Phoenix – Valley Metro and the city of Phoenix are seeking community feedback on the recommendation for the West Phoenix High-Capacity Transit Alternatives Analysis. The comprehensive study, initiated in fall 2022, seeks to identify a high-capacity transit option for West Phoenix residents.
The project team will host two public meetings and have an open public comment period to gather input on the recommended transit route and mode for West Phoenix, noted below.
Meetings will be held on the following dates:
Thursday, September 21, 2023 (virtual)
Join online at valley-metro.webex.com
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 (in person)
Desert West Community Center
6501 W. Virginia Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85035
The recommendation is for light rail transit on the route highlighted below:
Both meetings will provide identical presentation materials and be available in English and Spanish. View digital flyer with more information here.
Source: Valley Metro
Progress and Setbacks: Amtrak’s Journey Towards High-Speed Trains in the Northeast Corridor
After years of delays and setbacks, Amtrak is nearing the introduction of new high-speed trains in the Northeast Corridor, promising faster travel.
After years of challenges and setbacks, Amtrak is edging closer to introducing new high-speed trains to the bustling Northeast Corridor. Following a series of delays and rigorous safety and design disputes, the new trains have finally received clearance from the Federal Railroad Administration to commence track testing along the route from Washington, D.C., to Boston.
The Avelia Liberty trains, with a price tag of about $1.6 billion, are set to replace the aging Acela fleet. Promising a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour and increased passenger capacity, these sleek red, white, and blue trains are expected to offer a faster and smoother ride, featuring enhanced tilt technology for navigating curves.
However, the project has been plagued by setbacks, with the trains now three years behind schedule. Despite initial hopes for a 2024 launch, the exact date for passenger service remains uncertain. The challenges have included issues with computer modeling, delays in train delivery, and the need for significant repairs and upgrades to the Northeast Corridor tracks.
Amid these challenges, Amtrak has spent over $48 million on maintaining the outdated Acela trains. The journey towards high-speed rail in the Northeast has been a bumpy one, marked by unanticipated obstacles and contractual oversights. Nevertheless, as Amtrak and Alstom move forward with on-track testing, stakeholders are hopeful that the identified problems will pave the way for a smoother testing phase and eventual passenger service.
As the saga continues, the industry will keenly observe how these new trains perform on the Northeast Corridor, with a collective hope that this technological leap will ultimately redefine travel on one of America’s busiest rail corridors.
PRESIDENT BIDEN JOINS OFFICIALS IN LAS VEGAS TO ANNOUNCE $3B GRANT FOR NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR BRIGHTLINE WEST
AMERICA’S FIRST HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT WILL CONNECT LAS VEGAS AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
LAS VEGAS – President Joe Biden joined elected officials from Nevada and California to formally announce that the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has received $3 billion in funding from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program for Brightline West. Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Southern California and will be the nation’s first true high-speed rail system. The project will also be the first to be built with American union labor. The fully-electric, zero-emission system will become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S.
President Biden was joined by Nevada officials including Governor Joe Lombardo, Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, Representatives Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford. Also in attendance were representatives from the High Speed Rail Labor Coalition and the Nevada Building Trades.
Brightline West’s modern, eco-friendly system will redefine train travel in America and connect two of the most iconic destinations: Las Vegas and Southern California. This 218-mile passenger rail service will reach speeds up to 200 mph with no grade crossings and the alignment is within the median of the I-15 highway. The system will feature three full-service stations in Las Vegas, Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
The Las Vegas station will include mobility connections and easy access to the Las Vegas Strip, the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium and the Las Vegas Convention Center. The flagship Las Vegas station will be on 110 acres at the south end of Las Vegas Blvd. Brightline West’s California stations will include Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, with direct connectivity via California Metrolink to key points in Los Angeles, such as Union Station.
Brightline West’s $12 billion project will bring widespread benefits including more than $10 billion in economic impact to Nevada and California. Economic studies show the project will create more than 35,000 (direct and indirect) jobs including 10,000 direct union construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance. Brightline West’s investment also includes more than $800 million in roadway improvements to the I-15 corridor. Brightline West has agreements in place with several unions for the use of highly skilled union labor in critical jobs required to build, operate and maintain the project.
The project’s environmental benefits are equally impressive and designed to support Nevada and California’s climate strategies by promoting a no-emission mobility option that lowers greenhouse gasses by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 each year. The diversion of people from auto and air travel to Brightline West’s high-speed rail system reduces vehicle miles traveled by more than 700 million each year and 16,000 short haul flights annually.
The $3 billion grant award marks the largest in NDOT’s history and is the culmination of more than two decades of planning and coordination to build a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Southern California. NDOT, as the grant administrator, will continue to play an important oversight role as Brightline West constructs the rail system. Additionally, NDOT will be responsible for the design, construction, and oversight of any NDOT infrastructure that requires modification as a result of Brightline West’s work.
About Brightline West
Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America – offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too short to fly and too long to drive. Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Southern California with the first true high-speed passenger rail system in the nation. The 218-mile, all-electric rail service will include a flagship station in Las Vegas, with additional stations in Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga. At speeds up to 200 miles per hour, trains will take passengers from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga in about two hours, twice as fast as the normal drive time.
Brightline is currently operating its first passenger rail system in South Florida connecting Central and South Florida with stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
About Nevada Department of Transportation
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is responsible for the maintenance, construction, planning, and operation of the state transportation system, which encompasses more than 5,400 centerline miles of roads and 1,200 bridges. This statewide network supports 51% of all automobile traffic and 72% of all heavy truck traffic travel. Three districts oversee operations and maintenance activities within their local regions, and our headquarters, located in Carson City, supports operations across the state. NDOT is overseen by a seven-member Board of Directors, with the Governor acting as Chair. Our mission – to provide, operate and preserve a transportation system that enhances safety, quality of life and economic development through innovation, environmental stewardship, and a dedicated workforce – governs our decisions as we strive to be a leader and partner in delivering effective multimodal transportation solutions for a safe and connected Nevada.
Source: Brightline West
Biden Administration Boosts High-Speed Rail Projects in Nevada and California
“Biden administration pledges $6B in federal funding for high-speed rail projects in Nevada and California, closing the gap in passenger service.”
A pair of high-speed rail projects in Nevada and California is receiving a significant boost with Washington’s support. The Biden administration has committed over $6 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail, aiming to bridge the gap between the United States and other developed nations in terms of fast and reliable passenger service.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted the need to reverse decades of disinvestment in the country’s rail systems. The $8 billion in funding for passenger rail, including $3 billion for Brightline West, an intercity passenger system connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, marks the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak over 50 years ago.
Brightline, already operating high-speed service between Miami and Orlando, expressed enthusiasm for the project. Chair Wes Edens called it a historic moment and a blueprint for future endeavors across the country. The federal grant, while not covering the entire estimated $12 billion cost, is one of the largest infrastructure grants ever awarded to a private company. The goal is to open the line in time for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The announcement has been celebrated by rail advocates who believe high-speed rail will transform the nation’s transportation system, reducing congestion, fossil fuel dependency, and advancing the fight against climate change. Additionally, nearly $3.1 billion in funding was allocated to a high-speed rail project in California, specifically for the construction of a 171-mile segment between Merced and Bakersfield in the Central Valley.
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg acknowledged the challenges faced by these projects but expressed optimism that as new intercity routes begin carrying passengers, the appetite for high-speed rail in the United States will grow. While it will take time and significant investment, Buttigieg anticipates noticeable improvements and the experience of true high-speed rail on American soil within the decade.
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