Author: Lyndon Henry

Commentary

The folly of dismantling Amtrak’s National Network

After 48 years of providing long-distance passenger train services, is Amtrak preparing to scuttle these operations and dismantle its National Network? That nightmare prospect, long desired for decades by anti-passenger-rail politicians, now seems a real and perhaps imminent possibility.

Commentary

Could China’s “Trackless Train” really beat light rail?

The quest to concoct a workable rubber-tired replacement for steel-wheel light rail transit (LRT)—on standard steel rails—seems eternal. Several variants of running a “tram on tires,” typically with some configuration of a center guiderail, have been developed.

Commentary

Trolleys without the trolley wire

Off-wire light rail? Time was, not so long ago, that when I heard that phrase I immediately envisioned a light rail car that had accidentally got its trolley pole or pantograph off the overhead electric contact wire.

Commentary

LRT beats BRT on key metrics: FTA

For several decades, U.S. proponents of “bus rapid transit” (so-called BRT) have waged a veritable war against light rail transit (LRT), relying particularly on a claim that BRT is “just like light rail, but cheaper.”

Commentary

Austin urban rail plan: Behind voters’ rejection

Nov. 4, 2014 (U.S. national election day) was bad news for some important transit ballot measures, but in Austin, Tex., voters’ rejection of a seriously flawed “urban rail” (light rail) plan — by nixing a $600 million General Obligation bonds measure — was a major victory for rail transit.

Commentary

Lose rail vote? Comeback may be sooner than you think

When a community decides that a new rail transit system is essential to meet its mobility needs, it’s not enough to design a good project. You’ve got to find a way to finance it. Often, that means a public vote to authorize some kind of new financing mechanism.

Commentary

Bus Rapid Transit: Precursor to rail, or obstacle?

For decades, even when it was designated by other euphemisms such as “enhanced bus”, so-called “bus rapid transit” (BRT) was repeatedly hyped as a kind of interim service on the way to light rail transit (LRT).

Commentary

Cincinnati and Austin: Community urban rail proponents challenge City Hall

It should come as no surprise that campaigns for new urban rail startup projects have been meeting stiff opposition in a couple of American cities. That’s usually the case, isn’t it? However, the efforts in both Cincinnati, Ohio, and Austin, Tex., are particularly newsworthy because they involve a rather surprising juxtaposition of project supporters and opponents.