1993 News Wrapup December 31st, 1993
- “Search tracks memories of train trips,” Scottsdale Progress, January 20, 1993
- “Consider rail,” by Robert T. Barber, The Arizona Republic Southeast Community section, January 29, 1993.
- “Time for Railroad Investment,” Ross Capon of NARP, The Journal of Commerce, February 11, 1993, Editorial
- “IN BRIEF Phoenix Union Station Days,” Arizona Business Gazette, February 11, 1993, Announcement of Event
- “Rapid, no. But comfortable,” The Phoenix Gazette, February 13, 1993, Picture and article on ’93 Demo Train
- “A Rail Adventure: New coast-to-coast train lures curious,” The Arizona Republic, February 14, 1993, Re: on Phoenix Union Station Days ’93
- Rail system gains steam with groups – Article on Regional Rail and ’93 Demo Train, Tempe Tribune, February 15, 1993
- “Expanded train service proposed for Arizona,” The Arizona Daily star, February 15, 1993
- “Railway gaining steam: System finds favor with Valley groups,” Mesa Tribune, February 15, 1993
- “Editorial: Time for trains?,” The Arizona Daily Star, February 16, 1993
- “Demo rail ride draws glowing response despite missing train,” Inside Tucson Business, February 17-23, 1993
- “Lawmakers can take free rides, but only if they come right back,” The Business Journal, February 19, 1993, Article on ’93 Demo Train
- “All aboard! Trains on fast track for 21st century,” Scottsdale Progress, February 20, 1993, Article on Regional Rail and ’93 Demo Train
- “Phoenix Union Station Days,” 1993, Desert Rails, March 1993
- “Getting ready for the Sunset,” Trains, March 1993, Article on preparations to extend the Sunset Limited to Miami
- “They’re rolling, by trolley,” The Arizona Republic, April 18, 1993, Tracks are restored in Tucson
- “Railroad considers pulling out of Douglas,” Douglas Dispatch, May 26, 1993
- “Amtrak’s Sunset Limited,” Passenger Train Journal, June 1993, Story on coast to coast service
- “Railroad Co. Purchases double-stacks,” Wickenburg Sun, June 9, 1993, Article on A & C purchase of stack cars using air quality funds
- “Coast to Coast by Rail,” Arizona Daily Star, May 9, 1993, Article on the Sunset Limited
- “A ride into history – Picture and article on San Pedro tour train,” San Pedro Valley News & Sun, June 24, 1993
- “Little bang from commuter bucks,” Mesa Tribune, July 28, 1993
- “A Trio of Day Trips from D.C.,” Passenger Train Journal, August 1993 (Included to show possibilities for Phoenix/Tucson)
- “Amtrak Funding Makes Sense – Commentary by Ross Capon of NARP,” Passenger Train Journal, August 1993
- “Arizona & California Railroad clacking along,” The Arizona Republic, August 6, 1993
- “All aboard! – Article on rail trip of Staff writer and daughter,” Tucson Citizen, August 24, 1993
- “Southern Pacific proposes to share rails with riders,” Arizona Business Gazette, August 26, 1993, SP response to Regional Rail proposal
- “Rail panel hosts tour of new train,” News-Sun, August 30, 1993, ICE Train article
- “A vision of what could be,” Scottsdale Daily Progress, September 1, 1993, ICE Train picture and caption
- “High-tech train zips into Phoenix,” The Arizona Republic, September 1, 1993, ICE Train pictures and captions
- “Ice smooth,” Scottsdale Daily Progress, September 1, 1993, ICE Train picture and article
- “Tucson gets a look at future as high-speed train pays a visit,” Arizona Daily Star, September 1, 1993, ICE Train pictures and caption
- “Speedy ICE train melts away mails,” The Phoenix Gazette, September 1, 1993, ICE Train picture and caption
- “High-speed train rolls into Valley,” Mesa Tribune, September 1, 1993, ICE Train article
- “High-speed ICE Train makes stop in Valley,” Tempe Tribune, September 1, 1993, ICE Train article
- “High-tech train zooms in for checkout by Valley,” The Arizona Republic, September 1, 1993, ICE Train article
- “Rail network catches on in car-crazy Los Angeles,” News-Sun, September 1, 1993
- “Life imitating art–with fatal results,” Railway Age, September 1993 , Article on grade crossing and right of way dangers.
