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Found 21 results

  1. jeudi 17 mai 2007 Un an après l'abandon du projet de déménagement du casino, le quartier Pointe-Saint-Charles de Montréal fait l'objet de nouvelles propositions de développement. Le propriétaire des anciens terrains du Canadien National (CN) veut y aménager de 800 à 1000 nouveaux logements, en plus de relancer les ateliers d'entretien de trains dans les anciens hangars ferroviaires, selon les informations obtenues par Le Devoir.
  2. L'entreprise longueuilloise va fournir des trains d’atterrissage destines aux nouveaux programmes d’avions d’affaires d’Embraer Legacy 450 et Legacy 500. Pour en lire plus...
  3. Read more: http://westislandgazette.com/news/32511#comment-17239 All I can say is, these people should just buy some earplugs. It will cost the city of Beaconsfield nothing, instead of building a sound barrier or costing people of Montreal and Quebec, to slow down cars / trains. They are the morons for buying a home, that should have never been built so close to the highway / railway. The city is to blame for zoning those areas as residential. I am so going to town hall meetings from now on. Time to put these senior NIMBYs in their place. Sort of on topic, but not really, the highway speed should be increased to a maximum of 140 and a minimum of 100. Boulevards / Service roads should be 70, instead of 50. The whole transport rules/regulations in this province have to be worked on.
  4. I have wondered about this for quite sometime. A recent trip to europe only made me more aware of it. Why do we, in Montreal, have such large suburban trains? This in comparison to paris for example. here the new bimodal locomotives for the AMT as oposed to this: Pictured above is a Parisian RER train. They run on their own tracks as well as SNCF tracks. They appear to be between a conventional metro and a regular train in size. Meanwhile our AMT trains seem to be regional trains. I wondered why are OUR suburban trains so large and cumbersome, requiring locomotives and what not, while elsewhere they are light and quick. It certainly is not a distance issue, as the parisian RERs run MUCH farther distances than our AMT trains. It does not seem to be a cost issue either. And while i am aware that not all AMT lines are electrified, they very well should be. the whole point of public transport (as i see it) is to move people in a way that reduces congestion and pollution. I use the paris example, but other cities as copenhaggen or london have similar suburban trains to those in paris.
  5. Flo

    Trains du futur

    Le TGV du futur devrait être conçu en formule duplex L'Etat va commander 100 TGV du futur auprès d'Alstom d'ici fin juin, a annoncé jeudi le ministre de l'Economie Bruno le Maire. "Nous confirmons la commande par l'Etat de 100 TGV du futur. Cette commande doit passer devant le conseil d'administration de SNCF Mobilités soit fin avril, soit fin juin. En tout état de cause la décision est prise, elle sera effective", a déclaré le ministre. Cette prochaine génération de TGV qui pourrait entrer en service en 2022 est développée par Alstom et la SNCF. Lancé en juillet 2015, l’appel d’offres de la SNCF pour concevoir la cinquième version du TGV a été remporté en mai 2016 par le français Alstom, au détriment de l’allemand Siemens et du canadien Bombardier. Un TGV 20 % moins cher... Pour que le train reste compétitif face aux compagnies aériennes low-cost, la SNCF a imposé au concepteur du TGV cinquième génération de produire des rames 20 % moins chères que le précédent modèle, soit à un prix catalogue de 25 millions d’euros contre 30 millions auparavant. La nouvelle machine doit être également moins dispendieuse en coûts d’exploitation à hauteur de -25 %, sans toutefois réduire les performances du train à grande vitesse made in France dont le compteur continuera d’afficher entre 300 et 320 km/h en pointe. Pour relever le défi sans sacrifier la fiabilité et la sécurité du véhicule, Alstom s’est inspiré notamment d’Avelia, le dernier-né de sa gamme de trains à grande vitesse. ...Et moins gourmand en électricité Inscrite au cahier des charges imposé par la SNCF, Alstom prévoit de répondre à l’exigence de réduction des coûts d’exploitation en livrant un nouveau TGV 25 % moins gourmand en électricité que la précédente version. Les prochaines rames, outre une aérodynamique plus performante, seront équipées de moteurs issus de la technologie éprouvée sur l’automotrice AGV, un train vendu ces dernières années en Italie. Les moteurs à aimants permanents de l’AGV couplés à un système de récupération d’énergie au freinage, ont déjà permis de gagner 70 tonnes par rapport au poids des motrices du TGV de quatrième génération et de réduire la consommation d’énergie de 15 %. 250 passagers en plus par rame Grâce à une probable formule duplex qui reste à valider définitivement, le TGV embarquera 750 passagers par rame, soit 250 de plus que la version actuelle. Cette augmentation de la capacité de transport des trains de 40 % doit contribuer à améliorer la rentabilité du train à grande vitesse face à la concurrence de l’aérien low-cost. La SNCF espère ainsi obtenir une réduction de 30 % du coût au passager qui ne se traduira pas forcément par une baisse du prix du billet… Source: ladepeche.fr
