2017 MHSRA Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting on April 1, and to our speakers for sharing their time and knowledge with us. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did!

You can see videos of all the presentations by clicking on the links below.

Mark Walbrun, Vice President, Practice Leader - Rail & Transit, US East, Mott MacDonald

Mark Walburn of Mott Macdonald focused on the importance of frequency for the success of rail corridors competing with other modes of travel. The benefits of greater frequencies include reduced total travel times (traveler wait less at stations), service of different travel markets throughout the day, improved system reliability from the traveler’s perspective and more options to make connections with other trains, buses, transit and even airlines.

Tim Hoeffner, Director - Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation

Tim provided an update on passenger rail projects throughout Michigan. MDOT has out a lot of resources into creating a 20-year plan for the Chicago - Detroit route. The Draft Environmental impact Statement should be released later this year.

Derrick James, Director of Government Affairs, Amtrak

Derrick James of Amtrak brought us exciting news about the future of the NEC and the wide range of station improvements coming to cities across the country. New high-speed trainsets, station upgrades and track improvements are all part of the investment in the NEC. Amtrak plans to make major renovations to its station properties with hopes to increase revenue. Stations up for revitalization include: Baltimore Penn Station, New York Penn Station, Philadelphia’s 30 Street Station, DC Union Station and Chicago Union Station.

Mike Quigley, U.S. Representative (IL-05)

Congressman Quigley gave us a perspective from Capitol Hill on federal transportation investment in 2017. He spoke on the importance of passenger rail to Americans cities especially here in the Midwest. Congressman Quigley made it clear that increased investment in rail infrastructure should be a priority in Congress.

Eugene Skoropowski, Senior Vice President of Passenger Rail Development, All Aboard Florida

Eugene Skoropowski of All Aboard Florida spoke about Brightline Service, due to start running between Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the summer of 2017. Gene shared details on the modern high-performance trainsets, the symbiotic relationship between real estate development & passenger rail service, and the potential to expand this model to other corridors.

Katie England, Director of Multimodal Planning & Programs, Indiana Department of Transportation

Katie England provided an update on passenger rail projects throughout Indiana such as the Hoosier State, South Shore extension, and the Chicago - Ft. Wayne - Columbus study. Katie gave valuable insights into INDOT’s responsibilities with the Hoosier State and the strong local community support for this corridor. The future of this corridor involves a continued effort to increase ridership & revenue, sustaining funding & strong local support and exploring long term improvements that can be made.

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