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NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Dan Turner
It is in the nature of politicians to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, especially if they're the kind of mistakes favored by a lawmaker's key financial backers. Yet the award of an important rail-car contract Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board to a company that submitted the best bid for the job -- but isn't the most politically connected -- is a rare and wonderful demonstration that L.A. leaders have the capacity to learn. Rail cars are a touchy subject in L.A., at least to anyone who remembers what happened in 2009.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Don't plan on catching a passenger train from Southern California to Las Vegas just yet. It appears there's been another setback in the startup of the XTrain, the adults-only party train. The Xtrain , which would offer passenger train service between Fullerton's Amtrak station and a planned, yet-to-be-built depot in North Las Vegas, won't begin until “late 2014,” according to the latest news release from Las Vegas Railway Express . The original announcement, issued in fall 2012, called for the train's launch by the end of this year, in time to transport New Year's Eve revelers to Las Vegas . In June, Michael Barron, chief executive, said the weekend rail service would begin operating in summer 2014.
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TRAVEL
June 20, 2010 | By April Orcutt
Rail Cars Scottish Thistle. Business car. Day trip: 20 people. Overnight: Six people. Based in Southern California; (714) 544-5779, http://www.scottishthistle.com Overland Trail. Lounge car. Day trip: 39 people. Overnight: Three people. Based in Southern California; (714) 546-6923, http://www.overlandtrail.com Colonial Crafts. Sleeper-lounge. Day trip: 33 people. Overnight: Nine people. Based in Los Angeles; (818) 951-1800, http://www.colonialcraftsrailcar.com Pacific Sands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2013 | Dan Weikel
Spurred by two deadly crashes since 2005, Metrolink has now replaced almost all its fleet of aging rail cars with a state-of-the-art model designed to better protect passengers and crews during crashes. Officials for the commuter railroad announced Tuesday that they had taken delivery this month of the last of 137 passenger cars purchased for $263.3 million from Hyundai Rotem Inc. in South Korea. Dubbed the "Guardian Fleet" by Metrolink, the Rotem cars have energy-absorbing crumple zones and other safety measures now required by the federal government -- improvements that Metrolink pushed hard to make after a deadly Glendale crash that killed 11 in 2005.
TRAVEL
June 25, 2010 | By April Orcutt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Train fans like to say that nobody waves at a jet. Classic private railroad cars — ones designed last century for the railroad's corporate executives and their most important clients, ones with Art Deco styling or elegant flourishes? Those are something to wave at or, better yet, travel in. You can grab your trunk and hunker down in a chartered rail car attached to almost any Amtrak train rolling through the U.S. These rail cars were the corporate jets of the early 20th century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 1991 | BILL BOYARSKY
You wouldn't expect to find George Deukmejian on the cutting edge of technology. In his eight years in the Capitol, he earned a reputation as "Governor No." No to spending. No to taxes. And no to new ideas. But that was then and--as the old saying goes--this is now. Now, Deukmejian, partner in the law firm of Sidley & Austin, is representing the Sumitomo Corp. of America, which wants to build the rail cars for the Metro Green Line from Norwalk to Los Angeles International Airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Spurred by two deadly crashes since 2005, Metrolink has now replaced almost all its fleet of aging rail cars with a state-of-the-art model designed to better protect passengers and crews. Officials for the commuter railroad announced Tuesday that they have received the last batch of 137 passenger cars purchased for $263.3 million from Hyundai Rotem Inc. in South Korea. Dubbed the "Guardian Fleet" by Metrolink, the Rotem cars have energy-absorbing crumple zones and other safety measures now required by the federal government - improvements that the railroad pushed hard to make after a deadly Glendale crash that killed 11 people in 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 21, 2009 | Maeve Reston
Negotiations heated up Monday between Los Angeles County transportation officials and an Italian firm seeking to extend its contract so it can build 100 light-rail cars, a deal worth $300 million. With a decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board expected Thursday, agency CEO Art Leahy released a memo recommending against exercising AnsaldoBreda's contract options for the 100 cars.
NATIONAL
May 30, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A storm bearing hail and possible tornadoes struck central Nebraska, damaging businesses, derailing train cars, felling trees and disrupting power to thousands. A possible tornado touched down near Aurora, about 70 miles west of Lincoln, damaging a few businesses and at least one house. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. Tornadoes were also reported in Kearney, about 60 miles west of Aurora, where 90 rail cars were blown off the tracks.
