The announcement by the
National Transportation Safety Board on July 27 on the likely cause of the June
2009 Washington, D.C., Metro crash might have major safety and financial
implications for transit systems nationwide, the Washington Post reports. Federal
investigators have focused on the failure of Metro's automatic train-control
system in the accident, in which one train slammed into the back of another
that was stopped north of the Fort Totten Metro station in Northeast
Washington. The accident killed a train operator and eight passengers, injured
scores of others and caused $25 million in damage.
It has to start with small
steps by city leaders in Las Cruces and El Paso, but the goal is to someday
provide commuter rail service between the cities, the Sun-News reports. Officials
met the week of July 19 with representatives of BNSF and Las Cruces Mayor Ken
Miyagishima came away with two definite opinions: The cost to start commuter
rail service won't come cheap and he's excited the service has the potential to
become a reality.
Funding has fallen through
on a $15-million project to rebuild an abandoned freight-rail line from
Plymouth to Sheboygan Falls, Wis., and Sheboygan County officials now are
working to secure federal dollars to get the stalled plan moving again, the
Sheboygan Press reports. The project, which proponents say will spur new
development along the approximately 15-mile rail corridor, looked like a done
deal last fall after the state agreed to pitch in $12 million toward the
The Board and staff of
the NEW METRO in Houston expressed their appreciation to U.S.
Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn for their strong
support and significant efforts to secure another $150 million for the
North and Southeast Corridor light- rail lines, as the Senate
Appropriations Committee approved the FY2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development Appropriations bill July 22.
New Lenox, Ill., took the
first step to establish quiet zones along the Canadian National tracks, the
Southtown Star reports. At the July 26 village board meeting, trustees approved
hiring Christopher Burke Engineering to study what improvements are necessary
to qualify for a quiet zone and the costs involved. The firm's fee will not
Representatives of the
National Gateway will discuss a broad range of environmental, business and
economic benefits with legislators, business representatives and government
officials this week at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL)
Legislative Summit 2010. The NCSL Legislative Summit, a major public policy
conference featuring thousands of state lawmakers and legislative staff, is
being held from July 25-28 in Lexington, Ken.
Sen. Dick Durbin said July
23 that giving the Union Pacific Railroad $98.3 million in federal money for
track improvements without an agreement in place to allow high-speed passenger
rail is still a good idea, The Springfield, Ill., State Journal-Register
U.S. Transportation Secretary
Ray LaHood said that the Denver Union Station project will receive just over
$300 million in federal loans through an unprecedented and historic innovative
financing arrangement using the Department of Transportation's Railroad Rehabilitation
and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program and the Transportation Infrastructure
Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program. The project is funded with a unique
financing structure and for the first time combines credit assistance from both
Can two rail agencies share
a set of new tunnels under the Hudson River to midtown Manhattan and save
billions of dollars, instead of building separate tubes under the Hudson River?
asks the Asbury Park, N.J., Press.
Excavators are eating
into a slope above BNSF's main line in the Fruit Valley neighborhood, the Columbian
reports. The work is to prepare the site for a 3.2-mile-long set of bypass
tracks designed to help ease a railroad chokepoint in Vancouver, Wash. The new
line will run along the east side of the BNSF main line from downtown Vancouver
all the way to the Fruit Valley Road overpass.