The National Corridors Initiative Logo

July 17, 2017
Vol. 17 No. 28

Copyright © 2017
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Founded 1989
Our 17th Newsletter Year

 Destination:Freedom 

A Weekly North American Transportation Update For Transportation
Advocates, Professionals, Journalists, And Elected Or Appointed Officials,
At All Levels Of Government.

Publisher
James P. RePass, Sr.
Managing Editor / Webmaster
Dennis Kirkpatrick
Foreign Editor
David Beale
Contributing Editor
Molly N. McKay
 
 

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

  Guest Opinion…
The Case For Dumbarton Rail
  Ridership Lines…
Link Light Rail Surpasses 2 Million Boardings
   Per Month
Downeaster Exceeds Annual Targets For
   Revenue, Ridership
  APTA Lines…
APTA Kicks Off Search For New Leader
  Transit-Oriented Development…
Mercy Othello Plaza Opens, Adding 108 Affordable
   Units Near Station
  Funding Lines…
House GOP Appropriators Reject White House
   Proposal To Slash Amtrak Service
House Transportation Appropriations Bill Boosts
   Gateway Commuter Rail Project
 
  Select Rail Stocks…
  Business Lines…
Grupo México Completes FEC Acquisition
  Expansion Lines…
DOT Official Says Commuter Rail Operator Has
   Been Selected; Formal Announcement Expected
   From Governor
  Safety Lines…
MBTA Presses Forward With PTC Installation
   On The North Side
  We Get Letters…
  Publication Notes …


GUEST OPINION... Guest Opinion...  

The Case For Dumbarton Rail

By Warren Slocum
Via The Daily Journal

In early July, a poll of voters in the nine Bay Area Counties was released showing a solid majority would support up to a $3 increase in bridge tolls to pay for significant upgrades to our transportation system.

It is clear that voter’s frustration with traffic has reached a breaking point. With the passage of Senate Bill 1 ($52 billion in state dollars), the potential for Regional Measure 3 (the bridge toll increase), a potential half-cent sales tax plan in San Mateo County, along with federal dollars, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a transportation network that will significantly ease our current traffic congestion and develop a long-range vision for the future.

Historically, our task here in San Mateo County was to figure out how to move people to San Francisco, which used to be the job center of the Bay Area. But patterns have changed over the last several decades and we have grown to the point of having close to 500,000 jobs on the Peninsula and South Bay. This reality forces us to seriously rethink the entire equation. With BART being extended in the East Bay to San Jose and a connection with Caltrain, we will effectively have rail around the Bay. With the growing concentration of new jobs in southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara County, we need to expand our thinking and ambitions.

“Sacramento to Silicon Valley in one hour” is the vision I would like to promote. While this may be many years away from reality, I am convinced that with new technology and faster speeds it will be possible at some point. The reality today is that we must embrace the concept of a “mega-region” that includes the Bay Area, Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley. How do we connect these areas by rail and enable people to find more affordable housing and be able to get to work in a timely fashion?

The idea of Dumbarton Rail has been around for decades. It gained steam when SamTrans purchased the Dumbarton right of way, from Redwood City to the East Bay, an 11.5-mile stretch. This includes an abandoned rail bridge that has deteriorated over the years. The sticking point for rail has always been insufficient riders to justify this project. Currently, however, SamTrans is finalizing a study of the Dumbarton highway and rail corridor, scheduled to be released later this summer. I anticipate that new ridership numbers will begin to reflect the enormous job growth in the Peninsula and South Bay and the value of potential connections to BART, Capitol Corridor and ACE rail. Taken together, these connections could create the groundwork for the emerging mega-region.

Under this scenario, Dumbarton rail is the key missing link to seizing an historic opportunity to address our two most complex issues, traffic and access to affordable housing. In the months ahead, it is critical you stay tuned to this debate and make your voices heard. We need to get this right.

Warren Slocum represents District 4 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and is a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Found at:
https://www.smdailyjournal.com/opinion/guest_perspectives/the-case-for-dumbarton-rail/article_558bf812-6507-11e7-9209-438860321980.html


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RIDERSHIP LINES... Ridership Lines...  

Link Light Rail Surpasses 2 Million
Boardings Per Month

Ridership Continues To Climb

By Sarah Anne Lloyd
Curbed Seattle

Last week, Sound Transit released their May ridership numbers, and they hit a big milestone: Daily boardings Seattle’s Link Light Rail surpassed 2 million.

