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mr. bernham

Gulf Coast Megaregion and BRNO Super Region

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I don't see a point of rail service between the two cities if it can't cover the distance in less than 70 minutes including stops.   It pretty much has to be Aclea-grade service or better.  It basically has to average 70 mph including the stops, which means up to 100 mph in some sections....even more when you consider that there's no safe way to move at those speeds in populated areas within Baton Rouge or New Orleans/Jefferson.

This is not an impossible task...there's plenty of space for dual tracks and most of it is straight as an arrow.   

It will be challenging finding enough riders while minimizing the number of stops to keep the average speeds up.   It would be awesome to be able to step onto a train in downtown Baton Rouge and hit MSY inside of 60 minutes, or to get onto a train in Gonzales and get to the Baton Rouge airport in less than 45 minutes during the height of rush hour.  

I would prefer them go as fast as Deustch Bahn's 'ICE' model.Then again I think a better investment would be maglev and have BR lines going out that connect the South East together. 

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I would prefer them go as fast as Deustch Bahn's 'ICE' model.Then again I think a better investment would be maglev and have BR lines going out that connect the South East together. 

With no connection to BTR, I wouldn't bother supporting any rail link that connects Baton Rouge to MSY.

Edited by cajun

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With no connection to BTR, I wouldn't bother supporting any rail link that connects Baton Rouge to MSY.

Oh, I completely agree. I think instead BR should try and get all highspeed or maglev lines in the South East at least to end in BR. Turn BR into a national railroad hub. 

Any rail link between New Orleans and BR has to go to BTR...it wouldn't be right if it didn't.

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Governor candidates lay out ideas for addressing traffic woes in Baton Rouge and New Orleans at Super Region forum       

Trust must be restored to the Transportation Trust Fund before the state can begin to dig its way out of the transportation crisis that is brewing, all four Louisiana gubernatorial candidates said at a forum held in New Orleans this afternoon.

“It has not been done. It has hardly been started,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter at the Southeast Super Region Committee’s forum at the People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market.

Vitter joined two fellow Republicans, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Democratic Rep. John Bel Edwards, at the forum. Dardenne told the packed auditorium that transportation is the highest priority in the greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans regions.

Dardenne said more capital outlay funds need to be put toward transportation to address the issue. He also said he would add another Washington Street exit off Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge just off the Mississippi River Bridge and advocated for tolls on the north and south lanes of Interstate 49 in the state.

Vitter said if he is elected governor, he would assemble a group after his proposed special session to address the budget and develop a high-priority transportation building program that would help sort through the enormous $12 billion backlog of projects.

Edwards pointed out that the Legislature has developed a revenue stream to wean State Police off the $60 million it gets from the Transportation Trust Fund, so that money can go to transportation. He added that he would also allocate 25% of the capital outlay fund to transportation, which he said would come out to about $135 million.

Angelle agreed with the other candidates on the issue, calling for all of the money from the TFF to go to transportation and saying the state needs to think about using tolls on some roads and highways. Angelle said he would decentralize the state Department of Transportation and Development and create regional planning committees across the state for transportation projects.

Bill Hoffman, board chair for Greater New Orleans Inc.; Van Mayhall, Baton Rouge Area Chamber board chair; and Scott Melancon, South Louisiana Economic Council board chair, peppered the candidates with questions this afternoon ranging from transportation to economic development to spending reform. John Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and chairman of the Southeast Super Region Committee, served as moderator.      https://www.businessreport.com/article/governor-candidates-lay-ideas-addressing-traffic-woes-baton-rouge-new-orleans-super-region-forum

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Group trumpets potential Gonzales train station in hopes of winning support for commuter rail    A field shaded by oak trees and crape myrtles may end up being the first physical reality of a long-discussed commuter train line between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

 

Later this month boosters of a commuter rail for the region — an idea with backers in both cities, but still lacking key financial support — plan to hold a press conference on the green field in the center of Gonzales to try to draw the support of gubernatorial candidates.

