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Louisiana to seek New Orleans-Baton Rouge passenger rail line from federal stimulus pot that Jindal called wasteful

by Robert Travis Scott, The Times-Picayune
Saturday February 28, 2009, 8:00 AM

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money in the president's economic stimulus package that Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized as unnecessary pork on national television Tuesday night.

The high-speed rail line, a topic of discussion for years, would require $110 million to upgrade existing freight lines and terminals to handle a passenger train operation, said Mark Lambert, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Jindal on Tuesday delivered the official Republican Party response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress. He criticized the stimulus package passed by the Democratic-majority in Congress and the president and noted examples of projects that he found objectionable.

"While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending," Jindal said. "It includes ... $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a 'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland."

Louisiana's transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service.

The $8 billion pot is for high-speed rail and inter-city passenger rail service projects. The Federal Railroad Administration will make decisions about which grant applications to approve but has not yet released the rules and requirements that will determine the awards process. Emphasis will be placed on projects that are near ready for implementation so that the stimulus money can hit the streets soon.

Jindal oversees the state transportation department and appointed its secretary.

Lambert said the agency intends to apply for the Louisiana rail line but the prospect of getting the grant is very much up in the air. The administration will have to review the application procedures before moving forward, he said.

The passenger service Amtrak has a rail line that runs from New Orleans west to Lafayette and beyond, but does not connect in the state capital. About 89 miles of freight line connecting the two cities would be upgraded to handle the higher-speed passenger trains.

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and an existing freight station near downtown Baton Rouge would be improved to handle passenger traffic. State officials have talked to Amtrak about providing the service, Lambert said.

Other pots of transportation money in various federal spending bills might also offer opportunities to pay for the rail service.

A aide in Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's office said the state also has passenger rail connections from New Orleans to Houston and Meridian, Miss., on the drawing boards, but the Baton Rouge line is the most realistic at this time.

The federal stimulus bill does not specifically mention a rail line connecting Las Vegas to Anaheim, Calif., because any potential recipient of the money must file a grant proposal. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was instrumental in boosting the amount of money for the rail projects in the stimulus bill. He has said he intends to tap that money for a rail line from Las Vegas to Anaheim, where Disneyland is located.

Asked for comment Friday about the Jindal stance on the federal rail money, the governor's Chief of Staff Timmy Teepell said he does not think the Las Vegas to Anaheim line is a good use of taxpayer money. He did not address the Louisiana proposal.

COMMENTS (185)Post a comment
Posted by rmcnola on 02/27/09 at 6:52PM

What is wrong with the govenor, somebody tell him that Bush is not in office anymore. It sounds like he doesn't like any idea, to help the economy if it's not a tax cut. Tax cuts alone don't stimulate the economy; ask all the people in the unemployment line, thanks to your bff Bush!!!

Posted by perplexed on 02/27/09 at 6:54PM

Jindal was right and DOT should not even consider this. Passenger rail NEVER breaks even just on the operating costs, and the upgrade will have cost overruns because they always do.

Only 400 people a day take LA Swift. Just how many more would travel from a one declining CBD to another? If there are intermediate stops, then it is no longer high speed.

Anybody, and that would be most people, who would need a car at either end would still drive.

Rail is a bad idea that will only benefit clients of the rail lobby.

Posted by schrowa4 on 02/27/09 at 6:59PM

Jindal, you are such a bonehead. Why would you criticize high-speed rail projects? Do you know how many people hate the drive between BR and NOLA? Do you know how much they would love to be able to take a magnlev train and get between the two cities in 15 minutes? Can you imagine the ways this could help the two cities grow and protect against hurricanes? It would be a great addition to have Houston to BR tied into high speed rail as well. Maglev trains get up to 362 miles per hour. Can you imagine commuting to Houston in 45 minutes to an hour and not having to drive? This would help Baton Rouge, solve congestion problems without adding more roads and ease evacuation concerns. It would make it so much easier to work and play in Louisiana.

Posted by EnuffBS on 02/27/09 at 7:00PM

"......that Jindal called wasteful."

Class act, TP, adding that little final wording. You have lost all objectivity, and all credibility. REPORT the news, without so blatantly trying to shade it with your own BIAS.

The headline on this article is the reason the TP is headed down the same cr---er that the Denver paper which recently shut down after 150 years of operation.

Jeeeez... what a clown --you call this journalism?

EnuffBS

Posted by EnuffBS on 02/27/09 at 7:05PM

Ummm... Shrow... did you bother to read the, well, I hesitate to call it an article as it is so obviously a work of propaganda in its own right; but had you read it, you'd note that the MAGLEV (correct word)...was for California... what this Pork would be used for is to "upgrade existing FREIGHT tracks"... to create a rail line connecting N.O. to B.R. --- and another poster is correct... it would NOT generate the monies needed to even pay for its upkeep.

Talk about boneheaded ideas!

EnuffBS

Posted by culdcept on 02/27/09 at 7:06PM

We NEED THIS. Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, needs to finally MOVE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY!

Go jump in a ditch, Jindal!

Posted by tinag on 02/27/09 at 7:07PM

You know what? Every major city has some type of rail system. Is it possible that La. could join the 20th/21st century?? It would be fabulous to be able to get on a damn train to BR. I'd actually go again. I10 between NO and BR is a frickin' nightmare.

BUILD THAT TRAIN!!!! People in BR could come down for the day and not have to worry about parking.

We need better public transport in the south. In the NE it is so great to hop on a train and ditch the vehicle.

Posted by winsa on 02/27/09 at 7:08PM

You know what is wasteful? The Governor's mind!

Posted by tinag on 02/27/09 at 7:08PM

Oop, culdcept we were on the same page!

Posted by bigfrankeee1 on 02/27/09 at 7:24PM

9 billion for rail lines that the politicians will just happen to own all the land near by to make sure their families get rich .... do you know anybody that will ride the train from baton rouge to new orleans to get off the train and get robbed while waiting for a ride to work

Posted by schrowa4 on 02/27/09 at 7:27PM

Maglev's costs of operations are much less, it lasts longer, it is quieter, and “the dual-guideway maglev has the passenger-carrying capacity of a 10-lane highway. Yet it uses less land, about 15 percent of the land you use for a typical four-lane highway.

Posted by dumasrl on 02/27/09 at 7:35PM

A high speed rail system between Baton Rouge and New Orleans would be wonderful.

Jindal is an idiot...and he proved it with that pathetic speach the other night.

Posted by dumasrl on 02/27/09 at 7:39PM

bigfrankeee1,

They would upgrade exisiting rail lines. Did you not read the article?

I live in Baton Rouge and I certainly would ride the train from BR to NO...several times a month. It would definitely beat driving. As for getting robbed...I don't live my life in fear!

Posted by Nola98 on 02/27/09 at 7:41PM

Rail transportation is for European socialists.

Posted by bayoustjohn on 02/27/09 at 8:10PM

Government infrastructure spending is the grease that lubricates the national economy and adds to our overall prosperity. If you don't think we should be spending money on infrastructure I can point you to several countries that spend almost nothing on infrastructure, in Central and South America and Africa.

I-10 is at or over capacity. Driving in Baton Rouge is a nightmare and driving to Baton Rouge most days isn't much better. So, here is a smart way to handle this and the usual suspects are yelling no. And is it any wonder Louisiana is last. Every time someone proposes something that drags this state into the present there is someone yelling no.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 8:13PM

So let me get this straight. Bobby Jindal called the funds for the railroad project "wasteful" spending but yet he runs the state transportation department. Jindal's spokesman called the California rail system "wasteful" but wont comment on the wasteful Louisiana rail system? Boy, the GOP is really proving itself competent now.....NOT. How successful will that rail system really be? Outside of hurricane evacuations and the occasional visiting of relatives from Baton Rouge why would anybody from New Orleans ride the rail system to Baton Rouge, this isnt a knock on Baton Rouge and I know some great people there and visit every now and then but honestly that wouldnt generate enough success to be sustainable. No wonder the red states are facing massive budget deficits. Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina and California right now reasons why the GOP is tanking

Posted by nolaniche on 02/27/09 at 8:20PM

hey why not. the only ones that would have a problem with it is the ones that get take home cars that live in baton rouge.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 8:21PM

Bayoustjohn, driving through Jefferson Parish is like 10x worst than driving through Baton Rouge. They need a rail system through metropolitan New Orleans. Just the population between Orleans and Jefferson Parish alone is equal to the entire nine parish Baton Rouge metropolitan area. They especially need one because everything is in Jefferson Parish, people who stay on the outer edges of Orleans Parish past Michoud to the edge of St. Bernard Parish have to drive to J.P. for everything. It would save alot of money because of the driving distance

Posted by nolaniche on 02/27/09 at 8:21PM

and by the way. the rail system from vegas to la has been on the drawing board for over 10 years. it is nothing new. although plans call for it to arrive in LA not Disney.

Posted by lakeviewer82 on 02/27/09 at 8:25PM

There are a few things that are missing from this story. There are two other parts to this rail corridor that other Governors (Who also criticized the funding for high-speed rail) will surely take. NOLA to Mobile and Baton Rouge to Houston.

The other part not being reported, yet, is that this will be the opportunity for us to retool our manufacturing base just as the European "socialists" (which apparently is code for anything that dramatically improves the overall quality of life in America thru capital investment by the federal govt.) did.

You have to build these trains somewhere and I just read an article where a northern Gov. is going to work with GM to retool assembly lines due to be shuttered to build these socialist trains.

We are well on our way to the green economy that our President ran on and these are jobs that cannot be shipped over seas and even people as ignorant as those who throw around words like socialist to describe every thing they don't understand can do them.

Posted by legrandee on 02/27/09 at 8:31PM

He wouldn't know pork if Donald Link served it up to him on a silver platter at Cochon.

During the years we were stuck in Las Vegas, we had to drive back and forth between Vegas and Southern California at least once a month. It was horrible - old, torn-up roadbed, two lanes each side of the highway, few or no alternate routes for much of the way across the barren desert, stuck for hours in 110 degree temps if there was an accident, bumper-to-bumper traffic that slows to a crawl for hours at certain times of the week. Dangerous and crowded, and the only way that over 80 percent of the Vegas valley's food gets into the city.

A high-speed rail line there is not pork; it's becoming a necessity. Jindal put himself on my idiot list with that comment, talking out his @ss about something he doesn't understand. Seems to be a pattern.

Posted by joebozak on 02/27/09 at 8:37PM

Piyush Jindal:

Creationism = Good

Funding for Louisiana Infrastructure Projects = Bad

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/27/09 at 8:41PM

Our "socialist messiah" is finally helping Louisiana pull its head of its rear and into the 21st century.

