Latest Rail News

The Metra Board of Directors approved the release of the Chicago-area agency's proposed 2011 Program and Budget book for public hearing and comment. Metra's proposed 2011 budget includes $634.2 million for operations and a $407.5-million capital program. No fare increase is planned in 2011.

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BNSF has selected T.J. Lambrecht Construction and Walsh Construction as the primary civil contractor to construct its new intermodal facility southwest of Kansas City in Edgerton, Kan.

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After years of fits and starts, the U.S. Transportation Department awarded Fort Worth, Texas, a $34 million grant Friday to upgrade the Tower 55 rail intersection near downtown, the Star Telegram reports. Tower 55 is one of the most congested rail intersections in the country. Fort Worth officials had been pushing for years to secure the funding to construct a new north-south rail line there.

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U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins and Representative Mike Michaud announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $10,546,436 to the Maine Department of Transportation to repair and improve the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) line in Aroostook and northern Penobscot counties. The funding is being made available through the second round of grants from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called Senators Snowe and Collins and Rep. Michaud this morning to inform them of the DOT's decision.

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U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter announced that $16,500,000 in federal grant funding would be coming to Niagara Falls, N.Y., to revitalize the Niagara Falls Customhouse, which will soon be known as the Niagara Falls International Railway Station. The funding comes from the Department of Transportation's competitive TIGER grant program, which was enacted as part of the stimulus bill.

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A new Amtrak station is open near Orlando for the more than 244,000 annual Amtrak Auto Train passengers. At about 10,000 square feet, the station in Sanford seats 600 passengers and is about four times larger than its predecessor. Thomas Carper, chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, joined local, state and federal officials for the celebration. The original depot, constructed in 1971 and renovated in 1995, was not large enough to accommodate growing demand for the Auto Train, which just reported a year-to-year ridership increase of nearly five percent - despite the economic recession.

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Norfolk Southern is to break ground Oct. 19 for its new intermodal facility near Greencastle, Pa., the Chambersburg Public Opinion reports. NS CEO Wick Moorman, Gov. Ed Rendell, Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Karen Rae and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, are expected to take part in a ceremony at the site of the new rail-truck yard.

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A transportation project that has been planned for more than a decade and that will ease congestion and delays at a busy Manassas, Va., intersection is under way, the Washington Post reports. With almost $20 million in federal stimulus funding, the Wellington Road and Route 28 overpass project has started, city officials said at the Oct. 18 Manassas City Council meeting. The project has been in the city's capital improvement program since 1998 but has been stalled because of a lack of funding, City Manager Lawrence D. Hughes said.

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MTA New York City Transit is closing the No. 1 northbound platform beginning Oct. 18 and continuing through August 2011 for the first phase of the Dyckman Street station rehabilitation. Uptown No. 1 trains will bypass Dyckman Street.

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The Santa Clara, Calif., Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will host a public meeting in Milpitas, Calif., to inform the community about the Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley's Berryessa Extension Project. This is the first of two meetings.

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