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Keyword: richardsonsrailroad

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  • New Mexico’s commuter rail line faces financial burdens (Richardson's railroad: Expensive legacy)

    05/08/2015 1:13:10 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 36 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | May 7, 2015 | Vik Jolly , AP
    When launched in 2006, a New Mexico commuter rail line that would connect Albuquerque and Santa Fe was hailed by supporters as a progressive step toward taking people out of cars and putting them on the train. But as impressive a feat as it was for a poor state’s huge foray into mass public transit, it comes at a price: The train earned $2.8 million last fiscal year in fares from more than a million riders but cost $28.4 million to operate. And even bigger amounts of red ink are looming over the horizon. Now the question of whether the...
  • Editorial: Rail Runner Tax Idea Should Fuel Discussion (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    02/07/2012 10:31:14 AM PST · by CedarDave · 9 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | February 4, 2012 | Journal Editorial Staff
    Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, has proposed legislation that would tax residents of the counties the New Mexico Rail Runner Express chugs through. That’s because the train chugs through money much faster than it chugs from Belen to Santa Fe. In fact, it takes $23.4 million to operate the train annually, plus there’s $843.3 million in capital and financing costs the state owes through 2027. The folks Muñoz calls train “users” already pay an additional $13 million in sales taxes annually to help finance the train, and only $3.2 million comes in to the fare box each year. So with $5.4...
  • Rail Runner: Go big or go lean? (NM-Richardson's Railroad, bleeding rivers of red-ink)

    08/17/2011 7:42:08 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 32 replies
    KRQE News 13 Albuquerque ^ | August 16, 2011 | Dean Staley
    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico’s commuter train is in dire need of grand ideas if it is to financially survive, according to one of the train’s supporters. But Gov. Susana Martinez is wary of expensive, unfunded plans and believes the state needs to take a long, hard look at the 5-year-old Rail Runner Express to find a way lessen the financial bloodletting. “It’s craziness,” said Keith Gardner, Martinez’s chief of staff. “This is not the way the state should be run.” Martinez views the train as a financial boondoggle perpetrated by former Gov. Bill Richardson, he said. “We need to...
  • Weekend Rail Runner Service Preserved - for now (NM - Richardson's Railroad)

    07/15/2011 7:22:37 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 17 replies
    Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | July 15, 2011 | Julie Ann Grimm
    ALBUQUERQUE - It appears that weekend train service on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express won't get the axe this summer after all. Officials with the Rio Metro Regional Transit District today directed staff to go back to the drawing board and find another way to make up an estimated $1.2 million shortfall in the train budget for the current fiscal year. Members voted to consolidate late-night southbound trains on weekdays, replace the earliest northbound trains with a bus, and other schedule changes they estimate will save $1.4 million in operating costs. "If we are ever going to make this...
  • Rail Runner Faces Hidden Costs (NM - Richardson's Railroad fast running to a fiscal red light)

    07/11/2011 6:08:51 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 28 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | July 9, 2011 | Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter
    Add it to the bill. Just as weekend Rail Runner service to Santa Fe is set to end due to financial woes, it turns out the state needs to shell out an additional $16 million for track and system maintenance. That’s on top of the projected $25 million in yearly maintenance and operational costs – before the weekend service cuts – that have already created a budget crunch for the Belen-to-Santa Fe operation. The train has about 4,500 weekday boardings going one way and is expected to generate about $3.2 million in fares. Records reviewed by the Journal show an...
  • Rail Runner a Fiscal Challenge (NM-Looking for ways to save Richardson's Railroad)

    07/05/2011 4:51:56 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 18 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | July 3, 2011 | Larry Abraham, Vice-Chair, Rio Metro Regional Transit District board
    As vice chairman of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District board, and the member who made the motion to end weekend service, I feel a certain responsibility to bring to light the facts we are facing. ... the bottom line is that all the citizens of New Mexico are carrying the $1.3 billion financial burden of the Rail Runner. ... the train is serving approximately 2,250 individuals per weekday. The Rail Runner is facing a $1.2 million deficit in fiscal 2012, which begins July 1 of this year. We faced a similar financial crisis in late 2009. Gov. Richardson directed...
  • Fiscal Train Wreck (NM-Richardson's Railroad Runs deeply into the Red)

