Latest Rail News

On November 16, Metra in northeastern Illinois began testing the air quality onboard some passenger cars and at downtown terminals. Recent questions were raised about the level of diesel emissions on downtown platforms and trains. While Metra trains are in full compliance with all Environmental Protection Agency standards, additional testing conducted on a system-wide basis will provide a more detailed picture of total air quality.


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William Murphy, P.E., has been hired by Urban Engineers and named manager of the firm's New England Regional Office in Hartford, Conn. Murphy, who has 30 years of experience, is a registered professional engineer in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. He holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut, a master's degree in civil engineering from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College.

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Levelland, Texas, city and economic development officials got engines on track for an $8.6-million industrial rail park in the 12,866-population town just 30 miles west of Lubbock, Texas.

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Renovations to Minnesota's historic Union Depot in Saint Paul can now begin thanks to a signed agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority for $35 million, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

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TriMet's MAX Blue Line trains have begun two weeks of testing at the new Civic Drive Station in Gresham, Ore. The trains will briefly stop at the station, simulating revenue service, but no passengers will be able to board or exit the train. 

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Canada's two largest railways need to be monitored by a federal watchdog to keep their duopoly powers in check, says a former rail executive who is leading the charge for disgruntled shippers, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports.

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The village of Mundelein, Ill., would like to reduce the noise of train horns, the Chicago Tribune reports. Board members recently hired Lisle, Ill.-based Patrick Engineering Inc., who will develop  a plan that will look into the establishment of what's known as a Federal Railroad Administration  train horn quiet zone.

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As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Massachusetts Works program to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino Nov. 15 to break ground on the $13.5-million Yawkey Commuter Rail Station reconstruction project, a key public transportation component of the $450-million Fenway Center development.

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A tunnel dedicated exclusively to light rail and a network of fast ferries are recommended to link South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula in a draft plan for expanding public transit in Hampton Roads, the Virginian-Pilot
 reports. Other ideas include streetcars, bus rapid transit and commuter rail.

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Maryland has canceled the bidding on a contract to take over the operations of the MARC Camden and Brunswick lines from CSX Transportation, saying its bid solicitation had failed to generate sufficient competition for the work, The Baltimore Sun reports.

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