Author Topic: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?  (Read 15340 times)

stjr

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 12:21:50 PM »
Billions of dollars but no mention here of anything new for Florida or Jacksonville!

Quote
Amtrak unveils first rail car funded by stimulus
 
Jul 13, 6:59 PM (ET)

By RANDALL CHASE

BEAR, Del. (AP) - Amtrak has wasted little time using its $1.3 billion slice of the federal stimulus package, unveiling the first of 81 passenger cars to be restored with the help of economic recovery funds.

Passenger car no. 25103, damaged a few years ago in a yard collision but now completely refurbished - complete with that "new car" interior smell - was shown off Monday at Amtrak's maintenance facility in Bear. More than 100 hard-hatted workers joined Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman in celebrating completion of its restoration.

The car, refitted at a cost of about $687,000, will rejoin the Amtrak fleet next week and will be used on long-distance routes stretching from Toronto to Miami.

With ridership increasing by about 25 percent over the past three years, Amtrak is welcoming the additional seating capacity that will be provided by cars brought out of storage for repairs. Cars like the one displayed Monday can seat 60.

Members of Delaware's congressional delegation said that while past presidents seemed cool to the needs of mass transit, the Obama administration seems to truly believe in passenger rail.

"Our day has come," said Democratic Sen. Tom Carper.

Republican Rep. Michael Castle acknowledged that he was no fan of the $787 billion stimulus package, but said he wants to ensure that Amtrak remains a viable mode of transportation.

"I think we have an administration that cares, and I think the vice president has a lot to do with that," said Castle, referring to Vice President Joseph Biden, who rode the rails regularly during his long career in the Senate.

The funds allocated to Amtrak are part of the $9.3 billion set aside in the stimulus package for rail transportation. State governments, as well as Amtrak, are competing for a share of the other $8 billion available.

Some of the proposals being discussed include a Chicago-St. Louis high-speed line that could cut travel times to two hours from the current five, an 800-mile-long high-speed line stretching along the California coast, and a proposal by governors of New England states to improve and expand train service throughout that region.

Amtrak expects to spend about $90 million in stimulus money it's already been awarded to upgrade 81 passenger cars and 15 diesel locomotives - part of the $845 million in stimulus funds allocated for railroad and station capital improvements. The agency will spend another $450 million in stimulus money for security upgrades at stations, bridges, tunnels and other locations.

Amtrak has added a third shift and hired 55 workers at its heavy maintenance facility in Delaware, which is responsible for the overhaul and wreck repair of passenger railcars, to help restore a total of 60 cars by February 2011 at a cost of $58 million. Amtrak's chief mechanical officer, Vince Nesci, described the undertaking as a "pretty ambitious and aggressive project."

Similar work is slated for Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Ind., where 21 out-of-service passenger cars will be rebuilt.


Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

HeartofFlorida

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2009, 05:45:27 PM »
This sounds great.  I hope Jacksonville and FDOT can get it going.

Overstreet

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2009, 10:00:20 AM »
Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?





I find the picture interesting since FDOT is programing millions to move highways away from the beach to provide safe hurricane evacuation and survivability.  This picture shows a train next to and along the beach. 


tufsu1

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2009, 10:27:16 AM »
I only know of one state highway being moved off the beach....and that's US 98 in Franklin County, where parts of the road have been washed out and rebuilt at least four times in the last 15 years....and in that case, the ROW for the new roadway was donated by the landowner (St. Joe)....sure it benefits their development plans, but it helps everybody else too.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2009, 06:00:39 PM »


We better see some comments here about our "Jacksonville Terminal" aka: Transportation Center at what some now call The Prime Osbourne Convention Phone Booth.

I just went over the entire plan for the restoration of the "Sunset Limited" between New Orleans - Jacksonville - Orlando. They are working on three options, with a start up of 4 years. New equipment has to be designed (in the works now) and ordered, platforms restored, tracks and signals touched up and crews trained. By federal law every crew member must qualify on all passenger routes from the crew base. At the moment we are still a crew base for Amtrak crews. New Sunset Route crew members must qualify on Jacksonville - Florence, Jacksonville - Columbia, Jacksonville - Orlando, Jacksonville - Pensacola. With the number of hours required it's a wonder they'll have anyone ready that fast. Read it: FOUR YEARS until liftoff.

Unfinished City Business...

The leading option in my eye's is "Option 3" this would be a stand-alone overnight DAILY TRAIN between Orlando - Jacksonville and New Orleans. It would certainly be the easiest to keep a schedule punctual. Let Los Angeles and the cowboy west have it's Sunset, we need the revived GULF WIND because THAT was the name of the train and route for many years before Amtrak came along. A Los Angeles - Orlando train would be far too many route miles to keep that puppy on the advertised, as would bending the current Chicago - New Orleans train in a fish hook from New Orleans to Orlando. We should be vocal about our support of a restored DAILY Gulf Wind.

