When it comes to the news of Jan. 16, 2020 of Amtrak approaching the State of Tennessee to gin-up interest in its latest pitch for the highly questionable PRIIA legislation, it is best to remember what long-ago Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” As this action looks like a maneuver to manipulate Congress to allow Amtrak to disassemble long-distance trains and reallocate their equipment, I intend to ensure sufficient sunlight is evident here when Amtrak touts its newly discovered Nashville-Atlanta route.
Listen to the newest Podcast from RT&S Editor-in-Chief Bill Wilson.
New Amtrak state-of-the-art, high-speed trainsets are scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, as Amtrak and Alstom have partnered to introduce the new Acela fleet.
Ever since he came to Amtrak from the airline industry, President and CEO Richard Anderson has “railed” against so-called “experiential” trains, an expression he often uses in disparaging the roughly 15 long-distance trains in Amtrak’s skeletal national network. Anderson clearly prefers corridors, and many members of the rider advocacy community also like them, but Anderson seems determined to expand those corridors by eliminating long-distance trains in what he and his followers perceive as a zero-sum game. While he often uses the word to describe his company’s long-haul trains, it does not seem clear what he dislikes about them, or whom he believes they serve and with what sort of experience.
“[A]nd a little child shall lead them.” Many of you will recall that this is a Biblical quote from Isaiah read at Christian Sunday Advent services last month just prior to Christmas. And this made me think of the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (now Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” and recently nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize) and which, per chance, occurred at the same time I received an e-mail from a fellow rail advocate who expressed his rabid climate denial, using such words as “I haven’t drank the climate change Kool Aid.”
The Women’s Transportation Seminar Inland Empire Chapter (WTS-IE) has named HDR’s Lisa Reece as 2019 Woman of the Year, the first time in the chapter’s history that a woman from the private sector has been honored. Reece is the company’s transportation client development leader for Southern California.
One thing we have learned from Trump City and New York’s Hudson Yards project: There is gold buried in old rail yards. Once combined with advanced technology like AI (artificial intelligence) and automation, you could be seeing the next great infrastructure boom in America. The amazing thing is that “Railways 1.0” has quietly had a huge impact—but a much bigger one is coming.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ghost speech writer for his Penn Station South eight-track expansion proposal forgot a lot of things and clearly has no understanding of transit history.
Wabtec Corp. has acquired RELCO Locomotives for $29 million, on a cash- and debt-free basis. All conditions for the acquisition are complete and the transaction will be accretive in year one. RELCO’s projected sales for 2019 are roughly $50 million.
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors recently awarded Stadler a $112 million maintenance contract. With the deal, Stadler enters the Maintenance Services sector in the U.S. for the first time.