The City Council in
Niagara Falls, N.Y., is expected to take the first concrete steps toward
transforming the historic old Customs House into a combination passenger
railroad station, bus station and trail head for bike riders and hikers, as
well as a tourist attraction of its own and a museum commemorating the slave
escape route called the Underground Railroad, The Buffalo News reports.
and planning firm TKDA was selected as part of a design-build team with Coleman
Industrial Construction to complete Mobility First Improvements at Amtrak's
passenger stations in California and Oregon. This work is part of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for rebuilding and modernizing
infrastructure and equipment. TKDA is currently providing engineering services
to Amtrak in more than 10 states.
Hatch Mott MacDonald recently hired key, high-level
staff members at several of its U.S. office locations. Frank Facciolo joins
Hatch Mott MacDonald's New York City office as a senior project manager for
rail/transit projects and has 21 years of experience in infrastructure,
transportation, and design-build projects in the N.Y. Metropolitan area and in
California. John Cross joins HMM's Tallahassee, Fla., office as a senior project
manager with more than 30 years of professional engineering experience in both
the private and public sectors.
A Pioneer Railcorp
representative left no uncertainty about the railroad's position regarding a
proposed toll increase for the use of Keokuk's swing-span railroad bridge, the
Daily Gate City reports. Keokuk Junction Railway, which runs the trains on the
bridge, is a subsidiary of Pioneer Railcorp.
(PST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Union Pacific Corporation, has added a 3-D simulation-training
program to its capabilities. The program produces realistic 3-D simulation
training solutions for a variety of industries including railroad,
construction, mining and shipping. For example, railroad-specific simulations
for conductors, locomotive engineers and remote-control locomotive operators
are used in certification training to enhance railroad safety and improve
operating efficiency. Implementing this program accelerates and expands
employee-training opportunities previously constrained by equipment
availability and travel.
The Federal Transit
Administration has committed to a 50-percent share for the Portland-Milwaukie
Light Rail Project in Oregon. TriMet had requested a 60 percent federal share,
since all previous light rail projects were funded by at least a 60 percent
federal share. The 50-percent federal share would be capped at a maximum of
plans to buy a strip of land from Fordham University in order to widen and
improve the outbound platform at the Fordham Station, where each morning almost
6,000 people board northbound trains to get to jobs in Westchester and
Connecticut. After Harlem-125th Street, Fordham is the busiest station for
reverse commutation, that is for people going north in the AM peak instead of
into Manhattan. Over all, Fordham is Metro-North's third busiest outlying
station, after Stamford and White Plains.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi
Rell is set to call for one of the state's biggest bond issues in recent memory
when she proposes selling $260 million in bonds to make improvements to the New
Haven-to-Springfield rail line, the Hartford Courant reports. The money is
intended to attract an additional $220 million in federal aid to begin building
a high-speed train line linking Springfield and Hartford to Amtrak's busy
Boston-to-Washington route along the shoreline.
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.