    07/05/2011 11:02:22 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 25 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | July 3, 2011 | Olivier Uyttebrouck
    New Mexico’s Rail Runner Express could be on track for a fiscal train wreck. ... the need to address a projected $1.2 million shortfall in the train’s operating budget for the fiscal year that began Friday, was behind the controversial decision to discontinue weekend service. Los Ranchos Mayor Larry Abraham, vice chairman of the railroad’s governing board, said the move was a wake-up call about a looming financial crisis ... Abraham also did some math in an op-ed piece he submitted to the Journal. Using current revenue, operation expense and debt service, he calculates the Rail Runner will have cost...
  • Rail Runner dropping weekend trains (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    06/17/2011 6:04:20 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 14 replies
    KRQE News 13, Albuquerque ^ | June 17, 2011 | KRQE
    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Rio Metro board of directors voted Friday to eliminate weekend Rail Runner Express commuter trains in August. The board, trying to balance its budget for next fiscal year, cited the loss of $1.2 million in federal funding.
  • Funds loss might trim Rail Runner service (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    06/15/2011 12:33:30 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 9 replies
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | June 13, 2011 | Trip Jennings
    The Rail Runner Express is considering curtailing weekday train service to save money. Changes could force early birds to take a bus instead of a train between metropolitan Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and eliminate some stops at the year-old Kewa Pueblo station, if one proposal is adopted. The loss of $1.2 million in federal funding prompted the Mid-Region Council of Governments, which operates the Rail Runner for the state of New Mexico, to rethink the passenger train schedule, spokesman Jay Faught said. Among the proposals, he said, are to use bus service to replace the earliest northbound and southbound trains...
  • Track Deal Derailed (NM-Richardsons Railroad

    04/29/2011 7:42:51 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 5 replies
    No deal. That's the decision from the state Department of Transportation, which notified BNSF Railway Co. this week that the state was terminating an agreement to buy 182 miles of unneeded northern New Mexico train track. And Gov. Susana Martinez wants a $2.35 million refund. In 2008, the administration of former Gov. Bill Richardson paid nearly $5 million for the track from Lamy, N.M., to the Colorado border. The segment is used only by Amtrak for twice-daily passenger service. BNSF stopped its freight service there several years ago. The unneeded segment was part of a package deal that enabled the...
  • Rail Runner Express ridership dips (NM - Richardson's Railroad doing poorly.

    01/14/2011 11:26:47 AM PST · by CedarDave · 14 replies
    Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | January 13, 2011 | Kate Nash
    Fewer riders took the Rail Runner Express in the last quarter of 2010, in part because there were fewer trains to take after Saturday service was reduced. New numbers show passengers in the last quarter of 2010 took 268,793 trips, compared with 301,386 in the fourth quarter of 2009. "(The difference) is almost entirely explained by our loss of ridership on the weekends," said Chris Blewett, the train project manager. October of last year saw a drop of 15.7 percent compared with the previous October, when the train offered a popular special service for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. November...
  • Not so Fast There, Bill... (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    01/06/2011 9:02:41 AM PST · by CedarDave · 7 replies
    American Thinker ^ | December 20, 2010 | Russ Vaughn
    Reading Saunders' article [San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Debra Saunders' article, The Democrats' New Pork: Trains to Nowhere] inspired me to check on the latest developments of our own budget-busting, one-hundred-mile-long boondoggle here in New Mexico, the Rail Runner. Destined to someday be known as Richardson's Folly, this tax-devouring deception was conceived by carpetbagger, Democrat Governor, Bill Richardson, when he still had presidential aspirations and knew that high speed rail was a favored icon of the PC Democrat base and a guaranteed resumé enhancer for a Democrat presidential contender. Rubber-stamped by a compliant, Democrat-controlled New Mexico legislature, the project was designed...
  • Phoenix / Valley Metro Light Rail Report Card: F

