MHSRA 2017 Annual Meeting Recap

April 26, 2017
Dylan Hayward

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 learned a lot about the importance of frequency, modern high-performance train-sets and much more. These work together to provide a high-level of service that will make passenger rail competitive. You can find an overview of all the presentations here.

The day started with a presentation from Mark Walbrun, a rail expert with the global engineering firm Mott MacDonald. He focused on the importance of frequency to the success of rail corridors competing with other modes of travel. The benefits of greater frequencies include reduced total travel times (travelers wait less at stations), different markets can travel at different times throughout the day, improved system reliability and more options to make connections with other trains, buses, transit and even airlines.

Midwest passenger railroads would dramatically increase their market share by increasing frequency even if there is no improvement to the average speed between destinations.

Brightline is using frequent service as an important aspect of their model, which is poised to begin service between Miami and Fort Lauderdale this Summer. Gene Skoropowski shared details on the modern high-performance trainsets which were clearly developed with the customer in mind. These trainsets, developed by Siemens, will provide level-boarding, a high-level of amenities and are designed to maintain the highest possible average speeds while reducing operating costs.

The importance of frequency and modern high-performance train-sets are lessons that should be applied to corridors in the Midwest.

Learn more about what all of our speakers had to share at our 2017 Annual Meeting.

Best,

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager

Last Week at MHSRA:

We attended a policy discussion with U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, the Railway Supply Group,  Industry-Railway Suppliers and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association. There are a lot of challenges facing the rail industry in Washington with the recent Budget Outline proposed to eliminate funding for passenger trains. We look forward to working with Representative Quigley and the above hard working groups to ensure that investing in the U.S. Rail Network remains a national priority.

Articles We Enjoyed:

California Sells $1.2 Billion of Bonds to Finance Construction of Bullet Train in the Central Valley
"The California treasurer sold $1.2 billion in bonds Thursday to help finance construction of high-speed rail in the Central Valley, a significant development after years of delays in tapping the bonds that taxpayers approved in 2008."

Is Your Local Government Falling for the Hyperloop Fantasy?
"America has the means to reduce traffic and connect people to where they want to go in less time — but solving these problems entails politically difficult choices to shift travel away from cars and highways. Any high-tech solution that promises a shortcut around these thorny problems is probably too good to be true."

Along for the Ride: Illinois Amtrak Improvements in Final Stretch
"The $1.95 billion, eight-year upgrade of the St. Louis-to-Chicago Amtrak rail corridor — with a key goal to boost the high speed to 110 mph along 75 percent of it — is in its final stretch."

No Basis for Conservative Opposition to the Texas Central Rail Project
"In Texas, some conservatives wrongly think that opposition to high speed rail is a conservative principle. This is like saying that opposition to trucks, or cell phones, is a conservative principle.”

High Speed Rail to Las Vegas Plans to Break Ground in 2017
"When complete, the train will make the 270-mile run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas along the I-15 corridor in under 2 hours for a mere $115 roundtrip.”

Schumer Calls for Federal Funds to Help Fix Amtrak System
“No matter how hard Amtrak or other rail systems work to prioritize safety, because of a lack of funding, some projects and improvements are just not getting done,”

One Year In: A Look at Denver’s Airport Train
"After a year, officials say the $1.2 billion train has had growing pains, but riders are just 'happy to be on the train'”

Upcoming Events:

MARP Monthly Membership Meeting

The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers is hosting a free event at Chicago’s Union Station on May 13,  11:30AM - 2PM. The presentations will focus on the FRA’s Midwest Regional Rail Planning Study and the Siemens Charger Diesel-Electric Locomotive that will be running throughout the Midwest soon.

Please RSVP at marprail@yahoo.com

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
773-334-6758