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Why not use what we already have?

Georgia transportation funding (at least for transit and commuter rail purposes) has an easy solution. In 2019, the lease of the State of Georgia owned Western & Atlantic right-of-way is up for renewal. The 50 yr. lease (worth little more than a $million/yr based on 1969 dollars/estimates) is currently held by CSX Corp., which has incorporated the property into it's system maps, and utilizes the line of railroad to link it's mid-western routes/traffic floes to it's southeast (Atlanta connected) network, over a more level(and thus much lest costly) routing, than utilizing it's only alternative train routing via the more "mountainous" Birmingham, AL (ex-Louisville & Nashville RR)mainline. Outside investor groups may well be in a position to increase the value of the W & A  right-of-way by starting a bidding war on the route, or conversely, the State Properties Commission could negotiate in extracting urgently needed transit route upgrades/tradeoffs(think adding Marta/commuter rail operations(to Clayton/Cobb/Cherokee/Bartow/(Athens)Clarke/Walton/Fayette) linking downtown Atlanta to any of the aforementioned counties/destinations on the rest of CSX 's north Georgia network. The W & A lease renewal(not unlike NS 's lease of the (State owned) North Carolina Railroad) should reap a windfall for Georgia's dollar and rights-of-way impinged transit budgeteers. One wonders if either Gov.Deal or GDOT's Mr. McMurray is up to the task? 

To iterate, once again - Why continue to beat this flea-bit "dog"? Amtrak has been in the Atlanta "transit" game since 1979. In addition to inter-city services it operates, it contracts (with legislative prejudice)with transit entities, as well, with nationwide authority, in the operation of regional and commuter operations, elsewhere.  In Georgia, Norfolk Southern predecessor, Southern Railway(and Central of Georgia) both "joined" Amtrak in order to "manipulate" commuter, regional and inter-city services, over much of Georgia's rail infrastructure. Funding transportation/transit in the state of Georgia is "reportedly" a "problem". Inviting Norfolk Southern and Amtrak to a transportation "conference" which could actually be held aboard either of the railroads "track inspection" cars(Amtrak's American View or Norfolk Southern's Buena Vista) along with Gov. Deal, GDOT's Golden(oops he's announced he's "bailing" at the end of January('15)), NS's Moorman and Friedman, and CSX's Ward could join this trip as well, while actually reviewing "live" the state's rail infrastructure, would probably, in short order, lead to a financially viable solution to the state's "transit" problem. Because of Norfolk Southern's Central of Georgia member "connection" and Southern Railway's "membership" in Amtrak there were legal, financial and most important OPERATIONAL common carrier obligations "assumed" when the Nancy Hanks (Atlanta-Macon-Savannah) (and v.v.)  and City of Miami (Albany-Columbus-Birmingham) (and v.v.) routes were discontinued, and when the Southern Crescent ( now just Crescent )(New York-Washington-Atlanta-Birmingham-New Orleans)(and v.v.)operation was conferred to Amtrak. The FINANCIAL aspect of this relationship should save Georgia taxpayers trainloads of money, in initiating regional, commuter and transit services over Norfolk Southern (and predecessor) railroads. Basically, the "historic" rights-of-way are mostly "in place" and in service, operationally. And the State already owns a passenger train operating regularly between Cordele, Americus and Plains. It really is quite simple. Georgia tenders it's train(s) to Norfolk Southern to operate(at Amtrak's behest), and Norfolk Southern complies with it's common carrier obligation(s) to move those trains between points A and B on it's rail network. For some "strange" reason, this occurs easily on the Norfolk Southern "system"(tracks) in Virginia and North Carolina, but with (much greater) some say baseless, difficulty, when proposed, in the State of Georgia.  

For levity, as both Amtrak and Norfolk Southern have transportation operational "issues" which have precipitated a review and redress from SCOTUS(the Supreme Court), perhaps DOJ could provide a "facilitator" on board, to keep those who might tend to stray from the complete and damnable truth about the transit conundrum being "faced"/discussed......to remain....."on track".....so to speak.....


3 days, 17 hours ago on Gov. Deal tees up transportation debate as federal funds wane

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And to clearly differentiate between light rail and streetcars..... this from Greater Greater Washington...[http://bit.ly/1u3zZwF]

1 week, 4 days ago on Transit gains traction in Atlanta region as Clayton may join MARTA; Sen. Beach says he'll be state champion

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Remember - Amtrak has been in the Atlanta "transit" game since 1979. In addition to inter-city services it operates, it contracts (with legislative prejudice)with transit entities, as well, with nationwide authority, in the operation of regional and commuter operations, elsewhere.  In Georgia, Norfolk Southern predecessor, Southern Railway(and Central of Georgia) both "joined" Amtrak in order to "manipulate" commuter, regional and inter-city services, over much of Georgia's rail infrastructure. Funding transportation/transit in the state of Georgia is "reportedly" a "problem". Inviting Norfolk Southern and Amtrak to a transportation "conference" which could actually be held aboard either of the railroads "track inspection" cars(Amtrak's American View or Norfolk Southern's Buena Vista) along with Gov. Deal, GDOT's Golden, NS's Moorman and Friedman, while actually reviewing "live" the state's rail infrastructure, would probably, in short order, lead to a financially viable solution to the state's "transit" problem. For levity, as both Amtrak and Norfolk Southern have transportation operational "issues" which have precipitated a review and redress from SCOTUS(the Supreme Court), perhaps DOJ could provide a "facilitator" on board, to keep those who might tend to stray from the complete and damnable truth about the transit conundrum being "faced"/discussed......to remain....."on track".....so to speak...... 