    12/20/2010 4:20:41 PM PST · by JerseyHighlander · 9 replies · 1+ views ^ | December 15 2010
    Phoenix / Valley Metro Light Rail Report Card: FDecember 15, 2010, 10:45 am Folks who read this site know I have been critical of Phoenix light rail since well before it was opened.  So often, folks just willfully misinterpret my criticisms.   The actual rail line and its service is pretty nice, and the facilities are quite attractive (lets see what they look like in 10 years though).  If Santa Claus had just delivered the Phoenix light rail system for free to Phoenix, I would be thrilled with it.   But Santa unfortunately was not involved, and instead the rail line was...
  • Legislators Question BNSF Track Deal (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/07/2010 5:19:51 PM PST · by CedarDave · 4 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 7, 2010 | Colleen Heild
    It turns out the state Department of Transportation has already paid $5 million for nearly 200 miles of northern New Mexico train track it has no plans to use, but is resisting taking title to the rail line because of potential environmental problems. That revelation came during a legislative hearing Monday in which DOT officials estimated the cost of routine maintenance on the stretch of train track would cost the state nearly $6 million a year — money that would have to come from the fund the state uses for road repair and maintenance. In addition, DOT officials said Monday...
  • Richardson Deserves Credit for Big Ideas (NM: semi-barf alert)

    12/07/2010 4:48:09 PM PST · by CedarDave · 5 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 7, 2010 | Winthrop Quigley
    Any casual observer can easily see how [NM] state government is structured to prevent things from happening. And that is why, as his eight years in office wind down, I find myself, grudgingly, tipping my hat ever so slightly in the direction of Gov. Bill Richardson. For better and for worse, and, I have little doubt, motivated largely by his desire to be president, Bill Richardson changed a state that is designed to change only rarely. ... Richardson pushed through tax law changes, got the state Constitution amended by popular vote to increase funding for schools, established a Department of...
  • State Ends Up With 200 Miles of Track It Can't Use (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/06/2010 7:47:26 PM PST · by CedarDave · 48 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 5, 2010 | Colleen Heild
    Just as state officials grapple with a huge budget shortfall, here comes a multimillion-dollar bill for 200 miles of railroad track the state of New Mexico has no plans to use. Records show that the state Transportation Commission voted in August to set aside $2 million in next year's budget for capital improvements along the stretch of train track from Lamy to the Colorado border. That's on top of the $5 million the state promised to pay BNSF Railway Co. to purchase that same stretch of track. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Megan Arredondo told the Journal that the additional...
  • 'Surplus' Claim Takes Sanity Off the Rails (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    11/05/2010 5:48:38 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 21 replies
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | November 5, 2010 | ABQJournal Editorial Staff
    Only in government can you run almost entirely on taxpayer money, get not one but two emergency infusions, spend all but $250,000-or-so of your handouts, and have the audacity to claim you have a surplus. If that's the track of reasoning the New Mexico Rail Runner really wants to travel, then officials owe New Mexico consumers a refund. Yes, the commuter train's revenues outpaced expenditures by $254,481 for fiscal 2010 ($22,261,918 vs. $22,007,437).But only $2.927 million of that revenue came from the fare box. A big chunk — $11.95 million — came from a regional sales tax for mass transit....
  • Is the Rail Runner running on empty? (NM - Richardson's Railroad)

    10/08/2010 12:06:04 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 20 replies
    KRQE News 13, Albuquerque ^ | May 26, 2010 | Kim Holland
    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The New Mexico Rail Runner has been chugging through the heart of state for four years. However, it may soon face a financial train wreck. Currently the Rail Runner is supported by state and federal money. In just one year, the federal funds are set to disappear. Currently, fares only cover about 14 percent of the operating costs. BNSF Railway and Amtrak take care of another 7 percent. Voters approved a gross receipts tax in 2008 and that money makes up 54 percent of the operating costs. The state chips in 7 percent and remaining 18 percent...
  • Gov. Candidates talk about Rail Runner: Will they keep the train? (NM - Richardson's Railroad)