That’s a 14.8 percent increase from May 2016, although May of this year included fewer weekdays.

So far in 2017, according to Sound Transit’s data, Link Light Rail saw more than 9 million boardings—that’s up 40.4 percent from this point in 2016.

For May, average weekday boardings are up 11.9 percent, at 73,208—also a new record. For comparison, King County Metro had 417,396 average weekday boardings that month, and Link is only one route. For a closer comparison, RapidRide had 66,084 average weekday boardings in May—fewer than Link, but for six bus rapid transit lines.

Image

Photo via Curbed Seattle - User VeloBusDriver/Flickr

A Sound Transit Light Rail Car

Link saw bigger weekend jumps than weekday, though: 17.1 percent on Saturdays and 16.5 percent on Sundays.

While ridership went up last year, too, there was a big difference in service between May 2015 and May 2016: two new stations in Capitol Hill and at Husky Stadium. After those stations opened in late March of 2016, boardings jumped 79 percent the next month.

This year, despite no change in service area, ridership continues to climb significantly. This hasn’t always been the case; Sound Transit first hit the 1 million mark in 2014, and numbers essentially held steady, even dipped a couple of times month over month (which is not unusual), until the new stations opened.

Sound Transit is next scheduled to expand in 2021, with new stations in the U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate.

2023 should be a big year for light rail, with a further stretch north to Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood, the 10-station East Link to Bellevue and Redmond. The southward extension to Federal Way is scheduled for 2024.

Found at:
https://seattle.curbed.com/2017/7/10/15948530/sound-transit-light-rail-ridership-2-million


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Downeaster Exceeds Annual Targets
For Revenue, Ridership

The Rail Service Carried More Than 511,000 Passengers In 2016-17,
The Most Since It Set Records In 2014.

By Peter McGuire
The Press Herald

The Amtrak Downeaster finished its fiscal year with the highest number of passengers since 2014, beating its ridership goals by almost 9 percent.

The passenger train between Boston and Brunswick carried 511,422 passengers in the year that ended June 30, closing in on the record of 518,572 riders set in 2014. Revenue also beat projections, with $8.6 million in ticket sales, a 7 percent bump from last year.

Image

Source: Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority
Interactive: Christian MilNeil

Downeaster Ridership Trends

“These results are particularly impressive,” said Patricia Quinn, head of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, in a prepared statement. “Achieving near-record ridership in a year of low fuel prices and construction-related service interruption indicates that the Downeaster has come of age in solidifying a durable and loyal customer base.”

In 2014, when the Downeaster set its passenger record, gas prices averaged about $3.60 per gallon, compared with $2.23 per gallon now, according to the rail authority.

Improved reliability, schedule changes and added trips to Freeport and Brunswick helped add riders in 2016-17, the authority said. The Downeaster service has some of the highest customer satisfaction scores among Amtrak routes in the country.

[ Editor Note:  The dip in ridership in 2015 is tagged in the graph as being associated with track work and associated service disruptions but also the winter months in that year saw record snow fall in the northeast, especially in the Boston area where totals in a short period of time reached into the 9-foot area.  The result was a major halt to all rail and transit traffic in and out of Boston, MA and several months of reduced service schedules; all acts of nature. ]

Found at:
http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/11/downeaster-exceeds-2017-targets-for-revenue-ridership/


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APTA LINES... APTA Lines...  

APTA Kicks Off Search For New Leader

From Progressive Railroading

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has begun its search for a new president and chief executive officer.

The association has tapped executive recruiting firm Krauthamer and Associates Inc. to perform the search, according to APTA’s Passenger Transport newsletter.

Image

Image via APTA

Richard White has been serving as acting president and CEO since spring 2016.

“Over the last eight months, we conducted a deliberate process and resolved outstanding issues to position ourselves so that we can recruit the best person to lead us into the future,” said APTA Chair Doran Barnes, who leads the association’s CEO search task force, in the newsletter.

During the first phase of the recruitment process, Krauthamer gathered input from APTA members and stakeholders about the desired skills and attributes in the next CEO. Major qualifications include senior and executive experience in the transportation industry, as well as experience working with a board of directors in an executive capacity.

