A Blue Ribbon Panel of transportation experts studying safety and maintenance practices at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) three railroad operations – Metro-North Railroad, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York City Transit (NYCT) – has released its final recommendations for improvement, including creating better data systems to monitor track conditions, adjusting schedules to provide more time for track work and bolstering the safety culture at Metro-North.
Union Pacific will strengthen Kansas' transportation infrastructure by investing $20 million in the rail line between Topeka and Kansas City, Kan. The project, funded entirely by Union Pacific, began June 16 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin are implementing a new initiative to fast-track hundreds of projects to improve more than 300 rail crossings statewide and upgrade safety warning features on rail crossings.
Rocla Concrete Tie, Inc. (RCTI), supplier of pre-stressed concrete ties, has opened a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico.
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated funds for three California rail projects.
The Federal Railroad Administration funded two grants totaling $350,000 to support development of a Short Line Safety Institute. The institute will help mitigate risk associated with shipping hazardous materials by rail by working to improve the culture of safety within the shortline and regional rail industry while improving its overall safety record.
The Metropolitan Council received federal approval to begin designing the METRO Blue Line Extension northwest of Minneapolis, Minn., the region's fourth light-rail transit project. Future approvals needed include approval to enter Final Engineering (anticipated late 2016) and approval of the Full Funding Grant Agreement (anticipated in 2018).
A Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on a proposed extension of the Gold Line light-rail system from East Los Angeles to either South El Monte or Whittier was released by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA).
Kansas City Southern promoted Shawn Vecellio from director to assistant vice president production and standards for the engineering department.
The Region of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, celebrated the start of ION Stage 1 Light Rail Transit (LRT) construction August 21. The event took place at the future home of ION's Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility on Dutton Drive.