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Old March 25th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #1
Animo
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Amtrak



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The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak (reporting mark AMTK), is a government-owned corporation[1] that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track".[2] It is headquartered at Union Station in Washington, D.C.[3]
All of Amtrak's preferred stock is owned by the U.S. federal government. The members of its board of directors are appointed by the President of the United States and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate. Common stock was issued in 1971 to railroads that contributed capital and equipment; these shares convey almost no benefits[4] but their current holders[5] declined a 2002 buy-out offer by Amtrak.

Amtrak employs more than 20,000 people.[6] It operates passenger service on 21,200 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states[7] and three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2011, Amtrak served 30.2 million passengers.[7][8]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak
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Old March 25th, 2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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Amtrak San Joaquin Line Could See More Ridership

STOCKTON, Calif. (KCRA) -- A spokesman with the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which runs the Altamont Commuter Express, said legislation is in the works to take over the San Joaquin's Amtrak line.

The line runs from Kern County through the Central Valley, and splits off into a Y at Stockton. One line proceeds to Sacramento, while the other heads toward Oakland.

The Joint Powers Authority would be the governing board, made up of 11 members from the counties where the Amtrak line currently runs. This would include officials from Kern County to San Joaquin Valley to Sacramento and parts of the East Bay.

SJRRC said the goal is to meet the demands of the riders by adding more services, and said the Joint Powers Authority would be better able to handle this increase in service
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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As someone who has ridden the San Joaquin a number of times, I regret that this may happen. My understanding is that CalTrans has subsidized the service for a number of years so it has never been strictly an AmTrak operation. However its value to people like me has been that it provides a more frequent and reliable connection to Los Angeles for further connection to AmTrak trains to the southern tier of US states from Arizona to Louisiana (New Orleans)--the Sunset Limited--and from there to the East Coast--The Crescent. Unlike AmTrak's Coast Starlight, which operates only once per day and has earned the nickname "Coast StarLATE" due to congestion on its route, the San Joaquin runs about 5 times per day and provides, via a 3 hr bus ride between Bakersfield and Union Station in downtown LA, the LA connection. If the San Joaquin is no longer run by AmTrak, I have to wonder if either will even continue the LA bus service.

Last edited by Cal_Escapee; March 26th, 2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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High-speed rail plan slashes costs to calm critics
Michael Cabanatuan
Sunday, April 1, 2012

State transportation officials have slashed the price tag for California's controversial high-speed rail project by $30 billion and expanded the first stretch of track to run from Merced in the Central Valley south to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

The California High Speed Rail Authority's revised business plan, which will be released Monday in Fresno, calls for those dramatic changes as the agency prepares to ask the Legislature to use $2.7 billion in state high-speed rail bonds to start construction by early next year.

The drastic revision, which puts the proposed cost of the system at $68.4 billion instead of the $98.5 billion estimated in November, intends to cool opposition to the project . . . . It relies heavily on what officials have called a "blended approach" that uses existing commuter rail lines - including Caltrain - in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

That shift, authority board members said Saturday, is largely responsible for the cost savings because it eliminates the need to build separate tracks for high-speed rail through dense metropolitan areas . . . .

Gov. Jerry Brown's office has made the rail project eligible to use anticipated cap-and-trade revenues, which will be used as a backstop if other revenues don't come in when needed.

For the Bay Area, the new business plan means the authority will pay about half the $1.5 billion cost of electrifying the Caltrain system from San Jose to San Francisco. The long-planned electrification project, which will speed commuter trains and allow high-speed trains to share the tracks, could be completed by 2019. But the business plan's decision to head to Los Angeles first means high-speed trains won't arrive in the Bay Area until 2026 at the earliest . . . .

Under the new plan, construction still will start with the 130-mile Central Valley stretch, then continue north to Merced and south to Palmdale, crossing the Tehachapis with a series of tunnels and viaducts. It could reach both destinations by 2020. Extending the line to Burbank will take two more years.

