California fast-train building progress one-and-three-fourths years in

June 16, 2017 will mark two years since construction on California’s planned total 800-mile high-speed rail system got underway. It could be year 2033 when the entire project is completed or 18 years from start to finish. Progress-wise, in getting to where the program is now, wasn’t easy. High-speed rail finally made it as a … Read more

President’s auto-jobs-over-environment move a no-win for air

Based on a request to review current domestic vehicle-emissions standards – a change that, if advanced, would likely soon take effect – apparently, for motor vehicles traversing America’s roadways in the not-so-far-off future, air, as well as vehicle fuel economy could suffer. Puzzling it is why most of the motoring public is not standing tall … Read more

In U.S. in 2016, 3.2 trillion miles driven: Air, roads, feeling the heat

“New estimates released today by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure,” the … Read more

Serious but stable: U.S. infrastructure condition: What it means for air

As with air quality, when it comes to infrastructure, condition matters. So, right now, according to one measure – the one just out Mar. 9, 2017: the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “2017 Infrastructure Report Card,” condition-wise, overall, America’s infrastructure got a D+. A serious situation: make no mistake. So, what is going on here? In … Read more

Lower emissions diesel loco to head to Pacific Harbor Line for testing

Railroading is continually being improved upon. You can see it in the physical plant (infrastructure – rails, ties, roadbed, structures, signals, overhead catenary where in use), the rolling stock and equipment (motive power, rail cars – freight, passenger, maintenance of right-of-way) and in operations. To be clear, the basic operating premise has, over the years, … Read more

In 2017, do as California is: Make air cleanup, job one – Part 3 (mobile sources 1/2)

Getting right to it, consider that over 300 billion miles of travel are driven on California roadways annually – one-tenth of what is driven nationally (as of late). And that’s just driving. When you factor in all other modes – providing residents and visitors alike the means with which to move about whether by the … Read more

Will four disparate transportation projects hurt or help Fresno air?

In case you are not aware, the city of Fresno in California’s interior Central Valley, a metropolis whose residents number a half-million and who breathe some of the poorest quality air in the United States, has four major transportation projects going on simultaneously. These are: The Q: A 15.7-mile bus rapid transit install Midtown Trail: … Read more

‘(I Did It) My Way’: May be SoCal’s goods movement air-cleanup anthem…or maybe not

So, sitting in my living room on Wed. evening Feb. 1, 2017, I watched intently the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) NOVA episode “Search for the Super Battery,” some of the program content shown previously on the Jan. 29, 2017 edition of CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” Batteries being the NOVA program’s key highlight, such others as energy … Read more

What’s that smell?! Sniffing out trouble at first whiff

If there’s a scent to be sensed, yoo hoo, over here, wind of it (pun intended) I will get! Trust me. Very little, if anything, ever, blows by, pleasant and unpleasant alike, the latter of which I would much prefer to forego completely. And, I’m not going to say “if you get my drift,” so … Read more

Now arriving: 40 new low-emissions locos for commuter-rail system

There’s a new train on the block, engine, actually, and it’s clean as well as lean. The locomotive? A Progress Rail Services product; an EMD F125 diesel, which was first introduced in Los Angeles, California on Jul. 18, 2016. What makes this model unique is that this first-of-its-kind diesel locomotive is designed to meet stringent U.S. Environmental … Read more