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Kentucky Rail Task Force Newsletters


Kentucky-Indiana Rail Advocates Newsletters


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Kentuckiana the time for rail is now text version of a brochure created bt the K.R.T.F in 1992 So WHAT'S ThE PROBLEM? One of our cherished freedoms is mobility. In the past, we in Kentuckiana have enjoyed that freedom through ever more cars, wider roads, more highways, more and bigger airports. But something's gone wrong. Our highways and airports are becoming increasingly congested. The cost of adding ever more lanes to our freeways is skyrocketing. And our total reliance on autos and airplanes is causing a steady decline in our environment, with severe economic as well as public health effects. What's the solution? It's simple, really. We need to restore some balance to our transportation system. And part of that balance is a return to the rails - not the clickety-clack of the past, but the whoosh of the future. MODERN RAIL MEANS MORE MOBILITY Elsewhere in the industrialized world, our competitors have been busily constructing gleaming new conventional, high-speed, and light rail systems to meet the challenges of the next millennium. We in the Greater Louisville/Southern Indiana area need to do likewise - BEFORE our transportation problems overwhelm us. The time for rail is now. THE KENTUCKIANA RAILROAD TASK FORCE, INC. The Kentuckiana Railroad Task Force, Inc. (KRTF), a group of citizens from Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana, is working to educate the public, influence our political leaders and support local efforts to initiate rail service in our area. Originally an ad hoc Louisville Board of Aldermen study group, KRTF has evolved into a permanent citizen's organization working to bring to our area modern, fast, affordable rail transportation: high-speed, conventional, and light rail. KENTUCKIANA RAIL 2OOO PLAN The Kentuckiana Rail 2000 Plan is our blueprint for rail service in our area. And while the details need to be worked out through further study, the plan's overriding message is clear: the time for rail is now. Our plan calls for several types of railway service. Some are already on the drawing board, but most are not. LIGHT RAIL The Transit Authority of River City (TARC), in its TARC 2020 plan, envisions a light rail (electric trolley car) system that would begin in downtown Louisville and extend in two directions: to Standiford Field via the University of Louisville, Churchill Downs, and the Fairgrounds in one direction and to Hurstbourne Green out Frankfort Avenue in the other. We support this plan but feel that it is only the skeleton of what could and should be a more comprehensive regional network. We therefore propose the following additional routes: Louisville Central Business District Circulator ( a downtown circle route defined by Broadway, River Road, Floyd Street, and Seventh Street);  Fourth Street to South- western Jefferson County, a line which would approximate the TARC downtown-airport line but extend to TARC's Dixie Highway transportation center, and, eventually, to Fort Knox.; Broadway (Shawnee Park) to Bardstown Road, terrninating at Bashford Manor with eventual extension to the TARC Transportation Center further out Bardstown Road; Downtown Louisville to Southern Indiana via the Conrail Bridge, with branches to Clarksville/New Albany and Jeffersonville. While this metro area regional light rail system is under construction, immediate rail services should be offered by diesel- powered passenger trains along selected, existing rail routes. REGIONAL PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE - ThE "GOLDEN TRIANGLE" We support efforts in the Kentucky State Legislature to study the feasibility of regional passenger rail service on the Louisville-Frankfort-Lexington- Covington/Cincinnati corridor. The new high-speed tilting trains would be especially effective on these routes. INTERCITY RAIL SERVICE: IT BEGINS WITH BUSSES We must connect the Kentuckiana region to the national rail passenger system. But that will take time and money. Right-of-way must be identified and purchased, track must be laid and/or upgraded and stations and other infrastructure must be built. In the meantime, KRTF