« AnteriorContinuar »
you really spreads into two, the computer problem on each end of the railroad, which is the Boston-New York passenger service. I am sure you understand it, although very many people don't.
The commuter problem is better understood, and much more talked about. I am going to spend very little time on it. The studies can quite logically, indeed, take care of both.
The second problem of Boston-New York, that probably is less well understood. It is something which needs thorough financing.
And I emphasize financing, not subsidy.
There is a very valid distinction and a real difference, if this were merely a proposal to keep alive a dying service, a dead horse, and pour public money into operating deficits for a service which is carrying fewer and fewer passengers every year, I could quietly assume the viewpoint of those who say this is a waste of money and bad policy.
It need not be. This service could be economically viable, I firmly believe.
My company has prepared a proposal for an ultra-high-speed rail service between Boston and New York-an ultra-high-speed passenger service for the States of—between Boston and New York, of which I have several copies, excerpts from that proposal, which contain the basic facts of what we are doing about the plan, and the hypothesis which we present.
It is my belief that a system of trains operating on a 212-hour schedule between Boston and New York over a rebuilt New Haven Railroad, on its existing land, especially including the unusually well-built railroad, the Boston & Providence, would attract 3 million passengers a year.
At the outset, when we talk about its costs, including capital costs, we feel it would require a very high initial capital investment, which, I postulate, would be $200 million.
Since the Federal Government finances—and, please note that I say finances, not subsidizes—finances highways and projects and provides the
high investment necessary, it is unrealistic to expect private capital to finance a superrailroad running in competition with them.
The proponents of highway construction say that this financing does not represent a subsidy, because the user charges pay all the costs.
This may or may not be so. If not so, it will be so. I don't wish to enter into that argument.
My point is, whether they do or not, the superrailroad would pay back, by its revenues, all its costs, including capital costs.
Senator PASTORE. What is your position with respect to Federal financing of a high-speed railroad—for instance, between New York and Boston--without doing the same thing between New England and Chicago?
Mr. BIXLER. I would do the same anywhere in the United States, where there was reason to believe that the service would be so well used it would pay back its costs.
Senatore PASTORE. This would have to be a national policy.
Mr. BIXLER. Indeed it would, but, as a matter of practical fact, I don't believe there is any other place in the country where it would happen.
Senatore PASTORE. Where it is needed!
financing interstate highways, wherever they are needed, throughout the country, and so should we finance superrailroads. Senatore PASTORE. What do you mean by financing ?
Mr. BIXLER. I mean, provide the initial investment, or, at least, guarantee it. That is probably the only answer, that the Federal Government guarantee the private loan wherever it would have been made.
The investment would be made, and, if the operation were well done, the resulting revenues would pay all its costs, including all the capital costs. The Federal Government would not have to put up a dime.
Senatore PASTORE. You must admit, that kind of a plan would originate somewhere in the President's office.
Mr. BIXLER. I don't know enough about Government to know that.
Senatore PASTORE. You know enough about the United States of America to know that.
Mr. BIXLER. Wherever it originates, the point I wish to make is that it need not be a matter of subsidy.
Senator PASTORE. Eventually you might be coming to it.
A person who wants to go from Boston to Washington takes one of the shuttle planes, and he is down there in an hour and a half, 2 hours, and it costs $25 or $30, whatever the cost might be.
If he gets on the train in Boston and starts out to go to Washington, he doesn't know if he is ever going to get there, let alone get there in 2 or 3 hours. It takes almost a day. That is the situation, unless you do something about it now.
It might not be the answer for anyone who starts out from Boston and goes to Washington, but certainly it can be the answer for a person who wants to get to, say, Newark or New York, or maybe New Haven. It makes a big difference if you can get a fast-speed train.
Mr. BIXLER. Certainly it does.
Senator PASTORE. That, of course, is the answer not only in this part of the country, it might be the answer, chances are, in other parts of the country, as well. But, of course, the big problem is the commuter service.
Sir, I thank you for your presentation. Do you want to leave your proposal for the study of a high-speed railroad between Boston and New York with us?
