Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Railroad signalmen back California HSR effort

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The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, announced "support for the California High-Speed Rail Authority [CHSRA] and California Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal that would authorize funding for the state's high-speed rail program, utilizing $300 million of cap and trade revenue."

"The plan to use revenue generated from cap and trade emission policy to invest in rail is a great way to fund California's high speed rail initiatives," BRS President W. Dan Pickett said. "High speed rail is the future and this budget proposal supports that vision. This plan also has the possibility of adding quality jobs to the rail industry. I fully support Governor Brown's plan."

BRS says it represents 11,000 men and women who install, maintain, and repair railroad signal systems and highway-rail grade crossings in the U.S.

BRS emphasized that the CHSRA investment in rail includes upgrades to urban, regional, and intercity passenger rail systems "that improve connectivity and modernize transportation between regions across California. Connecting intercity and urban commuter rail to the high-speed rail system helps California's transportation system.

"High speed rail has been a priority investment of cap and trade funding for several years. Without high speed rail, California's existing transportation infrastructure cannot meet the demands of the projected population growth in the coming decades. Adding more freeways and runways would cost up to three times as much as high speed rail," BRS said.