Some tidbits for the weekend:
- Portugal to move ahead with Lisbon-Madrid HSR line, slated for completion between 2013 and 2015. The ruling Socialist Party believes it has the funding in place, and though a defeat in upcoming elections might derail the plan, the Socialists currently lead the polls. My wife and I are planning a trip to Portugal later in the year, and we'll make extensive use of their existing train infrastructure.
- Rochester, Minnesota is getting serious about being part of a proposed HSR line from Chicago to the Twin Cities. The Mayo Clinic, a large employer in the town, is strongly in favor of Rochester's inclusion, but other cities in southeastern Minnesota want the HSR route to follow the existing Amtrak route.
- A Georgia Senate panel has endorsed HSR to Chattanooga - don't know much about this particular proposal, but it's good to see Georgia getting serious about HSR planning.
- The FRA got a strong response to a solicitation for interest in building HSR. The Transport Politic has a full list of those groups that submitted bids and plans.
- Also from The Transport Politic (that site is an amazing resource) comes word that the otherwise flawed Senate stimulus bill avoids cutting transit funds and includes the $2 billion for HSR funding that we'd supported. I expect that to remain in the reconciliation process with the House, although it would be good if the state stabilization funds are restored - if California doesn't get federal help to close the deficit, that will hinder HSR planning efforts and hurt transit more broadly around the state.
What's on your mind?