- “From the head end,” power for the people, Trains, September 1993, Head end power article
- “Renovation Begins On 4960,” Williams Grand Canyon News, September 2, 1993, Pictures and article of restoration of steam engine 4960
- “Air-cleanup plan ignores mass transit,” The Arizona Republic, September 2, 1993
- “Soul train,” The Arizona Republic, September 8, 1993, Picture and article on Grand Canyon Railway
- “Fireplaces,” cars targets of air plan, The Arizona Republic, September 16, 1993, Article mentions mass transit as part of solution
- “Rail study finds passenger lines viable for region,” The Arizona Daily Star, September 27, 1993
- “Inter-city rails: in-city needs,” The Arizona Daily Star, September 28, 1993, Editorial
- “Flashpoint – You take the train -,” Daily Territorial, October 1, 1993, Column
- “Amtrak at the crossroads,” Gil Carmichael, Progressive Railroading, October 1993, Editorial
- “Amtrak to Cut Service on 3 Lines,” New York Times, October 21, 1993
- “Choo on this: Passenger trains viable across state,” report says, The Arizona Republic, October 23, 1993
- “A trip to the future,” The Desert Sun-Palm Springs, CA, October 24 1993, Graphic and article about TRANSCON 2000 conference
- “Survey boosts trains,” Tucson Citizen, October 25, 1993
- “ALL ABOARD!,” The Desert Sun-Palm Springs, CA, October 25, 1993, Picture and article about TRANSCON 2000 conference
- “Rail service to Phoenix a possibility,” Arizona Daily Star, October 28, 1993
- “Passenger rail plan proposed,” Tucson Citizen, October 28, 1993
- “ICE’s the coolest thing going on American rails (for now),” Tucson Citizen, October 27, 1993
- “LACMTA cites hidden costs of driving,” Railway Age, November 1993
- “Transit flap clouds plans for clean air,” The Arizona Republic, November 6, 1993
- “Commuter trains climbing aboard baseball bandwagon,” The Phoenix Gazette, November 18, 1993
- “SP studies Mexican rail-line upgrade,” The Denver Post, November 23, 1993, Article about Nogales branch
- “Et tu Forbes?,” Railway Age, December 1993, Rebuttal to media attacks on Amtrak
Consultants’ Study Released October 27th, 1993
– TIMETABLE Staff
Tucson, Oct. 27 – The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Rail Passenger Service convened today and received the consultant’s report. This report was prepared by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in association with Gannett Fleming, Inc.; LTK Engineering Services; and NuStats, Inc.
Notes From The Consultant’s Report
Project goals were to increase statewide mobility; contribute to the conservation of Arizona’s environment, natural resources, and historic heritage; stimulate Arizona’s economy and tourism; and ensure the cost-effectiveness of a statewide rail passenger system.
“It is the general finding of this study that, in a limited number of locations in the state, new rail passenger service is feasible. …Although other projects in other locations show promise…,” the report suggests first implementing a service plan with four integrated projects. These are:
- Phoenix-Tucson Intercity;
- Tucson-Nogales Intercity Extension;
- Glendale-Mesa Commuter;
- Phoenix-Grand Canyon Tourist.
The Phoenix-Tucson intercity service ranks first among all considered options in overall ridership. While this is the most costlyof the intercity options studied — among other reasons, “significant new trackage” would have to be constructed to minimize effect on existing SP freight operations — the report also states it is the most cost-effective.
An extension of intercity services to Nogales “is relatively inexpensive and generates a reasonable level of additional ridership.”
The report includes two preliminary timetables for intercity trains. The first requires two trainsets to make 5 Phoenix-Tucson round trips per day. The second timetable uses three trainsets to cover the same 5 trips, but extending four of them to Nogales.
As to commuter rail, “the most cost-effective option is connecting Glendale and Mesa” with benefits relative to congestion relief and air quality.
Though commuter rail is “less cost-effective” than intercity rail, combining both projects decreases the individual cost of either.
Comparisons are also made to existing commuter systems (such as Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, San Francisco, Boston) — the important point being that offering midday service can result in large increases in ridership. On the Glendale-Mesa line, an increase from 2,500 to 4,000 would occur with even limited base service added to rush-hour trips.
Weekend excursion service could be extended from Phoenix to Wickenburg initially, with possible extension to Grand Canyon. “The use of comfortable yet historically accurate trains would enhance the train’s ability to attract riders.” As an example, a photo titled “Candidate Tourist Rail Vehicles” shows a steam engine and an F-unit. However, the report cautions that this new tourist service “will need to be closely coordinated with the existing historic service between Williams and the Grand Canyon.”
Benefits of Plan
The report then goes on to rate how the proposed rail passenger system would accomplish the project goals and objectives.
As to increasing mobility (reducing dependence on the automobile, provision of transportation alternatives, provision of convenient transportation throughout the state), grades of Fair to Good are given to all four proposed projects.
The commuter services are given a Good probability of reducing energy consumption, improving air quality, and encouraging beneficial land use near stations. The Intercity services are all given a Good grade as to helping to promote tourism.
Authority and Operation
Options regarding the authority to implement the plan are discussed. These include using an existing authority (e.g., ADOT, RPTA); a coalition of counties; or creating a new rail passenger authority.
Also discussed are choice of a Service Operator (either direct operations or contracted out); and coordination with existing railroads (Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Grand Canyon, Amtrak.)
Several possible options are listed for capital funding and operating costs, including: Sales and uuse taxes; Motor fuel taxes; Vehicle license tax; Federal funds; Local Funds; Private sector fees; Railroad cost-sharing; Volunteer labor; and Fares.
At The JSLC Meeting
Gene Caywood submitted a motion to accept the report as presented with the exception that the commuter route be extended to Sun City West. However, after a comment and some discussion, it was voted to accept the report in its present form. The Committee will continue to review this and other points.
