WWL>Topics>>3-20 11:35am Garland, new train from NOLA to BR

3-20 11:35am Garland, new train from NOLA to BR

Mar 20, 2014|

A train running between New Orleans and Baton Rouge may be possible after all. For years the plan carried a huge price tag, but the latest cost is half of the earlier prediction. Plus, the feds would pay about 80% of the costs. As the costs of infrastructure repairs soar, would a rail line be cheaper? Garland was joined by Major General John Basilica, Jr. Vice President & Gulf Coast district leader for HNTB, on the drastic cut in cost.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

The idea of running a train passenger cream between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. And in the the main reason I've I've heard over the years that it couldn't be done and even though it was proposed numbered time. Cost and cost and cost and cost. -- being told what what is somewhere around 450 million dollar project. Might be doesn't provide 206. In new. Almost for what we've been told in the past it's federal government puts in 80% to better understand moved to go to the experts. Major general John was so good junior vice president gulf whose district leader for each in TB major general walked in -- Thank you thank you and why do you dramatic call should drop and call. Produced pretty straightforward answer there the the in 2010. There was. The federal government and indicated that they had. Funding for high speed rail. And there was -- an initiative to two from Louisiana to take advantage of those funds. And the report that was previously done in 22 and was contemplating. Upgrading to a high speed rail quarter to get to speeds in excess of 400 mile an hour. Between those that the two cities. That money was sweet week to elected not to do that -- are in Louisiana. This is about restoring passenger rail service had a lower speed. Certainly not miles per hour and less and what that means significantly is that. They you don't have to upgrade to track. In order to do that and so we're using existing track that dissolved predominately by action Kansas City Southern and Canadian northern. And and as a result there's there's automatically some significant savings that you can gain from that. There were some very specific things that we also recommended in the study in terms locating stations and so forth -- sightings that will be require such. That they. That again generated that the savings. The servers that were that were recommending to start this is pretty modest and so the costs are are lower. But there's. -- as citizens. Popularity with the train would increase in the and then the proceeds from the fare box would go up. -- -- anticipate that there would be more trains more stops and we would be able to look again increased that produces all designed to be yet. Speeds that -- pretty much come close to what the same automobile trip would would take action but to just be out. Very convenient he wouldn't have to worry about the congestion on interstate ten. And it's -- that they and so traffic off the interstate that helps with congestion mitigation and her a lot of good reasons -- think it would be very popular. Popular service for a little resident conjoined at the two regions together. -- I'd think you're very correct about what you just said about popular would go on people would talk to. Let's remove government to broaden your own -- the total. Enroll and you all. I am sure enthused about this if you watched all of them mom and pop our shops. That Oregon historical. At this stops and all that. I come from Pennsylvania. And open minority we have high speed rail trains. All. Like you wouldn't believe and honestly. All this is gonna calm to itself. You watch this items stolen do's about this and the magic of capitalism. Is gonna just. It's just going to be R&B people want to would you like it. I think you got a number of people problem public fund that appeal that same exact way. And 95 minutes for the troop seven shops. With seven -- -- will -- only to ignite repugnant. Yes -- -- you know they're not designed to be very pro long dwell times that each of the stations. And so you know most you know -- The report talks about proposed stations -- -- actual. Exact locations of those and exactly what would happen would you know perhaps to. Go to the rest of the process which of course the next step is an environmental doctor match and and that may reveal certain things about a -- you know that would have to be taken into consideration but. But for the most part. Do we think that we can keep. Keep the train contracts. No pun intended tour or something in the neighborhood of flu -- ninety minutes or less. And these are using. Trucks better or Rooney plays for a scratch so. Do you have any crystal ball -- to figure out what. Environmental concerns. May be -- could be. Well again it's on existing alignment and so it's not is it's not a mystery as to where that would attract it is but you'd take nothing for granted it has you go to these problems these does that. The many of those structures that will talk about especially. The body carrion and things like that that are hidden in the wetlands in the and the like we're -- -- a long time ago. And so it's a requirement that needs to be done don't conscientiously -- that that is in fact the next step. And you would have to replace the -- real bridge to cross money for that could be an environment. That that is exactly correct that is what we call long pole in the tent in that -- that is that the speed on that structure right now just ten miles an arch. That's what you're on a passenger train or free trade and so. Feel like there's it's a it's a win win for the railroads and that you know if we can improve that structure for sure. A -- in the freight pastors in as a good thing for everybody and state economic development as well. General -- -- would mere couple more minutes. Sir -- -- you don't -- Baton Rouge or new borrowing trouble between the two cities. 