March 22, 2018 – The fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill appears to accede to President Trump’s request to remove the $900 million in funding for the Gateway Program of NY/NJ rail projects, but it’s more complicated than that.
Eno Transportation Weekly
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 14, 2018 – Last Friday, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) released a draft 2018 business plan stating that costs for completing Phase 1 of the system (San Francisco to Anaheim) could rise as high as $98 billion, that completion will take four more years to complete than was estimated two years ago, and that the authority will probably need additional funding from somewhere in order to complete the initial operating segment of the system.
March 14, 2018 – Timeline of the escalating cost estimates and shrinking scope of the California high-speed rail project from 1999 through 2018.
Timeline of the history and recent developments relating to the Gateway Program of rail projects in New Jersey and New York.
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 14, 2018 – As Congress again focuses on positive train control (PTC) implementation in the U.S., it is worth examining how much farther along we are in this regard than the European Union.
February 14, 2018 – The Senate broke a six-month logjam last night and confirmed, by voice vote, Ronald Batory to be Federal Railroad Administrator and Adam Sullivan to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Government Affairs.
January 18, 2018 – The estimated cost of the initial Fresno to Bakersfield segment of the California high-speed rail system has soared another $2.8 billion, to $10.6 billion.
January 12, 2018 – The aftermath of December’s fatal Amtrak Cascades train derailment in Washington State continues to keep the topic of positive train control (PTC) in the headlines.
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.
December 20, 2017 – The tax bill is through, but the appropriations endgame remains.
October 13, 2017 – A new study produced by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called for more frequent and comprehensive inspections of railroad routes that carry petroleum products, among many other recommendations.
August 4, 2017 – A pair of recent court rulings in the last eight days have opened the way for numerous lawsuits against the California high-speed rail project under the auspices of the famously lawsuit-friendly California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
July 28, 2017 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 26 held a hearing on multiple pending nominations, including Ronald Batory to head the Federal Railroad Administration and Mark Buzby to head the Maritime Administration.
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 13, 2017 – On July 7, the Federal Railroad Administration finalized a program to allow private bidders to take over some Amtrak long-distance routes.