Hopefully if our cities actually start looking like cities and not dumps that never cleaned up after the '64 riots, the right people would actually want to move here and stay here. It is literally embarrassing to go to other cities and feel like you've just jumped into a time machine because you never even knew certain things that those citizens take for granted even existed. Our almost painful conservatism is why Louisiana lags so far behind the rest of the nation.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/27/09 at 8:44PM

Just say no to the rail system unless it goes to Mississippi or the North Shore.

The last thing that the people of Baton Rouge want is a rail system that will be used to evacuate people from New Orleans to Baton Rouge for hurricanes. They wrecked the River Center and prevented several month's of scheduled activities from being held after they were moved to other places. It was insane how much damage that they did in so little time. They also were such a problem to the down town business that many had to hire additional security and physically alter their facilities for access control. Many of the evacuees were not nice people.

The mayor of Baton Rouge has had several debates with FEMA and apparently FEMA has agreed to fully compensate Baton Rouge for any future losses if the River Center is used as a shelter in the future.

New Orleans is a dying town and it ought to die without taking the rest of the state with it.

NO NO NO rail service.

Posted by culdcept on 02/27/09 at 8:51PM

sleepfriend: Simple question. Why constantly post on a website devoted to the "dying town" of New Orleans? Just really curious as to the motive there.

Posted by nolalou2 on 02/27/09 at 8:51PM

With the large number of people who moved from New Orleans to the north shore, and places between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, passenger rail makes a lot of sense!

I have co workers who use private van pools since there is no rail alternative. The tracks are already there, they just need to be upgraded.

Bedsides, we're supposed to be trying to get off our dependence on foreign oil. This is by far a more efficient option than waiting for Detroit auto makers to come up with an alternative.

Posted by NolaProud1 on 02/27/09 at 8:56PM

sleepfriend, I guess you don't realize the state's economic engine is the City of New Orleans. Yet, New Orleans has multiple issues, ver serious ones. However, death of New Orleans would significantly adversly impact Baton Rouge and the rest of state's economy. Besides govt and a few petro-chemical plants what industries is Baton Rouge home of?

Posted by culdcept on 02/27/09 at 9:00PM

Posted by NolaProud1 on 02/27/09 at 8:56PM
Besides govt and a few petro-chemical plants what industries is Baton Rouge home of?
-----------------

Well, it churns out strip malls like nobody's business.

But I kid Baton Rouge. I visit family there every other week and I would LOVE a rail system connecting us. They could pick me up at the terminal, and I'd do the same when they visited me in New Orleans.

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/27/09 at 9:00PM

Yes, Louisiana could totally live without New Orleans, Baton Rouge's tourism industry is thriving.

Posted by OscarPeck on 02/27/09 at 9:00PM

Rail from N.O. to Houston makes a lot of sense. I-10 is absolutely crowded with traffic.

amazing, isn't it, Jindal had nothing to say when Bush and the republicans bankrupted this country. No criticism at all at transferring massive amounts of middle class wealth to crooked campaign contributors and other sordid entities.

Posted by WarHawk on 02/27/09 at 9:17PM

New Orleans is not the economic engine of the state. New Orleans metro is. For example, the Port of South Louisiana is now just as important, if not more, than the Port of New Orleans.

If the service-based economy of New Orleans is so great, then why is the business community always talking about how New Orleans needs to move away from its dependence on tourism.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 9:21PM

I love the sarcasm rjjoe504. Think about this sleepfriend. I know alot of people think Baton Rouge is this small, peace and quiet town but heres the bomb im about to drop. Baton Rouge has made it on to the FBI's "50 Most Violent Cities" since the year 2000. Baton Rouge's population in 2000 was 227,000 and according to the Census Bureau it's population in 2008 was 229,000 for a growth of 2000 within it's city limits. After Hurricane Katrina even with the TEMPORARY explosion in population that Baton Rouge saw the state of Louisiana still struggled because it's signature city, New Orleans, was down for the count. I pointed this out to many Baton Rougeans when I stayed in B.R. temporarily after Hurricane Katrina but they were in such great denial it was funny. After Katrina and Rita Baton Rouge and Lafayette saw great growth but Louisiana still struggled. You ever notice that as New Orleans and surrounding areas re-populate the state of La. is slowly getting back together again, granted with an idiot for Governor that will just knock us back down. People from New Orleans never had problems with people from Baton Rouge but it seems as though Baton Rouge natives had major problems with people from New Orleans and why you ask...all I can think of jealousy. Jealousy that N.O. has the national stature that Baton Rouge so desperately wants and maybe B.R. citizens didnt like the fact that New Orleans continues to be the breadmaker in Louisiana and Baton Rouge wants their time to shine but heres the thing...they had their time in late 2005 and early 2006 and they failed the test. Baton Rouge was once home to 200,000 displaced residents from the metro area in New Orleans and now in 2009, if you look at the Census Bureau's numbers and you see the population only 2,000 people higher than 2000 than you must ask yourselves some quesitons. Just like residents from Orleans Parish started flocking to J.P. and St. Tammany people from EBR are flocking to Livingston and Ascension Parish but this isnt about New Orleans vs Baton Rouge because honestly theres nothing attractive about either city and a rail system linking the two cities makes absolutely no sense what so ever. Most people with cars would still rather drive the distance because have you seen Baton Rouge's poublic transportation system, its nearly nonexistent. If you dont have a car in Baton Rouge then your goose is cooked.

Posted by TSWLM on 02/27/09 at 9:23PM

JINDALS IN DISNEYWORLD RIDING THE ELEPHANTS AT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM ATTRACTION. WHAT A USELESS P.O.S. GOVERNOR HE REALLY IS.........

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/27/09 at 9:25PM


The City of New Orleans is a parasite. The economic engine for the state has been oil and gas and if the economy improves, the recently discovered massive natural gas deposits found in north central Louisiana will continue to fuel the state's economy.


New Orleans is a net loss and has been for years.

You are lost in dreams of “yesterday’s greatness”.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 9:25PM

Because WarHawk it only makes perfect sense to not have a single entity representing the entire economy of an American city especially a major city like New Orleans. Even with Nagin's incompetence he knows a tourist dependent economy wont work which is why he wants the "medical district" downtown so New Orleans could become a medical hub as well as a tourist hub and he also wants the city's performing arts cenues reopened so the "Broadway South" iniative can bring some Broadway plays here. Even though Jefferson parish is the states population and economic center now since residents from every Greater New Orleans parish and city shop, eat, go to movies in J.P. even Aaron Broussard said it best "Jefferson parish can survive without New Orleans but we cant thrive without New Orleans". People move to JP because they want to be as close to NEw Orleans as possible without dealing with the city government in New Orleans. Just 60 years ago JP only had 48,000 residents and JP might surpass 500,000 if they play their cards right thats excellent growth

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 9:29PM

Sleepfriend, I dont know you are product of Louisiana's 50th ranked education or if you're just in denial which is sounds like its a bit of both but if you dont believe New Orleans is the economic engine of the state (just so you know I am talking about the metropolitan area not the city of New Orleans) then you are out of your mind. No body comes to Louisiana without visiting New Orleans evidenced by how after Katrina as other Louisiana cities grew tourism was down significantly because there wasnt a Big Easy (now I am referring to the city) to come to. The Mardi Gras crow in New Orleans has reached it's Pre Katrina mark of a million visitors. Its the residents of New Orleans that draw tourist here but its the city government that scares them away. In 2010 when new Orleans elects someone who can really be a leader then you will see New Orleans really start to zoom past the rest of the state

Posted by godseesyou on 02/27/09 at 9:37PM

This would be a good idea. College kids could catch the rail home to New Orleans if attending LSU.

Posted by WarHawk on 02/27/09 at 9:43PM

Notorious, you proved my point. What makes METRO Nola the economic engine is not really what happens in New Orleans, but what happens in Jefferson, St. Tammany (600 Chevron jobs moved from downtown to the North Shore), St. Charles and the other river parishes (chemical plants).

Snobs in New Orleans can criticize their suburban neighbors all they want, but it is those people who are shouldering most of the load.

Sure New Orleans has a national image alright. As a place to come, get drunk, vomit and urinate in the streets, and act stupid. It is also a place of unbelievable violence.

After Katrina, sportsmen from throughout South Louisiana came to the aid of trapped New Orleanians, rescuing thousands. They did it without selfish motives, taking time off of work and many lost their expensive boats in the process If the shoe was on the other foot, do you think people in New Orleans would risk life, limb, and money to come to the aid of people in Lafayette or Lake Charles after a major disaster. I'm not talking about sending a check to help, but actually getting off their couches and doing their part.

Posted by Competence23 on 02/27/09 at 9:44PM

Sleepfriend are you sleeping right now because you have to be in an unconscious state to say some of the things you are saying. Its amazing how people who dont live in the metropolitan area hate New Orleans. New Orleans residents dont have a problem with anybody in the state of Louisiana, we can go to anywhere in the state and make friends which is probably why CNN ranked New Orleans #1 on residential friendliness. Maybe people around Louisiana are tired of their pet projects getting passed over so New Orleans can take the most, or maybe its because New Orleans gets all the attention and just like a 14 year old girl who dreams to be the popular senior in high school the rest of Louisiana hates it. Heres the thing, you have to put your money where you make your money. Thats just like a business who makes several different products but only one product is what the people are really buying and thats the product that that company will market the most and see you have to think like a businessman....if New Orleans is where the money flows to then thats where we have to market ourself. I have traveled all over the state and each city and oarish has its own little things that make it great but you need something that everybody wants to come to. With all the quality of life issues the city of New Orleans this city has recouped about 75% to 80% of its residents back. Im just as tired of the crime and potholes and Ray Nagin but I know what the future holds for this place

Posted by dninc on 02/27/09 at 9:44PM

This is probably one of the most Economic booster idea's for Louisiana in a long time, School enrollment would explode, Businesses will flourish again and people will commute less in their own cars and more on mass transit which will help with Global warming if it exist.

Any State would be DUMB to pass up on this..

But we're talking about Louisiana for god sake.

Posted by nick96 on 02/27/09 at 9:48PM

N0TORIOUS4
I think you forgot to light the fuse on your bomb, BR may have only a 2000 gain but look at Ascension and Livingston. Their growth has been 1 and 2 for at least the last 5 years with the North Shore right behind. NO has really become "The little engine that couldn't"! I'm not surprised by the slanted article by the so called "REPORTER". I wonder if he or a few other vocal critics knows who actually owns the railroads that we want to spend all of this money on here in La? Can you say Canadian National ........ It's what the CN stands for on their engines?