1 week, 5 days ago on Developing new rail and bus transit in Atlanta region – a long-term play

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And the rails (which don't  "end" at the state line, simply because the official state railroad map doesn't plot their continuation with an arrow as most rail routes crossing Georgia's border indeed link to the national rail network) certainly need attention....see comments from departing Federal Railway Administrator Szabo at www.politico morning transportation.com...

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Fixing state’s roads, rails to handle freight could cost up to $20 billion

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As usual, different "players" have differing "solutions"....see {http://politi.co/1DqK4sU}...then again, at one time the railroads maintained their "private" rights-of-way by charging their "customers" for such use. I guess that's now outmoded business modeling.....now when are they going to add passenger trains to those taxpayer dollar upgraded freight routes? 

In light of the pending "traffic surge" from the port of Savannah, one might find this {http://politi.co/14rexeU} interesting as well.At one point in time I communicated with Mr. Matsuda, when he worked for Senator Lautenberg, regarding rail safety issues. His career later got all "wet?"

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Fixing state’s roads, rails to handle freight could cost up to $20 billion

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....and even more to ponder (in re funding) given Presidential political contenders and their recent board memberships(see relevant post below) from an adjacent state (Florida) and linked article here{http://bit.ly/1JLDtOo}

3 weeks ago on Despite anti-tax push-back, Georgia needs more money for transportation

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These toll lane "pipe dreams" have been meandering around places like Texas, Ohio and Florida for years. There was even a scandal in Florida(and Georgia) involving a credential carrying FLA DOT inspector, Robert(?) Lemme, who had alleged that there was (potential for) fraud in the toll accountability process(something not unknown to Georgia motorists, (GA 400 anyone?) involving the Sunshine State Parkway, and then GOV. Jeb Bush, a fraud which supposedly went "all the way to the top"(keeping in mind that brother W. was President of the United States at the time). Mr. Lemme met an unfortunate "end" in a Lowndes County Georgia motel room(suicide?), and later the GBI certifying physician(on a short stint at the Moultrie, GA GBI crime lab, up from Tallahassee and suddenly back to Tallahassee) ruled (as there was no Coroner's report((not required in a "suicide")) ruled sure enough that  Florida inspector Lemme, had met his demise at his own hand. Curiously, there were allegations of camera "failure" which the Valdosta, Georgia police had used to "document" the crime" scene, not unlike the recent sort of failures involving a Lowndes County High School teen named Johnson, whose ultimate end seemingly also encountered "video" failure, but which surely enough "cleared" the teenaged wrestler sons of a local(Valdosta) FBI agent? Hmmmm....wonder if Jeb still plans to run for president? I'll bet he's got a funding plan for transportation infrastructure, truth or dare?  - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2013/07/gdots-approval-of-i-75-project-advances-concept-of-managed-toll-lanes-in-region/comment-page-1/#comment-119641

1 month ago on GDOT’s approval of I-75 project advances concept of managed toll lanes in region, plan due in 2014

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Ms. Long - It's not that government is too bloated, rather it has to do with the "games" politicians like to play and pander to "their" donors and supporters via the likes of the bi-coastal High Speed Rail "drama" described hereafter...

Curiously, higher speed rail is a-building in Florida at the behest of the likes of  former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush(a Fortress Industries(parent to Florida East Coast Railway's, All Aboard Florida passenger railroad)board member who had quite publicly opposed taxpayers' (financing) building the proposed Florida Overland Express (FOX) High Speed Rail route, but has supported verbally, if not financially, California pols like Neil Kasparsky who criticized voter approved California High Speed Rail development, which has been championed by no less than CA GOV. Jerry Brown. Apparently, U.S. east coast velocity physics differ markedly from those on the left, er west coast. What say ye Jeb?(Our next president? Hardly as he seems to talk out of both "sides" of his mouth simultaneously!)(and while we're at it...Nathan, who demonstrates concern seemingly only during prnding winter storms??   - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/11/we-cant-keep-ignoring-need-to-invest-in-transportation-infrastructure/#sthash.4a9GbWf0.dpuf

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Despite anti-tax push-back, Georgia needs more money for transportation

