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RailPAC eNewsletter for January 12, 2015

A long, cold wait: Amtrak passengers finally depart Chicago 13.5 hours late CNN – Jan 8, 2015 The delay for Amtrak 48/448 was caused by mechanical problems, including frozen brakes, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.
The fault for the Lake Shore being late wasn’t the weather, it was Amtrak’s. The train should never have been allowed to leave the yard until it was in safe operating condition. The work should have been done on time for the train to leave on time. The train should not have left the station with a crew that would soon reach their 12 hour limit. Too often the problems at Amtrak are caused by the attitude of let’s dump the problem on someone else rather than fixing it. Once a train leaves with a problem it becomes somebody’s else’s problem at Amtrak. NB

January 12, 2015

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RailPAC eNewsletter for January 5,2015

Fred Frailey-Amtrak’s new look
Trains Dec 18, 2014
Amtrak is downsizing practically every one of its long-distance trains, between January 12 and February 28 and in some instances longer. This is what railroads routinely did in pre-Amtrak days, in those times of the year when business drops off.
Several people have sent me the preliminary changes, and of course it’s subject to change and even cancellation. But here is the plan, as of last week:

January 5, 2015
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RailPAC eNewsletter for December 29, 2014

Top 5 holiday destinations for Southern Californians 1. Las Vegas 2. San Francisco 3. San Diego 4. Grand Canyon 5. Anaheim
Source: Automobile Club of Southern California.
All 5 of these destinations can be served with improved and expanded rail passenger service connecting with the rest of California NB

December 29, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for December 22, 2014

High-speed rail project settles Bakersfield lawsuit
Visalia Times-Delta – Dec 19, 2014
SACRAMENTO – The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced Friday that it has settled one of seven environmental lawsuits challenging the route of the $68 billion bullet train through the Central Valley.
The Surface Transportation Board ruling that it can overrule local state environmental laws would have brought the dismissal of the Bakersfield Lawsuit if the city hadn’t settled. The six other lawsuits still pending will likely be soon settled or dismissed. NB

December 22, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for December 15, 2014

Metrolink chief Michael P. DePallo quits after two years
Los Angeles Times-Dec 12, 2014
Metrolink’s chief executive officer resigned Friday amid ongoing scrutiny of the six-county commuter railroad’s operations, governance and financial controls.Michael P. DePallo, a former transit leader from New York, stepped down two years after he replaced John Fenton, who left the top post unexpectedly in 2012 to head a Florida-based freight railroad…

December 15, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for December 8, 2014

FRA waives Buy America rules on high speed train prototypes
Railway Gazette International – Dec 4, 2014
‘FRA believes a waiver is appropriate because domestically-produced high speed trainsets meeting the specific technical, design, and schedule needs of Amtrak and CHSRA are not currently available in the USA’, the letter explains. ‘Moreover, domestically-produced high speed trainsets cannot be bought or produced in the USA within a reasonable time given the programme schedule associated with Amtrak’s and CHSRA’s projects.’

December 8, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for November 24, 2014

Whistle-blower: INDOT wasted time on alternative Journal and Courier-Nov 18, 2014
The Indiana Department of Transportation expects to reach agreement with Amtrak to continue operating the Hoosier State passenger rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.

November 24, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for November 1, 2014

Fight onboard an Amtrak train ends with a stabbing ABC30.com-Nov 12, 2014 FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) –Authorities are investigating a stabbing on an Amtrak passenger train. The Amtrak train involved was number 714.

 

November 17, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for November 10, 2014

State ends negotiations with Amtrak alternative Journal and Courier-Nov 8, 2014 The Indiana Department of Transportation has ended contract negotiations with Corridor Capital LLC to provide passenger rail cars, marketing and other services for the Hoosier State line between Indianapolis and Chicago, said INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield. Wingfield did not comment as to why negotiations were terminated. But he said the state is looking at its options to continue the service after the Jan. 31 expiration date on INDOT’s contracts with Amtrak and the communities along the route.

November 10, 2014

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RailPAC eNewsletter for November 3, 2014

24 hurt as Amtrak train, semi collide Indianapolis Star-Oct 28, 2014 “I went across the tracks, then I seen that train coming, and it was too late,” Hatfield said recalling the morning’s accident. “That’s about it.” There were 56 passenger on this Hoosier State. The crossing didn’t have warning lights or gates: see photos in this story. NB

November 3, 2014

The above copy of this enewletter is on a PDF file . If you would like to subscribe to this enewsletter write to nbraymer@railpac.org