    10/08/2010 11:51:03 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 12 replies
    KRQE News 13, Albuquerque ^ | September 24, 2010 | Alex Tomlin
    It's been four years, and like most forms of public transportation, the rail runner isn't paying for itself. The train cost 22-million dollars to operate last fiscal year, and five million of that came from the state. So what will the next governor do about the rail runner? News 13 asked both candidates that question. Republican Governor Candidate Susana Martinez said, “We have to do an economic analysis to see how much is the public willing to pump in to that transportation? Or can we change it in a way that makes it worthwhile?” Democrat Diane Denish sent News 13...
  • Numbers mixed in Rail Runner ridership report (NM-Richardon's Railroad)

    10/07/2010 5:44:53 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 5 replies
    Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | July 08, 2010 | Kate Nash
    Riders took 45,207 fewer one-way trips on the Rail Runner Express in the second quarter of this year compared to April, May and June of last year, new figures show. At the same time, the fiscal year that ended June 30 was the most successful for the commuter train. The second-quarter numbers are the first true comparison of riders during a time in which free rides were not offered. For much of the first quarter of 2009, Santa Fe residents rode without paying. Between the second quarter of last year and the second quarter of this year, one-way ridership dropped...
  • Rail Runner ridership down from 2009 (-11.2% Richardson's Railroad)

    10/07/2010 5:27:05 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 15 replies
    KRQE News 13, Albuquerque ^ | October 4, 2010 | Jim Winchester
    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Ridership on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express is down over 10 percent from this time a year ago. But those in charge of the commuter train aren't overly concerned. There were 41,176 fewer riders from July through September of 2010 than there were during the same time a year ago. Rail Runner officials said the decline can be attributed to a drop off in weekend ridership, not weekday commuters.
  • Riders, Businesses Agree Train's Tops (NM - Richardson's RR, taxpayers pay 91% of operation)

    12/17/2009 2:14:07 PM PST · by CedarDave · 20 replies · 778+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 17, 2009 | Phil Parker
    It's birthday time for the Rail Runner Express commuter rail service — today marks the first anniversary of the train's service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Officials say that since the Santa Fe service started, the train has carried 1,372,000 passengers, a daily average of about 4,400. But fares still don't account for much of the Rail Runner's operating budget. Rail Runner spokeswoman Augusta Meyers said out of last fiscal year's $21 million operating budget for the train, about $1.9 million came from ticket sales. Most of the money, about $17 million, was from the federal government's Congestion Mitigation and...
  • Rail Runner To Reach 2 Million Rider Mark This Week (NM Richardson's Railroad)

    06/02/2009 11:31:22 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 16 replies · 983+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | June 2, 2009 | AP
    The New Mexico Rail Runner is about to celebrate another milestone — 2 million riders in less than three years of service. ~~snip~~ Officials say the Rail Runner ... currently carries an average of about 4,500 commuters a day between Belen and Santa Fe.
  • Senate Approves Police for Train (NM - Richardson's Railroad)

    03/01/2009 3:15:55 PM PST · by CedarDave · 7 replies · 486+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | March 1, 2009 | Jeff Jones
    The Rail Runner Express commuter train service would get a police force of its own under a bill approved Saturday by the state Senate. The measure from Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, would authorize the Rail Runner transit districts to hire law officers who would patrol rail-line stations, parking areas and at least some of the commuter trains that roll six days a week between Belen and Santa Fe. The certified, armed train officers would wear distinctive badges and uniforms and "have the powers of peace officers on all property, tracks, rights of way, easements, vehicles, buses, vans, railcars, locomotives and...
  • Ride the Rail with Dan Mayfield (NM - Richardson's Railroad)

