Author Archive | Mike Hicks

Amtrak Partners with Amazon to Reduce Traveler Delay

In order to combat continuing delays being experienced on congested freight networks along the Empire Builder line, Amtrak has announced the immediate availability of a new transportation service along the corridor from the Pacific Northwest to Chicago, developed under a “skunk works” joint venture with Amazon.com.  The new service, Point-to-Point Person-in-Package PrimeAir Program (P2P PiP […]

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Density and the transit puzzle

How would you choose a route for a transit line? It’s a difficult task, particularly in a region as big as the Twin Cities. Developed land stretches out for miles and miles before finally tapering off into farmland or patches of wilderness. Some parts of the region have natural geographic constraints due to rivers and […]

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Amtrak versus the shutdown

A rail crew replaces a switch on October 4th in preparation for reconnecting the Saint Paul Union Depot to allow Amtrak service. Amtrak, the National Passenger Railroad Corporation, could cease to be a “national” network if the federal government shutdown drags on. The company has said that it can ride out a short-term shutdown, on […]

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A rail identity crisis in Minneapolis

This is what the region’s planned light-rail system looks like if you cut it off at the city limits of Minneapolis. It includes the Hiawatha, Central, Southwest, and Bottineau lines. While the first two largely stick to arterial corridors, Southwest (the planned Central/Green Line extension) and Bottineau (the Hiawatha/Blue Line extension) go as quickly as […]

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