Newsletter: 12/21/23

The Corridor ID Program Clears the Path for a National Network of Great Trains

The $8.2 billion in grants for train projects got most of the spotlight in the recent blockbuster announcement by the Federal Railroad Administration. But the FRA’s new Corridor ID program will be even more pivotal in creating a national network of high-speed trains across the US.

The FRA named 69 projects across 44 states for inclusion in Corridor ID’s initial round. New applications will be reviewed on a roughly annual basis. Proposed projects must have a sponsor—typically Amtrak, a state, or a coalition of local government entities.

Big-picture, Corridor ID accomplishes three crucial things:

  • Creates a process for agencies to apply for and be awarded federal grants for planning railroad projects.
  • Gives relevant agencies and Congress a tool to evaluate the priority and overall value of proposed projects.
  • Builds a foundation for the Federal Railroad Administration to plan a national network of fast, frequent, and affordable trains. As the FRA notes, Corridor ID is a comprehensive planning and development program “that will help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the country and create a pipeline of . . . projects ready for implementation.”

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A map of existing Amtrak routes, routes with fed-state partnership grants and Corridor ID grants, as of 12/8/23
Ohare Transfer Station Alternative

Exploring the Potential of Providing High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

The High Speed Rail Alliance commissioned this study to explore the untapped potential of providing intercity passenger rail service, including high-speed rail, to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The report seeks to provide insights on the value of expanding passenger rail service at O’Hare by reviewing case studies of established rail systems in major metropolitan regions around the world that have integrated downtown and extended regional airport access while also considering their lessons for Chicago.

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Read the full study on an O’Hare Station

Three European hubs offer a lesson for O’Hare Airport. 

On the Radar: Metra Service to O’Hare Airport

“The one thing that O’Hare service needs is to be consistent and reliable,” says Metra leader Jim Derwinski. “If it’s every hour, we’re getting better. And ideally, we’re down to 30 minutes or 20 minutes.”

O’Hare Needs a Train Station

Millions of people need a better way to get to O’Hare: executives in downtown Chicago, students in Champaign, orthopedic device designers in Warsaw, Indiana, and many others. We all want a fast, reliable, and low-stress way to catch a flight.

Jinxing High Speed Line Opens

This new high-speed line in China opened on December 18, connecting Tianjin to Daxing Airport. There are 6 stations along the 62 mile route, and the fastest trip time takes about 41 minutes. Check out some fun pictures of the grand opening!

Beyond the Tracks: High-Speed Rail Station Access and Development. Friday, January 26, 2024 11:00a.m.-12:00p.m.
Beyond the Tracks: High-Speed Rail Station Access and Development. Friday, January 26, 2024 11:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

What We Are Reading

Amtrak Issues Long-Distance RFP

Our allies at the Rail Passengers Association share a first look at Amtrak’s request for proposals to replace its long-distance fleet.

President López Obrador Inaugurates First 3 Sections of Maya Train

Mexico has officially opened sections of a new passenger line serving the Yucatan peninsula, including Cancún Airport.

Pete Buttigieg Talks High-Speed Rail on Morning Joe

“I really believe that after the first time, the first day, when an American on American soil, can take a ride on true high-speed rail, it’s going to open up an era. There will be no going back. It’s going to create a demand and an expectation that we offer that across the country.”

These Two Dazzling European Countries Could Soon Get a High-Speed Train Link

On December 11th, Italian rail operator Trenitalia tested a route between Venice, and the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.

The Latest from HSRA

Our Latest Blog Posts

Check out the latest news, updates, and high speed rail insights from our blog!

A New Brightline Station in Florida

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...

Newsletter 2/24/24

Newsletter 2/24/24

Finally, Talk of Growth:Quick Reactions to the FRA’s Long Distance Study Last week, the Federal Railroad Administration presented a proposed list of routes to be studied, as well as some initial thoughts about governance. The proposal would add 15 long-distance...