Newsletter 3/15/24: American HSR Act, New Brightline Station, and More

$205B American High-Speed Rail Act

A high-speed rail bill just dropped in Congress. Here’s why it’s a big deal.

bill introduced in the House this week by Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) would invest $41 billion annually in high-speed rail and “higher-speed rail” projects over five years, for a total investment of $205 billion.

The American High-Speed Rail Act, which currently has more than 25 co-sponsors in the House, advances the prospects for a national network of high-quality passenger trains in several ways, including:

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

California’s Capitol Corridor Tests a Powerful New Tool to Increase Ridership

Plans to boost train ridership usually focus on greater speeds, frequencies, and service areas. But California is experimenting with a tool that could be just as pivotal in convincing people to take the train.

Simplicity and convenience are big advantages of the contactless payment program, called Tap2Ride. There is no ticket, so riders can board without entering their info on a website.

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Brightline to Open a New Station In Florida

On Tuesday, Brightline officials announced plans to build a station in Brevard County on land it owns in north Cocoa. This is the second station announced in the past month, with the other being in the city of Stuart. Elected officials spoke with excitement when talking about how frequent train service could transform their communities.

Cocoa City Manager Stockton Whitten told City Council Members that “this is as transformative a project as the city of Cocoa will ever see,” at a meeting to discuss appropriating $5 million for the design and construction of the station. The Cocoa City Council unanimously voted in favor of committing $5 million, which helped trigger Brightline’s commitment.  

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A Brightline train is boarding passengers in the Orlando station.
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When you join the High Speed Rail Alliance, you support elected officials and other local leaders working for fast, frequent, and affordable trains connecting communities all over North America. Every donation gives advocates for better train service a stronger voice. And, you can get some cool merch to help share the news with your friends.

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Ohio Railplan map

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.

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A map of the proposed Front Range Corridor in Colorado.

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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Why Amtrak is Attempting to Revive the Texas Central Bullet Train

In 2023, Amtrak revived hopes for the bullet train in the Texas Triangle, when it announced its intention to broaden its partnership with Texas Central.

Spain Proposes Ban On Short-Haul Domestic Flights

The Spanish government has proposed a ban on some short-haul domestic flights where there is an alternative train journey of less than two and a half hours.

AECOM Publishes New High-Speed Rail Report

From Vision to Reality: a new high-speed rail playbook, explores pathways to success for fast, modern, integrated and sustainable rail services.

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