. . . the updated plan also calls for the authority to invest in improvements that include advanced signaling systems and elimination of street-level railroad crossings on the Altamont Commuter Express and Amtrak San Joaquin trains, which would allow them to increase speeds and haul passengers to Merced faster . . . .

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BA2F1NT19T.DTL
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 01:28 AM   #5
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Administration Unveils High-Speed Rail-Car Push
April 20, 2012, 11:21 p.m. ET

The U.S. government on Friday unveiled a fresh effort to kick-start its high-speed railroad project, unveiling a proposal to fund and build new passenger cars for the states that are progressing with the project.

The Department of Transportation said it was looking to buy around 130 new rail cars that would be operated in up to seven states that have signed up to pursue high-speed rail lines run by government-owned rail operator Amtrak, with two-thirds of them used in the Midwest and the rest in California.

The department plans to award the $551 million rail-car contract in October—initial bids are due next month—stipulating that all assembly, parts and materials have to be made in the U.S. . . . .
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000...=ITP_pageone_2
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Old May 11th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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High-speed rail sets Valley route, gets $1 billion offer
By Tim Sheehan - The Fresno Bee
Friday, May. 04, 2012 | 12:32 AM

The California High-Speed Rail Authority took a key step toward developing its proposed passenger-train system Thursday, certifying environmental reports and formally approving the first portion of the line between Merced and Fresno.

Skeptics remain even as the authority pushes forward on building as soon as this year. But Thursday, a new booster stepped forward -- Madera real-estate developer Ed McIntyre, who said that he and partners are ready to spend $1 billion developing a maintenance yard and more if the authority puts it on their property in Madera.

McIntyre told the board before its vote that his group believes high-speed rail pencils out as a money-maker. In his group's case, he said, they're certain they can secure financing and recoup their investment through a lease-buy deal with the authority.

Thursday's votes at the authority's board meeting in Fresno locks in the route choice -- a hybrid line that follows portions of two different rail lines through the San Joaquin Valley -- and clears the way for the authority to award construction contracts after bids are received later this year.

It also allows the agency to start negotiating with property owners along the route for buying rights of way and determining other types of compensation for potential losses . . . .

The federal government has pledged about $3.3 billion to California to start building a 120-mile stretch from Madera to Bakersfield -- part of the 520-mile system that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. But that money depends on the state putting up $2.7 billion from Proposition 1A, a bond measure approved by voters in 2008.

"If the Legislature doesn't authorize the issuance of $2.7 billion, we have more than a casual difficulty in how to move the project forward because it puts in jeopardy the money from the feds," Richards said Thursday . . . .

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/03/...#storylink=cpy
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 05:09 AM   #7
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Also, should someone move this to the general US forum and make it the general Amtrak thread? I diddn't see one.
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Old June 14th, 2014, 02:29 AM   #8
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Lawmakers and Gov. Brown agreed to spend $250 million on the high speed rail and dedicate 25 percent of future cap and trade funds toward the $68 billion project.

Under cap and trade, California began collecting the new revenue in 2012 by auctioning "carbon credits" that essentially permit businesses to exceed the cap on carbon dioxide emissions. Credit holders who do not emit carbon dioxide beyond a cap set by the state can sell them to businesses that are exceeding the cap . . . .
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...402.php#page-2

This, presumably, is in addition to the $10B worth of bonds previously authorized.
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Old June 15th, 2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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High-speed deal: As part of the overall state budget deal, Democratic lawmakers have agreed to use $250 million in cap-and-trade revenue to help build the $68 billion high-speed rail project.

The deal means 25 percent of the money the state gets from selling carbon emission rights - including the expected 10- to 20-cent-per-gallon bump at the pump starting next year - will go to high-speed rail.

"This could be a tipping point," said Dan Richard, chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority.

"It provides an ongoing revenue stream," Richard said. "It allows for better financing, and it's already started to accelerate interest from private investors."
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier...re-5553081.php
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