Additionally, APTA expects its new leader to have “extensive government relations and advocacy expertise,” association officials said.

Initial interviews will take place in October, with final interviews expected in November.

A candidate will be recommended to the APTA board at its Dec. 1 meeting. The new president and CEO would start the job in early 2018.

In spring 2016, APTA appointed Richard White acting president and CEO after Michael Melaniphy stepped down.

From an item appearing at:
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/people/news/APTA-kicks-off-search-for-new-leader--52114


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

Mercy Othello Plaza Opens, Adding
108 Affordable Units Near Station

From The Daily Journal Of Commerce

Mercy Housing Northwest has opened a public-private transit-oriented housing complex in southeast Seattle called Mercy Othello Plaza.

The mixed-use building is at 6940 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., across from the Othello Link light rail station. The nonprofit developed it in collaboration with Sound Transit.

Mercy Othello Plaza combines affordable housing with commercial and community spaces.

Image

Photo by Casey Braunger for Ankrom Moisan Architects

It was designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects and built by Walsh Construction. Note the rail right-of-way and overhead catenary in the foreground.

There are 108 energy-efficient units for individuals and families earning between $18,000 and $55,000 a year. Sixty percent of the units have two or three bedrooms to accommodate families.

In addition to a community center, the building has office space for Mercy Housing Northwest and a landscaped courtyard.

It was designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects and built by Walsh Construction.

Two and a half years ago, Sound Transit sold a portion of the land it acquired for constructing Othello Station to Mercy Housing through a competitive application process.

Sound Transit said in a press release that it worked with the city of Seattle to use grants to speed up the development. Funding also came from state low income housing tax credits, Seattle Office of Housing, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Norcliffe Foundation.

“Often in today’s economy, finding housing you can afford means settling for a long, expensive commute,” said Dow Constantine, Sound Transit Board member and King County Executive, in a prepared statement. “Mercy Othello Plaza shows how we can leverage the opportunity of affordable, high-capacity transit by building affordable housing near Link light rail stations.”

Sound Transit said this is its second transit-oriented development along the first light rail segment and its third affordable housing project in the region. The Korean Women’s Association’s Senior City opened in 2010 near the Federal Way Transit Center, and Artspace’s Mount Baker Lofts opened in 2014 next to the Mount Baker light rail station.

Design is underway for TOD sites near the Capitol Hill light rail station, and TOD sites will be offered this year in Roosevelt, First Hill, Columbia City, Angle Lake and SeaTac.

Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations, operating in 24 states.

From an item at:
http://www.djc.com/news/re/12102095.html


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FUNDING LINES... Funding Lines...  

House GOP Appropriators Reject White House
Proposal to Slash Amtrak Service

Draft Proposal Includes Funding For Amtrak’s National Network
(And Some Bad Policy Provisions, Too)

From The National Association Of Rail Passengers (NARP)

Led by the new appropriations chairman, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), House Republicans released a draft FY2018 budget yesterday evening that would boost spending in rail by $360 million over current levels, with the increase targeted towards the enormous state of good repair backlog on the Northeast Corridor. This draft proposal is a huge victory for passenger advocates, who have rallied against a Trump Administration proposal to eliminate long distance trains.

The bill presents a more complicated picture for transit, cutting top-levels by $662 million while preserving a key investment program that has proved crucial for rail transit and commuter rail projects.

Overall, the rail and transit investments were part of a $17.8 billion proposal, a $646 million cut from current levels—but still represents a $1.5 billion boost over the transportation plan proposed by President Donald Trump, which called for the elimination of Amtrak’s long distance trains.

While the bill provides relatively good news on funding levels, it also includes a number of damaging provisions and funding decisions, including:

There will be an opportunity to push back against these provisions, on the floor of the House when the bill comes for a vote before the full body, and during the Senate committee process. NARP will continue to use our #Rally4Trains campaign to improve and advance these policies throughout the summer—please consider a special donation to help support us in our work!

