Latest Rail News

The community of Normal, Ill., expects to have a four-story, $43.2-million transportation hub open downtown in time for the first high-speed trains between St. Louis and Chicago next summer, the State Journal-Register reports.

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Metro in the Los Angeles area will hold two public meetings September 1 and 2 to update the public on the environmental study that is evaluating two possible alternatives, which would connect the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension to cities further east of Los Angeles by light transit rail.

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A top-ranking U.S. transportation official visited Rantoul, Ill., recently to see what the University of Illinois has been cooking up in pavement and high-speed rail research, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette reports. Peter Appel, the U.S. administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, toured the 60,000-square-foot facility known as UI's Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory located on the former Chanute Air Force Base.

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The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company will replace five railroad-crossing surfaces within the city of Medina this month, the Sun News reports. Crossings at S. Elmwood Ave., S. Huntington St., W. Smith Rd., S. Prospect St., and Medina St. will each be upgraded. During construction stretches, roads will be closed near the railroad tracks.

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State regulators approved funds to improve the safety of 165 railroad crossings throughout Washington State. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $35,250 from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) for BNSF to replace or install yield or stop signs, wood posts with retro-reflective tape, retro-reflective cross buck signs and emergency notification signs statewide. The UTC also approved $6,000 from the GCPF for Pend Oreille Valley Railroad to make the same improvements to 24 crossings in Pend Oreille County.

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The completion of ADM's new $540-million dry mill ethanol plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has created a need for more railroad track, KCRG-TV reports. The CRANDIC Railway began construction this month of a new 9,000-foot track that will go from Old Bridge Road to just east of Fairfax, CRANDIC Marketing Manager Jeff Woods said.

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John Gates Jr., a successful businessman named August 19 as the new chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority in the Chicago area, acknowledges he has a steep learning curve ahead of him about buses and trains, but he intends to use his financial expertise to bring more private-sector involvement into mass transit, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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When the idea of an Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville high-speed train route was talked about publicly two years ago, proponents contended it should be given serious consideration, according to an editorial in the Nashville Tennessean. A $1-million feasibility study that had recently been conducted on the Nashville-to-Chattanooga leg showed the project to be doable, but that it would cost an estimated $5.4 billion in public and private dollars.

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The northbound platform at the Santa Clara, Calif., Station will be demolished this week. All passengers will board the train from a temporary platform. Passengers are asked to observe all posted signs and follow direction from identified ambassadors in the station. The temporary platform will be in use for approximately six months.

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EWI launched a first-of-its-kind Passenger Rail Manufacturing Center from its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The mission of the Center is to develop and strengthen manufacturing supply chains for the rail and rolling stock industries, improve railroad product a ...
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