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Unfortunately, devastating, dastardly, downsizing of the U.S. rail network was "permitted" in the name of "saving" an industry whose performance(in the eyes of Wall street analysts) had become, to be generous, lackluster, at best. Though Savannah in the early 1960's had service along a high speed(100 M.P.H.) rail route, that Atlantic Coast Line mainline linked Savannah to Jacksonville and Florida to the south, and Charleston and Richmond to the north(east) ultimately, (via connections) gaining Washington, D.C. and (via the Northeast Corridor)New York. Upon Amtrak's inception, the lowly Savannah-Atlanta link, the Nancy Hanks, then Central of Georgia(now Norfolk Southern) was deemed not "vital" to the Amtrak "national network", and though the C of Ga became an Amtrak member railroad(at the insistence of then Southern Railway law department(and future Amtrak president) chair W. Graham Claytor, Jr., the "Nancy" was permitted to be discontinued, thus breaking a near century old rail passenger link from the ocean to the Capitol. Fast forward to the current state of the "grand bargain", where formerly close ties between government(Amtrak?) and the railroads(Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Genessee & Wyoming, BNSF) are now, at best, strained relationships, due strictly to money and political affiliation posturing, where-in the current carrier on this "oh -so-critical" route insists that any infrastructure upgrades(including GA Ports Mr. Foltz's desired Atlanta westside rail link((referenced elsewhere in this Blog)) be done with the public's (taxed) $ billions, but find that it's "improbable, if not impossible" to operate passenger trains on those same (to be) publicly upgraded tracks(route's) between Savannah and Atlanta nor from Atlanta (over the Georgia taxpayor-owned(CSX operated) right of way) on to Chattanooga, nor from Atlanta to Columbus, Albany, Augusta nor Athens.

 Curiously, higher speed rail is a-building in Florida at the behest of the likes of  former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush(a Fortress Industries(parent to Florida East Coast Railway's All Aboard Florida passenger railroad)board member who had quite publicly opposed taxpayers (financing) building the proposed Florida Overland Express (FOX) High Speed Rail route, and has supported verbally, if not financially, California pols like Neil Kasparsky who criticized voter approved California High Speed Rail development, which has been championed by no less than CA GOV. Jerry Brown. Apparently U.S. east coast velocity physics differ markedly from those on the left, er west coast. What say ye Jeb?(and while we're at it...Nathan??  

 Then there's the matter of rail safety, or lack thereof. Recent news, has included items relating to crude oil and energy industry related ethanol "unit trains" derailing their combustible loads in burbs and cities killing and injuring the masses, as well as  high-speed train wrecks in Niles, Michigan, (Amtrak train throttling up to 110 m.p.h. operation, "is routed" off the mainline into a siding and comes to within 22 feet of colliding with Amtrak freight cars full of rock(yes Amtrak owns/runs freight cars to maintain tracks it owns, as in Niles), this occurring only one day after D.O.T. Secretary LaHood, Sen. Durbin(D-IL) and Gov. Quinn(R-IL) traveled from a Chicago suburb(Joliet, IL) downstate to Pontiac, IL to ribbon-cut a high speed Chicago-St. Louis three decade old route "upgrade". Then there's the (too?) fast UP train wreck in Midland, Texas involving a veteran's parade trailer, and the Conrail train dumping chemicals into a waterway next to Philly's airport(the bridge broke "boss" even though it was repaired the day before). Yes, we can wait a year to find out if we need to fix rail safety problems(thanks NTSB) even though High Speed rail infrastructure is the "solution" to the "grand bargain." I refuse to pay for it. You will refuse as well, if you educate yourself.  Maria, it's as if the Credit Mobilier scam just occurred. I'm sure you are familiar. It involved a French Bank and proposed high speed trains. Different centuries, different players, same ol' scams. - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2012/12/a-grand-bargain-between-railroads-and-government-needed-for-high-speed-rail/#sthash.GsKrL1S9.dpuf

1 month, 2 weeks ago on We can't keep ignoring the need to invest in transportation infrastructure

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One wonders if Norfolk Southern's Canadian owners(would be), Canadian Pacific, and it's chairman, E. H. Harrison, 

might be slightly more receptive to a Clayton County, indeed middle Georgia, expansion of rail passenger-centric services over the existing route structure of NS(C P does permit Rocky Mountaineer Excursion/Tour trains over portions of it's Canadian network) or if their vision might include the same sort of Virginia "tunnel vision" NS and Wick Moorman and his ilk have visited upon the Peach State taxed payers, a place where NS still hopes for taxpayer largess to cover upgrading it's Savannah and Brunswick ports connected routes via Macon to Atlanta?  

- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/11/martas-dramatic-win-in-clayton-to-impact-atlanta-region-on-micro-macro-level/#sthash.pxcgiKF2.dpuf

2 months, 2 weeks ago on MARTA signs deals with Clayton County, defers vote on paratransit

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One wonders if Norfolk Southern's Canadian owners(would be), Canadian Pacific, and it's chairman, E. H. Harrison, 

might be slightly more receptive to a Clayton County, indeed middle Georgia, expansion of rail passenger-centric services over the existing route structure of NS(C P does permit Rocky Mountaineer Excursion/Tour trains over portions of it's Canadian network) or if their vision might include the same sort of Virginia "tunnel vision" NS and Wick Moorman and his ilk have visited upon the Peach State taxed payers, a place where NS still hopes for taxpayer largess to cover upgrading it's Savannah and Brunswick ports connected routes via Macon to Atlanta?  