Summarized from an article linked below.  For the full article see:
https://www.narprail.org/news/blog/house-gop-appropriators-reject-white-houses-proposal-to-slash-amtrak-service/


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House Transportation Appropriations Bill
Boosts Gateway Commuter Rail Project

From The Web Site Of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
11th District, NJ

The Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations bill that will be considered by the House T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee this evening advances key transportation projects in New Jersey, including the Hudson rail tunnel, part of the critically important Gateway project.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to our economy and to our quality of life to have safe and well-functioning transportation infrastructure. This bill makes investments in essential highway, air, rail, and maritime programs that will keep our people and our goods moving efficiently,” Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said. “I am especially pleased that more than $900 million will be allocated to the Gateway program in the New Jersey-New York area in this legislation.”

“It is not an overstatement to say that Gateway is critical to our nation’s economy.  The Northeast Corridor region, encompassing over 50 million people from Washington D.C. to Boston, produces approximately $3 trillion in economic output, equal to 20% of our national Gross Domestic Product.  Safe and reliable passenger rail travel through New Jersey and New York City is essential to that economic productivity.”

“Rebuilding the Hudson Tunnels is of vital importance to my home state of New Jersey and our region.  From 2002-2014, the number of New Jersey residents commuting to New York City grew by more than 35%.  However, New Jersey residents have been plagued by perpetual delays and decaying infrastructure commuting, and reverse commuting, into New York City.”

The Gateway project, especially the proposed new Hudson River Tunnel, serves both public transportation (NJ Transit) and intercity passenger rail (Amtrak).  $500 million will be provided in “rail state of good repair grants” - authorized primarily for NE corridor – from Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funds.  Another $400 million in transit money is tied to soon-to-ready-for-construction funding for the Hudson Tunnel and the Portal North Bridge.   In addition, a significant portion of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor $328 million in funding will be used to support projects associated with Gateway.

In total, the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bill reflects an allocation of $56.5 billion in discretionary spending – $1.1 billion below fiscal year 2017 and $8.6 billion above the Administration’s budget request. This funding is targeted to essential investments in transportation infrastructure investments, as well as a variety of community development and housing programs.

Found at:
https://frelinghuysen.house.gov/top-news/house-transportation-appropriations-bill-boosts-gateway-commuter-rail-project/


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STOCKS...    Selected Rail Stocks...
BRKB – Burlington Northern Santa Fe

CNI – Canadian National

CP –  Canadian Pacific

CSX – CSX Corp

GWR – Genessee & Wyoming

KSU – Kansas City-Southern

NSC – Norfolk Southern

PWX – Providence & Worcester

UNP – Union Pacific


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BUSINESS LINES... Business Lines...  

Grupo México Completes FEC Acquisition

By Mischa Wanek-Libman
Railway Age

Grupo México, S.A.B. de C.V. has completed the acquisition of Florida East Coast Holdings Corp. (FEC) through its Transportation Business Unit Grupo México Transportes, S.A. de C.V. (GMXT).

As previously reported, the $2 billion acquisition positions GMXT as a relevant player in the North American transport business, together with its current operations in Mexico and the state of Texas. The acquisition was funded with a $1.55 billion loan from BBVA and Credit Suisse, as well as a $250 million loan from Santander, with the remainder funded with GMXT’s own resources and $97 million in debt at the FEC level.

Before closing the operation, GMXT obtained the approvals required from all of the regulatory agencies in the United States, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Communications Commission.

Grupo México confirmed its intent to acquire the 351-mile FEC in March. FEC operates a main line linking Miami and Palm Beach with St. Augustine and Jacksonville, where it interchanges with Class I railways CSX and Norfolk Southern. FEC handles around 550,000 loads of freight per year with commodities including chemicals, metals, wood and automobiles.

From an article at:
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/freight/short-lines/grupo-mexico-completes-fec-acquisition.html


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EXPANSION LINES... Expansion Lines...  

DOT Official Says Commuter Rail Operator
Has Been Selected; Formal Announcement
Expected From Governor

By Mary Ellen Godin
The Record-Journal

State officials still won’t name the operator of the new commuter rail line, branded CTrail Hartford Line, but a state Department of Transportation administrator said the Wallingford train station should be finished this month, followed by the Meriden train station in mid-August.

Once the new stations are complete, DOT will ask Amtrak to open them to commuters.

Amtrak owns and operates the rail line and is among several operators considered to run CTrail Hartford Line, which is expected to increase rail service between New Haven and Hartford to 17 trains a day, with another 12 trains per day to Springfield.

The DOT is waiting for a final contract with the new operator and a formal announcement from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said John Bernick, DOT’s assistant rail administrator.