“We want all the candidates to sign on,” said Kristin Gisleson Palmer, a former New Orleans City councilwoman and chairperson of the Louisiana Super Region Rail Authority.

The city of Gonzales in May purchased the property for $350,000, buying an unused building, a parking lot and an open field. City leaders see it as a step toward redeveloping downtown, a key component of the recently adopted master plan.

The city’s first choice for the land? A train station.

“We don’t make that final decision, but we’re trying to position ourselves” for the possibility of a commuter train, said City Clerk Clay Stafford. If that doesn’t come to fruition, there are a number of other possible uses for the property, which was once home to a community college and a church, Stafford said.

The idea of upgrading existing rail infrastructure between Baton Rouge and New Orleans to create a commuter train has been a favorite idea of economic development groups and some politicians in recent years. But the project, which would require improvements to rail infrastructure as well as building train stations, could cost $262 million, according to a 2014 study.

In 2009, Gov. Bobby Jindal rejected the idea of going after federal stimulus financing for the project, raising questions about the financial viability of a passenger train. Supporters say potential ridership for the train is there, pointing to existing commuters between the two cities and continued economic development along the river.

Now, they want the candidates running for governor to sign onto the idea, said Rachel DiResto, executive vice-president of the nonprofit Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) in Baton Rouge, which is doing research on the rail line and other issues of transportation in its initiative called the CONNECT Coalition.

“We’re trying to get their attention,” St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said.

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said once his city was floated as one of seven possible train stops on the line, he and the city council wanted to “jump on the idea.”

The property where they want to put the train station is in the oldest part of Gonzales on North Boullion Avenue, near already existing railroad tracks. It is close to where a train depot once stood years ago.

Officials and representatives from New Orleans and Baton Rouge and the seven parishes that make up the state’s Super Region Rail Authority will be at the press conference on September 16.

The parishes represented on the rail authority, in addition to Ascension and St. James, are East Baton Rouge, Orleans, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and Jefferson.

The communities “recognize that the industrial boom is having a huge impact on infrastructure,” DiResto said. “They also see the rail as really being able to allow the labor pool access” to jobs.

CPEX, which has served as staff for the rail authority, estimates the boom in the energy industry is projected to produce 35,000 new construction jobs along the I-10 corridor in 2016.

The state’s Super Region Rail Authority, a volunteer organization, was created in 2012 by the state legislature to advocate for and operate regional rail.

“We are slowly but surely working toward making this thing happen,” said Ascension Parish Council member Teri Casso, who’s a member of the group.

“The funding is the most important mechanism — and the political will,” she said. “There are federal funds available. Our hope would be to capture some of those funds.”

Natalie Robottom, president of St. John the Baptist Parish President, where the community of LaPlace is another potential site for a train stop, said the benefits of the commuter rail would be seen in the region’s economy and transportation needs — and in times of emergency as a means of evacuation.   http://theadvocate.com/news/ascension/13280979-123/group-trumpets-potential-gonzales-train               jpeg?1441591678521

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New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge commuter railway championed    

NEW ORLEANS - Parish leaders along the busy industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans are championing the idea of creating a railway commuter line to connect the state's two largest cities and economic hubs.

Gathering in Gonzales on Wednesday, parish presidents and representatives from seven parishes along the proposed rail route urged the next Louisiana governor to back the project. The four candidates say they support the project.

The municipal and parish leaders held a news conference at the site of a possible future train station in Gonzales. City officials in Gonzales recently agreed to purchase the site. Officials in Baton Rouge and LaPlace are simultaneously examining potential train station sites in their cities.

The last time passengers could take a train between Baton Rouge and New Orleans was in 1969.  no-br-passenger-rail-stops-3ded95de6366c

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They say Downtown Baton Rouge, but its Mid City. They should cut the Essen Lane stop and focus on adding the Baton Rouge Metro Airport stop. FuturEBR have the Baton Rouge Metro Airport as a extend  route, hopefully that change to the #1 priority even if  Baton Rouge have 3 stops day one of the service. Another idea they could have a airport shuttle at the train station in mid city like what is planned for the train station in Kenner.

