Latest Rail News

(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.

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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.

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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. 



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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Southern California 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 15 convergence.

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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.

 

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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.


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