    03/01/2009 2:51:13 PM PST · by CedarDave · 5 replies · 433+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | February 9, 2009 | Dan Mayfield
    ABQ Journal video: Ride the Rail Runner with Dan Mayfield(Works only in my IE Browser, not Firefox version 2)
  • House seeks studies of commuter rail expansion (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    03/01/2009 9:53:16 AM PST · by george76 · 21 replies · 767+ views
    Associated Press ^ | 02/26/2009
    The House approved non-binding measures Thursday requesting the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of extending commuter rail from Santa Fe to Taos and from Santa Fe to Las Vegas and Raton. Also endorsed was a non-binding measure for a feasibility study of establishing commuter rail service between El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, the second largest city in the state.
  • Cows No Match for Rail Runner (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    02/03/2009 9:33:56 AM PST · by CedarDave · 6 replies · 612+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | February 3, 2009 | Lloyd Jojola
    Three-thousand-six-hundred horse power beats one cow power any day, to which Rail Runner Express locomotive engineers can attest. Because since the state's commuter train started running to Santa Fe in mid-December, at least five track-crossing cows have been bumped off by the rail carrier in that corridor. And, while train overseers and interested landowners like Santo Domingo Pueblo have forged an agreement to buffer the beef, the issue probably won't meander away. "It's likely not ever going to stop completely because — I don't know if you've ever dealt with cows. When they have a desire to do something, a...
  • Car break-ins spike at Rail Runner station (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    01/29/2009 8:26:30 AM PST · by CedarDave · 33 replies · 648+ views
    KOB-TV4, Albuquerque ^ | Janurary 29, 2009 | Eric Kahnert, KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas,
    The Rail Runner route to Santa Fe has been convenient for commuters, but it has also been convenient for thieves. Crooks have been targeting cars parked at the Rail Runner's Los Ranchos Station ever since the train began commuting to Santa Fe last month. "Since the Rail Runner started continuing service to Santa Fe, we've had four or five break-ins in this particular station and one vehicle theft," said Detective Bill Webb.
  • Rail Runner Ridership Down (NM- No surprise with Richardson's Railroad)

    01/27/2009 6:07:35 PM PST · by CedarDave · 12 replies · 583+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | January 27, 2009 | Lloyd Jojola
    Weekday Rail Runner ridership has dipped by about 1,000 a day since Jan. 5 — the post-holiday season — but operators say a true gauge of daily use probably won't emerge for some time. Daily passenger boarding numbers provided by the Mid-Region Council of Governments also show, as might be expected, that the stations at Downtown Albuquerque, Los Ranchos/Journal Center, Sandoval County/U.S. 550 and the two in Santa Fe are the most used. The numbers also show that on weekdays this month, there are close to 90 bicycle boardings a day. With the Santa Fe leg of service opening Dec....
  • Rail Runner warns of taking pictures on pueblos (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    01/22/2009 5:55:58 PM PST · by CedarDave · 27 replies · 1,276+ views
    KOB-TV4, Albuquerque ^ | January 22, 2009 | Jeff Maher and Joshua Panas
    Taking pictures on most pueblos has been prohibited for decades. And that has prompted Rail Runner officials to ask its riders turn off their cameras on pueblo land. The train conductor lets riders know to put their cameras away on Santo Domingo and San Felipe land. Rail Runner officials say the pueblos made that request. The Isleta and Sandia pueblos have not asked the conductor to have riders put away their cameras. "I think it goes back years and years ago when a lot of folks from other parts of the country would come in and take photos of the...
  • Rail Runner Approves Year-round Saturday Service (NM- Richardson's Railroad)

    01/14/2009 10:35:11 PM PST · by CedarDave · 7 replies · 337+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | January 07, 2009 | AP
    The state's commuter train will run between Rio Grande Valley communities around Albuquerque to Santa Fe on Saturdays. The Rail Runner operated — with free fares — for three Saturdays and Sundays over the holiday period after service to Santa Fe was inaugurated Dec. 17. More than 60,000 people have boarded the train between Belen and Santa Fe since service to the capital city began, Rail Runner officials said. Voters in parts of New Mexico approved a tax in November to help fund Rail Runner operations. But that tax doesn't go into effect until July 1.
  • Company Sues Over the Rail Runner Name (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    01/14/2009 6:26:59 PM PST · by CedarDave · 18 replies · 794+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | January 14, 2009 | Lloyd Jojola
    A Massachusetts-based company has sued to stop the state Department of Transportation and the Mid-Region Council of Governments from using the “Rail Runner” name, which it uses for the state-owned commuter train, and for damages related to "trademark infringement."
  • Leaving Emperor Bill’s realm [exposé of New Mexico's Bill Richardson]

