Latest Rail News

The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted approval for construction of a new bridge that will carry County Highway 19 (7000 N Road) over the Union Pacific tracks, in Kankakee County. The County proposes to reconstruct the structure with a new multi-steel stringer and reinforced concrete bridge. It will have a 30-foot wide travel surface with bridge railing on each side, and will provide 23-feet minimum vertical clearance over the railroad tracks.

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(The following editorial appeared in the New York Times.) Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has made a national name for himself by slashing spending on education and other vital services. New Jersey's children and other vulnerable residents are paying the price. Now he wants to stall - and perhaps cancel - one of the most important transportation projects in the country: a new railway tunnel under the Hudson River linking New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan.

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CSX Transportation has agreed to pay the District of Columbia $7.5 million toward environmental cleanup programs as part of a settlement reached this month after D.C. inspectors witnessed pollutants leeching from the company's Benning Road rail yard, the Washington Post reports.

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The South Shore is alerting passengers to a series of planned temporary weekend construction outages. The next weekend outage is planned for October 2-4. During these construction related weekend outages the South Shore Line will not operate trains or shuttle bus service in either direction between South Bend, Ind., and Gary Metro Center beginning 2:30 a.m. Saturday thru 3:00 a.m. Monday.

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Chicago Transit Authority President Richard L. Rodriguez proposed a $1.337-billion budget for 2011 that, through cost-conscious management, maintains current fares and service levels. Rodriguez said that the CTA is working diligently to deliver on its mission while operating in a very tough economic environment. Despite limited resources, it will also continue to focus attention on areas where strategic investments will lay the foundation for future improvements and customer benefits.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars for the State of Vermont to begin construction to improve 190 miles of track between St. Albans and Vernon on Amtrak's Vermonter line. The improvements will result in increased speeds, reduced travel time and greater reliability.

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After four months of construction, Sound Transit will open an expanded, upgraded parking lot at 5th St. SW and 9th Ave SW in Puyallup, Wash., for Sounder riders on Oct. 4. Just minutes from the Puyallup Sounder station, the lot, which opened for Puyallup Fair attendees earlier this month, adds 219 parking spaces to 364 slots currently provided at the station's main lot and 182 spaces at two lots leased by Sound Transit. Drainage, new lighting, and environmentally sustainable rain gardens were also added.

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In February, U.S. DOT announced that the CREATE Program would receive $100 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to complete five projects. Work on the first of those five projects began in July. The Broadview/LaGrange signalization (Projects B4/B5) will install a new bi-directional computerized Traffic Control System (TCS) along a seven-mile segment of the Indiana Harbor Belt. This project will upgrade 21 hand-thrown switches to power switches. The TIGER grant funded $11.7 million of the $13.7 million project. The remainder of the funds was contributed by the freight railroads.

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Plans for a large transportation hub just east of Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., that will serve the region's rail, bus and taxi passengers won unanimous approval from the City Council on Sept. 28, the Orange County Register reports.

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The $1.25-billion FY 2011 budget and updated 20-year financial plan approved by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors supports the doubling of DART Rail to 90 miles. The FY 2010 budget was $1.6 billion. The decrease is primarily due to a lower capital budget, largely the result of the completion of the Green Line this December.

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