Twenty years ago I was Executive Director of the San Bernardino Transportation Commission and had the opportunity to spend three weeks at U.C. Berkeley on a “micro-sabbatical.” The high-speed rail proposal was then attracting attention. While there I analyzed the newly issued high-speed rail feasibility studies. Two months later Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies published my analysis in an article entitled, “High Speed Rail in California: An Expensive Train to a Slower
Virgin Trains USA, formerly known as Brightline, has shelved a previously announced plan for an initial public offering (IPO).
"As we explored a public offering, a number of alternative financing sources became available that allowed us to keep the company private and meet our growth strategies," the company said in a statement reported yesterday by the Miami Herald.
Late last month, Virgin Trains announced plans for the IPO of 28.3 million shares of common stock. The com
Shown: A portion of the high-speed rail project under construction last month. Photo – California High-Speed Rail Authority's Flickr account California Gov. Gavin Newsom is scaling back the state's Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail (HSR) program, deciding instead to focus on a shorter route in the Central Valley.
In his first State of the State speech since being sworn in as governor last month, Newsom said yesterday that the state should no longer pursue the ent
Brazos Valley residents fighting a high-speed rail project are calling the latest court decision a victory. But the private train company, Texas Central maintains its project is still rolling along. On Friday 87th District Judge Deborah Evans said in a ruling Friday that Texas Central is not a railroad. Barbara and James Miles are at the center of that court case. They took Texas Central to court. "When you take 40 acres of mine in the middle of my place out you ruin me you k
Our nation’s infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. Roads, rails, highways, and bridges move the people and products that makes our nation’s $20 trillion GDP possible. For example, in Indiana 78% of the state’s $761 billion worth of commodities are shipped each year to and from here by trucks on the state’s highways. However, over the past several years, as a nation we have not invested in our infrastructure to ensure it will support a modern, 21st-century economy. Ou
On January 23, the Wall Street Journal reviewed my recent book, Romance of the Rails, calling it an “exhaustively researched exploration of America’s passenger-rail story.” Naturally, this brought a response from a rail enthusiast named Benjamin Turon chiding me for “failing to point out how poorly and unimaginatively trains in the U.S. are run compared with innovative and efficient rail systems in Europe and East Asia.” If Mr. Turon read the book, he would know that it devot
State Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) is taking aim at a planned high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston. Harris has introduced bills that purport, among other things, to protect private property from eminent domain, thus preventing Texas Central Railroad from acquiring its right-of-way. The bills also would prohibit the rail company from starting construction until it has acquired all of the property needed for the project. The House bills have not yet had a committee
An editorial from the ExxonMobil and Koch-funded Reason Foundation made the rounds this morning with the claim that “High-speed rail would provide little or no reduction in overall greenhouse-gas emissions.” The piece was penned by Marc Joffe, a senior policy analyst at Reason. From the Mercury News, where it ran: Since voters approved high-speed rail in 2008, electric car technology has improved greatly, and state policies have accelerated the transition to zero-emission veh
President Donald Trump's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress Feb. 5 was light, at best, on details about an infrastructure plan, but that the term was included at all is enough for elected officials and infrastructure stakeholders to consider it a win. The president mentioned the term "infrastructure" four times during his speech according to the official transcript provided by The White House. Sandwiched between trade and healthcare was his brief ca
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver and Uber have partnered on the first in-app integration of transit options. This allows Denver riders to see and consider transit routes within the Uber app. Trip planning is the first of two notable transit-related features being added to the Uber app. Soon, Denver riders will be able to purchase and use RTD tickets through the app. RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova noted that the transit agency is uniquely positione