June 5, 2022 – The latest information I have is in the May 27 issue of TCMC Newsletter. Available as a download, check out the newsletter itself featuring photos from Alan Baker of the new Siemens ALC-42 leading the Empire Builder through Wisconsin. The complete unedited copy is also available for download.
July 16, 2021 – Nice name! And how appropriate. The name actually comes from a May 6, 2021 U.S. House of Representatives hearing staged by the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. This hearing was over two months ago, but much of the discussion will have legs for the next year or three. The impact on Wisconsin Passenger Rail is yet to be seen. You can go to YouTube and watch the entire hearing… all 4 hours and 45 minutes of it. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………. Or you can catch some of my edits below.
The YouTube link above is for segment five. (I know I’m going backwards.) Here are some notes I made over what I thought was important discussion: About 49 minutes CA rep Doug LaMalfa’s monologue. About 39 minutes AR rep Bruce Westerman’s questions about cost per mile. About 26 minutes WA rep Marilyn Strickland questions/ exchange over HSR. About 16:15 minutes MA rep Seth Moultan questions/ exchange over the speed of HSR with Flynn of Amtrak. A very interesting exchange, and one that shows how really splintered the information conveyed by the supporters of HSR can be. (Research this topic yourself on Wikipedia.)
By the way, each of these segments I have edited in questions from lawmakers from their five minute sessions, as opposed to watching the Q&A segments and getting scattered occurrences of questions and answers.
Segment two is Judge Trey Duhon from Waller County Texas, a well-spoken, well prepared testimony against Texas Central. Any of you that are strong advocates of HSR should watch this and learn about the headwinds that are naturally going to happen with any NEW HSR project. Even Mr. High Speed Rail Seth Moulton appeared effected by his testimony.
Segment four video is Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar. I thought this would be a little more spicy coming off of Judge Duhon’s testimony. But I was wrong.
Segment three is John Porcari, former Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President Obama. He’s currently the Secretary of Transportation for the State of Maryland. No question this gent received the most questions from lawmakers. Considering his current status in transportation, this surprised me. I think he answered questions in a rather level-headed manner. There’s no outrageous marketing-type answers here.
Segment one is the opening statements from the two transportation chairs: Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. from New Jersey and Rep. Peter DeFazio from Oregon. There is plenty of sizzle here, particularly if you watch segments two, three and five. Enjoy!
January 24, 2021 – The January 21, 2021 issue of TCMC Newsletter contains the On-Time Performance charts for the Empire Builder in 2020.
Under review is: Westbound #7 – On-Time performance for arrival at St. Paul, MN. This would be an identical trek for the TCMC regional train when it hits the rail.
Eastbound #8 – On-Time performance is based on Columbus, WI. Prior to this chart, if you saw posted information about #8 it was almost always for Chicago.
New this year is a PDF file showing the daily log for every Amtrak train. Also new this year is a video that goes along with the Newsletter and PDF files. Hopefully this answers many questions about this project. Links for the files are below as is a link that will take you to the WisARP YouTube Channel to see the video that’s a bit more than 10 minutes.
April 27, 2020 – The WisARP General Meeting scheduled Saturday, March 28 in LaCrosse was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. But Passenger Rail issues continue to progress in the State of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Passenger Rail Manager Arun Rao spent some time with me earlier this month discussing the updates WisDOT has been working on since our last meeting in October 2019. It has been recorded in a video format. It is available on the WisARP YouTube Channel.
|A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT AND CEO JOE BOARDMAN ON TRAIN 188|
|The derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 was a terrible tragedy that we are responding to with every resource we have available. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation to determine the cause of the incident, and Amtrak is providing full cooperation.With truly heavy hearts, we mourn those who died. Their loss leaves holes in the lives of their families and communities. On behalf of the entire Amtrak family, I offer our sincere sympathies and prayers for them and their loved ones. Amtrak takes full responsibility and deeply apologizes for our role in this tragic event.We recognize that for everyone onboard the train, including those who suffered injuries, the healing process may be long. Within 24 hours of the incident, Amtrak set up a Family Assistance Center in Philadelphia to work closely with the family of passengers and crew on the train. We are also working with the individuals and families affected by this event to help them with transportation, lodging, and of course, medical bills and funeral expenses.
Amtrak is ever grateful to the City of Philadelphia—its first responders who bravely worked in difficult conditions, including the dark of night, to rescue and provide aid to hundreds; its hospital personnel who went into full alert as patients arrived at emergency rooms; its officials who quickly implemented a response plan; and its citizens who opened their doors to offer assistance.
Although our current focus is on the passengers and employees affected by this incident and the resulting service disruption along the Northeast Corridor, we must also take time to learn from this event. Passenger railroading is at its core about people; the safety of our passengers and employees was, is and always will be our number one priority. Our goal is to fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future. We will also continue to focus on completing Positive Train Control implementation in the Northeast Corridor by December of 2015.
Thank you for your support of America’s Railroad during this difficult time.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Talk is that PTC (Positive Train Control) could have prevented this terrible accident. Railroads across the country are adopting PTC. It is rumored that Union Pacific is installing it across Wisconsin on its Adams line (freight) to the Twin Cities. That could also make the hauling of more dangerous commodities such as oil, safer. Comments?
A friend on the WisRail mailiing list suggested of the recent Amtrak engine fire and evacuation on the Hiawatha Corridor:
Maybe it was a fuel leak in the injection system? We’ve all seen more AC4400s (GE locomotives) with scorch marks than we can count. I’m surprised that scorched P42s are so rare.