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.
Eno Transportation Weekly
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.
July 13, 2017 – President Trump on July 11 nominated career railroad executive Ronald Batory to be Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
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.
June 30, 2017 – The Gateway Program is a $24 billion portfolio of rail projects in New York and New Jersey, centered around a new tunnel between Secaucus Junction and Penn Station.
June 9, 2017 – Amtrak submitted its own budget request for fiscal 2018 on May 31, asking for $840 million more than the White House requested on its behalf and also requesting a new kind of advance funding for 2019 and 2020.
June 1, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on May 31 that it has awarded $197 million in federal grants to 17 transportation departments and authorities.
May 25, 2017 – The FY 2018 budget request from the Trump Administration calls for steep cuts in federal grants to Amtrak, with the intent to eliminate federal support for Amtrak’s long-distance routes.
March 29, 2017 – This morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill (H.R. 1346) repealing the Obama Administration’s December 2016 rule requiring metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to consolidate across state lines.
February 17, 2017 – Federal agencies are continuing to implement the regulatory “freeze order” from the White House, including a delay in implementation of the Federal Highway Administration’s recent performance measures rule.
August 31, 2016 – Vice President Biden announced last week that the Federal Railroad Administration will loan Amtrak $2.45 billion to purchase 28 new trainsets for Northeast Corridor Acela service and to make upgrades to Washington Union Station, Moynihan Station New York, and other NEC facilities.
August 31, 2016 – House Railroad Subcommittee chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA) decided to break up his long summer recess by holding a field hearing of his subcommittee this week in San Francisco to get a status check on the California high-speed rail project.