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Tracks to

A renaissance for rail Alstoms vision for the future

Proposed North American High Speed Rail Corridors

9 3 2 1 11 6 10 5 4
1 California Corridor: Sacramento, Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego 2 Chicago Hub Network: Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville 3 Empire Corridor: Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, Albany, New York City 4 Florida Corridor: Tampa, Orlando, Miami 5 Gulf Coast Corridor: Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Meridian, Birmingham, Atlanta 6 Keystone Corridor: Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia 7 Northeast Corridor: Boston, Providence, New Haven, New York City, Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. 8 Northern New England Corridor: Montreal, Boston, Portland/Auburn 9 Pacic Northwest Corridor: Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Eugene 10 Southeast Corridor: Jacksonville, Savannah, Columbia, Raleigh, Macon, Atlanta, Greenville, Charlotte, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Washington, D.C. 11 Texas T-Bone and Brazos Express Corridor: San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Fort Worth-Dallas, Killeen-Temple, Bryan-College Station, Houston
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

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ALSTOM 2008. ALSTOM, the ALSTOM logo and any alternative versions thereof are trademarks and service marks of ALSTOM. The other names mentioned, registered or not, are the property of their respective companies. The technical and other data contained in these documents is provided for information only. ALSTOM reserves the right to revise or change this data at any time without further notice. 102008 OPI

President of the American Public Transportation Association

A message from William Millar

rom early roads and canals, through the growth of railroads and electric street railways, through the automobile age, and the jet age, transportation systems have always been at the center of American progress. And that progress helped America become the most prosperous society in history.

The need for such a national transportation strategy is a clarion call to public officials at all levels and to Americas business leadership. The need to connect Americas economic centers through fast, efficient and sustainable networks has created the necessity of a high-speed rail system, comparable to the national commitment to create the interstate highway network. In this framework, rail should become the preferred option for trips of 500 miles or fewer, with links to airports for longer distance trips and for international travel. Revitalization and transformation of Americas transportation system will require a bold, comprehensive and aggressive national strategy. It will require all partners federal, state, local and private to sharpen their policy perspectives and financial commitments. It will require a broad coalition of advocacy partners including business, labor, community leaders, environmental champions, and leaders from within the transportation industry itself to commit themselves to accomplish this vision. Economic conditions are right for a new era of growth for urban transport and high-speed rail. Just as transportation policy over the last half century focused on building a system of interstate roads to connect the nation, so should the vision for the next 50 years focus on travel options which connect people and enable prosperity in Americas bustling economic growth centers. I commend Alstom for its vision and leadership, and look forward to our working together in a mutual quest for better transportation service and the economic vitality it will spawn.

But the transportation system today does not provide nearly the mobility options that America will need to face the challenges of the future. While over the last 30 years the number of urban rail systems has grown significantly, America continues to have a relatively small supply of superior urban transport and high-speed rail services that provide efficient mobility for its communities and keep Americas economic centers attractive, productive and connected. With a new era of economic, environmental and transportation policy on the horizon, we know that new innovations in transportation are needed once again to propel the economy forward and shape the nation. Current trends all point to a robust future for urban transport and high-speed rail. With 3-4 million new residents added each year, the United States has one of the highest growth rates in the industrial world. As has been the case throughout American history, population growth follows economic opportunity. This has led to continuing growth in North Americas top metropolitan areas. Economically, these metropolitan regions have become the engines of American prosperity. The geography of these areas will make transit and the optimum use of high-capacity rail corridors a necessity for accommodating growth and addressing mobility needs on a mega-region scale.



The Locomotion Evolution: Spurring Growth and Service

Seven out of every 10 barrels of oil consumed in the United States are used for transportation, and highways account for 72 percent of that large share.

xperts say that fuel efficiency offers the greatest and most immediate potential for reducing CO2 emissions from the transportation sector over the next three decades. According to data from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, existing U.S. passenger rail is 17 percent more efficient than air travel and 21 percent more efficient than auto travel. Today, transportation policy places too much emphasis on those modes of transportation that are the least fuel efficient which means higher carbon emissions and a greater dependence on foreign oil. A strong transportation system depends on various modes of transportation, a balance not reflected in current American transportation policy.

The evolution of rail systems in Europe and the U.S.