Edited by greg225

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Part of their plan is to use existing rail lines I would think. It might not be feasible to tie in BTR.

They have railtracks in Scotlandville  not far from BTR  and in Kenner where the train station will be it will set a good distance from the NO Airport. What is proposed is a airport shuttle from Kenner train station to the NO Airport maybe that's something that could be done in Baton Rouge. If they never extend near BTR they could use the shuttle at the proposed mid city train station.  Don't see this train station happening no time soon it could be 10 or 15 years never know where BTR could be by that time.

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I don't believe that BTR will ever be a priority for this rail.

I was mostly talking about about a priority for Baton Rouge if that have to be done by a airport shuttle, updating our transit system or extend the rail routes.  

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They have railtracks in Scotlandville  not far from BTR  and in Kenner where the train station will be it will set a good distance from the NO Airport. What is proposed is a airport shuttle from Kenner train station to the NO Airport maybe that's something that could be done in Baton Rouge. If they never extend near BTR they could use the shuttle at the proposed mid city train station.  Don't see this train station happening no time soon it could be 10 or 15 years never know where BTR could be by that time.

Yeah in 10 or 15 years things could be much different.
Depends on how quickly this next governor wants to move on this.

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I'm sure it's in the study but they need to figure out why people travel from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and vice versa. Then I think that would help determine what stops need to be made.

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I would imagine most of the travel going to New Orleans is entertainment first, business/employment second. Most of the travel coming here I would imagine is business/LSU and plant employment related. The stops are fine the way they are now, except a stop near Tanger would be nice to get that plant traffic under control.

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I would imagine most of the travel going to New Orleans is entertainment first, business/employment second. Most of the travel coming here I would imagine is business/LSU and plant employment related. The stops are fine the way they are now, except a stop near Tanger would be nice to get that plant traffic under control.

Tanger Outlet Mall area would have been better location for a train station.

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Part of their plan is to use existing rail lines I would think. It might not be feasible to tie in BTR

They are using tracks they don't own anyways.   There are UP tracks that go up to Scotlandville within a half mile of BTR.

Yeah in 10 or 15 years things could be much different.Depends on how quickly this next governor wants to move on this.

Don't expect anything from the current administration or the next administration so long as state revenue from hydrocarbon extraction remains at a historic low.  If you want more public investment, you want higher oil prices.   

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Nola to Baton Rouge in 9 mins by train?    

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) --  It's called Hyperloop.  It's a fast train, a really fast train.  And you won't find one operating anywhere.  But plenty of people want to change that, including one man from New Orleans.

How does a Hyperloop train work?  Imagine you're inside one of those containers at the bank drive through that zips inside the tube from the teller window to your car.  Others describe it as a train that rides like a giant air hockey puck.

"I like to think of it as a spit ball in a straw," said Josh Manriquez, the founder of  Leontos, llc.  "There's only so fast it can go.  But if someway, somehow, you get a tiny fan in front of that spit ball, suck up that air pressure, there's really no limit how fast it can go."

Manriquez is working to bring a Hyperloop train to New Orleans.  He says it can travel at 700 mph to Baton Rouge in 9 minutes, Houston in 35, and he's hoping to lead an effort that would build a giant loop continuing on to Dallas, Alabama, Atlanta, and back to New Orleans.

He says a mix of state, federal, and private funding could make it happen.  But he also knows it could be decades before all the investors and engineering are ready to go.

Manriquez is also hoping, should his project go well, to build a test track for a Hyperloop in Washington Parish.

Manriquez brought his project to a crowd at the Zeitgeist Arts Center on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. on Monday.  His presentation was one of the opening events for NOLA Tech Week, which runs through Saturday.  For a complete schedule of events, visit nolatechweek.org.               http://wgno.com/2015/10/05/nola-to-baton-rouge-in-9-mins-by-train/

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Nola to Baton Rouge in 9 mins by train?    

