CA Rail News Archive

California Rail News Archive

As of July 18, 2015, we have a list of articles in each California Rail News that we currently have available online.

For newsletters that we don’t have links for, we may have hard copies. Please contact us if you desire a copy of a California Rail News listed but not linked below.

2017

May-September 2017

Headlines:
• Metro: Transit Provider or Developer? — LA Union Station Quandry
• The Latest on High Speed Rail and Caltrain Electrification
• Coast Observations
• TRAC’s Integration Plan for San Joaquins & Altamont Commuter Express
• Coachella Valley Trains Could Be Winners – With Better Plan
• “Electric Fast Freight” in California? Moving Short-Distance Truck Freight to Rail
• Intercity Trains Need to Be Fast! They Are Not Commuter Trains

January-April 2017

Headlines:
• TRAC Rail Vision: Faster Trains, Through North-South Service
• President’s Corner
• The Impending Death of California’s HSR Authority
• Coast Observations
• Getting Smart: Region’s Newest Passenger Rail System to Roll Starting Spring ’17
• Rail Viable for North Bay’s Highway 37 Corridor: Rail an Order of Magnitude Cheaper Than Billions for Road Expansion
• Palmdale-Burbank Tunnel Route: Alternative E-2 Is A Short-Cut Only on Paper
• Many transportation sales taxes pass, but not in Contra Costa, San Francisco, Sacramento, Placer or San Diego Counties
• Morocco HSR Project Overtakes California: $2.5 Billion, 115 Mile Line Links 200 Miles of Coast

2016
April-July 2016

Headlines:
• Latest High Speed Business Plan No More Viable Than Past Plans
• TRAC’s Principles for High Speed Rail Success
• President’s Corner
• The HSR Decision – Too Soon to Cut Off Funds
• New Legislation Provides Major Improvements to HSR Oversight
• Coast Observations
• Tejon or Tehachapi? What History Tells Us – Even The Old Ridge Route Beat Passenger Trains in 1920’s
• The Capitol Corridor’s Progressive Vision Plan
• HSR in the Southland – Will TBMs Get Stuck?
• Sacramento’s ‘Zombie’ Streetcar Refuses to Di, Threatens Light Rail & Bus System
• SF Mayor’s Railyards Study Sidetracks DTX

2015
October-December 2015

Headlines:
• Keys to HSR Success: Market-Based Route & Private Funds
• XpressWest HSR to Las Vegas Moves Ahead with Chinese Seed Funding
• New L.A. Co. Sales Tax Could Raise $120 Billion-5 New Rail Lines, No Metrolink Fix?
• Coast Observations
• High Speed Rail: A Walk Under & Through the Angeles National Forest? Current Rail Line Upgrades Must Be Torn Out if HSR Routed That Way: New Tunnels Under National Forest to Placate Santa Clarita?
• Fatal Flaws of Tunnels Under National Forest
• Capitol Corridor’s 3rd Track to Roseville a Waste Without New Sacramento Co. Stops
• Marin & Sonoma SMART Rail Progress Continues
• President’s Corner: Welcome to TRAC!
• Sacramento RT Struggles to IMprove LRT & Buses Prior to 2016 Kings Arena Opening
• Sacramento Co. LRT & Bus Expansion Depends on 2016 Sales Tax
• Doras Briggs & Jane Tolmach: Pioneers of Rail Advocacy
• HSR Reform Serious Business in Kings Co.

