Category Archives: Transportation

May 15, 2015

Mayor rips ‘reckless’ Amtrak engineer (Video)

‘Gay’-rights activist claims no recollection of crash.

The engineer who sped around a train track curve at 106 miles per hour, resulting in the derailment of seven cars and death of eight, says he doesn’t remember a thing – and he’s now hired an attorney to represent him.

Brandon Bostian, through his attorney, Robert Goggin, said he has no recollection and “no explanation” to offer for the crash, ABC News reported.

“[He] has absolutely no recollection of the incident,” Goggin said, in an interview with “Nightline” on ABC. “The [only] thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cell phone and dialing 911.”

Officials say the speed on the track leading into the curve was 80 miles per hour, and on the curve itself, 50 miles per hour. Investigators, meanwhile, have concluded – based on the recovered black box information – the train was going more than double the speed limit, and Bostian slammed on the brakes shortly before the derailment occurred.

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January 3, 2015

No Major U.S. Company Bidding on California High Speed Rail

The Great California Train Robbery is moving into full gear after nine foreign bidders responded with “expressions of interest” in building a fleet of electric trains for a proposed high-speed rail system. Perhaps best for California politicians is that there are no major U.S. manufacturer’s interested. That means Governor Brown and his Legislator allies will need to go on junkets to such exotic locations as China, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Canada with their new best friends.

In its 2014 “high speed rail” (HSR) business plan, the California rail authority estimated it will spend $889 million to buy the 95 vehicles for its “initial operating segment” from Merced to Burbank, now planned to start carrying passengers by 2022. When the entire Phase 1 of the statewide system is expected to be built out from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles and Anaheim in 2028, capital spending for vehicles will leap to about $3.3 billion.

There are currently just 1,300 “high speed rail” (HSR) trains in Europe and Asia that travel at speeds of 186 mph or faster. From a financial standpoint, only two HSR lines in the world are profitable: Paris-Lyon in France and Tokyo-Osaka in Japan. A third line, Hakata-Osaka in Japan, breaks even. The others are all big time losers.

Amtrak USA has lost money every year of its existence and has run up total operating and capital losses of over $40 billion. During the 2000s, Amtrak averaged annual losses in excess of $1 billion. But during the financial crisis, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 pumped an additional $1.3 billion of the $8 billion in high-speed rail grants into Amtrak. In 2010, Amtrak got another slurp at the federal trough with an expanded $1.563 billion in operating subsidies and capital service grants.

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