Following months of work, a multitude of inspections and an additional CA$10 million (US$8.6 million) investment, Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQ) got the go-ahead from Transport Canada.
On December 5, CMQ received the official revocation of a series of notices and orders, confirming immediate threats no longer exist on CMQ railway. The notices and orders were transferred to CMQ following its purchase of bankrupt Montreal Maine & Atlantic.
CMQ has spent the past four months installing more than 32,000 new crossties, 110,000 linear feet of rail and 25,000 tons of ballast, upgrading bridges, culverts and crossings, completing surfacing work and removing more than 300 in-track rail defects from its main tracks and sidings. The Sherbrooke subdivision is the 125-mile backbone of CMQ's Quebec rail line and stretches from Lac-Mégantic to Brookport just east of Farnham.
"We had to make this investment. The line was covered in snow last February and March when we were finally able to begin our diligence, but we made a commitment to Lac-Mégantic Mayor Laroche and citizens, as well as many regulators, that we would address the years of neglect," said CMQ President and Chief Executive Officer John Giles. "It was an extremely tough undertaking. We had industry peers questioning the amount of work that we signed up for with such a short construction season. I knew we were in good hands with Ron Marshall, general manager of engineering, leading this project with his team."
When asked about the scope of project, Marshall commented, "This is one of the most challenging construction seasons I've ever been involved in. But I knew from my experience working with this team at RailAmerica that I would have the support I needed. This investment demonstrates our team's commitment to operating the railway in a safe and responsible fashion."
CMQ considers Phase 1 of its transformation now largely completed.
"Not to say we don't have a lot more track and infrastructure work to do next spring, but we have already started Phase II, which focuses on growth, customers and interline partners," said Giles.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report into a May 2013 collision between two Canadian Pacific trains just east of Dunmore, AB. The TSB said this accident highlights the need for action on two of the TSB's Watchlist issues: following railway signal indications and on-board video and voice recorders.
New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) has completed a three-year, $2.5-million project to stabilize and restore the historic Red Bank Station.
National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) selected the winners of its 2014 Safety, Field Employee of the Year, Small Project of the Year and Large Project of the Year awards. The winners will be recognized at this year's NRC Conference, January 7-10, 2015, in Hollywood, Fla.
The John D. Dingell Transit Center located at 21201 W. Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Mich., is officially open.
Amtrak's Vermonter service to the Knowledge Corridor will return on December 29, 2014, with stops in Greenfield and Northampton, Mass.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) appointed David Kubicek to senior vice president operations, Bruce Pohlot to senior vice president engineering and Edward Dumas vice president market development and public affairs, effective December 29.
The Metra Board of Directors highlighted the need for the $1-billion 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (CIP), which aims to untangle a knot of railroad tracks on the South Side of Chicago, Ill., that causes significant delays for Metra, Amtrak and several freight railroads.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York is seeking federal funding toward approximately $300 million in infrastructure improvements for the Canarsie L Line, which runs from Manhattan to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn through neighborhoods that have seen the largest increases in population in New York City.
After leading the organization for more than two years, Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Michael DePallo will step down from his post January 2 to pursue other opportunities.