In Europe, several factors contributed to the dominance of passenger rail, including high fuel prices in comparison to electric power and a concerted effort to control urban development and preserve the form and function of historic cities. The strong national and regional governments in Western Europe were able to coordinate policies governing land use and the planning that emphasized rail over highways. Urban, regional and inter-city passenger rail has thrived in Europe ever since. Americans were leaders in the introduction of rail solutions as early as the middle of the 19th century. The first transcontinental railroad was built across North America in the 1860s, linking the railroad network of the eastern U.S. with California on the Pacific coast. The railroad had a large impact on the American transportation system and economy during the second half of the 19th century. Even without government subsidies, 70,000 additional miles of track were laid in the 1880s, linking increasing numbers of towns and cities. Passenger rail travel tripled between 1896 and 1916, and trains carried 95 percent of all intercity transportation through 1910.1 Rail travels peak in the U.S. was 1920, with trains carrying 1.2 billion passengers. In that year fares were increased by 20 percent, and the decade saw an almost threefold increase in automobile registrations. As a result, intercity transportation by trains had fallen by 18 percent by 1929.
1 Itzkoff, Donald M. Off the track: the decline of the intercity passenger train in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985

For this reason, some legislators have suggested that Americas transportation policy should focus on more energy efficient modes of transportation that will help achieve todays challenges. Policy makers are too focused on highways and have ignored alternatives including high-speed passenger rail which may be part of the solution to addressing other key policy issues. The most successful implementation of high-speed trains has been in Europe, where the specially engineered tracks required for this technology have been rolled out over the past 25 years. These successes have been the result of consumer demand, fueled by effective government policies and funding to support the vision that rail is a vital alternative to alleviate the gridlock caused by excessive volume of automobiles and trucks on the highways.
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AGV prototype driver car at Aytr depot. La Rochelle, France.



Long-distance rail transport continued with the streamliners that criss-crossed the United States from the 1930s, to 1950s. However, rail passenger transport stagnated in the U.S., just as Europe and Japan were pushing forward with new technologies. One major factor has been a lack of investment in passenger inter-city rail infrastructure. In the Northeast Corridor, rail travel is time and price competitive with air travel, but infrastructure restricts other routes to highway speeds, putting rail in direct competition with buses and private automobiles.

Long-distance travel is currently dominated by airlines, but given continued population growth and congestion at airports and on highways, there has been a resurgence of interest in high-speed rail in the U.S. in recent decades. Several corridors are being examined for potential high-speed service, either at the federal or state level. North America offers various high-density passenger corridors, which are uniquely suited for the implementation of dedicated high-speed rail, which has so successfully been implemented in similar corridors in Europe and Asia.

Alstoms assembly line for R160 cars, Hornell, NY

The largest passenger rail facility in the U.S. Alstoms Hornell, New York facility is the largest passenger rail car manufacturing site in the U.S. with 700,000 square feet. It is the only passenger rail car manufacturing site in North America that has its own climate chamber capable of testing complete passenger rail cars. Since 1983 the Hornell facilities have manufactured and renovated over 6,000 passenger rail cars and locomotives, which is more than any other company in the U.S. Since Alstom acquired the site in July 1997, it has been transformed into a world-class rolling stock and equipment manufacturing facility and it has the agility and potential to address growing market needs in the future. Home to railroad manufacturing since 1851, the Hornell site builds and remanufactures rapid transit metro cars, commuter and intercity coaches, passenger locomotives, as well as AC propulsion, traction motors, electrical rotating equipment and other related electrical components. 6 | ALSTOM | 2008

Customers served include: California Department of Transportation Chicago Transit Authority CTA Chicago Regional Transportation Authority METRA San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit BART Connecticut Department of Transportation Maryland Mass Transit Administration MARC & MTA Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority MBTA Metro-North Commuter Railroad Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority MARTA New York City Transit NYCT New Jersey Transit NJT Northern Virginia Transportation Commission VRE National Railroad Passenger Corporation Amtrak San Francisco Municipal Railway MUNI Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority SEPTA Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority WMATA



World-class signaling capabilities Alstom Signaling, located in Rochester, NY, today is a leading manufacturer and supplier of such key products as switch machines, solid-state electronic relays, interlocking products, signals, track circuits, and advanced trafc control technology, including automated train supervision. Alstom is positioned at the front line of this global market with its ATLAS system, originally developed to address the need for unied signaling systems throughout Europe. This network of links between ground and trains can adapt to any situation and every type of train. Alstom Signaling offers customers not only a wide product range but also a unique ability to integrate its products into entire signaling systems including non-Alstom products. As a proud descendant of its U.S. predecessor, General Railway Signaling, the century-old leader in signaling equipment in the U.S., Alstom Signaling has delivered safe, proven products for more than a century with more than 2,400 patents registered to date. Key customers include all major Class I Railroads and passenger systems including Amtrak, New Yorks MTA, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

TGV duplex train in service.

