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Today, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced it added special high-speed rail sessions to the agenda for its annual meeting, to be held Oct. 4-7 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla.
"The Vision and the Blueprint: High Speed Rail in the United States" will focus on how the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to implement President Obama's high-speed rail vision and develop a national rail plan. Representatives from the FRA and rail advocacy groups will be on hand to discuss their work in executing high-speed rail projects in support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Rod Diridon, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute and chair of APTA's High Speed and Intercity Rail Committee, will moderate the session. Panelists include FRA Deputy Administrator Karen Rae, Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi and North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti.
Another session, "Launching High Speed Rail in the U.S.," will cover "how three corridors plan to change the face and pace of travel in the U.S." The session will be moderated by Ohio Transportation Secretary and APTA High Speed and Intercity Rail Committee Vice Chair Jolene Molitoris. Panelists include Nazih Haddad, executive director of the Florida High Speed Rail Authority and intercity passenger rail manager for the Florida Department of Transportation; Richard Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association; and David Dean, a consultant with the Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corp.
High-speed rail also might be discussed during sessions on the economic stimulus bill and the surface transportation authorization.