Latest Rail News

The state has offered $18 million to purchase the 233 miles of rail line that Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway is seeking to abandon in Aroostook and Penobscot counties, the Maine Public broadcasting Network reports.

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Officials estimate construction of the long-awaited Colton Crossing project in Southern California will be complete sometime in 2014, the Contra Costa Times reports.

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After months of construction in downtown Norfolk, Va., light rail is coming into focus - as are the latest questions about Hampton Roads Transit's long-anticipated project, local media report. Major construction wrapped up earlier this month, and testing will begin in the fall. Now the city is counting down to see if the Tide makes its scheduled start date of next May.

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Track improvements will start this September to allow trains to travel at much faster speeds between Chicago and St. Louis, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. An agreement between the Illinois Department of Transportation and Union Pacific will allow track upgrades to be made on a 90-mile segment of UP track to prepare it for high-speed rail.

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In the 100 days since the voters of St. Louis County invested their trust and new financial resources in Metro through passage of Proposition A, the agency has taken real and meaningful steps toward keeping its pledges to all of the residents of the St. Louis region, President and CEO Robert J. Baer said.

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Latest Rail News | Railway Track & Structures (The following column was written by Tom Brooks, the Alaska Railroad's chief engineer, and appeared in the Anchorage, Alaska, Daily News.) Inspectors from the Federal Railroad Administration--the regulatory agency with safety-related authority over all U.S. railroads--were back in Alaska earlier this summer. Among other things, FRA inspectors require the Alaska Railroad Corporation to improve weed control.

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Amtrak is offering its expert guidance on station development to communities in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin where new state-supported Amtrak service is planned to begin in the next three years. As a part of its Great American Stations Project, Amtrak is hosting local and state leaders in a Civic Conversation with a special focus on the development of stations on planned Chicago routes to Dubuque, Iowa, via Rockford, Ill.; to Iowa City via the Illinois-Iowa Quad Cities; and to Madison, Wis., via Milwaukee.

 

 

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In 1995 when railroad veteran Michael Haverty joined Kansas City Southern Railway as chief executive, the carrier seemed to be chugging into a long, dark tunnel with no exit, The Kansas City Star reports. The future for the Kansas City railroad appeared anything but bright. Mergers in the rail industry were creating mega-carriers in the nation's western half. The giants, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific, were threatening to overwhelm Kansas City Southern, the smallest of the major carriers, with its network running from the heartland to the Gulf Coast.

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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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