  6. Héroux-Devtek espère tirer profit du retour des bombardiers d'Afghanistan et d'Irak. Pour en lire plus...
  7. CN sells Montreal station for $355-million Reuters September 19, 2007 at 5:26 PM EDT VANCOUVER — — Canadian National Railway Co. [CNR-T]agreed Wednesday to sell its Central Station complex in Montreal to Homburg Invest Inc., [HII.A-T]but will keep its headquarters in the facility. CN Rail said it expects to get $355-million for the downtown Montreal property, and will lease back the 17-storey office building that houses its headquarters. The sale and long-term lease deal will also allow the station's passenger facility to continue being used by commuter trains, Via Rail Canada and Amtrak, Canadian National said. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. announced last month that it also wants to sell its Windsor Station in Montreal as part of a plan to monetize the value of its real estate assets.
  8. La firme de design et de fabrication aéronautique Héroux Devtek, de Longueuil, obtiendra ce matin un appui financier fédéral de près de 30 millions de dollars à son projet de recherche et développement sur les trains d'atterrissage de l'avenir. Pour en lire plus...
  9. VIA Rail a fait récemment une offre au conseil d’agglomération d'Halifax pour ses services comme exploitant de trains de banlieue. Avec la mainmise de la Caisse sur pratiquement la moitié des utilisateurs de l'AMT, ne serait-il pas pertinent de voir avec VIA Rail pour l'acquisition des services de trains de banlieue de Montréal? http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/atlantique/2016/07/19/008-nouvelle-ecosse-halifax-via-train-banlieue.shtml
  10. ENcore une fois, tiré de la Gazette de ce matin! More cars for busiest train line DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette The Montreal area's busiest commuter-rail line will get double-decker cars thanks to $120 million in new provincial money for suburban-train infrastructure. The introduction of double-decker service on the Montreal/Deux Montagnes line tops the priority list for the new three-year capital-spending plan of the Metropolitan Transit Agency. The plan is to be made public in the next two weeks. It will boost the number of double-decker cars in the MTA's 200-car fleet well above the current 22 - which are used on commuter lines to Rigaud and Blainville-St. Jérôme. The combined ridership on these new lines is barely two-thirds of the 31,000 carried daily on the Deux Montagnes line. By comparison, all 415 GO trains in the metropolitan Toronto commuter-rail network have double-decker cars. Renewal of the train fleet will put double-decker trains where they are needed most - on the busiest lines, and during rush-hour periods, MTA official Mélanie Nadeau said yesterday. Rush-hour trains on the Deux Montagnes line run well above 100-per-cent capacity now. Crowding is a sore point with users. The line carries 31,000 people a day. It runs from Central Station through St. Laurent, the West Island and Laval and into the St. Eustache-Deux Montagnes area. [email protected] © The Gazette (Montreal) 2007
  11. L'entreprise de Longueuil Héroux-Devtek signe un important contrat avec le constructeur brésilien Embraer pour la construction de trains d'atterrissage des petits avions d'affaires Legacy450 et 500. Pour en lire plus...
  12. Does anyone know if there is any way an individual with enough money could purchase one of the old Metro wagons after they are replaced by the new trains?
