(The following column by
Sens. Jeff Wentworth and Wendy Davis and Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon appeared May
3, 2010, in the Houston Chronicle. State legislator Wentworth is a Republican
from San Antonio, Davis is a Democrat from Fort Worth, and McClendon is a
Democrat from San Antonio.) Transportation advocates
won a hard-fought victory during the 2009 legislative session by securing $182
million in financing for the Texas Railroad Relocation and Improvement Fund,
created by the voters through a constitutional amendment passed in 2005 but
never funded. Sadly, the state's transportation bureaucracy at the Texas
Department of Transportation is using a budgetary shell game to thwart the will
of the Legislature and steal this victory from the public.
CSX Transportation, citing
safety concerns, has told the New York Department of Transportation that
passenger trains traveling faster than 90 mph would have to do so in a separate
corridor located at least 30 feet away from the nearest freight track, the
Albany Times Union reports.
In May, there will be no
train service between the WMATA East Falls Church and West Falls Church-VT/UVA
Metrorail stations in Virginia during the Memorial Day holiday weekend as the
Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will undertake the first in a series of major
construction activities that will eventually connect the new rail line to the
existing Metrorail system. Additionally, Metro will replace fasteners and
conduct bridge repair work on the Red Line and replace ties and weld rail on
the Orange and Green lines. Customers should expect significant travel delays
during the weekends of May 7-9, May 14-16, May 21-23 and May 28-31 as intervals
between trains will be lengthy.
Alexandria, Va., has
become a whistle stop town - in more ways than one. Trains have been a regular
feature of city life here since before the Civil War. But lately they've been
making a ruckus. All over Alexandria, the sound of train whistles has been
heard at all hours of the night and day, the Alexandria Gazette Packet reports.
Sales of SmartCards for
travel on PATH trains has hit a record, jumping to more than 50 percent of
market share on the rail line. SmartCard use, which has tripled in two years,
has eclipsed use of MetroCards, which total about 40 percent of payment methods
on PATH lines. PATH QuickCards make up most of the remainder of fare choices. PATH's
Automated Fare Collection System was installed in 2003 to phase-out obsolete
payment methods of cash and magnetic-strip cards.
As the 2010 construction
season gets under way, Amtrak is embarking on $1-billion construction program
to fund capital projects designed to rebuild, upgrade and modernize its tracks,
bridges, stations and other critical infrastructure along the busy Northeast
Corridor and across the country, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and
the Miami area.
On April 27, employees of
Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad chose to be represented by the Brotherhood
of Maintenance of Way Employes Division - International Brotherhood of
Teamsters. After the National Mediation Board had reviewed the validity of the
authorization cards, the BMWED was certified to represent the 277 DM&E
maintenance of way employees.
officials have one week to come to agreement on the public benefits of a
planned railroad overpass in Colton, or risk losing $125 million for the Inland
area, The Press-Enterprise reports. To quell concerns from coastal counties,
San Bernardino County officials have offered to pull their request for state
bond money for a massive interchange overhaul proposed near Devore. Officials
said they will find money elsewhere to reconfigure the Interstate 215 and Interstate
December 6, 2010 is the date for
completion of the final sections of the Green Line light rail project. Two sections,
from MLK, Jr., Station near Fair Park south to Buckner Station in Pleasant
Grove and from Victory Station northwest to North Carrollton, will open
completing the 20-station, 28-mile, $1.8-billion project.
Parsons Brinckerhoff appointed
Richard A. Schrader Chairman, succeeding Keith J. Hawksworth, who is retiring
after 33 years with the firm. In his new position, Schrader, currently
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will provide broad policy
oversight for PB, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering and
program/construction management organization.