Coachella Valley Association of Governments Meeting

Oct 19, 2009

Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) Transportation Committee, had on its agenda, to consider funding Schiermeyer Consulting Services, to complete the 2009 Update of the Coachella Valley Passenger Rail Study. Basically this study may move the proposed passenger rail service from Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley, forward.

Due to the importance of this potential passenger rail proposal, I had asked Amtrak senior management to send a representative to this CVAG meeting. It was my intention to have Amtrak explain in some detail, how they could assist CVAG in providing this valuable service.

To my delight, Amtrak sent Adrienne Taylor from their Policy & Development Department. Adrienne addressed the CVAG Committee giving a detailed Analysis of the proposed corridor service, including equipment, operating crews, negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad and so on. Adrienne also made it clear that Amtrak is very interested in providing this service; however CVAG would have to come up with a funding source for this train.

Adrienne very articulately answered the questions posed by several committee members.

This writer also addressed the CVAG Committee by giving a full explanation of a recent meeting with Mr. Joe Boardman, Amtrak President and CEO. The CVAG group was advised that Mr. Boardman encouraged passenger service from Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley and asked that we forward the completed plan to him as he would follow up on same.

I am delighted to report that the CVAG Transportation Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY to fund the updated study.

I wish to thank the CVAG Committee members for their strong focus and vision. And I also thank Amtrak and especially Adrienne Taylor for providing such strong support.

Robert Manning President, Southwest Rail Passenger Association