STATEMENTS

 

AMERICAN HIGH SPEED RAIL ALLIANCE EXPRESSES CONCERNS OVER DIRECTION OF RSAC HIGH SPEED RAIL ENGINEERING TASK FORCE

February 23, 2011

Dear Administrator Szabo,

I am writing to express concern over the direction of the RSAC High Speed Rail Engineering Task Force under the FRA in developing the next generation of standards. The goal of this task force is to create recommendations for engineering standards related to high speed rail vehicles that will operate up to 220 mph. On February 14 and 15, 2011 approximately 80 industry experts, including an AHSRA representative, participated in the second meeting in Washington, DC.

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FLORIDA GOVERNOR REJECTS FEDERAL FUNDING FOR FLORIDA HIGH SPEED RAIL PROJECT 

February 16, 2011

Florida Governor Rick Scott has just announced the rejection of $2.4 billion federal stimulus dollars that would have been  used to build a high speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando, saying the project would be “far too costly to taxpayers” and that he believes “the risk far outweighs the benefits.”

The American High Speed Rail Alliance (AHSRA) is disappointed in the Governors decision to reject the funding. “Florida was on the right track to becoming one of the first high speed rail project in America,” said Mary Ellen Curto, Executive Director of the American High Speed Rail Alliance. “AHSRA had looked forward to Florida’s leadership in the 21st Century transportation infrastructure arena. ”

Scott had previously opposed the state’s required $280 million in matching funds, but those in support of the rail project have said that the private consortiums of companies set to bid on the line indicated willingness to foot the bill to cover construction and operations risks, in exchange for the right to operate the trains. The Governor’s decision was made before those companies had an opportunity to respond to the state high speed rail authority’s request for proposals.

Scott had previously opposed the state’s required $280 million in matching funds, but those in support of the rail project have said that the private consortiums of companies set to bid on the line indicated willingness to foot the bill to cover construction and operations risks, in exchange for the right to operate the trains. The Governor’s decision was made before those companies had an opportunity to respond to the state high speed rail authority’s request for proposals.

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THE AMERICAN HIGH SPEED RAIL ALLIANCE (AHSRA) APPLAUDS TRAIN PROPOSAL

February 8, 2011

$53 billion in High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding in a
6 year surface transportation re-authorization bill

The American High Speed Rail Alliance (AHSRA) applauds the Administration’s commitment to the development of a national high speed rail network and $53 billion in High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding in a 6 year surface transportation re-authorization bill.

The Alliance supports the Administration’s commitment to HSR and will work to help Congress and the Administration achieve a dramatic expansion of fast, efficient, environmentally-friendly, congestion-reducing intercity passenger rail in America.

AHSRA welcomes the integration of an intercity passenger rail program into the surface transportation re-authorization process and, most importantly, the Alliance supports the administration’s announcement that: “The proposal will open the door to new public-private partnerships, and attract significant private investment in developing and operating passenger rail corridors.”

The Alliance will continue its efforts to create a positive climate for PPP-financed HSR projects by launching a new PPP High Speed Rail Council that will work to develop opportunities for private investment and participation in passenger rail corridors in the United States.

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