Planning, Freight, and the Creation of the Northeast Corridor

Since the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Amtrak expansion has become a hot-button topic. Articles in the press have examined proposed new services, discussed the future of high-speed rail, and highlighted ongoing infrastructure projects to expand the nation's passenger network. Yet these stories are as much about great challenges as they are grand plans. … Continue reading Planning, Freight, and the Creation of the Northeast Corridor

Urban Renewal on Rails

When people say the words “urban renewal,” most conjure up images of highways, modernist towers, and parking lots replacing older, disinvested, often minority neighborhoods wholesale in an eventually unsuccessful, frequently racist, and largely harmful effort to maintain the preeminence of the American core city in the age of the car and the mass-produced suburb. Though … Continue reading Urban Renewal on Rails

Los Angeles and the Case for Freight Policy

If you stand looking east in Long Beach’s Golden Park, your eyes will settle on a landscape of congealed globalism. Beyond the languid and thoroughly channelized Los Angeles River rises a skyline of cranes, container ships and freeway ramps thick with trucks. Passing before your eyes in these moments are 40 percent of America’s containerized … Continue reading Los Angeles and the Case for Freight Policy

Efficiency and the Decline of American Freight Railroads

Over the last two years, the crisis of America’s supply chains, the push to expand public passenger rail service, and the urgency of the climate crisis have put America’s freight railroads in the limelight. These corporations own almost all rail infrastructure in the United States — infrastructure which policymakers are increasingly recognizing as critical to … Continue reading Efficiency and the Decline of American Freight Railroads

Maintenance, Process, and the Future of the Off-Peak Subway

Imagine a world where the R train ran every eight minutes on weekends, where express service on the 7 line did not cease during middays, where you could catch a B train in Manhattan late into the night, and where the Saturday Rockaway A train qualified as frequent transit. Sounds nice, right? This fantastical universe … Continue reading Maintenance, Process, and the Future of the Off-Peak Subway

Better Freight Policy

Over the past few months, American policymakers and transportation scholars have been debating a potentially sizable infrastructure package. In urbanist circles, most discussion has centered around the relative quantities of transit and highway funding, ways the transit funding might be spent, and potential associations between infrastructure monies and land use reform. These topics are unequivocally … Continue reading Better Freight Policy

Expanding American Rail Capacity

Updated 2021-04-09 @ 15:32 with new information on San Diego's timetabling efforts. Amtrak recently released a map outlining a $25 billion proposal for expanded passenger rail service in the US. With a focus on improving corridor services, this map would increase Amtrak's focus on the sorts of short and medium-distance markets where well-operated rail services … Continue reading Expanding American Rail Capacity