Latest Rail News

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) is celebrating its 125th year as a New York City-based international engineering giant. In 1885, William Barclay Parsons established a consulting engineering practice at 22 William Street in Lower Manhattan. Since then, PB has continued to play leading roles on transportation, power, buildings, and environmental projects throughout the world. Today, the firm is a strategic consulting, planning, engineering and program/construction management organization with approximately 14,000 employees in 150 offices on six continents.

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Shovels will start digging for the Central Corridor LRT line in August east of the Capitol where work will begin on Robert and 12th streets north of Interstate 94, the Central Corridor Project Office said today. Utility relocations in this area will be done concurrently with LRT construction.

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On March 22, Central Texans will have a new way to commute as Capital Metro opens its passenger rail line, Capital MetroRail. Capital Metro said that it will begin passenger service on the 32-mile Red Line from Leander to Downtown Austin and will offer free fares the first week of service. There will be nine trips in the morning (six southbound and three northbound trips) and 10 trips in the afternoon (six northbound and four southbound trips). The first train will leave Leander Station at 5:25 a.m.

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Fulfilling a commitment to the Long Island City community to end back-riding and shuttle bus service in as short a period as possible, MTA New York City Transit completed a series of weekend rehabilitation projects, including major track replacement work on the Davis Street Curve of the 7 Line. These jobs were completed three weekends ahead of the projected schedule.

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The Newburgh-Beacon Ferry is resuming normal operations March 10, 2010. Ferry service was suspended January 4 due to heavy icing in the Hudson River. Ice floes subsequently damaged the floating dock in Newburgh, N.Y. All repairs have now been completed.

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A short-line railroad operator that lost a bid last year to operate the restored Piedmont & Northern Railroad in Gaston County, N.C., is back with another proposal, the Gaston Gazette reports. Bill Gray, president of Carolina Central Railway, could not come to terms with transportation officials on a lease agreement last year. But Gray said he plans to bid again on the state's latest request to find a long-term operator for the P&N Railroad.

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Some Ramsey, Minn., residents living near railroad tracks should be sleeping a little better, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Two of the city's five rail crossings have been designated quiet zones where engineers no longer must sound train horns as they approach. The zones, which went into effect late last month, will extend more than a mile from Sunfish Lake Boulevard west along the BNSF tracks to Ramsey Boulevard.

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At least three parties have expressed interest in purchasing the city of Keokuk's swing-span railroad bridge, which connects the southern Iowa town to Hamilton, Ill., the Burlington Hawkeye reports. After years of searching for a company willing to buy the bridge, city officials find the abrupt attention to the structure to be a refreshing change of events.

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Dean Del Mastro, Member of Parliament for Peterborough and Chairman of the All Party Rail Caucus Parliamentary Group, on behalf on Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), and VIA's Senior Director, Real Estate, Magdy Fahmy announced the construction of a new station and rail line upgrading for Smiths Falls, Ont. Made possible by the Government of Canada's investments of close to C$21 million for major rail infrastructure work, the projects will increase and improve the safety, frequency and speed of passenger rail service all along VIA's busy Toronto-Ottawa route. MP Del Mastro and Senior Director Fahmy were joined at the announcement by Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples and Canadian Pacific Vice-President of Government Affairs Michael Murphy.

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Since the Federal Transit Administration's approval of $900 million in "new starts" funds to complete the financial package for construction of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project in northern Virginia in March 2009, construction has started all along the 11-mile alignment from East Falls Church to Reston. More than 95 percent of the construction of manholes and duct banks necessary for relocating the 21 utilities in the Route 7 alignment area has been completed. Some overhead power lines have been permanently removed and utility crews are now working in those manholes underground to connect the new lines.

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