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A Weekly North American Transportation Update

Publisher:  James P. RePass
Managing Editor:  Molly N. McKay
Foreign Editor:  David Beale
Contributing Editor:  David Peter Alan
Webmaster:  Dennis Kirkpatrick
 
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and elected or appointed officials at all levels of government

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December 10, 2012
Vol. 13 No. 49

Copyright © 2012
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Our 13th Newsletter Year

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

  Commentary…
Boston Conference Explores Funding For
   Rail Corridor Operating Costs
NJT Board Considers A New Type Of Power Car
   And Says “NO” For Now
  News Items…
US DOT Secretary LaHood Blasts House
   HSR Critics In Dramatic Confrontation
Michigan Cities and Towns Responding
   To New High-Speed Amtrak Service
Incoming T&I Chair Bill Shuster Names
   Key Staff For Next Congress
The Lone Star State Getting Still More
   Commuter Rail
 
  Selected Rail Stocks…
  Across The Pond…
Virgin Rail Given 23 Month Extension
  We Get Letters …
  Publication Notes …



COMMENTARY... Commentary...

Boston Conference Explores Funding
For Rail Corridor Operating Costs

By Jim RePass

BOSTON --- The challenge of strengthening America’s rail system in the face of decades of law-making favoring the nation’s long-dominant car culture, now fading, but still entrenched, has been and remains at the core of those who oppose the effort.

Despite a President who has made High-Speed Rail his signature domestic program, and a freight railroad industry that is at last coming into its own again after decades of crushing regulation , ending only in 1980 with the Staggers Act, signed by President Jimmy Carter in October of that year, resistance to publicly-funded rail improvements is still fierce, as demonstrated this past week when Secretary Ray LaHood confronted Congressional leaders in the GOP-controlled House [see separate story]

This past week in Boston, at Northeastern University’s School of Public and Urban Affairs’ Dukakis Center, a lot of original ideas and valuable insights were introduced and discussed at a “Conference on Value Capture,” not only by the speakers, but by an extraordinary audience that included elected officials from throughout New England, senior leadership of Amtrak and of the MBTA/MassDOT, and the private sector, many of whom could easily have exchanged places with the speakers on the podium.

Here is some of what we learned:

Value Capture is the notion that those who benefit most directly from a rail corridor (or any transportation corridor, for that matter) should contribute directly to its long-term upkeep and renewal. It achieves that through the creation of special business or transportation investment zones wherein a pre-determined portion of all the tax revenues generated in that zone goes back to the entity operating the rail system in that corridor.

It’s a fairly simple idea, but requires the cooperation of the towns and cities along the corridor, and legislation to enable such corridors to be formed, unless a state has such legislation in place already. Most states have some, but not all, of such legislation already.

The bottom line: transportation systems can pay for themselves and maintain themselves if and only if the beneficiaries of those systems --- not just the ticket purchasers --- contribute to the upkeep. It can be done, and with some innovative ideas, such as those coming out of Northeastern University’s School of Public and Urban Affairs at conferences like this past week’s, we can successfully and cost-effectively tackle the rebuilding not only of New England’s infrastructure, but lead the way once again in rebuilding America’s.

Editors’ note: More innovative ideas on funding transportation infrastructure are being discussed in the Boston area. The Associated Press last week reported that a coalition of groups will be discussing their recommendations with lawmakers at the Statehouse on Tuesday, December 11. Among the proposals are: a 0.75 payroll tax on workers earning more than $100,000 to help pay for chronically under-funded public transit services in Massachusetts and a more equitable fare structure that would give breaks to low-income riders. The coalition, called Public Transit-Public Good, includes community organizations and labor unions.


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NJT Board Considers A New Type Of Power Car
And Says “NO” For Now

By David Peter Alan

On November 5th, we reported that the October 15th meeting of the Board of Directors of New Jersey Transit could signal the best of times for the decision-making for future riders, along with the worst of times for transit employees, paraphrasing Charles Dickens’ opening of A Tale of Two Cities. It was the worst of times for NJT retirees and non-union employees, whose privilege to ride the system without paying fares, was revoked. Later during the same meeting, the Board surprised everyone by rejecting a management initiative and sending it back to the Capital Planning, Policy and Privatization (CP3) Committee for further study.