Engineering Innovations
Policies, public support and available corridors however, are only part of the equation. The other is engineering innovation, which has made high-speed rail technology possible for effectively and efficiently meeting the worlds transportation needs. Over the years, major technological innovations have made high-speed rail sustainable and highly efficient. These technologies include: Articulated trains: When cars are permanently or semi-permanently connected, trains have a fixed composition of coaches, with consecutive cars resting on shared trucks (chassis). This technique reduces train weight per length, a key factor for attaining high speeds at lower weight and reduced energy consumption. A lower center of gravity: Development of highspeed trains with a lower center of gravity which makes them more stable than with traditional rail technologies, especially when traveling at high speeds. A reduced numbers of trucks: Many of the innovations of high-speed trains are in the design and placement of trucks two or more pairs of wheels, their axles and a connecting frame that supports the cars. Conventional train carriages have two trucks per coach, one towards each end. In Alstom high-speed trains, cars are attached to one another semi permanently, with the front end of one car and the back end of the next car resting on a common truck, reducing the number of trucks, thereby reducing weight, noise and energy consumption. Moreover, increased distance between axles in the trucks reduces instability and improves train ride comfort at very high speeds.


Signaling equipment testing at Rochester, NY factory.




Alstoms suburban video surveillance passenger information system.

Advanced signaling systems: The signaling of high-speed lines requires a different approach from conventional railways. The speed of the trains is high enough that the engineer/driver cannot reliably read signals placed at trackside, especially in adverse weather conditions. High-speed train systems rely exclusively on cab signaling, a system by which signaling information is transmitted electronically. These signals are picked up through antennas placed under the train and then processed by computers and displayed to the engineer or driver in the cab. Tilting capabilities: Because a train and its passengers are subjected to centrifugal forces when the train passes horizontal curves, trains with the capability to tilt the carbody inward in track curves reduce the lateral acceleration perceived by passengers. In other words, the tilt inward reduces the centrifugal force felt by the passengers, allowing the train to pass curves at enhanced speed and maintain ride comfort. The duplex passenger platform: On many new duplex (double deck) carriages in high-speed trains, passengers can choose to travel in quiet zen zones or zap areas where business can be conducted and the mood is more social. Conference areas are available for business travelers, and parents with children will be able to play tabletop games or rent DVDs. Passengers also have more room to walk around, talk on their mobile phones, and enjoy more legroom, making train trips not just a means to an end but an end in themselves. Alstom has become the global leader in rail transportation and power technology with a presence in some 70 countries. A full-service company, Alstom provides rolling stock for high-speed rail and commuter transport, signaling systems, maintenance, and custom-designed turnkey operations. All these offerings ensure that Alstom is well-positioned to aid the rebirth of surface transportation in the U.S.

Security and Passenger Information Alstom Transport Montreal is home to the companys Worldwide Center of Excellence for Security and Passenger Information Systems a leader in integrated train information and infotainment systems, including sound and video technologies. Alstom Montreal offers totally integrated and exible IP-based systems that can be tailored to a wide range of public transportation operations. Its systems are also designed to be upgradeable with evolving passenger security and comfort needs, and can be installed globally on both Alstom and non-Alstom rolling stock. A key differentiator for Montreal is its strong team of creative minds from engineers to software architects who use a forward-looking product vision to integrate some of the most innovative and cost-effective information technologies. As a Worldwide Center of Excellence, Montreal benets from Alstoms complete understanding of the whole rail environment from building trains to signaling systems and from control centers to infrastructure.

From soup to nuts Alstom provides turnkey solutions and products and services for all types of systems from very high-speed and intercity rail to urban tram services. Such turnkey solutions include integrated systems optimized to meet requirements for rolling stock, information technologies, infrastructure and maintenance, as well as electrication and power supply. Support services include project management, customer training and technical consultancy. In the case of high-speed rail, safe uninterrupted travel at speeds of up to 225 mph requires excellent compatibility between the infrastructure and the rolling stock. Alstoms turnkey solution for high-speed rail includes complete system design, construction, commissioning, operating and maintaining transport infrastructure and rolling stock. In urban areas, which are demanding clean-running alternatives to car transportation, Alstom helps cities dene the best transport solution to accommodate trafc needs while offering the best operating exibility.


An enviable safety record

Along with the many technological advances, high-speed rail continues to be one of the safest forms of transportation: Alstom has sold more than 650 TGV trains, which have carried nearly 1.5 billion passengers over more than a billion miles all in complete safety.

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A baby girl on the Amtrak Suriner enjoys the view.