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 9:49PM

Warhawk, I proved both our points. Think about this, if New Orleans was wiped off the map and they shut the entire city down and spread the residents in pockets all over the country but left Jefferon Parish alone, do you think people would still want to live in Jefferson Parish? Aaron Neville moved to the North Shore because said he wanted to be close to New Orleans (Orleans Parish). Even though theres so much growth taking place in suburban parishes like Jefferson and St. Tammany it is widely recognized that Orleans Parish is the center of it all. You read what Aaron Broussard said. Personally I love Jefferson Parish I love the shopping, I love knowing that J.P. government can teach New Orleans how to run a functioning government even though there are several cities incorporated in Jefferson Parish with their own government. Metropolitan New Orleans is a great place to be but it is widely recognized that it wouldnt as successful without Orleans Parish in the picture.

Posted by Competence23 on 02/27/09 at 10:04PM

Nick96 most of Ascension and Livingston growth has come from residents fleeing from East Baton Rouge Parish to escape EBR's educational system where the state is trying to take over 12 schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and East Baton Rouge parish had a record number of murders last year and has consistently ranked in the 50 Most Violent Cities List since the year 2000. Livingston and Ascension are growing but its not like people from out of town moving there its mainly people who resided in East Baton Rouge Parish. Just like most of the people who live in Jefferson Parish right now came from Orleans Parish or their parents came from Orleans Parish and live in Jeff now. Its not like Louisiana's population is growing most of the movement in La. is peopole from parts of Louisiana traveling to other parts of the state

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/27/09 at 10:08PM

I dont want to across like I have a problem with Baton Rouge and Lafayette or anywhere else in Louisiana because I have family who live in alot of the rural La. parishes and I visit often and I feel so welcome when I go there but my point is that Louisiana would be so much different if they broke New Orleans out of Louisiana and put it in Mississippi's borders. New Orleans, Mississippi....that doesnt have a ring to it at all.

Posted by nick96 on 02/27/09 at 10:34PM

Competence23, You are running a lot on heart and not much fact. You shouldn't throw stones about crime or poor schools because NO is the poster child for poor performance in both areas. It's too bad we can't have a show of hands from the people who used to live in the NO area. There are subdivision in both parishes that are nearly full of people who left the Metro Area. I know that the stores in Ascension have products on the shelves that we only found in Da Parish or the NO area.
N0TORIOUS4, You probably didn't notice KATRINA, New Orleans did shut down, the rest of the state didn't dry up and blow away. The people of NO were spread out all over and some good folks found there was life without NO, others were sent back because they could only function in New Orleans. I don't think Houston or BR will have the same type of welcome if it ever happens again.

Posted by uptownnative on 02/27/09 at 10:40PM

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/27/09 at 9:00PM
Yes, Louisiana could totally live without New Orleans, Baton Rouge's tourism industry is thriving.

Hold up... New Orleans has funded the checks of this state and territory for 300+ years. Baton Rouge's Tourism industry doesnt even pull a fraction of what New Orleans has mainly due to the fact there is nothting for people to be attracted to out here. All you have are LSU and SU games at BEST and that sparse for a 3.5 month period which does nothing to impact the state. The fact of the matter is this state is NOTHING with out New Orleans no one would care about it.

Outside of Oil and Gas that left New Orleans and left to Houston (let em leave) HRT, Trade, Banking, and entertainment industry taxes (Which are in the city, not the metro area) pay for the majority of the state's budget.

The idea of a High speed rail system in LA between its two largest population centers is a good thing. It can create more jobs, easy access (I'm tired of going and comming back and forth home and dealing with the douches from BR and JP who can't drive), and encourages development in the river parishes plus it can give the state more tax revenue (which can possibly be squanderd). But the person who said that rain only causes a deficit apparently has never left the south and had gone to the midwest and Northeast where people use rail all the time where it is profitable rather than compair it to amtrack, smh.

I worry about the intellegence of people who live outside cities most times.

Posted by uc2it on 02/28/09 at 12:31AM

Jindal said. "It includes ... $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a 'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland."

Debunked, Piyush you shouldn't believe everything Rush says. The magnetic levitation line from Las Vegas to Los Angeles was pitched a year ago to GWB and never went any further. Let Jindal not
cherry pick the stimulus money, and refuse it all. Actually, connecting BR and NO with a mass transit rail line is a good idea. But, that's the rub. This is Louisiana, and good ideas are irrational progressive thoughts!

Posted by notbersl2 on 02/28/09 at 6:27AM

This could work.

RTA would need to build the proposed Loyola loop, and both RTA and CATS would have to change routes, stops, schedules, and fare systems so as to appeal to more people and reduce transit time (e.g., RTA needs to do 4 blocks per stop instead of 2 most of the time) and/or make some express lines, but this could work.

Tie this in with the proposed Union-Passenger-Terminal-to-airport light rail line (i.e., have a stop at the airport), and there's another reason to build this system.

Posted by Nola98 on 02/28/09 at 9:14AM

Take New Orleans out of Louisiana and you know what you have?

MIssissippi.

Enough said.

Posted by Competence23 on 02/28/09 at 11:20AM

Nick96, you seem to be the one not thinking with facts. Check the population numbers. Ascension and Livingston parish Presidents both admitted that any Katrina related growth was short term at best and most of their growth is coming from people leaving East Baton Rouge Parish. The reason why you see things in stores out there that were in da Parish or NOLA is because since NOLA is known for it's food cities all over the state are trying to mimick the way New Orleans makes its food and on top of the that the entire state is known for its food its not something thats jut unique to New Orlens so I think your claims are just baseless and you want to prove your point with lies. See most people have a late 2005 and early 2006 mindframe when it comes to popuilation in Louisiana. Most of the people who left the city of New Orleans either returned to the city ot maybe Jefferson parish or St. Tammany. There are still a SMALL FRACTION of New Orleanians in the greater Baton Rouge area but trust me you can count them on one hand its so small. Speak fact if you want to argue and not just what you think is going on.

Posted by MINESHAFT on 02/28/09 at 11:22AM

the TP writer of this article is too obama tranced to be objective. get another job, idiot!

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 11:25AM

i've seen this episode. the streets are falling apart and the town wants a monorail.


Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
What'd I say?
Ned Flanders: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Patty+Selma: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!
[crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...
Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
All: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
All: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: Once again...
All: Monorail!
Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
All: Monorail!
Monorail!
Monorail!
[big finish]
Monorail!
Homer: Mono... D'oh!

Posted by RealityDani on 02/28/09 at 11:27AM

Jindal is trying to avoiding the bait and switch with this money. Remember all the home loans that came easy and then people were having trouble paying it off.

Posted by Realitydani on 02/28/09 at 11:30AM

Ileftnola, your's is the best post I think I've ever seen!

Posted by Ignoxious on 02/28/09 at 11:30AM

The rail line will provide replacement jobs for
the illegal workers. Of course they dont pay taxes
but neither do those that sit on the neutral
ground.
Nola98, yes you have Mississippi but you could
rename the city New Haiti.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 11:32AM

My question is what sense does this proposal make? Exactly how many people are riding the LA Swift from Baton Rouge to New Orleans? Not many. This proposal makes sense for idealist that want to connect the two cities but realistically this makes no sense as I stated earlier, outside of hurricane evacuations there would be no need for New Orleanians to travel to Baton Rouge unless of course maybe the occasional visiting relatives in the area but even if they decide to do that Baton Rouge's bus system, CATS, has performed horribly. Baton Rouge mayor-president Kip Holden talked of cutting CATS altogether because it wasnt generating enough riders and whenever I am in Baton Rouge and I see a bus out there it has only 1 person on it. The days of the population boom are over in Baton Rouge as Baton Rouge's popuilation is only 2,000 people higher than it was in the 2000 Census and this project makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Granted a high speed rail line that travels 100mph or greater would decrease the distance between the two cities that taking a slow bus that goes 60 65mph bus would but financially it wouldnt be a success.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 11:37AM

monorail!
monorail!
(big finish)
moooonoraaaaaiiiiil!

Posted by upuptown on 02/28/09 at 11:40AM

I think it's a great idea. MSY airport would need to be a stop. Somewhere southeast of B.R. would be a good stop, too. If there was good parking, people from Ascension Parish and that area could take a train to the airport.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 11:57AM

upuptown, i don't see your good ideas.

if you live in BR, you use the BR airport.
if you live in nola and you don't own a car, you pay the flat fee for a cab to take you to the airport...instead of paying for a cab to take you to the train to get to the airport.
if you live in nola and you have a car, you drive yourself to the airport and pay for parking...instead of driving to the train to pay for parking to then take the train.
if you live just outside of nola and you don't own a car...you're probably not flying around the country much.

also, you've got to be pretty careful about adding more and more stops to a 100mph line...because the additional stops could turn it into a 40mph line overall.

this may be a good idea to create some temporary jobs, but when considering the sustainability of this system longterm, you need to ask yourself a question: "how often would i use this thing?" if the answer isn't "a couple times a week", this thing will be a financial turd over the longterm.

also, last time i checked, new orleans wasn't that good at taking care of their infrastructure...so why would you think this train idea wouldn't get run down in 10 years after commissioning?

do you even think nola would do it right? when it's complete, it'll probably end up on the long list of "infrastructure that's ready to fail upon a mild rain...let alone a storm"

Posted by chudacek on 02/28/09 at 12:03PM

What a fantastic idea that's long overdue. While we're at it, how about a rail link between MSY and downtown, via Vets Blvd. and connecting with the streetcars along the way? And a connection to the North Shore at Causeway? Imagine people from all over the region being able to shop at the malls or go to the Quarter without fighting the traffic and parking battle. Drivers would benefit, too, from reduced congestion. Europeans have taken these things for granted for decades; $10 gas will bring these here eventually. We might as well start now.

As to the ridiculous argument that we shouldn't build railroads because they don't "break even"--do you think the road and highway system has ever broken even? The purpose of infrastructure is not to break even in its own right, but to facilitate commerce. A rail network pays for itself by making a region work together as a connected network.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 12:07PM

chudacek,

i wasn't referring to 'breaking even'. i was referring to a 'financial turd'. the turd is a much lower level of performance...aka not enough to facilitate commerce.

Posted by MizFitt on 02/28/09 at 12:16PM

Please sleepfriend....go to back to sleep. Like Rip Van Winkle.