We had planned to report this surprise in our November 12th edition, but Hurricane Sandy blew that story “off the page” so to speak. Sandy stopped transit in its tracks for up to a week in New York and up to five weeks in New Jersey. Service on NJT is still not back to normal at this writing, with most rail lines still running on modified schedules. The Gladstone Branch, where service resumed last Monday, is still running only 60% of its pre-storm schedule.

The repercussions from Sandy will continue to provide news for some time, since a U.S. Senate committee is holding hearings on how transit fared in the storm, and so is a committee of the New Jersey Assembly. Still, the October surprise from the NJT Board may have an even greater long-run effect on the Garden State’s transit future than management’s actions concerning the storm.

In an extraordinary move, the NJT Board refused to approve an expenditure proposed by management for $1,400,000, as part of a total cost of $5,208,000, to design modifications to its multilevel (also called “bi-level”) rail cars, so they can run as self-propelled train units (multi-level power cars or “MPCs”). Instead of automatically approving the budget item, the Board sent the proposal back to committee. Several Board members expressed concern about the cost of the project, and how much additional peak-hour capacity the new equipment would actually deliver.

While NJT management claimed an 8% capacity increase, Lackawanna Coalition Technical Director and former Long Island Rail Road Planning Director Joseph M. Clift disputed that number, except for comparing a 12-car “MPC” train with a 10-car locomotive-hauled train, as NJT operates today. Clift said that he expected the average capacity gain on a peak-hour train to be half of that claimed by management.

Board Vice-Chair Bruce Meisel and member Myron “Mike” Shevell questioned the investment, since such equipment would be unique. “Are we guinea pigs?” Shevell asked. “Being a pioneer makes me nervous,” Meisel said. Commissioner and Board Chair James S. Simpson said that management had not made the case for the new type of cars. NJT already has 321 multilevel cars on the property, which are non-powered and must be used in push-pull service with a locomotive. The agency ordered 100 more such cars in connection with the now-defunct ARC (“Access to the Region’s Core”) Project and never canceled the order. Rider advocates have questioned the need for such cars, since NJT is not planning any major service expansions. That situation has not changed in light of Hurricane Sandy.

The issue of the multilevel power cars was originally on the Board’s agenda in August, but Simpson removed the item, saying that he did not know enough about it to make an intelligent decision. That action earned him praise from at least some of the advocacy community. When the item was placed back on the Board’s agenda in October, some advocates believed that Simpson and the Board had dithered for two months and were planning to rubber-stamp the item, in their traditional style. It did not happen that way. To the contrary, the move to send the item back to committee was an extremely rare one for the NJT Board, which has disapproved of only two management initiatives in its entire 33-year history. Both of those events occurred in the mid-1990s, and neither concerned major policy matters. There has not been a single dissenting vote on any Board agenda item since 2003. Clift praised the move as an instance of the Board being willing to “challenge the bureaucracy” when there was insufficient information available to make an intelligent decision.

Rider advocates have criticized NJT for not having a comprehensive equipment utilization plan. They have also criticized the agency for refusing to cancel the $400 million order for multilevel cars that were specifically earmarked for trains that would have been added to the schedule if the ARC Project had been built. The have also questioned the cost-effectiveness of the agency’s decision to spend $7.9 million each for dual-mode (diesel and overhead wire) locomotives without a plan to deploy them on specific lines. They cost about three times as much conventional diesel engines. The Lackawanna Coalition suggested that NJT instead order conventional electric multiple-unit (EMU) cars like NJT’s Arrow III cars from the 1970s or those in use on SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) in Philadelphia. Also, NJT could have used retired SEPTA cars between Trenton and New York in the aftermath of Sandy, but did not, despite a loss of nearly one quarter of its rail cars and over 30% of its locomotives in flooding caused by the storm.

