The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6-million grant to the city of Madison, Ind., to upgrade critical railroad infrastructure to support increased commerce.
GO Transit's West Toronto Diamond (WTD) continues its progress and marked a milestone in May when the east tunnel opened to rail traffic.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has signed a contract with a joint venture for the construction of the Regional Connector, as well as awarded a design contract for a Metrolink double track project.
Watco has installed two to general manager positions at Great Northwest Railroad (GRNW) and the company's Wallula switching site.
Stacy Grant has accepted the position of general manager for the GRMW. Grant will be responsible for supervising daily operations, specifically focusing on improving productivity, efficiency and safety. He has been with Watco Transportation Services since September of 2004 when he began working as a conductor for the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad (PCC). He then served as a trainmaster on the GRNW before being named assistant general manager of the GRNW and the PCC.
Travis Chamberlain has accepted the position of general manager for the Wallula switching site. Chamberlain will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the site and will report directly to the director of Switching Operations. His duties will be to coordinate efforts between all railroad departments and to achieve performance goals with optimum safety, economy, efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring profitability of all departments.
Chamberlain previously worked in the paper industry at Boise for 11 years before joining the Watco Team in May of this year.
It is no secret that rail infrastructure is expensive to maintain and, for North American transit agencies, many of which are working with strained budgets, every dollar spent on a maintenance program must stretch as far as it can go.
A study released by Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) shows cost estimates for a proposed passenger line between Mooresville and Charlotte, N.C., rose significantly due to new infrastructure needs rather than using existing infrastructure.
Alaska Railroad (ARRC) crews continue to make progress on plugging an 80-foot-long washout following high waters at Skookum Creek (ARRC milepost 59.7).
The incident began about 7:30 a.m. June 17, when high water eroded the trackbed, leaving the track suspended over the water. Alaska Railroad track maintenance crews, heavy equipment and a rockhauling work train have been working round-the clock for three days to plug the gap and re-route a high volume of water.
"Earlier this week, this area experienced significant isolated rainfall that measured as much as a half inch every 10-15 minutes for a sustained period," said ARRC Vice President Engineering Clark Hopp. "We are essentially dealing with a new river channel that did not previously exist."
While freight traffic is not affected, passenger train traffic southbound from Anchorage has been suspended since the incident occurred. A decision to restore passenger service will be made at 7p.m. on June 20 and is based on the progress of the repair efforts.
The railroad has not yet determined the final financial impact of the outage. However, ARRC says revenue losses are expected to reach tens of thousands of dollars due to refunds and cancellations. Track repair expenses will also be considerable, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The California General Assembly and Gov. Jerry Brown reached a budget deal that will includes a $250 million appropriation for high-speed rail in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.