Latest Rail News

The Union Pacific is closing the Ridgely Tower in Springfield, Ill., one of the last manually operated rail switching towers in Illinois, The State Journal-Register reports. The tower, south of Sangamon Avenue and west of 16th Street, controls rail traffic along the Union Pacific/Amtrak line between St. Louis and Chicago and the Springfield to Peoria line of the Illinois and Midland Railroad. One of five operators sits in the tower around-the-clock to control rail traffic using a series of levers.

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The Ann Arbor, Mich., Transportation Authority (AATA) board of directors took another step forward this evening in the process of exploring the possibility of countywide public transit. The board voted 6-1 to approve conducting contract negotiations with planning consultant Steer Davies Gleave (SDG) to develop a transit master plan for Washtenaw County.

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The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) said that four new elevators in Henri-Bourassa station will become operational April 26. These additional elevators will raise the number of stations accessible to the mobility-impaired to six on the métro's Orange line, after Montmorency, de la Concorde, Cartier, Berri-UQAM and Lionel-Groulx. Bonaventure station is also equipped with elevators allowing access to both train platforms from the fare collection booth, as the station does not have an entrance building directly from the street.

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Customers can expect lengthy delays of up to 40 minutes April 23-25 as old track components are replaced on the Red, Blue and Orange lines in the Washington, D.C., area, causing inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track on portions of the rail system. 

Riders planning to take the Red, Blue and Orange lines to area sports events and activities this weekend should add up to 40 minutes to their travel times.

 

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Sound Transit contractors will finish installing light rail track switch heaters April 23-25 on the main tracks near the Link light rail Operations and Maintenance Facility. Link trains will be delayed starting Friday, April 23 at 10 p.m. through the start of service Monday morning at 5 a.m.


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Wheaton, Ill., officials have endorsed permanently closing one of its streets at a rail crossing as part of a $100-million plan to add new tracks and upgrades along the Union Pacific line, the Chicago Tribune reports. The City Council approved a resolution calling for closing the Chase Street crossing, just south of Wheaton College.

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The federal Surface Transportation Board directed Canadian National to come before the Board and explain the significant differences between information on street-crossing blockages in the Chicago area that the railroad has provided to the Board and the results of an independent audit conducted by the Board.

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The Delaware River Port Authority and PATCO have completed an extensive Alternatives Analysis study focusing on identifying mass transit transportation needs and solutions for Southern New Jersey. This study concluded with a recommendation for light rail transit along the Conrail rail right-of-way from Glassboro to Camden.

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Stressing that the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization bill should be "revolutionary, not evolutionary" when it comes to federal investment in intercity passenger rail, Amtrak testified before a Congressional field hearing in Chicago that "[t]he need for reliable, multi-year funding is our biggest policy challenge."

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CSX Transportation will move a regional headquarters from Chicago to North Baltimore, Ohio, early next year, according to railway officials, the Findlay, Ohio, Courier reports. Construction is under way on a $175-million intermodal rail yard near North Baltimore. The yard is scheduled to be completed next year, and the headquarters will be located at the yard, according to company officials.

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