2 months, 2 weeks ago on MARTA's big win in Clayton to impact Atlanta region on micro, macro levels

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My comment below aside, GPB(Georgia Public Broadcasting) is reporting today that rising sea levels within the next 15 to 30 years will inundate Savannah and environs likely thirty (yes 30) times per year. I say save the funds committed for Savannah river dredging, let mother "nature" take her course, but make sure any warehouses built rest upon barges, much like those casinos along the Big Muddy (Mississippi River to non-natives), just in case the naysayers are correct. Are YOU a naysayer, or just a gambler? As P.T. Barnum once advertised......fifty cents to see the egress...this way please. Again I digress......

3 months, 2 weeks ago on With port deepening assured, Savannah turns to next project: More warehouses as supply absorbed

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Unfortunately, the private freight network [http://bit.ly/1mVi5hi] isn't quite ready financially or physically. The upcoming Christmas shipping season isn't even a sure thing, according to UPS and FedEx execs, and then there's Gov. Deal's next-apocalypse pre-election snow/ice storm. If it hits....it may all be Gov. Carter's worry. However, I digress......

3 months, 3 weeks ago on With port deepening assured, Savannah turns to next project: More warehouses as supply absorbed

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From BB's comment below....would we be strapped with Georgia Power as the carrier and would they power the system with Vogtle genned nuke power or would it be more "visionary" to have someone like Richard Branson (he's warmly embraced other modes elsewhere)operate the system in collaboration with solar power from an Elon Musk facility in South Georgia(perhaps)? 

4 months, 1 week ago on Public invited to give feedback on potential new streetcar routes

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....and the next time you are trapped in Atlanta traffic because of an ice or snow storm, at least reach out and let others know with this [http://bit.ly/1whAVzk] handy app. Maybe you won't feel so alone......


4 months, 2 weeks ago on Ga. 400 tolls: Gov. Deal reminds that tolls are history, closure wins awards

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....and remember, the good Guv has made two promises about the snow/ice storms the metroLanta region has faced and faltered under during his tenure with perhaps another test coming prior to the November election. But we all must mollify our tested soles with the knowledge that.... this time, the Georgia DOT will, get it right with input from all sorts of Atlanta media types.

But, too, isn't Guv.- wanna-be Carter due equal air time?

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Ga. 400 tolls: Gov. Deal reminds that tolls are history, closure wins awards

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This possibility [ http://bit.ly/1lTK0xC] might be guidance for the right "path" to take.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on GRTA considers options to keep its bus fleet safe, reliable, tidy

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UPDATE: Maybe Southwest Airlines is now advocating for H-S-R via their support of the following: [http://bit.ly/1uN09Ib]?

5 months, 1 week ago on High-speed rail not a consideration in Atlanta airport’s master plan

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The public has a chance to provide "stakeholder" input to the State Rail Plan proposal for commuter/intercity passenger as well as freight service(s) at GA DOT meetings today(8/12) in Dalton, tomorrow (8/13) in Atlanta(40 Courtland St.), and Thursday, (8/14) (300 N. Lee St.) in Valdosta. It's now or never, Clayton/Macon commuter rail boosters!

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Commuter rail from Atlanta to Lovejoy is: 'The Little Engine That Could'

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Blocking information from the public is not only the m.o. of NS, but the entire U.S. rail industry. Their learning curve was the mountain of disasters unfolded upon the public during the Vanderbilt/Credit Mobilier/robber baron eras, and under Southern/NS included the likes of Aragon(GA.),Graniteville(SC),  Lancaster(PA), and Jones county(MS), and Alexandria(VA).

Mixed among the derailments, electrocution, and deaths, in part or whole attempts to obscure from the public their less than stellar "public service" responsibilities, by hiding their true perilous operation, they simply are operating in their accustomed fashion.

Amtrak operated commuter service between the proposed MMPT and Lovejoy/Macon? A horse of a different colour!  

6 months ago on Clayton County’s proposed transit partner reports record profits

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@DougAlexander 

Why not use what we already have?

Georgia transportation funding (at least for transit and commuter rail purposes) has an easy solution. In 2019, the lease of the State of Georgia owned Western & Atlantic right-of-way is up for renewal. The 50 yr. lease (worth little more than a $million/yr based on 1969 dollars/estimates) is currently held by CSX Corp., which has incorporated the property into it's system maps, and utilizes the line of railroad to link it's mid-western routes/traffic floes to it's southeast (Atlanta connected) network, over a more level(and thus much lest costly) routing, than utilizing it's only alternative train routing via the more "mountainous" Birmingham, AL (ex-Louisville & Nashville RR)mainline. Outside investor groups may well be in a position to increase the value of the W & A  right-of-way by starting a bidding war on the route, or conversely, the State Properties Commission could negotiate in extracting urgently needed transit route upgrades/tradeoffs(think adding Marta/commuter rail operations(to Cobb/Cherokee/Bartow/(Athens)Clarke/Walton/Fayette) linking downtown Atlanta to any of the aforementioned counties/destinations on the rest of CSX 's north Georgia network. The W & A lease renewal(not unlike NS 's lease of the (State owned) North Carolina Railroad) should reap a windfall for Georgia's dollar and rights-of-way impinged transit budget. One wonders if either candidate Carter or (Gov.)Deal is up to the task? - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/07/wanted-leaders-who-make-tough-decisions-on-transportation-funding/#sthash.IS7RWQib.dpuf

