.4 percent); Philadelphia/Harrisburg, Pa. (21.7 percent); Dallas (18.8 percent); Los Angeles (17 percent); and San Carlos, Calif. (16.4 percent).

Major gains in heavy rail were reported in L.A. (14.1 percent); San Juan, Puerto Rico (13.5 percent); Lindenwold, N.J. (13.3 percent); Miami (12.2 percent); and Atlanta (11.3 percent).

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

Northwest To Resume Hartford - Amsterdam Flights

From The Hartford Courant

WINDSOR LOCKS --- Hartford is once again to be an international gateway to Europe, as Northwest Airlines, soon to be Delta Northwest, has decided to restore service to Amsterdam.

“In a surprise announcement to a business group, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said” this past week “…that nonstop, transatlantic airline flights will resume from Bradley International Airport to Amsterdam,” reported the Hartford Courant’s Christopher Keating this past week.

“The once-popular flights had stopped in October because of skyrocketing fuel prices, but the recent collapse in prices has led to the resumption, officials said,” said the Courant.

“When an airline cancels service, it is rarely resumed - especially one that is international,” Rell told about 300 business executives at the Marriott hotel at the state’s convention center in downtown Hartford, the Courant reported. “I may have to take a flight to Amsterdam.”

Rell told the crowd that she had an announcement to make, and she called state Transportation Commissioner Joseph F. Marie and Bradley airport chairman L. Scott Frantz of Greenwich to the stage before making her statement. “Not everything is doom and gloom. Trust me,” Rell said. When the announcement was made, the crowd of business travelers burst into sustained applause, reported the Courant.

The flights will run five times a week, except on Tuesday and Friday in each direction. The outgoing flights will leave Bradley at 5:40 p.m. and arrive in Amsterdam at 6:50 a.m. on the following morning.

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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...


Burlington Northern & Santa Fe(BNI)71.3874.68
Canadian National (CNI)33.1434.02
Canadian Pacific (CP)32.9330.84
CSX (CSX)31.8534.15
Florida East Coast (FLA)62.5162.51
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)28.5529.54
Kansas City Southern (KSU)17.5818.81
Norfolk Southern (NSC)44.5246.14
Providence & Worcester (PWX)10.7610.00
Union Pacific (UNP)42.8147.49

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ACROSSTHEPOND... Across The Pond...

By David Beale, NCI Foreign Correspondent


New Train Connections Start With Annual Train / Bus Schedule Revision

Numerous Changes and Additions as the 2009 Train and Bus Schedule Goes Into Effect Across Europe

As is the case every year, the second full weekend in December marks the annual change over to the new time tables and schedules for the coming year. This year the magic date is the 14th of December, when new or revised passenger train and bus schedules take effect from the rocky shore of Ireland and Britain to the southern European coastline along the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and even in Russia and several Central Asian countries beyond Europe’s frontiers.

Some highlights:

With the start of S-Bahn commuter train operations to Hildesheim from Hannover comes the publication of a state government study that concludes that further expansion or additions to the Hannover S-Bahn commuter train network will not be cost effective. The same study states that the state government can look forward to savings of nearly 20% when the Hannover S-Bahn operations contract between the Lower Saxony state government and DB Regio comes up for renewal and re-bidding in 2012-13. Under the existing contract the State of Lower Saxony pays Deutsche Bahn EUR 62.5 million (US $81 million) annually to operate the S-Bahn commuter train network in the greater Hannover area. About 75% of this amount is covered by local train ticket sales, monthly pass sales and other ticket revenue; the rest comes from the state’s transportation budget. Hannover is the state capital of Lower Saxony, as well as its largest city.

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France’s AGV Hits 360 Km/H In High Speed Tests

New High-Tech EMU Is Successor To French TGV

Source: Lok Report

LORRAINE, FRANCE – Engineers from Alstom and various rail regulatory agencies monitored the performance of the prototype AGV high speed train as it achieved 360 km/h (224 mph) on the LGV Est high speed rail line last week. This is the same stretch of rail line on which a customized TGV train set a new world speed record for trains back in April 2007.

