Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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On November 13, 2014, an eastbound BNSF train carrying lumber and paper product in Casselton, N.D., derailed 21 cars that subsequently struck a passing westbound train derailing 12 empty tank cars. BNSF said the underlying cause of the derailment appears to be a broken rail. No injuries were reported.

BNSF crews worked through the night to clear the area and opened both tracks late November 14. BNSF is working with the Federal Railroad Administration to learn what factors led to the break. The railroad said the track was visually inspected earlier November 13 with no issues and has been regularly inspected in accord with BNSF's track inspection program, which complies with federal standards.

BNSF stated, "As we continue working to understand what occurred in this incident, we will also undertake a broad-based review of the infrastructure in this vicinity to assure the residents of Casselton of its integrity."

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple is urging BNSF to perform an exhaustive inspection of the track system in the Casselton area.

"I was pleased to hear that Matt Rose plans to have BNSF make a special priority to perform a complete analysis of rail track both east and west of Casselton," Dalrymple said. "He assured me that the analysis will be comprehensive and will include a thorough inspection of rail, base, ties, crossing areas and other infrastructure.

"While we continue to press the railroad industry to improve rail safety, we are also moving forward on safer rail tank cars and a stronger state role in rail inspections," Dalrymple said.


Railroad Track Repairer and Board Member Jack Burton recently passed the half-century mark as an employee of the Alaska Railroad (ARRC) and was recognized for his tenure with a salute during the ARRC Board of Directors meeting November 13. Burton joined ARRC as a track laborer in April 1964.

Friday, 14 November 2014 13:28

Metra readies for winter

As the temperature drops, Chicago-area Metra has taken a variety of steps this year to be better equipped to deal with cold and snowy weather and better prepared to deliver critical information to its passengers.

RailComm has been selected to provide remote control to multiple switch locations and install a shove track protection system at a Class 1 hump yard located in North Carolina.

November 12 marked the start of construction for All Aboard Florida's downtown West Palm Beach station. The existing building was demolished so construction on the approximately 60,000-sq.-ft. station and platform can begin.

The commonwealth of Virginia, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the city of Roanoke are beginning the first phase of construction for the platform that will serve intercity passenger rail service to the Star City. It has been 34 years since intercity passenger rail service has served Roanoke.

The East, Gold and the Northwest Rail Westminster Segment of the Regional Transportation District of Denver's (RTD) Eagle P3 project are in full construction and preparing for the testing and commissioning phase that will start in late spring of 2015.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 13:45

CTA makes veteran hiring a priority

In recognition of the Veterans Day holiday Nov 11, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) said that it continues to make military veteran hiring a strong priority across the agency, increasing the number of U.S. military veterans now working for the CTA to 358, as part of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool-led initiatives to create hiring preferences to provide employment opportunities to veterans.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has rededicated the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) South Station as "Governor Michael S. Dukakis South Station Transportation Center" in recognition of the former Governor's devotion to public transportation and advocacy.

RailComm has been chosen to install and provide control to multiple switches throughout the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) terminal.

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