During the 40-year history of Shinkansen, the network of high-speed rail lines in Japan, more than six billion passengers have traveled on the service, yet there have been no passenger fatalities. Spanish National Railways Consortia officials affirmed the safety record of high-speed trains in a presentation before the California High Speed Rail Authority in June 2008, noting that they have operated in the same corridors as conventional freight trains, with no accidents for decades.


BNSF freight train carries storage containers.

Meeting current and future demands

Meanwhile, technological innovations are being developed to make train travel even faster and more comfortable, including the upgrade of existing rail beds and tracks in Europe to meet these demands. Work is underway on a third generation, ultra-highspeed AGV or Automotrice Grande Vitesse train, with top speeds of 225 miles per hour. The AGV uses less power than its predecessor, the TGV, and competing products available on the market, due in part to a design that is 60 tons lighter and an optimized and enhanced power regenerating braking solution. The AGV will be put in regular passenger service by 2010.

Keeping them up and running Alstom Transports facility in Chicago/Naperville, IL, conducts comprehensive Train Life Services (TLS) for the US & Canada. This facility is a big part of Alstoms complete range of end-to-end services for both public and private rail network operators, providing global life-cycle management, including maintenance, refurbishment, technical assistance and support, along with documentation management, spare parts and supply chain management. Helping customers with enterprise resource planning that includes condition-based and fragmented maintenance, inventory, and core management, Alstoms TLS in the U.S. and Canada can meet the needs of all customers from finding and installing one part to designing comprehensive solutions that involve all, or any combination, of the Companys core business offerings. Clients include BNSF, Amtrak, and Canadian Pacic Railway Company, among many others.



Building Momentum: The Opportunity

In the 1970s, when Europe began to turn toward high-speed and in-city rail as the foundation of its passenger rail systems, the U.S. and Canada continued to focus on moving people and goods over highways and increasingly, by air. These different approaches were due to many factors, from cultural attitudes to economic and geographical considerations. As a result, while Europe and other regions boast sophisticated high-speed rail networks, the U.S. has a mere 300 miles of medium-speed rail to date while Canada has yet to initiate its first project.

he high cost of fuel in Europe was clearly one factor which motivated this initial investment. However, traffic congestion and environmental concerns have always been additional motivating forces to encourage investments in rail technology worldwide. Momentum truly began to build after the first reliable and convenient rail passenger service was available. These pilot systems showed early signs

of economic success, and set a high standard for passenger expectations of service and convenience.

The challenges of maintaining the status quo

Today the United States transportation system, the largest in the world, is almost entirely responsible for the nations dependence on oil as the major source of energy. The U.S.,

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and Promise

Amtraks Acela service is a promising start for high-speed rail in the U.S.

which has only 4.5 percent of the worlds population, uses 25 percent of the worlds oil. And about 60 percent of the oil used in the U.S. is imported. In addition to a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, the U.S. and Canada have suffered other related consequences, including: A staggering deterioration of the transportation infrastructure. More than one in four American bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. And a third of the countrys major roadways are in a substandard condition a significant factor in a third of the more than 43,000 traffic deaths each year. Donald F. Kettl, director of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania observes, Much of America is held together by Scotch tape, bailing wire and prayers.

And the winner is

Projected travel times between California cities in the year 2020 show how high-speed rail would compare to air travel, automobiles and conventional rail.
Auto City Pairs Air High-Speed Train (Express Times) Total On the Door-to- train Door 2h 35m Total Door-toDoor 3h 30 m

Total On the Door-to- plane Door

Los Angeles 7h 36m to San Francisco Fresno to 4h 18m Los Angeles San Diego to Los Angeles Burbank to San Jose 2h 41m

1h 20m 3h 26m

1h 05m 3h 00m 0h 48m 2h 46m

1h 22m 1h 13m

2h 33m 2h 16m

6h 32m

1h 00m 3h 08m No service

1h 59m 0h 50m

3h 02m 1h 53m

Sacramento 2 h 33m to San Jose

h=hours m=minutes

Source: California High Speed Rail Authority 2008


Aircraft taxiing for take-off at busy US runway.

