Latest Rail News

New Long Island Rail Road timetables in effect September 13, 2010 will contain schedule adjustments for some trains as well as the elimination of other trains. The new schedules implement the second phase of budget-related cuts in LIRR service that were approved by the MTA Board in March. These service reductions along with those implemented last May 17 were required as part of the effort to close the MTA's $900-million budget gap. The service reductions will save approximately $950,000 this year and $3.8-million annually starting in 2011. However, the LIRR will be monitoring the changes in the new timetable and will make schedule adjustments, as necessary, based on additional ridership and possible crowding on trains.


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TriMet's MAX Green Line in Portland, Ore., turned one on September 12, with 6.1 million trips taken on the line during its first year. The Green Line is the agency's fifth MAX line to be built, and added a new alignment in downtown Portland along the Portland Transit Mall and new tracks between Gateway Transit Center and Clackamas Town Center.

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 Illinois' ongoing financial crisis could thwart plans to expand the Metra line that runs through McHenry County, Ill., the Northwest Herald reports. About $29 million in federal funding has been earmarked to pay for the next step in improving the Union Pacific Northwest line and three other commuter rail projects. But unless the state can match those funds dollar for dollar, Metra will lose access to the money.

 

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Triangle Transit still likes the idea, but there aren't many cheerleaders left for a proposal to run high-speed passenger trains through the Norfolk Southern freight yard along the west side of Capital Boulevard, the Raleigh, N.C., News and Observer reports. Norfolk Southern blasted that notion last week in a 17-page letter to the state Department of Transportation.

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The Federal Railroad Administration said that Amtrak is joining the agency's Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), a safety pilot project that permits rail employees to voluntarily and anonymously report "close call" incidents that could have resulted in an accident or injury but did not.

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A century ago, downtown Vancouver, Wash., was built into a corner. The BNSF line and the berm on which it sits have separated the city center from the industrial yards along the Columbia River, The Oregonian reports. The city recently broke ground on a project to punch through the berm, giving downtown access to the waterfront and giving developers access to the 31 acres they intend to turn into offices, retail space and 3,300 residences.

 

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The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved the lease of retail spaces at two of the state's busiest train stations-a food court at Hoboken Terminal and a coffee stand at Princeton Junction Station-as part of the corporation's effort to maximize the value of its facilities while offering additional amenities to customers.

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The Alaska Railroad Corporation Board of Directors has voted unanimously to hire Christopher Aadnesen as the railroad's new president and chief executive officer. Aadnesen is scheduled to start later this month.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opened the first meeting of the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), an advisory group created to guide Federal Transit Administration safety rulemakings when the Obama Administration's Public Transportation Safety Program Act of 2009 becomes law.

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Officials from the city of Sioux Falls, S.D., the state of South Dakota and BNSF celebrated the closure of the 5,000th grade crossing on BNSF's rail network, setting a new national record for grade-crossing closures and safety improvement.

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