Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Congressional Subcommittee meets in Chicago to discuss HSR

The Congressional Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials met yesterday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to discuss the high-speed intercity passenger rail grants that were recently awarded under the stimulus act and the impact the grants will have on the region. Among the notable attendees were:
  • Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle reiterated the positive effect that HSR projects will have on Wisconsin's construction, engineering, and design & supply industries. Gov Doyle's testimony can be found here.
  • Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky stated that rail funding would create more than 57,000 jobs, while making a long neglected national investment in rail transportation.
  • Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski said Amtrak and Metra users should notice a difference in commuter times within two years.
  • Our own Rick Harnish testified on the importance of 220 mph service.
  • FRA Administrator Joe Szabo's testimony can be found here.

*After the hearing, Administrator Szabo stated that Positive Train Control, which under federal mandate must be implemented by 2015, could have prevented the tragic accident in University Park.
"Positive train control is probably the most significant safety initiative in the history of railroading and certainly something that would have the ability to prevent a tragedy like this,''

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