The overuse and inadequacy of highway and airport facilities to accommodate population growth and increased traffic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 2007 was the second-worst year for airline delays since 1995, and the prospects for 2008 are likely worse. Meanwhile, the U.S. population is projected to be 38 percent higher in 2050 and 95 percent higher in 2100 than it is today. More than the customary incremental improvements in transport infrastructure will be needed to move people efficiently and maintain the growth of the economy. The physical and economic isolation in major parts of the country without public transportation. According to U.S. Census data, 46 percent of American households do not have access to any public transportation. Public transportation must expand geographically to capture shifts in population. On a national scale, those regions experiencing rapid increases in population must have viable public rail transportation to serve local travel demands. A measurable loss of work and fuel productivity. According to the Texas Transportation Institutes 2007 Urban Mobility Report, traffic congestion continues to worsen in all of the 437 American urban areas, creating a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy
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in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel. These figures are the equivalent of 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully loaded supertankers. The 2007 report also points out that congestion causes the average peak period traveler to spend an extra 38 hours a year in traffic, consuming an additional 26 gallons of fuel and spending an additional $710.

The positive consequences of change

Given the negative impact of our dependence on the automobile, truck and airplane to move people and goods, the opportunity to move toward high-speed rail (which also connects with intra- and in-city transit systems) has never been more promising. The notable benefits: preserving the environment and stemming global warming, the potential for improving economic growth and productivity, and greater freedom for individuals and businesses to travel, move goods and do business unimpeded.

Preserving the environment

According to the U.S. Public Research Group, the U.S. transportation sector alone emits more CO2 than the entire economy of any other country in the world except China.


A 2006 report entitled High Speed Rail and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S., written jointly by the Center for Clean Air Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, indicates the potential for reduced emissions if all proposed high speed rail systems in the U.S. are built. If, as the report currently projects for 2025, passengers take 112 million trips on high-speed rail in the U.S., traveling more than 25 billion passenger miles, the total emissions of CO2 would be reduced by 6 billion pounds a year. This would be the result of 29 million fewer automobile trips and nearly 500,000 fewer flights. Individually, if a solo commuter switches from a private vehicle to public transportation, he or she can reduce CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day or more than 4,800 pounds in a year. Environmental advantages are also evident in freight transport. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that for every ton-mile, a typical truck emits three times more nitrogen oxides and particulates than a locomotive. Diverting freight traffic from truck to rail will lead to vast environmental improvements. As the impact of global warming and carbon emissions becomes clearer, the need for systemic changes to reduce our carbon footprint becomes more urgent with each passing year.


Car interior design.

Saving time and money

As noted earlier, congestion is another growing threat to the economic well being of the U.S. and Canada. Transportation congestion and bottlenecks damage air quality, slow commerce, increase energy consumption and threaten quality of life, causing people to waste significant time and money. The use of high-speed rail would reduce such congestion, improve productivity and reduce fuel waste. In fact, the use of public transportation would save the U.S. the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually or more than 11 million gallons of gasoline per day. And, according to a 2007 report by the energy and environmental consulting firm ICF International, households that use public transportation as an alternative to driving save an average of $6,251 every year.

Uncommon Luxury and Convenience Through a combination of modern technology and adequate space and freedom of movement, train travel today is far more relaxing and comfortable than air or highway transport. Alstom Transport is the only rail manufacturer to integrate design capabilities into its organizational structure. In 2005, the Company established the integrated Design & Styling Department to oversee design management and planning for all Alstom Transport passenger rolling stock projects. The departments cross-functional organization is adapted to meet the specic needs of rail transport markets, combining creativity, innovation and identity to create a customized product for each customer. Alstom continuously improves passenger comfort and anticipates future trends, from suspension and air conditioning to acoustic and light comfort. The Companys expertise includes sensorial design, which considers all sensing using touch, color, sound, smell and light to create a feeling of calm and well-being for passengers. During the design phase, special attention is paid to accessibility on trains, especially for people with reduced mobility. Increasing access, installing platform-level oors, eliminating gaps between the platform and the trains all promote ease of access and movement both within and between carriages.


Alstoms V150 train, which set the world speed record.


Whats more, high-speed trains actually shorten point-to-point travel time, particularly between mid-sized cities separated by less than 500 miles, as compared to airline hub-and-spoke transport. This is good news in light of the significant challenges of an aging air traffic control system. If the U.S. adopted new rail services that hit speeds of up to 199 miles per hour, the 260 mile train ride between Chicago and St. Louis would take just over three hours, down from five-and-a-half hours. Imagine traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two-and-a-half hours, without having to arrive at an airport two hours early, as suggested, or having to wait at a baggage claim. Even Amtraks Acela line which runs at speeds up to 150 miles per hour and is closer to high-speed rail than any other service operating in the U.S. has trimmed about a half-hour from the usual four-hour trip from Boston to New York and about 15 minutes from the three-hour ride from New York to Washington.