advocates immediate connection to the national system through a network of Amtrak Thruway Busses - motor coaches which link off- line cifies directly with nearby Amtrak stations and are coordinated with the schedules of Amtrak trains. Such Thruway Busses would include: Louisville -Indianapolis, linking with Amtrak's daily Indianapolis-Chicago "Hoosier State." Louisville-Cincinnati, linking with Amtrak's Cincinnati-Washington-New York "Cardinal." Louisville-Centralia, IL, linking with Amtrak's daily Chicago-New Orleans "City of New Orleans." INTERCITY RAIL SERVICE: INTO THE FUTURE In the longer term, KRTF recommends conventional and/or high-speed intercity rail service on the following routes: Chicago - lndianapolis "Hoosier State" extension to Louisville. Proposed Cincinnati-Columbus- Cleveland service extension to Louisville, with further extension to Nashville and the Gulf Coast. A link with the proposed Amtrak Chicago- Florida long-distance train, should that service become a reality. SOUNDS GREAT! (NOW WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM?) Good question. But it's not nearly so difficult as it sounds. We already have an important source of federal funds available to us: the "flexible highway funds" allocated under the landmark 1991 transportation act (ISTEA). These are funds collected from auto-related taxes which may be spent on non-highway transportation projects such as light rail. And it only makes sense: getting people off the highways and onto rail helps everyone, drivers and non-drivers alike. Unfortunately, on the state level, we have no such flexibility. Because of a 1945 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution, auto-related taxes must go only for more highway and road-related spending. Therefore, KRTF supports a repeal of this amendment so that transportation-related revenue can be spent on any worthy transportation project, not just on more roads and highways. THE TIME FOR RAIL IS NOW Is all of this wishful thinking? We don't think so. The Untied States once had a fast, efficient network of streetcar, regional and intercity passenger rail services that were the envy of the world - and it was no different here in Kentuckiana. And while the rail Systems of today and the future bear little resemblance to those of the past, we are an innovative and resourceful people. We can have modem rail services here. The only barrier is our own lack of will. We of KRTF believe we can muster that will. But we can't do it alone. We need a groundswell of popular support from people like you. Fill out the coupon. Become a member of KRTF. And, if you can, donate a little extra to our cause. After all, the facts are in. The consequences of "more-of-the-same" transportation choices are only too clear: more congestion, more pollution, less economic growth. The time for indecision has passed. The time for rail is now! Join KRTF today!

No.4 Summer 1994 State Fair Time!

We're at Booth 426, East Wing - that's the Task Force's assigned space at the big 1994 Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 18-28. KRTF members, with help from CART and several other or- ganizations, will take turns staffing the booth from mid- mornings until early eve- nings each Fair day. Call Eustace Durrett at 459-6361 if you can work. Next Task Force business meeting has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, at offices of the Louis- ville Chamber of Com- merce, southwest corner, 6th and Main Streets. This newsletter is an occasional publication of the Kentuckiana Rail Task Force, Inc. Editor: Charles B. Castner Layout Editor: Owen Hardy Printing: Courtesy of Commonwealth Printing Co., 29~ S. 2nd, 40208. APTA Chief: 'We Use Too Much Gas!' "Our problem in the USA is that our consumption of petroleum fuels is the high- est in the world." So de- clared Rod Diridon, chair of the American Public Transit Association in a talk in Lou- isville May 12. Diridon's au- dience included many KRTF and CART members along with TARC and city and county officials. If the USA could signifi- cantly reduce its fuel con- ness meeting, having re sumption rate, it wouldn't have to import any petro- leum fuels (we now import some 60 percent), Diridon says. But, to do so, we have to "act" like other countries, whose citizens