• Amtrak: Connects US // American Jobs Plan Infrastructure Legislation

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by west point
 
$12.6B for national network. How ? Maybe a new station ATL ? Otherwise some 2nd main track at bottle necks and more universal crossovers ? . Those for CSX east coast "A" line"?. As well Empire line. ? Maybe a start on "S" line Petersburg - Raleigh ?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Defiant wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:50 am 6.5 billion is not even enough to pay for Geteway. But aren't there at least 70 billion in mass transit funding? Any idea how the rest of the money is supposed to be spent?
Must the existing PRR tunnels spring a leak - a real leak - in order to get Gateway funded?

This legislation with regards to passenger rail is going right where ARRA09 went - into the Consultants feeding trough.

So sad.
  by forestfan
 
eolesen wrote:Meanwhile, Union Pacific just completed an emergency bridge reconstruction in less than a month. Without federal funds.

https://www.up.com/aboutup/community/in ... -early.htm

Government projects cost too much because governments don't spend money like it's their money....



Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
You'd be the first to complain if the Government or Amtrak didn't put RFP in advance for a bridge project as all such spending requires public bidding to avoid cronyism. After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, the freeways and freeway bridges were rebuilt in record time...so Governments understand what an emergency is..and most public works projects aren't emergencies...

LA Times:
Less than three months after the Northridge earthquake knocked down two sections of the world’s busiest thoroughfare, Gov. Pete Wilson announced Tuesday that the Santa Monica Freeway will reopen next week, ending frustrating delays and bottlenecks for thousands of commuters.
State officials hope the final cleanup of construction work can be completed early April 12 in time to let rush-hour traffic inaugurate the two new freeway bridges at La Cienega and Washington boulevards.
Spurred by the promise of an extra $200,000 a day for every day work was completed ahead of schedule, the contractor, C. C. Myers Inc., will finish the project 74 days before a June 24 deadline and rack up a $14.5-million bonus for the company.
  by lordsigma12345
 
You are reading the section that is the direct Amtrak portion. Most of the capital projects funding that would be used for things like gateway is under the FEDERAL-STATE PARTNERSHIP FOR INTERCITY
PASSENGER RAIL GRANTS heading. Presumably most of (at least 24 billion) of this money will go to the NEC.

For an additional amount for ‘‘Federal-State Part4 nership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grants’’,
5 $36,000,000,000, to remain available until expended, for
6 grants, as authorized section 24911 of title 49, United
7 States Code: Provided, That $7,200,000,000, to remain
8 available until expended, shall be made available for fiscal
9 year 2022, $7,200,000,000, to remain available until ex10 pended, shall be made available for fiscal year 2023,
11 $7,200,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall
12 be made available for fiscal year 2024, $7,200,000,000,
13 to remain available until expended, shall be made available
14 for fiscal year 2025, and $7,200,000,000, to remain avail15 able until expended, shall be made available for fiscal year
16 2026: Provided further, That, notwithstanding subsection
17 24911(d)(3) of title 49, United States Code, not more
18 than $24,000,000,000 of the amounts made available
19 under this heading in this Act for fiscal years 2022
20 through 2026 shall be for projects for the Northeast Cor21 ridor: Provided further, That amounts made available
22 under the heading ‘‘Northeast Corridor Grants to the Na23 tional Railroad Passenger Corporation’’ in this Act may
24 be used as non-Federal share for Northeast Corridor
25 projects selected for award under section 24911 of title
2682
EDW21A09 WG9 S.L.C.
1 49, United States Code, after the date of enactment of
2 this Act, notwithstanding subsection 24911(f) of such
3 title: Provided further, That the Secretary may withhold
4 up to 2 percent of the amount provided under this heading
5 in this Act in each fiscal year for the costs of award and
6 project management oversight of grants carried out under
7 section 24911 of title 49, United States Code: Provided
8 further, That such amount is designated by the Congress
9 as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to sec10 tion 4112(a) of H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), the
11 concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,
12 and to section 251(b) of the Balanced Budget and Emer13 gency Deficit Control Act of 1985
  by lordsigma12345
 
Additionally this bill also includes the reauthorization of all surface transportation programs including amtrak and includes several consequential changes in language regarding such.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Here's Times reporting; very ominous to me is the term "pet projects". Others here, such as Messrs. Lord and Spatch. will be "happy campers", but if new bi-level "Superliner III's" are ordered, guarantee you I will not be happy. IF any new LD equipment need be ordered. any of such should be readilly convertible to Short Distance use.

