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...
Progress in California
California High Speed Rail continues to make progress on the Los Angeles – San Francisco high-speed line:
1) California Governor Newsom sent a letter to President Biden fully supporting the California High Speed Rail Authority’s federal grant request. The Authority has applied for a $3 billion grant from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program to accelerate construction on the Central Valley spine and advance design work on the extensions to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
2) The Authority released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design services for track and overhead contact systems for the initial 171-mile segment, connecting Merced to Bakersfield.
3) They recently released preliminary 3D modeling sketches and virtual simulations for California’s high-speed trainsets, along with some updated concepts for future high-speed rail stations in the Central Valley. This is part of the stakeholder engagement process, and the designs will continue evolving.
4) In the first quarter of 2024, the Authority will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design, manufacturing, and maintenance of their high-speed trainsets.
5) The Authority has proposed modifying its design of the Los Angeles to Anaheim segment.
The current plan would expand the existing BNSF/Metrolink line from 3 shared-use tracks to 2 freight-only tracks and 2 electrified passenger-only tracks. This alternative would require Colton Yard in San Bernadino to be expanded and would add more truck traffic to LA freeways.
The new proposal would result in 4 shared-use tracks. 2 would be electrified and 2 would not. The travel times would remain unchanged, but the frequency of service would be reduced from 4 trains an hour to 2 trains a hour.
6) The Authority continues to complete new structures along the right-of-way in the Central Valley.
Federal Transportation Budget Vote Delayed to Next Week
The House has delayed the vote on the transportation spending bill. One of the reasons cited was the significant cuts to Amtrak that concerned some House Republicans.
Thank you to everyone who contacted their Representative, asking them to vote no on this bill. It’s clear this message is getting through, and we need to continue making noise about what would be a disastrous bill for passenger rail in the U.S.
This isn’t over yet, we still need you engagement. The current plan is for the House to vote on this bill sometime next week.
Speaker: Adam Auxier, CEO, Rail Excursion Management Co.
Time: Friday November 17, 12pm – 1pm CT
Liability insurance is one of the biggest, but least talked about, hurdles to establishing intercity passenger rail in the United States.
A single accident has the potential to put an entire railroad company out of business. This is an important issue that Congress must take solve if the US is to build an integrated passenger rail network across the country.
We are excited to be joined by an expert on the topic who will give us an overview of this issue.
We were joined by the authors of a new study, “Exploring the Potential of Providing High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.”
This study was commissioned by the High Speed Rail Alliance to better understand the impact of connecting fast, frequent and affordable trains to O’Hare Airport. The study examines examples of rail connections around the world, and how they benefit travelers, bring economic benefits to the region, and extend an airport’s regional reach.
Learn about the key findings of this study and suggestions for next steps towards creating a high-speed rail hub at O’Hare Airport.
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