accomplish much of their travel on pub- lic transit. A successful tac- tic other nations have used, he explained, is to raise fuel taxes. Here, we've main- tained them at artificially low levels. For that, we get air pollution, traffic conges- tion, and urban sprawl. Diridon, long an advocate for light rail/mass transit, has played key roles in the expansion of mass transit in the San Francisco Bay area. He helped implement the light rail system in San Jose, CA. He believes Louisville/ Jefferson County can follow San Jose/Santa Clara County's example and cre- ate a master plan for our re- gion, one that will greatly enhance mass transit. But to do so, we must have good corridor studies for high capacity mass tran- sit, including light rail and commuter rail on lightly used or abandoned rail lines. Also needed is strong support of civic and busi- ness leaders, and neighbor- hoods along those corridors. NARP's Perry Pays Call Thomas Downes, Amtrak's new president, wants better service from his workers and greater train on-time performance. So reported Keith Perry, National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) representative for Region 5 (Kentucky, Ten- nessee, Georgia and several other southeastern states). Perry, of Faubush, KY, at- tended KRTF's June 28 busi- ness meeting having re - cently returned from NARP's spring board meet- ing in Washington, DC. Over 30 new Superliner cars have been delivered so far t his year, NARP was told, releasing older cars for use elsewhere. NARP also is developing an on-board trip evaluation survey for members. Re- sults will be compiled and sent to Amtrak. And Perry said Kentucky's shifting to Region 6 (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan) will depend on board representation KRTF/CART Light Rail Trip Set Aug.26 Circle Friday, Aug.26 - we're going to St. Louis! Purpose of our one-day trip is to experience that city's spanking new Metro- Link light rail system - and pave the way for future tours targeted at Louisville business and civic leaders. All members, family and friends of CART and KRTF are cordially invited. St. Louis' 18-mile light rail system recently completed its final "missing link" to St. Louis' Lambert Airport. Hailed as one of America's most successful light rail lines, MetroLink's airport- downtown-cross-river line is similar to the proposed Louisville-S. Indiana route. Per-person air fare is $73, with reservations taken on a first-come, first-served basis for round-trip Southwest Airlines fare. We'll leave Louisville at 6:40 a.m., arriv- ing St. Louis an hour later. At the main airport termi- nal, we'll board a Metro- Link train and ride the en- tire line. Following a quick tour of the shops, we'll have lunch at Union Station, where we hope to join members of St. Louis' Citi- zens for Modern Transit. After lunch, we'll have time to explore on-line St. Louis sites. Our return flight leaves at 2:50 p.m., arriving shortly before 5 p.m. in Lou- isville. Interested? Space is at a premium. Send your $73 check im- mediately to: Ms. Peggy Killmer, St. Louis Metro- Link Tour Committee, ~ 11 Olde Creek Way, Prospect, KY 40059. See you in St. Louis! Chicago-Indy Rail Service Confusing Daily service between Chicago-Indianapolis con- tinues to be offered by Amtrak but at earlier times, according to its summer 1994 timetables. On Sun- days, Tuesdays, Wednes- days and Fridays, the "Hoo- sier State" departs India- napolis Union Station at 6:45 a.m., local time, arriv- ing Chicago Union Station at 11:15 a.m. On alternate days - Mondays, Thurs- days and Saturdays, which are also days when the Washington-Chicago "Car- dinal" runs - the "Hoosier State" departs Indianapolis at 9:55 a.m., with a 2:25 p.m. Chicago arrival. From Chicago, the "Hoo- sier State" leaves at 2:30 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving Indianapolis at 7 p.m., local time; the Wash- ington-bound "Cardinal" also runs Tuesdays, Thurs- days and Saturdays, leaving Chicago at 7:40 p.m., reach- mg Indianapolis at 11:54 p.m. But, on odd days - Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays - the "Hoosier State" operates on its old winter schedule, out of Chi- cago at 5:50 p.m., into India- napolis at 10:20 p.m. Con- fusing? You bet! Times for the tn-weekly "Cardinal" (Chicago-Wash- ington-New