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A Few Cool Stories

January 17, 2020

We took a brief break in newsletters during the holidays.  Here are some important stories you may have missed.

Atlanta-Charlotte DEIS public meetings held

The Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina Departments of Transportation held public meetings regarding the draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlanta-Charlotte corridor. The DEIS compared three alternatives, two of which are true high-speed lines. The I-85 routing would have end to end running time of 2:50.  The “greenfield” corridor is projected to have significantly lower construction cost, would include stops in Athens (GA) and at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport (GSP), and would have running time of 2:06 to 2:44.  Both would offer hourly service is proposed for each and both would generate a significant operating profit.  The third option, rebuilding the existing Norfolk Southern line, would not perform well.

Click here for the official website

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Atlanta to Charlotte in 2 hours 6 minutes?

Virginia Agrees to Major Expansion

The Commonwealth of Virginia has reached a deal with CSX to take control of hundreds of miles of railroad in three corridors.  This sets the stage for a new bridge over the Potomac River, additional service to Richmond and a new east-west route across the Commonwealth.

We agree with Danny Plaugher of Virginians for High Speed Rail: This is a game changer.

Railway Age: Virginia, CSX, Amtrak Get Serious About Passenger Rail

Gov. Cuomo Goes Big

During his state of the state speech, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a panel of engineers would review past plans for high-speed rail linking New York and Buffalo. They will be charged with developing with fresh, creative ideas for an affordable high speed rail program.

“High-speed rail is transforming economies around the world,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We’ve been told that bringing this technology to our state is too expensive, too difficult and would take too long — that’s not an acceptable attitude for New York.”

A DEIS issued in 2014 highlights the challenges with electrifying Amtrak’s Hudson River Valley line among other issues that make this a difficult project to design.  It may be necessary to include Cleveland and Toronto in their analysis to justify the investments closer to New York.

Times Herald- Record: Gov. Cuomo: Let’s fast-track high-speed rail

Cuomo also announced aggressive plans to expand Penn Station in New York.  The proposal includes new tracks, new entrances and better pedestrian flows.

The presentation is worth a look.

New York Times: Can Penn Station Handle 175,000 More Riders? Cuomo Thinks So


Save the Date - Annual Meeting March 28 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Maggiano's Banquets, 111 W Grand Ave. Chicago, IL

The agenda and speakers will be posted as they become available.

Pre-register to save your seat.