Intercity

As 1918 Shows, Railroads Have Been Through This Before

Editor’s Note: In 1918, the world was dealing with a deadly coronavirus pandemic, the “Spanish Flu.” Longtime Trains Editor and Publisher Kevin P. Keefe, now retired and a columnist for Classic Trains, sent me his April 2, 2020 “Mileposts” blog, in which he extensively references Railway Age. It is reposted here with permission, with some added photos. “It’s great to have a 170-year-old magazine around!” he said in his note to me. Actually, it’s 164, but who’s counting? Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. – William C. Vantuono.

You Can Rely Upon Lithium-Ion

Even dedicated environmentalists have trouble “doing the right thing” when it comes to traveling by today’s railways. In December 2019, activist Greta Thunberg was headed from Lisbon to Madrid to speak at a United Nations conference dealing with climate change, when she ruled out a flight due to its impact and instead opted to journey by rail. But the lack of fully electrified rails between Vilar Formoso, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain still required a heavily polluting diesel locomotive for more than an hour of her journey.

APTA: CARES Act Provides $25 Billion, With Conditions

President Trump on March 27 signed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (or Title XII of Division B), into law, following swift passage in the House of Representatives by voice vote, and one day after the U.S. Senate passed the bill in a unanimous 96-0 vote. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that addresses the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes many funding measures that directly benefit the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger. In the bill is approximately $25 billion for public transportation. Distribution of the funds is rather complex, and APTA (American Public Transportation Association), which took the lead in working with Congress on the bill’s transit provisions, provided an explanation to its members.

UPDATED MARCH 27: Stimulus Bill—Signed Into Law—CARES For Rail

President Trump on March 27 signed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, into law, following swift passage in the House of Representatives by voice vote, and one day after the U.S. Senate passed the bill in a unanimous 96-0 vote. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that addresses the devastating economic and societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes many funding measures that directly benefit the railway industry—all modes, freight and passenger.