There really should be an "earmark" to directly fund Gateway, but so far, I have not seen any specific reference for such.

Fair Use:
WASHINGTON — Amtrak would see its biggest infusion of money since its inception a half-century ago.....The sprawling, $1 trillion bill that the Senate took up on Monday — a 2,702-page bipartisan deal that is the product of months of negotiating and years of pent-up ambitions to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure — would amount to the most substantial government expenditure on the aging public works system since 2009........It is also stuffed with pet projects and priorities that touch on nearly every facet of American life, including the most obscure,
  by lordsigma12345
 
Unfortunately no such direct earmark - this federal state partnership grant section seems to be where Gateway funding and other things like the Baltimore tunnels would have to come from.

As for superliner IIIs I don’t see it happening. There’s definitely money in there for the national network but it’s $15 billion split between long distance and state supported. Seems to me the most likely thing to come out of that for LD would be replacing Amfleet IIs.

What I see happening is replacing Amfleet IIs with Siemens equipment and conversion of at least the Capitol Limited and maybe even the City of New Orleans to single level equipment. For Superliners I see them really trying to rebuild the Superliner Is rather than trying to come up with a replacement car that could end up being a boondoggle like the VL2s were.
  by lordsigma12345
 
On another note there’s a lot of language changes in the authorization portion involving Amtrak’s mission which remove language regarding Amtrak seeking to make a profit and removing food and beverage mandates - and putting significant barriers in place to prevent management from cutting long distance service that would essentially require them to come to congress in order to do so and also changes to the makeup of the board of directors. I suspect if this language goes in as written long distance trains won’t be going anywhere soon. The RPA has clearly been busy lobbying friendly members. There’s also language directing Amtrak to look at daily sunset and Cardinal service.

While Messrs Flynn and Gardner May roll their eyes at some of the language - ultimately they aren’t going to complain as long as they’re getting their NEC money - if they have to keep running LDs to keep the gravy train running they will happily.
  by electricron
 
Different reports and numbers are flying around confusing everything.
Here's a much better link from the White House that reports how the $66 Billion for railroads will be spent.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-roo ... ture-deal/
"The deal invests $66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Within these totals,
$22 billion would be provided as grants to Amtrak,
$24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization,
$12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail,
$5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and
$3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements."

I see $44 Billion going directly to Amtrak and the Northeast Corridor. I'm pretty sure that is more than enough money to fund Amtrak's share of the Baltimore and Potomac tunnels, Gateway tunnels, Portal bridge, and just about every other Amtrak backlog project on the NEC or nationally.
And the $12 Billion for intercity rail could fund the Federal share of many Amtrak expansion projects bot on the NEC. Not many rail companies in the USA provide intercity passenger rail services, which is mostly provided by Amtrak. I do not think Texas Central or Brightline need grants, what they want most are low interest rates, tax free bond guarantees. So that leaves Amtrak and California HSR competing for this $12 Billion purse.
The $5 Billion and $3 Billion safety grants could be spent anywhere, including on any freight railroad track.

But this a multi-year spending program, 10 years after the last stimulus program railroads are still getting grants from it. Hopefully this program will not take 10 years to spend it all.
  by photobug56
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 6:37 pm
Defiant wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:50 am 6.5 billion is not even enough to pay for Geteway. But aren't there at least 70 billion in mass transit funding? Any idea how the rest of the money is supposed to be spent?
Must the existing PRR tunnels spring a leak - a real leak - in order to get Gateway funded?

This legislation with regards to passenger rail is going right where ARRA09 went - into the Consultants feeding trough.

