• Bills supporting Intercity Rail Service

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Pensyfan19
If a similar topic already exists, please move it there.

Apparently Senator Edward Markey is proposing a bill which would support numerous intercity passenger routes and could also improve freight service.

For future proposed bills regarding funding rail service (other than the railroad stimulus checks which have seemed to vanish, either that or I haven't heard any news about it in weeks), please post them in this discussion.

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ice--60574
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) last week introduced legislation that would authorize a $5 billion annual investment over a five-year period to fund intercity passenger-rail service.

The Building Rail Across Intercity Networks To Ride Around Interior of the Nation (BRAIN TRAIN) Act would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement a competitive grant program that would fund up to $25 billion for high-performance rail projects over five years.

High-performance rail projects are those passenger-rail services that enhance capacity and reduce travel times; improve freight, commuter or intercity rail operations; provide environment benefits; and encourage multimodal connections.

“Despite clear economic, environmental and safety benefits, Congress has insufficiently invested in expanding passenger rail,” said Markey in a press release. “Developing and restoring passenger-rail service, especially in communities that have been under-connected, is exactly the kind of recovery program that can help repair the economic damage caused by the coronavirus while correcting long-standing inequities.”

Markey said the legislation could help build the east-west rail connection between Boston, Springfield and Pittsfield, Massachusetts; finish the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s South Coast Rail project; and explore other routes like Housatonic Railroad Co.’s proposed Berkshire passenger-rail line from New York City to Pittsfield through Danbury, Connecticut.

The Western Massachusetts Rail Coalition, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Transportation for America have endorsed Markey's bill.
Here is the link to the BRAIN TRAIN Act itself: https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media ... %20Act.pdf
  by Pensyfan19
This one proposes tripling the amount of funding for Amtrak! :-D

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... egislation
Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have released the text of a new surface transportation bill, the “INVEST in America Act,” which would authorize almost $500 billion for infrastructure. It includes $60 billion for rail projects, but would also impose significant regulations, including requiring two-man crews for most freight trains.

The bill would include $105 billion for transit, including strengthening of “Buy America” provisions to increase domestic jobs in rail and bus manufacturing. The $60 billion in rail funding includes $29 billion for Amtrak, a tripling of the current amount; a new $19 billion grant program devoted entirely to passenger rail projects; an increase in the current Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program to $7 billion for passenger and freight projects, and a new $2.5 billion grant program for grade-crossing improvements.

The bill was announced by Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and cosponsored by chairs of two subcommittees, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia), and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.). In the statement announcing the bill, DeFazio said, “After holding nearly 20 Committee hearings, receiving testimony from dozens and dozens of witnesses and members of Congress, and engaging with hundreds of advocates and transportation agencies, I am proud to bring together the ideas and the needs into one transformational bill that will catapult our country into a new era of how we plan, build, and improve U.S. infrastructure.”
  by Pensyfan19
Uhhhh..... It doesn't seem that the class Is are as excited about that bill as I am... :(

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... n-proposal
AAR 'extremely disappointed' in transportation bill
The Association of American Railroads is voicing its disapproval of the transportation bill unveiled Wednesday by Democratic members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. AAR CEO Ian Jefferies says in a statement that “America’s railroads are extremely disappointed in the House surface transportation reauthorization released today. When all of us should be working together toward common-sense solutions, this partisan legislation falls far short of what this moment demands.” The INVEST in America Act includes $60 billion for rail projects and $105 billion for transit, but would also require two-man crews for freight trains and block shipment of liquefied natural gas by rail, among other provisions [see “House committee releases new five-yaer transportation legislation,” Trains News Wire, June 3, 2020.]. “Smart policies have helped railroads continue to deliver for their customers during this pandemic,” Jefferies continues. “Now is not the time to retreat from these, much less impose wish-list policy riders or unnecessary operational requirements, such as mandating crew size, barring the streamlining of operations, and constraining the already limited capacity of the rail network.
  by dgvrengineer
Yeah, they don't like the 2 man crew mandate and 10 minute limit on blocking grade crossings too.
Edit: They also aren't crazy about the study on 7,500 ft limit on train length.