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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Digest: Feds reinstate $929 million for California high speed rail

Digest: Feds reinstate $929 million for California high speed rail

By | June 11, 2021

News Wire Digest for June 11: CSX TDSI auto ramps receive awards; NTSB completes documentation of derailed tank cars

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CAHSRA settlement reverses action of Trump administration

Stacked bridges for high speed rail construction
California High Speed Rail trains will pass below this multi-level grade separation project under construction north of Fresno, Calif., as seen in October 2019.
Bob Johnston

The U.S. Department of Transportation has reached an agreement with the California High Speed Rail Authority to reinstate $929 million in grant funds revoked by the Trump administration. The agreement, dated June 10, stipulates the return of the funds within three days. “This settlement agreement follows intensive negotiations between the parties and reflects the Federal government’s ongoing partnership in the development of high-speed rail,” says Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose. “It also underscores CHSRA’s commitment to deliver this transformative infrastructure project.”

CSX TDSI auto ramps receive awards

Two terminals operated by Total Distribution Services Inc., a CSX subsidiary, have received the Association of American Railroads Terminal of the Year Award in both the origin and destination categories. TDSI Strawberry Yard in Louisville, Ky., earned the Origin Terminal of the Year award with a 99.69% audit score. TDSI Palm Center in Jupiter, Fla., won the Destination Terminal of the Year award with a 99.98% audit score. “This is an outstanding accomplishment that reflects on the standard of excellence demonstrated by our teams across the TDSI network,” says Maryclare Kenney, vice president of Automotive and Intermodal. “We’re proud to be able to serve our customers at such a high level during what has been a particularly challenging time for the auto industry.”

NTSB completes documentation of derailed tank cars

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday completion of its investigation to document the performance of DOT-117 rail tank cars involved in the Dec. 22, 2020, derailment near Custer, Wash. The NTSB conducted a limited investigation of the accident, focused solely on the performance of the DOT-117 rail tank cars, as such, the NTSB did not determine probable cause for the derailment and did not publish a brief or report. The NTSB’s documentation of its investigation into the performance of tank cars is documented in a factual report. “The NTSB’s intent for this investigation was to gain damage data from the DOT-117 rail tank cars involved in the derailment,” says Robert J. Hall, director of the NTSB’s Office Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations. “Because our investigation was limited to data collection, we have not issued any findings or safety recommendations. The data we gathered in this investigation will assist us as we evaluate the performance of tank cars carrying flammable liquids involved in other rail accidents.”

12 thoughts on “Digest: Feds reinstate $929 million for California high speed rail

  1. Re CAHSRA – What a load of (expletive deleted). Probably requires three days to get the money printed or digitally transferred. I resent being taken for such a cretin that I couldn’t possibly understand what’s really going on here.

    1. GEORGE —- What you need to understand is that the economic ruin of the most recent five months is just the beginning. This year, hundreds of billions to bail out California, next year, tens of trillions to bail out California … by the end of four years our currency will look like Zimbabwe’s.

        1. Hello Mr . Friedman: If CA has that kind of budget surplus then IMHO the Biden administration should tell ‘em to fund their HSR dreams themselves. Think of what $929m might buy for the rest of us who would happy with more trains able to operate with a 90%+OTP on expanded track capacity at conventional speeds. This CAHSR has been and continues to be a money pit. It’s never going to end.

      1. No bailout to California. California budget surplus $75.7 billion. Wisconsin budget surplus $1.4 billion. California sent 9 times as much revenue to the federal treasury as Wisconsin. So maybe they are entitled to some funding for public works.

  2. Sorry folks. No state (or city or school district or transit district) has a “balanced budget” or a “surplus”. All of them are propped up and bailed out by borrowed federal $$$ which are counted as “revenue”. If a corporation did this the CFO would be indicted for fraud.

  3. I wish there had been this much outrage when they were proposing the Interstate Hwy System. No talk then of the price or the extensive use of eminent domain, if there was it was promptly quelled.

    1. Galen — Could be because the I-System carries more people than the railroads. … This will be about the 10th time I’ve posted the same fact – a fact that no one has ever denied. IH 94 in Racine County (Wisconsin) is the low point of of the I-94 Milwaukee Chicago Gary corridor. the traffic count on IH 94 in Racine County is 85k. Amtrak’s systemwide ridership nationwide (pre-COVID) is 85k. Typically freeways in urban areas, such as IH 94 in Milwaukee -Waukesha Counties, carry somewhere around or above 125k.

      Another fact which everyone wants to go away is that America’s railroad’s wouldn’t exist without highways. Most rail trips have a rubber-tire connection at one end or both ends. For example when i do ride Amtrak I get to the Milwaukee station (by bus or by private car) on, you guessed it, IH 94 in Milwaukee – Waukesha Counties. And if you want to see a traffic jam of cars burning gasoline and emitting greenhouse gas while going nowhere fast, check out any Chicago suburb after the evening rush-hour METRA comes into town.

      1. Charles – So take multi-billions in federal funds, add eminent domain, build a national highway system with it, then compare the Interstate highway passenger count at some point in Wisconsin today with Amtraks, having crushed passenger rail with overwhelming public capital, for highways and airports? What was the highway count in Racine County in, say, 1950, versus rail passengers? Adjust that rail count for population growth to today, and the number looks better than your example.

        1. GEORGE – Thanks for your reply to my post. Historically Racine County was empty space outside of the city of Racine, had four rail lines south to north – CNW passenger (Chicago – Kenosha – Racine – Milwaukee), CNW freight, Milwaukee Road, and the electric CNS&M. I don’t have the counts.

          I see parallels between freight and passenger – they have declined in tandem in favor of the I-System. An article in TRAINS-MAG about thirty years ago all of us wish hadn’t been written was Don Phillips asking if trucks on I-95 could replace the RF&P. Phillips concluded that yes, trucks could replace the RF&P. I filed that thought in my mental waste basket until I got to England nine years ago. In England sixty or so million people who consume plus or minus what we do, whose highway system stinks, and London being built up to the sky with building materials that have to come from somewhere, essentially live without freight rail. Almost all of that stuff gets hauled on the motorways. Seems impossible but it happens. One of London’s freight yards (northeast London) disappeared for the 2012 Olympics and the Eurostar trains. Another (west London) is now being taken out for passenger improvements.

  4. Bloomberg News on California:

    “No one anticipated the latest data readout showing the Golden State has no peers among developed economies for expanding GDP, creating jobs, raising household income, manufacturing growth, investment in innovation, producing clean energy and unprecedented wealth through its stocks and bonds. All of which underlines Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement last month of the biggest state tax rebate in American history.”

    Bloomberg isn’t exactly left wing.

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