Now for the good part...

Amtrak has released the tentative schedule for our own Gulf Wind and it's amazingly good for Jacksonville. If Amtrak can be persuaded to tag a local coach on the rear of the train, and if we build a station in Macclenny and/or West Jax, the train will roll into the city from the west going inbound right before the 7:30 hour in the morning, the same train will leave right about 6:00 pm in the evening. INSTANT COMMUTER LINE!

We need to get vocal about this opportunity and get JTA and City Council off their deadbeat constitutions.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2023, 11:22:59 AM by Ocklawaha »

Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2009, 10:46:42 PM »
The overlooked aspect of my rant is the key, WE MUST REOPEN JACKSONVILLE TERMINAL TO PASSENGER TRAIN TRAFFIC. We don't have to build any grand buildings or even move the convention center right away, but with a 4 year start date, we have time to correct past mistakes. Get two platforms up and running from Lee Street Viaduct out toward I-95, cover said platforms with butterfly shed roofs. Add a covered walk from the SOUTH convention center concourse to the trackside platforms, use simple railroad crossings as access to the tracks. Reopen the former ticket office and add some restored seating to the Head House station. Have all available JTA buses stop at the NORTH entry to the Concourse. Build a cross walk with signals over Bay street to the Skyway station.

Snag Amtrak and bring them home to downtown, while we work out the rest of the details on a complete station. The tracks and Sheds, as well as the waiting and ticket space could be reused.

Net result? Add the two commuter stations and we get our first train FREE OF CHARGE!

« Last Edit: June 06, 2023, 11:24:20 AM by Ocklawaha »

Jaxson

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2009, 07:07:55 PM »
I am very discouraged because I have e-mailed my concerns to the Jacksonville City Council and FDOT.  I have not gotten a response from anyone.  I am disappointed in the fact that our government officials cannot even be bothered to reply with at least a "thanks for writing" e-mail.  We have a great transportation solution in our backyards and our state and local government want to take the coward's way out - do nothing.  I have to agree with the person who referred to our Mayberry state of mind.
John Louis Meeks, Jr.

Jaxson

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 07:10:32 PM »
By the waym please remember that the beach photo is taken on the West coast.  I don't know of any hurricanes that have menaced Southern California like they have stalked our part of the country. 
John Louis Meeks, Jr.

thelakelander

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2009, 10:22:53 PM »
Don't worry about rail running on our beaches.  The rail line runs parallel to US 1.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Overstreet

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2009, 08:37:25 AM »
I only know of one state highway being moved off the beach....and that's US 98 in Franklin County, ..........

http://gulfcoastparkway.com/

They also relocated a strech in Gulf County to allow WindMark to be built. Another St Joe development. But this Gulf Coast Parkway is a Gulf, and Bay County project by FDOT to move the highway away from the beach and Tyndal AFB.  Over the years they already moved Hwy 98 west of Panama City. 

tufsu1

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2009, 09:24:35 AM »
oops...sorry....that was the portion I was referring to...there is no segment in Franklin County

As for the part of US 98 west of Panama City....the old road still remains...its Front Beach Rd (still a state road for the time being) in Panama City beach and CR 30A in Walton County.

Overstreet

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2009, 02:07:30 PM »
.................As for the part of US 98 west of Panama City....the old road still remains...its Front Beach Rd (still a state road for the time being) in Panama City beach and CR 30A in Walton County..


True still there but no longer the main egress highway.

HeartofFlorida

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2023, 10:33:02 AM »
Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?



The benefits of Amtrak extend far beyond what the average person thinks. They can be instrumental in not only Jacksonville's fight to implementing commuter rail, but also establishing a corridor service among Florida's major cities.  The question is Jacksonville even interested in listening?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-jul-amtrak-ready-to-spend-is-jacksonville-listening
Classic example of "don't cut off your nose to spite your face".  After all these years, nothing has changed.[/font][/size]

thelakelander

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2023, 03:36:38 PM »
Nope. Instead we have the Skyway 2.0 and hundreds of extra lane miles added to highways all over town. It's like its 1980 again.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak ready to spend - is Jacksonville listening?
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2023, 03:58:12 PM »
NEW - FROM AMTRAK

