Within weeks, we expect decisions from the U.S. Department of Transportation on where to invest billions in passenger-rail funding from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. You can learn on our site about three of the contenders: Brightline West, which would launch...
Today, Brightline launched passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando, the fastest passenger rail service in the U.S. outside of the Northeast. Brightline will offer 16 round trips a day on the 235-mile corridor, with the trip taking about 3 1/2 hours, and trains traveling up to 125 mph.
The new corridor is about more than just speed and frequency though. Brightline uses modern equipment that contributes to passenger comfort and smoother operations. Unified trainsets make it safe and easy to pass between cars. High-level platforms allows for seamless, level boarding, and modern amenities onboard offer a positive experience.
This is a big step forward for U.S. passenger rail. Brightline has already proven to be a massive success, showing that if you provide fast, frequent, and affordable trains, Americans will ride it.
“Americans from all across the country will be flying to Orlando and have the opportunity to take the train—a modern train—to Miami. They’ll see what American trains can be, and hopefully start telling their representatives in Congress they want them back home, too.” – High Speed Rail Alliance Executive Director Rick Harnish
“A big day for Florida. It’s a moment that marks the beginning of a new industry and a blueprint for expanding rail in America.” – Brightline CEO Michael Reininger
Amtrak’s application for improvements in and around Chicago Union Station got a strong, united show of support from local, state, and national leaders on September 19.
During a visit to Chicago by Shailen Bhatt, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, leaders in many agencies and entities all spoke in support of Amtrak’s CHIP application. These included the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, Cook County, the High Speed Rail Alliance, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Railroad Administration, Metra, Norfolk Southern, the Transportation Communications Union/IAM, and others.
CHIP, which stands for Chicago Hub Improvement Program, would upgrade Chicago Union Station and create better routes through Chicago into the station. Alongside investments that are already underway through the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, CHIP promises shorter trip times for trains that travel throughout the region and across the nation, greater capacity for both passenger and freight trains, and improved accessibility, safety, and comfort for travelers.
The High Speed Rail Alliance’s deputy director, Chris Ott, spoke to share a letter of support for CHIP that the Alliance has coordinated. To date, 71 mayors who lead cities on rail lines served by Chicago have signed the letter in favor of CHIP.
From his role at the Federal Highway Administration, Administrator Bhatt gave an encouraging window on the Administration’s thinking about transportation. Even though Bhatt leads the agency that oversees the nation’s highways, he stressed the need to think intermodally. Bhatt said the Biden administration is “all in” on a more comprehensive rail system.
Speaker: Rick Harnish, Executive Director, High Speed Rail Alliance
Time: Friday October 6, 12pm – 1pm CT
Regional Rail means running frequent trains on memory schedules (such as every 15 minutes in major cities, and every two hours statewide) to serve many types of travelers—not just those commuting to and from downtown for work. This change is already catching on, and the Alliance has recently featured speakers on Regional Rail proposals for cities such as Boston and Chicago. In this talk, our executive director, Rick Harnish, will explain Regional Rail’s benefits and what is needed to succeed.
Join a growing movement working to make fast, frequent, and affordable trains a reality!
By taking people into the heart of our communities, trains revitalize both our civic life and our economies.
The truth is, most Americans would love to live and work in communities that are livable and sustainable. They want an alternative to the status quo.
Good train service isn’t the only path to a better world, but it’s a great start. Yet many people don’t know that it’s a real possibility or how they can help achieve it.
The Alliance is changing that. We educate and inform people who share our passion for the transformative power of trains, and we empower them to create real change.
Become a member by making a donation today and help revitalize our communities! We’ll also send you a train keychain.
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