Does NJT actually have too much equipment, either on the property or on order? The answer is unclear at this time. Before Sandy struck, Simpson said that the agency had 30% more cars than it needed. Executive Director James W. Weinstein said that the agency could run service without the flood-damaged equipment. If they are correct, NJT could save hundreds of millions of dollars by canceling the order for the 100 cars that were slated for the “ARC trains” that will never run. Other advocates claim that NJT is still running limited schedules because there is not enough equipment in service to run the pre-storm schedules. If that is true, the former level of service should return as the engines and cars are repaired. In any event, it appears that more new equipment will not be needed during the foreseeable future, and maybe even during a 30-year planning frontier.

Does the Board’s decision to send the “MPC” issue back to committee signify a new level of activism on their part? Clift and other advocates hope so. It is also possible that this particular action could be an aberration that will not be repeated. It is unlikely that the issue of power cars will take up much time on the agenda for the Board’s next meeting, scheduled for this Thursday, December 13th. This will mark the Board’s first meeting since Sandy struck, and it is anticipated that the experience of NJT customers in the wake of the storm, and the agency’s performance before and after the damage was done will be the primary topic of discussion, even though there is no mention of the storm on the official agenda that was released to the public.

Still, the Board took a rare step, and advocates for the riders and for good governance hope it will be the first of many.

David Peter Alan is Chair of the Lackawanna Coalition and has advocated for the use of EMU equipment on NJT’s electrified lines, as well as for canceling the order for additional multilevel cars.

Next week, our coverage of Hurricane Sandy and transit in New Jersey will conclude with the story of county transportation providers who helped evacuate residents of the New Jersey Shore from the path of the storm. When we come back next year, we will continue our coverage of rail and transit issues and developments around the nation.


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NEWS ITEMS... News Items...  

US DOT Secretary LaHood Blasts House
HSR Critics In Dramatic Confrontation

From Keith Lang (www.Thehill.Com) And Other On-Line Sources

WASHINGTON --- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood confronted congressional Republicans for their objections to President Obama’s high-speed rail initiatives Tuesday, telling them they should get on board with the president’s rail push because their criticisms have been misguided.

“We are right at the point where we were when they started the interstate system,” an animated LaHood told lawmakers, drawing a parallel to the development of the federal highway system. “We are not going to be dissuaded by critics.”

LaHood, a former Republican Congressman from Illinois who is viewed in the rail advocacy community as one of the best transportation secretaries in American history, has announced his intention to leave Washington some time after the start of the President’s second term. He is under pressure from many in the rail community to change his mind, and stay on.

“Ray LaHood is as staunch an advocate as any of us,” stated National Corridors Initiative Chairman Jim RePass. “He is by far the most aggressive and effective transportation secretary I have ever known, and I have met and worked at this point with most of them since 1989, including some truly gifted people such as Mary Peters and Andy Card.” The Hill report continued:

Obama’s rail initiative has become a lightning rod for conservatives who think it is a waste of money to invest in high-speed train projects across the car-crazy U.S., particularly when the nation is focused on reducing its deficit. Tuesday, LaHood won few converts. Skepticism was evident in the title of Tuesday’s hearing by a subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which was to examine “mistakes and lessons learned” from Obama’s rail efforts.

But LaHood, a former Republican member of Congress plucked from retirement by Obama, conceded no mistakes in his testimony.

“Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia, and Amtrak are hard at work on over 150 projects, many of which are among the most substantial capital improvements to the nation’s rail network in decades,” he said. “Americans will soon begin seeing significant travel time, frequency, and reliability improvements, in addition to upgraded stations and equipment.”

“We are only at the beginning of this multi-generational process — the simple fact is that the transportation challenges that are driving increased demand for rail are not going away.”

Shuster and other Republican House members have suggested that Obama erred by not focusing his high-speed rail effort on the populous Northeast region of the country, where rail is most popular.

But LaHood refused to agree that high-speed rail could only be successful there.

“We believe there are other places in America,” he said. “There are other places where people want to have a train to ride. We are not going to invest every dollar in one part of the country. That’s not fair.”

Republicans have criticized a high-speed rail proposal in California, which has received more money from the Obama administration than any other project, for everything from its cost to the planed route of the railway.