The world leader in very high speed and high-speed transport #1 in very high speed trains and high speed trains #2 in urban transport market, regional trains, signaling, infrastructure equipment and all associated services Alstom supplies rolling stock, transport infrastructure and signaling, maintenance equipment, and global rail systems. From the very rst TGV* delivered in 1978 to the AGV, the fourth generation of very high speed trains, Alstom has developed a world leading position in this market sector: 70% of all high-speed trains running above 186 mph are manufactured by Alstom. The technological advance of Alstom allowed the company to achieve the world rail speed record at a speed of 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on April 3,2007. The company is number two worldwide in urban transport: one in four metro systems and one of three tramways in the world have rolled off Alstoms production lines.
*TGV is a trademark of the SNCF

Complementing traditional forms of travel

Given the demand for consumer choice in the U.S., the use of high-speed rail systems between major metropolitan areas is not just an alternative to highway travel but a complement to other modes of travel. With the increasing use of passenger rail service, more and more cars will be taken off roads and highways, and airlines will be less crowded, which will ease traffic congestion and airline delays. This will have a particular impact on the short haul or shuttle airline services which are less economical to operate and are most impacted by airport congestion. The Hudson Institutes comprehensive analysis of the U.S. transportation system entitled 2010 and Beyond: A Vision of Americas Transportation Future, put the opportunity in clear terms: Highways, freight rail lines, public transit systems, airlines, and inland waterways can be integrated into a single national transportation system in ways that provide greater safety, economic efficiency, environmental friendliness, and user-friendly mobility for people and goods to an extent that we couldnt even dream about just a few years ago. This would pave the way for transportation to become a smoothly functioning experience whose over-riding goal is to provide superior door-to-door service to the customer.

Global expansion continues High-speed rail service is expanding in many parts of the world. The length of the high-speed rail network will more than double worldwide in the next 10 years, increasing from about 3,900 mi in 2005 to approximately 9,300 mi by 2015. In Europe, the network will expand from 2,300 mi in 2005 to 5,700 mi by 2015, reecting the completion and success of major projects in France, Italy and Spain. In Asia, during the same period, the total length of high-speed lines will grow from 1,600 to 3,900 mi. The main growth is expected in China and later in India where new lines are planned. Even an emerging country like Vietnam is planning to build a high-speed rail system from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City over the next few years, a distance of over 1,000 mi. In the U.S. only one percent of intercity trips are made by rail 90 percent are by automobile, seven percent by air, and two percent by bus. Nevertheless, high-speed rail planning has gained momentum in the U.S. with the success of systems in Europe and Asia, and the launch of Amtraks Acela lines in the Northeast. Eleven federally designated high-speed rail corridors in the U.S. are in the planning stages.
(See map, inside front cover)

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Critical Condition: Challenges to Change


Aerial view of rush hour trafc in San Francisco, California.

At the close of the Carmichael Conference on the Future of American Transportation, in January 2008, attendees from every sector of the industry voiced their concerns in a final conference declaration. The statement said there is a growing crisis in our nations transportation infrastructure and that the crisis can only be reversed by imaginative change backed by sound government policy and investment.

Coalition told the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business that a consensus of analysts believe the industry will have to shrink 20 percent to 22 percent through cuts in capacity a seismic shift already underway. The Coalition identified 150 airports that are at risk of losing commercial air services. Unless something is done to move toward some kind of fix, were going to see every one of our major airlines in bankruptcy, Crandall said recently to the Christian Science Monitor. If that isnt enough of a crisis to alert everybody, then I dont know what it will take, he added.

The need is critical

Former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall, who spoke at the conference, called on federal and state governments to join in making major capital investments to upgrade the rail system tracks, equipment, power and signaling so the country can use both air and rail assets more effectively. These proposals are even more timely in light of enormous setbacks in the airline industry due to the high price of oil. The Business Travel

Leadership needed
While rejuvenating passenger and freight services and infrastructure will be a critical part of the solution, there are no quick or cheap fixes. What is required is a broad vision and leadership at the highest levels of federal and state governments, and improved coordination among these multiple levels.


An assessment of the opportunities and an analysis of best practices in other countries and other fields could foster coordination and increase the likelihood that appropriate high-speed rail systems are built. The participation of decision makers at all levels will also be an instrumental part of the changing dynamics. The conversation can begin with identifying the greatest need and how it can be met most effectively. Several metropolitan corridors are ripe for high-speed rail transportation today, not only because of the demand for transportation, but also because the distances between the cities make high-speed rail a more attractive travel option than air or automobile. These systems can also connect to in-city trams and underground trains, and newly developed hybrid systems, which run at low speeds in town but then convert at the town line into faster moving transports, saving passengers the time and inconvenience of switching trains. According to the 2006 report, High Speed Rail and Gas Emissions in the U.S., prepared jointly by the Center for Clean Air Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, high-speed rail in the U.S. is defined as being time-competitive with air or automobile travel at distances of 100-500 miles. While these corridors represent a large potential market for high-speed rail, the market is largely untapped. Only one percent of U.S. intercity trips are made by rail 90 percent are by automobile, seven percent by air, and two percent by bus. Nevertheless, high-speed rail planning has gained momentum in the U.S. with the success of systems in Europe and Asia, and the launch of Amtraks Acela lines in the Northeast. Most of the 11 federally designated high-speed rail corridors in the U.S., however, are still in the planning stages.

