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Mineta Transportation Institute posts high-speed rail workshop videos to YouTube

(Source: Mineta Transportation Institute press release, February 26, 2013)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other experts are featured in "Economic and Social Impacts of High-Speed Rail Systems," a set of seven videos from a day-long workshop on the future of high-speed and intercity passenger rail. Posted by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), each video focuses on one of the day's panel discussions. The workshop was held Sunday, January 13, at the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) annual meeting in Washington DC. The session opened with a presentation by Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, who introduced Secretary LaHood for the keynote address. To view the videos, go to http://transweb.sjsu.edu/MTIportal/events/gallery3.html

TRB's Intercity Passenger Rail Committee and the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) sponsored the workshop, which will included six panel sessions featuring nearly 30 of the world's top experts on high-speed and intercity passenger rail (HSIPR) systems.

Panel discussions covered the current status of high-speed and intercity rail nationally and internationally; the variety of possible public and private funding sources; unique challenges and opportunities; design and operational integration; a discussion of the benefits; and the status of international programs.

In his keynote, Secretary LaHood said that he'd traveled to 15 countries to study their HSR systems, and the one common denominator to its success was the government's commitment. He praised President Barack Obama's vision and the work happening in several parts of the country – particularly in California, where he gave special credit to Governor Jerry Brown, who is committed to the HSR project in his state.

The Secretary also noted the leadership in New York, Connecticut, the Northeast Corridor, and the Mid-west. In only four years, $12 billion have been invested in 152 places in the United States, he said, emphasizing that we should not be derailed by governors who have no vision for the future.

The Secretary said that he has encouraged foreign investment in HSR for America. The only stipulation, he said, was they had to hire American workers and build the equipment here – because the program isn't just about mobility; it's about jobs. He predicted that thousands of jobs would be created in every region of the country.

Other speakers and moderators included Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Karen Hedlund; former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mort Downey; TRB Intercity Passenger Rail Committee Chair David Simpson; APTA CEO Michael Melaniphy; MTI Executive Director Rod Diridon, Sr.; California High-Speed Rail Authority Board Chair Dan Richard and its CEO Jeff Morales; Capitol Corridor JPA Managing Director David Kutrosky; UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux; Midwest HSR Association Chair Rick Harnish; Brazilian Enterprise for Planning and Logistics Director Helio Mauro Franca; Simon Fraser University's Urban Studies Program Director Anthony Perl; Spain's Fundacion Caminos de Hierro Board Chair Eduardo Romo; University of Nevada Las Vegas Professor Dr. Harry Teng.

Also, former Council of Minority Transportation Officials Chair Paul Toliver; Mineta National Transportation Security Center Director Brian Michael Jenkins; Texas Central Railway Company President Robert Eckels; MTI Education Director Peter Haas, PhD; AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Ed Wytkind; Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Investment Development VP Stephen Gardner; the Skancke Company's President and CEO Tom Skancke; Gilbert-Tweed Associates President Stephanie Pinson; Siemens High-Speed Rail Development Director Armin Kick; RATP America Senior Business Development Advisor Stan Feinsod; Amtrak NEC Infrastructure and Investment Development Vice-President Drew Galloway; Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director Patricia Quinn; American Railcar Company President Jolene Molitoris; and Charles Quandel Associates President Charlie Quandel.


MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national redesignation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. Visit transweb.sjsu.edu


The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer, focusing on transportation policy, technology, and management issues, especially as they relate to transit. MNTRC was established in 2011 as part of SAFETEA-LU legislation authorized by Congress. Six of the Consortium's nine university transportation centers were originally authorized under ISTEA in 1991, TEA-21 in 1998, and/or SAFETEA-LU in 2006. The MNTRC has been funded by Congress through the US Department of Transportation's (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), by individual state departments of transportation, and by other public and private grants and donations. The nine Consortium universities include Bowling Green, Detroit Mercy, Grand Valley, Howard University, Penn State, Rutgers, San Jose State, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and University of Toledo. For information, go to transweb.sjsu.edu/mntrc

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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