The National Corridors Initiative Logo

August 15, 2016
Vol. 16 No. 32

Copyright © 2016
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Our 16th Newsletter Year


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

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

Facebook Logo

Twitter Logo

Green Energy Badge
Green Energy Badge

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

  Legal Lines …
Host Railroads Challenges STB’s New OTP Rules
   For Amtrak Trains
  Passenger Lines …
Three States See Southwest Chief Renovations
  Funding Lines …
Purple Line Won’t Be Getting $900 Million
   It Expected
Slower Commute? Metra Puts The Brakes On
   New Rail Car Plan
California OKs Nearly $800 Million For Local
   Rail Projects
  Travel Lines …
Not Many Trains Here
  Expansion Lines …
Middleboro Rail Talks Stay On Track As Officials
   Support ‘Very Conceptual’ Alternative
  Selected Rail Stocks …
  Builder Lines …
BART’s Brand-New Railcars Will Be Delayed
  Across The Pond …
TALGO AVRIL Receives Final Certification
German Federal Cabinet Approves € 270bn
   Infrastructure Plan
  To The North …
Can David Collenette Save High-Speed Rail And
   VIA Rail In Ontario, Canada?
  Off The Main Line …
City Of Toronto To Build 21-Acre Park Over
   Downtown Railroad Tracks
  Obituary …
MTA Statement On Death Of Robert R. Kiley
  And Finally …
Foot Odor Sparks Air Rage Incident – On Rails
  Publication Notes …

LEGAL LINES... Legal Lines...  

A Follow-Up  

Host Railroads Challenge STB’s New
OTP Rules For Amtrak Trains

By David Peter Alan

In last week’s edition, (DF August 8, 2016), we carried a story about new On-Time-Performance (OTP) standards for Amtrak trains.  The Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced the new rules on July 28th, and they are scheduled to go into effect on August 27th.  On Friday, August 5th, Union Pacific (UP), one of the “host” railroads which would be affected by the new rules, filed suit in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals “seeking judicial review of the Board’s decision” according to the STB notice sent to interested parties.  UP maintains corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, which is within the territorial jurisdiction of the Eighth Circuit Court.

The new rules would require monitoring of OTP at all stations, with a train considered “on time” only if it left a station within fifteen minutes of its scheduled departure time.  This is a stricter standard than the one currently in use.  The STB document noted the host railroads’ objections to the proposed standards.  Although the Complaint filed in court is not yet available for review, it is reasonable to expect that UP will argue that the STB does not have authority to implement the new rules; an argument that was also made at the Board level, and which the Board rejected

Meanwhile, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) has reported that the Association of American Railroads (AAR) has asked the D.C. Circuit Court to review the new STB standard.  The D.C. Circuit typically hears appeals from decisions made by Federal administrative agencies.  The D.C. Circuit has recently been a friendly forum for freight-carrying railroads in their disputes against Amtrak.  NARP reported the action in last Friday’s “Hotline” report on its web site,  The report noted the irony of the new stand now being taken by the freight-carrying railroads: “It’s an ironic twist in the battle to protect passenger’s rights to quality service, since the AAR petitioned the STB in January 2015 to pursue rulemaking proceedings to define OTP” (emphasis in original).  NARP noted that the original preliminary ruling was more favorable to the host railroads and then commented: “the STB revised the proposal and issued a more passenger-friendly final ruling.”

A Circuit Court judge can issue a stay, which would prevent the STB from implementing the new standards until UP’s or AAR’s appeal has been heard and decided, and which the appellant must request in its initial court filing.

We will have more coverage of this continuing story as it develops.

Return To Index
PASSENGER LINES... Passenger Lines...  

Three States See Southwest Chief Renovations

By  Kyra Senese
Railway Age

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman visited Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico last week, along the Southwest Chief route, showing his appreciation of local, state and federal partners for their support of Amtrak and BNSF Railway efforts that began last October to improve passengers’ experiences.

The three states received millions of dollars in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants from the United States Department of Transportation in 2014 and 2015.

BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose, Interim Kansas Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson and several additional mayors and state transportation officials rode along for portions of the tour of the route—an Amtrak passenger line that runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles.

While the route still technically met the requirements of freight traffic, railway engineers said it would soon have failed to meet the increased standards of passenger trains if the work had not been completed swiftly.

In 2012, Amtrak and BNSF acknowledged deteriorating infrastructure that would have otherwise caused Amtrak to detour or terminate the Southwest Chief service and slow BNSF freight speeds had the concerns not been addressed in 2015. Andy Williams, spokesman for BNSF, says end-batter was the primary defect on the jointed rail.

Successful grant applications from Garden City, Kan., and La Junta, Colo., have since yielded $27.6 million in federal TIGER funding in the past two years.

“Since my service as Amtrak CEO began in 2008, Amtrak and BNSF have worked together to match federal grants with investments from both of our railroads, states and towns,” Boardman said.

In 2014, Garden City was awarded a $12.4 million TIGER grant, which was combined with $9.3 million of private, local and state funding to renovate nearly 47 of the 158 miles of bolted rail sections between Pierceville, Kan., and Las Animas, Colo., to Class 4 condition. The restoration allows for Amtrak speeds as fast as 79 mph. The project was also meant to bring continuous welded rail, new grade crossings and turnouts.

La Junta received a TIGER award of $15.2 million to restore the BNSF La Junta Subdivision in Colorado, as reported Oct. 27, 2015. The funding was also intended to mend over 20 miles of roadbed with new ties and ballast on New Mexico’s Albuquerque Subdivision and add 39 miles of new continuously welded rail.

When matching state and community support, contributions of $8 million from Amtrak, $4 million from BNSF and more from other communities combined with the $12.4 million in TIGER grants, totaling $46.2 million to replace 127 miles of old rails and ties between Hutchinson, Kan., and Waldo, New Mexico.

BNSF is also expected to maintain the track at a maximum speed of 79 mph for Amtrak and 60 mph for freight trains where the jointed rail has been substituted. The replacement rail was installed by BNSF crews and is from a Pueblo, Colo., plant.

