Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) has secured a $120-million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for major improvements to the Blue Line, which will upgrade tracks and stations between the downtown Loop and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Texas Central Railway (TCR) selected two locations as potential candidate sites for the Dallas high-speed rail station. As part of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process, TCR identified seven areas as possible station locations in Dallas.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded a contract to GCT Constructors, JV, a joint venture consisting of Schiavone Construction Co. and John P. Picone Inc., to build the future Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) concourse at Grand Central Terminal. The $404.8-million dollar contract, which with options could increase to a total of $428.9 million, was awarded after a competitive request for proposal process that drew nine other firms.

Funding for this contract will come from a federal grant through the Federal Transit Administration and MTA local funds.

Under the contract, workers will build the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical facilities, escalators and elevators, that will comprise the future LIRR 375,000 square-foot passenger train concourse and related ventilation plants at 44th and 50th Streets.

Work in the concourse includes building 17 deep escalators at 45th, 46th, 47th and 48th Streets and installing elevators connecting the LIRR passenger concourse to the train station caverns 140 feet below Park Avenue. The work also includes installation of emergency egress stairs and the associated architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical finishes and equipment.

The contract includes major civil work to create passenger connections from the new LIRR Concourse up to Grand Central's Lower Level Dining Concourse, Grand Central's Biltmore Room on the Upper Level, the 47th Street Cross Passageway and the 45th Street cross passageway.

The contract also requires mechanical and electrical fit-out of ventilation buildings at 44th and 50th Streets, including installation of eight large fans, as well as associated system equipment.

"This world class project will be an economic game-changer for New York City and Long Island. There is no other transit infrastructure project in the United States that is as complex as East Side Access or carries as much economic promise for the region it will serve," said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast.


The Western Group, a railroad industry consortium, named Dr. Art Miller as system director, responsible for safety training, as well as standards and regulatory compliance. For almost 30 years, Miller has blended his knowledge of railroad operations with safety management. Since 2009, Miller has served as director of safety and operations standards for Iowa Pacific Holdings.

BNSF 's 2015 capital program for its operations in Nebraska will be an estimated $226 million for rail capacity improvement projects and maintenance.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is conducting a safety management inspection of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) rail and bus transit system.

Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) staff presented a final list of four teams to its board of directors to bid on building out the Southeast Rail Extension Feb. 3.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18) introduced the Rail Crossings Safety Improvement Act to help improve safety at grade crossings following the Metro-North train versus vehicle accident February 3. The bill will reauthorize the Rail Line Relocation & Improvement Capital Grant Program (RLR) at $100 million per year for the next four years.

Metro-North train service resumed on the Harlem Line February 5 for the first time since a collision February 3 between a passenger train and a vehicle near Valhalla Station in Valhalla.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx highlighted $3.2 billion recommended in President Obama's Fiscal Year 2016 budget to advance the construction or completion of 25 rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and streetcar projects in 13 states.

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