AGV prototype at InnoTrans 2008 in Berlin.

NCI file photo by David Beale

AGV prototype at InnoTrans 2008 in Berlin.

The AGV is derived from France’s highly successful TGV train series, but with a very important difference: it is essentially an EMU or all-wheel-drive configuration, without separate locomotives or power cars, unlike all previous TGV train models. Although the French state railroad SNCF has not yet order the AGV, it is expected to order at least 8 – 10 train sets in the next year, according to industry sources. The launch customer for the AGV is the private passenger rail operator NTV in Italy, who ordered 25 train sets with an option for 10 more. The AGV had been in the running to fill an order for 15 high speed trains for Deutsche Bahn, but the German rail operator recently signed a letter of intent to purchase more ICE-3 train sets from Siemens / Bombardier instead of AGV train sets from Alstom.

The AGV prototype will move to Italy in early 2009 in order to start licensing and certification approval testing for final approval for the Italian rail network.

Inside AGV’s “cockpit” – InnoTrans 2008 in Berlin.

NCI file photo by David Beale

Inside AGV’s “cockpit” – InnoTrans 2008 in Berlin.

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German High Court Overturns Elimination Of Tax Deduction For Commuters

Constitutional Court Decision Means EUR 5 Billion Tax Refund To Automobile Commuters

KARLSRUHE, GERMANY – Germany’s equivalent high court to the United States Supreme Court struck down a law passed in 2006 by Germany’s parliament that eliminated most of the tax deduction for automobile expenses that commuters had enjoyed for decades until the new law took effect in 2007. The law had all but eliminated a significant tax write-off, which allowed taxpayers to deduct a certain rate per kilometer driven to and from their place of employment. In order to get support from certain members of parliament for passage, especially the Green Party, the law kept in-place tax deductions for bus, tram and train tickets and monthly passes issued by various local transit authorities across Germany. The law was part of a series of measures to enhance tax revenues in order to reduce the federal deficit in Germany.

The law was almost immediately challenged in court upon taking effect in 2007. Several individual plaintiffs as well as certain taxpayer associations and automobile clubs sued the German government with the complaint that the new law violated constitutional provisions of equal protection and anti-discrimination by arguing that the elimination of the income tax deduction only for automobile commuters was an act of discrimination agsinst those who are unable to use public transit to commute to where they work. Studies indicate that among Germany’s working population, slightly over 50% commute to work directly by automobile or drive an automobile to get to a train station or bus stop to continue to their place of work.

The German Constitutional Court listened to arguments and reviewed briefs filed by both the Government and by numerous plaintiffs for most of 2008 and delivered its decision last week: that the new law was unconstitutional. The court decision takes effect retroactively back to when the new law took effect, thus re-instating the tax deduction for 2007 and 2008 as well as into the future. The decision means that the German federal government will now have to refund upwards of EUR 5 billion (US $ 6.5 billion) to commuters for tax years 2007 and 2008.

The court decision brought predictable reactions from members of parliament, with those on the left-leaning SPD, Neue Linke, and Green Parties expressing massive disappointment with the decision, while members of the more conservative and libertarian CDU/CSU and FDP parties expressed their approval as a victory for heavily burdened German workers and taxpayers. A number of Green Party members stated that the income tax deduction for automobile commuters continues a heavy bias in German politics towards the automobile and highway construction industries.

The A2 Autobahn freeway, shown here at the Wunstorf-Kolenfeld exit, between Hannover and the Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany

Photo from May 2005 by David Beale

Highway to Hell? Yes, according to the German Green Party – the A2 autobahn / freeway, shown here at the Wunstorf – Kolenfeld exit, between Hannover and the Rhine / Ruhr region is one of the heaviest traveled roads in Germany. Kolenfeld was once a source of coal and other mined minerals from the early 19th century until the mid 20th century, supplying coal to Germany’s massive fleets of steam locomotives and steam ships and to steel mills in the western part of the country. By the early 70s, as the coal ran out and as Germany’s railroads switched over to electric and diesel traction, coal mining in the area near Kolenfeld came to an end. Today Kolenfeld has gone back to farming, horse ranching and being a preferred Hannover suburban town due to its excellent connection to the A2 autobahn / freeway, as its primary means of making a living.