Boardman also noted that the leadership and problem-solving strategies used regarding the Amtrak Southwest Chief route in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico and North Dakota’s Amtrak Empire Builder route have encouraged collaboration to find appropriate solutions for maintaining the tracks.

Officials say more grant funding is necessary to approach future renovations over the Raton Pass on the same route in New Mexico, the steepest and tallest BNSF crossing of the Rocky Mountains, and further to reach Lamy, near Santa Fe.

Research by Amtrak for a Colorado state commission also reveals the benefits of an Amtrak service that would connect the Southwest Chief at La Junta, Colo., with Pueblo.

Found at:

Return To Index
FUNDING LINES... Funding Lines...  

Purple Line Won’t Be Getting
$900 Million It Expected

By Katherine Shaver

Maryland officials who had expected to clinch $900 million in federal funding last Monday to build the Purple Line will have to wait after a court ruling made the light-rail project temporarily ineligible for federal aid.

The Federal Transit Administration postponed last week’s signing event indefinitely, according to an email last Thursday from the Maryland Department of Transportation to people who had been invited to the ceremony.

MDOT had planned to publicly enter into a funding agreement Monday with the FTA, which would have locked in nearly half of the $2 billion project’s construction funding. Such agreements are the result of a years-long quest for highly competitive federal transit aid and are typically signed amid great fanfare.

But a ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington made the light-rail project ineligible, temporarily at least, for federal money, transit experts said. The judge ordered that the project’s “record of decision” — the federal stamp of approval on the state’s environmental impact study — be vacated, or set aside, until the state recalculates the Purple Line’s ridership forecasts to reflect Metro’s falling ridership.

The Purple Line will be independently owned and operated and is not part of the Metro system. However, passengers transferring to and from Metro are estimated to make up 27 percent of Purple Line riders.


Map via Washington Post and Maryland Transportation Administration

Purple Line Route

An FTA spokesman confirmed that the financial award had been postponed because the judge’s order left the project without a required, valid stamp of approval.

The signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement was considered the last major hurdle before Purple Line construction could begin on schedule late this fall. Press offices for the MDOT and the MTA did not respond to questions about how the funding delay could affect that timing.

Maryland transportation officials said only that state Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn asked the FTA Thursday to appeal the judge’s ruling. They referred all questions to the Justice Department.

“We are very limited in what we can say, given this is active litigation,” MDOT spokeswoman Teri Moss wrote in an email.

The 16.2-mile line will have 21 stations between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County, including in Silver Spring, Langley Park and the University of Maryland’s flagship College Park campus.

Federal and state lawyers had said in a June court hearing that redoing the ridership calculations could delay the project by six months and jeopardize its highly complex, $5.6 billion public-private partnership that relies heavily on private construction financing.

Delays in major construction projects typically raise costs, and lawyers for the state had argued that even a “modest delay” could have “cascading consequences on the project schedule and financing arrangements.”

Whether the private partner is having second thoughts after the funding delay is unclear. Jamie Breme, a spokeswoman for Purple Line Transit Partners, the team of companies that recently signed a 36-year contract on the project, referred questions to MDOT.

“At this time, we’re working with our client,” Breme said.

The court order stemmed from a 2014 lawsuit, brought mostly on environmental grounds. In the suit, Purple Line opponents argued that the ridership projections used to justify the cost of building a light-rail line rather than cheaper transit options were flawed because they did not reflect Metro’s decline in passengers. The plaintiffs — two Chevy Chase residents and the nonprofit group Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail — noted that Metro’s ridership has fallen steadily since a 2009 peak and that some passengers have avoided the system because of high-profile safety lapses and near-daily breakdowns.

Lawyers for the state argued that Metro’s problems would not affect the Purple Line because it will be operated separately from Metro and with different technology. Federal lawyers argued that the FTA is “keenly aware” of Metro’s problems and that Metro is making “substantial investments” in its system via the SafeTrack repair program.

Federal lawyers also argued that Metro’s falling ridership will not be an issue in 2040, the year of the Purple Line’s official ridership forecast.

Art Guzzetti, of the American Public Transportation Association, said the Purple Line is getting national attention because of its unusual public-private partnership. It is one of the first transit projects in the country to rely on private construction financing.

Guzzetti said he could not comment on the judge’s ruling but said transit ridership typically is viewed in the context of long-term trends, such as population growth and development likely to occur around stations.

“Metro’s ridership is down now, but over time it’s been very strong, and the long-term trend is very strong,” Guzzetti said. “You don’t look at short-term blips.”

Greg Sanders, vice president of the advocacy group Purple Line Now, called the cancellation of the funding-agreement signing a “significant complication” that will no doubt delay construction.

“We’ve been at this for a long time,” Sanders said. “The fundamental appeal of the Purple Line is that it provides a needed east-west transit alternative. Any other problem doesn’t change that need.”

Found at:

Return To Index

Slower Commute? Metra Puts The Brakes
On New Rail Car Plan

By Mary Wisniewski
Chicago Tribune

Metra has suspended its search for a vendor to build 367 new rail cars because of a state shortfall in capital money.

The state of Illinois has put on hold more than $300 million in funding previously budgeted in the commuter rail agency’s capital program, plus the state still has no new capital plan that would spell out how much money the agency would get in the coming years, Metra officials said. Metra will now examine whether it can find cheaper ways to modernize its fleet, including acquiring and rehabilitating cars from other commuter railroads.

“We had planned on the money, we had budgeted it, and we’ve had to put it on hold,” Metra Chairman Martin Oberman said in a phone interview.

Metra had made modernizing its rolling stock a top priority, since some of its rail cars are around 60 years old.

Metra officials have said they need $11.7 billion in capital funding over the next 10 years. The board has made two programs top priorities — positive train control, a federally mandated computerized system to prevent train collisions, and new or rehabbed rolling stock. The total cost of the Metra purchase of 367 new rail cars would have been about $1.2 billion, or $3.3 million per car.

Without reliable rolling stock, delays will increase on a system that carries 300,000 riders per day. Metra CEO Don Orseno said in a phone interview that the older cars do not pose a safety issue but are more susceptible to breakdowns.

