Last week, Virgin Trains USA sold $1.75 billion worth of high-yield bonds to qualified investors eager to invest in “a whole new level of train transportation.” Initially proposed as a $1.5 billion sale, it was not only upsized to a $1.75 billion sale, but was also priced a day ahead of schedule because of such high demand.
An ultra-high speed rail system running trains with testing speeds of 250 mph to create a Pacific Northwest megaregion was a key theme of Karen Hedlund’s talk at the Midwest High Speed Rail Association’s annual meeting on March 23.
Hedlund is the National Railroad Strategy Advisor with WSP, a consulting firm that specializes in transportation, and the former Chief Counsel for the Federal Railroad Administration.
The ongoing struggle over federal funding for California’s high-speed line from San Francisco to LA adds uncertainty to what was already a confusing situation. A reality check is in order.
(2/20/19 Update: The Federal Railroad Adminstration has notified the California High Speed Rail Association that the FRA intends to withdraw federal funding. You can send President Trump a message at the bottom of this page.)
Despite what you might have heard, Gov. Gavin Newsom reaffirmed California's commitment to high-speed rail in his State of the State speech on Tuesday.
Unified Service means:
1) 220-mph trains on the Bakersfield - Merced high-speed line as soon as possible.
2) High-frequency 79-mph trains between Merced, Sacramento, the Bay area and Silicon Valley.
3) Trainsets that can operate in both environments.
California’s high-speed rail project faces a serious challenge.
Have you seen the latest on the O'Hare expansion and modernization project? Newly released architectural renderings for each of five proposals show impressive plans for the new O'Hare Global Terminal and Concourse, the centerpiece of the City's plan.
Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune argues that the Foster + Partners design (pictured right), evokes the great railroad stations of the past. He notes that it provides a space where customers will actually enjoy their time waiting to depart, rather than sitting in a holding pen before being shepherded onto a plane.
Due to unusually cold temperatures on Wednesday, January 30th, Amtrak cancelled all train service to and from Chicago, leaving people stranded all over. As of Thursday, January 31st, they are still operating on a very limited schedule.
This is unacceptable. Congress needs to fund the necessary infrastructure improvements so that this doesn't happen.
Can you help us seize a great opportunity? Here's the deal:
Illinois hasn't passed a capital spending package since 2009, leaving the state with a laundry list of infrastructure projects that desperately need funding. With a new governor and general assembly in office, a capital bill is on the agenda for the upcoming legislative session. We want to make sure that fast, frequent and dependable trains are a big part of the mix.
Last week, Democrats in the Washington State Senate introduced a new appropriations bill that contains language dedicating just over $3 million towards “the development of a new ultra high-speed ground transportation corridor authority.” The language defines "ultra high-speed" as a maximum testing speed of at least 250 mph (the TGV tested at 357 mph). It is a big step towards the construction of a true high-speed rail system in the Pacific Northwest.
On January 10, Governor Holcomb released his proposed budget for the next two fiscal years. In it, he proposed eliminating the Chicago – Indianapolis Hoosier State.
Please ask Governor Holcomb to invest in the train, not cut it!