Latest Rail News

Metra's new Union Pacific North schedule to accommodate bridge replacement work will begin Sunday, Sept. 26. The schedule has been adjusted to address issues that arose after the August 22 schedule change. That change was made due to a major project to rebuild 22 aging bridges on the north side of Chicago, which will require inbound and outbound trains to share a single track in the construction zone.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said $750,000 in grants for Georgia and $250,000 in grants for Kansas will further develop their high-speed rail programs. The Georgia grants, from the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program, come in three portions: $250,000 to develop an interstate rail network compact with neighboring states; $250,000 for an Atlanta to Birmingham, Ala., feasibility study; and, $250,000 for a Macon, Ga., to Jacksonville, Fla., feasibility study.

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Local, state and federal officials recently celebrated the launch of a $1.1-billion high-speed rail project in Illinois, the first in the nation, reports the Alton, Ill., Telegraph. The contingent touted fast, safe travel, more efficient transport of freight and reduced need for foreign oil and less pollution with the forthcoming high-speed rail system.

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In a world of functional but mundane MBTA entrances, the portal for inbound travelers at Copley Square is one of a kind: a filigreed framework of flowers and curlicues in cast iron, at once classically inspired and reminiscent of the Art Nouveau kiosks that distinguish the Metro in Paris, the Boston Globe reports.

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Grade work on the driveway of the old Southern Railway Depot in downtown Cleveland, Tenn., is well under way. Once the exterior work is completed, restoration of the building will begin, the Cleveland Daily Banner reports.

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BNSF has created 21 new jobs in Galesburg, Ill., this summer and will add another 49 before the end of the year, according to one of the railroad company's senior officials, The Register-Mail reports. 

The jobs are signs of a recovery in the freight business, which was hammered by the economic recession. At the height of the recession, BNSF furloughed 187 employees in Galesburg but all of those workers have since been recalled, said Paul Nowicki, BNSF's vice president for government affairs.



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A key component of CSX Transportation's northern tier strategy will come into play in early 2011 with the opening of the Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal, The Journal of Commerce reports. The $175-million intermodal hub near North Baltimore, Ohio, will reduce transit times by at least a day as it routes containerized cargo from West Coast ports around Chicago to the many distribution facilities located in the Ohio Valley.

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(The following editorial, "It's payback time for high-speed rail in San Jose," appeared in the San Jose, Calif., Mercury News Sept. 20, 2010.) A bill is coming due for the California High-Speed Rail Authority -- separate from the $43 billion price tag for the bullet trains that, if all goes as planned, will zoom between San Diego and San Francisco. This bill is payable to San Jose.

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The weekend of Sept. 18-19, MTA NYC Transit will begin a $47-million project to rehabilitate Inwood's historic Dyckman Street station and conduct stair and platform improvement work on five No. 1 Line elevated stations from 207th to 242nd Street in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

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The NEW METRO's Board of Directors in Houston, Texas, named George Greanias, president & CEO of the agency. Greanias, a former Houston City councilman and city controller, has served as METRO's acting president & CEO since May 2010.

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