How Trump’s infrastructure plan will crush mass transit and make our cities less competitive

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


President Trump is stumping for his sweeping $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, as the proposal appears to be stalled in Congress.

We certainly need to fix our roads and bridges. But the plan as it stands would starve our public transportation systems of funding. It slashes money for crucial grant programs. And, it would force transit projects to compete against other infrastructure proposals for a relatively small sum of federal funding.

That’s awful. Our aging rail and bus systems would continue to deteriorate. Expansion plans would be cancelled. Drivers would face worse traffic. And our big cities would become less globally competitive.

Governors, who control most of the nation’s regional transit authorities, must demand more federal transit funding.

America’s public transit infrastructure is already woefully outdated. More than half of the country’s buses and heavy rail cars — which are used in subways — need to be replaced

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In 1963, Jack Welch accidentally blew up a factory at GE — and it taught him a lesson about leadership that’s stuck with him to this day

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


  • Jack Welch is the former CEO and chairman of General Electric.
  • Early on in his career there, he was a chemical engineer, and he accidentally blew up a factory.
  • When Welch met with a manager to discuss the situation, the manager coached him through the mistake and what he could have done differently.
  • In the years that followed, Welch treated his own employees the same way.

The first time Jack Welch met his boss’ boss’ boss, it wasn’t to talk about promotion opportunities or about anything impressive he’d done.

It was 1963, and Welch was a chemical engineer at General Electric, the company where he’d eventually become CEO and chairman.

The issue at hand? Welch had inadvertently blown up a factory. Fortunately, no one was killed.

Welch recounted the experience and what it taught him in an interview with Stephen Dubner on the Freakonomics podcast.

After the…

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China takes on Hyperloop with 1000 km/h ‘super maglev’ train

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

The Next WebThe Next Web

Researchers at China’s Southwest Jiaotong University recently built a prototype for a “super maglev,” a track that carries a train at incredibly high speed using magnetic levitation (maglev). What makes it so super? According to the researchers it’ll be capable of supporting speeds up to 1000 km/h (600 MPH). That’s fast — in fact, it’s hyperloop-fast.

It’s the first high-temperature superconducting maglev test loop in China, according to local news site People’s Daily. The test track, a 45-meter loop, can handle up to 1,000 kilograms which is levitated over 20 millimeters above the track.

The researchers intend to build out the test track (or loop if you prefer) to send trains hurtling across China at near subsonic speeds. If successful, the super maglev would blow the current fastest train in the world, the Shanghai Maglev Train (431 km/h), out of the running.


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Tweet Your Gripes About The Subway To The Man Who Runs It

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


Straphangers are used to tweeting angrily from stalled subway trains with the hope that an MTA staffer will respond and explain why their commute’s screwed up. But they’ll have the chance to take their gripes straight to the top Thursday morning in a Twitter Q&A with New York City Transit President Andy Byford.

Byford will answer commuters’ questions from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday on the @NYCTSubway Twitter account. The online chat session will be the first ever for the head of an MTA agency and the first in a series of monthly opportunities for commuters to question Byford directly, the transportation authority said.

Straphangers can submit questions to Byford and Sarah Meyer, New York City Transit’s new chief customer officer, by using the hashtag #AskNYCT. Other transit officials will be involved in future sessions, the MTA said.

“I think it’s important to have regular and direct contact with…

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General Electric would be an ‘ideal Warren Buffett investment,’ RBC says

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

cnbc com

  • RBC Capital Markets says Warren Buffett may invest in General Electric, but could extract a high price for his involvement.
  • “In many ways, GE’s current situation fits the profile of an ideal Warren Buffett investment,” the firm’s analyst writes

Warren Buffett may come to the rescue of General Electric once again, according to one Wall Street firm.

RBC Capital Markets analyzed whether it made sense for Buffett to invest in GE at these levels.

General Electric’s stock rose 4.3 percent Tuesday amid unsubstantiated speculation that the Oracle of Omaha was buying shares of the beleaguered industrial conglomerate.

The company’s shares have significantly underperformed the market. Its stock has declined 55 percent in the past 12 months through Tuesday versus the S&P 500’s 11 percent return.

“Berkshire Hathaway has a history of investing in storied businesses struggling at steep valuation dislocations. In many ways, GE’s current situation fits the…

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Amtrak gets nearly $2 billion in federal spending bill, despite Trump criticism and accidents

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

Amtrak gets nearly $2 billion in federal funding, rather than a steep cut that President Trump proposed, under a broad spending measure released Wednesday.

Trump had proposed cutting $630 million from the national passenger railroad’s federal subsidies for the year that started Oct. 1, out of $1.4 billion provided the previous year.

“Amtrak’s long-distance trains do not serve a vital transportation purpose and are a vestige of when train service was the only viable transcontinental transportation option,” Trump’s budget said.

But the spending bill provides $1.3 billion for the long-distance network. The bill also provides $650 million to Amtrak for the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the popular route which runs from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

“Amtrak thanks Congress for recognizing the importance of intercity passenger rail and the Northeast Corridor,” Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said. “The increased NEC capital funding will allow us to address many important needs along the corridor…

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City Council demands discounted MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

NY Curbed

The City Council is taking matters into its own hands after Mayor de Blasio neglected to include funding for a reduced fare MetroCard program for low-income New Yorkers in the preliminary draft of the city’s fiscal year 2019 budget. This marks the second year in a rowDe Blasio has bucked the proposed program.

As a response, more than half of the City Council has signed a letter to Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm affirming their support for Fair Fares. The discount fare program proposed by the Community Service Society and Riders Alliance would make working-age New York residents living at or below the poverty line of $24,339 for a family of four eligible to receive half-price MetroCards.

Mayor de Blasio maintains that all things relating to the MTA are the jurisdiction of the state. But that’s not sitting well with the council…

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Questions raised over future of Hyperloop train in Maryland

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


A faster way of getting from Maryland to DC may involve going underground.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space-X, wants to build something called a Hyperloop that would take traffic underground. The idea is the tunnel would start in Baltimore and would only take up the space of a parking spot.

RELATED: Elon Musk working on bringing Hyperloop to Maryland

The plans indicate there would be trailers called skates, and individual cars to hold passengers and bicyclists speeding up to 124 miles per hour underground reducing the trip to only 29 minutes. The 35-mile long tunnel would end at New York Avenue in DC.

Boeing already has a permit to start digging, and they’re working with more than a dozen agencies including the MDTA to get the plans off the ground.  They say construction of the tunnels could take 1-2 years, but the digging would happen 30…

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New Development To Include Elevator Access At Broad Street Subway Station

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

City Land

Mixed-use building seeks to add two new elevators to lower Manhattan subway station. On March 14, 2018, the City Planning Commission held a public hearing for a special permit for a proposed new mixed-use development at 45 Broad Street in the Financial District in Manhattan in connection with improvements to the Broad Street Station and the Wall Street Station. Applicants, Madison 45 Broad Development LLC, plan to build a 65-story condominium building in what is currently an empty lot on the east side of Broad Street between Exchange Place and Beaver Street. The building will become the highest condo in Downtown Manhattan.

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