Latest Rail News

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors adopted a $3.8-billion budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11. The spending plan is $47 million less than the current Metro budget but still advances a variety of transportation improvements for the region including a spate of new highway and transit building projects. These are funded largely with federal stimulus funds and the new Measure R transit sales tax.

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A Colton, Calif., railroad overpass meant to unclog a crowded Southern California freight corridor has been approved by a key state panel, ending a two-month logjam that jeopardized the $202-million project, The Press-Enterprise reports. The California Transportation Commission on May 19 unanimously agreed to spend $91 million in state transportation bond money to build the Colton Crossing. The decision also frees $33.8 million in federal stimulus money for the project.

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"The climate change and energy draft legislation ‘The  American Power Act' proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) undermines investment in one of the most-effective tools consumers use to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and combat climate change - public transportation," says a statement by American Public Transportation Association President William Millar. The current climate change and energy proposal diverts the vast majority of new transportation revenue to areas other than public transit and transportation investment.

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(The following statement s issued by Los Angeles Metro CEO Art Leahy, with quotes from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and MTA Board Chair Ara Najarian.) Today's action by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approving funding for Positive Train Control is a major victory for our region. PTC is a major safety enhancement for passenger rail service throughout the region.

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While Worcester, mass., City Manager Michael V. O'Brien has committed to coming back to the City Council in three weeks with a deal to address issues associated with CSX Transportation's. freight yard expansion plan, some doubts are being raised about whether the biggest obstacle - finding a new roadway connection from Shrewsbury Street to Franklin Street - can be achieved, the Telegram & Gazette reports.

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Washington, D.C., Metro General Manager Richard Sarles testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations May 19 and reiterated the transit agency's request for $150 million in fiscal year 2011. 

In doing so, Sarles provided a description of his back-to-basics action plan to improve the safety and service reliability of the Metro system.

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Crews were working through the night to finish two railroad bridges in Benton City, Wash., by 6 a.m. May 20, the Bellingham Herald reports. Construction of the BNSF ballast-deck bridges with concrete girders started early May 19. Both are 121 feet long and will allow traffic to pass under the railroad tracks.

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The Norfolk Light Rail station at Norfolk State University is one of 11 Light Rail stations that will run on the 7.4 miles of track from Eastern Virginia Medical School to Newtown Road, local media report. It's the only station that will sit high above city streets and will have an elevator for passengers.

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The city of Boise, Idaho, will move forward with a new study that could improve the freight rail system in the Treasure Valley, television station KTVB reports. Mayor Dave Bieter calls this a "major step forward" in Boise's economic future. If this facility is built, it will be the only one of its kind between Ogden, Utah, and Portland, Oregon. The facility would allow freight cargo to go from rail-to-truck and vice versa.

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Customers can expect lengthy delays of up to 30 minutes May 21-23 as old track components are replaced on Washington, D.C., Metrorail's Red, Orange and Green lines, causing inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track on portions of the rail system. 



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