Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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To enhance safety and improve railroad operations, the Federal Railroad Administration has awarded Alion Science and Technology a contract with a ceiling of $10 million to conduct research that gauges human performance in rail operations and maintenance. The global engineering, R&D, IT and operational solutions company will provide technical expertise to FRA's Human Factors Research Division, which aims to reduce human factors that cause train, trespasser and grade crossing accidents.

As part of a pilot program to install wayside horns in the city of Del Mar, Calif., crews are beginning to construction of pedestrian crossing improvements at Coast Blvd.

Reading and Northern Railroad hired Dennis Shaffer as vice president of business development, effective August 20, 2012.

The Federal Transit Administration granted the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority a Record of Decision (ROD) for the $5.6 billion Westside Subway Extension,

Canadian National says that a customer group of mining companies, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Ltd., New Millennium Iron Corp., Cap-Ex Ventures Ltd., and Alderon Iron Ore Corp.

U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) joined local officials and representatives from the offices of Senators Chambliss and Isakson, the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, STX Railroad Construction, CSXT and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia to discuss the

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board Chairman Tom Nolan and Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin issued a statement on the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury Report, "Better Muni Service Needed, Without Switchbacks."

Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and United Transportation Union recently ratified four new collective bargaining agreements.

Regional Rail, LLC, has acquired a majority ownership interest in Diamondback Signal, LLC. Diamondback Signal specializes in the design, construction and maintenance of signal installations for crossings and was formed in January of 2012. In the short time since its inception, Diamondback has been able to contract with 21 railroads and private industries throughout the United States to provide normalized maintenance and monthly inspections for their signalized crossings and has also aggressively pursued and secured a number of crossing signal construction and/or rehabilitation projects.

In an effort to reduce future expenses and avoid additional impacts to rail service, the Chicago Transit Board approved an amendment to the existing design/build contract for the North Red Line station improvement project.

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