Wake up in 100 years and see how this country has passed you and your tired old ways by!

Posted by uptownnative on 02/28/09 at 12:24PM

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 11:32AM
My question is what sense does this proposal make? Exactly how many people are riding the LA Swift from Baton Rouge to New Orleans? Not many. This proposal makes sense for idealist that want to connect the two cities but realistically this makes no sense as I stated earlier, outside of hurricane evacuations there would be no need for New Orleanians to travel to Baton Rouge unless of course maybe the occasional visiting relatives in the area but even if they decide to do that Baton Rouge's bus system, CATS, has performed horribly. Baton Rouge mayor-president Kip Holden talked of cutting CATS altogether because it wasnt generating enough riders and whenever I am in Baton Rouge and I see a bus out there it has only 1 person on it. The days of the population boom are over in Baton Rouge as Baton Rouge's popuilation is only 2,000 people higher than it was in the 2000 Census and this project makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Granted a high speed rail line that travels 100mph or greater would decrease the distance between the two cities that taking a slow bus that goes 60 65mph bus would but financially it wouldnt be a success.

-------------------------------------------------

1. The idea is to not just cater to the people who already use LA swift or ... it is to attract more people to take them off of the road and give them an alternative. It can be used everyday by people who travel to and from New Orleans and surrounding areas.

2. The reason why CATS stinks and not effective at all is because there is a social stigma about riding the bus out here in Baton Rouge, Public transportation is something that is fairly recent to the area compaired to New Orleans or other cities, the route design (schedule times and Street routes) and street layout of Baton Rouge just looks like it was made by idiots with no formal planning which cause increase time delay, Lack of busses and there had not been a formal push to increase ridership in Baton Rouge AT ALL. With any of the above reasons why public transportation fails in BR are changed it will come to the point where it will no longer be there.


This is the reason BR is so messed up now... sheesh

Posted by ruti on 02/28/09 at 12:33PM

Bobby you are right!

Stick to your guns.

(While you still have them, because that is in Hussein's plan also)

Landrieu is trying to get her claws on HUD money as we speak, and this is a SUPER PORK BILL for the rest of the DEMOCRATS.

Posted by winsa on 02/28/09 at 12:34PM

Will this rail protect the citizens riding it from the thugs who will get on it? My guess it NOT! It will be like riding the subway without NYPD'S Finest.

Posted by Speedracer05 on 02/28/09 at 12:34PM

The rail sounds neat! It should be solar powered and when you get off, it gives you a stimulous check. It will be very expensive, but we can pay for it by taxing those evil productive people who drive their gas powered cars to work. We can make them ride it even though it will be incredibly inconvient for them. Maybe if we burden them enough with taxes for expensive pie in the sky projects they will lose their will to work and drink our Koolaide. We will all be happy on our Obama love train.

Posted by filbert99 on 02/28/09 at 12:35PM

Joke of the day:
"Louisiana has turned its back on corruption"-
Bobby Jindal

Joke of the century: Bobby Jindal

Posted by 2binnolanow1 on 02/28/09 at 12:37PM

2 all those who doesn't think NOLA isn't the economic engine that it is. Let's close all of our hotels and let the Saints and Hornts leave and take away Mardi Gras, Jazz fest and the Sugar Bowl, then what would the economy of Louisiana look like. Where in Louisiana would you find over 100 hotels? Where do you think most of Louisiana's hotel taxex would come from? Why would I go to Shreveport to a football game? Why would I go to Monroe for a basketball game? Get real Louisiana. It't not about North Louisiana against New Orleans. It's about all of Louisiana coming togethe to ensure that Louisiana moves forward in the 21st century. Let's never move back into the 60's but come together and make Louisian the great state that she is.

Posted by darkquark on 02/28/09 at 12:38PM

Jindall is right. Just because there is a few actual good things in the package out of thousands does not mean the whole thing in general is not garbage.


Until WE get our government under control they will spend and grow themselves out of control.


There is no such thing as free money or a free ride, someone is paying for it and right now and in the long term future it is us.

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/28/09 at 12:45PM

uptownnative:

It's called sarcasm. I mean seriously, who goes to Baton Rouge for fun? I appreciated your post though.

Posted by filbert99 on 02/28/09 at 12:45PM

Why the hell would anyone want to go Baton Rouge by ANY method of transportation??? I lived there for 3 years. It was like living in a Stephen King movie. Those drooling cross-eyed hillbillies would'nt know which end of the train to board. If it does'nt concern the LSU football team (or baseball team or basketball team or full contact nude frisbee team or binge drinking team or class-skipping scholastic failure team or point shaving team), they are'nt interested. Actuallly, anything that is not LSU sports is just too complex for them. Now, has anyone seen the 6-fingered banjo player?

Posted by 2binnolanow1 on 02/28/09 at 12:47PM

Let NOLA cede from Louisiana and move to Mississippi or Alabama and the good luck to Louisiana. We're all pulling for ya.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 12:48PM

uptownnative,

nola is missing some of the most important things to make a high speed long distance train a priority.
-new orleans isn't that big of a city
-new orleans has almost no population immediately around it. it's surrounded by lakes, the gulf, and swampland.
-new orleans doesn't have a strong local public transportation system to interface with the long distance train. why would someone ride the train if they have to walk to there final destination when they get off? taxis aren't much of an option as there aren't that many and they are unreliable at best. couple this with the high crime rates and people won't want to walk off the train...they'd rather drive their own car.

there's no strong justification for this train from a 'commuter' standpoint. there's no strong justification for this train from a general 'population' standpoint. there's no strong justification for this train from a 'next logicial step in the infrastructure' standpoint.

it took over a year after katrina for most busy intersections to get the traffic lights working. the crime cameras were a joke. the streets are swiss cheese. the street car is a rickety ride that beats you up...and took a couple years to get going after the storm. the pump system is a substandard. the airport can't even get most of their vendor spaces rented out. the city can't even raze the condemned public housing...let alone rebuild them. nola couldn't even clear the tent cities prudently.

...and nola thinks a high speed train is a priority? they aren't ready, and most likely, never will be.

sure, it'll create jobs...but don't think it'll add a bunch of value after it's completed.

Posted by gardengate on 02/28/09 at 12:49PM

This is supposed to be a (JOB) producing stimulus bill....After the line is finished, how many jobs are produced and are there enough riders to support maintaining it? Is there really enough need to justify money on this project? This stimulus is meant to create real, long lasting, good paying jobs. I don't consider a few RR employees a good long term return on the dollar. Again, tossing money we don't have into the wind.

Posted by uptownnative on 02/28/09 at 12:51PM

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/28/09 at 12:45PM
uptownnative:

It's called sarcasm. I mean seriously, who goes to Baton Rouge for fun? I appreciated your post though.
-------------------------------------------------

Oops... didnt realize. The way how some post on here it is hard to tell.

Posted by supasexyp on 02/28/09 at 1:10PM

The state need a high speed train from the Airport to downtown new orleans on canal street. This would give the city an advantage when it comes to getting conventions. From canal, a network of small bus could bring people to hotels.

Posted by mikenola08 on 02/28/09 at 1:12PM

perplexed

you need to take a look at BART, METRO LINK, MARTA and few others before you claim they don't make money.

they fail to make money when the state governments decide to redirect the revenue share from them.

In tough economic times ridership soars because it is cheaper for people in terms of having to pay parking and fuel and tolls in some states.

They also open the viability of longer distance commuting which allows business to gather employees from a larger pool with less expense for relocation, housing etc. which tend to prevent potential employees from accepting jobs too far from home to drive.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 1:15PM

supasexyp,

people going to conventions get rental cars and are reimbursed by their place of business.


there are tons of ways to justify how people 'could' use this train...but few that justify why people actually 'would'.

Posted by VIKING on 02/28/09 at 1:20PM

just another way of bilking the tax payer for a few politically active lobbyists. Rail was destroyed by Kennedy years ago as a payoff to Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters Union. Now we are stuck with millions of gas guzzling trucks and cars polluting our air and burning up our energy. The day of rail was over decades ago when the railroads gave up their rights-of-way (land) after Kennedy hit them with new taxes (dis-incentives). You could never afford to buy them back now. We missed our chance to be energy efficient and energy frugal. By-the-way, rail is hundreds of times more energy efficient than auto and truck transport.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 1:22PM

mikenola08,

the 'larger pool' that businesses can garner employees from with the usage of this train would be the lakes, the gulf, and the swampland.

compared to other cities with similar systems...nola has no population surrounding it.

Posted by mikenola08 on 02/28/09 at 1:32PM

WarHawk

in one of your posts you state:

"If the service-based economy of New Orleans is so great, then why is the business community always talking about how New Orleans needs to move away from its dependence on tourism."

The reason is a simple as the question.

NOLA (and any city like Orlando, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Detroit) that has a major dependecy on any industry suffers dramatically when that industry goes down.

The underlying principal, which is rarely effectively applied, is that for a local/state economy to maintain stability it must have a diversified revenue base. Economies that rely on Tourism are usually the hardest and first hit when there is a national economic slowdown.

Applying an underlying principle of diverse economic revenue to NOLA would include upgrading the Port and RAil systems to make them competitive alternatives for shippers and businesses.

Assuming we did that, and I know it is a big ASSumption, NOLA would be in a position to alleviate a slowdown in tourism by an offset in pursuing port contracts.

If we put money into technology incubators and courting technology companies and white collar jobs like insurance and banking we could alleviate even more of our dependency on tourism or shipping.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 1:36PM

"technology incubators"
"courting technology companies"

blah blah blah. nola can't maintain or make use of the infrastructure they have now.

Posted by mikenola08 on 02/28/09 at 1:53PM

ileftnola,

since you left nola, you should probably concentrate on destroying the city you are in.

the current infrastructure of nola has been allowed to degrade beyond all belief. It is time for new ideas and new actions to stop that degradation.

Posted by DunesRiver on 02/28/09 at 1:53PM

Chances are those who oppose this reside on the North Shore.

Posted by uptownnative on 02/28/09 at 1:53PM

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 12:48PM
uptownnative,

nola is missing some of the most important things to make a high speed long distance train a priority.
-new orleans isn't that big of a city
-new orleans has almost no population immediately around it. it's surrounded by lakes, the gulf, and swampland.
-new orleans doesn't have a strong local public transportation system to interface with the long distance train. why would someone ride the train if they have to walk to there final destination when they get off? taxis aren't much of an option as there aren't that many and they are unreliable at best. couple this with the high crime rates and people won't want to walk off the train...they'd rather drive their own car.

there's no strong justification for this train from a 'commuter' standpoint. there's no strong justification for this train from a general 'population' standpoint. there's no strong justification for this train from a 'next logicial step in the infrastructure' standpoint.

it took over a year after katrina for most busy intersections to get the traffic lights working. the crime cameras were a joke. the streets are swiss cheese. the street car is a rickety ride that beats you up...and took a couple years to get going after the storm. the pump system is a substandard. the airport can't even get most of their vendor spaces rented out. the city can't even raze the condemned public housing...let alone rebuild them. nola couldn't even clear the tent cities prudently.

