Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor

Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor

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The Metropolitan Council voted 14-2 on April 9 to approve the Southwest LRT (METRO Green Line Extension) Project, the Minneapolis area's third light-rail transit line.

A major tie replacement and track resurfacing project will get underway during the last two weeks of April on Metra's BNSF Line to Aurora, Ill. Metra said the project is part of an effort to maintain and improve the quality of service.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) revealed its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most mainline freight and passenger rail operations. The FRA also intends to advance a rulemaking on train securement and recommends a rulemaking on the movement of hazardous materials.

Amtrak awarded Michael Baker Jr., Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker International, a three-year, $4.2 million dollar contract to provide construction management and inspection services for five major projects as part of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Amtrak Hudson Line Improvements Program.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, Regional Rail Authority and Housing and Redevelopment Authority gave approval Tuesday, April 8, to final agreements with United Properties, the Minnesota Twins and Metro Transit for development around Target Field Station, a multimodal transportation station located just to the west of the ballpark in Minneapolis, Minn.

A new report details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter passengers, is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S. and contributes about $50 billion a year to the national economy.

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), launched a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign called See Tracks? Think Train!, which aims to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks by highlighting behaviors that put people at risk.

Harsco Corporation Board of Directors has unanimously selected F. Nicholas Grasbergeras as the company's president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. The appointment is the first step in a planned transition during which Grasberger will continue his duties as chief financial officer while the search for his successor in that role is conducted, and will become the company's president and chief executive officer by mid-year 2014 once this process is complete.

Kinkisharyo, a North American manufacturer of low-floor light-rail cars, awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to Protran Technology LLC to outfit more than 500 railcars with the Protracker Roadway Worker Protection System (RWPS).

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) led a letter from 16 senators, calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to support new investment and resources for a Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund to address existing and emerging issues related to the transportation of Bakken crude and other energy products. The Senators also called for increased investment for inspection personnel.

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