6 months ago on Commuter rail from Atlanta to Lovejoy is: 'The Little Engine That Could'

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Georgia transportation funding (at least for transit and commuter rail purposes) has an easy solution. In 2019, the lease of the State of Georgia owned Western & Atlantic right-of-way is up for renewal. The 50 yr. lease (worth little more than a $million/yr based on 1969 dollars/estimates) is currently held by CSX Corp., which has incorporated the property into it's system maps, and utilizes the line of railroad to link it's mid-western routes/traffic floes to it's southeast (Atlanta connected) network, over a more level(and thus much lest costly) routing, than utilizing it's only alternative train routing via the more "mountainous" Birmingham, AL (ex-Louisville & Nashville RR)mainline. Outside investor groups may well be in a position to increase the value of the W & A  right-of-way by starting a bidding war on the route, or conversely, the State Properties Commission could negotiate in extracting urgently needed transit route upgrades/tradeoffs(think adding Marta/commuter rail operations(to Cobb/Cherokee/Bartow/(Athens)Clarke/Walton/Fayette) linking downtown Atlanta to any of the aforementioned counties/destinations on the rest of CSX 's north Georgia network. The W & A lease renewal(not unlike NS 's lease of the (State owned) North Carolina Railroad) should reap a windfall for Georgia's dollar and rights-of-way impinged transit budget. One wonders if either candidate Carter or (Gov.)Deal is up to the task?

6 months ago on Wanted: Leaders who make tough decisions on transportation funding

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One assumes that either Norfolk Southern management has become so disconnected from the real world and prior (in cases, decades old considerations and decisions) made at the top echelons of it's ranks, that it is currently running a true malfunction-junction of a railroad, unaware of prior legal agreements and obligations affecting not only their bottom line, but indeed, the rest of the nationally connected rail network, with it's attendant transportation obligations to safely operate it's network while efficiently and smoothly moving and interchanging it's surface transport burden of freight AND passengers.

Why not re-coup frittered away opportunity(-ies) and  dollars? See below from Saporta Reports...........

One wonders if Tom Bell knew W. Graham Claytor, Jr., former Southern Railway chief counsel(to D. W. Brosnan), former President, Southern Railway(a Norfolk Southern component railroad), former Secretary of the U.S. Navy, and last but not least, a former Amtrak President. One wonders if the two, or others, "positioned" themselves to profit from "deals" directly damaging to Georgia's passenger and freight rail operational future(s)(in the 1970's, and 80's) which have cost the taxpayers, untold hundreds of millions of dollars by legal manipulation of (then)regulated passenger rail operations(anyone remember the Nancy Hanks or the Man 'O War operated by NS(SOUTHERN Rwy) subsidiary Central of Georgia. C of GA?), yes,THAT railroad which "joined" Amtrak, only to discontinue multiple passenger trains and routes serving Atlanta(and Clayton County) from the likes of Macon and Columbus. The City of Miami, which at Amtrak's inception, linked Albany, Georgia to Columbus Georgia, "lost" their passenger rail service(s), too. Mr. Friedman, an NS "big wig", who has already nixed(in HIS mind at least) use of NS tracks to access the proposed "gulch" MMPT in downtown Atlanta by passenger/transit trains, now is deriding use of former Central of Georgia tracks through Clayton County, for heavy rail transit/commuter/intercity trains operated by Amtrak, into Atlanta, which Amtrak COULD operate, as it accepted Central of Georgia as a member railroad upon creation by Congress in 1970. Going this route(literally and figuratively) would recoup SOME of those hundred$ of million$. Just a thought, and a wink of a green light to innovation. SOUTHERN(rwy) SERVED THE SOUTH! NS? Nah.

- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/07/claytons-vote-for-marta-a-turning-point-for-regional-transit/#sthash.MRnthWkT.dpuf

Perhaps, one day, Mr. Edwards may have the insight of a Wick Mooreman, or a Tom Bell, or a Graham Claytor, Jr., and have a more complete understanding of those obligations from the past, while not losing sight and insight of the future, but, from his letter to the Chair of the Clayton County Commission, that day is certainly quite distant. One also might assume that Mr. Claytor, rapidly rotates in his plot, upon "seeing" late developments at "his" railroad. Tempus fugit.  

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Commuter rail from Atlanta to Lovejoy is: 'The Little Engine That Could'

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For transit advocates whose transit choices have been brilliantly...."slowed"........{http://bit.ly/1sAHTBt}

6 months, 2 weeks ago on New regional transit trip-planner website growing slowly, as planned

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Why not re-coup frittered away opportunity(-ies) and  dollars? See below from Saporta Reports...........