...and nola thinks a high speed train is a priority? they aren't ready, and most likely, never will be.

sure, it'll create jobs...but don't think it'll add a bunch of value after it's completed.
-------------------------------------------------

Okay, cool someone who can discuss things...

Okay, yes EBR's population is not growing that much and the New orleans Metro area still includes 1/4 of the states total population but still with New Orleans still healing itself from its wounds, considering that so many have tried to put salt in it, still is the economic center so for now. It can be used for football games and evacuation now but in time once the city gets back then it can be a large viable option for commuters from BR and if possible The rest of the gulf coast to get to the city for work, shopping, travel, etc. Like when people used to travel to the city years ago.

The Public transportation system in New Orleans is actually great. With the lack of busses pre-k there is no real issue. Like mentioned before BR has to worry about the public transportation issue. Which could be settled with park and ride. But basically you can get to every part of New Orleans on the RTA.

If the city can be an island and still support rail transportation and interstate and an airport then it is possible. In time things will work out.

Alot of the problems about getting things done in a timely fashion which you stated is a concern. Being honest I am tired of the damn city being a runamuck...their organization reminds me of the woes students see when dealing with registration at Southern University in Baton Rouge. We just have to 1. make sure we get the right people in office when the time comes and 2. get on their and the others a** to get things done.

Posted by SparklingH2O on 02/28/09 at 1:54PM

The interstate highway system (an innovative idea introduced by President Eisenhower - R) is obviously overloaded and the cost of maintaining and expanding it is very expensive. Also, the number of traffic accidents with resulting insurance payouts is also expensive.

Any type of rail system from BR to No would reduce the traffic on I10. Hopefully there will be a spur to MSY and links to downtown.

I also think the state should petition for money to put in a light rail train from Hammond to BR with stops in Albany, Holden, Walker, Denham, etc. without having to expand I12. Why don't you get some input on this?

Posted by ruti on 02/28/09 at 2:02PM

Count on the media for giving us the news we need!

"How to get Michelle Obama's toned arms"

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 2:09PM

mikenola08,

here's a new idea for you, 'take care of what you already have'. other towns/cities have been doing it for a while and it seems to be the most basic step before trying to expand.

uptownnative,

'once the city gets back': nola won't ever propser. i'm not so sure when it did.
'make sure we get the right people in office': nola never will.
'get on their and the others a** to get things done': it won't happen.

otherwise, i think you and i completely agree. but for the rest, we must agree to disagree.

Posted by Speedracer05 on 02/28/09 at 2:09PM

High speed rail is neato! It sends a tingle up my leg! We can fuel it burning cash in its boiler as money will soon be the cheapest compustible material available.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 2:11PM

nola should just buy a bunch of rickshaws and call it a day.

Posted by neauxgeaux on 02/28/09 at 2:12PM

1) China will be paying for this project, along with the rest of the "stimulus" bill. We are talking about spending money THAT WE DON'T HAVE!

2) NOLA is no longer relevant. I grew up there, but NOLA could fall off the map tomorrow and B.R. and the rest of the state would probably not even notice. NOLA is a great place for Mardi Gras, etc. But the fact that some people still call it an "economic engine" for the state is laughable! LOL! Building a rail system between one redneck city (B.R.) and another dead city (NOLA) is nonsensical.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 2:15PM

IleftNOLA, if you left then why are on NOLA.com leaving comments so passionately. Usually when people claim to have "moved on" they literally move on and even if you care about New Orleans still and read the news every now and then you wouldnt be as passionate about your comments. The truth is rail lines have been talked about for years in New Orleans. New Orleans is to low to have an underground subway system like New York and so skyrail lines were talked about but I doubt if skyrail ever would work. Im not saying it wouldnt work due to infrastructure or anything like it wouldnt because the residents would be whining and moaning about it instead of supporting it. Think about the reason why K-ville failed locally, residents complained about ins tead of embracing a TV show that actually wanted to bring money to New Orleans. The residents are sometimes a bigger deterrent to move things to New Orleans than the city politics. Its no secret the passenger rail line wouldnt work for New Orleans to Baton Rougw because theres wouldnt be enough money being generated toward the city of Baton Rouge. New Orleans will genereate its visitors no matter where they are from but Baton Rouge wouldnt generate much from this and for something to be successful it has to be successful all the way around and I just wouldnt see the return on the investment. As far as New Orleans not having the population, you are foolish if you just look at this as the city of New Orleans (population 312,000), you have to look at it as a regional thing IleftNOLA. Jefferson parish population is nearly the size of the city of Atlanta and many of those people would ride the rail line also but the idea of passenger rail service in the region wouldnt catch on to alot of people and it would fail but your argument about population is idiotic.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 2:20PM

Neauxgeaux saying NOLA (talking about the entioer metro area) isnt the economic of the state is denial and idiocy at its best. Where do you think most of the dollars come from in this state? It comes from the seven parish metro area. Aaron Broussard said it best in 2007 that Jefferson Parish is the center of Louisiana. JP is the population center, its the economic center because people in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. John all come to JP to shop, go to the movies, go to the malls and everything but saying NOLA isnt the economic engine for the state is denial. If NOLA isnt the breadwinner then tell me where is...Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria?

Posted by tollig on 02/28/09 at 2:23PM

I understand that there is a clause in the stimulus package that gives the srate legislature the ability to overturn Jindal's decision not to accept the stimulus money that has been allocated to help the unemployed. It is in the best interest of us as Louisianaians to assist our fellow louisianaians be they black or white in their time of need. Therefore, we should contact our state representatives and encourage them to override Jindal's decision to put his career first and the people last..

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 2:30PM

notorious4,

you figured me out. i'm missing nola so bad it hurts. the pain!

or it could be because i like to read in my free time and i find the stories about new orleans entertaining.

on a side note, i'm probably paying for more of this train project than most nola natives.

Posted by Competence23 on 02/28/09 at 2:30PM

My goodness I wish all you people just shut the hell up. Louisiana is ranked 50th in everything because of this in state fighting that goes on. People in Baton Rouge dont like peopel in Shreveport, people in Monroe dont like New Orleans. Its like you bunch of damn morons are dragging your own state down. Im from the N.E. region of the country (for you geographically challenged people New England isnt a city itself it represents several states such as Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusettes, etc) and I have to admit how funny it is watching you idiots in Louisiana further ruin your reputation. Nothing was funnier than Bobby Jindal, your own governor, on tv looking like he's a product of you guys education system. See in New York state you dont see Harlem fighting against Manhatten or you dont see Queens fighting against Staten Island or in California you dont see Los Angeles vs San Francisco but in Louisiana you see those savages fighting amongst each other like civil war is about to break out in Lousiana. I hope civil war does break out in Louisiana so the feds can drop a nuclear bomb that would just smash Louisiana and destroy the dumbest state in the Union

Posted by vampgrrl on 02/28/09 at 2:31PM

This is a fantastic plan. Atlanta has tried and failed to get a commuter rail between Athens and Atlanta for years only to be shot down by south Georgia legislators who despise Atlanta.

BR to New Orleans is a very good idea, for the business commuter and for hurricane evacuations.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 2:33PM

IleftNOLA, the only person you are fooling with your sarcasm is yourself. You got it right about you saying you miss NOLA so bad it hurt. I guess when they say people never really leave New Orleans they feel attached it to some kind of way. Its ok IleftNOLA, how about getting on your city's news website and pay attention to whats going on there and get off NOLA

Posted by neauxgeaux on 02/28/09 at 2:33PM

Notorious, for about one year after Katrina NOLA WAS "off the map." Aside from the NOLA scum evacuees who invaded other cities, the rest of the state really did not even notice. You people who still inhabit that cesspool have a really warped sense of reality.

Posted by NYUgrlinNOLA on 02/28/09 at 2:33PM

People who are comparing LA Swift Bus Service with a rail service, please STOP. If you've ever been to Europe or even NYC, and have experienced travel on both bus + rail, you would know what you're talking about and know that the two modes of travel are like night + day. A rail is much faster + doesn't interface with real-time vehicle traffic. It's an excellent mode of mass transit and anyone who thinks otherwise is just ignorant.

And thank goodness for Obama - this country couldn't stand anymore of the last 8 years of republican mess. Listen folks - whatever we were doing - wasn't working. It's time for a different strategy.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 2:34PM

Competence23,

you're dead wrong. nola's ranked #1 in murder.

hey, let's get a monorail!

Posted by oxfdblue on 02/28/09 at 2:35PM

First, I'm from New York and hopefully one day, I'll get see and enjoy New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

I just want to say that I find your Governor's hypocrisy rather standard fare for Republicans these days. So for Gov. Jindal to seek funds to upgrade the NOLA to Baton Rouge passenger train to a high speed system is quite a good idea.

For those that think passenger rail is a waste of money, but not everything is supposed to. Of course they don't make a profit, they are a service. Imagine large cities like New York without a subway? We couldn't exist without it.

The $8 billion for high speed rail in the Recovery Act should just a first start in this land. In the long term, high speed rail connecting near by urban centers should be to this century what the Interstate Highway System was to the last century.

If built well, if truly high speed, and affordable, it will take ten of thousands of cars off our roads, remove massive amounts of pollution from our air, and reduce the amount of dollars we sent overseas for foreign oil.

Lastly, don't think of it as a train from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge would just be a stop on the way to Houston, and San Antonio or north to Dallas.

(A French TGV train could easily make the 600 mile trip from NOLA to Dallas in about four hours. Today, Amtrak is 9.5 hour ride for the 350 miles from NOLA to Houston. There is no direct line between Houston and Dallas.)

Posted by Speedracer05 on 02/28/09 at 2:38PM

I am not an obstuctionist, I know how we can do this! We can finance it through the Bank of China, build it with Mexican Labor and make the payments by taxing the capital of Small Business! Oh wait, sorry, that is already the plan.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 2:43PM

"I hope civil war does break out in Louisiana so the feds can drop a nuclear bomb that would just smash Louisiana and destroy the dumbest state in the Union."

