Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the Federal Railroad Administration is
soliciting research proposals to foster rapid development of high-speed and
intercity passenger rail service technologies in the United States.
A pool of
$25 million is available for basic and applied technology research, development
and demonstration projects to advance the state of the art in track and
structures, train control systems, operating practices and rolling stock. FRA
is seeking projects focused on accelerating development of technologies that
ensure safe, efficient and strategic deployment of integrated passenger rail
systems. The solicitation is open to all sources.
Governor Charlie Crist is
applauding Florida's application to the Federal Railroad Administration seeking
$1.1 billion in funding that will allow Florida to deliver high-speed rail
express service in the Tampa-Orlando corridor with operating speeds of 168 mph
by 2015, local media report.
Colorado has received
$400,000 and Vermont $500,000 under the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed
Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program grant program funded from fiscal year
2009 appropriations. Colorado will use its funds to develop a state rail plan,
a prerequisite for receiving additional HSIPR intercity passenger rail funding.
Sound Transit released
updated long-term revenue forecasts to the agency's Executive Committee that
show ST2 funding levels down by about 25 percent, or $3.9 billion. Last fall
Sound Transit estimated long-term revenue levels to be down by about 20
percent, or $3.1 billion through 2023. The latest estimates come from updated
forecasts the agency received showing an additional $767 million shortfall.
Federal and state
officials joined representatives of the Town of Normal and Amtrak to
ceremonially break ground for a Multimodal Transportation Center that will
serve as a station for Amtrak rail and motor coach passengers, local transit
buses and will include a multi-level parking structure.
A routine federal
requirement that's intended to preserve historic sites threatens to delay some
economic stimulus projects around the country, McClatchy Newspapers report. Federally-funded
projects that could affect sites with historic value are required to undergo
reviews that consider ways to minimize disturbance of the sites. Projects
funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are no different. In some
cases, that's meant delays in getting crucial stimulus projects out the door,
and therefore in pumping stimulus dollars into the economy.
Pacific is joining the procession of railroad facility developments to handle
freight shipments for the area's emerging natural-gas drilling industry, the
Times-Tribune reports. Canadian Pacific, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is
developing a transload facility at its Taylor yard to process sand for
Marcellus Shale natural gas development, CP spokesman Mike LoVecchio said.
Construction on a
multimodal transportation center for the City of Trinidad, Colo., is currently
expected to begin in summer or fall next year, the Trinidad Times independent
reports. The planned center, to be owned by the city but operated by the South
Central Council of Governments (COG), will allow ingress and egress from the
city by train and bus and to COG's local transportation system.
The Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio approved construction authorization from the Ohio Rail
Development Commission directing Norfolk Southern to upgrade a railroad
crossing Seneca County, the Advertiser Tribune reports. Norfolk Southern will
install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the Reedtown Road/TR
126 grade crossing.