Latest Rail News
12 April 2010

Of railroad bondage

A bond issue, which must be approved by voters, isn't the best way to keep a railroad in business, according to an editorial in the Bangor Daily News. But given that the railroad owners have threatened to abandon the northern Maine line and that lawmakers are set to end their annual session, agreeing on a bond package that includes funds for the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway is the best readily available way to preserve the transportation link.

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Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC-MWED) and Canadian Pacific reached a tentative three-year contract. The Memorandum of Settlement will be sent to the union membership for ratification.


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The city of Spokane Valley, Wash., is using state grant money to protect a handful of drivers from their own impatience, The Spokesman-Review reports. Too many drivers have been weaving around railroad crossing arms after they've been lowered at Park Road just south of Trent Avenue. The result is a dangerous situation for them and for train crews.

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Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is an overwhelmingly popular rail initiative in Northern California, according to an article in The American Surveyor. Measure Q had an amazing 70-percent support of the two-county (Sonoma-Marin) SMART District.

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It wasn't a good day for Caine Hlavaty, who was ticketed for trying to beat the crossing gates -- and an oncoming train -- while riding his bike across the tracks in Elmhurst, the Chicago Tribune reports. Now he was complaining he had missed his bus for work.

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A wall collapsed around 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lee Road Station on the Blue Line of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The track was not damaged, but pedestrians cannot board there. The station was shut down immediately, and the Blue Line ceased operation. On Saturday and Sunday, RTA operated shuttle buses on the Blue Line, from Shaker Square to the end of the line at the Warrensville-Van Aken Station.

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Work to reconstruct the pavement and track at the Villa Terrace crossing in San Mateo will begin April 16. The crossing will be closed from 8:00 a.m. Friday, April 16, until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 20.

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The Section of Environmental Analysis at the Surface Transportation Board issued a draft environmental assessment on the proposed abandonment of 233 miles of rail line in the northern Maine counties of Aroostook and Penobscot. The draft review found that the abandonment of this line could divert onto Maine's highways as many as an additional 73,344 truck trips per year, consuming an additional 3.3 million gallons of fuel per year.

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A two-stage borate treatment has been used for years to help increase the life of a crosstie. Stella-Jones recently developed a new single-stage treatment process that allows for less handling of the crossties and reduced costs. 

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The formidable Cooper Tunnel on the Norfolk Southern main line in Mercer County, W. Va., is now open for larger loads, opening another key impediment to the railway's ambitious Heartland Corridor project, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports.





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