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NEWS
June 9, 2011
Tax dollars have built this nation's transportation infrastructure, from roads and bridges to airports and subway systems. Rent a car or truck for the day and you may think you're paying for your transportation, but that's only the vehicle — most of the thoroughfares you will travel were built and maintained by various taxes and fees. Yet in the case of high-speed rail, conservative critics seem to think that government has no role in building, operating or promoting it. Never mind that modern, European-style rail systems offer the best chance to provide a safe, reliable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to air travel between major cities, particularly here on the East Coast.
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BUSINESS
Kevin Rector and The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2014
The circle of political power brokers and deep-pocketed investors hatched their plan more than three years ago, seeing promise in a project deemed wildly unrealistic by some and stubbornly unattainable by others. With billions in backing from the Japanese government, the Northeast Maglev group envisions building a futuristic magnetic levitation or "maglev" train capable of transporting Baltimore homeowners to Washington jobs in 15 minutes, at speeds above 300 mph. Plenty in Maryland think it will never happen or shouldn't, given the price tag in excess of $10 billion.
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NEWS
September 14, 2000
AMTRAK HAS GOOD reason to look overseas with envy. The nation's passenger rail network has never received the subsidies it needs -- or that other nations expect -- since Congress created the system 30 years ago. In the United States, the system scrambles for funds while the European Community plans to link key cities by a 12,000-mile, high-speed rail system. The system's cost: $100 billion. Indeed, nations that want good rail systems must pay for them, as Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, chairman of the Amtrak Reform Board, pointed out in congressional testimony in July.
NEWS
September 12, 2014
Everybody seems to think maglev is the answer, but what is the problem ( "Supertrain is cool, but improve what we have right now," Sept. 7)? If $10 billon were spent fixing the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel and the Amtrak line between Baltimore and Washington, you could get similar results. The French high-speed TGV train's speed record is just one mile per hour slower than the Japanese maglev speed record - and the French engineer was told not to go faster although he indicated that he still had more power in reserve.
NEWS
November 18, 2000
AMTRAK FINALLY got its 150-mile-per-hour Acela train moving (the one between Boston and Washington, D.C.) but political wrangling is stalling a measure that would improve high-speed rail nationwide. The High Speed Rail Investment Act would give Amtrak the financial security it needs to improve passenger train service in the northeast corridor and across the country. The measure would allow Amtrak to leverage a $762 million, five-year investment into $10 billion in private sector investments to develop high-speed rail corridors.
NEWS
December 26, 2000
THE 106th Congress adjourned without approving a bill to strengthen the nation's high-speed rail system. That is disappointing. Retiring Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., sponsored a bill to pump $10 billion in bond money into Amtrak's outdated infrastructure over 10 years. The measure got tossed into a wide-ranging funding bill, and when the smoke cleared, the High Speed Rail Investment Act was left on the table. Neither Mr. Lautenberg nor another key sponsor, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y.
NEWS
January 23, 2011
For all the controversial efforts to bring high-speed passenger rail to places like California and South Florida, the ideal location for such a major investment is in Baltimore's backyard. That was recently confirmed by an independent study that found the Northeast corridor would return the most bang for the high-speed rail buck of anywhere in the country. The report released this month by America 2050, a coalition of transportation planners and policymakers financed by a handful of charitable foundations, found high-speed rail works best in corridors of 100-600 miles connecting major employment centers, the shorter and more densely populated the better.
NEWS
By Charles H. White, Jr | July 6, 2010
The Obama Administration has discovered high speed passenger rail as both a job stimulus and a means for balancing fuel and environmental constraints with increasing personal transportation needs. Various state and regional groups, supported by self-proclaimed high speed rail experts, are competing for federal seed money grants. Winners will be chosen; losers encouraged to try again with the hope of an ever increasing fund supply. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation visits foreign countries to see how high speed passenger rail works.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2011
State transportation officials are trying to make sure Florida's loss is Maryland's gain as they prepare applications for about $450 million in federal high-speed rail grants for two projects along the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. Maryland is seeking a cut of the $2.4 billion Florida Gov. Rick Scott spurned when he pulled the plug on that state's plans for a high-speed rail corridor between Tampa and Orlando. Last week U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood formally took the money back and made it available to other states with high-speed rail projects — including those along the Northeast Corridor.
NEWS
August 6, 2013
Having had the opportunity to attend the recent Maryland Climate Change Summit, it was both enlightening and reassuring that our governor, the legislature and our state agencies are taking proactive positions in planning for what cannot be stopped and a leadership role in reducing what is driving temperature increases so that future impacts may be constrained, primarily those of sea level rise and flooding. With 3,200 miles of bay and ocean coastline, Maryland has already lost 13 islands, and as sea levels continue to rise, we will lose thousands more low lying acres over the next decade, including marshes, forests, farms and developed land.