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) --  It's called Hyperloop.  It's a fast train, a really fast train.  And you won't find one operating anywhere.  But plenty of people want to change that, including one man from New Orleans.

How does a Hyperloop train work?  Imagine you're inside one of those containers at the bank drive through that zips inside the tube from the teller window to your car.  Others describe it as a train that rides like a giant air hockey puck.

"I like to think of it as a spit ball in a straw," said Josh Manriquez, the founder of  Leontos, llc.  "There's only so fast it can go.  But if someway, somehow, you get a tiny fan in front of that spit ball, suck up that air pressure, there's really no limit how fast it can go."

Manriquez is working to bring a Hyperloop train to New Orleans.  He says it can travel at 700 mph to Baton Rouge in 9 minutes, Houston in 35, and he's hoping to lead an effort that would build a giant loop continuing on to Dallas, Alabama, Atlanta, and back to New Orleans.

He says a mix of state, federal, and private funding could make it happen.  But he also knows it could be decades before all the investors and engineering are ready to go.

Manriquez is also hoping, should his project go well, to build a test track for a Hyperloop in Washington Parish.

Manriquez brought his project to a crowd at the Zeitgeist Arts Center on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. on Monday.  His presentation was one of the opening events for NOLA Tech Week, which runs through Saturday.  For a complete schedule of events, visit nolatechweek.org.               http://wgno.com/2015/10/05/nola-to-baton-rouge-in-9-mins-by-train/

LMFAO...good luck with that.

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I would imagine most of the travel going to New Orleans is entertainment first, business/employment second. Most of the travel coming here I would imagine is business/LSU and plant employment related. The stops are fine the way they are now, except a stop near Tanger would be nice to get that plant traffic under control.

A connection to BTR is critical for the long term health of Baton Rouge. 

Otherwise, this is just another huge, expensive project that benefits New Orleans disproportionately.   

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A connection to BTR is critical for the long term health of Baton Rouge. 

Otherwise, this is just another huge, expensive project that benefits New Orleans disproportionately.   

This. All of this. 

What's unfortunate is that the Advocate doesn't report it like this, the people stay uninformed, and our weak 'leaders' go ahead and continue to make bad deals that will hurt the city in the long run. Baton Rouge can be the states #1 city, and one of the regions biggest, but only if we're willing to make it so. 

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A connection to BTR is critical for the long term health of Baton Rouge. 

Otherwise, this is just another huge, expensive project that benefits New Orleans disproportionately.   

However true, my faith is not strong here.

Plank Rd seems like it could be a good candidate for a facade improvement and some form of light rail to BTR. From the transit center at the Entergy site east on Government St and north on N 22nd St, up Plank Rd and onto Harding, even to Southern campus. If the Nicholson line is received well (and I think it will be built), there would probably be support for it.

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However true, my faith is not strong here.

Plank Rd seems like it could be a good candidate for a facade improvement and some form of light rail to BTR. From the transit center at the Entergy site east on Government St and north on N 22nd St, up Plank Rd and onto Harding, even to Southern campus. If the Nicholson line is received well (and I think it will be built), there would probably be support for it.

That is dependent on two things:

1. LSU actually getting lightrail

2. People actually using it

Trying to get a stop for BTR on this rail line is a much better bet than waiting and hoping on a lightrail line that may or may not happen.

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Airport Shuttle is probably BTR only option at this point because that's what is planned for the New Orleans Airport in Kenner. Since the commuter rail is not happening anytime soon options may be different depend on what type of rail it will.

However true, my faith is not strong here.

Plank Rd seems like it could be a good candidate for a facade improvement and some form of light rail to BTR. From the transit center at the Entergy site east on Government St and north on N 22nd St, up Plank Rd and onto Harding, even to Southern campus. If the Nicholson line is received well (and I think it will be built), there would probably be support for it.

Plank Rd already have BRT system planned and one on Scenic Hwy that will pass by Southern.                        jpeg

Edited by greg225

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