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Commentary

Arturo Leonard Lloyd, Jr.

May 21, 1925 – December 4, 2016

Art LloydOn Sunday, December 4, Arthur Lloyd left this world with dignity and grace, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and caregivers in the living room of his home in Menlo Park. He was a powerful presence in our lives even as a series of strokes diminished his ability to move around and communicate. To the end, he expressed love for his family and gratitude for his care.

A sixth-generation Californian, Arthur was born and raised in San Francisco. When Arthur was about to start his sophomore year at the newly-opened Lincoln High School, his father moved his dental practice from downtown San Francisco to Napa. Dismayed by life in what was then a sleepy small town, Arthur accelerated his high school career by taking courses at the local community college, allowing him to matriculate at U.C. Berkeley in 1942, at the age of 17. Not long after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Fort Benning, GA, for basic training, and then to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he served in the Medical Corps until the war ended in 1945. Continue Reading

Issues

PTC: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Age

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee has released H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, commonly referred to as the “highway bill.” Buried deep within the document (p. 504) is language with provisions to extend the PTC deadline to Dec. 31, 2018, with up to 24 months of additional extensions granted by the FRA on a case-by-case basis.

Read more.

Events

Annual Members Meeting

Steel Wheels Conference
2016:  A Year of Possibilities

December 5, 2015
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Doors Open 9:00 am, with a break for lunch (not provided)
Metro Boardroom, Los Angeles

SUPPORT OUR LONG DISTANCE TRAINS!

STEEL WHEELS 2015 Conference is your opportunity to show your support for the long distance trains. By attending this gathering you will show our Los Angeles based Amtrak Board member, Yvonne Burke, that we are behind her as she represents the western states at Amtrak Board meetings. In addition Ms. Burke is a member of the California Transportation Commission.

In addition to Ms Burke we’ll be joined by newly appointed Amtrak route managers Jay Fountain and Eric Smith, who will describe their initiatives to improve revenue and amenities. Jay is responsible for the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle and Heartland Flyer, while Eric manages the Coast Starlight and the Southwest Chief. Register today and let’s show these folks, and Amtrak in DC, that we believe in the long distance trains and will support them.

Once again RailPAC and NARP are presenting the annual Joint RailPAC/NARP Conference, a must for rail advocates.

Conveniently located at the Los Angeles Metro Board Room at Union Station in Los Angeles, California this meeting will kick off with information and discussion about the issues facing passenger rail.

Keynote speaker will be Director of the Amtrak Board, Yvonne Burke.  2016 will be a challenging year for Amtrak, regional and High Speed Rail. Industry leaders will present their thoughts on growing a mobility network for California. In the afternoon we’ll address the role of advocacy groups and how we mobility advocacy groups are invited to participate.

Speakers:
  • Yvonne Burke
    Board Member, Amtrak
    Former Congresswoman and L.A. County Supervisor
  • Dave Golonski
    Chair, LOSSAN
    Served 20 years on Burbank City Council including four terms as Mayor
  • Darrell Clarke
    Chair, Transportation Committee, Sierra Club, Los Angeles
    Darrell leads Friends4Expo, the successful campaign for light rail in west Los Angeles
  • Bruce Becker
    NARP Board
  • Dave Cook
    Rail Propulsion System – Hybrid diesels and after market emission systems.
Events

Santa Barbara Train Day

Although Amtrak will not be sponsoring National Train Day this year RailPAC, together with a number of local groups, is continuing the tradition at Santa Barbara.  Train Day will take place Saturday May 9th at the historic depot.  County Supervisor Salud Carbajal will emcee the event and State Senator Jackson and Mayor Helene Schneider are confirmed attendees.
The day will start for those wanting a train ride with train 774 to Carpinteria, returning on 1761.  Events and ceremonies will begin upon arrival of 1761 at about 10.30 am.
Issues

States for Passenger Rail Coalition Comments on Indiana’s Decision to Stop Sponsoring the Hoosier State

States for Passenger Rail CoalitionPortland, ME – March 6, 2015 – “It is a sad day when the federal agency which administers federal funding for Amtrak, and who has played such a critical role in providing grants to States to help develop and improve intercity passenger rail services, also is determined to require States and intercity passenger service sponsors who contract with Amtrak to become railroads” observed Patricia Quinn, Chair of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition, Inc. (S4PRC) and Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA). Continue Reading

Commentary, Issues

Amtrak Statement in Response to the Hoosier Announcement

Indiana is fighting back against the FRA ruling, which is excellent news.  The whole idea of the ruling is ridiculous.  If a State hires a qualified operator to do a job it should not have to become certified to do the job itself.  Boardman is again trying to use PRIIA and now the FRA to force the states into paying their monopoly pricing for service.  This will not win him any friends outside the NEC.  – Paul Dyson Continue Reading

ILDOT
Issues

Hoosier State Passenger Rail Service to End April 1

RailPAC is still gathering information about new proposed rulings by the Federal Railroad Administration which would appear to have a profound effect on State rail programs.  This has the hallmarks of a Washington DC power play involving FRA, Amtrak and others to ensure that the states do not use non-Amtrak operators.  However, the burden placed on the states, including states like Texas and California that cannot be railroads for legal reasons, may well backfire on the proponents and cause the Congress to take action on this.
Check railpac.org and our social media for regular updates.

Continue Reading

Reports

Breaking News!

Approval has just been granted to form a State Assembly Select Committee for Passenger Rail.  More details to come…