NEWS
August 6, 2013
Having had the opportunity to attend the recent Maryland Climate Change Summit, it was both enlightening and reassuring that our governor, the legislature and our state agencies are taking proactive positions in planning for what cannot be stopped and a leadership role in reducing what is driving temperature increases so that future impacts may be constrained, primarily those of sea level rise and flooding. With 3,200 miles of bay and ocean coastline, Maryland has already lost 13 islands, and as sea levels continue to rise, we will lose thousands more low lying acres over the next decade, including marshes, forests, farms and developed land.
NEWS
By Candy Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
Sometime after 8 p.m. Thursday, a train will come roaring out of the north from Delaware toward Perryville at 165 miles per hour, matching the fastest speed ever attained on a U.S. rail line. After putting on the brakes, the Acela Express will make the 13-minute run back to Wilmington before sprinting down the track for seven more round trips by 2 a.m. Similar tests also are to be carried out this week and next on three other sections of track - in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts - the first step in upgrading passenger service in those areas to 160 mph. Federal regulations require tests of 5 mph above maximum operating speeds.
NEWS
By Ashley Halsey III, The Washington Post | January 11, 2012
Amtrak will pay $466 million this year for 70 new locomotives to enhance the speed and reliability of rail service in the Northeast Corridor and invest $298 million on 130 new rail cars to serve the East Coast and Midwest. The new equipment will be a major upgrade for a system that now operates with locomotives that are 20 to 30 years old and some sleeper cars that are 60 years old, Amtrak President Joe Boardman said in announcing the federally subsidized passenger rail line's plans for 2012.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | November 5, 2011
Up to 40 million Chinese people still live in caves. That's more than the populations of Texas and Illinois, combined. In fairness, a fraction of these caves are apparently pretty nice, complete with electricity and well-compacted dirt floors. But that's grading on a curve because, well, they're still caves. Meanwhile, 21 million Chinese live below what the Communist Party calls the "absolute poverty" line. That sounds pretty good if you have in mind our poverty line, which is just under $11,000 per year for an individual and roughly $22,000 for a family of four.
NEWS
September 12, 2011
For the first time ever, Amtrak is expected to hit the 30 million milestone on Sept. 30. That's how many passengers it will have served over the previous 12 months, an annual increase in train ridership of 6.4 percent — a remarkably robust result given the nation's high unemployment rate and challenging economic circumstances. That's something to be celebrated. The public's embrace of passenger rail recognizes both improvements in Amtrak and the diminishment of alternatives, as highways and air travel become increasingly congested.
NEWS
June 9, 2011
Tax dollars have built this nation's transportation infrastructure, from roads and bridges to airports and subway systems. Rent a car or truck for the day and you may think you're paying for your transportation, but that's only the vehicle — most of the thoroughfares you will travel were built and maintained by various taxes and fees. Yet in the case of high-speed rail, conservative critics seem to think that government has no role in building, operating or promoting it. Never mind that modern, European-style rail systems offer the best chance to provide a safe, reliable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to air travel between major cities, particularly here on the East Coast.
NEWS
By NEAL R. PEIRCE | August 28, 1995
The Great Lakes governors are high on creating a network of high-speed rail connections radiating from Chicago to cities such as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit.The Coalition of Northeastern Governors is anxious to get the last chunks of federal funding to electrify all of the New York-Boston line and get the ride down to 2 hours, 52 minutes.Many states -- among them California, Vermont, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- have come up with hard cash to restore some of the service a revenue-starved Amtrak was forced to cut back.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2011
Amtrak passengers in Maryland and other Eastern states emerged as some of the biggest beneficiaries of Florida's decision to turn down more than $2 billion in federal high-speed rail funds, as the Obama administration redirected nearly $800 million of that money into Northeast Corridor infrastructure. The windfall includes $22 million sought by Maryland for planning and engineering of a replacement for the century-old bridge that carries Amtrak and MARC trains over the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2011
State transportation officials are trying to make sure Florida's loss is Maryland's gain as they prepare applications for about $450 million in federal high-speed rail grants for two projects along the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. Maryland is seeking a cut of the $2.4 billion Florida Gov. Rick Scott spurned when he pulled the plug on that state's plans for a high-speed rail corridor between Tampa and Orlando. Last week U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood formally took the money back and made it available to other states with high-speed rail projects — including those along the Northeast Corridor.
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