You are such a kind sweet person. If war breaks out, you better hope they can hang onto Barksdale AFB or you might be the one getting a bomb dropped on you.

Posted by ileftnola on 02/28/09 at 2:45PM

notorious4,

i love how you assume i don't read other news sites from my own local region and at the national level.

what's fantastic is that when i click off nola.com and walk away from my computer, i'm not in new orleans. it's still too bad some of my money has to go there though.

and as for people never really never leaving new orleans...

see ya!

Posted by joeymb32 on 02/28/09 at 2:48PM

A rail line is a great idea! Now when all the welfare turds and illegals need to pick up there checks, they can get a ride straight to BR from N.O. We can evan have the departure point from the NO City Hall!

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 2:53PM

Don't forget about payments to the private railroad companies. There are environmental issues and studies, which take years. Have to pay off the local politicians and spend some money in north Louisiana to get their support. Multiply whatever it will cost by 4 and the amount of time by 3 and you have a close approximation. It will cost more to operate that fees it brings in, they will hire 200 bureaucrats to do paperwork and make regulations. Accidents and breakdowns will make it less then dependable. By the time it is complete republicans will be back in control and it won’t be funded for operations.

Posted by BRILLO on 02/28/09 at 3:04PM

I'd like to have five XBox 360's but can't afford one so I don't have one! Same deal here. This will not get used AND we can't afford this right now. Go get em Jindal. Somebody has to watch the money. The Dems feel as if they have an open wallet (full of bad debt) that is burning a hole in their pocket. HELP!

Posted by Speedracer05 on 02/28/09 at 3:04PM

I would like to build a high speed rail from Washington to reality.

Posted by MrNola1414 on 02/28/09 at 3:18PM

Hope they build it. I also hope with time we get high speed all the way to Atlanta and Houston with stops all along the way. I hate flying. "Build it and they will come!" But this time do it right. Have more than one freaking train a day. If Europe can do Highspeed rail so can we. Imagine not having to check in..waiting..waiting..worried about weather..worried about being overbooked. Able to get up and move around when you want. Flying sucks. Bring on high speed rail!

Posted by jgold on 02/28/09 at 3:24PM

Let's recall Bobby and move Louisiana into this century.

Posted by nola67 on 02/28/09 at 3:26PM

N.O. vs. B.R. ?

Hmmmmm

Well, NOLA IS the murder capital of America.

Then again, when serial killer Derik Todd Lee declared open season on BR's women, the local response was "Geaux Tigers!" -even at LSU where Lee hunted. (Ah, that youthful spark of activism!-NOT. It took a victim's mother to sound the alarm, and organize to ID, apprehend Lee while using the media to warn, protect others. In the North East, ONE campus assualt would ignite action.)

Conclusion? -BOTH places suck.
Connect them or not w/ fast trains, just don't connect them to any place else.

Posted by artprozac on 02/28/09 at 3:27PM

Let's do it right to begin with. Let's make it high speed rail that loops New Orleans, the Northshore and Baton Rouge. That would sure help with traffic problems, and save energy

Posted by gatorlawman on 02/28/09 at 3:37PM

How about a line that goes from the airport to french quarter like they have in Disney for a start.

Posted by rjjoe504 on 02/28/09 at 3:46PM

uptownnative:

It's all good. That post was actually a reply to someone who said the "dying city" of New Orleans shouldn't take the rest of the state down with it.

I don't know about you, but I think I'd hate a Louisiana without New Orleans.

Posted by dutchoven on 02/28/09 at 3:47PM

What a freakin boondoggle.

SE Louisiana does not have the demographics or population density to support this project's mission or operating costs. Few would ride it. Little congestion would be alleviated, and it would cost the state millions to operate/maintain after its completion.

Imagine yourself taking the commuter train between N.O. and B.R. What happens when you get to the destination city? If you left your car at home, you have to take the ratty, substandard bus system.

Which brings us to the next likely "project" that few would use.

Posted by incumbentout on 02/28/09 at 3:48PM

I am for it if it stops at Tiger Stadium. If not, I am against it.

Posted by LayZ23 on 02/28/09 at 3:54PM

oxfdblue: I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, you probably don't know what lies between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. I doubt the swamps between the two cities would be ideal for high speed rail lines.

I'm sure many have seen the rail bridge off the side of the interstate along the spillway. That whole thing may need to be ripped up and rebuilt to ensure that a high speed train does not derail when going 150 MPH (based on your estimation of a 600 mile trip to Dallas in four hours). As the land beneath the rail will shift, millions more will be needed to maintain and repair the rails.

Seeing how well the federal government has neglected to maintain the levee protection system here for the past few decades, I doubt they will maintain a high speed rail as well if one is built here.

The other thing is that businesses have been fleeing the city for the past few decades. The biggest problem is the city government. I keep hearing that we'll have a competent city government but its been the same old story: garbage in, garbage out.

Building a high speed rail isn't going to address the job creation problems that are in New Orleans. Wasn't the purpose of the stimulus package is to create jobs? It may be a few years before we even see a start to the project and it will be much longer than that before the first train departs New Orleans.


Posted by bluesgutter on 02/28/09 at 4:03PM

"Jindal was right and DOT should not even consider this. Passenger rail NEVER breaks even just on the operating costs, and the upgrade will have cost overruns because they always do.
Only 400 people a day take LA Swift. Just how many more would travel from a one declining CBD to another? If there are intermediate stops, then it is no longer high speed.
Anybody, and that would be most people, who would need a car at either end would still drive.
Rail is a bad idea that will only benefit clients of the rail lobby."
THE ABOVE POST IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHY AMERICANS ARE VIEWED AS IGNORANT. RAIL TRAVEL IS THE BEST THING THIS COUNTRY COULD HAVE GOING. YOU CAN'T JUST UNDERFUND IT LIKE WE DO AMTRAK AND RUN IT INTO THE GROUND AND CITE THAT AS PROOF IT DOESN'T WORK. YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD, CONSISTANT SCHEDULES AND HAVE STOPS AT AIRPORTS. THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE. IT'S TRAIN SCIENCE. OF COURSE AMTRAK SUCKS, THE FEDS- BOTH DEMS AND REPUBS, HAVE NEVER SUPPORTED IT.HAVING SAID THAT, AMTRAK MAKES MONEY IN THE EASTERN CORRIDOR- IN SPITE OF THE FEDS.

Posted by ferngrrl on 02/28/09 at 4:11PM

Thanks, T-P, for an article that clarifies what many people prefer obfuscated.

Any light rail or passenger rail system that would help reduce the numbers of vehicles on the road, and reduce the use of gas and deisel, would be good for the taxpayers. Rail from BR to NOLA would be excellent. The roads to and from BR (and all over, really) are very congested and very dangerous because of idiot drivers.

Many people commute to and from BR every day for work, only some in van pools. An alternative would be very good.

Gee, didn't we hear Nagin say that some city employees need city vehicles for their long post-Katrina commute?

It would be wise to move more into the modern era, as so many cities have done, and offer public transportation to the public.

Don't be afraid of change.

And don't pretend that building high speed rail is supposed to "address the job creation problems". Our ignorance and backwardness are what discourage good jobs from being opened up here. Oh, and the fact that so many of the state's residents can hardly read and even more haven't graduated from high school.

Posted by chigh on 02/28/09 at 4:11PM

Where is Jindal's birth certificate? This guy hurt the state by his stupid comments. The service workers in the city would benefit from the unemployment. It is feast or famine!

Posted by juanmccain on 02/28/09 at 4:14PM

Man o man.... To start, the title alone is slanted right out the gate.

Just reminds me why i canceled my TP subscription ands get my news from more centered sources.

Posted by cajunfarmer on 02/28/09 at 4:22PM

Hmmmm let's see....go stand in line to check in, take a chance on sitting next to a drunk or crackhead, get to new orleans and rent a car or hire a taxi to get around....or get in my car, play what I want on the radio, set the heater or A/C to the temp I want, follow my own schedule.....I'll take the car any day.
All the train money in the stealfromus bill is heading to the Chicago area anyhow, obama has plenty of people to pay back over there.

Posted by xman20002000 on 02/28/09 at 4:26PM

Some of you are just as dumb as the governor and the idiot who just left the presidency. Did you read Joe Biden would take the train daily from Deleware to D.C.... I have friends taking the train from D.C. to Philadelphia when the need occurs.. Baton Rouge is only 80 miles away with all this water.. were it not for the water maybe manufacturing or something else of value would have occurred in the space...

Had Pres. Bush read what Pres. Clinton want to do with rail rather than spending an estimated $3 trillion dollars in Iraq rather than the US... we would be farther along in the process... and had Bush recommended anything creative we wouldn't be in this mess.. What is wrong with investing in ourselves...

Posted by lsu1999ms on 02/28/09 at 4:33PM

After reading the comments on this article it is obvious why Obama won the presidency...our education system has failed miserably.

Posted by rollwave55 on 02/28/09 at 4:48PM

I think this would be awesome! I've got plenty of family in Baton Rouge and would love to take a high-speed train instead of driving. Then I could get work done on the way too.

Posted by lsu1999ms on 02/28/09 at 4:56PM

And just think...you will have your choice of seats with all of 7 people on the train.

Posted by ellno on 02/28/09 at 5:00PM

And on the New Orleans end, it'll be known as the bullet train.

Posted by nolaanarchy on 02/28/09 at 5:20PM

cool. i'd love to see a passenger rail rail from BR to NO.

please all you LSU students from north louisiana, come down to new orleans and be corrupted, in a good way!

Posted by causewayer on 02/28/09 at 5:23PM

Why do we need to spend money on this? How is this going to stimulate anything? Temporary construction jobs that go to union thugs? Come on folks, put your "gimme hands" into your own pockets and get them out of mine.

Posted by causewayer on 02/28/09 at 5:25PM

Yes, this is typical reporting by the TP. I too canceled my subscription last year.

Posted by OILWORKER on 02/28/09 at 5:27PM

Why not build a new set of locks at Industrial Canal. That would put hundreds to work and would pay off for the next 100 years like the old one did?

Posted by lsu1999ms on 02/28/09 at 5:28PM

ellno - exactly! No better a title for it considering where it will drop people off. Have any of the proponents of this waste of taxpayer money driven by the NO Passenger Terminal? I am lucky enough to work downtown and have the pleasure of being hit up for beer/cigarette money by those that currently frequent the buses there...I think all lawmakers/businessmen that do business in the NOBR corridor would love to experience the same!

