High Performance

Advocates of the Nation Unite! We Have Nothing To Lose But Our Trains!

It feels a little strange to paraphrase Karl Marx in this publication, but the circumstances seem to warrant it in this instance. There are advocates all over the country who want an improved Amtrak, at least as they see it, and this writer knows or has known many of them. Unfortunately, sometimes their advocacy serves to undermine the efforts of other advocates, pitting two advocacy camps against each other and furthering the goals of the anti-rail forces who want to make our trains disappear permanently. A recent editorial piece here in Railway Age, a blog post, a magazine story and an advocate’s response to it from earlier this year comprise two cases in point.

FRA Green-Lights DC2RVA Project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), announced that the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Washington, D.C., to Richmond Southeast Higher Speed Rail Project (DC2RVA) has been signed, completing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study process and making the project eligible to receive additional federal funding to advance project planning.

RSI: No Federal Funds for Chinese-Sourced Railcars

The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) sent a letter to Congress on Sept. 5 urging members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to preserve, in Conference, existing language in H.R.2500/S.1790, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, that would prevent federal funds from being used to award a contract or subcontract for the procurement of transit vehicles to priority enterprises owned, controlled, or subsidized by SOEs (State-Owned Enterprises) falling under three specific definitions.