Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) released the Draft 2016 Business Plan, a foundational document for implementing the California High-Speed Rail program that reflects the transition from planning to construction to providing passenger service. Overall capital costs are reduced from $67.6 billion to $64.2 billion.

On Feb. 17, U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV-02) joined National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) member company Appalachian Timber Services (ATS) for a tour of its facility in Sutton, W.Va.

BNSF's 2016 capital expenditure program in Minnesota will be an estimated $130 million, which focuses on maintenance projects that help ensure the railroad continues to operate a safe and reliable network.

Vice President Joe Biden toured the Port of New Orleans' new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal before making remarks commemorating the seventh anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Louisiana.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has signed the combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) for the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (D-O LRT) Project, which concludes the environmental review phase under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

HNTB Corporation promoted Ali Tali, PE, to associate vice president. He currently serves as structural department manager in the firm's Massachusetts office.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) selected nine rail projects in eight states to receive nearly $10 million to upgrade and increase the safety of railroad crossings along energy routes under the Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP) by Rail Program. FRA received 34 eligible applications requesting five times the $10 million available for the program, or $50.8 million.

BNSF's 2016 capital expenditure program in Washington state will be nearly $220 million. This year's plan is focused on maintenance projects that help operate a safe and reliable network and will bring capital investments more in line with forecasted customer freight service demand.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has called on state departments of transportation to verify that railroad crossing warning systems interconnected to traffic lights function properly and urged states to add event recorders to traffic lights connected to railroad crossing systems so information obtained during inspections can be used to improve safety. Across the United States, there are nearly 5,000 railroad crossings interconnected with traffic lights.

Todd Bjornstad, formerly the general manager of the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad (RCP&E), has been named president of the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad Company (CSS), effective March 1, 2016, succeeding Andrew Fox.

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