April-July 2015
Headlines:
• SPUR Think Tank: Bay Area Needs “Seamless Transit”
• 2040 Draft Transportation Plan Is Impressive Effort: Caltrans Tackles Climate Change
• Deficits on European High Speed Rail Threatening Regional Transit Support: Spanish HSR fails to cover even its operating costs, and is forcing cuts to basic train service across Spain. A cautionary tale for California?
• I-5 Tejon Pass May Be the Only Politically Feasible HSR Alignment Into Los Angeles
• Overnight Train Cutbacks Continue Across Germany
• Presidents Corner: A Tribute to Richard Tolmach
• Switzerland Leads Europe Rail in Traffic, Service Quality and Safety, Say Consultants
• ACEforward: ACE’s Visionary Plans to Extend the Altamont Corridor
• CARRD Researcher: There Was Never A Real Study of I-5
• Brown and Brown and Round He Goes (HSR) (Steve Greenberg cartoon)

2014
October 2014
• High Speed Rail Authority Admits I-5 Was Fundable
• TRAC Favors Cap and Trade Projects With Near Term Benefits
• UP, Capitol Corridor Push for $200 Million: No Fix for Sacramento Access?
• Coast Observations
• [France] Regions Plot Revival as High Speed Lines Collapse
• Amtrak & Michigan to Extend 110 mph Service
• Spanish HSR Station & Tunnel Flood in Girona
• Why HSR Should Start in Los Angeles
• Southern California Regional Interconnect Project

February 2014
• HSR Chair Declares Palmdale “New Center of the Universe”
• Amtrak Service is Deteriorating Even as Traffic Demand Grows (Don Phillips by special permission)
• Slush Funds, Fat Pay and 2 Sets of Books: Caltrain Copies OCTA & NCTD?
• Coast Observations
• Europe’s Rail Mobility Fracturing at Borders
• Caltrans Competence Questioned: Loss of Rail Expertise Not Isolated
• Dumbarton Last Chance?
• HSRA: What’s Wrong and What to Do
• Gov. Jerry Brown Needs $68 Billion for his High Speed Choo-Choo Train From L.A. to S.F. How to Get It (Ted Rall cartoon)

2013
August 2013
• Level Access for Passengers: Platform to Train Shouldn’t Be a Leap
• Save the Redwoods League Saves Skunk [Train]
• Las Vegas HSR May Have Died, But X Train Moving
• $2 Billion LAX Line Won’t Reach to Airport Just Yet
• French City Builds 8.7 Mile Light Rail for $215 Million ($24.6 million/mile)
• Coast Observations
• Truth, Tejon and Tehachapi: Tejon is $5 Billion Cheaper
• Why Not Capitol Corridor Acceleration This Decade? A New Carquinez Bridge Might Save About 5 Minutes
• Pricetag Jump Fuels British HSR Critique
• Modern Trains Possible

April 2013
California Needs A “Plan B” Myopic View of Travel Needs Distorts Reality
• Why Salinas, Not Monterey on Capitols?
• Sprinter Malfunction Puts Brake on 5th Anniversary
• Harder Line by Congress on “Buy America” Hurdle
• Coast Observations
• TRAC Comments Presented to Caldrons on Draft State Rail Plan
• Reform on China Rail
• France Goes Conventional
• Lawsuit Seeks to Force Authority to Obey 2008 Proposition 1A Language
• Metrolink Meltdown Raises Doubts on LOSSAN Takeover

2012
December 2012
• How to Avoid 200 mph Noise (French Hybrid Trains)
• Finding New Capacity on Existing Platforms (Caltrain TramTrain Option using Muni Metro subway)
• Las Vegas X-Train via UP Beats DesExpress by Years
• Coast Observations
• Citizens Pinpoint HSR Flaws, Demand Honest I-5 Analysis
• Risk Muted on L’Aquila, Bridge & HSR (Earthquake safety & new Bay Bridge; fault for Italian earthquake damages)
• Istanbul Terminal Threatened: City’s Link to Ankara Ends About 2015
• Abandoned for a Land Speculator (similarity of Sacramento to Detroit’s abandoned Michigan Central station)

August 2012
• High Speed Bait and Switch: $8 Billion Bill to Produce Zero Miles of HSR
• Private [HSR] Projects Proceed as HSRA Devises Public Scam
• Coast Observations
• FRA Waiver on European DMUs for Fort Worth
• Weeds to Smart Growth Magnet: $4 Million/MIle (Italy’s Val Venosta Rail Revival with DMUs)
• Practicality Wins on Rail Investments
• Shippers: Freight Needs Fast Track (French Post Office special TGV trains)
• [Former State Senator] Joe Simitian Says HSR Missing in $8 Billion Plan