Mr. BIXLER. I should like to leave this with you.
Senator PASTORE. We will incorporate that by reference in the record.
The thing that concerns me at the moment is we are talking about Federal money, about $20 million, to make a study of the fast-speed trains, but we are not doing anything about the train that is there now.
Mr. BIXLER. I believe that is the point we are making, that you are putting money into the train that is there now. Well, the ultra-highspeed train won't take very long, and won't cost very much.
Senator PASTORE. Our next witness is Mr. Rood.
My name is Armistead B. Rood. I live in Washington, D.C. I am one of the six directors of the Boston & Providence Railroad Corp.
I also serve actively as counsel to groups of its stockholders.
In Boston I can be reached at room 820,53 State Street.
I have been raised in Concord, Mass. I have knowledge of the New England and railroad geography, and I have been a student of the New Haven Railroad financing in a professional way since 1936, when I was assistant counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce in its classic investigation of railroad finances and reorganization under Burton K. Wheeler.
Senator PASTORE. That qualifies you as an expert. The map showing railroad routes into Boston for New York traffic including routes of the Boston & Providence Railroad via Forest Hills, the New Haven Railroad and Boston & Providence Railroad joint route via Dorchester and the New York Central Railroad via Springfield and Worcester (Boston & Albany RR.) will be incorporated in the files of the committee. The New York Central “Springfield Line” timetable will be incorporated in the files, also.
Mr. Rood. Mr. Bixler was good enough to mention the Boston & Providence Railroad and mentioned it favorably. This is very unusual, because the Boston & Providence is the rail
denc road nobody knows, and its obscurity is very strange.
The Boston & Providence Railroad Corp. got its charter back in 1831, and its franchise, and it built a straight line from Boston Common to Providence Harbor, it was the first link in the Shore Line Road, and is the fastest link in the Shore Line Route, operating trains at a speed limit of 90 miles an hour.
I am here for two purposes.
My first purpose is to place in the record the fact that the Boston & Providence Railroad Corp. owns the Boston & Providence Railroad. It exists as a straight independent estate, and may be dealt with on that basis, and should be dealt with on that basis.
And I ask the members of the public planning community to please take that factor into consideration.
We own the Back Bay Station, which last year the New York Central came into under a lease, so that that is now a joint situation.
We have ownership in the Providence Station.
We have two routes into Providence, one by way of Pawtucket, the other by East Providence. 12-johnston, c. r. 48366 nite lino sec.
46–135 914-915 May 7, 1965
We have two routes into Boston. The map I have handed to you, Mr. Chairman, shows those two routes into Boston.
One route comes into Boston via Forest Hills. And the other comes in via Dorchester.
The Back Bay Station can be reached by each route.
The State has an option to buy the Boston & Providence Railroad, as it has under any of the other old railroad charters.
The Boston & Providence has an ICC valuation of $48 million. But, of course, it is available on a far, far lower price basis.
The fact that we have duplicate routes into Providence, and into Boston, means that facilities can be used for other purposes, like transit, and for highways, and, also, the railroad services can be deployed around.
Now, I am interested in what Mr. Bixler said, pointing out this question of the demand.
What is the demand for a through New York-Boston-Washington service?
I came up from Washington to Boston this week, and I traveled by airplane, even though I have a free pass on the railroad.
I would like to point outSenator PASTORE. You have not finished the thought. So what? Mr. Rood. So I think it is very important to know what the demand really is.
Senator PASTORE. I see.
Mr. Rood. And I think that the demand can be determined within a very reasonable degree of accuracy.
I don't think that this railroad service is going to take over the traffic between Washington and Boston, but it certainly would go a long way between New York and Boston.
I would like to call to your attention the fact that the Shore Line is not the original route between New York and Boston.
The original route between New York and Boston is the Springfield Line. That is the Boston & Albany Railroad going through Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, and then New Haven, going down to Hartford and New York.
Now, when the New York, New Haven & Hartford set up its imperial system at the beginning of the 20th century they had a policy of alternating the trains via both routes.