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GUESTE DITORIAL... Guest Editorial...  

It’s Time To Enhance, Not Cut,
Amtrak Service In Vermont

By Carl H. Fowler
Vice President, General Manager
Rail Travel Center

It was very disturbing to see the recent media articles suggesting that the Vermont Agency of Transportation was flirting with massive cuts in Vermont’s Amtrak services. Most particularly, it’s alarming in the face of the unprecedented recent ridership gains on our trains, just as the federal government is making new commitments to support Amtrak. Our Congressional delegation just got language into the new Amtrak authorization making Vermont/Amtrak projects like the purchase of new diesel multiple unit cars potentially eligible for 80% Federal funding.

Patronage on the St. Albans/Essex Jct.—Washington DC VERMONTER grew 17.1% in FY 2008. The Rutland-New York ETHAN ALLEN grew 17.5%. The total ridership of 119,536 for FY 2008 represents over 19% of the population of this state! Even in the off-season month of November, after gas prices dropped, the VERMONTER gained 9.6% and the ETHAN ALLEN 5.2%.

We “invest” in highways and “subsidize” rail, but I submit that both are really the same. When did Vermonters last get a dividend check from I-89? Cutting Amtrak now would be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Rather, we should be looking for ways to expand Amtrak. An immediate reinstatement of the St. Albans-Montreal Ambus connection will add a minimum of 30 passengers per day to the train, cover all incremental expenses, and add ridership of 15% to the VERMONTER route, while increasing rail revenues by at least $500,000 per year, with no increase in train costs. Similarly the state supported bus services from Newport and St. Johnsbury to White River Jct. and Middlebury to Rutland should be routed via the train depots and coordinated with train schedules, with joint ticketing.

Longer-term, a tremendous opportunity exists to cut operating costs, increase service frequencies and enhance Amtrak patronage by completing the project to re-equip the trains with new diesel multiple unit equipment (DMUs). DMUs better than double fuel efficiency, provide a more comfortable ride and can run faster schedules. We already have a $2,000,000 Amtrak grant to help with this project and may now qualify for much greater Federal support.

The proposal to reduce services is questionable not only financially, but logistically as well. Cutting back the VERMONTER to run only south of White River Jct. is particularly ill-conceived. At least 40% of the train’s riders originate at stations north of there. Worse, even if there was some case for dropping all service to St. Albans, Essex Jct. /Burlington, Waterbury/Stowe, Montpelier and Randolph, we can’t service the train at White River Jct. The round-house there burned to the ground earlier this year. Because of this the train would have to run empty nightly White River Jct. to St. Albans to be cleaned, serviced, fueled and given proper safety checks.

We need to focus on expanding Amtrak, not cutting it. We’re seeing the trains grow with virtually no focused marketing. As a result, Vermonters have better access to public transit, less fossil fuel is being burned by automobiles, and the state is creating long-term financial stability for the rail system. Imagine what we can do if we coordinate our existing services, market within the state and leverage Federal funds to enhance our train service. Now is the time to grow, not cut, Amtrak in Vermont.

[ The author is VP/General Manager of Rail Travel Center, a Vermont-based operator of tours by train worldwide. This letter reflects his views as a rail service promoter. He is also a member of the Vermont Rail Advisory Council; however this letter is NOT a statement of opinion by the Vermont Rail Council. ]

For further information contact:
The Rail Travel Center,125 Main Street, PO Box 206
Putney, Vermont 05346
Telephone: (800) 458-5394 USA/Canada, (802) 387-5812; fax: (802) 387-4350 FAX; website:

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EDITORIAL... Editorial...  

