If not high-speed rail, what then?!

On Dec. 16, 2017, less than a month away, California high-speed rail construction work will have reached the two-and-a-half-year mark. This is the first major “from-scratch” intercity, heavy-rail, railroad-building effort begun in the Golden State since Southern Pacific’s Colton Cutoff (to Palmdale) line was completed in 1967 and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system … Read more

Earthmoving: Balto.-to-D.C. Hyperloop tunnel would be world’s longest

Yes, it’s true: Tunneling for a future Hyperloop between the City of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to commence. Or, so it would seem. It would be the world’s longest (tunnel) at around 45 miles. Indeed, earthmoving. Relatedly, after reading Michael Laris’ Oct. 19th Washington Post article “Elon Musk’s East Coast Hyperloop will launch digging in … Read more

EPA’s Clean Power Plan dead or are better days ahead?

On Jun. 5, 2014 I penned the “EPA has plan to lower emissions, raise energy efficiency, save money” post. In this I wrote: “In its news release, titled: ‘EPA Proposes First Guidelines to Cut Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants/Clean Power Plan is flexible proposal to ensure a healthier environment, spur innovation and strengthen the economy,’ the … Read more

No new natural gas plants for California?

When it comes to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, California doesn’t take the matter lightly. In this respect, in fact, the state means business – not that other states and places don’t, mean business (in this same sense), that is. As it happens, in the U.S., California is a proven leader when it comes to … Read more

Calif. high-speed rail: Regarding ‘fast-track’ building, progress steady

There appears to be a concerted push in different parts of the world to electrify the motor vehicle fleet. All well and good, but that likely seems years or decades away if at all. Still, the interest and effort appear strong. In California, a state, it is more of the same. According to Sacramento Bee … Read more

High-speed trains + autonomous electric vehicles or HSTs and no AEVs: What will it be?

High-speed trains have been part of the landscape, a fixture, if you will, since 1934, with Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) model GG1 electric locomotive whose top speed was 100 miles per hour and for a non-electric, Union Pacific’s M-10001 diesel-electric trainset, its maximum velocity, a reputed 120 mph. Certainly not to be overlooked were the many … Read more

Time that air-pollution awareness get its deserved due

Air pollution. Who can deny its existence? Not you, not I, no one! Air pollution, though not something you can hold or feel, it is nevertheless real. However, big-picture-wise, air pollution gets paid hardly any mind at all – barely registering a blip on the planet’s radar screen of most-pressing issues. It seems as if the … Read more

Hydrogen-powered train to hit the rails running in 2018

Fuel cells have been around for a while now. So, it would make perfect sense that fuel-cell technology would eventually find application in the railway domain. And, now it has. Alstom, the French company, is one manufacturer getting into the game. “The Coradia iLint is the first low floor passenger train worldwide powered by a … Read more

‘Cities100’ resource: Treasure trove of econ.-, environ.-, health- co-benefit info.

There are resources and then there are resources – such that prompt sitting up and taking note. “Cities100: 100 solutions for climate action in cities,” a Sustainia, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Realdania collaboration, now this is a resource! “Cities100” is a document that, in very clear terms and concise and structured form, provides … Read more

The thing about Valley smog, the ‘muck’ stops here

Oppressive is how San Joaquin Valley, California summertime heat can be. Temps of 104, 105, 106, 107 and higher aren’t uncommon. Heat as high as that becomes more than a bit uncomfortable and gets old rather fast the longer those triple-digit temperatures hang around. When that happens, talk about such in these here parts seems … Read more