95 minute seven stops ten bucks each one. -- a better idea arrive will -- from real possibility. Because we. Have the cost code weed -- wrong remembering what are your thoughts for a -- ago. Garlic and it's. -- and you. Are sure sure the yeah that's -- back in your expertise. Are my -- got a -- -- about marriage. And now I live here in New Orleans with our grandparents. Because I have a scholarship to gloat going. Chill everywhere and not go about marriage and more often than not it was on Friday. Are -- it was strange service but -- that the Carrollton station. And not get off adapt that route but -- put -- But it was it was wonderful. Like you -- -- this -- there aren't. Roger out there about an -- so. And the whole market -- -- Bell's move forward have Wi-Fi and computers are -- -- call. -- major general John those old school with the -- loss -- Ginn resort and sore about that general. A bar where you look -- -- with the ancient -- beer and that that Syria architect in civil engineering firm -- At that that's correct or you know does. Yeah where where we've we've been enough Louisiana turned 51 years I'm currently might have offices in Baton Rouge in awards. Or more broad and was just talking about. A -- did use to make that trip. Is this the same infrastructure that this when we built on. Just to kill large extent yet but they didn't have some of those this stops that are being looked at now. And of course disputes. That the ultimate destination downtown that church has changed coaches who are again one of those. Spears were were able to save some money there's another location that's being contemplated. I'm government. And and and also the second one of Baton Rouge ditch near would be basically what. We'll call -- medical complex in Baton Rouge direct connection between New Orleans and in Baton Rouge -- for a potential. Hurricane evacuation. Purposes you know could potentially move patients suffer more -- to the medical Centre area that -- that. Unnecessarily intrusive and another. Another great benefit program serves as a -- would you over and -- some lame excuse grilled him about who's been bill you're wrong with the -- Yeah they are all gonna -- and. -- brush service and it is exciting it is -- able to do. Indy -- government -- pray hate personally -- well right from about forefront of the year urged. India and I don't know about it or the senate when it -- to negotiate in good attempt at corporate -- play personally -- decrying. Good good good question -- Debt and it ended -- it is a question there's there's that probably a. An amount of money. On the operating cost to its side and I -- put the servers into place. That that war have to be addressed. And and that's a question so in the report. We we discussed responding we discussed what those cost might be and they had clearly. We need answers to those questions in this variety of ways to can be developed. But but the -- point is isn't very good one that there -- they'll have to be some. Subsidy. Two to make up they're operating costs and and you could you could argue. That. The bus services and other alternative. In terms of argued that it doesn't offer the same advantages because bosses can get in traffic and congestion in the same -- cars can't. But dumb again true very very each. Dependable ways to do get back and forth that was pretty popular. You know right after the hurricane we used to look to transport people touch into the cities so that it was a reasonably priced alternative. But his point is is exactly well taken. And getting a lot of calls from the north through -- -- -- you consumed -- crew you know coach and against. That's a no no confusion no real infrastructure for a run. Well there's there's there is tracked but again this is this is the starting point to -- and and again there's that could be opportunities to expand it should. Should the demand. Dictate the that's -- we can do. I would assume. That that every round conference with a -- service. Where and when that service was put in place. A dozen business congregated around a -- won't Gonzales. And Lewis and those. Have a surge in business. But that's correct and how do you develop that the station locations. Without tourist oriented development is this something that it's it's pretty well understood. And then again those those localities. Can be developed and then it does it does generate economic development. You brought up for one thing do too exciting news or brutal mindless you'll Falwell reported on this ago I would -- rules that every great. Good dog -- I appreciate the call thank you thank.