Newsletter 6/7/24: The Vast Potential of America’s Train Stations

Michigan Central Shows the Vast Potential of America’s Train Stations

Detroit is celebrating the start of an extraordinary third act for its iconic train station, Michigan Central.

It is an extraordinarily ambitious project, but the core idea is relevant for dozens of cities across America: To revitalize your downtown, invest in the train station located in or near your city center—and likely either vacant or badly underused. In most cases, that will also mean investing in quality train service.

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An overhead view of Richmond, VA Main Street station. The trainshed is in the foreground, the headhouse is in the background.

New Plans for Virginia’s Passenger Rail Expansion

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) has begun preliminary discussions with Northeast freight operator Norfolk Southern Railways (NS) about alternative ways to expand Virginia’s passenger rail service.

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HSRA Staff Update

Alliance executive director Rick Harnish traveled to St. Paul this week for the FRA’s Long-Distance Study Midwest Working Group Meeting. The goal of this study is to create a long-term vision for long-distance passenger rail service and identify capital projects and funding needed to implement that vision. We believe long-distance trains can be the foundation for improving and expanding our entire national rail network.

Alliance deputy director Chris Ott gave a presentation to a group of students in Middleton, WI. The HSRA regularly gives presentations to students, community groups and elected officials about the benefits of high-speed rail. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, please reach out to us!

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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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Railroad Liability

When: Friday June 21 at 12pm CT on Zoom

This presentation will provide an overview of railroad liability. We will discuss the sources of railroad liability law (statutory, regulatory, and common law) as well as the applicability of these laws to liability that arises from passenger injuries, third-party injuries, and railroad worker injuries, along with a brief side trip to discuss contractual liability. 

High-Speed Rail and the Construction of Space in 1960s Japan

When: Friday, June 28 at 12pm CT on Zoom

This talk will consider the bullet train in terms of the social construction of space—the ways in which people think about and use physical spaces—comparing government plans with public reactions to highlight the interaction between ideas and the built environment.

City Limits: A Conversation with Megan Kimble

When: Friday, August 16 at 12pm CT on Zoom

Join us for a discussion with Megan Kimble, author of the recently published “City Limits: Infrastructure, Inequality, and the Future of America’s Highways.” Kimble explains how ever-expanding urban highways accelerate inequality and fracture communities; describes the growing movements in opposition to highway expansion in three Texas cities; and calls for a more sustainable path forward.

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