A route has been identified for a new Trans-Siberian high-speed rail route that would connect Moscow with Beijing. An existing route has been in place for more than 50 years, but takes six days to complete. The new route, by contrast, would complete the trip in just two days. For some perspective, the current Trans-Siberia route (4,350 miles) operates twice per week, which is the same level of service connecting Cincinnati and Chicago (300 miles). More from The Daily Mail:
The project would cost more than $230bn and be over 7,000km long – more than three times the world’s current longest high-speed line, from the Chinese capital to the southern city of Guangzhou. The railway would be a powerful physical symbol of the ties that bind Moscow and Beijing, whose political relationship has roots dating from the Soviet era and who often vote together on the UN Security Council.
Ronny Salerno has established himself as one of the region’s best photo journalists. He covers the stories not often given light in the typical news cycle. The stories he publishes on his website, Queen City Discovery, aren’t often current events, but they are always topical.
One of his more recent features that garnered national attention uncovered the history of a ghost ship left stranded downstream from Cincinnati in a small tributary to the Ohio River. Salerno has become well-known for his thoughtful coverage of abandoned buildings and their stories they hold.
The most recent feature of his looks at the now abandoned Concourse C at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). While Concourse C was once a symbol of CVG’s prominence and significance, it is now a visual reminder of how far the airline industry in general, and the airport in specific, have fallen over the past decade.
But still, no sign of comprehensive inter-city high speed rail seems to be anywhere in the near future for Canada and the United States. What will that mean for metropolitan regions with millions of people, like Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, now being left off the map? Smaller regions, like Birmingham, already lack expansive air service and must rely on larger metropolitan regions nearby for service.
Many cities and regions are being left off the map and have fewer and fewer transportation options to get from one city to the next. Who knows what that will mean for these people and regions in the future, but for now please take a look back at the history and stories of CVG’s Concourse C.
The fall of 1994 was a good time for regional airliner Comair, the company had just opened a second hub in its hometown at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Regional Airport (CVG). Dubbed “Concourse C,” the building was an island in a stream of runways, accessible to passengers only via shuttle busses and the flights they arrived on. The concourse was always a center of human activity amongst the tarmac – featuring shops, eateries and over 50 gates to destinations across the continental United States.
It was a place where people reunited, strangers shared drinks between travels and employees fought the daily grind.
Comair was purchased by Delta Airlines in 2000 and both airlines plunged into bankruptcy protection by 2005. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2007, Delta began to scale back Comair flights and eventually relocated all operations to another section of the airport in 2008. Concourse C was left abandoned. In 2012, Delta completely folded Comair.
Today, Concourse C still remains out in the middle of the runways: no passengers, few visitors and closed off to the general public. It’s eerily quiet state is a stark contrast to the sea of humanity that once flowed through it. On a recent exclusive tour of the facility, I was able to make this short film in addition to several photographs.
While Congress continues to be totally inept and unable to pass a comprehensive transportation bill, the new Secretary of Transportation is getting settled into his new role. It appears as though Anothony Foxx will pursue a similar multi-modal agenda as his predecessor. More from Streetsblog Capitol Hill:
The effect of federal dithering over funding isn’t lost on Foxx, but the administration just isn’t ready to make any concrete proposals. While he said sequestration was a “blunt instrument” that has dealt a “tough blow” to the transportation sector, he didn’t offer a revenue solution that would allow more spending without deficit spending.
And though you may not have heard much about it from the administration lately, Foxx insisted that high-speed rail is as high a priority as ever. As evidence, he mentioned the new freight policy council, stating that “high-speed rail is not just passenger-focused; it is freight-focused.” He didn’t elaborate further on that, though he may have been referring to the benefit to freight when passenger trains run on their own dedicated tracks.
The Mexican government announced plans Monday to invest about $100 billion in rail, road, telecom and port projects over the next five years, including Mexico’s first high-speed rail links. Among the projects are the modernization or building of four airports, seven seaports and about 3,350 miles (5,410 kilometers) of highways. The government will strengthen fiber optic networks and expand broadband internet access, and speed up freight train service.
But in announcing the plan, President Enrique Pena Nieto emphasized the goal of reviving passenger trains in Mexico…Pena Nieto said Monday that about 360 miles (583 kms) of high-speed rail links will be built, including links between Mexico City and the nearby cities of Toluca and Queretaro. Another line will cross the Yucatan Peninsula.
Inter-city rail is also booming as Amtrak experiences record ridership numbers, and is beginning to implement the first phases of the nation’s planned high-speed rail network. Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, however, sits waiting investment to allow additional passenger rail service. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the nation, cities are investing to support this growth with new and improved central train stations. More from Denver Urbanism:
Los Angeles Union Station opened in 1939 and is often referred to as “last of the great railway stations in America.” And for the past 3/4 of a century that superlative has been largely correct. As rail travel declined, so did rail station design. During the latter half of the 20th Century, many cities replaced their grand historic depots with so-called “amshaks”, cheap and awful buildings that have more in common with utility sheds than anything else. But now that’s all changing, and soon Los Angeles will have to give up its title.