One wonders if Tom Bell knew W. Graham Claytor, Jr., former Southern Railway chief counsel(to D. W. Brosnan), former President, Southern Railway(a Norfolk Southern component railroad), former Secretary of the U.S. Navy, and last but not least, a former Amtrak President. One wonders if the two, or others, "positioned" themselves to profit from "deals" directly damaging to Georgia's passenger and freight rail operational future(s)(in the 1970's, and 80's) which have cost the taxpayers, untold hundreds of millions of dollars by legal manipulation of (then)regulated passenger rail operations(anyone remember the Nancy Hanks or the Man 'O War operated by NS(SOUTHERN Rwy) subsidiary Central of Georgia. C of GA?), yes,THAT railroad which "joined" Amtrak, only to discontinue multiple passenger trains and routes serving Atlanta(and Clayton County) from the likes of Macon and Columbus. The City of Miami, which at Amtrak's inception, linked Albany, Georgia to Columbus Georgia, "lost" their passenger rail service(s), too. Mr. Friedman, an NS "big wig", who has already nixed(in HIS mind at least) use of NS tracks to access the proposed "gulch" MMPT in downtown Atlanta by passenger/transit trains, now is deriding use of former Central of Georgia tracks through Clayton County, for heavy rail transit/commuter/intercity trains operated by Amtrak, into Atlanta, which Amtrak COULD operate, as it accepted Central of Georgia as a member railroad upon creation by Congress in 1970. Going this route(literally and figuratively) would recoup SOME of those hundred$ of million$. Just a thought, and a wink of a green light to innovation. SOUTHERN(rwy) SERVED THE SOUTH! NS? Nah. - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/07/norfolk-southern-in-sound-position-if-talks-begin-over-rail-transit-in-clayton-county/#sthash.LuuepFBk.dpuf

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Clayton's yes vote for MARTA sales tax 'a turning point' for regional transit

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One wonders if Tom Bell knew W. Graham Claytor, Jr., former Southern Railway chief counsel(to D. W. Brosnan), former President, Southern Railway(a Norfolk Southern component railroad), former Secretary of the U.S. Navy, and last but not least, a former Amtrak President. One wonders if the two, or others, "positioned" themselves to profit from "deals" directly damaging to Georgia's passenger and freight rail operational future(s)(in the 1970's, and 80's) which have cost the taxpayers, untold hundreds of millions of dollars by legal manipulation of (then)regulated passenger rail operations(anyone remember the Nancy Hanks or the Man 'O War operated by NS(SOUTHERN Rwy) subsidiary Central of Georgia. C of GA?), yes,THAT railroad which "joined" Amtrak, only to discontinue multiple passenger trains and routes serving Atlanta(and Clayton County) from the likes of Macon and Columbus. The City of Miami, which at Amtrak's inception, linked Albany, Georgia to Columbus Georgia, "lost" it's passenger rail service(s), too. Mr. Friedman, an NS "big wig", who has already nixed(in HIS mind at least) use of NS tracks to access the proposed "gulch" MMPT in downtown Atlanta by passenger/transit trains, now is deriding use of former Central of Georgia tracks through Clayton County, for heavy rail transit/commuter/intercity trains operated by Amtrak, into Atlanta, which Amtrak COULD operate, as it accepted Central of Georgia as a member railroad upon creation by Congress in 1970. Going this route(literally and figuratively) would recoup SOME of those hundred$ of million$. Just a thought, and a wink of a green light to innovation. SOUTHERN(rwy) SERVED THE SOUTH! NS? Nah.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Norfolk Southern in sound position if talks begin over rail transit in its freight corridor in Clayton County

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Now, it doesn't take office buildings full of transit planners for such facilities.....transit planning(and it's impact(s)) can easily be configured with a few clicks of a mouse........ {{http://bit.ly/1sAHTBt}}......enjoy!

7 months ago on Questions of MARTA and transit get ignored in Cobb-Braves stadium plans

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Just curious........Do you consider Southern Company's Georgia Power unit one of those "profit-hungry" business/real estate interests? If so, how did transit in Atlanta so devolve from when GAPOWR ran the streetcar lines, then "bailed", when it became unprofitable? What kind of "good" corporate citizen are they anyway? And besides.....why didn't they just raise the streetcar fares to maintain "profitability", as they are currently so doing with public backing of their(or is it "our") nuclear plant construction? And where was/is the Georgia "Public ""Service"" Commission" in the midst of all these "regulated" transactions. Just tipping martinis at the Commerce Club I suppose.....but I digress......

9 months ago on Technology can improve transit but not replace new network investment

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 It's not an impasse - but sheer refusal to preform the task at hand. How could the longe range plan to 2040 already be approved by ARC/GRTA without public input from last weeks regional meetings (Dalton, Atlanta, Valdosta) in re the long term(to 2040) state of Georgia passenger rail plan? I smell a rat, or at the very least, some "strawman" meetings, to placate those of us "in the know" but, unlikely to accept this continuing bamboozlement by the state of Georgia DOT, Intermodal Division. A critical question of Mr. Boxler, it's director, was asked recently - if his department was ready to immediately assume operation of the passenger train services currently being operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? His confused and inexplicable response to me was to curtly hang up(the phone). I'm certain we were problematically disconnected? Perhaps as problematic as it was for a U.S. Senator (Bleumenthal D-Ct.) attempting to convene a station platform "safety" critique of Metro-North's lack of operational safety, when he is nearly literaly snagged by a passing passenger train.....(http://bit.ly/1iC5R8D)! What would a Gov. Carter do about this? Punt, perhaps?

