January 22, 2016
With the Washington metropolitan area experiencing an historic snowstorm, your hardworking NARP office staff have been affected. We have deployed our resources to remote locations to try to maintain member services during the storm, but please be aware that many basic services in the region are being disrupted. If you can't reach us right away, please leave voicemail or send emails and we will do our best to help you as quickly as possible.
Thousands of flights have already been canceled. Amtrak, however, has announced that the Northeast Corridor will continue operating on a modified schedule -- more proof of the critical resiliency that multimodal transportation investment provides.
All NARP members are urged to submit comments to the Surface Transportation Board regarding their proposed On-Time Performance Standards rulemaking.
The deadline to submit comments to the STB is February 8, 2016. A specific NARP Web Page is now available with more information on the proposed rulemaking and detailed instructions on how to file comments.
This is a rare opportunity for passengers to directly comment to the STB on such an important issue. Don't miss it!
Amtrak gave its most detailed report on the Gateway Project to date this week in a meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, presenting a package of construction projects that includes new Hudson tunnels and an expanded Penn Station, costing around $23.9 billion.
The New York Times reports that the building new Hudson River rail tunnels and repairing the existing tunnels will cost $7.7 billion, with the renovations to Penn Station in Manhattan costing $5.9 billion. The Gateway Project also includes replacing New Jersey rail bridges.
“I’d like to have a financing package that is solid enough by the time we walk out of the door that everyone has the certainty that the project will happen, and the funding set aside to get it done,” said Secretary Foxx.
NARP is inviting members in good standing to consider running for 10 open seats on the Council of Representatives, the association’s volunteer governing body, for two-year terms. The next election for seats is for the term starting March 1, 2016.
Any NARP member who has paid dues for at least one year, is at least 18 years of age and is a U.S. resident is eligible to run. The Council consists of 112 elected state representatives. The Council of Representatives represents the overall NARP membership in setting and approving the overall policy and direction for the association. For more information, click here. For an 'At-Large' Representative Candidate Information Statement form, go here.
In addition, nominations are now being sought from those members interested and qualified in being elected as an Association Officer (Chair; 4 Vice-Chairs; Treasurer & Secretary) and for the 8 Director positions. The Officers and Directors are elected by the Council of Representatives at the April meeting. For more information on these positions including duties, responsibilities and required qualifications, go here. For an Officer & Director Candidate Information Statement form, go here.
The deadline for all submissions is 11:59 p.m. (local time) on March 31, 2016. It must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2016.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced this week that it has come to an agreement with the City of Burbank to move forward on a proposed high-speed rail station that would serve as a multimodal hub for the region.
“The San Fernando Valley is long overdue for a major infrastructure investment of this magnitude,” said CHSRA Southern California regional director Michelle Boehm. "This agreement creates a unique regional planning opportunity that will help facilitate development of a world class transportation hub, increase the quality and types of transportation choices available to residents and visitors to the San Fernando Valley, and makes significant progress in bringing high-speed rail to the region.”
Construction crews began pouring concrete for Florida’s Brightline rail corridor in West Palm Beach this week, bringing the project one step closer to reality.
“This is the launching point for our service. Every day, the trains will come out of here,” said Adrian Share, executive vice president of rail infrastructure. “This is about a 120 cubic yards of concrete going in today… Basically this will be a maintenance pit. When you work on the trains, you work from underneath,” he said. “If you take your car to a repair shop, they lift the car. We don’t lift the trains… We won’t be using 10-train cars for a while, but it’s designed with that capacity.
Share said the service, which will run between Miami and Orlando, will be operational my mid-2017.
Officials overseeing construction of Detroit's M-1 Rail announced this week that the light rail line is on track to open in early 2017.
M-1 Rail officials also announced that service will operate along Woodward between downtown and New Center, Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Tickets will cost $1.50.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week that enhanced enforcement of safety regulations has lead to the Federal Railroad Administration’s highest-ever penalty collection rate in 2015.
“Safety must be the number one priority for every railroad, and the Department of Transportation will continue to take aggressive action against railroads who fail to follow safety rules,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “A strong safety enforcement program is critical to prevent accidents, save lives and move our country forward.”
“Setting a record for collections is an important milestone, but it is just one element of FRA’s broader effort to achieve a safer rail system,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. “As we continue to aggressively enforce safety regulations, FRA will also continue to implement new, innovative solutions to increase safety.”
Group rate hotel room reservations are now available for the Spring Council and Membership Meeting being held Sunday, April 10 through Wednesday, April 13 at the Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel. Click here to make your room reservations. Complete current information on the meeting can be found here.