The Florida Development Finance Corp. (FDFC) has approved Brightline’s request to act as a conduit for the issuance of $1.75 billion in Private Activity Bonds to finance construction of rail infrastructure in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Brevard and Orange counties for Phase 2 of the higher-speed passenger rail system.
If the new Amtrak management team is sincerely trying to improve safety, we ought to all support what they are doing. But if Amtrak is only using safety as a stalking horse to pursue another agenda (such as discontinuing L-D trains, as is believed in many circles), it should be called out on it.
Watching Washington, September 2018: If two congressional directives are not aptly labeled “Cheech and Chong Provisions,” why is their sum “420” and their consequence a seeming hallucinatory decade-long cavort through the federal court system whose clashing opinions have pinged and ponged as if a Super Mario arcade game?
I’ll keep my remarks brief—which is unusual for me—and let the photos do most of the talking.
A white paper issued by the Rail Passengers Association, “Amtrak’s Route Accounting: Fatally Flawed, Misleading & Wrong,” contends that Amtrak’s fully allocated cost methodology “grossly exaggerates the cost of operating the national passenger train system. This, in turn, has lead to the conclusion adopted by many elected leaders and other affected stakeholders that abandonment of key long-distance trains will save Amtrak significant sums and lead to a more financially secure national passenger operation.”
Dear Mr. Anderson: I am writing you both as a long-time believer in and user of Amtrak as well as a frequent passenger on our nation’s air transportation system.
Watching Washington, August 2018: Human life is measured in scores of years, stars in billions of miles, the national debt in trillions of dollars—all remarkably miniscule numbers compared to the petabytes of data (numbers containing 15 zeroes) generated by artificial intelligence in our increasingly knowledge-based society.
Amtrak is on notice by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that should it discriminate against other railroads sharing access to Amtrak’s wholly owned Chicago Union Station (CUS), it could face regulatory discipline.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded more than $200 million in funds to assist with the deployment of Positive Train Control (PTC), with a second solicitation expected soon for a remaining $46 million. As well, the agency released its second-quarter 2018 PTC progress report, which shows “significant improvement.”
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has appointed Boris Lipkin as the Northern California regional director.