Union Pacific will strengthen Colorado's transportation infrastructure by investing nearly $11 million in the rail line between Sterling and near Messex, Colo. The project, which is funded entirely by Union Pacific, began November 8 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-December.
Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh decided to conclude her service as chair in order to focus her energies on her full-time position as president and chief executive officer of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Haigh notified Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton of her decision and agreed to remain in her current position until a successor is named.
Central Maine & Quebec Railway appointed Harold Tynes as chief financial officer, effective November 10, succeeding Sachi Mishra.
Norfolk Southern and the Delaware & Hudson Railway (D&H), a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific, have proposed a transaction under which NS would acquire 282.55 miles of D&H rail line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y. The $217-million is subject to the approval by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
In a complaint filed on Nov. 17, Amtrak is asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to investigate Norfolk Southern and CSX for causing delays for passengers traveling between Chicago and Washington, D.C., on the Capitol Limited service.
Union Pacific will strengthen Illinois' transportation infrastructure by investing $12 million in the rail line between West Chicago and Franklin Grove. The project began October 1 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-December.
Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) received approval from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board to award contracts totaling $34.6 million for the purchase of inward- and outward-facing cameras in the cabs of their rail fleets.
On November 13, 2014, an eastbound BNSF train carrying lumber and paper product in Casselton, N.D., derailed 21 cars that subsequently struck a passing westbound train derailing 12 empty tank cars. BNSF said the underlying cause of the derailment appears to be a broken rail. No injuries were reported.
BNSF crews worked through the night to clear the area and opened both tracks late November 14. BNSF is working with the Federal Railroad Administration to learn what factors led to the break. The railroad said the track was visually inspected earlier November 13 with no issues and has been regularly inspected in accord with BNSF's track inspection program, which complies with federal standards.
BNSF stated, "As we continue working to understand what occurred in this incident, we will also undertake a broad-based review of the infrastructure in this vicinity to assure the residents of Casselton of its integrity."
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple is urging BNSF to perform an exhaustive inspection of the track system in the Casselton area.
"I was pleased to hear that Matt Rose plans to have BNSF make a special priority to perform a complete analysis of rail track both east and west of Casselton," Dalrymple said. "He assured me that the analysis will be comprehensive and will include a thorough inspection of rail, base, ties, crossing areas and other infrastructure.
"While we continue to press the railroad industry to improve rail safety, we are also moving forward on safer rail tank cars and a stronger state role in rail inspections," Dalrymple said.
Railroad Track Repairer and Board Member Jack Burton recently passed the half-century mark as an employee of the Alaska Railroad (ARRC) and was recognized for his tenure with a salute during the ARRC Board of Directors meeting November 13. Burton joined ARRC as a track laborer in April 1964.
As the temperature drops, Chicago-area Metra has taken a variety of steps this year to be better equipped to deal with cold and snowy weather and better prepared to deliver critical information to its passengers.