a mixed bag of HSR-related news today, some new, some that fell through the cracks over the past week or two.
- The Trade Commission of Spain in Chicago is hosting free webinar on HSR on Tuesday November 10 at 2pm Eastern. Note that Patentes Talgo S.A. recently inked a deal to set up a train assembly plant in Wisconsin.
UPDATE: A similar event will be hosted on Monday, Oct 26 from 8:30am to 2pm at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. One of the panel sessions will be on high speed rail. (h/t to commenter Susana)
- Gov. Quinn of Illinois supports the state's grant application for a Chicago-St.Louis HSR line at 110mph, but the speaker of the state's House has introduced legislation to block the use of state funds for the preferred route past his apartment on 3rd Street in Springfield.
- Secr. of Transportation Ray LaHood warns Florida state legislators to commit to funding the Tri-Rail and SunRail regional/commuter services or he'll reject the $2.5 billion grant application for Florida HSR. Note that Yonah Freemark over at the Transport Politic considers its route to be fatally flawed.
- Meet the Texas Mini-Triangle, a hybrid of the triangle and T-bone concepts.
- Trains4America has video highlights from rail planning consultancy Steer Davies Gleave’s High-Speed Rail Summit 09. It was held in the context of HS2, which will connect London, the north of England and eventually, Scotland with true bullet trains. Variations on this theme are now espoused by all of the major political parties in the UK. Speakers included executives from railways that already operate HSR trains today.
- The prime ministers of Russia and China have just signed a $3.5 billion security and trade deal that includes oil and gas exports as well as new high/very high speed rail lines in Russia's Far East based on Chinese technology. Russia is looking to establish a national HSR network with nearly 11,000km of tracks by 2030.
- Meanwhile, Thomas Downs (chairman of the North American Board of Veolia Transportation and a former president of Amtrak) argues that various levels of government in the US continue to subsidize car-centric mobility to the tune of $100 billion a year out of their general funds, over-and-above income from fuel taxes. Add to that an eye-popping $200 billion in health care costs related to road traffic accidents.