“We want to wait for the contract to be finalized before announcing something prematurely,” said Malloy spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly.

Double tracking the rail line from New Haven to Springfield is complete to the Berlin line, according to Bernick. The remaining track work to Newington and under Route 9 will continue to Interstate 84 in Hartford, where decisions about redesigning the highway will determine track placement. The I-84 Hartford Project will address aging highway bridges in downtown Hartford.

Double tracking picks up north of Hartford and continues to Springfield.

Bernick is confident a single track through Hartford will handle 17 commuter trains daily until the I-84 work is complete.

“We’ve done models on it,” he said.

Jim Gildea, chairman of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council, doesn’t doubt the state models for single-track rail service.

“I commute on the Waterbury branch line and they run 15 trains a day from Waterbury to Bridgeport; 8 to Bridgeport and 7 back to Waterbury,” he said.

The I-84 project in Hartford will also determine what changes, if any, will be made to Union Station. Some officials are eying a multi-modal transportation center that services CTrail, CTfastrak and CTtransit commuters.

A marketing campaign will begin soon after the operator is announced, Bernick said.

Gildea expects the roll out of expanded rail service to be delayed from January to the spring because of the delay in hiring an operator, the current state budget and winter weather.

“The Council asked at our last meeting on June 21, and were told that they had selected a provider but were working on some details,” Gildea said in an email. “I believe that the line will not commence in January but rather, the start date will be pushed out until spring based upon budgeting issues and a desire to not start up during inclement weather.”

It is estimated that an additional $460 million would be required to complete all the work necessary to finish the double tracking from Windsor to Springfield, improving stations in Windsor and Windsor Locks, completing new stations in Enfield, West Hartford, Newington, and North Haven, and equipment along the corridor, according to www.nhhsrail.com, a website established by the state that provides updates on the project.

State officials are hoping for matching federal funds to complete much of the work. Plans call for using existing Shore Line East diesel trains once new electric trains are certified for operation on the Shore Line East route. Infrastructure improvements are also needed at the Amtrak-owned Hartford Station viaduct and the Connecticut River Bridge at Windsor Locks to expand service.

“With the announcement, we’re going to ramp up,” Bernick said.

Found at:
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/state/10548834-154/dot-official-says-commuter-rail-operator-has-been-selected-formal.html


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SAFETY LINES... Safety Lines...  

MBTA Presses Forward With PTC Installation
On The North Side

Federally Mandated Safety System
Starts To Take Root

By Dennis Kirkpatrick
Managing Editor, Destination: Freedom

At the beginning of July 2017 the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) based in Boston, MA began the process of installing Positive Train Control (PTC systems on branch lines extending from its North Station terminus.

The first branch lines to receive this federally-mandated train safety system is the Newboryport-Rockport line.  The two branches share common tracks and stations between Boston, MA and Beverly, MA, after which they split off to their respective destinations.

The project which will take several months to complete will see each of the North Station branch lines closed on specifically scheduled weekends for several weeks to allow construction crews the opportunity of laying cable and installing radio transmitter systems that will communicate with passing trains.  During the work period, the MBTA has hired interstate coach-style buses to serve the weekend ridership needs.

Last weekend, this writer took one of the shuttles from Boston to Salem on business.  After a 40-minute ride on the MBTA’s surface buses and subway system I arrived at North Station.  Commuters were greeted with periodic announcements over the station’s public address system and staff from the Keolis Commuter Rail company, operators of the MBTA commuter trains, directing them to awaiting buses on an adjacent side street.  Keolis provided a mobile ticketing truck where people could purchase their tickets right where the buses would be departing from.  For regular weekend riders this will be a convenient ticketing service that will allow them to skip the North Station lobby and proceed directly to the bus cue.

Riders bearing a rail pass or MBTA Charlie Card transit pass are actually riding free between Boston and Salem and are only being charged a fare north of there starting at Beverly and its associated ridership fare zone.  That said, the fare is also discounted by several dollars as a make-up for the inconvenience of bustitution.  One will only be charged $5.00 for a one-way ticket for Beverly Station and stations north of there for both branch lines, or better framed, a $10 round-trip ride.

