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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2015





Part 1 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Preface

Part 2 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Amtrak and transit agencies in Arizona & California

Part 3 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Colorado, Florida and Georgia

Part 4 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Illinois and Missouri

Part 5 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: New Jersey, New York, and Ohio

Part 6 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Oregon and Pennsylvania

Part 7 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Texas

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Preface



— by Julie Sneider, senior associate editor

Forging Ahead in an era of uncertainty

Accommodating ridership growth. Maintaining a state of good repair. Investing in modern equipment and new technology. Those are some of the foremost topics and challenges occupying transit agency leaders' minds, according to survey responses the agencies submitted to Progressive Railroading for the 2015 edition of "Passenger Rail At A Glance." In many respects, the agencies' issues and concerns this year are the same as they have been in the recent past: how to address growth in demand, maintain or improve infrastructure and services, and tackle unfunded government mandates (like positive train control) in a political environment that leaves industry chief executives wondering when — or if — Congress will approve federal dollars for surface transportation programs over the long term.

Despite the uncertainty, transit agencies are stitching together solutions to meet the needs of their customers. Many solutions call for building new passenger-rail systems or expanding existing ones. In their survey responses, agency officials outlined major capital projects, many of which include construction of light- or commuter-rail lines and/or extensions to serve new ridership.

Among transit agencies with major projects underway is the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) in Texas, which provides public transportation for Tarrant County and the western half of the North Central Texas region. Earlier this year, The T got the green light from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to advance the engineering phase of TEX Rail, a proposed 27.2-mile commuter-rail line that would operate from downtown Fort Worth, through Tarrant County and to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The project would include 10 new stations, infrastructure improvements including upgrading existing track, the addition of new track and passing sidings, and installation of a PTC system.

The T officials anticipate the project will receive a federal full funding grant agreement in second-quarter 2016.

There are many more examples of new transit-rail projects in the works on the pages ahead. Additional information from the survey responses can be found on ProgressiveRailroading.com.

Whether federal funds continue to flow beyond another short-term extension of the federal MAP-21 law remains to be seen; the current extension is set to expire later this month. Regardless, transit agencies indicated in their survey responses that they’ll forge ahead with planning capital programs and projects they believe will best meet the needs of their passengers. We believe they are a good sampling of what's happening in today's passenger-rail realm.

Part 1: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Preface

Part 2: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Amtrak and transit agencies in Arizona & California

Part 3: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Colorado, Florida and Georgia

Part 4: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Illinois and Missouri

Part 5: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: New Jersey, New York, and Ohio

Part 6: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Oregon and Pennsylvania

Part 7: Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2015: Texas

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