    01/12/2009 2:26:47 PM PST · by NewJerseyJoe · 12 replies · 1,004+ views
    The New Mexico Independent ^ | 1/12/09 | John Dendahl
    Moving away from New Mexico in early 2007 was neither easy nor fun. The state calls itself “Land of Enchantment,” an apt description in many ways. The lovely city of Santa Fe had been my family’s home for about 130 years. I am among the third of four Dendahl generations born in Santa Fe and had spent most of my 68 years there. However, perhaps hearkening to the echo of Ayn Rand’s fictional hero John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, my wife and I decided to leave. New Mexico has long carried a rap for political malodor on account of corruption...
  • Another Rail Runner Record (NM-Free rides on Richardson's Railroad)

    01/05/2009 8:02:49 AM PST · by CedarDave · 6 replies · 939+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | January 5, 2009 | Journal Staff Report
    Another week, another record broken. The Rail Runner gave more than 12,000 people a lift Saturday, breaking the single day ridership records for the second time in two weeks, Mid-Region Council of Governments spokeswoman Augusta Meyers said Sunday. MRCOG operates the Rail Runner. But the record-setting days ought to be over by today, Rail Runner officials have said, now that trains won't offer any more free rides.
  • Delays force agency to add train for Sunday service to Santa Fe (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/22/2008 7:41:24 AM PST · by CedarDave · 7 replies · 339+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 22, 2008 | Sean Olson
    It was standing room only on the Rail Runner to Santa Fe on Sunday — and that was for those lucky enough to get on the train. Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments Executive Director Lawrence Rael said a crowd of "well over" 5,000 people riding the new train service caused delays of 30-45 minutes. Some people had to wait for later trains as the Rail Runner filled up before all the waiting passengers could board at some stations, he said. "It's a good problem to have, to have so many people riding the train," Rael said. But "we're concerned...
  • Delays, problems disillusion Rail Runner riders (NM-Richardson's railroad, some opt for cars)

    12/19/2008 4:22:09 PM PST · by CedarDave · 14 replies · 806+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | December 19, 2008 | Julie Ann Grimm
    Delayed trains and other issues discouraged passengers, and traffic signals continued to puzzle drivers in Santa Fe on the second day of New Mexico Rail Runner Express service to the city. Malfunctioning track-side signals slowed down trains Thursday morning, and that — coupled with delays they experienced the day before — caused some commuters to leave train stations in their cars and use the interstate instead. Among them was Gary Smith, who took a car full of would-be train riders with him. "I was an hour late for work yesterday, ... and I was on the train that hit the...
  • Delays, struck cow mark Rail Runner's first day, but riders optimistic (NM-Richardson's railroad)

    12/18/2008 9:57:47 AM PST · by CedarDave · 27 replies · 1,096+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | December 18, 2007 | Julie Ann Grimm
    A southbound Rail Runner commuter train was halted for about 20 minutes Wednesday night after striking a cow near San Felipe Pueblo , and morning delays from track-signal problems and missed bus connections plagued the commuter train on its first day of service between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Passengers onboard a train that left a station near the state Department of Transportation headquarters about 5:22 p.m. reported the train screeched to a sudden halt at about 6:10 p.m., and emergency lighting came on in passenger cars. The conductor informed passengers over an intercom that the crew was investigating what the...
  • Delays mark commuter train service debut (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/17/2008 10:32:30 AM PST · by CedarDave · 10 replies · 282+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | December 17, 2008 | Julie Ann Grimm
    Delays from track-signal problems and missed bus connections plagued the first day of commuter train service between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Many passengers, however, remained optimistic that the New Mexico Rail Runner Express would turn into a reliable transportation option. "You know, they are going to have kinks, so hopefully they will get them worked out, " said Marlene Benavidez, a Santa Fean who was late to her job with the Postal Service in Albuquerque on Wednesday morning as a result of the problems. Benavidez boarded the first south-bound train of the day just after 6 a.m., but that train...
  • Rail Runner gets winter welcome (NM-Richardson's Railroad completed)