“It’s just like your own vehicle. If you’ve got a vehicle that’s 25 years old, and you use it every day, it’s going to be a lot more likely to break down than a new vehicle,” Orseno said.

He said new or rehabbed rail cars also include amenities like new air conditioning systems, better lighting and outlets for charging electrical devices.

Metra said it should be able to acquire some new cars sooner than expected, and at a bargain. Metra’s peer railroad, Virginia Railway Express, has an option to buy 21 rail cars from the Japanese manufacturer Nippon Sharyo at about $2.5 million per car.

Because the Virginia railroad uses the same type of rail cars as Metra, the agency has reached out to VRE about acquiring this option, since VRE may not need the new cars, Metra said.

Each VRE car would be about $800,000 lower than the anticipated cost of a new Metra car under a new purchase contract, in part because the Virginia contract is older, Orseno said. This would mean a savings of about $17 million, with delivery of the first set of new cars in early 2018.

Metra is also looking into whether it can acquire and rehabilitate a number of later model cars from other commuter railroads that may not need them. In addition, Metra wants to upgrade its facility that rehabilitates older rail cars with new equipment, so it can handle more rail cars and locomotives a year.

From an article at:

Return To Index

California OKs Nearly $800 Million
For Local Rail Projects

High-Speed Rail Supports Caltrain Electrification, Grade Separations

By Samantha Weigel
Daily Journal

Caltrain officials are closing in on their $2 billion plans to electrify the heavily-used commuter corridor after high-speed rail officials unanimously agreed to increase the state’s contribution.

The High-Speed Rail Authority voted Tuesday morning to support two Peninsula transit projects aimed at alleviating congestion along the busy corridor. The authority approved $713 million for Caltrain and offered the city of San Mateo $84 million to help fund three new grade separations.

The funding allocations are geared toward improving the Peninsula tracks so the state’s controversial bullet train may one day ride along Caltrain’s corridor from San Jose to San Francisco — a move known as the “blended system.”

“This is a significant step not only for us, but for Caltrain today,” said authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley. “The voters and the Legislature see the importance of upgrading the Caltrain corridor between Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Moving from diesel to electric trains has immense environmental benefits, it also is going to help improve capacity in the region, and it will also prepare the foundation for high-speed rail.”

Caltrain hopes to have passengers riding its electric trains beginning in late 2020 and high-speed rail seeks to be operational on the same line by 2025. Having shifted its focus further north, the authority hopes getting high-speed rail up and running will ease its plans to one day connect the Bay Area to Los Angeles.

In 2012, high-speed rail allocated $600 million toward electrifying the tracks but, as the local project costs ballooned over the years, Caltrain sought further contributions from partner agencies — including the $113 million the authority formally approved this week.

Caltrain’s Modernization Program — which includes electrifying 51 miles of track, purchasing new trains and a federally-mandated enhanced control system — is now just one piece short of the $2 billion pie. The regional rail is awaiting word on a $647 million federal grant and high-speed rail officials said it must come through before they’ll hand over the entirety of their commitment.

Last month, Caltrain took a momentous step in the long-awaited modernization program by hiring two design-build engineering firms to electrify the tracks and provide new trains. With only part of its funding in hand, Caltrain will only pay for design work upfront, and wait to issue a “full notice to proceed” on construction.

Next Monday, Caltrain’s Board of Directors is expected to issue the “limited notice to proceed” with the contractors, said Caltrain Chief Communications Officer Seamus Murphy. That agreement will carry work through at least February and Murphy said the authority’s action Tuesday was the final component of a multi-agency agreement to support electrification.

“We’re excited about it. It’s the final agency of the seven that needed to approve the supplemental funding agreement for Caltrain electrification and we also have a bilateral agreement with the High-Speed Rail Authority that lays out how they will deliver the funding that has been committed by them and the Legislature for this project,” Murphy said.

The authority has yet to sell all of the $10 billion in voter-approved Proposition 1A bonds — from which the Legislature ordered at least $600 million be spent on Caltrain electrification.

Opponents have questioned whether it’s legal for the authority to spend money on projects that don’t result in a segment immediately ready to support high-speed rail or whether it can allocate non-bond funds.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, has proposed legislation to clarify that the authority will spend state funds, but isn’t necessarily obligated to use proceeds from the unsold bonds, to support Caltrain’s project.

The authority had waited to sell the bonds until the litigation it faced was resolved. While there’s no firm timeline, the authority must first submit a special funding plan to the state before it can ask for the bonds to be sold, Alley said. She noted Caltrain is awaiting word on its federal grant application and the authority is “confident the state will be able to meet its commitment to the electrification program.”

San Mateo Sees Boost

Immediately after dealing Caltrain a boost, the authority agreed to allocate $84 million to the city of San Mateo for its long-awaited grade separations. San Mateo has spent more than a decade planning to raise the tracks above the road at 25th, 28th and 31st avenues.

The $180 million project also includes relocating the existing Hillsdale Caltrain station further north between 28th and 31st avenues, where it will also create new crossings — currently the roads dead-end at El Camino Real and do not intersect the tracks.

Securing the commitment from high-speed rail will be used to help leverage other funds and allow the city to proceed with seeking $65 million from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority as well as $10 million from the California Public Utilities Commission, said City Manager Larry Patterson.

“It’s a key step that we’ve been anxious to achieve. . We needed this action to move forward with the Transportation Authority, which we’ll do in September or maybe October,” Patterson said. “This was a huge step forward today.”

The city is also contributing $12 million toward the project and Patterson said he feels San Mateo is competitive for CPUC funding, as the agency rated 25th Avenue as number eight on a statewide list of critical road and rail intersections that should be grade separated.

High-speed rail, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, is expected to do an analysis of high-priority grade separation projects throughout the region. That work is expected to contribute to its environmental impact report, a draft of which Alley said is anticipated sometime 2017.

See more at:

Return To Index
TRAVEL LINES... Travel Lines...  

Report From Indiana

Not Many Trains Here

First In A Series
By David Peter Alan

Two years ago, we featured an extensive series about Ohio, a state with few trains and little transit.  The transit picture is about to improve slightly in the Buckeye State, when the long-awaited Cincinnati Streetcar opens for revenue service next month.

