Newsletter 3/1/24: New Brightline Station and HS2 Longest Tunnel

The Way the Nation Plans and Funds Railroads Is Really Dumb

Departments of transportation at all levels need to plan passenger rail systems in broad networks, rather than individual routes. This is radically different than highway and airport planning, where a robust network already exists and planning is focused on facilities, with little attention to network impact.

Dividing the railroad network this way and planning and funding rail systems through a snarl of disconnected committees and agencies makes it very difficult to build the broad-based constituency needed to gain the funding for infrastructure investments. Markets should be added together but instead are being splintered into ineffective slices.

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A New Brightline Station in Florida

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 applications from the city of Stuart, two locations in Fort Pierce, and another two proposals that weren’t revealed.

On Tuesday, officials from the city of Stuart announced that their proposal was selected. Brightline has yet to make a statement on their selection, but an official announcement is expected on March 11.

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HS2 Longest Tunnel Hits Milestone

HS2, Great Britain’s high-speed rail project, hit a major milestone this week.

Their Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) named Florence finished her almost three year tunnel boring journey, excavating the largest tunnel of this high-speed rail project which stretches 10 miles. The 2,000 ton machine moves forward at an average speed of 16 meters per day, and as it moves, it lines the tunnel with pre-cast concrete segments and grouts them into place as it moves forward.

This is exciting progress for the HS2 project, which will nearly halve journey times between London and Birmingham, while creating more capacity for frequent service along the existing mainline.

HS2 is the first new intercity railway to be built north of London in over a century. It comprises 140 miles of track, four new state-of-the-art stations, 32 miles of tunnel, and 130 bridges. The first service between Birmingham and London is expected to begin between 2029 and 2033.

Read More: 

Historic breakthrough for HS2’s Longest Tunnel (Video)

What is HS2?

HS2 Tunneling Machine Completes Underground Journey

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

Capitol Corridor’s “Tap2Ride” Program

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).

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A map of potential passenger rail routes in Ohio.

Ohio's Progress Toward New Train Service

When: Friday, March 22 at 12pm CT

In this presentation, you can learn about Ohio’s progress in the FRA’s Corridor ID program—a crucial step in securing funding for passenger-rail service—as well as results from All Aboard Ohio’s Economic Impact Study for the 3C&D (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton) corridor.

We’ll hear about these efforts from Erin Rosiello, who served until recently as the chairperson of All Aboard Ohio. Erin will discuss the next steps in the FRA process and future advocacy efforts to bring passenger rail service to Ohio.

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

When: Friday, April 5 at 12pm CT

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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Amtrak Inspector General Report Shows How Parts Shortages Impact Service

Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General has released a report explaining how the company’s lack of effective parts inventory management is responsible for numerous service failures.

Northeast Corridor Travel Markets and Fares

“I’m optimistic about the ability of fast trains on the Northeast Corridor to generate healthy ridership at all times of day.”

Visualizing High Speed Rail From Chicago to Detroit (Video)

YouTube’s Lucid Stew uses Unreal Engine 5 to help imagine what HSR would look like in places where it doesn’t exist.

How India Electrified 45% of Its Railway Network in Just Five Years

Indian Railways has outpaced the rest of the world on electrification – and is aiming for Net Zero 2030.

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