Thursday, April 8, 2010

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Train makers worldwide eye U.S. high-speed corridors Japanese and Chinese makers of bullet trains are competing for stimulus funds granted by President Barack Obama for high-speed corridors across the U.S. A line between Tampa and Orlando, Fla., might include a station at Walt Disney World. Companies in France, Germany and Canada also are interested in selling rail equipment to the U.S. "High-speed rail is going to be a big industry in the U.S.," said Masayuki Kubota of Daiwa SB Investments. "A lot of companies are going to try and get a piece of the action." Mar 16, 2010

Amtrak Amtrak launched its Twitter page so passengers and rail fans alike can now follow Amtrak happenings on Twitter at Amtrak. By monitoring and OlisteningO to Twitter conversations about Amtrak, AmericaOs railroad seeks to better respond to passenger comments and service-related inquiries, provide updates on service enhancements and post information on promotions, special offers and events. Amtrak also plans to ask questions and solicit feedback on a variety of issues regarding its operations, services and other activities. With the launch of its Twitter page, Amtrak is expanding its social media initiatives. A year ago, Amtrak activated its Facebook page and now has nearly 12,000 fans, growing by 52 percent in the last six months. The Amtrak page was recently revamped with more interactive and fun content that allows fans to upload train images, be listed as a OTop 25 FanO and take a OTrainiacO quiz. As always, Amtrak fans can also view a summary of the most prevalent discussions taking place on the Wall. Mar 18, 2010

Amtrak Amtrak has expanded its social media presence by launching its Twitter page. Travelers and rail enthusiasts can now check Amtrak news and events on Twitter at @Amtrak. By monitoring and OlisteningO to Twitter conversations about Amtrak in turn seeks to better respond to passenger comments and service-related inquiries by monitoring and OlisteningO to Twitter conversations. It will also allow the company to post information on promotions, special offers and events and provide updates on service enhancements. Mar 18, 2010

Eurail The Eurail Group G.I.E. reported a modest drop in Eurail Pass passengers in 2009 caused by the global economic downturn, but foresees signs of a recovery in the coming year. The Eurail GroupOs passes continue to offer flexible travel throughout Europe to overseas visitors. Eurail GIE announced that more than 382,000 customers traveled with a Eurail Pass on European trains in 2009. This represents 11.9 percent less than last year, nevertheless, pass revenues are currently close to 98 million euros (USD134.9 million). Mar 17, 2010

Holland America Holland America Line has put together 55 new tours for the 2010 summer season. The new excursions include an afternoon of Cognac-sampling in France; a nostalgic steam-hauled train ride across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the 21-arch, 1,000-foot span featured in the Harry Potter and Narnia films; and a flight-seeing brown bear and wildlife tour in Southeast Alaska. Holland America Line will, for the first time, pay calls to Anchorage, Alaska. Shore excursion highlights include fly-in fishing expeditions to Alaska backcountry, a sled dog rodeo, flight-seeing safaris through the Chugach Mountain Range and over Capt. James CookOs Turnagain Inlet in search of beluga whales, a Prince William Sound Glacier cruise, a full-day ride aboard the historic Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna, a guided, fly-out bear-watching tour, and a visit to Wildberry Park and Anchorage Museum, home of many Native Alaskan art and artifacts. Mar 18, 2010

Ireland St. Patrick's Day saw the launch of the Golden Trekker program, a new scheme which will allow senior visitors to Ireland to avail of free rail travel across the country. Seniors aged 66 years or over can simply climb onboard and enjoy the views as they weave their way to their destination. Interested parties should call Tourism Ireland on 800 SHAMROCK (800-7426-7625) at least 48 hours prior to arrival in Ireland, and provide the following information: first and last name; date of birth; passport number or national identity card number; date they would like their Golden Trekker pass to commence (each pass is valid for four days, and if visitors intend to travel for longer periods, more than one pass must be applied for); country of residence; email address and/or postal address; and origin of first rail journey. Once this information has been provided, a Tourism Ireland agent will process the application for a Golden Trekker, and a confirmation will be delivered to in time for the applicantOs trip to Ireland. To get the Golden Trekker pass when the client arrives in Ireland, he or she must present the Golden Trekker confirmation at the Irish Rail ticket office in any train station, along with the passport or national identity card used when requesting the Golden Trekker. The Golden Trekker is only valid when traveling with Irish Rail. The Golden Trekker is only valid for the portion of the journey in the Republic of Ireland which ends at Dundalk. The offer is valid for travel up until Dec. 31. For more information, email or visit Mar 18, 2010

Los Angeles The historic Angels Flight Railway has reopened in downtown Los Angeles. Billed as the OWorldOs Shortest Railway,O the 298-foot, two-car funicular connects Bunker Hill at California Plaza on the top with Hill Street on the bottom. The cost for the lift is 25 cents. The railway first opened in 1901 and operated until 1969, when it was dismantled and put in storage. It reopened in 1996 but closed again in 2001 for extensive repairs after a malfunction resulted in a death and several injuries. Today, AngelOs Flight uses a new drive and control system, with multiple brakes. Angels Flight Railway operates 365 days a year from 6:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit Mar 19, 2010

SNCF With the recent expansion of the TGV East line, France is again at the forefront of rail technology. Traveling at nearly 200 mph, the new line cuts travel time by almost 50 percent between Paris and the eastern regions of France. Additionally, the frequency of train services along these new routes has increased by as much as 20 percent. Popular TGV destinations south, east and west from Paris include Paris to Avignon, two hours and 38 minutes, prices begin at USD87; Paris to Aix-en-Provence, two hours and 57 minutes, from USD87; Paris to Biarritz, five hours and 14 minutes, from USD81; Paris to Bordeaux, three hours and seven minutes, from USD74; Paris to Lyon, one hour and 57 minutes, from USD68; Paris to Marseilles, three hours and two minutes, from USD87; Paris to Nice, five hours and 38 minutes, from USD101; and Paris to Reims, 45 minutes, from USD47. Mar 15, 2010

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Source Citation
"Destination News - Rail, Road." Airguide Online (2010). General OneFile. Web. 8 Apr. 2010.
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