The public transportation picture in the neighboring state of Indiana is similar to Ohio’s, with little Amtrak service, only one commuter-rail line and only a few intercity bus routes.  Indiana and its policies may soon take on much greater importance, because Republican candidate Donald Trump’s running mate is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.  So, depending on what the voters do in November, much of the nation’s public transportation picture could come to resemble Indiana’s today.

At one time there were many passenger trains that traveled through the Hoosier State.  It was on the way to Chicago for anyone going there from the East.  It was also the gateway for travelers going southeast from the Windy City until 1979, when the last train running southeasterly from Chicago was discontinued.  Trains between the East and St. Louis stopped in the state, too, but the last one also ran in 1979.

Today, aside from two minor stops on the way to Detroit, there are only two Amtrak routes that serve Indiana; one with two daily trains, and the other with daily service to Indianapolis and only tri-weekly service east of there.  The route with two trains is the historic Water Level Route of the old New York Central Railroad, now part of Norfolk Southern. The Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited run there between Chicago and Cleveland, where their routes diverge to Washington, D.C. and New York, respectively.  There is a proposal to re-route the Lake Shore from Toledo north through Michigan, bypassing Detroit.  At this writing, Amtrak has not announced that the proposed change will be implemented.

So, at least for now, Amtrak trains stop at Waterloo, Elkhart and South Bend on their way to Chicago.  This writer has not been to Waterloo, a town of about 2200 people that a promotional video calls the “Crossroads of Northeast Indiana.”  It is unlikely that the designation would apply to travelers without automobiles, since the connecting bus between Waterloo and Fort Wayne was discontinued many years ago.  It appears that the town has an original Carnegie library, historic train station and little else.  The station has recently been improved, thanks to a TIGER (Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery) grant.

The station in Elkhart has always been beautiful; a division point and one of the New York Central’s best in the Mid-west.  It is also conveniently located downtown, near restaurants, historic buildings and museums.  The town is home to the New York Central Railroad Museum, the Midwest Museum of American Art, and two museums celebrating the city’s history, the Time Was Museum and the Ruthmere Museum.  Elkhart is a center for manufacturing motor homes.  Before that, the musical instrument industry dominated the city’s economy, especially C.G. Conn, Ltd.  

Elkhart has a four-line local bus system, garishly mis-named the “Interurban Trolley.”  One line goes to the county seat of Goshen, a picturesque town that time seems to have forgotten more than it has forgotten other places in the Hoosier State.  Another line heads toward South Bend and connects at Mishawaka with one of the lines of that town’s Transpo system.  The small Elkhart system is also the eastern limit of local transit to or from Chicago.   It requires one Elkhart bus and two Transpo buses take riders from Elkhart to South Bend Airport; the present terminal of the South Shore Line.

The South Shore Line is the only commuter-rail line between Indiana and Chicago.  Service is strong during peak-commuting hours, and sparse at other times.  Only five daily trains make it past Michigan City to South Bend Airport.  The South Shore is one of the few electrified rail lines in the Mid-west, and it uses the historic Illinois Central Electric line (now part of Metra) between downtown Chicago and 115th Street along the lake shore.  At one time, the railroad advertised for tourists to take day trips from Chicago to see the spectacular Indiana Dunes along Lake Michigan.  Today, it is a relic of the era when electric railroads, mostly running interurban cars, crossed the region and much of the nation.  It does not offer many glimpses of the lake, but the street-running portions on Tenth and Eleventh Streets in Michigan City are interesting.  At one time, the line passed through downtown South Bend on LaSalle Street, but that operation ended in 1970.

From 1970 until 1992, the South Shore Line ended at a tiny station on Bendix Drive; a long walk from the nearest local bus.  While the South Shore Line goes to South Bend Airport now, the Amtrak trains still go to the Bendix Drive station, where they connect with nothing.  South Bend is an interesting town, boasting museums, historic buildings and the campus of Notre Dame University.  None of these attractions are located within walking distance of the Amtrak station, and the Transpo bus that takes riders to downtown South Bend barely meets that qualification.

The other Amtrak line in Indiana also served by two trains, but with only one daily frequency.  It is the line between Chicago and Indianapolis.  Three times a week in each direction, it runs as the westernmost portion of the Cardinal, to Washington, D.C and New York, through Cincinnati and West Virginia.  The other four days, it runs as the Hoosier State, which terminates in Indianapolis.  

Along the line, the train stops at Dyer and Rensselaer, two undistinguished stops in outer suburbs of Chicago.  It then calls at Lafayette, a busy stop and the home of Purdue University.  The next stop is Crawfordsville, a historic town that is also the home of Wabash College.  It terminates at Indianapolis, the state capital. The station is located downtown, where it connects with intercity buses and local buses on the IndyGo system.  The only non-bus transportation is the Clarion People Mover, a monorail-style fixed-guideway system designed to take doctors, patients and staff between two hospitals in the Clarion system.  It also provides a curiosity for transit-oriented visitors, but it does not provide the sort of service commonly associated with rail transit.

Indianapolis is an interesting city, filled with historic neighborhoods, museums and various State institutions.  Downtown Indianapolis is relatively lively, although this writer’s favorite restaurant there, Shapiro’s, closes at 8:00.  Unfortunately, the train from Chicago arrives after midnight and the train to Chicago leaves at 6:00 in the morning.  From the east, it is possible to take a long ride on the Cardinal to “Indy” and spend Thursday or Saturday there.  The Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance (IPRA) is advocating for an additional train on the Hoosier State route.  It would leave Chicago in the morning and return in the evening.  At the present time, only buses from Greyhound and Megabus run on such a schedule.

There is one more Indiana town on the Cardinal route, Connersville, which is located between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.  The train passes through the town in the middle of the night in both directions, and the only waiting area is the sort of shelter normally found at local bus stops.  To make visiting more difficult, the museum is only open on a different day than the day when the local tourist railroad runs.