Keolis/MBTA tagged the buses with specific routes.  Some were express and some made all local station stops.  In my case I boarded an express bus to Salem.  The coach was comfortable and air conditioned and sound was pretty muffled, more so than a standard rail coach.  The bus took a route that most autos take, and we made the trip to Salem in about 40-minutes time.  If we had been traveling by rail and making all stops the ride would have taken about 30-minutes.  There was some traffic on the interstate, so if we account for that, we might have made it within the same time frame.

The return trip was not quite as easy since the schedule did not match my needs, so rather than taking the express shuttle bus back, I opted to take the already-in-place regular surface connections.  In this case, I took the number #455 MBTA bus to Wonderland Station in Revere, MA to connect with the MBTA Blue Line subway.  The Blue Line then connected me to the central subway system which allowed me to make my connections home.  The bus-subway combination takes longer due to surface roadway traffic and local stops, but the bottom line was that I made it home, and with reasonable connections.

The PTC project on the Newburyport-Rockport lines is expected to last from now through the end of September.

Starting at the beginning of August and lasting till the end of October, 2017, the MBTA will commence a similar PTC installation project on the Lowell branch line with weekend shuttle buses.  As of this writing, full details have yet to be released.  Amtrak’s Downeaster train operates partially on the Lowell line so it can connect with riders at the Anderson Regional Transportation Center station, so the Downeaster’s schedule and operation may be impacted, so riders should stay up-to-date as this project continues.


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WE GET LETTERS... We Get Letters...  

Dear Editor,

I am sorry, but all-in-all not surprised, to learn that you are suspending your weekly news updates on your National Corridors Initiatives web-site, commencing in August, 2017.

You have done more than a yeoman’s share of faithful and perseverant rail-advocacy work, all of it in this very anti-rail nation of ours.

You’ve more than earned the right to take an extended leave of absence from this arduous and largely thankless task.

Others may be willing to step up to the plate to continue your advocacy.  That is my hope.

If Donald Trump and the Republicans get their way and pass their 2018 Federal Budget as it is currently written, they will de-fund passenger rail and public transportation initiatives in these United States. Soon we will know first-hand what it is like to live in a nation with no nationwide passenger rail service whatsoever.

What little remains of passenger rail will be found in only a very few geographically isolated regions.

It’s quite likely that the United States of America, Canada and Mexico will soon become trifecta exceptions to the rule-of-thumb generally found elsewhere among first-world nations (and even some third-world ones), where passenger rail IS valued, funded, actually used, and is being expanded.  If the U.S. terminates Amtrak, I fully expect it will not be long before Canada follows suit with their Via Rail Canada system, which is getting very tepid government support as it is. Mexico ended all its passenger rail services many years ago.

The U.S.A. has always been an exceptional nation in many, many respects, and so it would be in keeping with that exceptionality to see it finally become exclusively a “drive-and-fly country,”  which, by-and-large, it already is.

If we lose our few remaining long-distance trains in the next few months, it will be because a majority of us voters in this country, in our collective wisdom, saw fit to vote in as our representatives in our Federal Government persons who are quite willing (eager, actually) to allow these trains to disappear. If  President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 budget is enacted into law, as it’s currently written, we will prove beyond any doubt that we ARE the exception to the rail-passenger rule.

We will find out soon enough.

Thanks to everyone at National Corridors Initiative for all that you have done over these many years to buck this awesomely powerful trend!

Eric Talbot
Chicago, Illinois

Editor Replies:  Eric, We are still hopeful that a new managing editor and supporting helpers will come forward to keep the effort going.  At present the last edition is tentatively scheduled for July 31.  We are also mulling-over alternative formats that will keep the dialogue current.
-- DMK


 

Dear Editor,

I want to express my gratitude for all the hard work that has gone into Destination Freedom, which I read every week. I’m very saddened to hear of its impending end and wish you and your colleagues the very best in the future.

Arnold Reinhold

Editor Replies:  Thank you Arnold.  Maybe an end, but maybe a new beginning as well.  
-- DMK

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PUBLICATION NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2017 National Corridors Initiative, Inc. (NCI) as a compilation work and original content. Permission is granted to reproduce content provided acknowledgements to NCI and Destination: Freedom (DF) are given. Return links to the NCI web site are encouraged and appreciated. Color Name Logo courtesy of Doug Alexander. Content reproduced by NCI & DF remain the copyrights of the original publishers.

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

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

Photo submissions are welcome. DF 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 protocol (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.

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

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