  13. http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5798,42657625&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&id=19497&ret=http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/url/page/prt_vdm_fr/rep_annonces_ville/rep_communiques/communiques 7 septembre 2012 Montréal, le 7 septembre 2012 - Ce samedi 8 septembre, à l'Université McGill, près de 200 développeurs en informatique participeront à Hack ta ville, un événement intensif de création informatique. Réalisé en partenariat avec la Ville de Montréal, la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) et l'Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), Hack ta ville vise à développer des applications portant sur le transport, la planification urbaine mais aussi l'agriculture urbaine, le développement durable ou l'utilisation du territoire (lieux publics, parcs, développement résidentiel). L'événement provoquera une rencontre entre amoureux de la ville, citoyen-bidouilleurs (hackers), concepteurs, acteurs communautaires, universitaires et professionnels des transports et leur permettra de développer un projet web ou mobile à partir des ensembles de nouvelles données ouvertes par la Ville de Montréal, la STM et l'AMT. « Je suis très heureux que la Ville de Montréal libère de nouveaux ensembles de données dans le cadre de Hack ta ville, le 8 septembre prochain. Cela fera bientôt un an qu'elle est devenue la première municipalité au Québec à ouvrir ses données. Elle a permis ainsi aux développeurs de créer de nouvelles applications informatiques qui facilitent la vie des Montréalais, notamment en ce qui a trait à leurs déplacements, tout en stimulant l'entrepreneurship », a déclaré le président du comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal, M. Michael Applebaum. Pour alimenter le travail des développeurs présents à Hack ta ville, la Ville de Montréal libère les nouveaux ensembles de données suivants : • Stationnement sur rue – Panneaux de signalisation • Anciens territoires administratifs de la Ville de Montréal • Recensement de la population de l'île de Montréal – 2011 • Arbres publics sur le territoire de la Ville - Échantillon arrondissement de Ville-Marie La plupart de ces ensembles de données sont accessibles sur le portail des données ouvertes de la Ville de Montréal à l'adresse http://donnees.ville.montreal.qc.ca/. Sur place, la Ville de Montréal fournira également sur CD-ROM des échantillons de données sur les éléments suivants : • Arboretum • Boisés • Lieux culturels • Écoterritoires, • Terrains en friches • Milieux humides • Parcs et les ruisseaux De son côté, « l'AMT est soucieuse d'offrir une information en continu concernant ses services de transport collectif. Une toute nouvelle gamme d'outils d'information instantanée a donc été développée pour faciliter les déplacements des clients tout au long de leur parcours, comme 511AMT, le site mobile, l'outil Alerte-Train et le compte Twitter de l'AMT. Au même titre que les applications qui pourront être créées grâce à l'ouverture de nos données, ces technologies améliorent la coordination des services pour les clients. L'ouverture de nos données en temps réel s'inscrit dans ce cadre et permettra de développer des solutions d'applications mobiles innovantes afin d'offrir une information utile à la clientèle pour rendre l'expérience du transport collectif conviviale et facile », souligne le vice-président, Communication et marketing de l'AMT, M. Pierre-Luc Paquette. L'AMT rendra donc accessible de toutes nouvelles données en temps réel concernant son réseau de trains de banlieue au amt.qc.ca/developpeurs. Sous le format standardisé General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)-temps réel : • État du service des trains de banlieue (le respect des horaires) • Alertes de service concernant les retards, les annulations, les événements imprévus et les horaires modifiés • Position des rames de trains sur l'ensemble du réseau de l'AMT Sous le format Transit Communications Interface Profiles (TCIP) : • Liste de l'ensemble des lignes du réseau de trains de banlieue • Liste des gares du réseau de l'AMT • Horaire de tous les voyages • Respect des trains à l'horaire en temps réel • Alertes sur l'état du service des trains Par ailleurs, « la STM rend disponible aujourd'hui un ensemble de données, totalement anonymes, qui portent sur les déplacements d'utilisateurs de la carte OPUS au sein des réseaux de bus et de métro. Entre les mains des développeurs créatifs et talentueux présents à Hack ta ville, ces données pourront par exemple servir à développer des outils qui proposent des trajets alternatifs pour faciliter les déplacements des citoyens et favoriser l'utilisation du cocktail transport », a affirmé M. Michel Labrecque, président du conseil d'administration de la STM.
  14. Profitant surtout des choix effectués par les forces militaires aux États-Unis, la division des Trains d'atterrissage décroche une série d'ententes. Pour en lire plus...
