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View Diary: Sunday Train: The Cross-Rail Chicago Project and Midwest HSR (49 comments)

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  •  Michigan is run by Republicans, that ... (13+ / 0-)

    ... hasn't prevented work on the Michigan to Chicago corridor from continuing.

    Given the electoral base of the Republican parties in outer suburban, rural and small town areas, the way that small town Chambers of Commerce tend to push for rail service once they begin to be aware of the benefits to other towns in the region that have rail service is part of the dynamic.

    And don't project the 2010 results through to 2018 and 2022 ... for instance, the gerrymandered Republican hold on the Ohio Assembly is not as permanently secure as it may seem on the surface, since it rests in part on R-leaning suburban independents who can indeed be turned off by excessively radical tea party types.

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    by BruceMcF on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:33:53 PM PST

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    •  That's true. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, poligirl, thomask, JeffW, Yoshimi

      Though I'm wondering if building out from Chicago is something of a political calculation -- in that they're starting where they're not going to get as much opposition.

      (Nothing wrong with that, mind you. It's the smart thing to do.)

      •  It certainly is a political calculation ... (8+ / 0-)

        ... that there is a benefit to joining forces with those who would support an Express Rail regional commuter service in getting work done. For some of those in the coalition, that commuter service is the benefit. For some, its the express train to the airport. For some, its the connection of the Metra Rock Island and Electric lines to Union Station.

        For the Midwest HSR Association, it will be of use ~ and particularly the first phase ~ to any progress on any upgraded intercity rail.

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        by BruceMcF on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:44:39 PM PST

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    •  Small-town Chambers (1+ / 0-)
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      Isn't one of the main problems in putting through HSR projects (or ANY rail projects, is that these small-town and suburban business interests would be happy to have more and better train service - as long as they don't have to pay for it? And that Republicans - for whatever reason - have got a particularly toxic bug up their collective backsides over anything to do with rail?

      Your mention of the French system for development of HSR networks elides one point, I think: the French government, IIRC, pays for everything without the obsession with "cost-effectiveness" and "profitability" which too many American politicians seem to use as an excuse to sink any rail-related ideas (and not just the GOP, though it seems to be a fetish with them).

      •  Look at the agreement that kept ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thomask, Jay C, Debby, Judge Moonbox

        ... the Hoosier State running, under the rules passed by the Republicans in Congress a while back that corridors under 750 miles were not eligible for Federal subsidy:

        State, Amtrak reach agreement on Hoosier State

        Community leaders from Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and two other cities lobbied the state to continue the service, which they contended is key in attracting businesses and young professionals to western Indiana.

        Throughout the process, INDOT said communities served by the Hoosier State would have to pay part of the $2.9 million annual operating cost that is not covered by revenues. The route costs $3.8 million to run, and generates $907,000, according to INDOT.

        Local officials, along with those from four other cities, agreed last month to foot part of the bill if the service was improved to attract more riders and generate more revenue.

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        by BruceMcF on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:35:31 PM PST

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