RailPAC Annual Meeting, NARP Member
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Freight, Prosperity in Cooperation
Walter N. Smith, General
Director, Commuter Construction, BNSF Railway
Mr. Smith said the Golden Age of Rail is
behind us - the age of the Harvey Houses and pheasant under glass in
the dining cars.
He mentioned that there are still great passenger train stations,
namely, Chicago, LA Union Station, and Bakersfield Stations, all built
in the past, but still great.
The 2008 fiscal passenger ridership at BNSF was 26,716,407 (slide
says 26,726,4007 - exactly how do you read this number?)
His presentation slides:
Historic passenger trains and stations.
Mr. Smith said the current project is
triple-track from Fullerton to LA.
Since I had just returned to LA from Chicago on the Southwest Chief
(their track), I asked why the section west of Kansas City, MO, was
commonly known to Amtrak train crews as the worst/roughest of the 2,000
miles, why is it historically so rough. His Answer: "That
section is 'The Race Track' and is high maintenance." Talking
with Chris Guenzler at lunch, he said that section is not the "Race
Track" and Smith had given me a non-answer.
A nice box lunch was served and you could either dine on the patio or
inside. Plenty of time to network with others during lunch.
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