9 months ago on ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia  A fine example of your argument was the unbelievable castigation heaped upon Speaker Ralston after he and his family were invited to Europe to experience what first-world civilized travel feels like via true.... High Speed Rail. After that brow-beating, I'm doubtful that he would "entertain" the notion of expanded/funded passenger rail of ANY type, despite the recent GADoT dog and pony show covering that very modality. One must'nt forget, we are but a few months shy of an "election." Now....where's my red, white and blue bunting???

9 months, 1 week ago on Technology can improve transit but not replace new network investment

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Perhaps......the latest from Yonah Freemark might interest.....[http://bit.ly/1djpbFa]!

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Construction delays at Panama Canal could affect Savannah harbor project

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Clarity needed.....and provided, from no less than the ABL visioneer, Yonah Freemark......[http://bit.ly/1djpbFa]!

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Transportation update: GRTA’s acting director, MARTA reorg on hold, Atlanta's transportation planning

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The trajectory seems to be.......down the (train) tracks........(http://bit.ly/1djpbFa)

10 months, 3 weeks ago on MARTOC chair praises MARTA’s GM for trajectory of transit agency

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Is it possible for Georgians' to make a great "leap"? [http://bit.ly/1fHT5Fs]

11 months ago on GRTA's Xpress bus funding quietly becomes part of state’s base budget

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And the revolving door which controls the GW(Georgia Worthless?) Bridge of Dumb....revolves once again. Goodbye Jannine.....Hello Kirk(once again!) The only certain thing in transportation in Georgia, is that no one in government  has any long term experience in transit administration. Consultation and lobbying? Certainly. With Gov. Deal and Snow(Ice) jams, will three times really be the charm? GRTA "leadership" has changed once again. Yawn. Time for more consultancy and lobbying. Perhaps the Georgia Senate could vote to redo Senate Resolution 618, and study Snowjam 2014, and bilk the taxpayers one more time. (SR 618 - the completed study and findings of snowjam 2011 were sundowned 12/31/2013. If only we could build paper currency tracks, we could use the hot air from the gold doumb to power the steam engine and to throw the switches. Siemens could build shiny new cars. Ohh...I'm excited.

11 months, 1 week ago on Snow Jam '14: The George Washington Bridge of Dumb

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The answer is........laggard. When the Secretary of Transportation visits..........and his ingress and egress is via bus....well THAT speaks volumes. Read it and weep..... http:lfyre.it/R7BOek.4

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Chris Leinberger: Atlanta region 'absolutely needs rail transit;' question is will you lead or be a laggard?

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Laggard apparently. How could the long range plan to 2040 already be approved by ARC/GRTA without public input from last weeks announced, three regional meetings (Dalton, Atlanta, Valdosta) in re the long term(to 2040) state of Georgia passenger rail plan? I smell a rat, or at the very least, some "strawman" meetings, to placate those of us "in the know" but, unlikely to accept this continuing bamboozlement by the state of Georgia DOT, Intermodal Division. A critical question of Mr. Boxler, it's director, was asked recently - if his department was ready to immediately assume operation of the passenger train services currently being operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? His confused and inexplicable response to me was to curtly hang up(the phone). I'm certain we were problematically disconnected? 

Perhaps far more telling......is that US DOT Secretary Foxx shall transit the South (Atlanta included) later this week, not via Amtrak or business train but via motorcoach, er...bus (follow his tour at (http://1.usa.gov/1hmnLfu).

- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/04/leaders-transportation-plans-show-united-leadership-lack-of-politics-in-projects/#sthash.PZ2zzqHz.dpuf - See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/04/chris-leinberger-atlanta-region-absolutely-needs-rail-transit-will-it-lead-or-be-a-laggard/#sthash.zpUHiAYG.dpuf

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Chris Leinberger: Atlanta region 'absolutely needs rail transit;' question is will you lead or be a laggard?

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Errata :

This cart clearly leads the horse. How could the long range plan to 2040 already be approved by ARC/GRTA without public input from this weeks, just announced, three regional meetings (Dalton, Atlanta, Valdosta) in re the long term(to 2040) state of Georgia passenger rail plan? I smell a rat, or at the very least, some "strawman" meetings, to placate those of us "in the know" but, unlikely to accept this continuing bamboozlement by the state of Georgia DOT, Intermodal Division. A critical question of Mr. Boxler, it's director, was asked recently - if his department was ready to immediately assume operation of the passenger train services currently being operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? His confused and inexplicable response to me was to curtly hang up(the phone). I'm certain we were problematically disconnected? 

