Railroads

Issues & Modes / Railroads

Railroads have been a vital presence in American transportation for nearly 200 years moving both passengers and freight efficiently and effectively. Freight railroads in the United States are mostly owned by private companies, who maintain and operate their own networks. Passenger systems, whether through Amtrak or various commuter railroads, require public assistance and either operate on their own track or pay to use freight railroad-owned track.

Amtrak Route Expansion Largely Depends on State Willingness to Subsidize

Seeking to capitalize on President Biden's huge proposed spending increases as part of his American Jobs Plan, Amtrak last month...

House Hearing Shows Partisan Divide on High-Speed Rail

A hearing before the House Railroads Subcommittee yesterday revealed sharp partisan division over high-speed rail in general and over...

Looking Back – When Amtrak Almost Got its Own Trust Fund in 1997

The discussion in this week’s House high-speed rail hearing of a possible federal trust fund to support Amtrak capital expenditures...

Amtrak at 50: How McKinsey Designed A National Railroad

(Part one of this series told the story of how Congress passed, and Richard Nixon at the last minute decided to sign, the October 1970...

Here’s how the GOP infrastructure plan stacks up against Biden’s transportation plans

Jeff Davis examined what Biden and Senate Republicans are proposing to spend on roads, transit, rail, airports and safety programs over...

Say It Ain’t So, Amtrak Joe

Jeff Davis was surprised to see Amtrak's 2035 Vision included a Minneapolis-Duluth line that former Minnesota congressman Jim Oberstar...

GAO Issues Status Report on U.S. Commuter Rail

This week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a new report entitled Commuter Rail: Information on Benefits and Funding...

White House plan calls for large expansion of federal government’s role in transportation

The Biden administration is calling for $365 billion in highway spending, $189 billion for transit and $94 billion for rail over five...

CP-KCS Merger Would Create Canada-US-Mexico Unified Railroad

In what seems like the last, unfinished piece of 1990s railroad merger mania, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern announced on...

Rail Safety, Workforce, and GHG Issues Set Stage for Surface Transportation Reauthorization

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), the brand-new chairman of the House Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, kicked off a...

Amtrak at 50: Defining the “Basic System” of Service Routes

President Richard Nixon, against the wishes of his senior White House advisers, signed the Rail Passenger Service Act into law on...

Railroads Successfully Implement Positive Train Control Technology Two Days Before Extended Deadline

The railroad industry can finally rest easy after the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)  announced the successful implementation...

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