Some news stories that grabbed by eye in the past few days. One interesting comment is that the NY Times article suggests that the Obama administration put 13Billion into high speed rail development; this would contradict other reports suggesting 8billion had been earmarked. Additionally, it is interesting to read in the latter two articles that authorities are slowly waking up to the notion that passenger systems need their own tracks rather than sharing with freight lines. My opinion is that dedicated tracks need to be built for passenger routes, and not just used for city to city use, but also for points along that route for commuter usage; the additional tracks would also free up capacity for freight operators to increase the number of freight trains along the route without affecting passenger schedules, and this would be the key to encouraging passengers to use the trains – frequency, cost, speed, and dependable services.
I am also interested in the proposed Vancouver-Seattle-Portland routes; would it be only a matter of time before the “gap” is filled to meet the California route, only time will tell, but this would be a fascinating idea.