So sad.
The tunnels need to be built ASAP - but Amtrak needs to strip off everything not actually needed, and seriously look at tunnel repairs the way done in London and NYC. No Penn Station South, none of the extras. Plus replace Portal as economically as possible, not as expensively as possible. And fix the other bottlenecks between the river and Newark.
  by eolesen
 
forestfan wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:02 pm You'd be the first to complain if the Government or Amtrak didn't put RFP in advance for a bridge project as all such spending requires public bidding to avoid cronyism.
Nah, I'd be entirely fine if government stayed out of procurement altogether. Politicians have a way of rewarding their donors one way or another. Letting the host roads manage construction bidding on their property almost always works out better in the long run.
  by photobug56
 
Problem with that is that the host railroads don't want anything to do with Amtrak. Also, Amtrak is the host railroad for the NEC.

But you do have a point about government procurement. The insanity surrounding Gateway is a reminder. Penn South, for instance. Cuomo claiming that the extra 2 tracks can ONLY serve Penn South, when PS is mainly a real estate steal. Building a super tall Portal Bridge replacement for a crossing whose water sees little traffic. And in other good examples, LIRR's East Side Access money pit. It's got everything short of a gold plated set of escalators.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:34 pm As for superliner IIIs I don’t see it happening. There’s definitely money in there for the national network but it’s $15 billion split between long distance and state supported. Seems to me the most likely thing to come out of that for LD would be replacing Amfleet IIs.

What I see happening is replacing Amfleet IIs with Siemens equipment and conversion of at least the Capitol Limited and maybe even the City of New Orleans to single level equipment.
Mr. Lord, even if I hold true to what the washroom walls on the 7th floor of CUS heard that starting in '76 we get rid of 'em (A-Day + 5; the unwritten "ease the pain" period). the LD's aren't going away overnight. Even if there were to be an orderly discontinuance plan, i.e. cut the Sunset before you cut the City; the Lake Shore probably "last one standing", the whole process could well take ten years - or past the existing Superliner's and A-II's remaining service life.

Therefore, as I noted earlier, with you "more or less" on the same page, any new equipment ordered and assigned to the LD's should be a design readily convertible to Short Distance. As example, a 60 seat Coach be made overnight into a 76 seat SD. The A-II's simply should have been A-I's with the larger windows (required by '80 to enable evacuations), but with two vestibules and power doors. Any new Food Service car will be back to Flex (don't count on too long a life span for the selected route Full Service restoration. Some manager with "meeting skills" will step up and have it all eliminated and s/he getting the Brownies proclaiming "look at all this waste I found and eliminated") with the service area center (A-I's or II's or rear (the experimental W-Gang era Cafe's). No Sightseers - even single level (why cut into the car's structural integrity and double the cost of its climate control?).

Now I realize that so far as Amtrak and me goes - "we're done". I rode too many of the "greats - Cities, Centrury, B'Way, Super, Panama, Meteor - to get too excited over the "take it or leave it" Amtrak travel experience. I'm a UNP long; and, honestly, I hold that Amtrak "bludgeoning" their way on to Class I ROW's is a Taking without Fifth Amendment protection.

Now one thing I do like to do when on any conveyance is to look out. I find it horrid when I've boarded an airplane and all the shades are pulled (and an Attendant jumping me for raising them so I can see what runway we will be taking off from). The O' Henry "Gift of the Magi" moment for me was on an ORD-LGA flight during '17 on a crystal clear day. Since it was a last minute rebook owing to no crew showing up to fly the little puddle jumper to HPN, I took what they gave me for a seat - and that was an aisle. Shades drawn, guy by the window already asleep and into whatever audio his headphones had. I'm getting vertigo as the plane taxied!!!! Now the O' Henry irony; we're on approach about 15min out, and the guy wakes up (a really nice guy). He says " would you like to look out? can I offer to change seats? you should have waken me when we left O'Hare". "But you were asleep; and I just got on here last minute after my little puddle jumper to White Plains got the CX". "I can sleep anywhere"; so in the end I got my view of the approach to LGA overlooking the East Side of Manhattan - about the most exciting approach I know to a landing at LGA on Rwy 31.

Now tonight is my first flight ever on a B-787-9 (Dreamliner; to EDDM/MUC). To make sure the passengers get their "dreams", the blinds reportedly will automatically close - UGH.

Moderator: if too far off topic, edit or kill.
  by R&DB
 
So what 15 miles of Amtrak service has the highest ridership? What 15 miles has some of the oldest infrastructure? And there is no earmark for Gateway? Remember in November. Every year. These people are not representng you, only themselves. Don't elect any incumbents or lawyers
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