April 2012
• New HSR Plan a Non-Starter: Desert Detour as Slow as Amtrak Bus
• SMART Breaks Ground on Sonoma-Marin Upgrade
• Budget Cuts Hit State Rail Unit
• U.S. Senate Pushes Re-Regulation of Commute Railroads by Surface Transportation Board
• Coast Observations
• Red Army Construction Battalion Arriving Soon? (HSR Overbuilding in China)
• Expo [Light Rail] Line Opens April 28 [2012], Westside Stop Debate
• 1st Frankfurt-Marseille Run
• Depot-Blocking Sac Arena in Trouble: Kings Leery of Huge Project on Toxic Site
• Amtrak CEO Gives Up on Amtrak: Condemns Long Distance Trains to a Lingering Death

2011
December 2011
• HSR Route is a Jerrymander: Gov’s Appointees Help Create a Monster [Tolmach’s famous HSR “dragon” graphic]
• [High Speed Rail] Business Plan Assumes N.Y. [Penn Station] Traffic [levels] in Merced
• Congress Cuts Amtrak $65 Million; Will Re-examine HSR Funds
• Coast Observations
• A Plan for Faster L.A. Connections in Our Lifetime (new Metro subway-Metrolink connections nr LA Arts District)
• Metrolink Progress Report
• A Platform for Developers: Sacramento Passengers to Be Stranded (Station Platform relocation)
• Expo Rail Tests Continue, Public Waits

August 2011
• Viaducts Blow HSRA Budget: Van Ark Admits Multi-Billion Cost Overrun
• Bikes on Metrolink
• Integration of LOSSAN: Great Goal, Hard to Achieve
• {China HSR crash] Corruption, Crash, Coverup
• Coast Observations
• Safety Marketers Adopt Hostile Amtrak Identity (graphic)
• 10 Ways to Straighten Out The Crooked HSR Proposal [Tolmach’s famous crooked HSR graphic)
• Participate in Railroading (Railroad Museums)
• House Rips Amtrak’s $117 Billion Northeast Corridor Plan
• Let HSR Operator Do Design: Peer Analysis Panel Says HSRA is Unquaified
• Van Ark Presses His Luck With Profit Claim: Mr. Van Ark of HSRA, Meet Mr. Barron of the UIC

April 2011
• [High Speed Rail] Bonds Wait For Credible Plan: Teasurer Punctures HSRA Vallejo Ambitions
• $25 Million PRIIA Hit for Surfliners
• Ag Unrest [Regarding San Joaquin Valley HSR plans] Spooks HSRA: E-Mail Exposes Van Ark
• Coast Observations
• Metrolink Acts: 16 New [crash-resistant] Trains
• Is Rail Service Dysfunctional by Design?
• Debranding Amtrak Instead of Promoting Rail
• ACE Plots Faster Altamont
• Value for Money on HSR: A Few Standards to Obtain Promised Benefits
• Cam Beach: A Proponent of Practical Rail Solutions (obituary)

January 2011
• Fill The Bakersfield Gap First (HSR via Tejon Pass)
• LOSSAN: Breaking Down Walls vs. Constructing New Barriers
• Dyson and Ames Join TRAC Board
• Metrolink Debuts Its Guardian Car Fleet
• Coast Observations
• 54-Mile Starter Has More Viaduct Than 1000 Miles of TGV (San Joaquin Valley HSR segment)
• SMART vs. A Smarter Plan (Op-Ed)
• HSR Peer Review Summary Comments
• I-5 Plan: Why Not Add Coast Trains? (San Diego I-5 widening proposal)