NATIONAL
January 16, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Four runaway rail cars traveled 20 miles before hitting two parked locomotives, causing a chemical fire near Irvine that prompted an evacuation and orders that others stay indoors. The crash released "a toxic cloud" of butyl acetate, a flammable liquid, from a burning tanker car, authorities said. The fire produced a huge column of black smoke, and a section of the Kentucky River caught fire. No injuries were reported, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Spurred by two deadly crashes since 2005, Metrolink has now replaced almost all its fleet of aging rail cars with a state-of-the-art model designed to better protect passengers and crews. Officials for the commuter railroad announced Tuesday that they have received the last batch of 137 passenger cars purchased for $263.3 million from Hyundai Rotem Inc. in South Korea. Dubbed the "Guardian Fleet" by Metrolink, the Rotem cars have energy-absorbing crumple zones and other safety measures now required by the federal government - improvements that the railroad pushed hard to make after a deadly Glendale crash that killed 11 people in 2005.
OPINION
April 8, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are a powerful economic engine for Southern California. They produce more jobs than the entire movie business, and they connect the United States to ports across the Pacific Ocean. The hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods that pass through them are an essential source of economic livelihood, and yet at times the ports impose a burden on those who live closest to them, forcing policymakers to weigh what is best for the nation and the region against what harm it might do to neighbors.
OPINION
June 2, 2012
Re "A lost opportunity for job creation," Opinion, May 29 The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's rail car contract award represents a historic first for federally funded rail car projects. It provides an opportunity to leverage capital projects to get Americans back to work, including L.A. residents. However, statements made by Madeline Janis in her Op-Ed article do not reflect the benefits of this contract. The contract award to Kinkisharyo will create 348 jobs in the United States.
OPINION
May 29, 2012 | By Madeline Janis
On April 30, the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to award an $890-million contract for 235 light rail cars to Kinkisharyo International, a Japanese firm that will build a significant portion of the cars in Osaka, Japan, rather than in California. Just a week later, on May 9, the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency voted to award a $2.5-billion contract for the manufacture of 775 rail cars to a Canadian firm that will build many of the car components in Mexico. With the awarding of these two contracts, California lost the opportunity to create more than 2,000 good American jobs building rail cars for our transit systems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2012 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Resolving a key issue in a $890-million transit contract, federal officials announced Wednesday that a Japanese firm's plan to build up to 235 cars for Los Angeles-area light-rail lines complies with requirements that American workers be used for final assembly. In its decision, the Federal Transit Administration rejected assertions by local labor organizations, community activists and two competing companies that Kinkisharyo International's production plan would violate "Buy America" requirements by climate-testing a few rail cars in Japan and not the United States.
OPINION
May 4, 2012
Re "Japanese firm wins Metro job," May 1 With our economy so fragile, how dare L.A. County transportation planners award a contract to build rail cars to a Japanese company? We need to have the good people of California working. This was a great opportunity to employ people in our state. Those at the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority who made this decision need to be replaced. As a longtime resident and taxpayer, I'm sickened by their low regard for our workforce.
OPINION
February 7, 2003
Re "Park's Train Hobbyists Get Their Walking Papers," Feb. 1: It's a shame that the city has seen fit to get rid of the people who were stopping the deterioration of Travel Town's priceless rail car collection. Thanks to the city, the 75 or so cars and locomotives have turned from operable, beautiful examples of antique rail technology into stripped, vandalized jungle gyms. Unfortunately, it's not apparent to most visitors that the rail cars and locomotives were operable when they arrived at Travel Town.
OPINION
May 3, 2012
It is in the nature of politicians to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, especially if they're the kind of mistakes favored by the lawmakers' key financial backers. So the award of an important rail car contract Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board to a company that submitted the best bid for the job - but isn't the most politically connected - was a rare and encouraging event. Rail cars are a touchy subject in Los Angeles. That's because in 2009, the MTA board awarded a $300-million contract for 100 cars to AnsaldoBreda, an Italian company with a terrible track record.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Dan Turner
It is in the nature of politicians to keep making the same mistakes over and over again, especially if they're the kind of mistakes favored by a lawmaker's key financial backers. Yet the award of an important rail-car contract Monday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board to a company that submitted the best bid for the job -- but isn't the most politically connected -- is a rare and wonderful demonstration that L.A. leaders have the capacity to learn. Rail cars are a touchy subject in L.A., at least to anyone who remembers what happened in 2009.
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