Latest Rail News

(The following commentary appeared in The Virginian-Pilot
 September 26, 2010.) The Tide's financial mismanagement will cost Norfolk's citizens millions of dollars more than originally planned. That's hardly news.

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Michigan Tech is working on what it believes is a first-ever collaborative study between the U.S. and the European Union to improve railway education.

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Suffolk, Va., City Council members viewed a proposal to create a combined Amtrak and Hampton Roads Transit station in downtown Suffolk, near the Saratoga neighborhood, the Suffolk News Herald reports. City leaders pinpointed the former site of the Golden Peanut Company, in between Saratoga and Wellons streets, as a suitable location for a train and bus transportation hub. The site still includes the company's abandoned buildings, which feature broken windows, graffiti and at least one tree growing on the roof.

 

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Michel Labrecque, chairman of Montreal's STM Board of directors, said the agency signed the Sustainable Development Charter of Union internationale des transports publics (UITP) in Brussels.

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West Lake Street in Ft. Collins, Colo., will be closed to all traffic at the BNSF railroad tracks west of College Avenue for track repairs and improvements, the Coloradoan reports. The work is scheduled to begin Sept. 28 and continue through Oct. 5, weather permitting. A detour route will be provided to direct through traffic to use College Avenue and Centre Avenue.

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Even in a time of belt-tightening and dreams deferred, a long-sought CTA project is in the works, offering the promise of improved transportation and economic rebirth for poorly served Chicago communities, according to a story by Jon Hilkevitch in the Chicago Tribune.

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The Illinois Department of Transportation has selected Hanson Professional Services of Springfield to evaluate environmental consequences of building a new rail line between St. Louis and Chicago for high-speed passenger trains, the State Journal-Register reports. Hanson will work with the Parsons Transportation Group, a branch of the construction and engineering firm of Parsons Corp., headquartered in Pasadena, Calif.

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As part of the Sound Transit 2 plan approved by Metropolitan Seattle voters in 2008, the agency is starting the formal planning process for mass transit between Northgate and Lynnwood with early scoping. Sound Transit wants to hear from residents because public input received during this early scoping process will help us identify the best way to serve a given community.

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Kansas and Oklahoma officials already are at work on a development plan for rail passenger service between the Kansas City area and Oklahoma City, with a stop in Topeka, even though they haven't actually seen Washington's money yet, the Topeka Capital Journal reports. The Federal Railroad Administration recently announced the approval of a $250,000 grant to the Kansas Department of Transportation to do the planning.

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Work to improve the train station in Burlington, N.C., should begin this fall or winter, with about $685,000 worth of improvements being added there, the Times-News reports. The station, an Amtrak hub on the Raleigh-to-Charlotte line, will get a new backup electric generator, video security system and passenger information display system. The size of the boarding platform will be doubled in length, allowing the train to stop only once to board and unload passengers.

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