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Program Notes and Presentations

Registration and Networking     Grab and Go Lunch    Metro Boardroom Entryway (3rd Floor)

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM     WELCOME

Local, State, and National Opportunities for Rail

    Metro Boardroom (3rd Floor)

Art Leahy  (LA Metro)


Karen Hedlund,
Deputy Administrator, FRA


Karen recognized the attendees by saying California has a "complete rail system".  In reference to California High Speed Rail, she used the term, "The Train to Everywhere" because it ties into other systems.

She referred to  $302 Billion in President Obama's proposed budget for rail programs, and pointed to the success of the "Tiger Program".

Of the $302 Billion in President Obama's and the House Ways and Means proposal for rail transportation, $19 billion will be for safety improvements, and to fully fund Amtrak.  This will allow Amtrak to fix network choke points and extend corridors.

Everyone in attendance perked up when she said the deadline for proposals for contacts is April 28 and will be for work completed Sept. 30, 2016.

Her hints for grant approval were to include, 1.  Environmental reports and that 2. Matching funds will help your proposal.

She spoke of railroad safety, saying accidents are down 47%,  grade crossing accidents are down 35% and employee fatalities are down 59%.  She said that Safety can never take a back seat to on-time performance.

Karen also mentioned that there is $825 million in President Obama's budget proposal for Positive Train Control.  Also, he is putting rail in the budget for permanent funds so there is no need to ask congress each year for funds.

Ms. Hedlund referred to the past oil train disaster.  There are three categories of oil trains and the new crude is more volatile.  The big oil train accident was a run away train that went miles at 60 to 70 mph before derailing.  Changes will be made because railroads want to keep crude shipments since shipments of coal is down.

Ms. Hedlund's presentation was complete and concise.  She had no power point presentation, but did not need it.  She prefaced her remarks with statements like, "Take note of this:..."  Attendees were attentive because she was talking money and how, if they followed her tips, were likely to get some of the grant money.

Link to Ms. Hedlund's Speech.

Chad Edison (CalSTA)

Mr. Edison mentioned that there are 115,000 trips on intercity and commuter rail in California resulting in 1.3 billion passenger miles.

Fifty percent of rail passengers take light rail, buses, or bicycles to the trains.  Some of the other 50% are dropped off at stations.

One percent of all commuter time in the state is by rail systems.  He sees this as a great opportunity to win a larger percentage using the rail systems.

Work on triple tracking from Los Angeles to Fullerton is taking place.

Chad mentioned that at a recent trip to Taiwan he was able to use one card to ride the train, bus, and buy a drink from a vending machine.  He would like to see that kind of integration in California rail systems.

Link to Panel Presentations

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