Latest Rail News

Four alternatives for state-sponsored passenger rail service between Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Fort Worth are detailed in a study released today by Amtrak and the Kansas Department of Transportation.  Start-up costs of the alternatives, which are in 2009 dollars and based on 100 percent on-time performance, range from $156 million to $479 million and the annual operating support range from $3.2 million to $8 million. Annual ridership estimates of the four alternatives range from 65,900 to 174,000.

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Track maintenance on Washington, D.C., Metro's Red and Blue lines March 12-14 will cause inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track. Customers should add 30 minutes to their trips.

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The city of Virginia Beach, Va., proposed $40-million deal to buy an old rail corridor for a possible light rail project could cost more because a federal agency is asking questions about the land's value, The Virginian-Pilot
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The Association of American Railroads said that 2009 was the safest year in freight railroad history, with preliminary year-end data indicating the train accident rate, employee casualty rate and grade crossing incident rates were all at record low levels last year.

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Global Partners LP will carry out a multi-million-dollar expansion and tank refurbishment project that will add 180,000 barrels of ethanol storage capacity and rail access at the its refined petroleum products terminal in Albany, N.Y. Developed jointly with Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, the project, expected to be operational in 2010, includes modifications that will enable the Albany terminal to schedule the delivery of 80-car trains of ethanol. Global Partners will connect the terminal to CP's adjacent Kenwood Yard rail facility via pipeline. The terminal and rail facility are strategically located along the Hudson River, providing access to the global Partners' terminal network in the Northeast.

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BART crews are installing two new crossover tracks between Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek stations. This work requires that the agency close the tracks between these two stations on two weekends: March 26-28 and May 28-30 (Memorial Day weekend). To accommodate customers, BART will provide a free bus bridge service between Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill (in both directions) during both weekends. BART suggests that customers allow up to 20 additional minutes for the bus detour.


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Three decades is a long time to wait for a train. So Los Angeles is asking the federal government for help in borrowing $9 billion to speed construction of 12 new mass-transit rail lines, The Wall Street Journal reports. With Washington's backing, city officials say they could make a dramatic improvement to public transportation in just 10 years -- including a dreamy-sounding Subway to the Sea -- after decades of stalled attempts to equip the sprawling metro area with a comprehensive public-transportation system.

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Montana state officials have accepted the results of a study sponsored by the city of Whitefish of an underground diesel plume caused by spills at BNSF's locomotive fueling station in Whitefish, a Superfund site, the Whitefish Pilot reports. Using $50,000 in state grant money obtained by the city, Roger Noble and Applied Water Consulting, of Kalispell, investigated the extent of the contamination in Whitefish's Railway District and a neighborhood east of the middle school.

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St. Louis 
Metro and the Sierra Club, along with the American Lung Association in Missouri, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and other clean air advocates, will participate in a National Clean Air Day event at the Civic Center MetroLink Station March 16. Participants will distribute "I Heart Clean Air" postcards and a sweet treat as a "thank you" to Metro riders for helping to keep the air clean by choosing transit.
 


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Maine Gov. John Baldacci provided the details of a $79-million bond proposal that includes money to save northern Maine's last major rail line and to fund transportation projects across the state, the Bangor Daily News reports. Pitching the bond package as a type of stimulus measure, Baldacci said the additional state borrowing would create or protect thousands of jobs in the state while investing in much-needed highway and infrastructure projects.

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