Posts Tagged: commuter rail

California’s high-speed train project losing steam

Not even a bullet train can outrun a legal avalanche. The chances that California sees a high-speed rail system anytime in the 21st century is dwindling as an abundant crop of legal challenges pop up all along the proposed route.

Various entities are suing over where the train will or won’t go, while others are challenging projections and computer models used as the basis of winning voter approval for the sale of construction bonds. Meanwhile, one of the authority’s key board members has quit as the likelihood of further federal funding grows ever more remote. (more…)

Car culture run out on a rail in LA?

Los Angeles is making tracks.

Known as much for its film industry and beaches as its mini-malls and traffic jams, Los Angeles officials have taken a substantial leap towards rebuilding the city’s once-comprehensive railway network.

Local transportation officials unanimously approved a $5.15 billion, nine and a half mile extension of the Los Angeles Metro along busy Wilshire Boulevard, report Dan Weikel and Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times.

Under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles has been more focused on mass transit projects. Until recently, LA’s mass transit system was jokingly referred to as somewhere to escape from crowds.  Now, Los Angeles is slowly rebuilding a workable network that could begin offering a viable alternative to driving, at least for some destinations. (more…)

Crazy train

After a nearly-fatal blow, a wildly expensive California airport monorail project may be back on track.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Michael Cabanatuan, officials with a regional rail agency will consider plans Thursday to revive a 3.1-mile automated monorail project that critics assail as wildly expensive, painfully slow, and in violation of Civil Rights laws. (more…)

Remove skis before entering train

Federal stimulus funds totaling $6.2 million, granted to a state-chartered rail operator linking the San Francisco Bay Area with the state capital, will help pay for major improvements to Sacramento’s Amtrak station, allowing a brownfield redevelopment project to move forward. The cash infusion will help pay for a $43 million project that would move 2.3 miles of tracks used by freight railroads and construct new tracks, build new platforms, install utilities and improve pedestrian connectivity with new footbridges and tunnels.

According to a story in the Sacramento Business Journal, the funds are from the $80 million in Recovery Act High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Funds. (more…)