» JR Tokai, offering the Shinkansen N700 trainset and associated technologies, hopes to win the right to run trains in Florida.
With President Obama heading to Tampa on Thursday, speculation about how high-speed rail grants will be distributed is aimed directly at Florida. The state hopes to capitalize on its recent decision to invest millions in a commuter rail system for the state’s central areas to attract up to $2.5 billion in federal dollars to fund the construction of an electrified fast train system planned for the Tampa-Orlando corridor. Now, a Japanese company is interested in cashing in.
If the President does hand the state a check, Florida will be the first in the nation to offer its population true high-speed rail built in a dedicated corridor. Potential constructors and operators are lining up just in time. Back in September, French national rail operator SNCF
Continue reading Central Japan Railway Enters Competition for U.S. High-Speed Market »
» International Olympic Committee with pick a 2016 host site in October; Chicago faces tough competition from Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio.
Last week, U.S. Department of Transportation head Ray LaHood said that the Obama Administration would do as much as possible to ensure the well-being of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. This pledge of support could include grants designed specifically to improve the city’s transport network, which has suffered from significant underinvestment in recent decades. President Obama said during the campaign that he would relish a Summer Olympics event in his hometown as a capstone to his potential second term in office, and indeed, a successful games there would solidify his political legacy.
But an Olympics Bid is a complicated thing, and Mr. LaHood’s pledge of support may be worth less than it seems, because it carries with it no definitive commitment to undertake any specific transport improvement project.
Continue reading Chicago Olympics May Depend on Better Transit – But Where’s the Commitment? »