York train) are unchanged through Cincin- nati - departures to the east on Wednesdays, Fri- days and Sundays at 5 a.m.; arrivals from the east at 3:40 a.m., on Mondays, Thurs- days and Saturdays. Ash- land/Catlettsburg depar- tures on the "Cardinal" tol from the east are at 8:16 a.m. and 12:08 a.m., respec- tively, same days as at Cin- cinnati. While the "Cardi- nal" may soon get new equipment, Amtrak eco- nomics and budgetary con- straints will probably keep the train on its tn-weekly schedule. Union Station's 'Claytor Concourse' The broad concourse at Washington Union Station, which was completed five years ago with the restora- tion and redevelopment of the historic facility, has been named "Claytor Con- course," in honor of the late W. Graham Claytor, Amtrak's retired president, whose leadership moved the station project from dream to reality. Claytor died May 14 in Florida. From a 1983 agreement between then-Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole and Claytor grew the Washington Union Station Redevelopment Corpora- tion. The historic terminal later was restored to its original grandeur and made financially viable when it was developed as an attrac- tive retail and entertain- ment center. Claytor was Amtrak's president and chairman from 1982 until last year. He guided Amtrak through several attempts to totally withhold federal funding. He also set a course for Amtrak's financial improve- ment, with a goal of eventu- ally eliminating its need for federal operating support. Claytor had a distin- guished career in public ser- vice - and a life-long love of passenger trains. News Briefs CINCINNATI STREETCAR - Momentum is building to es- tablish a heritage streetcar line in Cincinnati using a 1947 PCC car already in the city. Recent transit planning has identified the need for better public transit along Cincy's riverfront. The pro- posed 2.2-mile route would run from Eastern Avenue past Riverfront stadium and may later be extended to Union Station. -from Rail Classics. LOUISIANA TAKES FIRST STEP - "I have authorized an expenditure of $100,000 to study high-speed rail between New Orleans and Mobile. I'm committed to help lead Louisiana into the 21st Century with the safest, most modern transportation possible. Rail infrastructure is part of that system." - Statement by Jude W.P. Patin, Secretary, Louisiana DOT. -from Speedlines. High Speed Rail Association Newsletter. "HIGH SPEED AMERICA" CONSORTIUM FORMED - Siemens Transportation Systems Group, General Motors/EMD and AEG Transportation Systems have formed Hi-Speed America, a consortium to introduce high-speed rail service to the USA. Amtrak challenged the group to design and build a high- speed train industry. The railroad is expected to soon order 26 high-speed train sets. - BN's INSIDE TRACK. GATEWAY CITY CHOOSES METROLINK ROUTE-Of- ficials are considering a 28.4-mile extension in Illinois of St. Louis' MetroL ink light rail system. If approved, the extension would use abandoned CSXT tracks between East St. Louis and Belleville, with a final destination at the newly planned commer- cial airport near Scott Air Force base. -from Newsletter, Citi- zens for Modern Transit. Please see the display photos that were included in this news letter converted to text 1998 from original column inch format

end of newsletter Summer 1994

K.I.R.A.Rail News publication of The Kentucky Indiana Rail Advocates Summer 1998

FAREWELL KRTF, HELLO KIRA - We have a new name, 'Kentucky-Indiana Rail Advocates!~ The name, which denotes the region we serve and advocacy we stress, was approved by members present at the May 26 business meeting and will be used in our marketing work. "Kentuckiana Rail Task Force' will remain as our corporate title; but, because it (KRTF) implied specific tasks which have now been fulfilled, members expressed desire for a name which more closely identifies our rail passenger advocacy and a broader territory we hope to support. We'd like input regarding our new name - tell us if you like it, prefer the old name or another. KENTUCKY FAIR BOOTH TO GO HI-TECH - KIRA (Kentucky-Indiana Rail Advocates) will have its own booth again at the big Kentucky State Fair August 20-30. As NEWS went to press, arrangements were being made for Amtrak to work from a booth next