There was a 12 o'clock train out of Boston via Springfield, and the 1 o'clock via Providence, and the 4 o'clock via Springfield, the 5 o'clock via Providence.
In that way it was possible to maintain a high frequency of service between the two largest points, the terminals of Boston and New York, and, also, greatly to increase the market for that traffic on the way by including Worcester and Springfield and Hartford.
I mention this especially because, in Boston, I heard some grumbling about the State of Massachusetts and its inability to come into focus on some of these questions; and it was pointed out that, if this thing is limited to the Shore Line only, only Boston is involved, and that might not get the widespread support of the State.
But, if it could be pointed out that Worcester and Springfield could also be included by alternating the trains back and forth—and I don't mean super trains; I just mean the present service under improvements—then there would be wider support in Massachusetts and an increased market for the service.
Now I say that I speak for the Boston & Providence Railroad.
You, Mr. Chairman, come from Providence; but I am sure you don't mind seeing Springfield and Hartford get in on this service, too.
And, owing to the remarkable fact that we have two roads coming into Boston, it is possible to run trains right around on a loop basis, running trains from New York to New Haven to Providence, to Boston, the Back Bay station, coming in on that Dorchester road, and head west, and continue right on to Worcester and Springfield and Hartford and New Haven.
And I say to you that it seems quite clear that if the PennsylvaniaNew York Central merger proceeding goes through, the Boston & Albany Railroad is going to be joined to the New Haven.
Therefore, we will see the Springfield line placed under the same management as the New Haven service.
So that the New Haven will not need to follow the policy of running all Boston trains on the Providence route to avoid Iosing revenue to another railroad company. It is all going to be one railroad company.
If the Pennsylvania-Central takes the New Haven, then that follows automatically.
But, if the Pennsylvania-Central does not take the New Haven, then it is perfectly clear that the Boston & Albany will be detached and the Pennsylvania-Central conceded that in their last public statement to the Commission.
Somebody raised the question about the principle of Federal subsidy, Federal intervention.
I think that this gets greatly overworked. I think that New England, I am sorry to say, has suffered very badly, because the New England railroads were turned back by the Government to the companies in 1920.
It did not seem so at the time. But, looking at it historically, it has been unfortunate.
I observe that a large part of the passenger-train service today is federally subsidized, and I mean the mail trains. That is a big traffic on the New Haven system, and that, of course, is Government-subsidized transportation.
Of course, you can talk about principles all you want; but there is a greater principle, which I call a principle of natural law, and that is that a service can't pay out more than it takes in.
Therefore, it is either going to stop or it is going to find new funds. But this is not going to stop because it is too necessary.
Therefore, with all your labors, there will be a final resolution of the problem; and this is going to be supported—I have no doubt about it for a moment—this is going to be supported, in one way or another, eventually, from public aid.
It will, of course, be with Federal support in one form or another. Senator PASTORE. Thank you very much.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Chairman, my name is Nathan M. Klein. I reside at 70th Avenue, Sea Cliff, Long Island, and I have been a commuter on the Long Island Railroad for 15 years.
I am president of the North Shore Commuters Association, and I am also president of the Metropolitan Commuters Council.
Mr. Chairman, many commuters are opposed to the passage of this bill. And I am referring to the bill S. 325. I believe it is called the Ribicoff bill. This bill will accomplish nothing for the commuters, and will give the railroads a free crack at $100 million.
Under section 606 of the bill, the Interstate Commerce Commission can entertain proposals from the railroads for the discontinuance or change in passenger service or operation, thus continuing the trend since the enactment of the Transportation Act of 1958 of discontinuing thousands of passenger track miles, instead of helping commuters, which will increase the crisis.
Under section 602 of the bill, railroads can apply for and receive expenditures for labor, materials, services, and other costs incurred in maintaining, repairing, and renewing railroad properties used in transportation services.
And, under section 605 of the same bill, they can also apply for and receive expenditures in the acquisition and modernization of the passenger cars, including multiple-unit commuter cars required for the