Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where are the Bullet Trains?

Progress continues toward high-speed rail development in Missouri. While the bullet trains are not coming anytime soon, significant improvements could occur if the Federal Railroad Administration approves MoDOT's application for $200 million in economic recovery funding. Competition for the limited $8 billion in available funding will be strong, considering the $103 billion in applications submitted by 40 states.

However, MoDOT, in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak, has developed a very good list of proposed improvements. These projects will not only put people to work quickly, they will remove significant system bottlenecks and allow for increased train speeds. MoDOT has also been working with other Midwest states to acquire modern and efficient train equipment to replace the current 1960's-era trains.

Construction work on Missouri's first-ever publicly funded rail capacity project is on schedule for completion in 2009. This new 9,000-foot passing rail siding near California will eliminate a 25-mile section with no siding long enough to hold a freight train. This area has been a major bottleneck in the past.

Passenger ridership in Missouri remains strong, closing the state fiscal year 10 percent above last year. This is largely due to improved on-time performance, which has been above 95 percent since January 1st. People are running out of excuses for not using this service. What are you waiting for!? Go to www.morail.org and get aboard!

3 comments:

idea stack said...

Hi,

I See your site MoDOT. The passenger railroads is amazing plan with great effect thanks for sharing here..

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Unic-Web said...

Almost one and half year passed by now, what happened with the project? Curious to know about it.

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MoDOT said...

Some updates on Missouri Rail since this post was originally added:

The Missouri River Runner achieved a 92 percent OTP rate last year.

In January, Missouri was awarded $31 million for high-speed rail projects under ARRA. These include a second rail bridge over the Osage River that will eliminate delays caused by a bottleneck, plus additional crossovers that will reduce maintenance flexibility;
a universal crossover near the Kirkwood Amtrak station that will ease the flow of passenger train into and out of the St. Louis area; and safety improvements at several rail crossings, primarily west of Sedalia.
In addition, it includes preliminary engineering on six future improvement projects worth approximately $100 million, including double tracks between Lee's Summit and Pleasant Hill, a passing siding at Kingsville, a grade separation at Strasburg, a passing siding extension at Knob Noster and universal crossovers - a device that allows trains to crossover to another track in either direction - at Bonnots Mill and Hermann.

In October, MoDOT received two High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program grants totaling $4.1 million from the Federal Railroad Administration. The awards will fund a new state rail plan and improve access to the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center, while continuing to build capacity and improve performance on the Midwest's Kansas City-St. Louis-Chicago passenger rail corridor.