My good friend in Tiverton, RI, home of the fastest stretch of Amtrak rail in the country, asks me every once in a while the news about trains. Here’s the latest:
1.Build it now.
Andrew Cuomo fairly screamed ‘build it now’ in announcing new improvements to the New York City subway system. Instead of a multiple decades plan, he and others understand transit is so central to the New York City of the 21st century that they cannot wait.
This is a big departure. Up until now, transit was a long term thing. Now it is more immediate.
2.Trains need to run on time.
This is perhaps the biggest news for trains recently. The federal agency overseeing trains ordered that intermediate stops, not just final stops, would be measured for on-time performance. Even bigger, the agency reinforced its support that passenger trains have the ‘right of way’ or priority on the track, even or especially track owned by private companies. This is intended to improve on time performance of passenger trains, a big deal.
3.Subway to the Sea.
Subway to the Sea. Subway to the Sea. Even in Los Angeles, the new subway from downtown LA to Santa Monica is getting good ridership, and publicity. When Detroit and Los Angeles build light rail, you know something is changing.