“THIS IS THE reinvention of train travel in America,” Patrick Goddard, a dapper Irishman and the president of Virgin Trains USA, declared in late June. The path to reinvention traveled through a nondescript platform outside Orlando International Airport, where Goddard and area luminaries had gathered for the groundbreaking of the company’s new Orlando-to-Miami route. It was made possible by 67 wealthy investors, who had collectively financed the project with $1.75 billion in
Maglevs: How Do They Work? As noted by Railway Technology, maglev got its start in the 1940s with British electrical engineer Eric Laithwaite — sometimes called the “father of maglev” — who envisioned mechanically simple trains operating with no rail contact, high efficiency and very low noise. The first patent for a maglev train was issued in the 1960s to James Powell and Gordon Danby. According to Energy.gov, the basic concept is simple: Magnets on the bottom of train cars
Some Texas lawmakers are looking to resurrect the decades-old idea of a passenger rail line connecting San Antonio and Austin.
In late August, 20 state reps sent a letter to the chairman of the House Transportation Committee requesting a feasibility study ahead of the 2021 legislative session on a rail link between the cities.
In the letter, legislators including Reps. Diego Bernal, Ray Lopez and Barbara Gervin-Hawkins pointed to projected population growth in both citi
AMTRAK was set up in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to save the US inter-city passenger industry from extinction following two decades of accelerating decline. Many of the surviving medium and long-distance passenger services were incorporated into a new national network which largely survives today. From the outset, Amtrak has been a political football at the mercy of battles in Congress over its annual funding budget which has brought it close to the brink on a few occa
A coalition of San Antonio and Austin state representatives has asked the House Transportation Committee chair to study the possibility of passenger rail between the two cities ahead of the 2021 legislative session. Congestion between the two cities will only increase, the legislators wrote, costing drivers time and money. “Improved transportation connectivity is critical for the Austin-San Antonio corridor,” 20 legislators said in an Aug. 16 letter. “We must not only look at
Phoenix voters rejected a plan that aimed to stop further development of the city's light rail system in a special election on Tuesday. Proposition 105 was defeated with 62.33% of the vote (112,056 votes), with 37.67% (67,735) voting in favor, according to provisional results. Around 15,000 early ballots still need to be counted. The Proposition asked voters if they wanted to stop expansion of the city's Valley Metro system into communities in the south, and other subsequent
In late 2016, federal investigators probing a fatal crash between a confused truck driver and a California commuter train made a plea to Google, Apple and Microsoft: Add information on the nation’s hundreds of thousands of railroad crossings to your navigation apps. Nearly three years later, none of them has. The inaction by giant tech companies remains a frustration for safety advocates, at a time when hundreds of people die every year in collisions at U.S. railroad crossing
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Harris County's (METRO) board yesterday approved the METRONext Moving Forward plan, which includes 16 additional miles of light rail. Now, a referendum will be placed on the Nov. 5 ballot for voters to consider $3.5 billion in bonding authority for METRO to finance the plan, agency officials said in a press release. The $7.5 billion plan would be funded through local dollars and federal funding grants. No new tax increases would be
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) yesterday issued a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for more than $244 million in grant funding under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.
The program fiscal-year 2019 NOFO will fund projects that increase rail transportation safety, efficiency and reliability, FRA officials said in a press release.
The CRISI grant program "is an important resource for railroads to upgrade infrastructur
BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - Another local organization is backing a high-speed rail project that would cut through a portion of the Brazos Valley. Wednesday the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation board unanimously approved a letter of support for Texas Central. The company wants to build a high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas. The proposed route takes it through the eastern portion of the Brazos Valley with a stop in Grimes County. Bryan and College St