How Amtrak Benefits America
Amtrak serves more than 500 communities across the U.S. These range from small, rural towns like Rugby, North Dakota (population: 2,509), where residents may not have other intercity travel options, to global megacities like New York (population: 8.8 million), where Amtrak offers a convenient, sustainable alternative to driving or flying. For many of these communities, our service is crucial to the local economy, and to residents’ quality of life; added together, those local benefits make America’s Railroad both a powerful engine of national prosperity and an important public good.
Quantifiable Benefits: Jobs & Economy
The federal funds that Congress appropriates for Amtrak each year ultimately flow into communities across the nation, in the form of wages for residents and contracts with local businesses. According to an economic analysis prepared in connection with Amtrak’s service expansion efforts, the company’s current network generates direct user, safety, and emissions benefits worth $2.0 billion per year, and its operations support another $7.2 billion in annual economic activity (including $358 million due to tourism).51 Similarly, the Northeast Corridor—of which Amtrak is the primary owner and maintainer— moves a workforce that contributes tens of billions of dollars annually to the United States’ gross domestic product.
If Congress provides the full $3.650 billion that Amtrak is requesting for FY 24, those funds will help sustain current operations and, coupled with separate funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), will advance capital investments to improve and expand service; in turn, those investments will enhance Amtrak’s economic contributions (along with the countless other, harder-to- quantify benefits). Here is a closer look at what those contributions can mean in practice:
• Amtrak provides and supports good, middle-class jobs — Median wages for railroad industry workers significantly exceed the national average. Amtrak employs roughly 20,000 skilled workers, including nearly 1,800 veterans, and its operations support an estimated 36,000 jobs in total. In FY 22, the company spent more than $2.3 billion on salaries, wages, and benefits; Amtrak is currently in the midst of a concerted, IIJA-driven hiring effort, so that figure is growing over time. We value our employees and recognize that they are the reason for our success—which is why we are especially proud that as of September 2022, the average length of tenure for Amtrak employees was 13 years.
• Amtrak service spurs growth in local communities — Mayors, chambers of commerce, and other local stakeholders are working to bring Amtrak service to smaller communities—because they have seen firsthand what that service can mean. New or improved service or stations have helped spur significant redevelopment in places as diverse as Brunswick, Maine; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Normal, Illinois. And the rise of remote work, hybrid schedules, and other
51 Elements of this analysis were published in “More Trains. More Cities. Better Service: Amtrak’s Vision for Improving Transportation Across America,” Amtrak, June 2021: bit.ly/3Lffj6j.
     108
alternative work arrangements are now making Amtrak service even more valuable to the nation. For example, many people who work in large urban centers now have the option of moving to small towns and rural communities—but they still need the ability to regularly get back to city centers for meetings, work events, and other special occasions. Small municipalities and local businesses can help provide the broadband and other basic infrastructure to sustain these new workers, but it is the Amtrak service that is required to provide the reliable connection that allows such populations to easily move back and forth between their small towns and the urban centers.
• Amtrak’s presence strengthens the finances of state and local governments — Where Amtrak service creates new jobs, attracts new residents, or spurs new economic activity, governments collect additional revenues (which are often derived from out-of-town travelers, as opposed to local residents). Amtrak service can also reduce the need to expand highways and parking; improve air quality; increase mobility for underserved populations; and free governments to put scarce resources to the best possible use.
• Amtrak’s procurement dollars stay in the U.S. — Most of Amtrak’s procurements are subject to Buy America and other domestic preference requirements, and we are proud to meet or exceed all such requirements. In FY 22, we spent 98% of our purchase order procurement dollars ($2.4 billion) within the United States. Many of those dollars ultimately flowed to communities that are not themselves served by Amtrak trains.
• Amtrak service reduces the massive economic drag caused by highway congestion — In 2019, roadway congestion was an $88 billion drag on the national economy.52 Amtrak service keeps cars off the road—saving time and money not just for our passengers, but for those who continue to use highways, as well.
Importantly, all these benefits (among many others) are scalable. With robust federal investment, Amtrak and its partners could deliver new, improved, or expanded service in high-potential corridors nationwide where service today is minimal, or does not exist. If Amtrak and its partners were able to fully implement Amtrak’s vision for expanded corridor service by 2035, that would mean:
• an extra $1.1 billion per year in direct user and external benefits;
• an extra $6.9 billion per year in additional economic activity due to Amtrak operations; and
• support for 26,000 additional permanent jobs, plus 616,000 person-years of temporary work due to one-time capital investments.53
52 “Sitting in traffic costs D.C.-area residents an average of $1,761 per year, study finds,” Lori Aratani, Washington Post, March 9, 2020: wapo.st/3gZIBJf.
53 “More Trains. More Cities. Better Service: Amtrak’s Vision for Improving Transportation Across America,” Amtrak, June 2021: bit.ly/3Lffj6j.
      109

