Railroading still doesn't have anything rolling that has the emotional appeal of the steam locomotive.

Nickel Plate 765 at Zenda, Wisconsin, with passenger excursion.  12 June 2016.

There were two news items in yesterday's Destination: Freedom that couldn't shake the cinders.

From Politico: Federal funding for Gateway project gains steam.  It takes a lot of political wrangling to fix the Hudson Tubes.
The new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and the new Portal Bridge in New Jersey, which will replace the existing, century-old, bottleneck of a swinging bridge over the Hackensack River, are expected to cost upwards of $10 billion. The overall Gateway program  — including an expansion of Penn Station — is expected to cost more than $20 billion.
I think, adjusted for inflation, A. J. Cassatt and The Pennsylvania Railroad got the original Tubes and Pennsylvania Station for less.  In fairness, they were still setting New Jersey commuters down at Exchange Place to ride the Hudson and Manhattan (today's PATH) downtown or to midtown the slow way.  And to get the station built, they had to electrify the Tubes.  Steam locomotives, such as the 3730 at left, handed the passenger trains off to DD1 electric locomotives, the sole preserved example featured, at Manhattan Transfer.  (Yes, there's another popular band with a railroad theme!)

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, 9 August 2014.

And yes, that's another Nickel Plate steamer behind the DD1.

From Fredericksburg, Virginia's Free-Lance Star comes High-speed rail plan picks up steam in Fredericksburg region.  It's a regular dog's breakfast of mixed metaphors.
A bypass east of Fredericksburg to avoid the city’s historic district and the 1910 station on Lafayette Boulevard has residents in the path of the proposed line all steamed up. The Right Rail for the Rappahannock Region group has formed to oppose the bypass. New tracks would be laid south of Spotsylvania’s Virginia Railway Express station in the New Post area, swing into Caroline County, cross the Rappahannock River into southern Stafford County and tie into the Dahlgren spur. It would link back to the CSX main line from there.

Another option is a no-build alternative that wouldn’t add a third track, but rather rely on improvements at crossings, signals and safety systems. This plan wouldn’t add capacity and would slow train speeds here. All the proposals envision some expansion of the Fredericksburg station.

Now’s the time for residents to weigh in on the alternatives. Those interested in seeing what the future may hold for faster train service between Washington, D.C., and Richmond can get details on the project from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Fredericksburg Christian High School. Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation representatives will provide an update for what’s ahead for the 123 miles of tracks between the state and national capitals.

The project has gained momentum since the Federal Railroad Administration determined that raising the train speeds from Florida to D.C. would provide a viable and efficient transportation choice that’s competitive with airlines and autos. Improved rail service received a major boost last week when Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia will receive a $165 million federal FASTLANE grant for roads and rails in the I–95 corridor.
The plan, as the editorial notes, isn't German style high-speed rail, but as a migration of the Cold Spring Shops "Free Rein to 110" campaign, it's a desirable outcome.  But all that steam talk is too much for the Destination: Freedom editor.
High-Speed usually is considered to be 125 miles per hour and over at the very least. In foreign nations we are talking about 125-200 mph and over. Rather, this line would be attempting to reach speeds of 90 mph and vicinity which would be an increase over what is possible now. I’d also note the reference to “steam” in the headline which continues to annoy a lot of rail industry people and rail advocates. Trains don’t go “choo-choo” anymore.
Perhaps not.  But the rail advocates, have, in the steam locomotive, a living medium for making people railroad-aware.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 2008.

Come to trackside for the steamers.  Stay and observe the contemporary high-productivity freight and high-performance passenger trains.

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