Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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A University of Texas, Arlington (UT Arlington), feasibility study of high-speed rail in Texas shows that trips between most city pairs that use existing Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) right-of-way can be made in less than two hours, making it competitive with air travel and superior to highway driving.

Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR), which runs freight services on the Desert Line, servicing the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California, Mexico and eastern San Diego County, has named David Rohal President of the company, effective December 1.

Gross & Janes Co. has begun construction of a new $2.2-million crosstie production and borate treatment facility in Camden, Ark. The new facility will replace an existing Gross & Janes crosstie plant and also consolidate production from two other company plants in Taylor, Ark., and Carthage, Texas.

When fully operational after its scheduled completion in March 2014, the plant will employ 15 people and have the capacity to produce 600,000 crossties annually.

"The Camden location was chosen for its logistical advantages in serving three of our largest railroad clients, including Union Pacific, BNSF and Kansas City Southern," said Mike Pourney, president and CEO of Gross & Janes. "In addition, the surrounding area in southern Arkansas has some of the best oak timber in the country. This area is also home to some of our most productive sawmills."

Most crossties processed at the new Camden facility will be Gross & Janes' borate pre-treated crossties called Tuff-Tie. This crosstie is treated with borate using a non-pressurized process prior to drying and shipping to the customer for creosote treatment. The company notes that this two-step treatment process eliminates the cost of pressurized application of borate at the time of creosote application, while also offsetting the amount of oil-based creosote needed for tie protection.

When the new Camden facility opens, the Carthage plant will remain open as a railcar loading facility and the Taylor plant will close.

In 2012-2013, Amtrak California carried a record 3.9 million passengers on its Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin rail lines. Over the past 10 years, ridership on the Pacific Surfliner and the San Joaquin increased by nearly one million passengers and ticket revenues skyrocketed from 
$44 million to $102 million.

All Aboard Florida passenger line plans to develop its Fort Lauderdale station on parcels of land adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) corridor on NW 2nd Avenue, between Broward Boulevard and NW 4th Street.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), says that its tunnel boring machine (TBM) Big Alma has launched, joining her twin Mom Chung to construct the two Central Subway tunnels.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) Rail Division has made crossing safety improvements at intersections in Monroe and West End and has scheduled a meeting to discuss crossing closure.

Michael Baker Jr., Inc., has been awarded a two-year, multimillion-dollar contract to provide construction management and construction inspection (CM/CI) services for the expansion of Norfolk Southern's Rutherford Intermodal Facility near Harrisburg, Pa., which will double the capacity of the current facility.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:45

SMART awards design-build contract

Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) has selected Shimmick Construction Company as the design-build contractor for its next major construction contract.

With the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure moving to organize a mark-up on the rail reauthorization before Congress adjourns for the year, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) and Midwest High Speed Rail Association are making recommendations.

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