Amtrak trains between Chicago and Michigan also go through Indiana.  The Pere Marquette does not stop in the state on its way to or from Grand Rapids.  Two of the three daily Wolverine trains to Detroit and Pontiac stop at Michigan City, but not the station which the South Shore Line uses.  Only one of the three trains to Chicago stops there.

At one time, there were many more passenger trains in Indiana.  The Broadway Limited and other trains on the former Pennsylvania Railroad stopped at a magnificent station in Fort Wayne, which is now an office building.  The “Broadway” was re-routed over to the historic Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) route through Garrett and Nappanee in 1990.  That route lasted on the all-coach Three Rivers lasted for  fifteen more years.  A commuter train on the portion of the old “Pennsy” between Chicago and Valparaiso lasted until the mid-1990s.  There was a train between New York and St. Louis until 1979.  It stopped at Richmond, Indianapolis and Terre Haute.

IPRA and other advocates are pushing to bring some trains back to the Hoosier State.  They see the current Hoosier State route to Indianapolis as the basis for a corridor extending from Chicago through “Indy” and further south, to Louisville and Cincinnati.  There is also an effort to establish a corridor between Cleveland and Chicago on the currently-used route, and another to establish a new service between Columbus, Fort Wayne and Chicago.  

There is no indication that any of these improvements will occur anytime soon, although Amtrak riders who choose the right day to ride will find a pleasant surprise in Indiana.  For the past year, the Hoosier State has been a joint, if not amicable, operation between Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings, owned by former Amtrak manager Ed Ellis.  Amtrak supplies the train and engine crews, while IPH provides the equipment and the on-board services, including a freshly-prepared dinner in a genuine dining car.   Although its journey takes only a few hours, it is the most luxurious train in the Amtrak system.  We will feature an account of a ride that this rider recently took on the Hoosier State in next week’s edition.

Return To Index
EXPANSION LINES... Expansion Lines...  

Massachusetts South Coast Rail

Middleboro Rail Talks Stay On Track As Officials
Support ‘Very Conceptual’ Alternative

State Transportation Secretary, MBTA Board Back Public Conversation
About ‘Very Conceptual’ Alternative

By Mike Lawrence
South Coast Today

Massachusetts’s top transportation official and a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) board expressed support last Monday for continuing talks about the emerging Middleboro alternative for South Coast Rail, indicating the proposal could be part of seven public meetings this fall, along with the long-planned route through Stoughton.

“I think we owe (the public) that conversation,” MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack said last Monday in Boston, at a meeting of the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board.

“It’s another data point, in terms of how people feel about Stoughton, and how they feel about the Middleboro alternative,” Pollack added, about obtaining public input on potential routes for a commuter rail link between SouthCoast and Boston.

Pollack and board members said adding data to the Middleboro proposal also should be a goal in coming weeks.

Andrew Brennan, the MBTA’s energy and environment director, said the Middleboro route, which MassDOT introduced to the control board in late June, remains “very, very conceptual,” in nearly all aspects.

“We don’t know construction feasibility, we don’t know permitting time, we don’t know costs,” Brennan said.

Control board member Monica Tibbits-Nutt suggested that more Middleboro data be presented at an upcoming control board meeting, potentially Sept. 12.

Several SouthCoast business leaders attended Monday’s meeting, to urge the state to speed up action on South Coast Rail, which has been studied and debated for decades.

“I think there’s very few people in the room who can contest that we have an issue with (Route) 24 and (Interstate) 93, and getting up to Boston,” said Rob Mellion, CEO of the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce, citing a two-and-a-half-hour commute during rush hours. “And it’s only going to get worse.”

Hugh Dunn, executive director of the SouthCoast Development Partnership, sought to portray statewide benefits from a transit connection.

“Commuter rail service to Boston will not only provide benefits to the SouthCoast region, but to the residents of Boston and the employers of Greater Boston,” Dunn said, adding that SouthCoast also has “comparatively affordable” housing that could benefit people priced out of the metro area, and lead to an increase in property tax revenues.

Signs of potential regional disputes also arose Monday, though. State Rep. Keiko Orrall, R-Lakeville, told the board that while she supports looking into the Middleboro route, she’s “absolutely not in favor” of moving the Middleboro / Lakeville train station, a proposal that has arisen to handle traffic from New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton.

“We have created housing around (the existing) station,” Orrall said. “It’s a smart growth area, and it would really be a shame to see that changed.”

Joshua Ostroff, interim director of the advocacy coalition Transportation for Massachusetts, said that without cost details, “we don’t know the state has the resources to build and operate” South Coast Rail through Middleboro. He cited a related widening of the I-93 section known as the Southeast Expressway, which could include tunneling and underground tracks in the Savin Hill area.

After talk of other options — such as dedicated bus lanes — also arose last Monday, Pollack reiterated the state’s commitment to a South Coast Rail link and sought to keep the focus simple, saying: “Given the stage that South Coast Rail is at, and the commitments that have been made, what’s the best way to move ahead?”

That appears, according to the control board, to be public discussions across SouthCoast this fall and more data on a Middleboro option in coming weeks.

“By opening the Middleboro alternative to the public process we can fully vet whether it is the best way to move forward,” Dunn said.

[ Ed Note:  The Town of Middleboro is currently served by rail on the MBTA’s Middleboro/Lakeville branch.  The proposed Middleboro alternative would see the South Coast project extended from that branch rather than from the Stoughton branch into New Bedford, MA. ]

From an item at:

Return To Index


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

      Return To Index

BUILDERS LINES... Builder Lines...  

BART’s Brand-New Railcars Will Be Delayed

By Chris Rauber
San Francisco Business Times

Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) first batch of brand-new cars won’t be delivered in December, but instead roughly six months later, in May 2017, BART officials have confirmed.

Next May is now the target for delivery of the first production car, “which is behind our original projection of December,” spokesman Taylor Huckaby told me Monday morning. But he said the delay won’t push back “our final delivery schedule for the fleet of the future.”

That fleet of 775 new cars, produced by Montreal-based Bombardier, has a price tag of $2.6 billion.

But BART approved the initial order even though it knew of the design issues with the new cars’ auxiliary power supply equipment last year that can lead to overheating. That equipment is produced by Mitsubishi Electric.

