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10/28/2009



Rail News: High-Speed Rail

APTA statement on FRA's preliminary rail plan


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Today, American Pubic Transportation Association President William Millar released a statement on the Federal Railroad Administration’s preliminary National Rail Plan, which was unveiled on Oct. 16. The plan outlines the issues that must be addressed in order to expand rail service in the United States.

Millar’s comments on the need to advance high-speed rail and rail transit follow:

"We commend the Federal Railroad Administration for its release of the Preliminary National Rail Plan unveiled on October 16, 2009. The plan describes the many issues that must be addressed in order for the nation’s rail service to grow.
 
"What begins as a bold vision must be supported through a comprehensive set of policies supportive of that vision. While major national trends favor an ongoing growth for rail, this will not happen until we address the underlying set of issues that will enable that growth — including right-of-way, regulatory, liability, equipment and investment issues. We must also take steps to assure that our intercity high-speed rail network is well integrated with local rail and bus systems to assure that passengers can rely on seamless travel.  
 
"Rail transportation has inherent safety, environmental and energy-efficiency advantages.  Growth in the coming years will fuel a new and forward looking set of business opportunities, contributing to green jobs and economic enterprise in America. Of the 25 commuter rail systems in service today, only nine were in operation in 1980. The future will witness continued growth in commuter rail, as the nation creates a new intercity high speed rail system linking our major metropolitan areas.
 
"The Preliminary National Rail plan is an interim step on the way to a final National Rail Plan, required pursuant to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. APTA (along with other stakeholder groups) worked closely with FRA in developing the preliminary plan, and such work will continue as a final plan is written."


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