2010
August/September 2010
• Can van Ark Reform HSRA? Waiting for Reform
• A Safer Car: Metrolink Considers CEM Option
* Coast Observations
• How HSRA Ridership Soared Out of Proportion: Research by Volunteer Group Found HSRA Gamed Ridership Data to Benefit Pacheco [preferred HSRA alignment]
• Santa Barbara Proposes Own Funds to Move Trains 798/799: Changes to Surfliner in Exchange for Subsidy
• 3 Alternative Ideas on HSRA
– Build the Valley Line First (Walter Strakosch)
– Build LA-Bakersfield First (Michael E. McGinley P.E.)
– Grade Separate All Rail Lines in Shared Corridors (Michael E. McGinley P.E.)
• Monterey Rail Moves Ahead

June/July 2010
• High Speed Rail Gets Real (HSRA hires Roelof Van Ark)
• Audit Report: HSRA Risks Delays Or Incomplete System Because of Inadequate Planning, Weak Oversight & Lax Contract Management
• Coast Observations
• New Metrolink CEO is Quick to Refocus on Staff Organization
• Redesigning Metrolink for Mass Market Success
• ACE Sets Plans for an Upgrade
• Experts Revive Altamont as HSR Option: MTC Ridership Projections Challenged
• Buried Treasure in Downtown L.A. (Pacific Electric Hollywood Subway Terminal)

January/February 2010
• Governor [Schwarzenegger] Renews Attack on Rail
• LOSSAN Drafts Plan to Coordinate Runs
• Rail Safety Comes First: Governor Schwarzenegger Put California on the Wrong Track
• Coast Observations
• An Alternative Plan for California High Speed Rail (I-5 Alignment Option)
• To Go Fast, Go in a Straight Line (I-5 Alignment Option)
• Humor Not Planned (CHSRA’s 2010 HSR Business Plan)
• Climate Changes for High Speed Rail
• Useful Links on HSR and Its Climate Impacts
• Southern California Rail Transit Shorts

2009
September-November 2009
* L.A. Metro Extends East (Gold Line LRT Extension to East Los Angeles)
• Metrolink Considers Amtrak Crewing
• Making AB 32 Matter (California Global Warming Solutions Act)
• Coast Observations
• European High-Speed Trains Don’t Invade Neighborhoods
• 217 mph in Cities?
• Reactions to Rulings on Pacheco EIR
– A Chance to Rethink Plan
– Will Pacheco Suit Reform the Runaway HSR Project?
• Clockwork Links Invented on Dutch Canals in 1600’s
• Hitachi Develops Diesel Hybrid Solution

July-September 2009
• HSR Rail Fantasy vs. Reality
* Diridon Faces Uphill Battle on Pacheco (HSR alignment)
• Dumbarton Suit Dismissed
• California Transit Association (CTA) Victory Against Transit Fund Ripoff
• Coast Observations
• Starlight Regains a Future
• Spinning A Megaproject Decision (NY Times gets California HSR wrong)
• Southern California Rail Update
• $22 Billion of California Pre-Apps for Obama Stimulus Program
• Putting Rail Operations out to Contract: Is it a Substitute for Real Leadership?

February-April 2009
• Dumbarton Back on Track? Judge to Hear Funding Diversion Case-MTC Fund Grab, Activists Sue to Restore
• UP Suggests It Will Block Peninsula HSR Rebuild
• D.C. Legislative Update
• The Toxic Trolley? [One Stop Sacramento LRT Extension to “Township 9”)
• Coast Observations
• [Quentin] Kopp in Firestorm with S.F. Over Projects Letter
• French See Role in HSR System Design
• 3 Expert Views on [Obama’s] Rail Stimulus
– Which Pots, Which Projects? (Bob Huddy, TRAC Board Member)
– Amtrak’s Stimulation Funds (David Peter Alan, Chair of New Jersey’s Lackawanna Coalition
– Windfall Fund Still in Play (Robert Cruickshank, Professor and On-Line High Speed Commentator)
• Knitting L.A. Lines Into a Network
• How Late is On-Time?
• 09 Calrail202 in Ventura