The 10 cars in the first batch are likely to contain an engineering flaw that in the long run could create higher costs and reliability problems, BART acknowledges, although officials say the glitches will be fixed by the manufacturer before those long-term issues are likely to affect passengers or performance.

Still, BART is under pressure to get new cars out on the tracks.

Many cars in its aging fleet need regular repairs and are nearing the end of their useful life. Meanwhile, new stations are slated to open in Warm Springs-South Fremont this fall and in Milpitas and San Jose’s Berryessa area by late 2017 or early 2018. That will require a significantly expanded fleet.

And word of the snafu comes at an inopportune time, since BART has placed a $3.5 billion bond issue on the Nov. 8 ballot in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties to pay for track work, a new computerized control system, and other major infrastructure fixes.

Insiders say the system didn’t expect the new cars to “work perfectly” on delivery, which is why BART orders the first cohorts of new cars in small batches to test for design and engineering problems.

From an item at:

Return To Index
ACROSS THE POND... Across The Pond...  

TALGO AVRIL Receives Final Certification

By Naomi Thompson
Railway News

Spanish designer and manufacturer of high-speed trains, TALGO, has received the final certificate of conformity for their very high-speed train, the TALGO AVRIL. The certification is the result of two years of comprehensive testing on high-speed Spanish tracks. TALGO has invested in excess of € 50 million over eight years to develop an adaptable, faster, lighter and more efficient train.

Over the course of testing, 102 technical features and functions were scrutinized as part of the requirements for the technical specification for interoperability of the high-speed trans-European rail system. AVRIL hit a maximum sustained speed of 363km/h (225.5 mph) over compatibly gauged tracks, and 350km/h (217.4 mph) through variable gauge tracks. The TALGO AVRIL is now ready to be rolled out for commercial operation.

The TALGO AVRIL features innovative technology, including a system which enables gauge change, enabling it to run on standard European gauge tracks as well as conventional Spanish gauge tracks. It also has wider coaches than conventionally operate in Europe. Because it is manufactured from lighter materials, the TALGO AVRIL has optimal power-to-weight ratio, decreased CO2 emissions, better sliding and lower energy consumption. It is also very environmentally friendly.

Found at:

Return To Index

German Federal Cabinet Approves
€ 270bn Infrastructure Plan

By Keith Barrow
International Railway Journal

Germany’s federal cabinet approved the 2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan (BVWP 2030) and three items of draft enabling legislation on August 3, bringing the country a step closer to implementing the € 269.6bn program.

BVWP 2030 pledges investment in around 1000 transport projects, allocating € 132.8bn to the road network, € 112.3bn to rail, and € 24.5bn to waterways in the period to 2030.

The plan prioritizes spending on maintenance of existing infrastructure, which accounts for 70% of the total allocation, compared with 56% in BVWP 2003.

Other priorities include strengthening infrastructure on core corridors and easing bottlenecks to optimize traffic flows across the entire network. BVWP 2030 includes provisions for the elimination of around 800km of rail bottlenecks.

BVWP 2030 is the first federal infrastructure plan to incorporate public feedback, and a six-week public consultation took place earlier this year.

However, Allianz pro Schiene, a coalition of 22 non-profit organizations and over 120 companies from across the German rail industry argues the consultation period was too brief to have any tangible impact on the plan. “The nearly 40,000 statements from associations, the public and transport experts can hardly be taken into consideration before the revised transport infrastructure plan is presented to the cabinet on August 3,” says managing director Mr. Dirk Flege. “Under such circumstances, the development of a modern vision transport will not be successful.”

Flege also warns BVWP is too road-orientated, committing 55% federal spending on new construction and infrastructure upgrades to highway projects. “For railway projects there is a lack of both funding and the appropriate high level of prioritization,” he says. “In both the transport infrastructure plan and the legislation on upgrades and construction there is no timetable for essential rail projects. Urgent upgrades to the rail network to enable operation of 740m-long freight trains as well as construction on major rail junctions are unanimously considered by experts to be essential climate protection measures. In contrast, the transport ministry, after spending the last 6 years working on its infrastructure plan, has still not completed an evaluation.”

Found at:

Return To Index
TO THE NORTH... To The North...  


Can David Collenette Save High-Speed Rail
And Via Rail In Ontario, Canada?

From High-Speed Rail Canada

Only twice have Canada’s passenger trains caught half a break from any government.  To find the reasons why, you have to examine the high-level personalities involved on those two occasions.

The most recent opportunity was created when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty – an admitted rail passenger buff and regular user – swung nearly $1 billion to VIA.  Sadly, VIA frittered this away – with the uniformed consent of the government that awarded the capital infusion – and let CN “hoover up” most of those public funds, souring any chance of fuller funding by the Harper government.

However, the first time VIA was given a fair shake was under Transport Minister David Collenette.  He was born in London and spent his first 10 years near Marylebone Station, where he befriended the railroaders and was rewarded with “footplate rides” on the steam engines shuttling back and forth to the loco shed.  When he arrived in Toronto in 1957, his family lived near Danforth and Broadview, giving him the opportunity to hang out on the Prince Edward Viaduct after school and watch the CP and CN trains in the Don Valley below, as well as admire the pairs of TTC multiple unit “trams” zooming by at street level.

By his own admission, Collenette has always liked passenger trains and believed they could play a greater role in Canada, if given half a chance.  He got the opportunity to help make that happen in 1997 when he took over the transport portfolio in the Jean Chretien government following the not-so-VIA-friendly work of Doug Young and David Anderson.  One result was $500 million in capital funding to VIA when it was on its knees financially due to the budget slashing of his predecessors and former bus line owner Paul Martin, then serving as minister of finance.  Had the government not changed from Chretien to Martin in 2003, Collenette might have set us on the road to high-speed (or at least higher-speed) passenger service with the logical VIAFast plan, which he set up for full funding.  Martin killed it and took back some of VIA’s approved funding.

