Latest Rail News

(The following editorial appeared in the Fort Worth, Texas, Star Telegram.) America's railroads have a good track record when it comes to hauling toxic inhalants. Accidents are extremely rare even though volume is extremely high -- trains hauled 72,000 tank cars of such dangerous cargo in 2008.

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PennDOT says moving freight by rail eases congestion on highways, saves fuel costs and, with some enhancements to the current lines, the state could improve upon its position as an important crossroads for the rest of the country, the Beaver County Times reports. A PennDOT study released earlier this month outlines what officials hope will be the future of the rail industry-freight and passenger-and spells out what needs to happen to achieve the goals the report sets for 2035. And while the report makes it clear that many of the goals must be achieved by both sides of the industry, it sets a few priorities for specific improvements that will help improve freight rail in the state.

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Six months ago, the biggest day in Dallas Area Rapid Transit history turned into one of its worst when thousands of football fans found themselves stranded at rail stations in Dallas waiting to get to or from the Texas-Oklahoma game. Many fans vowed never to ride the rails again, The Dallas Morning News reports.

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Freight traffic could resume on the Upper Hudson River Railroad as soon as next year, as a northern Warren County business seeks to get its product to market more cheaply, the Post Star reports. Barton Mines would use trains to transport product from its North River mines to markets right now, if it could, said Chuck Barton, chief operating officer of the company.

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(The following column by Sens. Jeff Wentworth and Wendy Davis and Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon appeared May 3, 2010, in the Houston Chronicle. State legislator Wentworth is a Republican from San Antonio, Davis is a Democrat from Fort Worth, and McClendon is a Democrat from San Antonio.) Transportation advocates won a hard-fought victory during the 2009 legislative session by securing $182 million in financing for the Texas Railroad Relocation and Improvement Fund, created by the voters through a constitutional amendment passed in 2005 but never funded. Sadly, the state's transportation bureaucracy at the Texas Department of Transportation is using a budgetary shell game to thwart the will of the Legislature and steal this victory from the public.

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CSX Transportation, citing safety concerns, has told the New York Department of Transportation that passenger trains traveling faster than 90 mph would have to do so in a separate corridor located at least 30 feet away from the nearest freight track, the Albany Times Union reports.

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In May, there will be no train service between the WMATA East Falls Church and West Falls Church-VT/UVA Metrorail stations in Virginia during the Memorial Day holiday weekend as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will undertake the first in a series of major construction activities that will eventually connect the new rail line to the existing Metrorail system. Additionally, Metro will replace fasteners and conduct bridge repair work on the Red Line and replace ties and weld rail on the Orange and Green lines. Customers should expect significant travel delays during the weekends of May 7-9, May 14-16, May 21-23 and May 28-31 as intervals between trains will be lengthy. 



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Alexandria, Va., has become a whistle stop town - in more ways than one. Trains have been a regular feature of city life here since before the Civil War. But lately they've been making a ruckus. All over Alexandria, the sound of train whistles has been heard at all hours of the night and day, the Alexandria Gazette Packet reports.

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Sales of SmartCards for travel on PATH trains has hit a record, jumping to more than 50 percent of market share on the rail line. SmartCard use, which has tripled in two years, has eclipsed use of MetroCards, which total about 40 percent of payment methods on PATH lines. PATH QuickCards make up most of the remainder of fare choices. PATH's Automated Fare Collection System was installed in 2003 to phase-out obsolete payment methods of cash and magnetic-strip cards.

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As the 2010 construction season gets under way, Amtrak is embarking on $1-billion construction program to fund capital projects designed to rebuild, upgrade and modernize its tracks, bridges, stations and other critical infrastructure along the busy Northeast Corridor and across the country, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and the Miami area.

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