May 11: Forging A National Rail Plan for America


National Rail Diagram4.JPG Tues, May 11, 2010 at the Capitol Club at Union Station, Washington, D.C. The Federal Railroad Administration is now developing a long-range
national plan for passenger and freight rail. This panel discussion brought together key U.S. stakeholders and a leading
British high-speed
rail advocate to discuss the components of the plan.

Download presentations and audio from the event after the jump.

Forging a National Rail Plan Panel Discussion 

The Panel discussion was moderated by Armando Carbonell, Chairman of the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and included: 

  • Petra Todorovich, Director of America 2050
Presentation (PDF)
  • Karen Rae, Deputy Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
Presentation (PDF)
  • Julie Mills, Director of Greengauge 21, to talk about the UK's HS2 plan
Presentation (PDF)
  • Stephen Gardner, Vice President of Policy and Development, Amtrak
  • Frank Busalacchi, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation 
  • Bruno Maestri, Vice President Government Relations, Norfolk Southern
Presentation (PDF)

Download the Audio

The panel was a joint project of Regional Plan Association and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, with additional funding support from the Rockefeller Foundation.


why do you make it so hard to find the cost of this seminar?

There is no cost -- it's free.

If one of the questions asked during this event is "Should the FRA establish thresholds of population and employment density, transit connections, and existing intercity air or rail markets for different levels of federal investment in passenger and high-speed rail?" Then we in northern New England have a major problem. One of Amtrak's most successful trains "The Downeaster" operating daily between Boston MA and Portland ME since 2001 would not exist. The prevailing model of using population density to predict passenger rail success simply does not take into account that rural users will travel much farther to get to a train. Thus, the service area of the Downeaster is much, much larger than that of service which runs between areas of much higher population density. Somehow this issue needs to be pointed out to the FRA as it seeks to create standards for the proposed National Rail Plan for America.