Tag Archives: rail

From Dallas To Houston In 90 Minutes?

Just days after examining the transit options between the U.S. metropolises, Politico is reporting that Central Texas might have a brand new travel option that could give Amtrak a run for its money. The private Texas Central Railway, is working on a bullet train project between Dallas and Houston, which would connect Texas’ two largest cities.

N700 Shinkansen

Courtesy of Kanedavidson.com

Texas Central Railway is working in conjunction with the Japan Railway Co., which is the same company that created the N700-I bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. Similar to the N700-I, the Texas Central Railway’s website said the train will travel upwards of 200 mph and be able to take riders between Dallas and Houston in only 90 minutes.

That means the Texas bullet train would be able to complete the 240-mile trip just under 2 1/2 times faster than a car and would take only about 30 minutes more than flying, according to Google Maps estimates. Continue reading

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Public Transportation And America’s “Megalopolises”

In March, The Atlantic‘s City Lab, took a look into the power house economies of the so-called “megalopolises” of the United States. Author Richard Florida found that there were a dozen of the world’s 40 “mega-regions” here in America.

From the contiguous stretch of urban sprawl in New England, Florida named the Bos-Wash region, to the Pacific Northwest he called “Cascadia,” these dozen areas are the economic and population hubs of the country. According to Florida, “these dozen regions have a combined population of more than 230 million people, including 215 million from the United States, or 70 percent of the U.S. population.”

mega regions population

Courtesy of City Lab

Many of these areas have various forms of public transportation, some well known and extremely popular, while others are continuing to face the needs and challenges associated with creating a successful network of transportation.

Beginning today, and over the weekend,  we’ll take a look at how each of these regions are connected.

Bos-Wash: By far the largest population and economic output region on Florida’s list, Bos-Wash “stretches from Boston through New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore to Washington, D.C.” and is home to 56.5 million people. This densely populated part of the country has long had public transportation systems and in all shapes and sizes. Continue reading

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Beyond The Bar Car: 5 Ideas In Themed Rail Cars

The Metro-North Bar Car

The Metro-North Bar Car (Taken by Twitter user @jzaslav)

There’s been a lot of buzz about the end of bar cars on the New Haven line of New York’s Metro-North railroad. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs NYC’s public transit systems, discontinued the booze cruisers last week to make way for newer trains.

Though the idea of the bar car may seem novel, it’s not the first time a train has been re-purposed for commuter activities. Here are five other ways riders and transit operators have switched up their commute:

1. The Singles-Only Car

In hopes of helping Czechs find love in the big city, Prague transportation officials announced a program last summer that would dedicate one car per train for singles in hopes of facilitating some mass transit matchmaking, according to The Atlantic Cities. A spokesman told a reporter that the program would give commuters the time and place to find love amid their busy careers. Continue reading

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Can Trains Go Farther In Michigan?

Where the tracks are.

Where the tracks are.

By Matthew Varcak

Michigan is seemingly divided into two unequal sections, and that doesn’t just mean the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. When it comes to passenger rail service, the bottom half of the Lower Peninsula is serviced by three major corridors, while the rest of the state has none.

But plans are in the works for passenger rail service to reach one northern tourist destination – Traverse City.

While navigating the southern part of the state is fairly simple with the available trains, buses and taxis, the northern half is virtually inaccessible without a personal vehicle or plane. There are few alternatives besides a once-daily bus which departs from Kalamazoo heading north and includes several stops (namely Traverse City) before ending in Sault Ste. Marie, located on the Canadian border.

The lack of passenger rail to the northern half of Michigan will soon change, as the state looks to expand its light rail service.

 “We could possibly have a passenger rail to Traverse City under way in the next five to six years,” said Nick Schirripa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “It may happen sooner.” Continue reading

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