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Palo Alto Wants More Time to Review Rail Document

City officials plan to resubmit a brief, arguing that the rail authority failed to identify the trains' noise impacts in the Peninsula, analyze the aesthetic impacts of the train system and consider the system's compatibility with existing land-use plans. The city's brief calls the rail authority's 2008 review "deeply flawed" and argues that it "fails to inform the public and the decision makers of all of the significant environmental impacts of the project."

High-Speed Rail Gains Traction in Spain

Since a high-speed rail connection — called AVE for Alta Velocidad Española — opened in 2008, the 520-kilometer journey, or 325 miles, between Barcelona and Madrid that takes six hours by car can now be completed in just 2 hours and 38 minutes. Two years ago, nearly 90 percent of the six million people traveling between Madrid and Barcelona went by air. But early this year the number of train travelers on the route surpassed fliers.

Pleasanton Housing Cap Violates Law, Judge Says

Pleasanton's voter-approved cap on the number of residences in the city, a measure intended to limit growth and congestion in the town, violates a state law requiring all cities to take on their share of regional housing needs, an Alameda County judge has ruled. The ruling is the first by a California judge to require a city to change its zoning to accommodate new housing, said attorney Richard Marcantonio of the nonprofit Public Advocates firm, which represented the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the cap.

Airport Check-in: Flier Traffic Falls at Most U.S. Airports

Of the 50 largest airports in the U.S., only four showed growth in passenger traffic last year amid the global recession, according to the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Its data include domestic and international flights handled by U.S. airlines but not foreign carriers. San Francisco International was the only airport in the top 20 to eke out an increase in 2009.

King's Cross to Beijing in Two Days on New High-Speed Rail Network

China is in negotiations to build a high-speed rail network to India and Europe with trains that capable of running at over 200mph within the next ten years.The network would eventually carry passengers from London to Beijing and then to Singapore. It would also run to India and Pakistan, according to Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a senior consultant on China's domestic high-speed rail project....Passengers could board a train in London and step off in Beijing, 5,070 miles away as the crow flies, in just two days.

Improving Rail Service in America (Letters to the Editor)

Mr. Wolmar’s comparison of Acela to the high-speed route from Paris to Lyon, which traverses predominantly agricultural land, oversimplifies the obstacles faced here. We’ve literally built rail service into a corner by overbuilding suburbia, including in the megalopolis traversed by Acela between Washington and Boston. Track straightening there would require the acquisition and razing of scores of homes and businesses.


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