LaHood pushed back at those arguments on Tuesday.

“If you don’t like the places a high-speed rail is proposed to go in California, you need to talk to the people in California who’ve been working on high-speed rail for 15 years,” he said. “This is not a result of President Obama or Secretary LaHood drawing [routes] on a map.”

The Obama administration has offered California more than $3 billion for a proposed high-speed railway that would link San Francisco, Los Angeles and other major cities.

A Republican member of the panel from the state, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), noted recent reports show the estimates on the cost of building the train have skyrocketed to $98 billion.

“I didn’t come here to debate you,” Denham told LaHood. “I came here to get the facts.”

Democrats on the panel Tuesday backed LaHood, arguing that it did not make sense to concentrate high-speed rail in the Northeast.

“I’m not interested in throwing money away,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said, but he added quickly that he did not want to focus only on the Northeast, “where, last time I checked, populations were declining compared to the West,” he said.

“We spent 70 years ignoring and destroying the rail system in the U.S.,” DeFazio said. “We’re only in the second year of trying to rebuild it.”

LaHood agreed, saying he asked to speak to the panel Tuesday “because high-speed rail is a signature initiative of this administration. You may not believe it, but the people want this,” he told the committee.

“The federal government is not going to be the job creator,” Shuster said in his closing remarks. “It’s going to be the private sector.”


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Chicago to Detroit: The Next HSR Corridor?

 

Michigan Cities and Towns Responding
To New High-Speed Amtrak Service

From Internet Sources As Noted

TROY, MICHIGAN --- It is a truism in the rail advocacy community that the restoration or introduction of good rail service leads directly to the revitalization of downtown areas long neglected during the highway-only investment mantra of the late 20th century.

But it can also perk up and develop areas along the line, and that certainly was the notion this past week as the Troy, Michigan city fathers broke ground on the new $6.2 million dollar multi-modal transit facility in Troy, near the city line with Birmingham.

Detroit Unspun and the Huffington Post reported:

High-speed rail came a step closer to properly connecting Metro Detroit and Chicago today, as well as a did regional mass transit, with the groundbreaking of a new $6.2 million dollar multi-modal transit facility in Troy.

The center, located behind the shops at Coolidge and Maple roads near the Troy/Birmingham border, utilizes the existing rail line and is part of a comprehensive plan to bring “the fastest high-speed rail outside of the northeast corridor” (in the words of Congressman Gary Peters) to a line that runs from Pontiac through Troy, Royal Oak, Detroit and all the way to Chicago. It also will connect with SMART (suburban bus) lines as well as taxis and automobiles.

This project, however, almost didn’t happen. There’s been a lot of controversy in Troy around this with the transit center issue coming into play in the successful recall of their former mayor, Janice Daniels.

The current elected officials on hand, however, were much more upbeat and positive about the project.

Artist concept image

Artist concept image courtesy of http://blog.thedetroithub.com

Troy to get on board with new transit center

“What a great day for Troy,” said Mayor Dane Slater.

However, it’s not just a great day for Troy. It’s a great day for the region. Why? Because mass transit is consistently cited as necessary for Metro Detroit to retain and attract talent.

The reality is that functioning regions that have transit connecting all areas together benefit everyone. Some critics believe projects like this will encourage an exodus of the city. Some believe we should put a development restriction in Oakland County and other places to stop further sprawl.

Those ideas, practically, have no shot of ever happening. What should happen is Detroit must improve its services so that it’s more attractive to people who more and more want to live in urban, dense areas. Detroit has opportunity and character and would really take off if we got our act together around the basics like education and city services. This is the real reason why so many of those living in the neighborhoods (particularly middle-class people with children) have left or are considering leaving.

History throughout the ages has shown the more transit connections a place has, the better off a metropolis is. It will be a boon.

Congressman Gary Peters understands the importance of transit. “Wherever there has been transit investment there’s been economic development,” he said at the groundbreaking.

Transit will connect Detroit, and all of the region’s workers, to opportunity. To me, this isn’t about so-called hipsters riding trains. Mass transit is about a hand up, not a handout, that will help people get to jobs located all over the region. More jobs and more opportunities mean more money for all.

