September 5, 2018 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved Wednesday two transportation-related nominees and a bill to streamline Department of Transportation reporting requirements.
Eno Transportation Weekly
July 25, 2018 – Last Friday, a federal appeals court issued a new ruling in the seemingly never-ending saga of the railroad industry’s legal fight against metrics for on-time performance of Amtrak trains developed in 2009 by the Federal Railroad Administration and by Amtrak itself.
June 29, 2018 – Today, the group of New York and New Jersey entities responsible for the Gateway Program (the $30+ billion portfolio of rail projects in those two states used by Amtrak and local transit agencies) submitted a revised plan for the first project in the portfolio and a status update on the second project (which is by far the biggest project in the portfolio, or indeed the country, at least as far as projects trying to get federal mass transit dollars goes).
June 21, 2018 – This week, President Trump made his third nomination for the Amtrak Board of Directors. And closer analysis reveals that a combination of past inaction and luck of the draw means that Trump could fill seven of the eight slots on the Amtrak Board by next year – if the Senate plays along.
March 22, 2018 – The fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations agreement includes $3.09 billion for the programs of the Federal Railroad Administration, an increase of $1.24 billion (67 percent) over last year.
March 2, 2018 – Perhaps the biggest differences between the House and Senate versions of the transportation budget for 2018 initially approved by the appropriators last year revolve around the Gateway Program of rail projects in New York and New Jersey.
February 23, 2018 – The House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held an oversight hearing on February 15 to examine which railroads might not make the December 31, 2018 statutory deadline for installation of positive train control (PTC) technology – and what the consequences might be for the railroads that fail to meet the deadline.
February 22, 2018 – Last Friday, Amtrak submitted an ambitious $11 billion budget request for fiscal 2019 and future years, dwarfing the $738 million requested by the Trump Administration for 2019 only.
February 15, 2018 – The President’s 2019 budget proposes significant cuts in the programs of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), cutting pass-through grants to Amtrak in half versus the last enacted level and by zeroing out three new grant programs for intercity passenger rail authorized by the FAST Act in 2015.
February 2, 2018 – President Trump today announced his intention to nominate new members of the Boards of Directors of Amtrak and of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
January 19, 2018 – This week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved, for a second time, the nominations of Diana Furchgott-Roth to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Research and Technology and of former Congressman Lynn Westmoreland to be a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors.
December 22, 2017 – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) again blocked the nomination of Ronald Batory to become the nation’s head safety regulator as Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
December 22, 2017 – This week’s fatal Amtrak derailment in Washington State has brought the issue of positive train control (PTC), a technology that automatically activates the brakes of trains to meet speed limits or red lights, to the forefront of debate once again.
November 1, 2017 – On October 31, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee convened a hearing to consider four of President Trump’s transportation nominees, amidst a growing backlog of transportation nominees in the upper chamber.
October 12, 2017 – On October 4, the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee convened a subcommittee hearing on infrastructure needs from the perspective of rail stakeholders. Rep.
July 17, 2017 – As noted in last week’s ETW, Amtrak has released its own five-year business plan and financial forecast. The original version of the plan (preserved here for posterity) had inaccurate tables in the back of the report relating to route-by-route ridership and financial forecasts.
July 20, 2017 – Amtrak submitted its fiscal 2018 budget request to Congress on May 31, but did not get around to publishing its full financial plan to accompany the budget request until late last week.
July 13, 2017 – On July 7, the Federal Railroad Administration finalized a program to allow private bidders to take over some Amtrak long-distance routes.
July 7, 2017- The U.S. Department of Transportation withdrew from formal participation in the Gateway Development Program as a new cost estimate for centerpiece of the program raised the total program cost to near $30 billion.
July 1, 2017 – Late yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Transportation notified the Gateway Program Development Corporation that USDOT is permanently withdrawing from the corporation’s Board of Trustees.