As a result, train weight is relatively higher than that of European rail cars. But heavier trains are slower trains, so if high-speed rail is to become a reality in the U.S., safety regulations must be updated to account for new high-strength materials and engineering technologies used to create lighter yet safer trains. Meanwhile, the lions share of public transportation funding, though inadequate, is directed toward highway construction and maintenance. The spending focus must shift to give the most promising high-speed rail technologies the chance to succeed in these vital transportation corridors.

Public versus private funding?

Determining the appropriate amount of funding to build high-speed and in-city rail raises the critical issue of who ultimately provides the large investment dollars required. The majority of railroads in the U.S. have historically been owned privately, which is a very different approach than the government-sponsored systems found in other parts of the world. Given the penchant for private ownership in the U.S. but the lack of incentives and long-term vision to spur adequate investments the answer may be some kind of public-private hybrid. A public-private consortium was able to successfully overcome a number of obstacles to create the London Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), the United Kingdoms first high-speed line, which runs 68 miles from London to the Channel Tunnel. The journey from London to both Brussels and Paris is now completed entirely on high-speed lines at top commercial speeds of 186 miles per hour. The construction and operations consortium included London and Continental Railways (LCR), National Express Group, British Airways, and the French and Belgian national railways. CTRL was built over a period of almost 10 years, on time and within budget. The new line, opened in two phases, has reduced the London Paris high-speed trip (provided by international operator Eurostar) by 40 minutes, fundamentally altering competition with air travel.

Regulatory and spending issues

Any major shift in transportation investment and policy must also be accompanied by changes in federal and state regulations that address safety and other concerns, and promote progress. Currently, for instance, rolling stock in the U.S. is required to be constructed with steel (rather than lighter aluminum or composite materials).
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With the inclusion of several new stations, the project also helped to regenerate several areas east of London and, though not anticipated, contributed to Londons successful bid for the 2012 Olympics by providing high-speed connectivity from the Olympic park to central London (in seven minutes) and to Paris and the European continent. To support these ventures, companies like Alstom provide turnkey solutions and products, including comprehensive, integrated systems designed to meet specific requirements for rolling stock, information systems, infrastructure and maintenance, as well as electrification and power supply.
Reducing greenhouse gases According to projections for 2025, passengers could take 112 million trips on high-speed rail in the U.S., traveling more than 25 billion passenger miles. As a result, total emissions of CO2 would be reduced by 6 billion pounds a year, due to 29 million fewer automobile trips and nearly 500,000 fewer ights. If a solo commuter switches from a private vehicle to public transportation, he or she can reduce CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day or more than 4,800 pounds in a year. In freight transport, the U.S. EPA estimates that for every ton-mile, a typical truck emits three times more nitrogen oxides and particulates than a locomotive. Meanwhile, Alstom is doing its part by integrating environmental concerns in the design of its trains. For example, Alstom has reduced the volume and energy consumption of its trains by 10-15% by using lightweight composite materials and improving the efciency of various systems and architecture. The Company is also improving the recyclability of its trains by choosing reusable materials like steel, aluminum and copper as it conducts research into the use of biomaterials derived from renewable sources.

A new beginning
Examples of public-private hybrid systems may be formulating in places like California, where proposals are on the table to fund high-speed rail and related improvements. To help offset the high price tag of such investments during a time of belt tightening, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (HR 6003). If passed by the Senate and made law, the bill would provide $14.4 billion over five years to match state costs. Meanwhile, the potential for private investment is promising. According to a May 15, 2008 article in The Fresno Bee, the main reason is that the high-speed system pencils out as a money-maker, as has been the case in other nations that are far ahead of the United States in this area. Projections of annual revenue for the (California) system by 2030 range from $2.6 billion to $3.9 billion. Thats a pretty large and attractive pie. And with high gas prices, degraded air quality and increasing congestion at airports and on highways, the article concludes, high-speed rail just makes too much sense for Californians.