Both Bootstraps And Billions Are Needed


Build America. Build, America

By DF Staff

Over the next few weeks and months this nation will either make it, or break it, either setting itself on the way to recovery from the deep hole Wall Street and its ideological friends in Washington have spent the last 30 years digging for America --- even as they reduced their own taxes to nothingness --- or plunging us into the kind of economic death spiral that accompanies the collapse of all great empires.

A major focus of the current debate on how to best navigate these treacherous waters has been the proposed stimulus package, as yet undefined, which right now has many authors and as many aspects as it does authors. On January 20 we will finally gain a leader who understands the issues and is prepared to confront them, and with all of us pulling together for the common good instead of for the favored few; this time, we can begin to right the American ship.

One thing, though, that should be paramount, must be ensuring that the large infrastructure projects that are chosen as the vehicles for re-investment in building America’s future, as a part of this stimulus, are not simply ancient proposals and projects that have languished on state department of transportation “TIP” lists for a decade or more, because in large measure these aged projects will be exactly the wrong thing to do.

Here is where an understanding both of transportation politics, and of the way America has in the past funded its major transportation projects and prioritized which ones get built, is essential. Wisdom too often is, as they say, recognizing a mistake as you’re making it again.

In the United States for the better part of the last century and so far too much of this one, the highway lobby has written the laws which determine which transportation projects get built, and which don’t. Not surprisingly, they have written legislation, starting with the National Highway Act of 1916, through the Interstate Highway Bill of 1956, and continuing to the present day, which slants the process towards the construction of highways, especially new lanes of capacity. States that agree to build new highways get a 90% federal reimbursement from the Highway Trust Fund (gas tax); those wanting to repair existing roads, or build new alternative systems such as transit, are lucky to get 50%, and often get nothing at all from the Feds.

This is the “color of money” argument that makes it so difficult, politically, for governors to support anything but highway construction: if you could leverage 10% of your state tax money with 90% of someone else’s tax money for one kind of project, but have to spend 100% of your own money on another less-favored project, which project are you going to build?

But it gets worse. In an attempt to gain some control over the highway lobby, Congress in 1991 passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991, or ISTEA, that among other things strengthened the role of Metropolitan Planning Organizations in setting priorities for making transportation funding decisions. While a good idea in and of itself, what has happened in practice is that projects that don’t have real support, but because they are 90% funded if they are built, stay on the list of favored projects – after all, it’s 90% someone else’s money – while transit projects never make it at all, or if they do, require bonds, or local referenda, to come up with new local matching funds --- politically difficult, especially when the highway lobby sends paid shills to lie about local transit projects in order to kill them at the ballot box.

What does this all mean?

There are hundreds of dumb highway projects, such as the proposed extension of a multi-lane Route 11 in Connecticut and the widening of I-95 to the Rhode Island border, which are being pushed by the asphalt lobby and by the politicians who agree with them, and which stay alive even though Governors or other political leaders recognize that they will not work as advertised, cost far too much, and/or will destroy the local environment/quality of life. But since its 90% money, well, on the list it stays. And sometimes, gets built. In the case of Route 11, it has been pointed out that its cost of over $1 billion (at least!) will take a big chunk of Connecticut’s transportation budget, in return for about eight miles of road. In combination with an on-going Route I-95 widening project and bridge in New Haven, it will foreclose all transportation options for Connecticut. Yet it stays on the list, and the White House has even tried to “Fast Track” the project despite major and well documented environmental harm. Every state in America has its own “Route 11,” and their proponents want them to be included on the President’s stimulus list because they’ve been around for so long.

Project proposal longevity does not mean that a project should be built. It means that it should get a hard look.

And more.

We need a completely new way to finance and prioritize transportation projects in America, one that does not rely upon vestiges of the highway lobby apparat. Fortunately, the incoming Obama Administration shows signs of understanding that; the President-elect has appointed people to his transition team who know how to think outside the box when it comes to transportation, and who very much understand the project longevity issue

They and the new president should be supported in this understanding. One way to do that is to contact your Governor and let them know that just because a highway project has been on the state TIP or other list as someone’s pet for a decade or so doesn’t make it a good project, even if it looks like it is ready for “shovels in the ground.”