to ours to demonstrate its new on-line Internet reservation system. Members and friends are needed to man the KIRA booth. Call Eustace Durrett at 459- 8361 if you can work. AMTRAK RESTORES IND'Y-CHICAGO TRAIN - On July 19, Amtrak restored its Indianapolis-Chicago "Hoosier State" train to run on days the tri-weekly Chicago-Cincinnati-Washington Cardinal does not run. Once again, Amtrak offers daily train service between Ind'y and the Windy City, affording yet another opportunity to reconnect Louisville! FLAMINGOS FLY AGAIN - Our popular "Flamingo" first class dining service returned Saturday, May 9, as part of a late morning Kentucky Railway Museum train. Organized by member Jon Owen, the "Flamingo'~ excursions are intended to share the wonderful experience of train travel. Food is prepared and served by the Sherwood Inn staff in New Haven to authentic L&N menus. For the trips, KRM provides full dining, lounge and office cars. The June 20 and July 25 "Flamingo" runs behind steam locomotive 152 were sold out. Next "Flamingo" trips will run in October, with specific times and~dates to be announced later this summer. Tickets will range from $40.00 to $50.00, depending on accomodations (rates are for all active members of rail groups, railroad employees) For reservations, call John Owen (502) 381- 2496 or Eustace Durrett (502) 459- 6361. KARL LUSK THANKS KIRA - Karl Lusk, Kentucky Railway Museum's executive director, spoke at our May 26 meeting and thanked members for helping bring more~ riders to KRM's trains. Because KRM and our group have similar markets, we can do much to promote activities of each other. Lusk said, adding that many visitors come out of curiosity and want to know more about current and future rail passenger developments. SPRING BRINGS AMTRAK EXCURSIONS TO SOUTH - Several excursion trains rolled through the Southeast during spring months. Over the April 18-19 weekend, the "Smoky Mountain Special" ran from Knoxville to Corbin and return. Saturday's trip was delay-free, but unseasonably heavy rains caused Sunday's trip to operate late. KIRA's Jon Owen and NRHS's Wayne McGinnis saved the day by buying extra food from a Corbin Kroger store to restock the Special's depleted dining car! Sponsored by the Old Smoky Railway Museum, the excursions used Amtrak Superliner equipment. HUMMINGBIRDS, AMTRAK STYLE - On May 16 and 17, the Birmingham Heritage Rail Museum operated its "Humming Birds" from the steel city to Nashville and return, also using Amtrak Superliner cars. Bringing up the rear was an ex- SAL sleeper-lounge, "Hollywood Beach," owned by Dr. Art Cushman, president of the Tennessee Association of Rail passengers (TARP). The reincarnated "Birds" followed CSXT's main line between Birmingham and Vine Hill, on Nashville's south side. Ex-Tennessee Central tracks were used to reach downtown. KIRA was represented by Jon Owen and TARP by Dr. Cushman. Kenneth McCarry and Dorian Walker represented Bowling Green's "Operation Pride," also campaigned for more Amtrak service over the Humming Bird's old Cincy-New Orleans route. Several Alabama and Tennessee Congressmen were on aboard, as were representatives from Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi rail passenger groups. TENNESSEE NEWS - The East Tennessee Association of Mayors announced support for extending a proposed Washington-Bristol1 Va., serviceon to Johnson City, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Amtrak and VaDOT are currently studying theroute TARP (Tennessee Association) has endorsed a new Thruway busroute (which usesexisting Greyhound service) to connect Nashville, Huntsville and Decatur with the Washington- New Orleans "Crescent" at Birmingham The Tennessee Central Railway Museum has purchased the former general office building of the old TC Railroad in East Nashville. The Museum has also taken delivery of an Amtrak slumber coach to add to its car fleet. Several excursions were run by the Museum last spring from Nashville and Cookeville on Nashville & Eastern (N&E) rails N&E has bought three bi-level commuter cars for extended rail commuter use along the 1-40 corridor between Watertown and Nashville. State funding is being sought for the proposed service. The area's Metropolitan Planning Organization is also considering commuter rail