Happening Now

Hotline #702

January 3, 1992

A final reminder to those who wish to run for the NARP board of directors. Your 75-words-or-less candidate statement must be postmarked no later than January 4 and sent to our office or faxed to us by January 6.

America's eight Class I railroads have filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Guilford in the Montrealer Supreme Court case. They are afraid that if Amtrak wins this case, Amtrak could condemn other rail lines not maintained to acceptable standards. With ICC approval, Amtrak bought a Guilford line in Vermont in 1988 and then sold it to the Central Vermont Railway. Montrealerservice was restored in 1989 after extensive track repairs. Oral arguments will be heard January 13.

Amtrak will expand Custom Class service to the Hoosier State and Ann Rutledge beginning January 6.

A lease on the Michigan Central Depot property that expires at the end of the month still has not been extended by the owner and the City of Detroit. The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers is suggesting two sites for a new station in Detroit's New Center area, an attractive development area near Woodward Ave. If the least is not extended, Detroit-line Amtrak service could be cut back to Dearborn temporarily. Another option would be extending the corridor to Birmingham or Pontiac.

The Alabama Association of Railroad Passengers reports that a test train will operate between Birmingham and Huntsville, possibly on January 14.

Greyhound is now showing interest in an intermodal facility planned for Sacramento. But for the next few years, it will remain at its present downtown location. It canceled earlier plans to build a new terminal on the edge of town.

A private concern, Railroad Management Services of Claymont, Del., is considering starting its own passenger service between Wilmington and Dover, using RDC's from Canada, according to the Wilmington News Journal.

A deal cut with Republican leaders of the New York State Senate will limit a New York City bus and subway fare increase to $1.25, instead of $1.40. The Transit Authority also plans to introduce a new token design, with a life span of about five years, by which time the system should be converted to magnetic-strip cars, such as those used in Washington.

Sometime this month, a site will be selected for a third Chicago-area airport. A lengthy Washington Post article described the choices yesterday, but failed to state that a rail alternative even existed.

The Arizona Rail Passenger Association will dedicate the clock it donated to the Phoenix Union Station at 9:00 am on January 11.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers will hold a ceremony in Richmond, Va., on February 2 to honor the opening on that date in 1888 of Richmond's electric streetcar system. Though there were other early electric technologies, the Richmond system as developed by Frank Sprague was the prototype of streetcar and light-rail systems around the world. Richmond's system was abandoned in 1949.

Check your local TV listings this month for an hour-long, prime-time documentary in the "Lunchbox Heroes" series, on the Indian guides who ride Amtrak's Southwest Chief between Albuquerque and Gallup. It will be shown on all Group W and NBC-owned and operated stations and others covering 85% of the country. Some air dates include New York, Washington, and Chicago on January 25 at 7:00 pm Eastern; Los Angeles on January 28 at 9:00 pm Pacific.