Archive for Train
www.latimes.com 10th December 2010
The US government’s hopes of creating a nationwide railway network have been dented following Ohio and Wisconsin’s attempts to spend state funding on the project elsewhere. The Republican governors of the two states turned down the $1.2 billion dollars to develop a high-speed railway system and instead asked the government whether the money could be spent on other proposals. Their request was denied by US Secretary of Transport Ray LaHood and the funds have been promised to remaining 11 states which still plan to go ahead with the project. California received the largest portion of this distribution bringing the total pledged for its bullet train network to $5.5 billion (of which $3.18 billion is from the national government). Work on the line is expected to begin in 2012 with the California state rail board approving the construction of the first segment between Corcoran and Borden. Trains should be able to travel up to 220mph along a 520 mile route when completed. Some observers have suggested that government funds may not make it to California though as a growing body of politicians, all Republicans, want to rein back government spending to tackle the $1.3 trillion federal deficit.
www.telegraph.co.uk 14th November 2010
The government’s proposal to build a high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London, called HS2, has caused widespread complaints from the people living in the path of the development. The trains would thunder through the countryside at up to 250mph. The idea was dreamt up by the Labour government but has been supported by the Lib-Con Coalition. However, the proposed route runs straight through the Tory heartland receiving widespread condemnation from MPs, residents, and over 60 action groups. Even the speaker of the House, John Bercow, has voiced his disapproval. If the project is given the go ahead, construction would not start until 2015 with the first leg completed around 2025. Further routes to Manchester and Leeds would follow at a cost of around £30 billion. Supporters of HS2 have claimed that the line will create thousands of construction jobs and economic benefits for the communities affected but, due to the high speeds involved, it is highly unlikely the trains will stop many times along their route. Furthermore, as the track needs to be as straight as possible, more intrusive development methods will be used including high viaducts, deep cuttings, and long tunnels. The proposed plans have already had an effect on the housing market in the region.
www.telegraph.co.uk 24th September 2010
Seven elephants have been killed while trying to free two calves trapped on a train track in the northern district of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal state, India. The adult elephants gathered around their young to protect them when a goods train hit them. It had been travelling at a speed of 43 mph when the speed limit was 24 mph. According to Atanu Raha, West Bengal’s chief forest conservator, five of the herd died straight away while another two passed away from their wounds shortly after. Traffic was postponed overnight and the remains of the herd were still at the scene in the morning watching over their dead and injured. The seven deaths bring the total amount of elephant’s killed in the region 20 in a little over a year although elephants are now given the same protection as tigers in the country. Hundreds of people have staged a protest over the deaths and the an official complaint has been submitted to the police. Elephants are considered sacred in Hinduism. There are around 25,000 left in India.