And, secondly, encourage the new President to do what Charles DeGaulle did when confronted with a France in economic difficulty in the 1960’s and facing a competitive world: build railroads. The rest of Europe followed suit, as have China and India. If we want to get out of the economic abyss we look into today, we better build, and build now, a transportation system that actually works.

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EVENTS... Events...  

We need you at. . .


A Regional Transportation Forum presented by
The Sierra Club New England Transportation Committee
The National Corridors Initiative

Friday, January 9, 2009, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Radisson Hotel, Governor Winthrop Boulevard, New London, CT

$25.00 Registration Fee


Let’s Get Going On Better Rail NYC to Boston and Beyond!

You’ll here from. . .

  • CT Asst. Maj. Leader David McCluskey
  • United States Senator Chris Dodd (invited)
  • RI Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts (invited)
  • CLF of New Hampshire’s Tom Irwin
  • APT President Richard Arena
  • New London Main Street’s Penny Parsekian
  • NCI President Jim RePass
  • Tri-State Transportation’s Ryan Lynch
  • North-South Rail Link Chair John Businger
  • CT State Senate Pres. Don Williams (invited)
  • Connecticut Department of Transportation
  • Shore Line East Admin. Peter Richter
  • CT Transit’s Karen Burnaska
  • TrainRiders NE President Wayne Davis
To talk about. . .

  • Expanded Shore Line East Service
  • Commuter Rail New London - Worcester
  • Working Together as A Region
  • Access to the Region’s Core
  • Downtown Revitalization and Rail
  • Extending RI Commuter Service to Kingston
  • Getting ConnDOT to “fix it first”
  • New Haven / Hartford / Springfield commuter service and beyond
  • The North/South Rail Link
  • Connecting North and South Stations
  • Creating a new Regionwide Rail System
  • The Downeaster: Connecting Southern and
              Northern New England by Rail

  • ... and more

RSVP: Molly McKay   (860) 536-5480

This forum will focus on the rail and transit projects in the Northeast that are “low-hanging-fruit,” and what we can do to help move them forward. We will explore how highways and rail are funded and how the current system has crippled transportation in America. There is opportunity NOW with a stimulus package being put together in Washington to demand action from our delegation by using that funding to improve and expand rail and transit systems.

To register, mail a check for $25.00 payable to:
National Corridors Initiative c/o Molly McKay, 8 Riverbend Drive Mystic, CT 06355

Or email or fax credit card information and authorization for $25.00 to:, fax: 860-536-5482,
listing: Type of Card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), Name on Card,
Card Number, Expiration Date plus your mailing address, street, city or town, zip code,
And authorization in the amount of $25.00

Travelers’ Note: this hotel is within easy walking distance of New London Union Station and Intercity Bus Service.
The conference is scheduled to coincide with train schedules.

Co-sponsors to date:
Connecticut League of Women Voters, League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut, New London Landmarks, New London Main Street, Conservation Law Foundation, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, CT Citizens Transportation Lobby

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WEBMASTER NOTES... Webmaster Notes...

The staff of The National Corridors Initiative, Inc., extends to all of its readership and supporters our wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season, with hopes for a better and prosperous New Year.

This edition of Destination: Freedom, is our last regular editon for calendar 2008. We will resume regular publication with the January 5, 2009 edition after the holidays.

We will publish select hot news items if deemed appropriate by the publisher during our break time of course, so check back throughout the holiday season.


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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.

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

Photo submissions are welcome. NCI is always interested in images that demonstrate the positive aspects of rail, transit, intermodalism, transportation-oriented development, and current newsworthy events associated with our mission. Please contact the webmaster in advance of sending large images so we can recommend attachment by e-mail or grant direct file transfer protocols (FTP) access depending on size. Descriptive text which includes location and something about the content of the image is required. We will credit the photographer and offer a return link to your web site or e-mail address.

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.

Destination Freedom is partially funded by the Surdna Foundation, and other contributors.

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