into downtown Nashville from outlying suburbs on two other routes, CSX Transportation's mainlines to Chattanooga and Louisville. KIRA News 3 -REGIONAL NEWS - Meeting in mid-July, TARC's board of directors voted to consider some form of rapid transit - busway or light rail - for a 13-mile corridor from downtown Louisville to southern Jefferson County. The vote concluded a $1.5 million, year-long study of urban transit alternatives conducted by TARC and a work group of citizen members. The proposed route, which generally parallels 1-65, would remain the same, whether or not light rail or the busway was selected. A light rail line requiring tracks and stations was estimated to cost $400 million; a busway, with its dedicated roadway, would cost about $300 million The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has purchased ten miles of right-of-way from the Indiana & Ohio Railway between Cincinnati and Blue Ash, Oh., for a possible light rail line A Western Kentucky shortline, the Hardin Southern, has bought two coaches (ex-C&O and L&N) from the Fort Wayne Rail Historical Society. HS runs excursions over a short segment of the old Paducah Branch (L&N's). The Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville has completed restoration of former L&N dining car "Cross Keys Tavern" and plans to use the car later this year CSXT gangs have been assisting Louisville & Indiana (L&I) forces in upgrading track between Columbus and Jeffersonville. CSX by fall is expected to re-route some Louisville-Cincy traffic via Seymour over the line. Can Amtrak be far behind? UPCOMING EVENTS - Aug. 8 -Summerrail, Cincinnati Union Terminal; full day of rail show, sales, multi-media shows, visit to Tower A, CUT; sponsored by Cincy Rail Club, Miami Valley Railfans; Aug. 20-30 - Kentucky State Fair, Fair & Expo. Center; Amtrak and KIRA will each have booths; Sept. 12 - Nashville-Watertown, TN., excursion on Nashville & Eastern (old TC Ry.), run by Tennessee Central Railroad Museum; Sept. 19-20 - Steam trips with NKP 2-8-2 587, run by Indiana Museum of Transportation, Noblesville, In.; Sept. 29 - KIRA Business Meeting, 4:30 pm, at Offices of Greater Louisville, Inc. (Chamber of Commerce), 6th & Main Sts.; Oct. 3-4 - Amtrak's "Chessie Special runs from Cincinnati to Maysville, Ky., and back for Maysville's "Court Days. Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers (Cincy Chapter) and KIRA will be on board, host booth at Maysville; October - Flamingo Special," operates from New Haven to Boston, Ky.,~and return as part of Kentucky Railway Museum trains. Extra-fare luxury dining service in special cars. NATIONAL NEWS - Amtrak ridership increased nearly six per cent, and on-time performance systemwide improved to 83 percent for the first three months of the year, continuing positive trends that developed last year. During that period (Amtrak's second quarter), more than 4.7 million passengers traveled on Amtrak Trains, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Boston-New Haven electrification is on schedule with 64% of catenary pole foundations in place and 29% of the poles erected work is expected to be completed next summer. An Asheville-Salisbury, N.C., train is being considered for an east-west Carolina corridor; the new service would connect with Amtrak's Washington-Atlanta Crescent" at Salisbury Commuter rail is under study in Minnesota and six potential commuter corridors radiating from the Twin Cities are being considered. Two are on routes used by the "Empire Builder'trains.... A "baseball shuttle~ using Amtrak equipment ran April 18-19 between Tempe and Phoenix for weekend games with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Florida Marlins. Seven Amfleet coaches and a full dome car were in the consist.... The Surface Transportation Board ruled in favor of Amtrak, permitting the carrier to run solid express coach trains on current routes. The action opens the door for system expansion. ... Oklahoma is expected to regain train service next year; Amtrak and the state's DOT are determining new routes. NEWS is published by Kentucky-Indiana Rail Advocates (Kentuckiana Rail Task Force), p 0. Box 576, Louisville, KY 40201; Eustace Durrett and Charles Castner are editors.

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