Newsletter 2/16/24

Ohio Could Rejoin the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission

Ohio lawmakers are drafting legislation that, if passed, would allow the state to rejoin the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC). The state has not been a member of MIPRC since 2013, when Governor John Kasich turned down $400 million in federal grants for an intercity passenger rail line connecting Cleveland to Cincinnati.

This is an important step if Ohio plans to expand its limited passenger rail network. As it stands, Cincinnati only has three trains per week, and Cleveland’s two trains per day arrive and depart in the middle of the night. Columbus is the largest U.S. city without intercity train service. The status quo transportation system is not serving Ohio well, and it’s critical that they work to improve it. Ohio should have a thriving network of fast, frequent trains.

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A map of potential passenger rail routes in Ohio.
A GO Train is waiting to load passengers at Toronto Union Station.

The California High Speed Rail Authority Releases 2024 Draft Business Plan

The California High Speed Rail Authority has released their 2024 Draft Business Plan and are now accepting public comments. The plan lays out the progress made in 2023 and the steps the Authority plans to make towards high-speed rail service in 2024.

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“Is It Here Yet?” Why Frequency is Key to Building a National Passenger-Rail Network

Excellent passenger-rail service is about much more than where the trains go and how quickly they get there. The success of a rail service often hinges on frequency. When service is frequent enough to be convenient and useful for customers all through the day, the value of passenger rail multiplies—and a virtuous cycle develops.

As ridership grows, it becomes politically feasible to fund further improvements, which then motivates states and the federal government to keep building out the network. High-frequency trains are thus the foundation for building the nationwide rail system that our country deserves.

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Departures board at Shinagawa station in Tokyo showing a departure to Henada airport every 10 minutes.

Donate Today and Receive an Alliance Notebook

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 has a document pocket inside its interior back cover.

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Free Transit Activism Training: How to Make Your Transit Fantasies Reality

When: Wednesday, 2/21 at 12pm CT

Hosted by Carter Lavin

An American high-speed rail network; robust regional rail service throughout your state; reliable, abundant transit options in your town. They might feel like fantasies but all of these are possible. You can help make your transit fantasies a reality when you politically organize and fight for them.

A credit card reader in the vestibule of a Capitol Corridor train for tap-on fare payment.

Capitol Corridor’s “Tap2Ride” Program

When: Friday, 3/1 at 1pm CT

Capitol Corridor’s pilot test of “Tap2Ride” remains a pivotal test of contactless payment in a passenger rail environment (intercity passenger rail in this case). Jim Allison, CCJPA, will share key lessons learned and present a roadmap for this launch to become established in the overall California framework of the California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP).

Register Here

An Amtrak train is in the station at Denver Union Station at night. Passengers are on the platform. The iconic neon Union Station Travel by Train sign is lit up.

Colorado Front Range Passenger Rail

April 5, 2024

Front Range Passenger Rail is a developing transportation opportunity for Colorado’s Front Range with anticipated higher speed, intercity travel across Colorado’s Front Range from Fort Collins to Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, South Denver, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.

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Climate Change Threatens Europe’s Trains, But Resilience Is Expensive (Bloomberg)

Increasing train travel is critical to decarbonizing transportation. As extreme heat, flooding and erosion pose risks to railways, investment in upgrades remains flat.

California Orders Six More Hydrogen-Powered Trainsets From Stadler

California’s Department of Transportation, Caltrans, announced a $127 million agreement with Stadler Rail on Wednesday to purchase six more hydrogen-powered passenger trainsets, bringing to 10 the number of the trainsets on order for use in the San Joaquin Valley.

Nine Maps Show How Britain Is on the Move (Bloomberg)

A new dataset allows anyone to explore almost 1 billion journeys from every one of its more than 2,500 train stations.

HS2 Contractors Carry Out M42 Bridge Demolition In Timelapse Footage of 52 Hours

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