November 2008-January 2009
• Voters Want Rail Progress: Demo Plan Erases Funding Gains
• Action? Ballot Progress Threatened by AB2
• 9 Transit Measures on Ballot
• D.C. Legislative Update
• Coast Observations
• Voters Pass Proposition 1A High Speed Rail Bonds
• High-Speed Rail & Renewable Energy
• Closing the Rail Gaps
• Positive Train Control Arriving Soon
• 09 Plans for CalRail2020
• Meet TRAC’s Newest Board Members
• Californians are Building a Rail Future at Sacramento Car Plant

2008
September-October 2008
• Rail Ridership Up by a Third
• LA County [transit] Sales Tax Headed for Vote After Senate Agrees On Language
• Wired or Not
• D.C. Legislative Update
• Coast Observations
• Sprinting European-Style From Oceanside To Escondido
• Utah’s Frontrunner Carries 6,500-South Extension Planned
• Riverside Metrolink Line Extension to Relieve I-215
• HSR Bond Measure On November [2008] Ballot But Many Questions Remain

July-August 2008
• Gas Prices Pack State Trains
• 5 Westside LA Rail Extension Options Revealed
• Transit Advocates Take Battle to Sacramento
• D.C. Legislative Update
• Coast Observations
• Airline Business Model Broken by Aviation Fuel Pricing
• With $4 Gasoline, California Needs More Cars
• High Speed Rail: News, Editorials (e.g., before November 2008 HSR Proposition 1A Bond Vote)
– Proposed LA to SF Bullet Train Nits a Snag (LA Times)
– Messing With High Speed Rail: Union Pacific Causes a Flap With Its Huffing and Puffing on Right of Way (Fresno Bee)
– With Important Fixes, Maybe Trains Can Fly (Modesto Bee)
– Speed Bump for Hi-Speed Rail Plans (Stockton Record)
– A Speeding Train Loaded With Big Questions: Answers Are Needed Before November (Sacramento Bee)
– Boondoggle Express (Contra Costa Times)
– Let’s Put State on Fast Track to Future (response to Sacramento Bee editorial, Quentin Kopp)
– Not So Fast With High-Speed Rail (response to June 22, 2007 Kopp opinion)

January/February 2008
• Sacramento’s Crookedest Station: Moving Stops-A Real Estate Game (re: Relocated St. Rose of Lima LRT station)
• TRAC 2008 Officers & Board of Directors
• D.C. Legislative Update
• Coast Observations
• LandScams: Rail Planning Played By Speculators
• Connecting Up L.A. Rails
• Pacheco a Recipe for High Speed Rail Stalemate
• Press Asks: Is Pacheco Route Fatal Mistake?
• Coalition Rebuts HSRA (re: Bay Area-San Joaquin Valley HSR routings)
• [High Speed Rail] Authority a Bit Too Fast on the Drawing Board
• Calrail 2020 Snapshots (2007 TRAC annual meeting in San Diego)

2007
August-September 2007
April 2007
January-February 2007

2006
September-October 2006
April-May 2006

2005
December 2005

September 2005
• Subsidies Can’t Save The SUV: Gas Prices Dry Up GM Profits, Fuel Rail Growth
• Auto Apologists vs. Amtrak
• Two Views of How to Elect TRAC Officers
• LA Times Claims Gas is Cheaper Than Metrolink
• Coast Observations
• Why Do Montpellier’s Trams Attract So Many? 110,000 rider trams daily in this French city with a metro population of only 500,000
• [Montpellier trams] Many Exceptional Features for California Systems to Emulate
• FRA Regs Are Based on Bad Science: History & Physics Behind the Buff Strength Debate
• Union City Plans Multimodal Station
• BART to San Jose Ducks Full Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Review

June/July 2005
April 2005

2004
November 2004
September 2004
July 2004
April 2004

2003
September 2003
July 2003

2002
November 2002
August 2002
June 2002
February 2002

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