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Negative reaction was swiftly forthcoming. “Governor Scott rejected billions of federal dollars that would have created jobs and supercharged Florida’s tourism industry,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Instead, he placed short-sighted partisan politics above people’s transportation needs and job creation. Governor Scott’s true motivations were reflected in his partisan statements criticizing President Obama.”

APTAPresident William Millar was more circumspect in issuing the following statement:

“Whilerecent attention has focused on three states (Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio) returningtheir federal grants for high speed rail, the facts are that 28 states areforging ahead in planning and implementing high speed and intercity passengerrail improvements. These states recognize the critical importance of investingto create a modern, intermodal 21st century transportation system toaccommodate expected population and economic growth. Thisinvestment is expanding the rail industry in the United States and will lead tohundreds of thousands of much-needed American jobs. High speed rail will be aneconomic boon to the communities and states it serves and will help relievehighway and aviation congestion in many corridors. Americais expected to grow dramatically in the next several decades. We must makeinfrastructure investments now just as President Eisenhower did in the1950s in creating the interstate highway system. President Obama and thegovernors of these 28 states are to be congratulated for their vision.”

 

 

 

--> In a development that stunned the global railway community, Florida’s Tea Party-leaning Gov. Rick Scott (pictured) announced Wednesday morning that he is turning down $2.3 billion in promised federal grants to help build a high speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa and eventually to ...
Michael L. Pourney has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis, Mo.-based Gross & Janes Co., the largest independent supplier and shipper of untreated railroad ties in North America. His appointment is effective immediately. ...
In a move Monday aimed partially at countering talk of cost-cutting, Amtrak said it hopes to purchase 40 Acela Express coach cars in fiscal year 2012 for its high speed service on the Northeast Corridor. The proposal is part of Amtrak’s $2.22 billion budget request submitted to Congress. ...
The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) says Amtrak, along with high speed rail projects, could lose out financially if President Obama’s proposal for a rail account in a new transportation trust fund is advanced. The proposal for funding a new six-year surface t ...
A corruption investigation has led to the removal of Chinese Railway Minister Liu Zhijun (pictured) from his post, and a New York Times dispatch from Beijing says the probe “raises questions about China’s deep investment inhigh speed railways.” ...
Union Pacific says it is upgrading 30 miles of right-of-way, between Wellton and Yuma, Ariz., at a cost of $7 million. ...

Tampa’s existing 2.7-mile TECO streetcar line dedicated a$5.3 million extension, one-third of a mile, to Whiting Street on Jan. 31,though the extension began revenue service two months earlier. The streetcar isoverseen by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation Authority (HART).

 

--> Hillsborough County, Fla., voters last November defeated a proposed light rail transit system for the Tampa Bay area, but Tampa mayoral candidates this year continue to support LRT for the city itself. The explanation, in part, is attributed to particulars in last year’s vote: ...
Two days after House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) announced his intent to cut $74 billion in proposed federal spending over the next seven months, he said he had increased that figure to $100 billion in cuts to be included in an upcoming Containing Resolution (CR) that twill ...
Amidst moves by House GOP leaders to slash Amtrak funding for the remainder of this fiscal year and for FY12, Amtrak released ridership figures showing continuing growth and marking 15 straight month of passenger increases. ...
Fairport, N.Y.-based RailComm said Friday it is providing a wireless remote-control yard system at a major western railroad’s yard in Texas. ...
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