An additional motion was passed as to the forming of a Finance Committee. Members are to include Jay Myers of ARPA, and representatives from ADOT, MAG (Maricopa Ass’n of Governments), PAG (Pinal), the cities of Tucson and Phoenix, and Pinal County.
Other issues raised concerned the consideration of legislative authorization for a permanent rail authority; and the continuation of a consultant’s contract for additional studies (engineering, cost, equipment, and operation analyses).
[Interview, Sam Morse, Nov. 20, 1993]
ARPA continues to maintain the position that to gain maximum benefit from the Regional Rail system, the Phoenix–Tucson service should run through to Sun City West.
While there are several issues involved in extending the rail services through Phoenix (having to deal with more than one railroad — both Southern Pacific and Santa Fe would be invoved; the Grand Avenue crossings; etc.), these issues should be discussed early in the planning stages.
Eliminating the need for downtown transfers makes for a simpler system, easier for passengers to understand and use. Congestion from passengers transferring from train to train, or train to bus, would be reduced. Additionally, fewer capital improvements — platforms and other passenger-handling facilities — would be required in the downtown stations.
Arizona Rail Progress Report September 20th, 1993
Based on an interview with Sam Morse
August 18th saw the release of the Interim Progress Report of the Joint Legislative Committee on Rail Transportation. Kimley-Horn & Associates made the presentation at the House Office Building, in association with Gannett Fleming Inc., LTK Engineering Services, and NuStats, Inc.
This interim report provides the findings as to the existing conditions on the rail lines to be used, including the branches from Nogales and Benson to Tucson; from Phoenix to Wickenburg and Flagstaff; and from Phoenix to Yuma.
Of the trackage on the proposed system, all received a FAIR rating except the Tempe-Ahwatukee segment which would probably require complete rebuilding. It was thus suggested that the Ahwatukee branch be phased in at a later date. The best conditions were on the SP mainline from Casa Grande to Tucson, though this segment would require the most coordination, as it currently sees around 40 freight trains daily.
Ridership surveys indicated especially strong interest in the Tucson to Nogales market. Telephone surveys were taken in the Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales, and several other metro areas.
As for costs, the metro areas would require about $4 to $5 million per mile, including equipment, signaling, rail, and other upgrades; rural miles (such as between Phoenix and Tucson) would run about $1 to $2 million per mile. However, not all of these expenses would be required for system startup. Basically, an increased level of improvements results in faster trip times and increased rider comfort.
If the system costs about the same to use as auto travel, the consultants indicated approximately a 40% ridership level. Naturally, if the system is more expensive or significantly slower than highway driving, this figure would be lower.
The next area the consultants will address is cost/benefit ratios. Once these are determined, it will be possible to determine the priority segments and services to be developed.
A presentation was also given by Michael Ongerth, Vice President of Strategic Development (San Francisco). He discussed Southern Pacific’s position of support for this project. SP is quite willing to work with Arizona to develop a compatible relationship.
Mr. Ongerth also examined several factors critical to the success of this project:
- Liability (insurance etc.)
- Capital Formula.
The latter involves making assurances that once a plan is developed, sufficient resources (e.g., monetary and other assets) are availableÂ for its implementation.
More ICE Train Notes September 17th, 1993
I spoke with one of the German crew; he noted that there is a basic difference between the Swedish X-2000 trainset and the ICE: The X-2000 tilts to increase speed through turns, while the ICE is designed for high-speed running on straighter track. The track between Washington and New York would thus favor the ICE technology, while New York to Boston (especially from New Haven northward) would gain the most from the X2000.
Regarding use of the existing ICE network, I inquired about the possibility of running through trains from London to German cities via the “Chunnel.” He noted that in addition to the TGV – ICE rivalry, the French railway system uses a different catenary voltage. Thus the engines would need some sort of dual-voltage system. Apparently, however, through trains are being studied as part of an all-encompassing European high-speedÂ train system.
Historic Yuma Depot Burns September 14th, 1993
by Chuck Wullenjohn
The Southern Pacific railroad depot located in Yuma, Arizona, originally constructed in 1926, recently burned after sparks from faulty wiring ignited a major blaze. As the area’s central transportation hub for many decades, the depot say tens of thousands of passengers embark or detrain. Many thousands of World War II soldiers passed through the station as they took part in desert training in the area. The most famous of these was General George Patton’s who were preparing for action in North Africa. Local native Americans once lined its platforms selling handmade crafts and souvenirs to tourists.
Amtrak trains stop in front of an adjacent freight facility constructed by Southern Pacific in the mid-1970′s when the station was abandoned. Passengers pass through a subway and wait for the train on a concrete platform between the two track,s though Southern Pacific personnel allow people to wait inside the freight station’s lobby.
The tri-weekly “Sunset” serves Yuma in the wee hours of the morning and is often late. The wood-lined subway and platform currently in use are remainders of the 1926 construction.
Local authorities hope to salvage the historic structure, but plans currently are unclear. In recent years, the depot served as home for the publicly-funded Yuma Art Center.