Latest Rail News

Union Pacific said Dennis J. Duffy, vice chairman - Operations, has declared his intention to retire this fall.  Duffy joined the company in 1973 and held positions in the finance, marketing & sales, and operating departments during his career. He is the longest-serving head of Union Pacific's Operating department in company history, serving since 1998.

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TriMet in Portland, Ore., opened its first Bike & Ride facility at the Sunset Transit Center. The Bike & Ride provides secure parking for 74 bikes and helps more cyclists make connections to bus and MAX. The facility features BikeLink keycard access and security cameras.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed an agreement providing $46.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for work to continue on the state's aggressive high-speed rail program. The funding is the latest installment from the $822 million that President Obama announced for Wisconsin high-speed rail from the Recovery Act in January.

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Late next year, the first Tunnel Boring Machine will arrive at Pine Street from Capitol Hill. To prepare for the TBM, ground stabilization (jet grouting) is needed in Pine Street, west of the Paramount Theatre. Starting in early August and lasting through September, a lane reduction is needed on Pine Street between 9th and Boren avenues. The eastbound lane of Pine Street between 9th and Boren avenues will be closed and traffic detoured to Pike Street. The two-westbound lanes will remain open. In addition, the sidewalk on the south side of the Pine Street between 9th and Boren avenues will be closed to pedestrians.

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The completion of BNSF Railway's Chihuahuita Connection represents a "win-win" for the railroad, the Chihuahuita neighborhood, the City of El Paso, Texas, and rail customers using the El Paso/Juarez border gateway.

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released its 2011 preliminary budget and proposed four-year financial plan for 2011-2014. The proposed plan reflects unprecedented internal cost cutting initiatives undertaken in response to a $900-million shortfall for 2010 resulting from cuts to state assistance and dramatic downturns in tax revenue. These shortfalls amount to more than $2.5 billion over the plan period.

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With intelligence indicating that Al Qaeda and associated movements continue to express interest in attacking U.S. mass transit systems, especially passenger rail and subway systems, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a redacted version of a classified report on "explosives detection technologies [that] are available or in development that could help secure passenger rail systems," according to the Homeland Security Today Website.

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The state could buy 233 miles of northern Maine freight rail tracks slated for abandonment within several weeks if it and track owner Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway agree on a price, officials said July 28, according to the Bangor Daily News. The railway and Maine Department of Transportation are working to find common ground between DOT's argument that the tracks and other equipment are worth $18.1 million and MMA's contention that they should fetch $26.2 million as a whole or $23.7 million if broken into smaller pieces or parcels.

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The Spanish fixed-track material manufacturer, Talleres Alegria, invested in a new induction heating installation for increasing its competitiveness in the high-speed turnout market.

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The Greenville and Western Railway Company has begun a track upgrade and maintenance project in Williamston, N.C., local media report. The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 15 and involves:

--Construction of two retaining walls and roadbed stabilization near Gossett Drive;

--Replacement of bridge timbers on the rail-highway overpass at Gossett Drive;

--Installation of new ties south of Gossett Drive;

--Installation of 1/4-mile of new and heavier-duty rail between the north end of the concrete bridge behind Mineral Springs Park to just south of Prince Street; and

--The rebuilding of the Prince Street rail-highway grade crossing.

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