Trends on Intercity Passenger Rail in the United States

  • Colloquium
  • Railway

The 129th Transport Policy Colloquium


Date / Time Thu, Jun 13,2019 18:00~20:00
Venue JTTRI (3-18-19 Toranomon, Toranomon Marine Bldg 2F, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0001, Japan.)
Event Number The 129th
Theme Trends on Intercity Passenger Rail in the United States
Lecturer Shuntaro Okimoto(Research Fellow,JITI)
Commentator Yoichi Kaneyama(Professor,University of Toyama Faculty of Sustainable Design)

Event Summary

The lecturer pointed out after railroads were rapidly developed until the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in the US in 1869, the railway's presence decreased since the development of the Intercity Express Railroad did not progress during the rapid development of Interstate and Defense Highways and the launch of jet aircrafts.

It was also pointed out that the state governments took the initiatives to plan the Intercity Express Railroad and the federal government only supported them.

The abovementioned facts were shown with cases comparing with those of Japan.
The status of the Acela Express, which is currently the only Express Railroad in the US, and business analyses of the Amtrack (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) were also introduced.

Moreover, the lecturer pointed out that how to share the risk of increasing construction cost and the operational risk after construction were important issues, considering the latest situation of the projects in California, Florida, Texas, and the Northeast Corridor. The lecturer finally suggested that these risks should be properly shared by taking various measures in order to develop railway projects.

Besides, projects in the US cooperating with the town planning and connecting with secondary transportation modes were introduced.

The commentator rated the lecture as a good summary of a wide variety of contents. The commentator also supplemented the current situation of railways including freight transport in the US and the nation's overall situation behind it were supplemented. The importance of risk management of railway projects were pointed out as well.
In the question and answer session, issues of the Intercity Express Programme, relative strengths of the Japan's railway technology, and issues for further overseas development of infrastructure were actively discussed.

The colloquium was successfully held with more than 100 participants from academia, MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), railway operators, transport-related organizations, consultants, manufacturers, trading companies, developers, media, and so on.

Program of the seminar is as the following

Masafumi Shukuri<br>Chairman,<br>Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)

Masafumi Shukuri
Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)

Shuntaro Okimoto<br>Research Fellow,<br>Japan International Transport Institute, USA<br><br>

Shuntaro Okimoto
Research Fellow,
Japan International Transport Institute, USA

Yoichi Kaneyama<br>Professor,<br>University of Toyama Faculty of Sustainable Design

Yoichi Kaneyama
University of Toyama Faculty of Sustainable Design

Question and answer


Outline of the seminar