  15. Alstom is delivering Hydrogen-fuelled intercity Coradia trains to Lower Saxony. The locomotive and motor engine were manufactured in France whilst the Hydrogen cell was made in Germany. In terms of fuel supply, Hydrogen is generated by electrolysis and the energy used to power this reaction is tapped from wind power. Functionally-speaking, energy is generated by converting H2 gas to electricity using reverse electrolysis - an old technology discovered back in the 19th century. A single H2 fill-up drives the engine with an autonomy of 1,000 km plus the possibility of peaking up to 140 km/h. This is a direct alternative to diesel trains, the motor engine itself is electric, hence quiet, and overhead lines are history. H2 is stored in a highly pressurized state and withheld inside reservoirs bearing high tensile strength, still I ponder on the event of an accident given its extremely exothermic nature. Anyway, I often hear people arguing over job losses through delocalized assembly lines or trivial companies moving to Calgary or Toronto and always thought Montreal (besides France and Germany BTW, coz I deeply love these 2 cultures ) had all what it takes to unleash innovative industries that would disrupt traditional transport and energy markets (kind like the way Apple's smartphones relegated Nokia's mobile technology to oblivion). Quebec has top universities that lead research in the Physical Sciences, lots of natural resources and genuine reasons to curb climate change. One could imagine developing shuttles that use hydrogen cells to transit people from one bank of the Saint Laurent to another. La Rochelle already has one such gizmo and Marseille has been using a solar-powered equivalent to move people around the Vieux-Port. Une petite révolution dans le monde des transports Source: Radio France, 11/11/2017
  16. http://www.virgin-vacations.com/site_vv/11-top-underground-transit-systems-in-the-world.asp When you're traveling around the world, it's good to know that there are public transit systems available to help you get where you want to go. Underground subway systems offer the convenience of getting where you want when you want without the hassle of having to flag down a taxi or rent a car. In just about all cases, it's the most cost effective option. There are some beautiful, modern, and vast rapid transit systems throughout the world. The most popular and diverse international underground transit systems are listed below, but are merely a sample of the quite eye-catching transit systems that exist throughout the world. 1. London, England The London Underground is Europe's largest metro subway system and is the world's oldest underground system (it was inaugurated in 1863). It covers 253 miles of track and transports 976 million people yearly. The Underground is also connected to a variety of rail services to London's surrounding areas (including the Eurostar to Paris). Among these services is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), a popular driverless light rail extension, which offers many scenic views of the Thames river and surrounding areas. Highlights: Cushioned seats. LED time displays hanging from the ceiling in stations indicate the number of minutes you need to wait before the next train. Eclectic station artwork (such as this January 1st photograph of the Gloucester Road station). Oyster cards allow you to touch against a subway turnstile and go -- and you can pay as you ride. The London Tube. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. The Docklands Light Rail by Canary Wharf, London. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. [Photo montage of a typical, yet scenic, commute on the London tube stystem.] 2. Paris, France The Paris subway system is the second oldest in the world (the initial system was completed in 1900) and aids roughly 1.365 billion people with their daily commutes. Running over 133.7 miles of track and stopping at 380 stations, it has a great amount of coverage throughout the city. Highlights: Excellent coverage: every building in the city is within 500 meters (1600 feet) of a subway station. Many stations were designed with the distinctive unique art noveau style. Modest fares. underground symmetry II. Photo taken by phil h. Making choices. Photo taken by manu_le_manu. [Family video of Paris views of Paris and subway coverage.] 3. Moscow, Russia The Moscow subway system has the biggest ridership of all metro systems throughout the world, with 3.2 billion riders annually traveling on 12 subway lines to 172 stations. In total, the Moscow Metro covers approximately 178 miles. On an average weekday, the subway itself carries about 8.2 million passengers. While most of the Moscow trains run underground, some lines cross bridges and provide scenic views of the Moskva River and the Yauza River. Highlights: Ornate architecture (at least 44 of these stations are rated as architectural sights). The system has many trains that stop frequently (trains stop at stations approximately every 90 seconds during peak hours). Fastest worldwide system (120km/h or 75mph). Moscow Metro. Photo taken by borya. Platform Novoslobodskaya metro station in Moscow. Photo taken by davesag. [informational video about the Moscow subway system, with English