Today, it’s got to be viewed as a blessing that Collenette has been appointed by Premier Kathleen Wynne to oversee the study of the HSR plan brought forward by former provincial Minister of Transportation Glen Murray.  If improved rail passenger service for Southwestern Ontario is ever going to get a fair shake, it’s under Collenette’s supportive guidance.

To say that the provincial HSR proposal brought forward by Glen Murray just before the 2014 provincial election raised some professional eyebrows is an understatement.  First, it brought forth justified statements along the lines of, “Here we go again.”  When you’ve been led on by the HSR promise of so many politicians on so many occasions in the past, becoming jaded is understandable.

Worse was the quality of this “pre-feasibility study” and the nave assumptions it contained.  Any report that suggests the way to get around physical impediments is by “wiggling the track” gets all the professional brickbats it deserves.

Backed into its own corner by its too-quick promotion of this half-baked proposal at election time, the premier bought herself some credibility by hiring Collenette.  He’s politically savvy and he has a good grasp of the realities of rail passenger service, high-speed or other.  He’s not apt to make ridiculous cases just because he likes trains.

So, now we’ve got him on course to deliver a series of recommendations to the premier by November.  He’s the first to admit there are challenges to overcome.  Enumerating them here is not necessary, but it’s a long list of practical issues that will have to be addressed.  My conversations with him convince me that these issues are being analyzed.

I have to admit that my eyes glaze over whenever I hear a politician embrace HSR and predict its delivery, fully formed as our equivalent of the French TGV’s and Japanese Shinkansens, will be a snap.  Been there, heard that.

I was, therefore, suitably impressed when the members of the team working with Collenette told the audiences at the information sessions they conducted throughout Southwestern Ontario that they were considering three technological options:  300-km/h electric service, 200-km/h electric and 200-km/h diesel.

Also admirable was Collenette’s comment that the service on the existing VIA routes could not and should not be abandoned.  He believes the maintenance of service on the existing lines as feeders to any new HSR system is imperative.

But we should be forewarned that comes of this exercise will not be a decision of Collenette’s making.  It will fall to the premier and her cabinet.  If they muff this opportunity to at least deliver faster and more frequent rail service to Southwestern Ontario, then shame on them.  Like others before them, they have taunted Ontarians with the specter of better rail service in a region where people have proved they will use it.

Politicians being politicians, the Wynne government has already set itself up for a fall on the HSR proposal by expecting that ever-elusive private-sector solution.  They may be looking for financial silver bullets that will make their election promise deliverable without any public cost, but they’re apt to be surprised by what Collenette tells them.  Good.  He recognizes the funding question as being of paramount importance and not easily solved.

No matter what comes of this exercise, the provincial cabinet and the public should remember the old saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger.”  Collenette isn’t likely to deliver anything but the facts.  Let’s hope the politicians are willing to accept and act on them.

Thanks to Greg Gormick who is the campaign coordinator for the Save VIA citizens’ committee of St. Marys, Ontario for writing this blog article.

From an item at:

Return To Index
OFF THE MAIN LINE... Off The Main Line...  

City Of Toronto To Build 21-Acre Park
Over Downtown Railroad Tracks

By Wil Barlow
Architect Newspaper

Toronto Canada’s Mayor John Tory has announced plans to protect 21 acres of downtown real estate for the future Rail Deck Park.

The park will be placed on top of an existing rail corridor. According to the city, this may be the last opportunity to create a public park for the city’s expanding downtown population.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Finance, greater Toronto’s population is projected to increase by over 2.8 million, or 42.9 percent, in the next 25 years. The population of downtown Toronto is expected to double. Public improvements like this proposed park take an important step toward preparing the city for a long-term population boom.


Graphic from City of Toronto

Map of proposed park land

This announcement comes as part of Toronto’s TOCore initiative, which is set up to ease downtown into this more populated future. TOCore is a long-range plan to create infrastructure and amenities to accommodate a significantly higher population density. Among the planned improvements are more options for bike commuting, new community facilities, and, of course, new parks.

“Great cities have great parks. As Toronto grows, we need to take bold action to create public space and make sure we build a city that makes future generations proud,” said Mayor Tory in a press release. “This is our last chance to secure a piece of land that could transform the way we experience our city.”

The park will be built on what is now Toronto’s western rail corridor, on a site that spans from Blue Jays Way to Bathurst Street. No other details are available yet.

Toronto will follow in the footsteps of Chicago’s Millennium Park, Philadelphia’s University City, and Hudson Yards in Manhattan by capping a rail yard to make room for new development.

Found at:

Return To Index
OBITUARY... Obituary...  

MTA Statement On Death Of Robert R. Kiley

Longest-Serving MTA Chairman Catalyzed Transformation Of
New York’s Public Transportation System

From The Metropolitan Transit Authority

ImageFile Photo Courtesy of MTA

Robery Kiley

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is saddened by the death of Robert R. Kiley, the fifth chairman of the MTA, who died Tuesday at the age of 80.

Kiley was appointed chairman of the MTA by then-New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo in 1983.

He was the longest serving MTA chairman, serving for more than seven years from November 1983 to January 1991, and was a principle catalyst of the system’s remarkable transformation — from a symbol of urban decay to today’s modern, safe and vital economic engine.

“Bob’s leadership helped the MTA focus on dramatically improving the safety and reliability of the network, led directly to the record ridership levels we see today and was central to the State’s increased growth and prosperity,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “He assembled a team and created a vision that brought the transit system back from the brink of disaster and under Gov. Mario M. Cuomo helped rebuild our region’s economy. We remember his service with fondness and gratitude and send our deepest condolences to his family in this difficult time.”

One of Kiley’s most enduring legacies was the removal of graffiti — a potent symbol of disorder — throughout New York City’s subway system. Kiley was also instrumental is advancing New York City Transit’s fare collection system from tokens to the MetroCard.

Kiley implemented the first and second MTA Capital Programs, overseeing more than $16 billion worth of investments in New York’s transit network and focused these investments on our network’s core “invisible” infrastructure such as trains, buses, track, signals, and thousands of components most customers never even see.

[ Ed Note.  Robert Kiley also served with other transit systems including Boston’s MBTA during his career.]


Return To Index
AND FINALLY... And Finally...  

