A Few Cool Stories
We took a brief break in newsletters during the holidays. Here are some important stories you may have missed.
Atlanta-Charlotte DEIS public meetings held
The Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina Departments of Transportation held public meetings regarding the draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlanta-Charlotte corridor. The DEIS compared three alternatives, two of which are true high-speed lines. The I-85 routing would have end to end running time of 2:50. The “greenfield” corridor is projected to have significantly lower construction cost, would include stops in Athens (GA) and at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport (GSP), and would have running time of 2:06 to 2:44. Both would offer hourly service is proposed for each and both would generate a significant operating profit. The third option, rebuilding the existing Norfolk Southern line, would not perform well.
Virginia Agrees to Major Expansion
The Commonwealth of Virginia has reached a deal with CSX to take control of hundreds of miles of railroad in three corridors. This sets the stage for a new bridge over the Potomac River, additional service to Richmond and a new east-west route across the Commonwealth.
We agree with Danny Plaugher of Virginians for High Speed Rail: This is a game changer.
Gov. Cuomo Goes Big
During his state of the state speech, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a panel of engineers would review past plans for high-speed rail linking New York and Buffalo. They will be charged with developing with fresh, creative ideas for an affordable high speed rail program.
“High-speed rail is transforming economies around the world,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We’ve been told that bringing this technology to our state is too expensive, too difficult and would take too long — that’s not an acceptable attitude for New York.”
A DEIS issued in 2014 highlights the challenges with electrifying Amtrak’s Hudson River Valley line among other issues that make this a difficult project to design. It may be necessary to include Cleveland and Toronto in their analysis to justify the investments closer to New York.
Cuomo also announced aggressive plans to expand Penn Station in New York. The proposal includes new tracks, new entrances and better pedestrian flows.
Save the Date - Annual Meeting March 28 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Maggiano's Banquets, 111 W Grand Ave. Chicago, IL
The agenda and speakers will be posted as they become available.