Latest Rail News

On July 22, PATCO begins the process of recycling newspapers, glass and plastic with the placement of special trash receptacles at the Lindenwold, Ashland and Woodcrest Stations. The special green receptacles with a recycling decal will be located mostly on the station platforms although they will be available in other locations. The program will be expanded to include all other PATCO stations including the four subway stations in Philadelphia.

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(The following column by Brain Palmer was published in the Washington Post.) Americans love to complain about the pitiable state of our once-great rail system and wonder why our locomotives are stuck in the past. I mean, you can zip between Wuhan and Guangzhou, China, at 220 mph. Japan's Shinkansen system tops 186 mph. The French TGV can blaze across the countryside at more than 200 mph. Yet the Acela train, the pride of Amtrak, hits a ho-hum 150 mph at top speed and maintains that for only a few minutes between New York and Boston.

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You get history by the earful when you ride around Raleigh with railroaders. And a little prehistory, too, the News & Observer reports.

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The Chicago Transit Authority has installed LED signs at 14 rail stations that provide elevator status information. The new LED signs are located above the accessible turnstiles at accessible rail stations and provide the most current information on elevator outages. By providing this information at the station entrance it allows riders who need elevator access to check on the status of the elevators at their origin and destination station before they pay their fares.

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A grade crossing renewal project in St. James, N.Y., will affect some midday train service on the MTA Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Branch from Monday, August 2, through Friday, August 6. During the work four eastbound and four westbound midday trains will depart and terminate from the Smithtown Station instead of the Port Jefferson Station.

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Eugene J. Kim has been named Vice President in the Los Angeles office of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, planning, engineering and program/construction management organization. In his new position, he is responsible for managing PB's Los Angeles transportation planning practice, which provides comprehensive multimodal corridor planning, transportation policy and program implementation services to Southern California's regional transportation agencies.

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(OneRail Coalition sent he following letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee to support more funding for railroads and rail transit.) As the Subcommittee prepares to mark up Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011, the OneRail Coalition urges a balanced approach including equivalent growth in public investment for rail infrastructure as well as highways and transit.

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Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan joined state and local officials for the groundbreaking for the $17.7-million Four Corners/Geneva Commuter Rail station project.  As part of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line Rehabilitation Project, the Four Corners/Geneva station is one of four new commuter rail stations to be built along the corridor.

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Metro's Safety Department received approval from the Tri-state Oversight Committee to close 22 corrective action plans last month that address safety issues identified during internal and TOC safety audits. Some of the plans closed in June included identifying and marking tripping hazards near the tracks, evaluating and updating communication procedures for track workers and developing standards for allowable wheel roughness and wheel repair for rail cars. 

Metro's staff presented these and other steps made to improve safety to the Metro Board of Director's Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee.

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For Florida's high-speed rail, early work begins July 19 -- in a very geeky way, local media report. Crews are starting "geotechnical exploration."

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