    12/16/2008 9:51:43 AM PST · by CedarDave · 16 replies · 663+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | December 16, 2008 | The New Mexican staff
    "All aboard!" came a jovial voice on the train's loudspeaker "This is Governor Bill Richardson. Are you happy to be on the Rail Runner?" About 800 elected officials, government workers and others joined the governor in a cheer as they rode the inaugural New Mexico Rail Runner Express train between Santa Fe and Albuquerque on Monday morning. Several people brought their children along for the ride, including Santa Fe City Councilor Ronald Trujillo and his wife, Amber. Their kids, Hunter, 10, and Krystianna, 6, looked out the window as the train sliced through the snowy landscape. "I figured this is...
  • Governor Aboard Rail Runner's Inaugural Trip to Santa Fe (NM Richardson's Railroad)

    12/15/2008 8:55:53 AM PST · by CedarDave · 11 replies · 487+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 15, 2008 | Associated Press
    SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson will be one of the first riders on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express' inaugural run to Santa Fe today.
  • Santa Fe Commuters Await Rail Runner (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/07/2008 8:37:29 PM PST · by CedarDave · 9 replies · 642+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 7, 2008 | Raam Wong
    Whether they want to commute, shop or drink, Santa Feans are studying train timetables in anticipation of the Rail Runner coming to town. The commuter train is set to begin running between Santa Fe and Albuquerque this month. The train's backers say it offers a rapid and reliable alternative to navigating around the turistas trying to find their way down St. Francis Drive or the smash-ups clogging Interstate 25 But before they climb aboard, many are wondering just how much time and money could really be saved by traveling by rail. For now, driving is still faster — just how...
  • New Train Deserves Own Novel (NM-barf alert)

    12/02/2008 8:18:48 PM PST · by CedarDave · 22 replies · 491+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 1, 2008 | Gene Grant
    And so it begins. The end of next week, the Rail Runner Express commuter rail to Santa Fe pulls out of the station for its inaugural run. Quite properly, it'll be a celebration loaded with meaning. By the time the one hour and 30 minute ride chugs into Santa Fe, we'll not only have taken a giant leap to the future, we'll honor the past as well. For the moment, let's take that leap forward. Say two decades. Is there anyone left who opposed this project who cannot acknowledge that, in one fell swoop, we have looked the future in...
  • Rumors of inaugural Rail Runner run 'raise eyebrows' (NM-Richardson's Railroad)

    12/02/2008 3:30:34 PM PST · by CedarDave · 8 replies · 350+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | December 1, 2008 | Julie Ann Grimm
    The beginning of commuter train service between Santa Fe and metropolitan Albuquerque is promised for this month. Just exactly which day, however, is a question that officials are slow to answer. "We'd like to put a date out there, but we've got to get all our ducks in a row first," Augusta Meyers, communications manger for the Mid-Region Council of Governments, said Monday. "There is no official start date at this point, just a tentative, 'We're shooting for mid-December.' " The council of governments is on contract to plan the Rail Runner Express train for the state Department of Transportation....
  • Rail Runner expected to make inaugural run to City Different on Dec. 12 (NM-Richardson's railroad)

    12/01/2008 8:50:49 AM PST · by CedarDave · 17 replies · 541+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | November 30, 2008 | Lloyd Jojola
    Other than that Christmas Eve flight hauling gifts around the globe, perhaps there's no run more anticipated these days than the one set to start about two weeks from today. "This is the hottest ticket in town for the holidays, buddy," Lawrence Rael of the Mid-Region Council of Governments said. "Even Santa wants a ride." Mark your calendars: The Rail Runner Express commuter train's inaugural public run into Santa Fe is tentatively set to take place Friday, Dec. 12, with Wednesday, Dec. 17, expected to be the actual start of scheduled commuter service to and from the capital city. Thus...
  • A Window Into Bad Economic Reasoning