Posted by kabel on 02/28/09 at 5:59PM

The big question is, does the railroad see any profit or interest in operating a high speed commuter service?

The other question, is are there any quality jobs left in New Orleans that would be of interest to commuters, or are they going to just spend the money for the heck of it.

Posted by mikero08 on 02/28/09 at 6:05PM

Jindal is turning down federal money in order to posture on the national stage for a run in 2012. I think I really made a mistake voting for him. His job is to this state first, not to posture for a presidential run four years from now. Where were these "principles" of yours for the last eight years, Bobby? After that Twilight Zone speech, your national cred is a little shredded. Screw up your current job, and you could be out completely in 2012. You're already starting to skip town as much as Nagin.
For those on this site who like to whine about federal spending, you sure are quiet while all those federal dollars roll in to widen and upgrade roads to your favorite little malls. And those roads never get less congested, you still sit in gridlock. Let the State of Louisiana finance everything itself. Yeah, that's gonna happen soon.

Posted by gardengate on 02/28/09 at 6:06PM

BR is too close to NO to justify the expense. Why would anyone take a train and then have to pay expensive cab fare to and from their destination, assuming they only need to go to one place?

Posted by Rasputin62 on 02/28/09 at 6:15PM

New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Houston: None of these cities have public transit that anyone would ride if they had the option of a car. The high speed rail would require people to actually walk. No way, most people cannot or will not walk one block without being totally winded. People are just too fat here for a rail train transit.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 6:20PM

"I think I really made a mistake voting for him."

Just like I made a mistake voting for Obama.

Posted by outtahere64 on 02/28/09 at 6:23PM

You are missing the point. The idea is to waste as much money as soon as possible so it doesn't have to make sense.

Another good project, along these lines, would be to construct a 4 lane elevated bridge to Grand Isle.

Posted by mikero08 on 02/28/09 at 6:23PM

From now on, every time you're stuck in miles of gridlock, held up by endless road work, late for work b/c of traffic, keep mumbling to yourself about how alternative forms of transportation are socialism and pork. I'm sure you'll feel so much better.
And BTW, you will receive no sympathy from me. And I don't want to hear about your fuel costs, either.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 6:38PM

"And BTW, you will receive no sympathy from me. And I don't want to hear about your fuel costs, either. "

Who are you supposed to be that your opinion would matter?

Posted by tim9lives on 02/28/09 at 6:55PM

If the only argument is that rail service never makes money,,,,I say cut all Federal Funding to every Airport,,,,Cut out all funding for the Interstate System,,,stop all Federal Funding for all other transportation.

You will quickly see,,,,without Federal money,,,the entire transportation sector would collapse,,,,,,all roads,,,no more airports,,ect

Posted by newtonawlins on 02/28/09 at 7:02PM

Yes! Yes! Yes!

California, the 5th largest economy in the world, works because of investment in railways. The European Union did not feel the latest spike in oil prices because they have invested in a rail system for decades while we rode deteriorating freight lines. Granted, our country is large, immense even, but if want to consider ourselves "the greatest nation in the world," we might as well lead in every category.

Connecting NOLA with not only B.R., but also Houston and Mobile as some have suggested would be an excellent way to regain a once-strong foothold in the energy industry. I have several colleagues in Houston that would much rather live in a city with personality (yes, sleep friend and others, it does count for something).

Yet, the greatest nation in the world is called home by people like "perplexed" and "joebozak," (creationism = good, passenger rail = bad????). Troglodites. Go to areas such as California, Massachusetts, France, New York (hell, even South Africa) and you will see the benefits of a rail line.

Posted by Realitydani on 02/28/09 at 7:05PM

I love to walk. Although some places I watch my safety. Some people go to Baton Rouge for fun. Haven't you ever watched the Tigers?

Posted by nomad789 on 02/28/09 at 7:13PM

rmcnola

i agree with you jindal is just loosing his mine he needs help

Posted by VoteMalik on 02/28/09 at 7:35PM

Rail transportation makes the most sense of all. Ask anyone living between Washington DC and Boston! It's time the South gets a little bit of transportation infrastructure.

The road congestion on I-10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge it completely out of hand.

Thanks NewtoNawlins for breaking it down.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 7:42PM

"If the only argument is that rail service never makes money,,,,I say cut all Federal Funding to every Airport,,,,Cut out all funding for the Interstate System,,,stop all Federal Funding for all other transportation."

Or better still, build something will actually use, an elevated high speed rail system to the north shore. One to Slidell and one to Madisonville, ending just south of the interstate with a large park and ride area.

Posted by sleepfriend on 02/28/09 at 7:52PM

"California, the 5th largest economy in the world, works because of investment in railways."

There goes that argument.

Posted by mrchulin on 02/28/09 at 7:54PM

"New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Houston: None of these cities have public transit that anyone would ride if they had the option of a car. The high speed rail would require people to actually walk. No way, most people cannot or will not walk one block without being totally winded. People are just too fat here for a rail train transit."

That's exactly the mentality that will keep us ahead in the global economy.

Posted by perplexed on 02/28/09 at 8:02PM

Yep, California is imploding as we write these posts.

BTW - Highways in American more than pay for themselves. The gas tax provides a surplus, some of which is diverted to mass transit, unfortunately.

And Europe. In fact, rail transit has consistently been losing rider share over the years.

The only rational rail transit in America is the D.C. to Boston corridor. Everything else is a gigantic financial boondoggle.

Posted by arabi9 on 02/28/09 at 8:22PM

Jindal knows light rail is a waste of money because New Orleans will be a non-entity politically and financially in 15 years.

Posted by shooterpops on 02/28/09 at 8:25PM

Be honest. There are better ways to spend that money other than a 10 year (or more) project to build a rail system from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

If you lived in Baton Rouge (or New Orleans) and worked in New Orleans (or Baton Rouge) does it sound feasible to catch a bus in New Orleans than ride a rail to Baton Rouge than catch a bus in Baton Rouge and repeat the process for the ride home? It sounds like another “3 hour Cruise” and that didn’t work out for Gilligan.

Posted by N0TORIOUS4 on 02/28/09 at 8:42PM

Hey Arabi, didnt they say that 15 years ago the whole thing about 'New Orleans cant be the powerhouse forever'. As long as New Orleans continues to attract the most tourist, as long N.O. keeps being in Travel Channel magazine guides and Travel Channel tv shows and also other travel guides in general, as long as a million visitors visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras like they did this past year, as long as the Saints and Hornets remain in New Orleans, as long as New Orleans host the number of festivals (Essence, Fest, Bayou Classic, French Quarter festival etc)it does with the success it has, as long as New Orleans continues to host Superbowls New Orleans will always be the dominant factor in Louisiana and anybody saying it wont is in the worst stage of denial I have ever seen. Why do you think when people talk about major cities the list goes something like this: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Houston, Big Bad Detriot, Las Vegas.

Posted by LAeconlady on 02/28/09 at 9:13PM

AIN'T GONNA WORK.. YOU WON'T GET ENOUGH COMMUTERS TO COVER THE COST OF THE PROGRAM. ONCE IT IS UP AND GOING, WHO IS GOING TO COVER THE COSTS? SURELY NOT THE GOVERNMENT. SURELY NOT OBAMA

Posted by Rasputin62 on 02/28/09 at 9:26PM

Once upon a time (a bit before Katrina) I would be for something like a fast rail link between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. But after having lived in both areas, other than people going to an LSU game, there is no reason to go back and forth. This will not attact new business to the areas. All the fortune 500 companies have left years ago and with our stella leadership (both Republican and Democrat), not one company with a future would consider locating here. We have been losing population, the educated, for decades. There is not reversing now. IT'S TOO LATE.

Posted by EnuffBS on 02/28/09 at 9:31PM

Ummmm... Arabi, New Orleans will be around for a LOT longer than you think. It's got many ills to overcome, heaven knows that; but despite the New Orleans haters out there who seem to generalize the actions of what statistically are truly a few, to an entire metropolis... Without New Orleans, VERY few people would come to Louisiana.

Except maybe to get across from Mississippi to Texas.

New Orleans IS the heart and soul of this state all the nasty rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding.

That said... and I know this will fire up the chorus of Jindal haters who've posted already--I think he's right on this one. It is financially destined to be one of the biggest White Elephants in the state... but we should say White Donkeys in this case. Hopefully it won't happen.

And a LOT of posters have also proven P.T. Barnum was Spot On!

EnuffBS

Posted by tbaggins on 02/28/09 at 10:39PM

all news is contextual

Posted by photinia on 02/28/09 at 10:41PM

Hey ! Times Pickyournose...
Saw what happened in Denver ??
Of course you did..
Better tighten up dudes!!!
Tick, tick , tick, tick....

Posted by PorscheSG on 02/28/09 at 11:16PM

This will never work down here. There will never be enough riders to justify the cost. Vegas to L.A. yes. Houston to Dallas to Ft. Worth yes. The Northeast has millions of people congregated up there to make their trains efficient, not to mention that their cities are set up for that type of transportation. Philadelphia, D.C., New York, Hartford, and Boston are all major cities. Chicago has over 10 times the population than New Orleans. We will never be comparable with any of those major metropolitan areas. Sorry to say but we live like a 3rd world country compared to the big guys.

Posted by MRENO on 02/28/09 at 11:38PM


The actual Gulf Coast high speed corridor proposed by the Feds also includes Houston and Atlanta. Along with the NO and BR areas we now have enough ex-NO folks in these other places to make this feasible.

Posted by nola67 on 02/28/09 at 11:39PM

It won't be like the Boston to New York corridor.
-or the D.C. or Philly lines, either.

Ours will smell like pee in three weeks.

Posted by SouthernGOP on 02/28/09 at 11:57PM

Just keep the Northshore out of the Democraps grand plans, we don't want the scum to leak north...

NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ST TAMMANY, it's that way for a reason...

Posted by newtonawlins on 03/01/09 at 1:45AM

I should have paid more attention to the financial headlines coming out of California!

In any case, California's economy has become huge because of, in part, good commuter railways. It has become unstable for a lot of reasons. But they still produce more than a large proportion of the United States together.

Posted by mikero08 on 03/01/09 at 1:50AM

I might ask you the same question, Sleepfriend.
Judging by your posts, you must agree with my arguments since you largely have not refuted them, instead cherry-picking single statements to indulge your little name calling game. Are you proud of our little state that ranks 49th or 50th in all major quality of life categories? I see your objection to federal spending disappears when the idea is to send the rail line to the northshore. What a narrow hypocrisy you display. You have no original ideas, you simply attack others, like a typical GOP flack. Wake up, little troll. The world doesn't revolve around St. Tammany Parish.

