A.R.P.A. 1995 Annual Luncheon March 11th, 1995
11 March 1995
Even though the scheduled speaker was not able to attend, our annual meeting was productive. And the food at the Mission Palms was not only a delight to the palate, but also exquisitely prepared.
Mr. Mark McLaren of the RPTA spoke of the progress on the Demonstration Train (see article below.) Mr. Rob Bohannan discussed the San Pedro & Southwestern’s new excursion trains. And a videotape from the National Assn. of Rail Passengers was shown; in this, Mr. Capon had some interesting items; e.g., while some airlines are reducing commissions to travel agents, Amtrak may increase them.
Mark McLaren of the RPTA spoke briefly about plans for a demonstration train around the time of the 1996 Superbowl. The option currently being considered would be a one month demonstration using two trainsets. The GO Transit equipment being returned from L.A.’s Metrolink will apparently be available on and after 1 January 1996. Each trainset would be comprised of three or more coaches(for sufficient braking.) Total cost for the demonstration would be approximately $1 million.
Among possibilities for raising this money would be “full rail coach” advertising, similar to the advertisements on Valley Metro buses.Â An eighty foot long rolling ad would be highly visible; and corporate sponsors of this sort could offset perhaps $100,000 of the cost of leasing coaches. There has been some interest from potential sponsors.
Numerous other possibilities for private support exist; and private support could help in the securing of public funding. Private funding of the demonstration could be the precursor to a strong public/private partnership when regular service begins. It is not yet apparent from whence the $1 million would come, although RPTA is investigating.
Should funding be found, the eastern terminus of the demonstration service would be near the downtown Chandler municipal offices; the western terminus would be approximately Litchfield Rd. in Goodyear (which is all Southern Pacific trackage.) Bus routes could be reconfigured to meet the trains.
Should the demonstration service prove popular, and additional funding be procured, Mr. McLaren indicated the duration could be extended.
Presently, use of the Santa Fe trackage along Grand Avenue is precluded by the use of main line trackage in morning switching operations. Additionally, the line south of Olive Ave. is all 20 mph and within yard limits. In short, some physical plant improvements would be required for use of this line for commuter trains. It was mentioned that perhaps a special Saturday run could be made from the Sun City area.
All A.R.P.A. members are invited to attend the A.R.P.A. Board meeting on 15 April which will focus on funding issues.