We’re the only major region in the country that doesn’t have a regional transit system, and no train, for instance, to the airport. High-speed rail to Chicago is but a part of what should be a comprehensive regional plan.

What we’ve been doing … decades of provincial attitudes focused on stealing pieces of the pie from one another has resulted in dysfunction, waste and people, especially our best and brightest, leaving. It’s time to focus on baking more pie, not taking it from our neighbors.

“All aboard to the future,” said Troy Chamber President Michele Hodges.

All aboard, indeed, and see you at the new transit center next year.


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Incoming House T&I Chair Bill Shuster
Names Key Staff For Next Congress

WASHINGTON --- Chairman-elect of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) has announced the appointment of key senior staff members to lead the committee starting in January.

Christopher Bertram, currently the U.S. Department of Transportation’s chief financial officer, will be the committee’s chief of staff; Stephen Martinko, now chief of staff in Shuster’s personal office, will serve as deputy chief of staff; Jennifer Hall will continue in her position as the committee’s general counsel; and Jim Tymon will serve as senior adviser to the chairman and will continue as staff director of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.


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America’s Petroleum Capital

 

The Lone Star State Getting
Still More Commuter Rail

By Gordon Dickson In The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Found at:
http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/10833363/tx-commuter-rail-plan-is-chugging-along-in-north-texas?utm_source=MASS+NewsViews+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MASS121120002

NORTH TEXAS --- The TEX Rail/Cotton Belt project is no longer just an obscure line on a map.

It’s a multibillion-dollar commuter rail project that is moving quickly toward construction — and a line that, if planners can hurdle funding and other obstacles, could open for business as soon as 2016.

For train riders, it promises to forever shorten the perceived distance between North Texas cities like Fort Worth, Grapevine, Carrollton and Plano.

But as details emerge about proposed station locations, hours of operation and other features of the line from southwest Fort Worth to Plano, eyebrows are being raised.

In Grapevine, for example, one city leader is concerned that the line won’t stop closer to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

But in Haltom City, officials are elated that a station once thought unaffordable may instead be there on opening day.

For the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the debate over the planned rail line — 37 miles in Tarrant County and 25 miles in Dallas and Collin counties — is a healthy exchange of ideas on how to improve regional mobility.

The T is expected to complete its environmental impact statement, which is required by federal law, by next fall.

After that, the T can begin final design and — if funding is available — construction of the Tarrant County portion.

“Our federal agency required that we come back out to y’all and refresh your understanding of the project and get comment,” Diane Cowin, TEX Rail environmental team leader from the consulting firm URS Corp., told residents during a recent meeting in Grapevine.

The T is applying for federal funds for the line — which is expected to cost $960 million in Tarrant County. But the North Central Texas Council of Governments is trying a new financing tactic, since extending the line into Dallas and Collin counties is expected to cost roughly $1.2 billion. They are seeking an outside developer to help finance the TEX Rail/Cotton Belt line. One developer has submitted a confidential proposal that will likely be made public in December or January.

Although specifics haven’t been disclosed, the plan involves allowing the developer to capture revenue from development along the rail line. It could also include the construction of a new major employer in the region — a rail car manufacturer.

Such a manufacturer could supply rail cars for the TEX Rail/Cotton Belt line and commuter rail and streetcar lines nationwide.

Key Details

As TEX Rail/Cotton Belt edges closer to construction, here are some details and tension points that are coming into sharper focus:

The Stockyards: Grapevine Councilwoman Sharron Spencer is concerned that the T waited until this year to disclose that the trains won’t stop near the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Instead, riders will instead stop at a north Fort Worth station about a mile from the Stockyards and board shuttle buses for the last leg of the trip.

But that plan has a set of problems of its own: pedestrians and shuttle buses would have to cross several sets of busy freight tracks to reach the Stockyards. When freight trains were in the area, the station would be effectively cut off from the Stockyards, T officials said.

