The Union Pearson Express train in Toronto connects Canada’s busiest airport with their busiest train station. Since launching in June, the service had struggled to reach their ridership projections but a recent change has more than tripled their daily ridership.
For the last two weeks a group of MHSRA supporters were traveling around Japan on the country’s passenger rail network. A first-hand experience like this is the best way to understand the impacts of high-speed rail and bring back lessons that can be used for high-speed rail development in the United States.
On September 14 Germany’s railroad company Deutsche Bahn (DB) unveiled ICE 4, the latest generation of inter-city train sets. The Siemens built ICE 4 will have a top speed of 155mph and will be the backbone of Germany’s long-distance network. The CEO of DB announced that they plan to expand long-distance rail service by 25 percent by the year 2030, incorporating even more cities and regions into their network.
The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, the agency that manages the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), is taking a big step towards the phased network approach in North California with their ACEforward proposal.
The deadline to pass a federal budget is only two weeks away and Congress does not appear close to passing their regular annual appropriations bills. In order to avoid a shutdown Congress is preparing to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) or short-term budget extension.
On Friday August 26 Vice President Joe Biden announced a $2.45 billion investment on passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor. This will help Amtrak accommodate the steady growth in demand for fast, frequent and dependable train service. New high-speed trainsets, station upgrades and track improvements are all a part of the investment in the Northeast Corridor.
Testing has begun on a new high-speed segment in Italy between Treviglio and Brescia. The 39.6 kilometer segment is located just east of Milan and is due to open in December with an operating speed over 300 km/h.
Last week the new Siemens' Charger locomotives began testing at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Testing was conducted for maximum speed runs, acceleration, braking, as well as overall performance. These higher-speed, diesel electric locomotives are scheduled for delivery to customers in 7 different states over the next few years.
The California High Speed Rail Authority approved funding for Caltrain electrification and new grade separations on Tuesday morning. This is CHSRA’s contribution to a $2 billion plan that will improve the Caltrain passenger rail corridor, allowing for a mix of local, express and high speed trains along the tracks. Constructing a system where high-performance trains use both high-speed and conventional tracks is referred to as the blended service model or the network approach and it has been implemented successfully in countries around the world.
Railroad passengers came out ahead in two important regulatory decisions made by the Surface Transportation Board last Thursday, which will affect the reliability of Amtrak service. The proposals introduced a revised definition to passenger train on-time performance and ‘preference’ over freight trains.