United States Intercity Trips

Automobile: 90%

Air: 7% Bus: 2% Rail: 1%

Political action
As California and other states try to overcome investment hurdles to implement high-speed rail programs, national and state political action groups



continue backing rail reform. From the Arizona Rail Passenger Association to the Wisconsin Association of Rail Passengers, most states have advocacy groups working and lobbying on the ground. These organizations include: Chicago Metropolis 2020 (a business based civic organization): the shared transit investment by Chicago area taxpayers will be generously rewarded by the boost to the regions economy. The investments are for the transit system, but the benefits are for the entire economy and everyone who lives here. Investing in transit is too good a deal for us to pass up. George A. Ranney, Jr., President and CEO. The Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation (non-profit): Were trying to generate interest among people in the corridor for the idea by looking at the people who opposed it before and trying to get them to address their concerns to get them onboard. Robert Eckels, Chairman. American Public Transportation Association: Traveling by public transportation uses less energy and produces less pollution than comparable travel in private vehicles. To make progress in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and impacting climate change, public transportation must be part of the solution. APTA website. These advocates, as well as the troubling headlines on the economy and environment, are driving the momentum. The official statement issued at the close of the Carmichael Conference sums up the call for creative action: The American people need rational choices when it comes to transportation, and those choices must be adequately and intelligently funded and maintained to make it all work. In particular, an efficient transportation system and robust rail, air, coastal/riverine, port, and highway components will sharply reduce both our dependence on foreign oil, and the high price we pay for it. Highly fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly transportation modes, such as rail, should especially not be overlooked. few national issues offer a greater opportunity for imaginative change.

Alstom Citadis arriving in downtown Bordeaux station, France.

Street car (trams) service, once abandoned, is now a marvel Alstoms Citadis trams combine standardized components with customization of interior and exterior designs to meet each citys requirements for aesthetics, styling, comfort, train length and accessibility making each tram a distinct artistic representation of the city it operates in. And, because these trams use clean energy and can transport the same number of people as three buses or 50 cars, Citadis systems are a viable solution to urban pollution and congestion. Already in service in 28 cities around the globe, Citadis trains are sparking a public transportation renaissance. One city that has been a part of the revolution in public transportation is the Alsatian city of Strasbourg. Strasbourg had an established public transport system dating back to the mid-19th century; by 1894 it was electried and had grown to nearly 160 miles of coverage. But, like similar installations in America, the system was abandoned 70 years later with the rise of automobiles and trucks. The service was reintroduced in 1994, however, as a result of new demands and changes in city policy, planning and investment. It has grown to become one of the largest tram networks anywhere, thanks to Alstoms Citadis trams, which were added in 2005. This complex system will go international in 2010 when it is extended to Germany.

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Final Word

A message from Robert Crandall

am delighted to have been invited to add my voice to others in calling for new energy and transportation policies in the United States. For many years, including while I had the privilege of serving as Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines, I have been concerned about the absence of long-term transportation and energy planning in our country. As Joe Klein observed in his recent and excellent book Politics Lost, we have been living in a period during which the very notion of planning, especially planning for the common good, seems vaguely socialist.

The myopia of our public officials, and the absence of sensible energy and transportation policies, has been recently highlighted by our Secretary of Transportation. She has proposed peak period pricing at U.S. airports, which would do nothing but add still another surcharge to airlines fares which are already discouraging travel. Additionally, as miles driven in the United States have declined in response to higher gasoline prices and fuel tax receipts intended to fund highway repair and mass transit have fallen short of expectations, she has suggested that the highway fund be permitted to borrow from the already inadequate mass transit account. While we must certainly maintain our highways, and if necessary should raise gasoline taxes to do so a step which would both provide maintenance funding and further reduce miles driven we need to spend more, not less, on mass transit and high-speed rail systems. Simultaneously, we need to mount a broad based effort to tap every source of alternative energy wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal while mounting an equally ambitious effort to restructure our transportation system to optimize our use of increasingly scarce and costly liquid transportation fuel.

During these years, our airline system has crumbled under the weight of government policies seemingly designed to encourage destructive competition in pursuit of the lowest possible airfares. Meanwhile, passenger rail has atrophied and our highway system has deteriorated. It has been clear for many years that a country with less than 5 percent of the worlds population cannot continue to consume 25 percent of the world oil and that if we are to sustain anything resembling our present standard of living, we must do things much differently than we have in the recent past. Among the many things we must do is build a viable rail system, which should displace planes wherever possible on journeys of less than 500 miles, integrate with our airline system to facilitate longer journeys, and free scarce aviation resources to provide more frequent and convenient long flights.