Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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VIA Rail Canada appointed Susan Williams to general manager for eastern Canada. The passenger rail service provider said this will involve adding value to the services offered to communities served in the maritimes and eastern Québec, as well as business development activities intended to build on partnerships that began in 2014 with local community representatives.

President Obama's proposed FY16 Budget includes $100 million for the second section of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Purple Line Extension Project. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, business, environmental, labor and community leaders applauded the inclusion of these funds as an important step in keeping LACMTA's planned subway construction toward West Los Angeles on track.

Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by three percent in 2013 from 2012, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Fatalities in all modes of transportation totaled 34,678 in 2013, compared with 35,796 in 2012. Deaths in marine, aviation, highway and pipeline transportation decreased, although there was a rise in rail-related deaths. Railroad deaths increased six percent from 840 to 891, which a vast majority of these fatalities continue to be trespassers struck by trains.

"While this decrease represents a good trend, much more work needs to done, because 35,000 deaths is very troubling," said NTSB Acting Chairman Hart. "NTSB continues to address safety issues in all modes to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, rails and waterways, as well as in our skies."

 

U.S. freight railroads plan to spend an estimated $29 billion on the nation's rail network and project to hire about 15,000 people in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported in its 2015 Outlook. The AAR says these high-paying jobs and record private spending will further strengthen an essential transportation system that is today powering a U.S. economic comeback.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) in California are initiating an environmental study for the proposed construction of an approximately six-mile extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from the now under construction Berryessa BART Station in San Jose to Santa Clara. The Project is planned to include four stations: the Alum Rock, Downtown San Jose, Diridon, and Santa Clara Stations.

Kansas City Southern says that implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology is a major, ongoing initiative, especially for the Signal, Mechanical, Telecommunications and IT groups.

Canadian National and members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union Local 2004 have ratified a four-year labor agreement covering approximately 3,000 maintenance-of-way employees who inspect, maintain and repair CN's track, bridges and structures in Canada. The new agreement was reached prior to the expiration of the previous agreement and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

The Association of American Railroads' (AAR) Senior Vice President of Safety and Operations Robert VanderClute has retired.

Friday, 30 January 2015 13:10

LIRR plans Mid-Suffolk Yard expansion

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) opened the Mid-Suffolk Train Yard Information Center at Ronkonkoma Station so customers and community residents can learn about the LIRR's proposal for enlarging its train yard in Ronkonkoma.

Friday, 30 January 2015 13:05

First FTA safety investigator suits up

George Good, Jr., the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) first full-time safety investigator recently began according to a blog post to the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Fast Lane."

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