Gilbert B Norman wrote: ↑Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:49 pm The Times has a front page article today reporting how "everybody and his uncle" is vying for a space at the AJPA21 feeding trough. The following Fair Use quotation illustrates how the top rail infrastructure project must compete with the other interests -transportation related and otherwise:Good afternoon, Mr. Norman. I have always respected your posts from afar. I totally understand what you are saying, and I hope to add my perspective. ConnectUS is still infrastructure because the rails on which the new routes would travel may be possible by funding infrastructure upgrades along those corridors. I think that the bill will be funding the infrastructure expansion, not the service expansion. One example that comes to mind is what I call the "Peachtree Corridor" route of Nashville/Chattanooga/Atlanta/Macon/Savannah. A good chunk of this route would travel over what is now single trackage. A quick survey of OpenRailwayMap shows single trackage along a great percentage of CSX's Chattanooga Division between Nashville and Chattanooga, the Georgia-owned W&A between Chattanooga and Atlanta, the NS Atlanta South District between Atlanta and Macon, and the NS Savannah District between Macon and Savannah. The freight railroads aren't going to turn down a free infrastructure upgrade that gives them double trackage along those lengths of track, and NS probably won't say no to a bypass through Macon that would allow trains to avoid the hump yard. Even if no Peachtree corridor came to pass, it would certainly be a boon to freight traffic. Passenger service may even happen because states may be more likely to institute service if they don't have to pony up the cash for infrastructure improvements that host railroads typically demand for any added passenger service. It also makes sense for ConnectUs to be in this infrastructure plan because once the infrastructure upgrades are finished, people would realize that big only reason they don't have new train service train is because their state legislature won't fund the service, which would be significantly less expensive than having to build the infrastructure AND fund the service.
Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, wants to tackle the Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, has suggested that surely the “functionally obsolete” Brent Spence Bridge in his state should receive funding. And progressive lawmakers have a five-part wish list that includes lowering drug costs and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers.Into this frenzy, Amtrak throws in their Connected US "whatever you care to call it" nonsense. I'm certain Amtrak isn’t the only agency about town "muddling waters" with similar. But the more stuff like Connected US gets thrown about, the greater the chance that the Opposition within the Senate will seek to have the Bill deemed outside the Reconciliation measurement and allow a Filibuster that can only be ended by a 60 vote Cloture - or a compromise.
With a compromise, wither $80B for passenger rail, for this Bill is supposed to be for infrastructure. It is not the Omnibus Spending Bill.
Of course, this would have been a lot easier had PRIIA 2008 not left the funding of routes of <750 miles in length to the states.
"I know nothing, nothing..." - Sgt. Schultz