Foot Odor Sparks Air Rage Incident - On Rails

Grossly Obnoxious Behavior Among Passengers – Regardless If On Water,
On The Road, In The Air Or On Rails – Rarely Ends Well

Via Tagesspiegel Newspaper And Deutsche Press Agentur (dpa)
From David Beale – NCI Foreign Editor

Air Rage – A term used widely in North America to describe incidents of fighting, rage, anger or strong disagreements between passengers traveling in commercial aircraft.  Often the root cause of these air rage incidents can be traced to increasingly cramped space on aircraft as airlines stuff ever more passengers into planes with limited overhead baggage locker space and decreasing leg and knee-room between seats, as well as steadily deteriorating service levels to help boost airlines’ bottom line.

One major advantage of trains over airliners, due to the laws of physics and several related engineering aspects, is that the space and real estate per passenger inside a passenger train has neither the high fixed costs, nor the strong influence on energy consumption as it does in a typical airliner.  The difference between passenger trains and passenger planes regarding personal space and room is perhaps like the difference between eggs in an egg carton and sardines in a sardine can.  Thus the potential for rage incidents between passengers is generally somewhat less.  But not always, and flare-ups happen sometimes on trains resulting in “Rail Rage”, a close relative of road rage and air rage.  

Public transport users often have to resign themselves to sharing a carriage with less than ideal travel companions, from those who spend the journey talking loudly on their mobile phones, to those who take up several seats with their luggage, even when the train is full.  Nearly all trains in Germany and in the rest of Europe have so-called “club seating” where many rows of seats face other rows of seats.  Great, if you are traveling together with your friends or family, but perhaps difficult when the passengers facing you in a “club seating” row of seats are not your cup of tea, and/or vice versa.  

Police were called in to deal with a fight between two passengers on an ICE high-speed train travelling from Basel (Switzerland) to Berlin on last Monday (25th of July). The reason for incident of rage was a pair of particularly pungent feet on the ICE-1 train set in a car with the afore described club seating.  A clash broke out between two Berliners seated diagonally opposite each other on the train in club seating rows; given that the train wasn’t that full, the 54-year-old decided to rest his feet on the vacant space next to the 32-year-old after he removed his shoes and socks.

That didn’t go down well with the younger man who took offence at the strong smell of the other passenger’s  feet, pushing them off the seat and complaining forcefully about his particular scent.  From there, the dispute escalated.

“A verbal confrontation developed, which ended with the stinky-footed man being forcefully slapped,” a police spokesperson said.   He added that the man with the objectionable foot odor had allegedly “seriously insulted” his younger fellow passenger.  The incident took place on an ICE train travelling from Basel, Switzerland, to Berlin - a journey which normally takes around seven hours in total. Both men were forced to leave the train at the next scheduled stop, still about two hours travel time away from Berlin, in Gttingen where they were escorted to a police station.  The older man faces charges of cussing and verbal abuse, the younger man of simple assault.  In Germany both charges are handled as criminal misdemeanors.   How and when the two travelers later reached their intended destination of Berlin is not known publically.  Next time the older passenger uses public transport he might think twice before he takes his shoes off.

Destination: Freedom Travelers Advisory

Club seating is not common in most North American long distance train rolling stock operated by Amtrak and a few other operators.  In fact many trains are equipped with seat rows, which are rotated around into the direction of travel at end station stops, thus most seat rows are always facing in the direction of travel.  This type of seating configuration is rarely found on board passenger train rolling stock in Europe and the UK, and typically half of the seats installed in a regional or intercity rail car are facing backwards relative to the direction of travel, and many rows of seats are facing each other in the “club seating” arrangement.  The row of seats facing the seat row where people choose to sit – if still unoccupied – often make a convenient, if not lazy, choice for people to stow their luggage, rather than in the overhead racks or in luggage storage shelves installed at the ends and sometimes in the middle of the train cars.  Problems arise later, when the train fills up with more travelers at subsequent stops.  It is better to leave these seats open for fellow passengers and place you luggage overhead or in the designated luggage parking areas in the train.  Often the space behind a row of seats backing against another group of seats in club seating configuration is a good place to part small to medium sized suit cases as well.

Likewise an empty seat facing your seat makes a tempting large foot rest to put your feet up and stretch out, as was the case in the story above.  In much of Europe, including Germany, this practice is officially not allowed, but unofficially tolerated widely by train conductors and other train staff, when there are a substantial number of unoccupied seats.  However train conductors and other train staff typically do not tolerate people placing their feet on the opposite seat with their shoes on, for good and obvious reasons.  So one should at the most place his or feet on the opposite seat with shoes off, but with socks still on.  And if you have smelly feet for whatever reason, be it you have been underway with your shoes on for 10, 14, or 18 hours straight in warm / humid weather, or you have some sort of medical issue with your feet which generates foot odor, just keep your stinking feet on the floor with your shoes on, and a potential case of “Rail Rage” due to foot odor can be avoided.

And if a conflict arises with a fellow traveler, regardless if on the highway, railway, subway, or above on the airways, travelers should avoid the use of cuss words and threatening language, including giving someone “the finger”, as this behavior is criminally punishable in Germany and numerous other countries in the EU.  Use of racial, ethnic or religious epitaphs and insults such as the “the N-word” are considered to be a particularly grievous violation of the law and disruption of public order, and are handled severely by law enforcement officials, jail time or forced expulsion out of the country (for foreigners traveling through the country) along with a very hefty monetary fine are possible consequences.  In addition the train company (or the airline, ship / ferry line, bus company, or transit agency) involved in the rage incident can separately hand out a “Hausverbot” to the offenders for a period of time ranging anywhere from three months to lifetime, depending on the severity of the case.  A “Hausverbot” means quite simply that the person is officially unwelcome to enter the property (including vehicles) or use the services of a business or firm which issues it.  Violations of “Hausverbot” are handled and prosecuted similar to criminal breaking and entering charges.  

Return To Index
PUBLICATION NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2016 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 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.

|| Top of Page || Past Newsletter Editions || NCI Home Page || Contact Us

  || page viewings since date of release.