“We were under the impression there would be a stop in proximity to the Stockyards,” Spencer said during a recent TEX Rail meeting in Grapevine. “Tourism is very important to Grapevine, and tourists pay a lot of the sales taxes. We probably need to sit down and visit about that because it may be a very major issue.”

As these problems and tensions arise, compromises will be necessary and not all users will be satisfied. But there appears to be enough support and funding potential for Texas to see real progress in moving away from just the automobile kingdom of the country.


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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...

Source: MarketWatch.com

 
Title
 
Ticker
This
Week
Previous
Week
Berkshire Hathaway B (BNSF)(BRK.B)87.3388.08
Canadian National (CNI)91.5289.83
Canadian Pacific (CP) 98.7393.34
CSX (CSX)19.9119.76
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)72.6072.95
Kansas City Southern (KSU)79.7878.15
Norfolk Southern (NSC)61.5160.38
Providence & Worcester(PWX)13.1713.60
Union Pacific (UNP)123.95122.78


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

Installments By David Beale
NCI Foreign Editor

 

Virgin Rail Given 23 Month Extension

UK Winds Up Investigation Of Rail Franchise Awarding Irregularities

Via Lok Report

London – The British Department of Transport has extended Virgin Rail’s operation of intercity trains on Britain’s West Coast Mainline (WCML) network through November 2014, according to statements made by the UK minister of transportation, Mr. Patrick McLoughlin on the 6th of December 2012. Virgin Rail, which has operated this franchise since the days after the break-up of British Rail and the start of privatized rail companies in Britain in the late 1990s, had initially lost the rights to continue operations past December 2012, after government authorities decided to accept a competing bid from First Group over a bid from Virgin Rail for the next 15 years of this franchise.

Virgin Rail will now operate the franchise until at least November 2014 under a “management contract” while the franchise is re-bid under new procedures and oversight within the UK Department of Transport. Virgin Rail will collect a management fee of 1 percent of gross sales for the operations for this interim period. Actual operation costs and risks during this period will be absorbed by the UK government.

Sir Richard Branson and members of Virgin Rail’s train staff pose

Photo: Virgin Rail

Virgin Victorious? Sir Richard Branson and members of Virgin Rail’s train staff pose for a 15 year anniversary picture in August 2012 during the controversy over the UK’s rail franchise bidding process.

Virgin now has approval to proceed with procurement of four new 11-car long Pendolino tilt-body EMU train sets as well as acquiring 62 new cars to extend the length of the existing Pendolino train-sets to 11 cars in a GBP 1.5 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) deal. Frequencies on the London – Glasgow route will be increased to hourly.

Mr. McLoughlin highlighted findings of the investigation to date into the franchise bidding and awarding process in a speech to the British Parliament earlier this week. A final report on the problems in the UK’s rail franchise awarding system will be published in the coming weeks.


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WE GET LETTERS... We Get Letters...  

Ed. Note - Contributing editor David Peter Alan comments on Richard Beadles article from last week (DF, Dec 3, 2012, “ Virginia Rail Observations and Commentary, ‘Thanksgiving Travel Reflections’ ”)

 

Richard Beadles is correct about what he said in last week’s edition. He left out an important point, however. It has to do with access to downtown Richmond.

Staples Mill Road Station is located nearly half an hour from downtown Richmond by highway. During midday hours on weekdays, the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) runs a shuttle to another bus that goes to the downtown area. The two-seat trip takes more than an hour. During peak commuting times, there is a bus from Glenside Park-and-Ride, about three blocks away. The trip takes about 25 minutes, but there are only a few buses each weekday. There is no bus service to Staples Mill on weekends or in the evening on weekdays.

Main Street Station is located in the trendy Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. It is also within walking distance or a short bus ride of the State Capitol and other downtown destinations. Unfortunately, only the two daily trains to Newport News, and an extra train on Fridays, stop there. The new Norfolk train will not add much to the Main Street Station schedule.

Amtrak once ran a shuttle bus from Staples Mill to downtown Richmond, but discontinued it after a short time. In my opinion, it is time to bring that bus back.

David Peter Alan


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PUBLICATION NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2012 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, wed 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, NCIs 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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