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itself into the downtown area, and then heads east to the Utah Medical Center and the University of Utah. The two new exten- sions are expected to add a total of 14,000 daily riders when they first start service. Construction is under way for the exten-


sion from downtown to the airport. The orig- inal line to Sandy is now the Blue Line and construction is proposed from Sandy south on what is called the Draper Line. Com- muter rail service is also available from Og- den in the north to Provo in the south. Re- cently I saw a television travel program on Salt Lake City that focused on the light rail line as a symbol of progress. Many thanks to Philip Lavorgna for the interesting and highly positive news.


Toronto’s GO Transit Expands to Kitchener The Waterloo area of the province of Ontario lies to the west of Toronto. As 2010 came to an end, GO Transit announced that it would provide two commuter trains per day be- tween Kitchener and Toronto by the end of 2011 or the start of 2012. The original plan of four round trips per day was squelched by the financial strictures in Canada caused by the recession, which was about as bad in Canada as in the U.S. Daryl Smith writes that the drive between Kitchener and Toronto is a no fun, crowded, and stressful trip and he is of the opinion that the new GO Transit service will eventually attract sig- nificant ridership. The expected cost of the 60-mile, two-hour addition of service is ex- pected to be $18 million Canadian. The trains will pass through Guelph and


Acton on their way to Toronto and will oper- ate along GO’s present Georgetown line. It is expected that the service level will be en- hanced as the economy improves and rider- ship grows. The Waterloo region announced that it has acquired land to build a new sta- tion for GO trains in downtown Kitchener, immediately to the west of the present VIA Rail station. It will take some time to design and build the new station so it will not be in place when the GO Transit service begins. As always, the good people of Ontario who provide public transportation service have a progressive attitude. Unfortunately, the new Toronto mayor


seems inclined to cancel the $1.25 billion order with Bombardier for more than 200 new streetcars. That idea cooled when Bombardier mentioned the issue of cancel- lation costs, in which money is spent and there is nothing to show for it. Even politi- cians understand that this is not a good idea. Cheers to the good people of the Wa- terloo region and let’s hope they really en- joy the new service.


SEPTA Ridership Record The Philadelphia region is not brimming with economic success in the present stage of the recession. Nevertheless, the South- eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Au- thority carried more riders, 334 million, in the 12 months from mid-2010 to mid-2011 than it had at any time since 1989, when 335 million were moved. Reasons for the four per cent increase in ridership include the high price of gasoline, more use of transit by young adults, and an increasing population living in Center City. Good news also came from Harrisburg — the state might increase SEPTA’s portion of the proposed $2.7 billion rise in transporta- tion funding. Money is needed to continue


upgrading of rail facilities that was moved along by federal stimulus money. Thanks to David Harris for the information.


Tunnel Boring in New York and Seattle In mid-2011, Sound Transit in Seattle began boring the tunnels needed to extend the light rail line from downtown north to the University of Washington. One tunneling machine will drive from the university south to Capitol Hill, while another one will bore from Capitol Hill into downtown Seattle. Each machine is more than 300 feet long and weighs about one million pounds. When the work is done, the good people of Seattle will find the ride from the university to the downtown area should take about six or sev- en minutes. The three-mile project will cost just under $2 billion. As a wise engineer once said, “Diggin’ ain’t cheap.” In spring 2011, the Metropolitan Trans-


portation Authority of New York began bor- ing two tunnels beneath Sunnyside Yard on Long Island as a part of the East Side Ac- cess project that will allow Long Island Rail Road trains to reach Grand Central Termi- nal. The tunnel-boring machines are real biggies; each is 40 feet longer than a football field and they each weigh 640 tons. The East Side Access is an $8.1 billion project and is expected to begin revenue service in 2016, but that date may have to be extend- ed. It is felt that the new access will be a great convenience for Long Island Rail Road riders, who are now deposited at Penn Station on the west side of Manhattan, when many riders’ true destination is on the east side of the island. Jon Goodman tells me more down-to-


earth good news that it appears that PATH continued to receive several new cars each week in the summer of 2011. Nearby, Metro-North riders on the New Haven ser- vice were happily shocked to find trains of the new M-8 series cars waiting at Grand Central to take them home to Connecticut. Thanks to Charlie Bogart and Harry Ross for the news.


Remembering Bill Middleton Bill Middleton and I first met as a result of this column about 30 years ago. At the time I was a member of the board of trustees of the Northern Indiana Commuter Trans- portation District, which operates the South Shore Line commuter rail service between South Bend, Ind., and Chicago. Bill had au- thored The South Shore Line: The Last In- terurban and was interested in what NICTD was doing with the railroad, so we started a correspondence. On his way out of the U.S. Navy and on to the University of Virginia, Bill and his family stopped Bloomington. My wife and I enjoyed luncheon with Bill and Dorothy at the Indiana Memorial Union. Bill and I stayed in touch by mail and tele- phone over the years, and would meet each January at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington. At times George Krambles would join us. In the early 1990s Bill asked if I would be interested in working with him as associate editor of Transit Connections, a magazine to be issued by Simmons-Boardman, publisher of Railway Age. Its aim was to be a maga- zine for the transit industry, similar to Rail- way Age. The publication lasted for about two and a half years, was a lot of fun, and as a result of working together Bill and I got to know each other very well.Sometime after


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