Posted by troy145 on 03/01/09 at 2:47AM

I was born in Ferriday La. But have not been back for years. Question I Louisiana a Republican stronghold? I heard your Governor speak, and he sounds like a good guy. But, he sounded like the GOP was telling him what to say. Things he said was already said by Obama in his speach. Is the state of Louisiana a state people of all cultures would be comfortable to live in? Years ago my grandfather said there was a kkk element there in Louisiana. But, I see an Indian American there as governor so things are better.

Posted by MetryJen on 03/01/09 at 7:44AM

Please, please, please - high speed from N.O. to Memphis, with a stop in Jackson. I make that trip at least once a month (both legs same day), and it's BRUTAL. If we had a 150mph train it could be done in less than 3 hours each way.

Also, I know at least a half dozen people that commute from BR to NO every day for work, and that's just of the 30 or so folks I work with. I suspect there are more people out there that would use it than anyone realizes. The public transportation in the city itself isn't bad, at all, so coming in would be fine. They'd have to have a parking lot at the BR side, though, I imagine.

Posted by Bubbafone on 03/01/09 at 8:51AM

The rail is a good idea. Jindal's obstruction exists only to appeal to his supporters.

Posted by xavieruniv96 on 03/01/09 at 9:46AM

I like the train idea but NOLA has to do something about the crime. Can you imagine getting let off in the midst a shoot out in good 'ol NO.
But having an evacuation train is an excellent idea. This should encompass the entire gulf cost up to Dallas and Shreveport.

This could even increase vacation and tourist dollars.

Posted by eauxbomba on 03/01/09 at 11:05AM

Jindal is already acting like part of a Republican presidential ticket - Sarah Palin. Remember her Alaska bridge to no where project. She was for it then against it then for it. Bobby you have to start making decisions based on facts not politics. Look what happened to Palin trying to play the answers based on opinion polls of the day. A leader takes a position on what is right for his constituents and be able to take the heat for the decision.

Posted by INeedALifeTo on 03/01/09 at 12:19PM

I wonder how many windmills it would take to power an electro-magnetic train. (p.s. the 59yr avg windspeed in N.O. in august is 5.9mph one of the lowest in the country)

Posted by UpperUS on 03/01/09 at 12:42PM

Culdcept said:

We NEED THIS. Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, needs to finally MOVE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY!

________________________________________________

The 21st Century has already passed up New Orleans and it happened in the last 40 years. New Orleans was way ahead of Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and a whole bunch of other southern cities. Where are they now??? At the very bottom. Why is that?? No rail system of any kind will help New Orelans with the problems it has and those start with Ray Ray.

Posted by nolahomie on 03/01/09 at 4:45PM

hey smokeweed,

it's a stimulus "pot", be sure you get some.

Posted by kacidog on 03/01/09 at 4:56PM

La, it's not just about you. It's about the environment, saving gas, and keeping mega cars off the road. For those of you who don't think anyone will use it, hop in your car between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and check out the 10 (either direction). And about having a car at the other end, if you visit someplace outside of LA, you will notice, people hop off the train and take a bus to work. It's wonderful. You take care of so much business while someone else is taking you home. You can actually go home and enjoy your family, instead of extending your work day. I hope it goes through Hammond.

Posted by durhamblue on 03/01/09 at 7:21PM

hey kacidog
I totally agree that high-speed rail will reduce crud in the air, gas drain on our pocketbooks, and all that!
high speed rail is one of the things that makes San Francisco so "livable"--you don't have to pay tons for gas, parking (which is obscenely pricey), etc. you can read on the train.
it also reduces DUI's and associated deaths. every year, i'm on the Millbrae train New Year's Day--a bunch of the other passengers are hung over, but i'd rather see them in last night's finery than in the obits.
it also makes touristy stuff tons easier--no more worries about getting lost in a rental, getting hit because i didn't know there was an unmarked blind curve, etc. for less than $10, we commuted from the 'burbs, went to the Golden Gate (bus is also cheap), visted Union Square, saw some of the wharves, and got back to the 'burbs. we spent a lot of money on food, film, postcards, and other stuff that benefits the city more directly than renting a car. win-win.

Posted by durhamblue on 03/01/09 at 7:48PM

me again.
ya know, not all trains have to be 35 cars long. Bay Area Rapid Transit runs trains of varying sizes according to demonstrated need. some are 3 cars; some are 9.
other local rail systems that i have totally appreciated:
1) SEPTA. this made attending a conference in Philly possible; the "official" hotel was over $200 a night, so i picked one at the airport and took the train in. saved me over $100 a day, which meant that i COULD afford to go.
2) St Louis. went straight from the airport to the university and hospital district for less than $5. saved me the suffering of blundering around a maze of unfamiliar streets in a rental car. also: well-policed.
3) DC. went straight from the VA suburbs to the exhibit at the Smithsonian i wanted to see. for all the talk about tourists getting mugged in DC, our worst danger was actually at a truckstop in Virginia (we'd driven up from the Raleigh, NC, area and had no idea where we were).

rail lines could make commuting from the suburbs of NOLA into the city less heinous. and, hey, wouldn't it be great to have remote parking for sporting events and take a train in? no more orbiting a parking lot for hours.

Posted by xman20002000 on 03/01/09 at 9:04PM

durhamblue

Some of these people don't travel... considering you go to a city on business... its airport to hotel.. to conference room.... to hotel.... to airport..

Further, the East Coast is loaded with rail and New Orleans has all the major rail lines going through it... how do these idiots think cargo leaves the city either truck or rail...

The process does not build new rail lines.. and before the car.. everyone traveled on either rail road, trolley or horse.. these idiots comment but its healthy considering they have no power, not ever the governor, to stop it... Clinton had a plan to build a national highspeed rail network... why not New Orleans to New York...

But, local politicians have a habit like Nagin commenting on the Sept. 11 memorial as a hole in the ground... no thought to the response....

Jindal is out of the planning loop... he is a Republican...

Posted by Rasputin62 on 03/01/09 at 9:46PM

NO WAY WILL THIS WORK, Piyush is right on this one. You need more than a fast rail from A to B. A and B have to have a support system of working public transit to get you to places within A and B. Public transit in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans is awful. You waste hours waiting on buses that never run to schedule, if running at all. Your other option is to rent a car once you get there. NO WAY, THIS WILL NOT WORK. You cannot travel by transit from the Kenner airport to New Orleans... lol.

Posted by losconinhum on 03/01/09 at 10:11PM

The rail systems all over the country need upgrading, both freight and passenger. New ones also have to be built . Truck freight will not be able to handle it alone in the future. With the increasing population and increasing cars and trucks on the highways it will be a must. When the day comes that it takes 4 or 5 hr's by car to travel from NOLA to BRLA, and the price of fuel is in the gigantic stage, we will all be glad to have a train to hop on. Hopefully it can be built in time . Political moves and bickering only screw things up. But, whats new?

Posted by bayoustjohn on 03/01/09 at 10:37PM

Who would have thought I would EVER agree with SouthernGOP about ANYTHING?

I agree. No high speed rail to the southshore for the northshore. They can waste their gas and money getting to work. Let's get rid of the causeway while we are at it.

Posted by catman63 on 03/01/09 at 11:03PM

I hope this rail system becomes a reality, and that it also ferries passengers from the Kenner/Metairie area into the CBD. I would take that instead of driving every day... but I don't think Gov Jindal wants to see Louisiana move out of the 19th century... hopefully there are other officials who can get the money for this project anyway.

Bobby J - stop putting your party before your people!! TAKE THE MONEY, your "principles" will only hurt us here...

Posted by nola67 on 03/02/09 at 12:03AM

Maybe we should figure out a way to get people from the airport to downtown FIRST!

Posted by omahree on 03/02/09 at 2:18AM

Driving on dirt roads+ending up in bayous= democracy, LA style

Riding on light rail=socialism

Come on, catch up with the rest of the world or at least the progressive cities in this country.

Posted by durhamblue on 03/02/09 at 8:49AM

Actually, by "rail line," i meant the lines that are really just planned train itineraries. For ex., Millbrae, Fremont, Pleasonton lines all run on the same tracks through Balboa Park in SF.

One of my points is that commuter trains make a city appealing to both conference planners and also vacationers. If, say, there could be one little wing into the airport that would then connect with a main route, conventioneers could travel to NO or BR (particularly all the academic types).

Crime is always a problem, everywhere you go, but if the access points are tightly controlled, the commuter platforms are not likely to be one of them. Transit cops practically tackle turnstile jumpers, and most people are not going to pay $20 for a train pass if they need that $$$ for a "habit." Even the craziest people are unlikely to try to run across two rails that are live with substantial current just to get to the middle platform (where most of the transfers occur).

Plus, let's be real, public transit eliminates the "my car wouldn't start this morning" excuse for a lot of people. I had a supervisee at one point who pulled that, and i pointed out that there was free bus service all over town right then.

Posted by olegonzo on 03/03/09 at 7:35AM

The state should be denied this funding until it gets a governor that isn't so stupid as to attack a program from which is was planning to ask for money. What Jindal did was ridiculous, short-sighted and manipulative. To say one thing on the national stage (attack a barrel of "pork") and then do the exact opposite thing (ask for "pork" from the same barrel) is called HYPOCRISY.

Posted by uniteordie on 03/03/09 at 9:42AM

I came to this blog to read about the highspeed train and Jindal. But, it turned out that the comments were more informative than the article.

I was born and raised in New Orleans. I moved north but, visit once or twice a year to see my family and lately to work on housing restoration.

I lived in New Orleans during hurricane Betsy. We were without power for many weeks. But it was a time of neighbor helping neighbor. What we had, we shared with others. We were united. The same was true of the rest of the state.

Hurricane Katrine was a different matter. It only served to divide the population and make the long simmering anger and rage more visible. It became a battle of neighbor against neighbor. People came to resent government help going to others even as they got help themselves.

Well, sadly, Louisiana is not alone. The whole nation seems equally divided. Go online to any major newspaper and read the articles and the comment sections and you will find the same rage you find in Louisiana.

We are now in an economic crisis. We can either unite to find a solution or we can continue to fight among ourselves and refuse to compromise. Some people seem to think it is better to win the small battles even if it means losing the whole war. What does the winner of the battles get if the nation is still in an ongoing depression?

Right now, I see little hope of the citizens of Louisiana or of the United States coming together to compromise our differences and to solve our economic problems.

A nation divided against itself cannot stand.




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