Latest Rail News

Los Angeles Metro Blue Line passengers will experience travel delays of up to 40 minutes for two weekends beginning September 24, due to construction of the Expo light rail line, which will connect with the Metro Blue Line in downtown Los Angeles.

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Work will be done on the new pedestrian underpass at the Santa Clara, Calif., station. The underpass will connect the north- and southbound platforms, allowing two trains to pass through the station at the same time and improving safety for pedestrians in the station.

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On October 1-2, Sunne Lane and Harvey Drive near the Pleasant Hill, Calif., BART Station will be closed to traffic. This closure is to allow for the set-up and ceremonies for the grand opening of the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village and the Robert I. Schroder Overcrossing that will be held in the Town Square on October 2.

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Nearly 1,000 construction grant applications for more than $19 billion from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia far exceeded the $600 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II dollars the U.S. Department of Transportation can award for infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit and ports, Secretary Ray LaHood said following the August deadline for submissions.

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When the Sound Transit Board began work Sept. 23 on the 2011 budget, it signaled the kickoff of a process that will realign agency project and service priorities in response to the national recession's impact on local tax revenues.

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Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario and the Toronto Transit continue to move forward on a commitment to improving public transit in the Greater Toronto Area with the release of a request for proposals to the three teams short-listed for the new Sheppard East Maintenance and Storage Facility project.

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Houston's NEW METRO is hosting a public hearing on its FY2011 budget at noon Sept. 27 and the public is encouraged to attend. In a break from past practice, the budget will be presented by METRO's President & CEO George Greanias.

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Gary/Chicago International Airport officials are hopeful an agreement on moving railroad tracks blocking airport expansion can be hammered out within a month, perhaps allowing some work on the project to begin this year, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

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As the city ponders how to pay for light-rail budget overruns, the Hampton Roads Transit board took action Sept. 23 to help control project costs, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The board approved changes in the final large contract for rail construction that HRT President and CEO Philip Shucet said will allow the agency to avoid spending an additional "few million dollars."

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(The following editorial by Mike Norman appeared in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.) Time for a Fort Worth streetcar update -- or, as I call it, the local obsession that won't go away.

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