• Secretary Buttigieg speech to DOT

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by John_Perkowski
 
  by R&DB
 
John,
I totally agree, don't talk, act. But first fix what we've got. Amtrak on time. Gateway. 3&4 track NEC Boston - Richmond.
S - Line. Sunset East. Floridian through Atlanta.
  by justalurker66
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:05 pm Words are good. Appropriations are better.
I'd like to see appropriations beyond start up costs. But knowing that politics are involved funding could easily evaporate in two to eight years.

We don't need multi billion dollar plans that will either never get built or will leave states responsible for the high cost of maintaining the system. We need a national system of reliable trains more than a couple of "showcase" lines.
  by STrRedWolf
 
R&DB wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:48 pm John,
I totally agree, don't talk, act. But first fix what we've got. Amtrak on time. Gateway. 3&4 track NEC Boston - Richmond.
S - Line. Sunset East. Floridian through Atlanta.
Amtrak rights enforcement by Amtrak.
Gateway.
B&P.
NEC 3 and 4 track Boston to Richmond.

Those I can agree on. Then we can talk new lines and new service.

S - Line.
Sunset East (as a separate route)
Chicago-Atlanta-Miami.
More Pennsylvanian or Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Philly
  by lensovet
 
R&DB wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:48 pm John,
I totally agree, don't talk, act. But first fix what we've got. Amtrak on time. Gateway. 3&4 track NEC Boston - Richmond.
S - Line. Sunset East. Floridian through Atlanta.
To both of you: it's not like Buttigieg can go and print the money himself. Also, the title of this thread is misleading: this was an interview on MSNBC, not a speech to DOT. And that's why he's on TV, so that people hear his words, write their senators/congressmen, and those in turn feel compelled to appropriate the money that's needed.

There was also an email that he sent to DOT employees, but that's different.
  by Pensyfan19
 
More from Trains.com, specifically stating how this will be difficult to achieve due to political deadlock (hence why I feel that private companies such as Texas Central Railway should construct and operate these lines with private investment at a much quicker rate than the current plan of the U.S. government, but that's just my idea.)

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... -challenge
WASHINGTON — In response to a question last week from MSNBC interviewer Joy Reid — “How long is it going to take before I get my high speed rail?” — newly confirmed U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg didn’t answer directly.

“As you know, the president is a big believer in passenger rail,” Buttigieg says. “Look, we’ve been asked to settle for less in this country, and I just don’t know why people in other countries ought to have better train service and more investment in high speed train service than Americans do. You know, Amtrak has done a heroic job with the constraints placed on them; now we’ve got to take it to the next level.”

After referring to Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and other nations that have developed fast trains, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor insists, “I want the U.S. to be leading the world when it comes to access to high speed rail, and I think we have an opportunity to do that, especially with the bipartisan appetite for real investments that we have before us this year.”
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
A "very tangential" reference to the subject of Amtrak train frequency appears in this Times article from Sunday:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/06/us/p ... ation.html

Fair Use:
…Under Mr. Biden, transit advocates are lobbying Mr. Buttigieg to enact rules that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote rail service in rural communities and require projects to better measure a community’s access to jobs and essential services through public transit.….
No mention whatever of that other point so dear to the advocacy community's heart: restoration of Full Service Dining!!!!
  by FatNoah
 
No mention whatever of that other point so dear to the advocacy community's heart: restoration of Full Service Dining!!!!
Not sure if you're joking or not, but lack of full service dining is the dealbreaker for getting my family to take the train for our annual MA->FL trip.
  by electricron
 
Key points from the NYT article.
55,000 Transportation Department employees
Transportation Department budget around $87 Billion
Highways and Public Transit budget around $47 Billion
Large chunks of the department’s budget is controlled by funding formulas set by Congress.
The article was more about politics than it was about building specific projects, giving excuses on why Buttigieg may not be able to make all the changes they want him to make.

Another fine example of NYT bias in reporting the news, giving shade to their favored Democrats. ;)

The reason why the last stimulus seemed so wasted was because of those existing funding formulas Congress has set up over the centuries. Hoping the new Congress will be willing to give this new administration a freer hand in distributing the money is not going to happen. Congress likes its' powers of distributing the money, they are not going to give it away.

Look at all the loopholes Trump's administration had to jump through to find funding for his wall, or should I say fence. Biden will have to use the same tactics to get his pet projects done as well.
  by eolesen
 
The idea shouldn't be to try and "lead" here -- build what makes sense, not what looks flashy.

Safety in China is a suggestion, not a mandate. If the Chinese had to follow the same safety and environmental standards any other first world economy would demand, their system would be a fraction of what it is. To surpass China, you'd need to build using workers being paid below poverty wages, do so without any consideration for the environmental impact and no regard for private property rights.
  by STrRedWolf
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:13 am The idea shouldn't be to try and "lead" here -- build what makes sense, not what looks flashy.

Safety in China is a suggestion, not a mandate. If the Chinese had to follow the same safety and environmental standards any other first world economy would demand, their system would be a fraction of what it is. To surpass China, you'd need to build using workers being paid below poverty wages, do so without any consideration for the environmental impact and no regard for private property rights.
Yes, but keep in mind, we have a different legal framework and different laws than China (and that's all I'll say about it now).
  by prokowave
 
The secretary may not be able to print money, but he needs to address the endless delays, obstruction, and cost overruns seen by most projects as well as take a more aggressive stance in negotiations with the host railroads.

The New Orleans-Mobile Amtrak project has been studied since 2015 and has 100% of both infrastructure and operating funds committed through a combination of federal grants and state matches for a year and to my knowledge not a single shovel has been turned yet. We as a nation have to reform our study-everything-to-death approach to infrastructure. Every excessive delay dooms most projects whenever a new president, governor, city council, etc. takes office.
  by eolesen
 
Yeah. We should just let the government take over private property and infrastructure because someone else thinks it could be put to better use. That's essentially what the Chinese do, although there isn't that much private property or infrastructure for them to take over, so they just find the best routing and don't worry about things like ground water contamination or filling in of wetlands that new construction might require or cause.