    09/20/2008 11:11:47 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 7 replies · 194+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | September 20, 2008 | Kenneth M. Brown
    A New Mexico legislator came to me with this problem. Often, he said, constituents would seek his support for some ill-advised expenditure of state funds for “programs” that would supposedly “'create jobs.” The legislator knew instinctively that most of these programs were worthless, but how to argue that point was his problem There's a parable in economics called the “broken window fallacy.” Suppose that you break your window, and it costs you $30 to have it repaired. The $30 creates a small job for the person who repairs it and a few dollars for the glassmaker. So would a program...
  • Residents pick apart plans for RailRunner stop at Zia (NM-Richardson's RR)

    08/14/2008 12:13:46 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 12 replies · 1,187+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | August 14, 2008 | Julie Ann Grimm
    Obstructed mountain views, increased traffic and parking headaches are just a few of the issues neighbors have with a proposed transit-oriented development near Zia Road and St. Francis Drive. Developer SF Brown faced a somewhat hostile crowd at the library of Capshaw Middle School during an early neighborhood-notification meeting Wednesday night. The local firm wants to spend the next 10-plus years building offices, retail space and rental condominiums on the 20 acres it owns on all sides of the intersection of Zia Road with Galisteo Road — where the state has promised to stop commuter trains. But for a number...
  • Albuquerque to Santa Fe: $6 (NM-Richardson's Railroad Soaks Taxpayers)

    08/11/2008 10:17:55 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 13 replies · 643+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | August 10, 2008 | Lloyd Jojola
    A ride between Downtown Albuquerque and the heart of Santa Fe would cost Rail Runner Express riders $6 one way or $8 round trip and would take about an hour and 20 minutes each way, under draft fare and schedule information released by the Mid-Region Council of Governments. The Santa Fe to Bernalillo leg of the commuter train service is expected to be in place by year's end. It will tie into the leg that now operates from Bernalillo to Belen with stops in Albuquerque. Under the proposed service schedule, eight northbound trains would pull into the capital city each...
  • Rail Runner Express tunnels not up to state standards (NM Richardson's Railroad)

    07/30/2008 8:48:20 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 19 replies · 171+ views
    The Santa Fe New Mexican ^ | July 30, 2008 | Tom Sharpe
    Two Rail Runner Express tunnels completed under Interstate 25 and an overpass under way in La Cienega are not as tall as state rules require. But state officials say there will be no need to rebuild the tunnels — technically called box culverts — or the overpass because they are within the federal standards for passenger trains. The state standards were written in the 1950s for freight trains that use double-decked cars — and shouldn't apply to the Rail Runner track, which will carry only passenger trains, the officials say. The state Public Regulation Commission on Tuesday tabled a state...
  • Rail Runner in name battle (NM-Richardson's railroad)

    07/17/2008 10:01:55 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 1 replies · 89+ views
    KOB-TV4, Albuquerque ^ | July 16, 2008 | Chris Ornelas KOB-TV, Joshua Panas
    A company in Massachusetts says it trademarked the name “Rail Runner” in the nineties. And now they want New Mexico to stop using it. "Rail Runner Incorporated filed what's called an opposition to the use of New Mexico Rail Runner on September 2, 2006 with the trademark trial and appeal board of the U.S Patent and Trade Mark Office," said a spokesman for the East Coast company. The company makes a machine that they say makes it easier to move containers from trains to semis. The East Coast company is now waiting for a decision from the patent and trademark...
  • State Sued Over Tracks (NM-Richardson's Railroad

    07/16/2008 12:49:16 PM PDT · by CedarDave · 6 replies · 245+ views
    The Albuquerque Journal ^ | July 16, 2008 | Journal Staff Report
    The Santa Fe Southern Railway says state government's Rail Runner commuter train route is being built across a piece of land the state doesn't own. Santa Fe Southern, which operates a tourist train along the rail route through Santa Fe that is being converted for use by the Rail Runner, has filed suit against the state Department of Transportation saying the department intends to put Rail Runner tracks across a tract still owned by Santa Fe Southern. Santa Fe Southern sold its 18 miles of tracks and railroad right of way between downtown Santa Fe and Lamy to the state...