Perhaps far more telling......is that US DOT Secretary Foxx shall transit the South (Atlanta included) later this week, not via Amtrak or business train but via motorcoach, er...bus.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Leaders: Transportation plans show united leadership, absence of politics

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This cart clearly leads the horse. How could the long range plan to 2040 already be approved by ARC without public input from this weeks, just announced, three regional meetings (Dalton, Atlanta, Valdosta) in re the long term(to 2040) state of Georgia passenger rail plan? I smell a rat, or at the very least, some "strawman" meetings, to placate those of us "in the know" but, unlikely to accept this continuing bamboozlement by the state of Georgia DOT, Intermodal Division. A critical question of Mr. Boozler, it's director, was asked recently - if his department was ready to immediately assume operation of the passenger train services currently being operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? His confused and inexplicable response to me was to curtly hang up(the phone). I'm certain we were problematically disconnected? 

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Leaders: Transportation plans show united leadership, absence of politics

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Perhaps a seance.... conjuring the spirit and will of one Cornelius Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper's some great Grandfather) might be sufficient.... to interest some railroad company or some future Governor (Carter perhaps? ) to visioneer an intermodal terminal in the "gulch", with some sorts of passenger trains adrift with humanity, hurrying their loads to and fro, such a new "terminal".....Perhaps the just announced April 16, 2014 meeting at ARC offices at 40 Courtland St., at 5:00P announced to seek "input" on the state transportation plan to 2040, might be of interest?

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Passenger trains essential to plans for downtown multimodal terminal station

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A portion of the President's proposed budget is dedicated to "fixing" the nations intercity passenger rail scarcity - see ( www://bit.ly/1eM9kfD ). This might be more logical, given recent headlines re the Malay aero conundrum, and the increasing unease of the traveling public to consider flight as a solution to domestic transportation needs. Unfortunately, as Amtrak remains the only nationwide mandated provider of interstate passenger rail, and has employed in it's prior ranks the likes of Kevin J. O'Conner, late of New Jersey transit transportation debacles, one wonders if this budget move of supporting a monopoly of interstate, intercity passenger rail by Amtrak, is the "best direction" for very scarce federal funds?  

10 months, 1 week ago on Obama budget stiffs Savannah harbor, funds programs used for Atlanta Streetcar, BeltLine

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For the number crunchers amongst us.....(http://bit.ly/1cHZyQN). Build it.........and they'll likely ride it.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Atlanta BeltLine buries Peachtree Streetcar to favor other streetcar lines

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It IS quite clear to most, that the private rail systems which stand to garner profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars from the transport to/from the deepened river port(s) in Savannah(Jasper Cty. S.C.)of TEU's(shipping containers), sould be quite capable of raising necessary funding for requisite  route expansion/modernization needs. To suggest that the industry might need ANY public funding sans an simultaneous outlay/investment to facilitate public, steel wheel on steel rail(read commuter/inter-city) transit, is not recognizing the current political/funding realities extant in Washington. To waste taxpayer dollars on another "study" by a firm which has an extensive history of studying transit proposals "to death", resulting in hardly any real world track construction/train operation heralds that the time for real action has passed, As neighboring states "eat our lunch" on new transportation options, this long overdue implimentation of transit expansion, simply, must occur.    

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Obama budget stiffs Savannah harbor, funds programs used for Atlanta Streetcar, BeltLine

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Mr. Guest...........if we are to believe your post, might one assume that our nation has a new transportation secretary? I recall an Anthony Foxx being approved by the U.S. Senate, and sworn to office. I wonder what Secretary Scott's "position" on Atlanta's transport gridlock might posit?

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Construction delays at Panama Canal could affect Savannah harbor project

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Unfunded mandates aside, is it a case of "out of the cauldron and into the frying pan....er, fire?".......'tis a mighty expansive(and expensive) country out there keeping one House busy........(http://1.usa.gov/XZSqkf)!

11 months ago on Transportation update: GRTA’s acting director, MARTA reorg on hold, Atlanta's transportation planning

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writes_of_weigh 8 minutes ago


Lest we forget......Miami and Orlando are currently a-linking higher speed rail astride H.M. Flagler's, Speedway to America's Playground, the Florida East Coast Railway. FEC Industries, in concert with FECR, and presumably, with a former Florida Governors'(BUSH??) blessing(as he has/recently had a seat on FECI's board) is flying the corporate banner as All Aboard Florida. Barring NIMBYs or other inane obstructionists, intrastate passenger trains will likely ply the route in 2016, possibly late 2015. The state of Virginia, in concert with Norfolk Southern/Amtrak, is eyeing  recently expanded(and highly successful) D.C./Lynchburg service, to connect that to Roanoke(an NS operating "hub", similar to Atlanta). GDOT and Gov. Deal, and would-be Gov. Carter should debate these developments as Georgia sits squarely betwixt and between these routes. Will Georgia's and Atlanta's logistics empire languish with nary a whimper from the pols?

- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/02/snow-jam-2014-reveals-to-the-world-that-metro-atlanta-is-a-divided-region/#sthash.XA5on3zk.dpuf- See more at: http://saportareport.com/blog/2014/01/snow-jam-14-the-george-washington-bridge-of-dumb/#sthash.PvdChh61.dpuf

11 months, 1 week ago on Georgia losing millions by not moving on commuter rail

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