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Tagged : high-speed-rail


High speed train between Detroit and Chicago?

September 11th, 2013

High speed rail has been proposed for the US Midwest as a way to better and more quickly connect cities, while reducing pollution from individual cars. The Michigan Department of Transportation will be hearing the public’s views in several meetings next week.


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High speed rail chugs ahead around the world, with the U.S. as caboose

August 15th, 2012

High Speed Rail presents so much promise: It’s the greenest way to travel on anything powered by an engine. It bolsters economic development and connects cities. Its build-out creates thousands of jobs. And riding on it comes with WiFi and doesn’t require a body search. At least not yet.
So why aren’t we moving faster in the U.S. toward this 21st Century vision?


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High speed rail: Getting Texas on track

July 18th, 2012

If enthusiasm were dollars, high speed rail would be zooming across in Texas.
There has been no shortage of advocates ready to envision and mock-up plans for fast passenger trains in the Lone Star state, starting back in the energy-crisis years of the 1970s and building steam throughout the 1980s when a group called the Texas Railroad Transportation Company (TRTC) devised a plan for the “Texas Triangle,” a 750-mile train route connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to San Antonio and Houston.


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Illinois passenger rail from Chicago to Quad Cities ready to go

September 16th, 2011

Across the country, Americans are finding ways to build a greener future and create immediate employment for workers who desperately need good jobs.

One such project, ready to move from the drawing board to execution is the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City passenger rail line, slated to be funded with $230 million in federal grant money

What High Speed Midwest Rail could look like, if states join regional plans that have won federal funding (red) and complete other routes (blue).


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Texas gets federal money to develop a high speed passenger train route between Dallas and Houston

May 11th, 2011

Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida’s losses became gains for 24 states when the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $2 billion in awards for a variety of rail projects earlier this week.
The re-shuffling of federal dollars — necessary because the conservative Republican governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida returned federal rail grants — will mostly benefit high speed rail projects in the Midwest, the Northeast and California, which is developing a Sacramento-to-LA high speed rail system.
But Texas, which has so far largely been on the sidelines in the rush to assemble a national train network, also was beneficiary of the new awards. The Lone Star state got $15 million for preliminary engineering for a high speed rail line that would link Dallas and Houston.


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The un-greening of Wisconsin

March 4th, 2011

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any meaner, it gets meaner.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose attempts to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights has provoked massive demonstrations by angry teachers, firefighters and state employees, is now also drawing fire from environmental and clean energy advocates.

In addition to his plans to squash collective bargaining rights, Walker wants to dismantle several eco-friendly programs and has already axed one, the high speed rail line that would have been funded by federal stimulus money.


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High speed rail (tea-)bagged by politics

February 17th, 2011

If you like trains, now would be a good time to speak up about it. Money for Amtrak and for proposed high speed passenger trains is on the budget block, awaiting the guillotine of lawmakers in Washington who want to cut funds for all sorts of programs that could improve our lives, green our transportation and keep America working and moving toward the future.

Yes, the country is in tight straits. People are out of work. We have a budget deficit. But we have to push on. When we have before, well, we’ve gone to the moon. We’ve turned the tide in world wars. Should getting to St. Louis be that difficult?


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U.S. support for offshore wind power picks up speed, but will it matter?

February 8th, 2011

What a difference a year makes. Just last March, the Obama Administration was gearing up to reopen offshore oil drilling on the Eastern Seaboard. No doubt this seemed like a good plan to access more domestic oil and answer critics clamoring for more drilling.

Never mind that the U.S., on and offshore, can produce only a small fraction of the oil it consumes.

Then came that BP oil disaster thingy. A blob of black doom darkened the waters and economic prospects throughout the Gulf of Mexico.


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Obama’s green State of the Union address

January 26th, 2011

Climate action is so far off the agenda in Washington it may as well be floating on an island of melting sea ice. With dozens of lawmakers expressing doubts about whether climate change is real or is some zany idea cooked up by 10,000 scientists, issues like cap-and-trade have been iced. Even environmentalists now speak about amorphous “pollution” instead of those off-putting greenhouse gases.

Thankfully, though, clean energy, electric cars and high-speed rail – the nuts-and-bolts improvements that could help America build muscle in manufacturing and technology sectors, salvage its remaining natural spaces and reduce “pollution” (wink, wink) — remain firmly on the table.

At least that’s where the president has placed them.

In what may have been his most pointedly green national speech, President Barak Obama called out ambitious, explicit green energy goals in last night’s State of the Union Address. Obama wants a transformed America to be:

  • The first nation to put 1 million electric cars on the ground


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Playing chicken with high speed trains in Wisconsin

November 8th, 2010

Last week, Ohio and Wisconsin both elected new governors who campaigned to clamp down on federal spending, including ending high speed rail projects being queued up with stimulus money in their states.

Almost immediately the pro- and anti-train forces chugged into action. In Wisconsin sitting Gov. Jim Doyle, a big supporter of high speed rail, called a temporary halt to the project, throwing into question 400 construction jobs and the promise of perhaps ten times as many later on.

Across the Great Lakes, in New York, Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo reacted by quickly raising his hand for the $823 million in federal train funds that could become available if Wisconsin spurns the project.


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China leading the world in clean economy development

October 15th, 2010

(This piece by Andrew Winston, green business consultant and author of Green Recovery and
Green to Gold (with Daniel Esty) first appeared as part of a series on the smart grid at Harvard Business Online.)


Andrew Winston


Creating a clean economy will not be easy. It will require sustained, consistent, and large-scale investment across many sectors, including transportation, building systems and appliances, energy generation, and of course the electric grid itself. We will need new, more intelligent software and hardware to manage the new demands on the grid.

We’ll need a smarter grid, one that will both communicate in real time with customers’ devices to help manage peak demand and manage the inflows of renewable energy and plugged-in electric cars. But this is not a single pursuit; it’s the connective tissue in a network of new technologies and energy systems. These are multi-trillion-dollar markets, so the opportunities for the countries and companies that lead the charge will be vast. And some governments, especially in China and Germany, are taking this challenge much more seriously than others.


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Renovation announced for Chicago’s Union Station

October 4th, 2010

Union Station will get an expanded lobby and other improvements with an ARRA-funded renovation. (Art source: Midwest High Speed Rail Association.)


Chicago’s Union Station will be getting what many see as a long-needed renovation to accommodate heavy traffic.
Amtrak Board Chairman Tom Carper and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced a $40 million capital construction project for the iconic downtown train hub, which will double the size of the passenger waiting area, add new restrooms and air conditioning to the “Great Hall”.


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