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Pat Merril on Amtrak



Text and Photos by Carl Morrison,

Pat Merrill on Amtrak

Mr. Merrill's Opening Statement was,
"Rail is enjoying a Renaissance."

Having been a state employee, he said it was much like the saying, "The beatings will continue until the morale improves." [After a careee of public school teaching, I feel much the same."]

There is a national upswing in rail ridership even in this recession.

28.7 million passengers in 2010, $1.74 billion income - up 9%.

Joe Boardman works well with unions.

California is partnering with other states to buy Talgo sets.

BNSF has started putting local trains on a timetable and passengber trains on-time-performance has improved.

New Business for Amtrak is operating Metrolink trains with improvements in safety and on-time-performance.  Also New Technology and New Investment in Capital Funds.

What's New:
The CA Central Valley HSR will be Merced to Fresno or Fresno to Bakersfield.  Amtrak might use HSR's first track, but would need high speed locomotives

California got $100 million for rolling stock plus more for PTC

Amtrak has an 80% fare box ratio

Private companies have approached Amtrak to return the LA-Las Vegas run.

Amtrak, with partners, will provide Florida's HSR

Amtrak has a HSR Group

The Coast Daylight's challenge is funding.  They are working on finding rolling stock.

Mr. Merrill always gives an informative, no nonsense update on Amtrak.

Next Page:  David Kutrosky on Capitol Corridor

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