Report on Rail Users Network Boston Conference

Reporting to the rail group, I thinkwas the only Rhode Islander at the excellent Rail Users Network (RUN) Boston conference last Friday.  Speakers/panelists included FTA Planner Noah Berger (with whom I indicated concerns over the proposed $400 million busway to nowhere RIDOT promotes), MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola (who discussed both short and long-term MBTA planning), local Keolis head Gerard Francis (commuter rail), Astrid Glynn from MassDOT (talked with the last 2 about MBTA-RIPTA fare coordination), Amtrak's Rina Cutler who does their major train station planning, a panel on the north-south rail link (including Mike Dukakis who had some harsh words for Reagan, praise for Weld who is now supportive) that had a detailed argument for its support, another panel of community activists seeking some kind of rapid transit on the Fairmount line and the Somerville Green Line extension.

Among other questions, I asked about commuter rail electrification, which is mandated for any south coast commuter rail to Fall River/New Bedford, needed for the north-south rail link, sought by Fairmont activists, and on the long-term MBTA wish list.  I think we should say something about it in commenting on our 10 year TIP hearing.

Barry Schiller

May 3rd Membership Meeting

 The next meeting of the Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers will be held on May 3, 2016 at Kingston Railroad Station starting at 7:00 PM. While it should be light out at that time, you might want to arrive early so you can view the progress being made on the high level platforms and third track.