Latest Rail News

The plan to electrify Caltrain will achieve a major milestone pending certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report and Project Adoption on April 1 by the Board of Directors. Approval by the board completes the environmental process for the Caltrain Electrification Program, a major element of the plans to modernize the Peninsula rail system, and positions the railroad to seek federal and state funding.

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Amtrak is awarding a $37-million contract to PCL Construction Services, Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., for Phase I and Phase II of a major upgrade of its Seattle King Street Coach Yard Maintenance Facility. The facility supports Amtrak operations and maintenance agreements in the Pacific Northwest, including for the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Amtrak Cascades, and Sounder commuter trains.  

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All Sounder north commuter rail trains between Seattle and Everett, Wash., will end at Mukilteo due to a mudslide north of Mukilteo. The Sounder north line normally serves stations in Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett. Sounder will operate as normal from Seattle to Edmonds and Mukilteo.

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Passengers riding Minnesota's new Northstar Commuter Rail depend on well-maintained trains for a fast, safe and reliable commute along the 40-mile run between downtown Minneapolis and the northwest suburbs. The MTU Onsite Energy standby power system serves the line's only maintenance facility, where trains are serviced, repaired and even washed.

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Unless agreement can be reached in two weeks, $131 million meant to separate railroad tracks in Colton will go to other Southern California projects, and leave the region's two freight railroads without a project they say is critical to moving goods out of the region, The Press-Enterprise reports.

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Lemont, Ill., officials would like to see more commuter train service for residents this year, and believe it is a real possibility, according to the Lemont Reporter. But a number of things must happen first before the hope comes to fruition, including increased signalization and additional bi-passes along the railroad line to improve safety and ease freight congestion. There also is the construction of a train station in Romeoville and the approval from the railway that owns the tracks.

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The Alaska Railroad Corporation Board of Directors has appointed ARRC Chief Finance Officer Bill O'Leary to serve as acting Chief Executive Officer of the Alaska Railroad, effective April 1, 2010. The decision came after the Board met March 25 to discuss the way forward in terms of railroad leadership after current President and CEO Pat Gamble asked for some transition time to prepare for his new job as University of Alaska system president, effective June 1, 2010.

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Metra, the commuter rail service operator in northeastern Illinois, has unveiled a mobile website that is streamlined to be compatible with iPhones, Blackberries and any other portable web-enabled devices. The mobile site offers the most popular features of our regular site in a format that is easy to view on a portable device. Anyone using such a device to go to Metra's website at www.metrarail.com will automatically be routed to the alternative mobile site, although they will have the option of going to the regular site if they so choose.

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All MAX light rail service across the Steel Bridge in Portland, Ore., will be interrupted Sunday night, March 28, for crews to install a new switch on the overhead power system. Work will begin at 7 p.m. until end of service. Service is expected to resume on Monday morning.


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Track maintenance on the Red Line and an emergency drill at the Rosslyn Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange Line March 26-28 will cause inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track. Customers should add 30 minutes to their trips.

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