Latest Rail News

The public is needed to provide input into the first phase of the Vancouver, B.C.,  UBC Line Rapid Transit Study. Community consultation meetings for this phase of the study start the week of April 19 and continue through mid-May.

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MTA New York City Transit is beginning an Alternatives Analysis Study that will look at improving transit service on the North Shore of Staten Island. The first open house will be held on April 22 to discuss the re-use of the former Staten Island Railway North Shore Branch. The public is invited to come and comment on potential alternatives to be considered, the goals and objectives of the study and other concerns.

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A familiar Philip Shucet project from his days as commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation is now coming to Hampton Roads Transit, local media report. On April 22, Shucet, now president of HRT, will unveil the "HRT Performance Dashboard." The online tracking tool allows the public to see how efficiently HRT is completing tasks.

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As the Senate contemplates sweeping climate change legislation, the OneRail Coalition submitted a letter to Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph Leiberman (I-Conn.) urging them to carefully weigh the implications of such a policy on different transportation modes. The group urged the Senators to "ensure that such funds could not be misallocated to the detriment of sustainable, environmentally favorable and energy efficient transportation solutions."

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(The following editorial appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.) Unlike in the United States, air passengers stranded in Europe because of the effects of a volcano have more transportation options with highly interconnected and efficient trains, buses, and ferries.

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A railroad lifeline to hundreds of jobs in Jackson, Vinton and Ross counties in Ohio will be made stronger as a project to improve service, reliability and safety on the City of Jackson-owned line that got the official notice to proceed from the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The notice to proceed has been sent to city officials.

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Preliminary engineering for surface improvements to Tower 55 will begin soon following an April 8 vote to fund the project by the Regional Transportation Council, the Ft. Worth Business Press reports. The at-grade surface improvements for the congested Tower 55 rail yard, widely considered to be the most congested rail yard in the United States, are expected to cost about $95 million. The yard sits at the southwest corner of the intersection of interstates 35-W and 30.

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Portec Rail GroupSheffield, part of Portec Rail Products, Inc., appointed Mark Allen as the Head of Engineering (Rail) U.K.  Allen brings a wealth of specialist experience from within the U.K. rail industry. He joined the Rail industry via the Railtrack U.K. Graduate Training Scheme in 1997 having achieved a degree in civil engineering and engineering management and being previously employed within the civil engineering sector.

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Improvements to Metra's Union Pacific West Line this spring and summer run the gamut from expediting freight trains to stopping pedestrians from zipping around lowered crossing gates, the Daily Herald reports. The joint Metra/Union Pacific project started in 2009 and will finish in 2011, but commuters in DuPage and Kane counties should see some significant changes this year, officials said at a Metra board meeting.

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said that Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) of Portland, Ore., will receive $2.4 million in federal research funds to support the development of streetcar components that will be made in the U.S.A. 

TriMet will use the funds to support the development of a domestically-produced streetcar propulsion system, as well as initial work to develop a streetcar that can operate for short distances without power from overhead wires, allowing the potential for streetcar service to be introduced where historic, environmental, or other concerns limit the installation of overhead wires.

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