Biden Infrastructure Details

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PaTrainFan

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The Washington Post has a fairly detailed look at Biden's infrastructure plan. Most may not be able to see it due to the paywall, but the most relevant line items for this group relating to transportation are:

- The plan would invest $115 billion to revamp highways and roads, including 10 major and 10,000 smaller bridges in need of reconstruction. It also includes $20 billion to improve road safety, including for cyclists and pedestrians.
- The plan calls for $85 billion to modernize existing transit systems and help agencies expand to meet rider demand. The investment would double federal funding for public transit.
- Biden is proposing $80 billion to fix Amtrak’s repair backlog.
- It establishes $174 billion in grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030.
- The proposal seeks to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify at least 20 percent of the country’s “yellow school bus fleet.”
- The plan invests $25 billion in airports, including programs to renovate terminals and expand car-free access to air travel.
- Biden is also pitching $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries to invest in the nation’s freight system.

$80 billion for Amtrak is a nice chunk of change. It will be interesting to see where all that goes.

Of course, there will be virtualy no Republican support since Biden proposes to raise taxes, notably the corporate rate to 28% from 21%. Not to mention he dares to address climate change.
 

frequentflyer

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I was expecting more for 2 trillion dollars. Surprised not more talk of high speed rail, though I know the House passed a 200 Billion high speed rail bill that will probably go nowhere.
 

frequentflyer

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So is this how Amtrak is going to replace the Amfleet and Superliner fleets? Or is this just NEC fixerup money. New tunnels in Baltimore and Hudson, a couple new bridges, some curves straightened or flyovers built.

I hope Brightline and Texas Central get a piece of this too.
 

jis

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Biden’s call on Congress to invest $80 billion over eight years “to address Amtrak’s repair backlog; modernize the high-traffic Northeast Corridor; improve existing corridors and connect new city pairs; and enhance grant and loan programs that support passenger and freight rail safety, efficiency, and electrification.”
Conspicuously absent is any mention of the National (as in Long Distance) Network. This matches the underwhelming map published by Amtrak in the last couple of days.

The stuff that is being hinted at is good, no doubt. But I don't think it covers all bases adequately.
 

Wolverine72

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This clipped from clickondetroit.com today.
Would this line originate at the old train station Ford owns now?
I believe the old Toronto train I rode as a kid mid 60s did.

“Amtrak pitches new, improved train routes including Detroit to Toronto
Amtrak continues push for Detroit to Toronto service route on heels of Biden infrastructure plan”
 

jiml

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What is not clear is what stake is Amtrak exactly going to have in a Detroit Toronto service, 99% of which is in Canada.
👍 That was yet another reference on that new Amtrak map that didn't make sense. The only way this becomes in Amtrak's interest is if it's part of a longer route (e.g. Chicago) where there are connections to other trains. Other than baseball and hockey fans and a few AU'ers, where is the market? You can drive it in half the time and a flight is 40 minutes.
 
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mlanoue

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Joliet, Illinois
👍 That was yet another reference on that new Amtrak map that didn't make sense. The only way this becomes in Amtrak's interest is if it's part of a longer route (e.g. Chicago) where there are connections to other trains. Other than baseball and hockey fans and a few AU'ers, where is the market? You can drive it in half the time and a flight is 40 minutes.
They really don't even need their own train. If they just had a connecting Thruway bus that was timed with a Via Corridor train it would make a big difference.
 

crescent-zephyr

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They really don't even need their own train. If they just had a connecting Thruway bus that was timed with a Via Corridor train it would make a big difference.
Ideally we would have a 1 seat ride from Chicago to Toronto.
 
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jiml

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Ideally we would have a 1 seat ride from Chicago to Toronto.
As someone who has done a one-seat ride between those two points more than a dozen times, I heartily agree. It's only the market for Detroit - Toronto that I question. Would I ride it? Sure, but I'm one of those people I mentioned in my response to @jis.
 

crescent-zephyr

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As someone who has done a one-seat ride between those two points more than a dozen times, I heartily agree. It's only the market for Detroit - Toronto that I question. Would I ride it? Sure, but I'm one of those people I mentioned in my response to @jis.
Did I miss something regarding Detroit - Toronto? Why wouldn’t there be a Chicago to Toronto train?
 

Mailliw

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Did I miss something regarding Detroit - Toronto? Why wouldn’t there be a Chicago to Toronto train?
The biggest obstacle is the US/Canadian border. On the Adirondack the customs stops can take up to 2 hours (but at least they're done on board unlike the Maple Leaf). A preclearance facility is under construction in Montreal, but that option won't work for Toronto unless VIA is willing to run sealed trains to and from the border with no intermediate stops.
 

crescent-zephyr

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The biggest obstacle is the US/Canadian border. On the Adirondack the customs stops can take up to 2 hours (but at least they're done on board unlike the Maple Leaf). A preclearance facility is under construction in Montreal, but that option won't work for Toronto unless VIA is willing to run sealed trains to and from the border with no intermediate stops.
So the plan would be to have the clearance at Detroit?
 

MARC Rider

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The biggest obstacle is the US/Canadian border. On the Adirondack the customs stops can take up to 2 hours (but at least they're done on board unlike the Maple Leaf). A preclearance facility is under construction in Montreal, but that option won't work for Toronto unless VIA is willing to run sealed trains to and from the border with no intermediate stops.
Obviously, dealing with the border crossing is something that will have to be resolved before this service can even be considered. But there's no real reason why they can't perform border inspections on the train that take less than two hours. All that's needed is the will of the agencies involved to make it happen.
 

Seaboard92

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Well what it would really take is for us to reduce the security theater on the northern border. The thing about the security theater and it doesn't matter which border you are at if someone is determined to get by it they will. There are plenty of good liars out there, and plenty of people who know how to cheat the system. So should we take border security seriously yes we should. But it's at the point it's almost ridiculous. I should not be asked about my sex life at the Canadian border.
 

Bob Dylan

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Obviously, dealing with the border crossing is something that will have to be resolved before this service can even be considered. But there's no real reason why they can't perform border inspections on the train that take less than two hours. All that's needed is the will of the agencies involved to make it happen.
I used to ride the Maple Leaf often and when CBP did the inspection on the Train @ the VIA Station, it usually took less than an hour, and then the now VIA train rolled out for Toronto, good OTP most trips!
 

Devil's Advocate

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Abe26

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The Scranton line should continue to Binghamton till Rochester.

and why no high speed rail????
 

jiml

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The biggest obstacle is the US/Canadian border. On the Adirondack the customs stops can take up to 2 hours (but at least they're done on board unlike the Maple Leaf). A preclearance facility is under construction in Montreal, but that option won't work for Toronto unless VIA is willing to run sealed trains to and from the border with no intermediate stops.
There is no upside for VIA to run a sealed train, missing all the intervening stops in Canada. Unless Amtrak paid them to do so, what would be their incentive? There was discussion of a pre-clearance facility in the early stages of the never-ending Union Station reno, but I think it's long gone. Given the relative distances that both potential Amtrak routes to/from Toronto have to operate in Canada, sealed trains just don't make sense.

As for the Adirondack, don't kid yourself that customs wouldn't be done the same way as the Maple Leaf was if it didn't involve constructing a facility in the middle of nowhere for one train a day.
 
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