subtitles] 4. Madrid, Spain The Madrid Metro is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth largest system in the world. It has 141.7 miles of track and an additional 27.5 miles are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Madrid Metro is the densest metro network in the world. Highlights: Very clean and is implementing an ecologic cleaning system. Fast rides. Affordable fares. Great progress in system expansion (47 miles of new subway lines were built between 1999 and 2003). Modern stations. nuevos ministerios metro station. Photo taken by davidkane. moooove. Photo taken by _guu_. [An advertisement for the Madrid Metro] 5. Tokyo, Japan The Tokyo subway system carries approximately 2.8 billion people per year to 282 subway stations. In addition to underground subways, the Tokyo transit system consists of the Toden Arakawa light rail line and the Ueno Zoo Monorail. Highlights: Extremely clean. Trains are on time. The seats are heated. Trains always stop in the same place alongside markers. Subway stops are announced in both Japanese and English. Modern system. The system has underground malls and customer amenities. Tokyo, Japan. Photo taken by CW371. Shimbashi from Dai-Ichi hotel. Photo taken by garyhymes. [Video of the overcrowding on Tokyo trains.] 6. Seoul, Korea The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is one of the most heavily used subway systems in the world with more than 8 million daily trips. It is also one of the biggest subway stations worldwide, running 179.4 miles in length. The trains mostly run underground, but 30% of the system is above ground. Highlights: Beautiful architecture. Growth of the system has been incredible over the past few years. Utilizes T-money, a prepaid transportation card for transport throughout the city. Koreans apart Subway. Photo taken by jeremyallen35. Korean subway tunnel. Photo taken by mikeswe. [A view of a commute as a train travels from one station to another in Seoul.] 7. New York City, USA The New York City rapid transit system is one of the most extensive public transit systems worldwide. It has grown from 28 stations when it was founded in October of 1904 to 462 stations presently. The subway carries 4.9 million people daily. Highlights: Offers express services that run on separate tracks from local trains. The MTA is currently testing out LED displays in subway stations to let commuters know when the next train is expected to arrive. 24 hour service. Unique and distinct artwork (mosaics) throughout the system. NYC Platform Subway. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. Modern L Train. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. [On-subway Elvis entertainment.] 8. Montreal, Canada The Montreal Metro is a modern system that was inaugurated in 1966. It is a small (37.8 miles reaching 65 stations on four lines) yet unique and modern system that was inspired by the Paris Metro. Highlights: Diverse, beautiful architecture and unique station art (each station is designed by a different architect). Pleasant riding experience (smooth rides: the trains run on a rubber surface to reduce the screech of train cars). Trains are frequent and fairly comfortable. Montreal Metro. Photo taken by F-i-L. metro tunnel 1. Photo taken by Flowizm. [Musicians playing within a modern Montreal Metro station.] 9. Beijing, China The Beijing Subway is a relatively new subway system that opened in 1969 and serves Beijing and the surrounding suburbs. It is currently being expanded upon in a 7.69 billion USD (63.8 billion yuan) project to prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. The expansion project is expected to bring the current length of the subway station from approximately 71 miles to nearly 300 miles. Highlights: Fairly easy subway to navigate (especially if you're a foreigner). Cheap fare (3 yen for most trips). Interesting architecture on the newer subway lines. A very ambitious expansion project is in the works. Next stop, Torino. Photo taken by xiaming. xie yan. Photo taken by jiankun. 10. Hong Kong The Hong Kong subway, also known as the Mass Transit Railway (which translates to "underground railway" in English), was established in 1979. Despite its relatively small size compared (56 miles) to other transit systems, the MTR transports an average of 2.46 million rides per day. The Hong Kong system is based on a British design. Highlights: Efficient. Frequent service, High-capacity cars. Extremely affordable. Clean and modern system with air-conditioned cars. Uses the Octopus contactless smart card for subway currency, allowing travelers to swipe their card near the turnstile for easy access to train platforms. Disney MTR Station. Photo taken by ianong. Hong Kong MTR 2007. Photo taken by Michael Kwokstyle. [A view of a modern-style Hong Kong train from outside and then inside.] 11. Sao Paulo, Brazil The Sao Paulo Metro is the first underground transit system in Brazil. It works alongside a larger company called the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) and together they cover 187 miles of track and transport approximately 3.7 million people daily. Highlights: Known as one of the cleanest and safest systems in the world. Affordable fare. R. Pamplona, Al. Casa Branca. Photo taken by Elton Melo. Untitled. Photo taken by Rubira Bookmark this article and share
  17. New technology that can detect when graffiti vandals are tagging train cars is being heralded in Australia as a major breakthrough in crime prevention. The electronic sensor, called a "mousetrap," has been tested across the network and has so far led to the arrest of 30 people. It works by detecting the vapours of spray cans and markers while they are in use and alerting transport authorities and police. Australian Transport Minister Andrew Constance said it was a useful tool. "What this means is that those who commit graffiti can now be caught immediately, with can in hand, marker in hand, doing the damage," he said. "[Mousetrap] provides real-time information, triggering closed-circuit TV back to Sydney Trains staff and also real-time information provided directly to the Police Transport command." Sydney Trains declined to say how many of the devices would be rolled out across the network but indicated they would be randomly moved from different train lines. Removing graffiti cost taxpayers $34 million last financial year, up from $30 million the year before. Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said it was a big problem. "Our customers hate it – it's one of the top customer complaints and cleaners work hard to remove about 11,000 tags from trains each month," he said. "We know customers feel unsafe when they are using a train which is covered in graffiti and offenders often place themselves and others in danger by trespassing on the railway or being somewhere they shouldn't. "When I came to Sydney 10 years ago most of the trains had graffiti inside and out. We now work on keeping our trains clean." http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/mousetrap-can-detect-when-graffiti-vandals-are-tagging-trains-1.3066838?cmp=rss
  18. The most expensive tunnel in the world Jul 29th 2012, 17:28 by N.B. | WASHINGTON, D.C. EARLIER this month, Amtrak, America's government-owned passenger rail corporation, released a plan outlining how it's going to spend $151 billion it doesn't currently have (and has no prospect of receiving anytime soon) to bring true high-speed trains to America's crucial Boston-New York-Washington rail axis. Gulliver has already explained why Amtrak's project is ambitious, expensive, and unlikely. But the more you delve into the details of the plans, the sillier they appear. Take, for example, Amtrak's proposal to bore a 10-mile rail tunnel underneath Philadelphia. As Steve Stofka, a transport blogger, explains, this proposal would require the most expensive type of tunnel imaginable—"It is freaking expensive to bore a ten-mile-long tunnel through an alluvial floodplain under a highly urbanised area—and to maintain it, since it will reside below the water table," Mr Stofka writes. At $10 billion, he notes that the project would be about three times as expensive per mile as the Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Swiss Alps. And all this is for marginal improvements in speed and access. The tracks around and through Philadelphia aren't, generally, big obstacles to high-speed rail—the tunnels in and around Baltimore, Maryland are. It would be much cheaper to replace Baltimore's terrible tunnels than to build a fancy new one under Philadelphia. The Philadelphia tunnel, unfortunately, isn't even the worst part of Amtrak's plan. That honour goes to a $7 billion renovation of Washington's Union Station (pictured), which Slate's Matthew Yglesias rightly calls "insane". Amtrak's cost estimate is many times higher than for similar projects in Europe. And as Mr Yglesias notes, it seems that Amtrak doesn't have its priorities straight: [F]rom the look of Amtrak's proposal in addition to the high unit costs problem, there seems to be an awful lot of emphasis on doing stuff that has no really clear operational benefits. For example, they don't like the fact that right now Union Station's existing platforms have unsightly and inconvenient columns in the middle of them. To get rid of the columns, they need to scrap the 2,000-space parking deck that they're supporting. Then they want to replace the parking deck with a 5,000-space four-level underground garage. That's an awful lot of money to spend on something that has minimal operational value from the standpoint of actually operating a railroad. There's no doubt that America's big east-coast cities could benefit from access to true high-speed rail. But before it gets the funding necessary to make that happen, Amtrak should put forth a credible, smart proposal that puts the needs of passengers and the public first. I have taken Amtrak trains out of Union Station several hundred times. I've never given more than a moment's thought to the "unsightly and inconvenient" columns on the platforms, but I have noticed how trains crawl through the tunnels in Baltimore and move much more slowly, overall, than similar trains in Europe. Renovating Union Station and replacing its parking garage isn't likely to make Amtrak's trains go any faster. Amtrak needs to get a handle on which kind of projects are worth billions of taxpayer dollars—and which aren't. http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2012/07/rail-renovations