LaHood: High-Speed Rail Obama’s ‘Crowning Glory’
Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday called President Obama’s dedication to high-speed rail the “crowning glory” of his transportation legacy.
“I think the crowning glory for the president — and he is going to have many legacies but his transportation legacy — will be high-speed rail in America, bringing passenger rail all over America,” LaHood said, speaking at a news conference in which Obama announced the nomination for Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next transportation secretary.
Amtrak ridership at record levels in first 6 mos. of fiscal year 2013; March single-best month
NEW YORK — Amtrak ridership increased in the first six months of fiscal year 2013, with ridership in March setting a record as the single best month ever in Amtrak’s history, the railroad said Tuesday.
Ridership grew 0.9 percent from October 2012 to March compared to the prior year despite disruptions from weather including Superstorm Sandy. Amtrak said 26 of 45 routes had rider increases.
The railroad said October, December and January also set individual monthly records. Amtrak expects to end the fiscal year at or above last year’s record of 31.2 million passengers.
Wisconsin may be missing out on high-speed rail, but state businesses still stand to profit
Even though Wisconsin has bowed out of participating in the Midwest high-speed rail network, a lot of state businesses stand to profit from the initiative.
In a report last month, the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, a group that boosts eco-business innovation, lists hundreds of high-speed rail service and supply companies that could become part of the supply chain for the rail initiative, 73 of them in Wisconsin. Locally they include HNTB of Madison, an engineering and architecture firm; Mohawk Industries, a carpet manufacturer; and Stoughton Trucking.
Wisconsin manufacturers might still be in line for high-speed rail production
A lthough a high-speed rail line that was proposed for Wisconsin is instead being built across the state of Illinois just south of the border, some Wisconsin manufacturers ultimately may benefit from the expansion of high-speed rail across the nation anyway, according to a new report by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC).
The organization has identified 73 Wisconsin supply chain companies —mostly manufacturers — and more than 460 companies throughout the Midwest that have the potential to gain production and jobs from work to build high-speed passenger rail lines across the nation.
Amtrak carried record passenger traffic in 2012
Perhaps sparked by highway congestion or the hassle of air travel, Amtrak’s passenger rail service has been the nation’s fastest growing mode of transportation, according to a new report that urges Congress to push forward with coordinated national rail plan.
The government-subsidized railway carried a record 31.2 million people last year, a 55 percent increase since 1997, according to a study by the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation.
Will Minnesota Ride the Rail to Economic Prosperity?
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Next-generation passenger rail service continues to pick up speed across the nation, and one of the biggest beneficiaries could be the Midwest. Nearly 500 companies in seven states across the region that could profit from rail expansion have been identified in a report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center.
Report: Midwest firms coupled to high-speed rail
CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of Midwest manufacturers stand to benefit from a web of high-speed passenger rail routes emerging from Chicago’s rail hub, according to a report released by an environmental policy group that has fought to defend the use of billions in taxpayer money on such projects.
The report released Friday by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center found that 460 manufacturers in seven Midwest states are poised to reap new business, along with a dozen more highly visible companies that make rail cars and locomotives. Those additional supply-chain manufacturers make everything from seats, couplers and bolts to ceiling panels, interior lighting and air horns. They also cut sheet metal, provide electronics and communications equipment, and supply track maintenance machinery.
Ray LaHood leaving Obama administration
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is leaving the Obama administration after four years, a White House official confirms.
LaHood announced last fall that he did not plan to serve in President Obama’s second term Cabinet. But he went on to walk back that statement, and at an inauguration party last week he said he would stick around for an indefinite amount of time.
No money for high-speed rail lines
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton says there is no government money right now to build high-speed rail lines in Minnesota.
Speaking at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual conference Thursday, Dayton cast doubt on taxpayer money being available anytime soon for high-speed rail.
Dayton noted that the proposed Northern Lights Express linking Duluth and the Twin Cities was not in his construction proposal last year. He also spoke of a proposed high-speed rail line linking Rochester and the Twin Cities that could bring patients quickly to Mayo Clinic.
Virginia governor recommends $1 billion for rail, transit
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed “Virginia’s Road to the Future” transportation project list includes $1 billion for new rail and transit projects, his office announced Tuesday.
The governor’s long-term transportation funding proposal would provide the Virginia Department of Transportation with $1.28 billion in new state funding that could be used for 158 highway projects, and $1.07 billion in new funds for rail and transit projects, state officials said in a prepared statement.