|The following is from the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. Website below.
Special Freight Railcars Could Travel at High Speeds, Federal Researchers Show. For at least the past decade, Americaâ€™s railroads have been toying with the notion of freight trains moving at speeds approaching some passenger bullet trains. Now, a new Federal Railroad Administration demonstration study has concluded that specially designed â€œhigher speed freight truckâ€ railcars could be designed for travel on some existing tracks carrying 70 tons per car at speeds of up to 106.5 miles per hour â€” or even 125 mph using more powerful locomotivesâ€¦. Potential new markets identified by FRA include dedicated train sets like refrigerator car trains, long-distance produce shipments, and overnight city pairs, in addition to the expected markets such as mail and parcel service, FRA said in the statement. https://www.ttnews.com/articles/special-freight-railcars-could-travel-high-speeds-federal- researchers-show
Amtrak expecting $700 million in losses, ridership down 95 percent during coronavirus pandemic. Amtrak is expecting at least $700 million in losses with ridership dropping 95 percent across all routes as people abide by social distancing and stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, according to company officials. The transportation company was expecting to break even this year for the first time in its history, former CEO Richard Anderson said last year. Now, the outlook is grimmer, though how much is not yet clear. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/23/metro/amtrak-expecting-700-million-losses-ridership -down-95-percent-during-coronavirus-pandemic/
Air France ordered to curb competition with rail in France. ONE of three conditions imposed on Air France in exchange for a â‚¬7bn coronavirus aid package is to stop competing with TGV services where rail offers a viable alternative. https://www.railjournal.com/passenger/high-speed/air-france-ordered-to-curb-competiton-wit h-rail-in-france/?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=14738 [Posting this interesting development as an exception to our general practice of only sharing domestic rail news. â€“ Kevin]
$5.45 Million Grant Awarded To Support Amtrakâ€™s Return To The Gulf Coast. But Not To Pensacola Or Atmore. A $5.45 million grant has been awarded from Restoration and Enhancement Grants Program for service from New Orleans to Mobile, The award will fund operating expenses for the first and second years of service along the restored rail line and also leverages commitments from the states of Louisiana and Mississippi and the City of Mobileâ€¦.The announcement follows other recent federal awards to the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) for Gulf Coast passenger service restoration, including $33 million through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program to complete major infrastructure and capital improvements necessary for service restoration. http://www.northescambia.com/2020/05/5-45-million-grant-awarded-to-support-amtraks-return- to-the-gulf-coast-but-not-to-pensacola-or-atmore
Environmental Law & Policy Center