This week we learned where the next Brightline station in Florida will be constructed. In October, Brightline launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new station located in the Treasure Coast. It was reported that five proposals were submitted, including...
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 high-speed service between Las Vegas and Los Angeles in time for the 2028 Olympics; continuing work on California’s high-speed rail project; and the Chicago Hub Improvement Program (CHIP), a group of projects proposed by Amtrak to upgrade Chicago Union Station and set the stage for faster, more frequent and reliable Amtrak service for a multi-state region.
Illinois Assistant Majority Leader Kam Buckner has laid out a vision for using publicly-owned electrified railroad tracks in two states as the core asset for modern passenger rail expansion. But first, the two agencies that own and operate commuter trains need to coordinate, not compete.
Upgrade Amtrak Cascades or build high-speed rail? The choice is clear. The authors of this op-ed in the Seattle Times argue for improving existing Amtrak service in the Pacific Northwest by 2030, instead of building an ultra-high-speed rail project by 2050. The Alliance believes we need both. What do you think? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
High Speed Rail Alliance Staff Update
Alliance executive director Rick Harnish attended the latest Illinois High Speed Railway Commission meeting. All of the commissioner openings have been filled, and the next step is two focused workshops to establish what outcomes the commission will focus on.
Bill Porter, a member of the Alliance’s Board, recently traveled to Italy and describes his high-speed experience between Rome and Venice in a blog.
He writes: “The ride was smooth, the service was excellent, frequency a given, and punctuality could be relied upon every trip. Seeing how seamlessly high-speed train travel had become part of the fabric of life in the communities it served, and seeing how it allowed people the opportunity to travel inexpensively, conveniently, in an environmentally sustainable manner was eye opening. That very normalcy made me re-commit to the High Speed Rail Alliance, and our work to bring high-speed rail service to the United States. It’s way past time to make it happen.”
What We Are Reading
The southeastern European nations aim for much faster train service between their capitals, Belgrade and Skopje.
The magazine Travel + Leisure reviews Brightline’s service in Florida, and takes you through the author’s first journey between Orlando and Miami.
While neither service meets the international standard for high-speed rail, these are two of the fastest trains in the country. The author takes you through their experience riding both.
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson went to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to advocate for federal investment into Texas’ transportation infrastructure. Mayor Watson argued that Texas is a primary candidate for new high-speed rail service due to population growth and the proximity of their major cities.
Four witnesses on Nov. 29 discussed the state of intercity passenger rail at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
Today, the United States’ passenger rail system is an echo of its former self, with swathes of the network unused or surrendered to freight. That may be starting to change.
See how the nation’s first high-speed rail project is developing.
Both Seattle and Portland will tack on two additional departures to their schedules — one from each city in the morning and one from each in the evening.
Amtrak ridership soared this year thanks in no small part to an increase in passenger traffic at Chicago’s Union Station.
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