- Shortly before USDOT is due to decide how to allocate the $9.5 billion Congress has already approved for HSR nationwide in two separate bills, a new America2050 study analyzes and ranks 27,000 city pairs to determine Where HSR Works Best. Its recommendation: priority should be given to upgrading speeds in the NEC, upgrading the Chicago-Minneapolis/St. Louis/Detroit routes and, to building the first "express HSR" route in the country between SF and LA/Anaheim. Note that the study did not factor in cost, it only looked at transportation benefits.
- The Transport Politic discusses SNCF's 1000-page response to USDOT's RFEI on HSR projects nationwide. The state-owned French railway zeroes in on opportunities for express HSR at up to 220mph in California, Florida, Texas and the Midwest. It refers to these as "HST 220". Note the complete absence of the NEC in SNCF's response and, the subtle differences relative to the phasing map America2050 has produced.
UPDATE: the California HST 220 document is now online (24.5MB, h/t to commenter Alon Levy)
- CA State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-SF) and Speaker Karen Bass are lobbying for ARRA funds for California. In her meeting with Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Transportation, he hinted that the state might get as much as $4 billion for its HSR starter line. The decision will ultimately be up to his boss, Secr. Ray LaHood.
- Las Vegas-Anaheim maglev project to get $45 million for environmental studies on the Nevada section after all. Supporters cite lack of commitment to onward connection from Victorville in DesertXPress proposal.
- USDOT credit council recommends granting a $171 million TIFIA loan to help build the SF Transbay Terminal Center. This will cover 14% of the phase I capital investment. Estimates for total cost including the DTX tunnel and train box are now at $4 billion.
HEADS UP: CHSRA is hosting three Alternatives Analysis Open House meetings for SF peninsula.
San Carlos, Wed Sep 30, 6:00-8:00 pm
1250 San Carlos Avenue
Sunnyvale, Fri Oct 9, 6:00‐8:00 pm
Sunnyvale Recreation Center (Ballroom)
550 E. Remington Drive
San Francisco, Tue Oct 13, 6:00‐8:00 pm
Milton Marks Conference Center
455 Golden Gate Avenue – Lower Level
San Diego A/B/C Rooms