The direct benefits would accrue not just to the more than 500 communities that Amtrak currently serves, but to at least 160 new communities, as well—rural, urban, and everything in between. As with current service, the secondary effects would ripple across the entire economy, bringing new opportunities and improved quality of life even to places that remained miles away from the nearest train stop.
Additional Benefits
Although the quantifiable benefits of Amtrak service are immense, they do not tell the full story. As a mode of travel, intercity passenger rail carries inherent advantages. These advantages can be measured in dollars and cents—but also in the knitting together of diverse, varied communities, and in improved quality of life for the tens of millions of Americans who rely upon the links that Amtrak creates. Our service connects people with social, economic, educational, healthcare, and cultural resources, offering immense value to well-served communities. (And we want to bring that same value to communities that are still underserved, or not served at all.)
Passenger trains are seventeen times safer than travel by passenger car,54 and 46% more energy efficient.55 This makes train travel an increasingly popular choice as people embrace greener, more sustainable options. Train travel also allows our passengers more control over how they spend their travel time, as (unlike motorists) they are freed from the need to “focus on the road.” Many Amtrak stations are conveniently located in city centers, affording quick and easy access to local attractions, business districts, lodging, and public transit. And trains also offer a uniquely enabling form of transportation for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people without the means (or desire) to own a car. Many of these Americans have severely limited mobility choices; serving them is one of Amtrak’s key goals.
Similarly, one of intercity passenger rail’s unique strengths lies in trains’ ability to serve many small or rural communities that could never attract airline service—but that can be efficiently connected to each other, and to larger communities, as intermediate stops on a rail route. Amtrak’s Long-Distance and State-Supported services provide many such communities with a safe, reliable option—often carrying passengers who have no other choices for intercity travel. Amtrak is committed to maintaining, and ideally expanding, service for these people and places.
These kinds of benefits are not fully captured in Amtrak’s quantifiable economic impact—but they show that intercity passenger rail service makes life better, easier, richer, and safer for millions of Americans from every walk of life. So, while robust congressional support would help make America a more prosperous nation, it will also make it a better, fairer, and more pleasant place in which to live. It is for this full range of reasons that Amtrak is asking Congress to keep building on the strong foundation that the IIJA recently laid, and provide the full authorized level of $3.650 billion in annual appropriations in FY 24.
54 “Deaths by Transportation Mode,” National Safety Council: bit.ly/3TgK5Oc.)
55 Tables 2.14 & 2.15, Transportation Energy Data Book (Edition 39), Oak Ridge National Laboratory: bit.ly/41UxV1k.
    110

Selected Amtrak Impacts by State
Amtrak—America’s Railroad—has a truly national footprint: even in places with no direct train service, connecting Thruway buses enable residents to ride the rails. Amtrak has employees and spends procurement dollars in nearly every state—including several that lack service. And the recent enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) means that we are expanding: Amtrak is working closely with the Federal Railroad Administration, current and potential state partners, and other stakeholders to bring more trains to more people.
Figure 7.2, on the following page, gives a high-level overview of how Amtrak affected all fifty states and Washington, D.C. during FY 22; the bullets immediately below contain methodological notes.
• “Current Service” — Types of service regularly scheduled to serve stations in a given state as of October 1, 2022 (but not necessarily operated on that specific date), including NEC (service operated as part of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Service Line), L-D (service operated as part of Amtrak’s Long-Distance Service Line), and S-S (service operated as part of Amtrak’s State- Supported Service Line).
• “Stations” — Number of stations in a given state at which passengers boarded or alighted during FY 22.
• “Passengers” — Combined total for Amtrak intercity train boardings and alightings at all stations within a given state during FY 22, divided by two. (Totals are approximate, and (for example) exclude passengers on Amtrak-operated commuter services; exclude or pro-rate trips wholly or partially within Canada; and may exclude passengers carried as a result of cross- ticketing agreements or other special circumstances.)
• “Employees” — Total active Amtrak employees (both agreement and management) by home state (as opposed to workplace location) circa October 1, 2022; excludes contractors. Amtrak is engaged in significant hiring efforts, and aims to grow this total by several thousand people in the near-to-medium term. (Totals are approximate; small methodological choices in how headcount is calculated can yield slightly different numbers.)
• “Procurement Spending” — Total amount that Amtrak spent on purchase order and non- purchase order procurements with vendors headquartered in a given state.

FLORIDA?
19 Stations
398,301 Annual Passengers
708 Employees
$62,372,129 Procurement Spent
= CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP...