Why Can't We Have Fast Trains in Texas?

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What went wrong with Texas' first attempt at higher speed passenger and freight rail service? What is keeping Texas from being more than a one track congested railroad system? What can be done to have a seamless transportation system in Texas and the Southwest?

Why the first try at High Speed Rail in Texas failed and what we can learn from it

What went wrong with Texas' first attempt at higher speed passenger and freight rail service? What is keeping Texas from being more than a one track congested railroad system? What can be done to have a seamless transportation system in Texas and the Southwest?

Presenters from government, business and industry and advocacy sectors will address these issues as Texas Rail Advocates hosts the 4th Annual South Central Rail Corridor Conference on Friday, February 1 at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Details on the only all-day all-rail conference in Texas can be found at http://www.texasrailadvocates.org/Conf-Feb-2008/index.html

This year, the French are in the spotlight as attendees hear how that country developed their rail network into today's modern high-speed system. Representatives from the high-speed TGV rail network and the French government will discuss long-term construction and development aspects.

Presenters from Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Texas Department of Transportation, Midwest High Speed Rail Association and others will discuss present and future plans for both freight and passenger services in Texas, the Southwest and across the country. International transportation columnist Don Phillips who was transportation reporter for the Washington Post, shares his insight on why the U.S. can't wait any longer to develop a dynamic railroad system.

Presenters include:

  • John Barton, P.E., newly appointed Assistant Executive Director, Texas Department of Transportation
  • Linda Harper Brown, Texas State Representative
  • Jean Pierre Arduin, French National Railways - growth and development of the French TGV High Speed Rail Network
  • "Why the first try at High Speed Rail in Texas failed and what we can learn from it" - Hal Cooper, President, Cooper Engineering
  • Pete Rickershauser, BNSF Railway, VP of Network Development (Thursday evening dinner speaker)
  • "The Train to the Plane" - Andrew Sharpe, Director, International Air Rail Organization - London
  • Sebastian Gourgouillat, Transportation and Construction Attaché, Embassy of France - Washington D.C.
  • "Interstate II" - Moving from Road to Rail" - Gilbert Carmichael: Senior Chairman, Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver
  • "A National Vision for Passenger Rail Service" - Ross Capon, Executive Director, National Association of Railroad Passengers, Washington D.C.
  • "Incentives to Increase Freight Rail Capacity" - Patsy Harris, Go21
  • Don Phillips, Internationally recognized transportation writer who also covered transportation issues for the Washington Post
  • "Illinois' Success Story on Higher Speed Rail" - Rick Harnish, Executive Director, Midwest High Speed Rail Association
  • Update from Joe Adams, Chairman's Special Representative, Union Pacific Railroad
  • Curtis Morgan, Multi Modal Freight Transportation, Texas Transportation Institute
  • Tim Gillespie, BGL Associates (formerly Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Amtrak) and an Officer for the Passenger Rail Today Political Action Committee.

A Thursday night, January 31 dinner will precede the conference. The rail forum draws attendees from local, state and federal agencies, passenger and freight railroads, business and industry sectors and rail advocacy organizations.

Texas Rail Advocates is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit who mission is to accelerate Texas's economic growth and enhance the quality of life enjoyed by its people by advancing the development of rail service to its full potential as a carrier of freight and passengers.

Media contact: Peter LeCody, Executive Administrator. (214) 803-7285
General information: Paul Mangelsdorf, Executive Director (214) 749-3549

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PETER LECODY
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