The good and bad of Denver’s new airport transit line

Denver RTD A-Line map.

Next time you fly into Denver, you’ll be able to hop on a train from the airport to downtown. There’s a lot to celebrate about this new transit line, and much to criticize. There’s plenty of effusive praise for Denver’s transit ambitions without much critical pushback in the popular press.

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Renovating Penn Station as an institution, not a building

Beware nostalgia for the old Penn Station. While the railroad station’s current iteration neither functions well nor provides an inspiring space, addressing these problems requires addressing the underlying issues of railroad governance, finance, and operations.

Writing in the New York Times, David Dunlap aims to demolish the myth of Penn Station’s demise as solely

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WMATA, the NTSB, and the FRA: or, what do you mean the Metro doesn’t count as a railroad?

FRA Type II Safety Glass in a WMATA rail car. Photo from nevermindtheend.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board issued an urgent recommendation to the US Department of Transportation and the US Congress to re-classify WMATA to be regulated under the authority of the Federal Railroad Administration. The NTSB usually waits until their

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Towards a DC S-Bahn, part 2

VRE train at Franconia-Springfield. CC image from nevermindtheend

DC’s existing (yet fragmented) commuter rail network is a huge low-hanging fruit for expanded and improved transit service (see this previous post). Writing at Pedestrian Observations, Alon Levy makes the statement that nobody likes riding North American commuter rail. Alon compares two locations in New York

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Towards a DC S-Bahn

S-Bahn logo. From wiki.

This week, Greater Greater Washington has run a series of posts on the hurdles to implementing through-routed commuter rail services in DC. The technical reasons include many basic incompatibilities between the region’s two commuter railroads (MARC and VRE), ranging from type of locomotion to platform height, as well as the

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Rail transport links – carry that weight

CC image from Rob Swatski

Some illustrative links from the world of rail transportation:

From Reason and Rail: Why the freight railroads will never electrify.

This is the problem which freight electrification faces. While electrification would represent a lessening in fuel expenses, especially as the price of oil is expected to rise another 20-30%

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Links: The new American Dream

House for rent. CC image from Sean Dreilinger

Foreclosed sprawl – the next frontier of renting? The New York Times looks at the practice of firms buying up foreclosed, cookie cutter sprawl housing at relatively low prices with the idea of renting these houses out to tenants.

As an inspector for the Waypoint Real

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Around the horn

Minneapolis

Back in my hometown, yesterday marked the first day of revenue service for the Northstar commuter rail line between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis. This is Minneapolis’ first heavy rail commuter line, which will look for a quick expansion to the originally planned terminus of St. Cloud, MN.

Yonah Freemark offers his assessment

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