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...
Building from the Middle, a Plan for Better Trains In Illinois, the Midwest, and Beyond
A well-funded federal railway program is essential for high-speed and regional rail to be successful. With roughly one-third of the nation’s population, the Midwest is critical to gaining that federal program—and fixing Chicago is essential to making the Midwest work.
This means that Illinois has an outsized role to play in making high-speed and regional rail a reality, nationwide.
Over the next year, Illinois lawmakers will be working on legislation to protect and grow Metra service. We believe that they should think beyond just fixing Metra and create a statewide railway program that would connect the entire state and lay the foundation for a multi-state network.
We recently published a new booklet to outline our vision for this important project, called “Put Illinois on the Fast Track.”
Three Amtrak Board Nominees Confirmed by Senate
Last Tuesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Christopher Koos, Anthony Coscia, and Joel Szbat to Amtrak’s Board of Directors.
These appointments had been put on hold last year due to a lack of regional diversity among the nominees. Just one of the nominees—Chris Koos, the mayor of Normal, Illinois—lives outside the Northeast Corridor. A recent reform requires two designated representatives from each Amtrak business line—the NEC, State-Supported, and Long-Distance Routes. This reform was meant to reinforce Amtrak’s commitment to long-distance routes and rural communities.
One of the senator’s who spoke out against the lack of geographical diversity among the nominees, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), has since announced his support for the nominees, with the understanding that the White House will nominate individuals from outside of the NEC to fill the rest of the open seats.
At the Alliance we are encouraged that these important Amtrak positions are being filled, and that the next slate of nominees will represent more of the country. It’s important that Amtrak’s Board represents the entire country and understands the vital role trains play in communities large and small.
You can tune in via Zoom to briefings from state officials on Wisconsin’s plans for new passenger trains at a Legislative Day on Thursday, February 1, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM. In order to register, please use this link provided by WisARP.
Additionally, the City of Madison has planned public meetings on station location for January 30 in person, and February 6 virtually. You can find details and register for the virtual session here.
By donating, you will join a growing movement working to make fast, frequent, and affordable trains a reality!
If you like, we will send you a notebook to help spread the word. This Pedova™ Soft Bound JournalBook® is 8.0″ H x 5.5″ W, features a flexible cover, and features a document pocket inside its interior back cover.
What We Are Reading
“Who doesn’t love a train!” says Wes Edens, who leads the company behind Brightline. He discusses trains about four minutes into this interview.
The U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $2.5 billion private-activity bonds allocation to the Brightline West High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail project connecting Las Vegas to Southern California.
Last November, Brightline carried more than 205,600 passengers, more than double its November 2022 ridership, according to company data. Now, the company is gearing for a Tampa stop.
Emissions by drivers and auto manufacturers are undermining promising gains on other fronts in America’s fight against climate change, new estimates suggest.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments, the entity responsible for securing state and federal funding for local transportation projects, is preparing to enter a planning phase to establish an alignment for high-speed rail between Dallas and Fort Worth, which would include identifying station locations and early conceptual engineering.
Transportation Planner Liz Callin joins Ali Muldrow on A Public Affair to talk about Madison’s station location, go over the logistics of the future train, and answer several callers’ questions.
A key part of developing comprehensive train interiors, is getting feedback from key stakeholders including regional partners, the ADA community, students and more. Check out a quick guided tour of potential space and seat arrangements in this life-sized mockup model.
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