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RailPAC September 2007 Board of Directors and General Meeting

Rail Passenger Association of California and Nevada (RailPAC)

Board of Directors and General Meeting

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Report and photos by Bob Manning

On Saturday September 15,2007 RailPAC held a board of directors and general meeting at the California State Museum in Sacramento, CA.

The guest speakers for the RailPAC general meeting were in order:
  1. Jonathan Hutchison Amtrak Director, Government Affairs, West
  2. Bill Bronte Caltrans Rail Program Chief
  3. Gene Skoropowski Managing Director, Capitol Corridor
  4. Brian Smith Altamont Commuter Express
  5. Will Kempton, Caltrans Director

Paul Dyson, RailPAC President, gave the opening remarks and introduction of the guest speakers.  RailPAC Vice President, North, Art Lloyd, personally introduced each of the Speakers.

The first speaker, Jonathan Hutchison told about Amtrak’s increasing rider ship and revenues against all of Amtrak’s problems. Jonathan went on to say that Amtrak has forty-one Superliners and over one hundred Amfleet cars out of service in Beech Grove, IN. This is an example of one of the many questions Amtrak is faced with. Should they repair some of these cars, or a locomotive, with the continuing budget limitations .Where, do we start? Jonathan went on to mention that it was a major challenge to keep the level of service that was needed with all of these types of problems.

Additional comments and photos of the RailPAC September 15, 2007 meeting

By Bob Manning

The RailPAC board of directors held their morning meeting in the auditorium of the Sacramento Railroad Museum with the general session to follow in the afternoon. The board of directors unanimously agreed to appoint Russ Jackson Director Emeritus. The board wanted to show its appreciation to Russ for all of the outstanding work that he has accomplished for this organization. In addition we also wanted to thank him for being one of the original founders of RailPAC. Congratulations Russ!

The featured speaker, Caltrans Director, Will Kempton, was overall very supportive of passenger rail service in California and he made several interesting comments.

First, Mr. Kempton stated that a group of investors from Las Vegas made the statement that the last hotel built in Las Vegas cost several billion. So, that would not be a problem adding passenger train service from Victorville to Las Vegas. I know this statement raised many questions and left many people wondering, “why Victorville”?

Mr. Kempton then stated that Metrolink train service should include the Palm Springs area. I think Mr. Kempton meant to say Amtrak service to Palm Springs as Metrolink has limited service on weekends and no service on holidays. In addition, Amtrak is geared more for a longer service train including café car and runs weekends and holidays. However, the main point is any passenger train service would be welcomed at this time!

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For a complete report of the RailPAC meeting please go to

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